Medifast is a well-known weight loss program that offers over 70 different prepackaged diet foods as well as suggestions for healthy meals. The program itself is specifically designed to help each consumer lose weight effectively. It entails the use of 5 different Medifast replacement products throughout the day with an addition of a healthy snack.
The Medifast weight management program offers two different plans which allow each consumer to choose what they prefer. They all provide a low-calorie high protein diet that should promote weight loss. There are many more details associated with the Medifast diet program which we will go through in this unbiased review.
To see if Medifast is a good option for you, simply continue reading and find out!
How Does Medifast Work?
Medifast promotes weight loss by using small, low-calorie meals. The plan is designed to create a hunger-free weight management journey since you will be eating more meals than usual.
Eating a few small meals a day instead of three large meals helps reduce calorie consumption without the feeling of hunger (1) (2).
Studies have actually concluded that the main reason diet failures is actually hunger (3).
Appetite hormones, including ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), are aggravated in response to what and when we eat (4).
A study of 20 men concluded that when participants had breakfast in the form of four smaller snacks instead of a bigger meal, they actually experienced a low appetite during the day (5).
Men who ate four smaller meals also consumed fewer calories later on in the day as they hadn’t felt any urge to eat. These participants had lower levels of ghrelin and higher levels of GLP-1, indicating a clear reduction in hunger.
So, by providing a controlled, low-calorie diet in a way that suppresses hunger and cravings, Medifast helps reduce total calorie intake (6).
In addition to meal replacement, Medifast also provides education and other weight loss support.
Medifast Plan Options
Medifast offers 2 different plans, designed to meet the needs of every consumer.
1. The “GO” Plan:
Also called the “5 & 1 Plan”, the GO plan offers fast results and is popular among busy people who want to lose weight quickly, but simply don’t have the time to diet properly. Consumers have the option to choose a 13-day kit or a 30-day kit. The 13-day kit is priced at $149, with 70 meals included and 4 bonus gifts, plus a free blender bottle. The 30-day kit is a bit pricey clocking at $329, however, it does come with 147 meals and 4 bonus gifts.
2. The “Flex” Plan:
Is the more complete option of the two as it offers a more gradual and steady approach to weight loss. Consumers can choose from two different kits, the 14-day trial, and the 30-day select. The trial option is offered for only $149 and includes additional gifts. The 30-day select kit costs $299 and features 126 different meals and gifts. You will also get 9 microwavable meals, including chicken, rice, vegetables, turkey meatball, chicken cacciatore, and beef stew. Along with that, the 30-day select kit includes a completely free blender and shipping.
The Medifast meal replacements include bars, snack, shakes, drinks, desserts and packaged microwavable products. Each product is designed to have a very low-calorie value, but a fairly high protein content.
Medifast meals are also enriched, this way each user will receive the needed dietary intake of all essential vitamins and minerals.
Here is a short review of the most notable Medifast products:
Beverage options include low-calorie hot cocoa and instant cappuccino, and a few other fruit-based flavors.
Each drink provides only 100 calories. They include additional protein sources from egg whites, soy protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate. Protein supplies 50-75% of calories in these products.
However, they also contain added sugar, which makes up 20-33% of the calories.
For example, their Chocolate Shake contains 14 grams of protein, 6 grams of sugar, and only 2 grams of fat.
Apart from drinks, one of the six daily meals on the Medifast weight loss program can be a snack bar or dessert.
Medifast offers 13 kinds of snack bars. They primarily contain carbohydrates, additional protein, and a bit of sugar for the sweet taste.
For example, their Cookie Dough Chewy Bar contains 110 calories, 11 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of sugar.
Their cartilage snacks are also high in protein, with little to no sugar. For example, their Bakery Bakeries contain 11 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbs and less than a gram of sugar.
Medifast offers a wide range of pancakes and oatmeals.
Pancakes provide only 110 calories, with about 14 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein and 4 grams of sugar. The amount of calories in the Medifast oatmeal is almost identical, with little to no sugar.
They also offer “cordial choices” such as the potato and soup pie. They differ in their carbohydrate content but follow a high protein, low-fat form.
