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The Medifast Diet

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
The Medifast Diet
The Medifast diet provides meals designed to promote weight loss. Photo Credit: PetrStransky/iStock/Getty Images

Despite a multitude of weight loss products on the market, the battle of the bulge rages on. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as of 2010, 68 percent of American adults are considered overweight. In an effort to lose weight and reduce health problems associated with excess weight, many individuals turn to weight loss programs. The Medifast diet is a weight loss program used to treat obesity that promotes weight loss by reducing calories.

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Medifast is a nutrition base weight loss program founded in 1980 and initially sold directly to doctors who then prescribed them to patients to treat obesity. According to Medifast's official website, the Medifast diet aims to provide nutritionally balanced, low-fat meals the promote weight loss. Medifast comes in individuals packets that you mix in water and are available in a variety of foods like soups, stew, chilli, oatmeal and puddings.


There's no arguing that regularly eating larger portions of food can contribute to weight gain. People generally eat larger portions, moreso than their grandparents did two generations ago. Medifast aims to promote weight loss and healthy eating habits by offering portion-controlled, low-calorie meals that promote lifestyle change for long-term results. Medifast's official website claims you can lose 2 to 5 lbs. per week on the Medifast plan.

5 and 1 Plan

The 5 and 1 plan is Medifast's standard weight loss plan designed to promote weight loss by providing a caloric deficit. When your body burns more calories than it takes, it weight loss is initiated as your body uses stored fat or muscle for energy. The 5 and 1 plan consists of five meal replacements and one "lean and green," meal -- a lean portion of meat with up to two cups of salad.


Medifast appears to promote healthy weight loss by reducing portion sizes, while providing nutritionally balanced meals with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Their 5 and 1 plan provides nutrients to your body six times a day and does not advocate skipping meals. Though products are now available without medical supervision or a prescription, Medifast's official website stresses the importance of working with your doctor while following the Medifast plan.

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