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Feb 17

Medifast- another take on this weight loss program

I asked a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator & Certified Integrative Health Coach for her opinion about Medifast.  This was her reply.

Alice, I agree with you that these products are highly processed as well as very expensive. However, they are calorically-controlled and do not appear to be incredibly high in sodium. What concerns me is not only the lack of whole, nutrient-dense foods in the diet of one who would utilize this program or consume these foods but the lack of guidance by a health care provider with the Medi-food program.

The traditional Medifast program which has been around since the 1980’s and is still up and running is a 16 week medically-supervised program. It consists of 5 “shakes” and one “Lean & Green” (lean meat and vegetable home-cooked) meal per day.

The advantages of this program are the following:

-It is medically supervised-the centers have RN’s, RD’s and MD’s on staff

-The medical consent of the client’s Primary Care Provider must be obtained

-The weight loss is fast

-It is less invasive and less risky than bariatric surgery

The disadvantages of the traditional Medifast program are:

-The weight loss is more than the recommended 1-2 pounds per week, resulting in an increased risk for loss of muscle mass

-There can be a quick regain of weight once going off program if behaviors have not been corrected

-There is a large time & lifestyle commitment that is necessary on the client’s part

My recommendation is that if one is very serious about weight loss and considering purchasing Medifast products to lose weight that they may want to consider the Medifast program instead. This is secondary to the medical supervision that is provided.

Even so, my recommendations are the following:

-Work with a Registered Dietitian to help transition to routine eating & work on behavior changes that initially contributed to overweight/obesity

-Exercise is vital because of the rapid weight loss and the increased potential for muscle mass loss

-Take a daily multivitamin with minerals to supplement the calorie/nutritional deficit with this program

-Compliance is a must (no skipping meals/shakes to try to lose even more weight & no sneaking extra food/s)

-This program may be an alternative to bariatric surgery-I work with many post-bariatric surgery clients and often see that if changes have not been made that led the client to be overweight/obesity in the first place, then weight can and will be regained post-surgery!

The bottom line is that the client must be ready and willing to participate in this type of program & get routine education and counseling with a Registered Dietitian. Additionally, a Health Coach will be helpful in setting goals and creating lasting health change.

Angie Lamberson

Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator & Certified Integrative Health Coach

Nutrition Pair, LLC

www. nutritionpair.com

If you need a Registered Dietitian, please consider contacting Angie.  If you’d like to leave a comment, please do so below.  As always, thanks for being here!

10 comments

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  1. MaryAnn

    Alice, thanks so much for reviewing the Medifast program! We have a friend on it as a last-ditch effort to lose weight before having surgery. He’s doing well. It’s good for us to have an overview like this of the long-range picture.

    Thanks for helping us and many others!

    MaryAnn

    1. Alice

      Thanks for your comment, MaryAnn. I think that many people come to Medifast as a last ditch effort and many of them are pleasantly surprised. It may not be the best way to lose weight from the perspective of nutrition and eating “real” food, but it’s way better than being cut open! Surgery should be the very last option.
      Alice

  2. Nikki

    Well…in all types of treatment regimen, it’s always been the patient’s attitude towards the treatment. All the results are always depend on his/her performance.

    1. Alice

      You have a point, Nikki. The patient’s attitude affects their adherence to the regimen. If they don’t adhere to the program, no program will work. Thanks for the comment.
      Alice

  3. Debbie

    I I were to choose, I really go with natural ways of weight loss. Aside from cheaper, it’s really safe.

    1. Alice

      Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for the comment. I totally agree that natural ways are safe, generally cheaper, and better overall. In some cases, people need something a little extra to help them. Medifast has worked for a number of people, so we can’t discount it as a legitimate way to lose weight.
      Alice

      1. Ricky

        Yah..I agree..sometimes natural ways are slower but still it depends. As long as you use a safe alternative then that’s great!

        1. Alice

          Hi Ricky,
          Thanks for visiting my website and commenting on this article. Natural and safe are definitely the ways to go. You might be interested in a new product I found recently that provides a lot of health benefits, is completely natural and safe because it is essentially whole foods. You can read my review here.
          Come again,
          Alice

  4. joanna jhonson

    It’s very effective solution for human health . I am looking this kind of technique for such a long time . My weight is increasing day by day . I am worried about over weight . every day I was searching how to cut weight fast but I didn’t get any effective solution before read your post .

    Now I think ‘I will be able to loss my over weight by following your tips . thank you for your good article . It will be helpful for some who want to loss his/her weight .

    1. Alice

      Thanks and good luck to you, Joanna.

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