The core of Medifast is the 5 & 1 Plan.
Close to 70 percent of adults in America are overweight or obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Each year, millions of Americans enroll in weight-loss programs in an effort to lose excess weight. Medifast is a calorie-controlled, low-carbohydrate diet program designed to promote a weight loss of 2 to 5 pounds per week. The number of calories you consume depends on which regimen you choose.
How It Works
The most common regimen is the 5 & 1 plan, which involves choosing five prepackaged Medifast meals along with one healthy meal that you prepare each day. You choose lean protein and vegetables for your self-prepared meal, which is referred to as "lean and green." The program offers a grocery list to help you identify and choose the right foods for the meals you will prepare yourself. The goal is to eat fewer calories than your body uses, to promote weight loss.
5 & 1 Plan Calories
The typical 5 & 1 plan supplies about 800 to 1,000 calories each day. You'll choose five Medifast meals from options such as soups, pancakes, meal replacement shakes, puddings and eggs. Each Medifast meal typically contains between 90 and 110 calories. Your self-prepared meal, usually dinner, will contain about 300 to 400 calories. This gives you a total of six meals per day. The 5 & 1 program is designed to help keep your blood sugar steady and stave off cravings.
800 and Rotation
Another approach is to limit yourself to three low-calorie meals per day totaling 800 calories. With this approach, you replace two of those meals with Medifast meal replacement shakes. For the third meal, you'll choose high-fiber, low-fat foods. This meal will contain between 300 to 400 calories. The rotation approach involves eating between 800 to 1,000 calories four days a week and then consuming liquids only for three days. During the liquid only phase, you choose five to seven Medifast shakes that you sip throughout the day.
Health care providers only recommended the full liquid plan to individuals who need to lose a significant amount of weight prior to weight-loss surgery, according to the Eastern Carolina Family Practice Center. A typical duration for this plan is 12 weeks. During this time, you will consume only Medifast meal replacement shakes for a total of 400 calories per day. A physician must prescribe the full liquid plan. Avoid attempting this plan without your doctor's supervision.