Product & Plan FAQs

General Information

What is Medifast?
Medifast is a portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced, low-fat, and clinically proven program that helps people lose weight faster and more effectively than traditional diet plans. Medifast Meals come in individual packets that you mix with water and microwave or refrigerate, and are available in a wide variety of foods and flavors, including shakes, soups, stew, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, puddings, pretzel sticks, and cheese puffs. Quick and easy to prepare, they offer a healthy fast food alternative to a busy lifestyle!
How does Medifast work?
The clinically proven results of Medifast are based on the use of a structured meal plan featuring Medifast Meals, which are nutritionally designed with a proven combination of protein and carbohydrates, allowing you to successfully lose weight while minimizing loss of muscle. The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, our standard plan for weight loss, is medically designed to create a calorie deficit, allowing your body to burn fat for energy.
Why is the Medifast weight-loss program special?
Medifast is an effective, healthy weight-loss program, especially when compared to other diets you've likely experienced without success. Think of Medifast as a lifestyle change, not just a short-term diet or weight-loss solution. Medifast is a portion- controlled, low-calorie weight-loss program that leads to faster weight loss than traditional diets. Medifast is special because you can achieve the quick weight loss you want, and, unlike other weight-loss programs and diet plans you've tried, the Medifast 5 & 1 PlanŽ is clinically proven to produce an average weight loss of 2 to 5 lbs per week for the first two weeks and 1-2 lbs per week thereafter. Medifast has specially tailored programs to meet the needs of nursing moms, seniors, teens, and people with diabetes or gout.
What is the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan consists of 5 portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced Medifast Meals plus one Lean & Green Meal each day.
What is a Medifast Meal?
Almost all Medifast products are "meals" since they contain protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. There are only a few exceptions: Flavor Infusers™, Medifast Soy Crisps, and Medifast Crackers (Soy Crisps and Crackers are optional snacks). All other Medifast offerings, including shakes, soups, stew, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, puddings, pretzel sticks, and cheese puffs, are Medifast Meals.
What is a Lean & Green Meal?

The LEAN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes 5-7 ounces (cooked weight) of lean protein or meatless protein (serving size varies depending on your protein choice) and 0-2 servings of healthy fat ( serving size varies depends on your protein choice). For a complete list of lean options and portion sizes, please refer to our Lean Options List (PDF) and our Meatless Options List (PDF).

The GREEN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes 3 servings of low- carbohydrates/non-starchy vegetables from our Green Options List (PDF) ) Each serving of vegetables will be either 1/2 cup or 1 cup depending on the vegetable(s) you choose; choose any 3 vegetable servings to make up the full Green portion of your Lean & Green Meal. For a complete list of approved vegetable choices and their respective serving sizes, please refer to our Green Options List (PDF).

Why are there certain "approved" vegetables for the Lean & Green Meal?

All vegetables promote healthful eating; however, during the weight-loss phase of your plan, we do suggest that you avoid "higher carbohydrates" vegetables in order to enhance your weight-loss results. Once you transition to the maintenance phase of the program, we encourage you to include ALL vegetables for long-term health.

Our Green Options List (PDF) will help you identify the relative carbohydrates levels of these approved vegetables. *NOTE: Carrots, corn, potatoes, peas, onions, edamame, and Brussels sprouts are not recommended during the weight-loss phase of your Medifast Program, but you can include them in your diet again once you transition to the maintenance phase.

Can I use Medifast Meals interchangeably?

One of the great benefits of Medifast Meals is that they may be used interchangeably, so you can choose any five Medifast Meals you want for the 5 & 1 Plan.

The only Medifast Meals that you should limit to fewer than five per day are:

  • Maintenance Bars (green wrapper) - one per day allowed on the 5 & 1 Plan
  • Essential1: Calorie Burn Meals - up to three a day on the 5 & 1 Plan

What kind of snacks can I have on this program?

In addition to your five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal, you may choose one of the following optional items per day (NOTE: Snacks are not to be eaten in place of Medifast Meals or Lean & Green Meals.):

  • Medifast Snacks - one packet
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 fruit-flavored sugar-free Popsicle®
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free gelatin dessert, such as Jello®
  • Up to 3 pieces of sugar-free gum or mints
  • 2 dill pickle spears
  • Medifast Soy Crisps (Apple Cinnamon, Ranch, or White Cheddar flavors - one packet = one snack serving)
  • 1/2 oz of nuts: almonds (10 whole), walnuts (7 halves), or pistachios (20 kernels)*

Eating more than one snack per day may hinder your weight-loss efforts. For tips to help you with slower weight loss, please refer to our Plateau Tips (PDF file).

*Be mindful that nuts are a rich source of healthy fat and additional calories-choose this optional snack sparingly.

Can I substitute a sixth Medifast Meal for my one Lean & Green?

Medifast does not recommend this. In order to maximize effectiveness and to ensure that you get all the nutrition your body requires, the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan (five Medifast Meals plus one Lean & Green Meal) should be followed as written, unless otherwise recommended by your physician.

The Lean & Green Meal contributes needed calories and dietary fiber, vital vitamins and minerals, protein to help protect lean muscle mass, and a small amount of dietary fat which is essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and keeping the gallbladder at optimal health. The Lean & Green Meal also provides a once-a-day learning opportunity to better understand how to select and prepare healthy meals while still enjoying the convenience of the structured 5 & 1 Plan.

