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!
Why is the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan special?

The Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan has a long, successful, scientifically-proven track record of helping thousands of Americans lose weight! It's fast, hassle-free, simple to follow and based on the healthy habit of eating 6 total meals per day – one every 2-3 hours! And your results on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan are enhanced by the unique support system we offer – your support from your Health Coach, the Habits of Health System and our Optimal Health community.

  • Lose weight quickly*
  • Choose 5 meal replacements a day, one every 2-3 hours
  • hoose from over 70 different, delicious meal replacements such as shakes, soups, bars, hot beverages, hearty choices, cheese puffs, pretzels, pudding, and brownies
  • Each has virtually the same nutrition profile designed to meet all your vitamin, mineral and nutrient needs
  • Eat 1 Lean & Green Meal when it's most convenient (Lean & Green = lean protein + a vegetable)
  • Create a fat burning state in your body while feeling full and satisfied
  • Meal replacements are convenient and can be used on-the-go
  • *Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan? with support is 20 lbs.
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 Optimal Weight 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 Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
  • Essential1: Calorie Burn Meals - up to three a day on the Optimal Weight 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?

Take Shape For Life® does not recommend this. In order to maximize effectiveness and to ensure that you get all the nutrition your body requires, the Optimal Weight 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 Optimal Weight 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 Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan ?
The Optimal Weight 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?

Take Shape For Life® does not recommend frozen dinners (e.g., TV dinners) on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan– primarily due to their varying calorie levels, excessive sodium content, and lower protein and fiber levels than the Optimal Weight 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.

What is the average weight loss loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan?

Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan with support is 20 lbs. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. Take Shape For Life® recommends you consult with a physician before starting a weight-loss program.

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 easy is the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan?

Very! On the Optimal Weight 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 Take Shape For Life® help sustain your weight-loss results?

Our comprehensive healthy lifestyle offering can help you safely and effectively reach and maintain a healthy weight and adopt habits for a lifetime of health. There are three components that create a foundation for transformation:

  1. Scientifically-Proven Products and Programs
  2. Your FREE Health Coach and a Community of Support
  3. The Habits of Health System to Create Lasting Health



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. Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan with support is 20 lbs.

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