Medifast and Consumer Reports

I get a lot of questions about how medifast works, how the food tastes and what life is like on the diet.  But, over the weekend, I got a question that I’ve never gotten before.  I had a woman email me and ask “what does consumer reports say about the medifast diet?” I’ll answer this question in the following article.

Does Consumer Reports Have A Rating On Medifast?: I really did not know the answer to this question, but I do have a subscription to this magazine and website so I logged on and looked it up. There was no specific report or study on this diet, but there was a blog entry on a study as to which types of diets work best long term.  The blog referred to BMJ Group’s article which examined which type of diets actually lead to more weight loss in real life.

Low Carb Diets Were Shown To Contribute To More Weight Loss:  In the before mentioned article, the following diets were compared: traditional low calorie diets, the Mediterranean diet, and low carbohydrate diets.  The study followed dieters for two years as they experienced these various diets and lifestyles.  At the end of the two year period, almost every one lost some weight.  But, people on either the Mediterranean or low carb diet lost a little more weight than people on the more traditional diets. And surprisingly, the low carbohydrate dieters had lower cholesterol levels than folks on the low fat diet.

Is Medifast A Low Carbohydrate Die?t: Most people don’t know this, but it actually is.  Actually, it combines low calorie, low fat, and high protein diets.  For example, on this diet you eat about 1200 calories per day, which is less than most people burn. And, the foods are also low in fat and in carbohydrates while being pretty high in protein. 

Here’s a look at a shake as an example.  The Dutch Chocolate shake contains 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of protein.  This is one meal choice, but there are over 70 additional choices.  However, almost all of them are similar.  Almost nothing in this diet contains over 100 calories.  And everything is pretty figure friendly.

So this is the prepackaged foods (of which you eat five per day), but you’ll also prepare one “lean and green meal” each day. The company gives you guidelines as to what foods are best for this.  In a nutshell, they want you to eat a decent sized portion of protein / meat (or an alternate source if you are a vegetarian), and three servings of low glycemic vegetables.  This is really key because if you go overboard and go outside of the “safe zone,”  you could thwart all of the progress that you were able to make with your prepackaged meals.  It just doesn’t make sense to be ahead of the game by afternoon only to ruin everything at your dinner or whenever you chose for your “lean and green” to occur.  You’ve worked too hard to sabotage yourself with one meal.

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