Is the Lean serving size the cooked or uncooked weight?
It is the cooked weight (to ensure proper portion sizes, weigh your items after cooking them).
How many calories and carbohydrates are in the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides approximately 800 to 1,000 calories per day and 80-100 grams of carbohydrates, depending on your personal selections.
Can I substitute frozen meals for my Lean & Green Meals?

Medifast does not recommend frozen dinners (e.g., TV dinners) on the 5 & 1 Plan - primarily due to their varying calorie levels, excessive sodium content, and lower protein and fiber levels than the 5 & 1 Plan provides.

How does Medifast sweeten its products?

Medifast uses a combination of fructose and acesulfame potassium to sweeten most products. This combination is used because we have found it to make the best quality products without contributing significantly to calories, sugars, or carbohydrates. For more information about acesulfame potassium, click here.

Our Crunch Bars contain sugar alcohols and sucralose. There are sugar alcohols in one flavor of Medifast Maintenance Bars (Caramel Nut). Flavor Infusers™ are sweetened with sucralose and do not contain acesulfame potassium. There is no aspartame in Medifast products.

Has the use of Medifast been researched?

Yes! Since 1980, Medifast Products and Programs have been recommended by over 20,000 doctors. Clinical studies by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as other major teaching universities, have shown the plan to be both effective and medically safe.

Is Medifast safe?

Medifast has been clinically proven through a number of controlled studies. Since 1980, more than 20,000 doctors nationwide have recommended Medifast Programs to their patients and more than one million customers have safely used Medifast.

What is the average weight loss amount per week?

Results vary. Clinical studies indicate that most people lose an average of 2-5 lbs per week for the first two weeks and 1-2 lbs per week thereafter with the Medifast 5 & 1 PlanŽ. The scale isn't the only test, so check other indicators such as your waistline measurement and how well your clothes are fitting you. Individual results may vary, and are dependent upon various factors such as your starting weight, targeted weight-loss goal, level of exercise, presence of medical conditions, use of medications, accuracy with diet compliance, etc. As with most diets, Medifast suggests that you consult with your physician prior to starting a weight-loss program.

Does Medifast contain harmful herbs or additives?

No. Medifast does NOT contain any added herbal stimulants, ephedrine, or other ingredients that might be harmful to your body.

Please note that Medifast's Plus for Joint Health, and Plus for Coronary Health do contain some added herbal/nutrient components. You should consult with your physician before making the choice to use Health Management Shakes, especially if you are taking medications, have a medical diagnosis, or have specific concerns about the use of an item. Health Management Shakes are not included in any of our Variety Packages; they must be ordered separately.

Our Essential1: Calorie Burn product line contains an added stimulant in the form of caffeine. Each Essential1: Calorie Burn item contains 100 milligrams of caffeine and 90 milligrams of EGCG, a potent antioxidant found in green tea. This amount of caffeine is equal to one cup (8 ounces) of brewed coffee. Using Essential1: Calorie Burn products is a lifestyle choice, so if you would rather not consume EGCG and additional caffeine, you may choose other Medifast Meals. Essential1: Calorie Burn products are only included in Variety Packages that are labeled Essential1: Calorie Burn, and not in our standard Variety Packages for Women, Men, and Diabetes.

Is Medifast covered by my medical/health insurance?

Weight-loss programs are generally not covered by medical insurance, but please check with both your doctor and your insurance carrier for information relative to your individual circumstances. Some policies may cover weight-loss programs in conjunction with specific medical conditions in which obesity is a factor (such as primary diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or heart disease) and weight loss can lead to management or improvement of these conditions. But again, you will need to ask your doctor and your insurance carrier this question in order to receive an accurate answer based on your coverage and medical status. Medifast does not bill insurance companies on behalf of its customers.

How does the Medifast program lead to fast weight loss?

The clinically tested weight-loss results of Medifast are designed to create a healthy gap between the calories you take in and the amount your body burns, thus promoting effective and natural weight loss. Many times, dieters on other low-calorie diets do not meet the minimum daily recommended nutritional requirements. Medifast Meals provide the optimal combination of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to give you the quick weight loss you want and the healthy weight loss you need. The Medifast weight-loss program is an extremely effective diet plan to lose weight fast. Medifast fits your busy life because Medifast Meals are quick and easy to prepare, while still being a healthy diet plan.

How easy is the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?

Very! On the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, you'll eat six meals a day -- 5 Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal. You can choose any 5 Medifast Meals from our menu of over 70 delicious choices, including shakes, soups, stew, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, and puddings. Your daily Lean & Green Meal, which you'll prepare yourself, consists of a balance of lean protein (such as beef, chicken, or fish) and vegetables.

How does Medifast help sustain your weight-loss results?

Medifast won't abandon you the way fad diets have in the past. The Medifast Transition, Maintenance, and Exercise Plans pick up where the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan ends, and teach you how to sustain your weight-loss results long term!

Take Shape For Life® makes no claim that these results are representative of all participants on the Take Shape For Life® Program. Take Shape For Life recommends you consult with a physician before starting a weight-loss program. Individual results will vary. Medifast is the brand recommended by more than 20,000 doctors since 1980. Typical weight loss on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan® is 2-5 lbs per week for the first two weeks and 1-2 lbs per week thereafter.

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