Dieters are also presented with various forms of high protein salads. Each of these dishes provides about 300 calories.
Will You Lose Weight on the Medifast Program?
Dieters who embrace the Medifast program will likely lose weight at least in the short-term since their calorie intake will be restricted to a lower amount than normal (7). However, the claim of losing massive amounts of weight is subject to debate as the amount of weight actually lost during the program will depend greatly on how much weight there needs to be lost overall. Another factor that would directly impact weight loss success is the level of activity.
With more physical activity you can expect more weight loss, where your weight loss will be less should you choose to do nothing at all (8). The Medifast eating program is easy in the sense that you have your diet planned out for you, however, it is still going to be a diet that restricts many of your favorite foods and food groups. This means that you are far more likely to slip up while on the program, which would, of course, be detrimental to your overall weight loss success. So any long-term results will greatly depend on your ability to maintain the lower calorie eating habit and regular physical activity.
The Medifast weight loss program consists of pre-packaged low-calorie meal replacements, as well as diet and exercise suggestions. This style of eating can be a great choice for busy individuals who simply want to lose weight quickly but just don’t know how.
However, in large-scale research, less than 50% of participants were able to adhere to the Medifast eating schedule for 12 months or longer (9).
Medifast can be absolutely effective in the short-term, however, in terms of the long-term aspect of the weight loss spectrum, it requires lasting lifestyle changes.
- Kazunori Ohkawara, Marc-Andre Cornier, Wendy M. Kohrt, and Edward L Melanson. “Effects of Increased Meal Frequency on Fat Oxidation and Perceived Hunger.” Obesity (Silver Spring) (2013 Feb). Viewed at:
- Theodoros Angelopoulos, Alexander Kokkinos, Christos Liaskos, Nicholas Tentolouris, Kleopatra Alexiadou, Alexander Dimitri Miras, Iordanis Mourouzis, Despoina Perrea, Constantinos Pantos, Nicholas Katsilambros, Stephen R Bloom, and Carel Wynard le Roux. “The effect of slow spaced eating on hunger and satiety in overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. (2014). Viewed at:
- Marina Sanchez, Christian Darimont, Shirin Panahi, Vicky Drapeau, André Marette, Valerie H. Taylor, Jean Doré, and Angelo Tremblay. “Effects of a Diet-Based Weight-Reducing Program with Probiotic Supplementation on Satiety Efficiency, Eating Behaviour Traits, and Psychosocial Behaviours in Obese Individuals.” Nutrients. (2017 Mar). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372947/
- Steinert RE, Feinle-Bisset C, Asarian L, Horowitz M, Beglinger C, Geary N. “Ghrelin, CCK, GLP-1, and PYY(3-36): Secretory Controls and Physiological Roles in Eating and Glycemia in Health, Obesity, and After RYGB.” Physiol Rev. (2017 Jan). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28003328
- Marjet J. M. Munsters and Wim H. M. Saris. “Effects of Meal Frequency on Metabolic Profiles and Substrate Partitioning in Lean Healthy Males.” PLoS One. (2012). Viewed at:
- Finer N. “Low-calorie diets and sustained weight loss.” Obes Res. (2001 Nov). Viewed at:
- Jakicic JM1, King WC, Marcus MD, Davis KK, Helsel D, Rickman AD, Gibbs BB, Rogers RJ, Wahed A, Belle SH. “Short-term weight loss with diet and physical activity in young adults: The IDEA study.” Obesity (Silver Spring) (2015 Dec). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26538477
- Damon L. Swift, Neil M. Johannsen, Carl J. Lavie, Conrad P. Earnest, and Timothy S. Church. “The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance.” Prog Cardiovasc Dis. (2014 Jan-Feb).
Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/
- Christopher D. Coleman, Jessica R. Kiel, Andrea H. Mitola, Janice S. Langford, Kevin N. Davis, and Linda M. Arterburn. “Effectiveness of a Medifast meal replacement program on weight, body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese adults: a multicenter systematic retrospective chart review study.” Nutr J. (2015). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4527127/
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives.