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“5 plus 1”: The Inside Scoop on Medifast

Medifast Diet Meal Plan

How Does This Diet Work?

The Medifast diet is a very low-carb meal-replacement program which delivers Medifast-approved meal replacement options directly to the subscriber’s doorstep. The “5 plus 1” diet is the flagship of the Medifast program. Its “no-brainer,” hassle-free approach to weight loss through reduction of calorie intake advocates simply eating or drinking six times a day from the Medifast meal packages. As Medifast is a meal-replacement diet program, dieters eat or drink 5 Medifast meal-replacement items (bars, oatmeal, shakes, etc), plus one “lean-and-green” self-prepared meal, which consists of fish or lean meat plus salad or green vegetables, and eliminates alcohol, fruits, dairy, grains, sweets, and most fats. As this diet is built upon low carb and calorie intake, dedication to the Medifast way of life is paramount to success.

Length of the diet is dependent upon individual weight-loss goals, and while initial weight loss numbers will more likely be greater than those towards the end of the diet, dieters can expect to lose 2 to 5 pounds per week by strictly following Medifast guidelines.

A Special Medifast Blender

A Medifast blender available on their site.

One of the strong points of the diet is personalized and specific transition and maintenance plans once the dieter’s target weight is achieved. Transition plans reintroduce fruits, vegetables, and other foods nixed during the strict weight-loss phase, as well as reducing the reliance upon Medifast ready-made meal-replacement options and converting to self-prepared healthy eating options. The Maintenance plan is a long-term, lifestyle and eating-habit adjustment guide which outlines meal choices to ensure the weight lost during the intense diet portion is not regained.

As with other Internet-based diet programs, Medifast’s website ( is the sole provider of the meal-replacement options. Along with the personal plans, Medifast also offers support, counseling, and other resources to insurance health and goals are kept in focus during duration—and after completion—of the program.

Is This Diet Safe?

Experts recommend the Medifast diet as a surefire way to lose weight—so long as the stringent guidelines are followed and considerable attention paid to maintenance through exercise and healthy eating once the target weight is reached.

Additionally, as the Medifast diet is built upon very low carb and calorie consumption, experts recommend consulting physicians any time calorie intake is severely reduce, which is what Medifast does through replacing meals with Medifast-prepared, low-carb foods and drinks.

Can I Cheat a Little With This Diet?

There is very little wiggle room within this diet, as carb and calorie reduction through dramatic lowering of the amount of foods eaten provides the means of weight loss. Occasional indulgence will definitely temper poundage lost, but pounding disallowed foods will certainly counteract any progress made during the initial part of the diet.

During the transition and maintenance stages, more freedom is allowed in choosing foods and drinks, but again, the Medifast program is predicated on preserving weight loss by avoiding the foods which are high on carbs and calories. Indulging in these with any regularity will definitely tip the scales against you.

Pros of the Diet

  • Initial weight-loss numbers are great
  • Low-carb and calorie diet nearly guarantees results
  • Longevity of program speaks to its effectiveness
  • Over 70 meal-replacement options provide variety

Cons of the Diet

  • Reduction in quantity of foods eaten can be hard to deal with
  • Your list of diet-friendly foods just got significantly shorter—even after you’ve reached your target weight
  • Dedication and perseverance make this diet—without them, weight loss is extremely difficult

Medifast Example Meals (

Medifast Scrambled Eggs

Mid-Morning Meal
Medifast Dutch Chocolate Shake

Medifast Cream of Tomato Soup with approved condiment

Mid-Afternoon Meal
Medifast Caramel Crunch Bar

Dinner: Lean and Green Meal
5 oz. Grilled Salmon, 1—1 ½ cups cooked asparagus

Evening Meal
Medifast French Vanilla Shake

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