Product & Plan FAQs

Using Medifast Products

How often should I have my Medifast Meals?

Every 2 to 3 hours. It is important to start each day with a schedule, allotting specific times for eating your meals. Build 6 time slots for meals into your daily schedule and strive to be as consistent with this eating schedule as possible. If you know your schedule will shift a little (perhaps on weekends), make sure to shift your meal times accordingly.

We recommend that you eat your five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal within a 24-hour period, regardless of what time your day starts. No matter when your day starts, try to have your first meal within an hour of waking, then eat another meal every two to three hours after that.

Eating every 2 to 3 hours helps to keep blood sugar levels more stable, ward off hunger, and keep metabolism active.

What happens if I miss a meal?

It is extremely important that you get in all five Medifast Meals and the full portions of your Lean & Green Meal each day. If you miss a meal, you may need to space the rest of your meals closer together to make sure you get the rest of your meals in before the end of the day.

Skipping meals will not help to increase your weight loss; in fact, it may have the opposite effect! If you have to decide between "skipping" a meal or "doubling up" to ensure you get in all five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal within a 24-hour period, it is better to double up (eat two Medifast Meals at the same time) than to miss the nutrition provided by one of the Medifast Meals.

What if I don't feel hungry?
It is important to get all five Medifast Meals plus one Lean & Green Meal in each day; otherwise, you are not getting all the nutrition (calories, protein, vitamins/minerals, and fiber) required to maximize the 5 & 1 Plan's effectiveness.
Can you provide mixing instructions for each Medifast Meal?
Mixing instructions can be found on the Medifast box and the individual packets. Medifast Meals should be mixed with water, as directed, for those meals that require mixing. For specific preparation instructions for each product, refer to our complete list of Mixing Instructions (PDF) .
Should I take vitamins?

Generally speaking, you shouldn't need to take vitamin supplements while on the program. The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides you with at least 100% of the daily value for 24 vitamins and minerals.

If you have been prescribed special supplements by your physician or have a specific concern, please consult with your physician so that they may adjust recommendation, as they deem appropriate.

If you and your physician choose to incorporate additional vitamin/mineral supplements, please be aware that the liquids, chewable, or powdered formulas often have added calories and carbohydrates which could hinder your ability to achieve the fat-burning state.

Can Medifast Meals be consumed after the best-if-used-by date?

Medifast powdered products have an 18-month best-if-used-by date. Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes and Bars have a 12-month best-if-used-by date. This does not mean that the product will expire, "go bad," or be harmful; it simply means that the vitamin and mineral pre-mix contained in the products may lose some of its potency, potentially rendering the product less effective. For best results, use your Medifast Meals as soon as possible and store them in a cool, dry, clean environment.

Can I mix two Medifast Meals together?

Yes. This can be a useful technique to get you through a challenging time if you are feeling hungry. Some Clients say this helps them to stay on the program successfully. Remember, however, it is most beneficial to spread your five Medifast Meals out throughout the day.

Can I mix my Medifast Meals ahead of time?

Medifast Meals are quick and easy to prepare whenever you're ready to eat them. You may choose to prepare certain Meals (such as the soups) ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or a Thermos. We recommend preparing the Meal no more than a few hours before consumption and thoroughly mixing the Meal prior to eating to prevent any settling that may occur. Refrigerated pre-mixed items should be consumed within two days; non-refrigerated items should be consumed within four hours.

You might also be interested in Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes. These pre-mixed shakes are shelf-stable, can be stored easily and are interchangeable with your other Medifast Meals. Medifast Crunch Bars, Pretzel Sticks, and Cheese puffs are another great alternative for "on-the-go" lifestyles!

Will I ever be able to eat fruit, dairy, or starches again?

Absolutely! While on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss, we recommend that you avoid fruits, dairy, and starches because of their high carbohydrates contents (eating too many carbohydrates during the weight-loss phase can prevent you from achieving or maintaining the fat-burning state). However, these foods are very healthy for you and we encourage you to re-introduce all fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole-grain products during the Transition and Maintenance phases of your weight-loss journey.

Can I combine other brands of diet foods?
We recommend that you stay with a single brand of products (such as Medifast products). Each Medifast Meal is formulated to provide you with the complete nutrition your body requires and the appropriate carbohydrate-to-protein ratio to maintain the fat-burning state. Therefore for the best, most consistent results and adequate nutrition, we recommend that you use the products that have been specifically developed for the Medifast program.
How much water should I drink on this program?
It is important to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day while on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan to keep your body hydrated.
What types of fluids are recommended?

We recommend plain water first. In addition to the recommended 64 ounces of water each day, you may drink any zero-calorie or calorie-free beverages, including unsweetened hot or iced tea, coffee or decaf, or diet sodas. You can also drink Crystal Light® and Sugar Free Kool-Aid® in moderation (see Condiment Options List). As a general rule, Medifast recommends that you try to drink as much fluid as needed for good health to keep your body hydrated.

Can I drink alcohol?

Alcoholic beverages are not recommended on the Medifast Program. Alcohol provides unneeded calories, can slow your weight loss, tends to stimulates the appetite (encouraging additional food intake or lowering your resistance to outside temptations), and can deplete your body of needed water. Low-carbohydrate versions of beer and other types of alcohol are not recommended because these also provide calories with no nutritional value. Those who choose to drink alcohol tend to feel its effects at lower consumption levels, due to the lower calorie level of the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan.

Can I use any seasonings or flavorings?

You can season your Medifast Meals and your Lean & Green Meal with most herbs, seasonings, or spices. Experiment with different seasonings to find the flavors you enjoy. For general health purposes, we recommend limiting salt intake. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF).

What are the limitations on the condiments I can use?

Some condiments are a significant source of additional calories and/or carbohydrates. Of course, we do want you to enjoy your food, but we recommend limiting condiment use in order to achieve the best weight-loss results and keep you in the fat-burning state. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF).

What if I want to eat out at a restaurant?

Special occasion meals are easier to handle than you may think! Simply rearrange your Medifast Meal routine (if necessary) so that you can enjoy your Lean & Green Meal at your breakfast meeting, family brunch, awards banquet, family dinner at a restaurant - or virtually any special occasion involving food!

You should have your typical Lean & Green Meal serving of meat and vegetables as usual. Request that your meat be prepared/served without sauce sauces and/or added fats; switch out starchy vegetable options (like potatoes) for lower carbohydrate choices (like steamed broccoli or green beans). ). Ask your server to skip the breadbasket or bowl of chips, and always get dressings on the side if ordering a salad.

If you can't avoid eating something that isn't part of the Lean & Green Meal, it may raise your daily calorie intake - but you can get back on the 5 & 1 Plan starting with your next meal. It is still best not to skip meals, even when you think you may have over-eaten. Resume your plan as soon as you are able.

As an alternative, you can bring along a Medifast Meal and ask the waiter for hot or cold water (depending on what you are eating) to mix your Meal. Then simply prepare your Medifast Meal and eat it with everyone else!

Can I chew gum?

Yes, as long as it is sugar-free gum. You can also have sugar-free mints. Three pieces or sugar-free gum or mints (containing 5 calories or less) can be count as your one optional snack for the day.

Can I have butter substitutes?
Yes. Butter substitutes such as Molly McButter, Butter Buds, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray are great alternatives to actual butter. For more specific serving size information, refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF).
Can I have shirataki noodles?

Yes. This item counts as the Green portion of your Lean & Green Meal. Serving size: 1-1/2 cups (12 oz) = all 3 Green servings (4 ounces of shirataki noodles is equal to one serving). We do encourage use of other Green selections first as shirataki noodles do not have the same vitamin/ mineral content of most vegetables.

Can I have lattes?

Coffee shop lattes are generally prepared using a 1/2 cup or more of milk, which naturally contains carbohydrates. Using this larger amount of milk will add too much additional carbohydrates to your diet during the weight-loss phase. Instead of a latte, try a regular cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of low-fat/fat-free creamer, half & half, or skim milk, and sugar-free syrups or extracts for flavoring. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF) for serving sizes.

As an alternative, Medifast offers delicious Cappuccino, Chai Latte, and Hot Cocoa! These hot drinks can be used as part of your 5 & 1 Plan, and can also be enjoyed throughout Transition and Maintenance.

How long can I stay on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?

You may stay on the 5 & 1 Plan until:

  • You've lost your desired amount of weight.
  • You develop a new contraindication to the program (such as pregnancy).
  • Your physician recommends you transition into Maintenance Plan.

If you have significant weight to lose and plan to be on the weight-loss phase of the program longer than 16 weeks, we recommend that your physician monitor your program. After you've completed the weight-loss phase, you will transition into the Optimal Health 3&3™ Plan. Refer to our Optimal Health 3&3™ Plan Brochure (PDF).

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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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