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Medifast Pros and Cons

By Milton Kazmeyer ; Updated July 18, 2017

The Medifast diet is a restricted calorie diet plan that claims to use ketosis to spur rapid weight loss. By denying the body excess calories and carbohydrates, Medifast says the body is forced to burn fat for fuel, converting it to glucose to fuel the body’s functions. Compared to other methods of weight loss, Medifast offers certain advantages and disadvantages.

Ease of Use

The Medifast diet plan is a simple one. Eat five Medifast meals or snacks, spaced evenly throughout the day, with one “lean and green” meal consisting of lean meat and green vegetables for dinner. It takes counting calories out of the equation, and allows dieters to focus on a very limited selection of choices for most of their meals. This simplicity can help dieters stick to the plan, especially in the early days when adjustment can be difficult.

Weight Loss

The Medifast plan is a restricted-calorie diet. Following their guidelines, you would be eating 800 to 1000 calories per day, enough to trigger significant weight loss. Furthermore, the plan advises six small meals spaced throughout the day, which helps to control hunger and keeps the body from going into “starvation mode” in which it attempts to store nutrients as fat.

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Variety

While there are a number of different varieties of shakes, soups and snacks available through Medifast, the selection can wear a bit thin when you eat five meals a day. If you have any allergies or dislike any of the flavors they offer, your selection will become even more limited. The regular meal you eat each day can help break the monotony, but unless you find a few favorite products, sticking to the Medifast plan might be difficult.

Adjustment

With the sharply reduced calorie allowance, the Medifast plan can be a difficult adjustment. Going from three large meals per day to six carefully controlled meals can be a shock to the system, and making sure to eat every meal on time can be difficult at first.

Cost

One of the primary disadvantages of the Medifast system is its cost. According to the company’s online store, as of 2010 the plan costs around $300 a month for one person, and that’s not including the one “lean and green” meal allowed per day. Unless you normally spend a lot of money eating out, switching to Medifast is likely to be more expensive than your previous meal plan.

Ketosis

The Medifast diet works by inducing ketosis, which is a process in which the body consumes fat for fuel. A byproduct of ketosis is the release of acetone through respiration, which can give your breath an unpleasant, sweet aroma, sometimes mistaken for that of alcohol. A medical professional should supervise extended periods of ketosis to ensure no lasting damage occurs to the body.

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