Recently, I became involved with the Medi-fast diet. I am involved both as a "coach" but more importantly as a patient. Starting in February of 2014, at the insistence of my own physician, and with a fair amount of skepticism, I began the diet. I have been quite successful losing over 30 pounds in the first two months and I am still going strong. I will see whether it will stand the test of time, but it has been a great start for me and for several of my patients.
Traditionally, I had not advocated any particular diet. I felt that any diet that one remains compliant with is a good diet. I still feel this way. Weight watchers, South Beach, Atkins, Nutrasystem all have their benefits- as does overall self control and discipline. So why have I developed this special relationship with the Medi-fast plan? Because- for me - it is easier to follow.
The basic diet consists of 5 small meals. These are eaten every 2-3 hours. The meals are small, but the frequent meals prevent hunger especially when one drinks the appropriate amounts of fluids (coffee, iced tea/water etc). And there are some 70-80 meals. Breakfast can be one of two types of dried cereal, 3-4 types of oatmeal, 4 types of pancakes or even eggs. I tend to have a chocolate chip pancake since I don't like having cereal or oatmeal and its easy to grab the pancake and eat on the fly..
During the day, while I am running around from clinic to clinic, I have a choice of 10-15 types of food bars (lots of chocolate). I keep these bars in the car and elsewhere so I don't have to stop for meals. If I am in my main office and have access to the microwave, I may have a " Hearty Meal" choice: Chile, Sloppy Joe, Macaroni and Cheese, or Ziti Marinara. The sloppy Joe is particularly good. There are soups and shakes as well, although I am less familiar with these choices. At night I can eat pretzels or a cheese doodle like snack- they're as good as any other type of junk food and the relatively low carb content means there is less "craving for more" when I am done.. There is a regular as well as a chocolate chip brownie and pudding as well. So there is a large variety of food.
In addition to the five small meals, you eat a healthy meal on your own. The meal consists of a lean protein, a non-starchy vegetable and an optional salad. I usually have this meal as dinner but one could do this meal at any time of the day. Although this meal is carb free, there are carbs in the 5 small meals so carb cravings are minimized.
If I am still hungry- I grab some peeled carrots or string beans- lucky for me I like these things. They are not on the diet although the diet does have other optional snacks.
The food runs $10-12/day depending on whether you buy greater or less than than 3-4 weeks of food at any one time. This amount is slightly more than I had spent for lunch previously and certainly less than the cost of breakfast and lunch together. Therefore, I think I am even saving money. The 5 meals provide 550 calories. If you add the calories of the regular meal, one is eating 900-1200 calories a day. Most people expect to lose 2-5 lbs the first two weeks and 1-2 lbs/week after that. Some lose more.
Of course, people are not perfect- especially me. I go out for dinner and certainly have weak moments. Therefore, I have strayed. When I have strayed while on other diets, returning all the way into compliance has been inconsistent. There tends to be a "creep" away from the diet and to my old mal-adaptive eating patterns. However, with the Medi-fast meals- given the built in discipline of the prepared meals, I find it easy to return to proper eating the very next day.
After I reach my goal, I think I will continue to maintain eating the meals indefinitely albeit less exclusively. It will be better than grabbing something impulsively because I am hungry. I don't really enjoy that pizza or sandwich I grab on the fly. Therefore, I will keep these meals around for those times I am busy and can't easily get a proper meal. This will help me maintain the healthier lifestyle I am trying to adopt.
If you are already successful in dieting, don't change. However, if you feel your diet is not working out, than you ought give this option a look. Of course, I will continue to prescribe appetite suppressants to anyone, whenever appropriate, to help them stay on course.
If you are ordering for the first time, consider getting the "Medifast Favorites" or the "On the Go Favorites". If you want to choose individual meals- you will need 10 boxes for every 2 weeks. If you would like, the office can help you place the first order. As you can see, I have my own opinions about what is good and what isn't.
If you join the Be Slim club, you will get 4 additional boxes (a $56 value) for the first two orders and free shipping as long as you order more than $250- I recommend this option as the most economical ( I did't do it for me but I did it for my wife). Even though you are committing to monthly shipments-you can drop your membership at ant point.