Can You Have Tofu On The Medifast Diet?

By: Lindsey Price: I sometimes hear from either full or part time vegetarians who are considering the medifast diet and who want clarification as to what type of meat substitutes are acceptable on the diet.

I might hear something like: “if I go on medifast, will I still be able to eat tofu? I am not a strict vegetarian. I sometimes consume milk, eggs, and chicken or fish. But I do consume a lot of tofu. And I don’t want to give it up.”

You won’t have to give it up. You can consume it as part of the protein in your “lean and green meal.” You might already know that when you are on this diet, you eat the prepackaged meals (many of which are vegetarian) for five of your daily meals and then you come up with one main meal that you can choose and prepare for yourself.  (You can also choose vegetarian prepackaged meals.)

As part of that lean and green meal, you are asked to consume 5 – 7 ounces of lean protein and three servings of vegetables. The company puts out many guides designed to help you plan this meal including a quick start guide and a vegetarian guide. (You can download them for free on the Medifast Official Site.) The vegetarian guide lists the serving size for soft silken tofu as fifteen ounces, which is much more generous of a portion than is allowed for animal protein.

Obviously, you want to prepare the tofu in the healthiest way possible, like grilling or stir frying it rather than deep frying it. But the diet encourages and allows the use of a wide variety of vegetarian substitutes like veggie burgers, veggie sausage and vegetarian chicken nuggets.

It might be interesting for you to know what the medifast shakes are soy rather than milk based. So it would make sense that medifast would welcome tofu into the plan. There are also a lot of vegetarian options with the prepackaged meals. For example, the chili and sloppy joe contain texturized vegetable protein (or TVP) rather than meat. While many of the meals do contain at least eggs, milk, or both, there are some items that are completely vegan – like all of the shakes, oatmeals, crackers and cereals. This diet is pretty friendly for people who choose not to consume animal protein. And if you consume at least some milk or eggs, you shouldn’t have much of a problem.  But yes, tofu is most definitely a protein that you can include with your lean and green meal and you can have as much as fifteen ounces.  Here are the latest medifast specials. Now less than $11/Day. Try 30 days of Medifast and Get 7 days of Free Medifast Meals! w/renewal plan

What If I Hit A Plateau On Medifast? These Tips Might Help

By: Lindsey Price: Many people have wonderful results when they first start medifast.  The weight comes off at fast and at regular clips.  And you can start to think that this is the way that it is going to be EVERY week.  Sometimes though, this just isn’t reality for most people.  And here is why.  The more weight you lose, the less weight you need to lose to keep the same body percentage of loss each week.  Also, our bodies sometimes get used to our new regimen and don’t always respond in the same dramatic way.

It’s not always a reason for concern when your dramatic early results taper off.  Frankly, if you continued to lose weight at such a dramatic clip, it probably wouldn’t be sustainable.  Most people consider it optimal to lose stable, safe, and realistic amounts of weight from one week to the next.  So a slowing down of weight loss doesn’t need to get be all that upsetting.

But what happens if you truly reach a plateau and the scale isn’t moving?  This can be normal, too.  And many people find that this is somewhat short lived. Not every one responds by making changes to their regimen.  Some people opt to just wait it out.  This is certainly the easiest route to take and that’s certainly a viable option.

But, if you’re truly worried about the plateau, there are some easy things that you can do.  First, make sure that you really are drinking 64 ounces of water per day.  This is eight full 8 ounce glasses of water per day.  I know that in my own case I thought I was drinking enough, but it wasn’t until I bought a 64 ounce jug to carry around with me all day that I realized that I wasn’t.

Another thing that is often overlooked is sleep.  I was on a forum once talking about plateaus and a noticeable amount of folks going through the plateau had just gone through a stressful time in their lives and as a result haven’t been getting as much sleep.  If you’re not sleeping enough, this can mean your body doesn’t have the support it needs to work so hard.

Also, take a look at your snacks.  You want to make sure that you’re taking in the medifast approved snacks and limiting your bars to only one maintenance bar at a maximum.  (There’s no limit with the crunch bars.)  Also, if you’re eating a maintenance bar daily and also having the snacks, perhaps you alternate days where you are having both until you get past the plateau.

Another thing you want to check is to see if you’ve backed off a little in terms of compliance with your lean and green meal.  Make sure that your portion sizes aren’t too generous and that you’re not eating starchy vegetables.  I know that it’s easy to have success and gain confidence and think that you can fudge a little bit.  And this can be fine.  But getting back into strict compliance can be a way to ease yourself over the hump.

Also, if you haven’t yet added in exercise to your regimen, this would be a good time.  Understand that ketosis means your body is already working hard.  So use common sense.  Just move your body more.  Do whatever you enjoy and will consider fun.  This may be dancing or getting outside and riding your bike or roller blading.  Or maybe walking your dog.  You don’t necessarily need to go to a gym to get some exercise.  If you’re already exercising, you don’t need to go overboard.

These things should help.  But most of the time, your body has begun to adjust or you have lost enough weight where you will just naturally begin to taper off.  Sometimes, it’s better that you don’t measure your results weekly during this time.  Instead, focus on your monthly results and you will often see that it tends to even out in the end.

If this doesn’t help, seek out a medifast counselor.  That is what they are there for.  You can access them on the Medifast Official Site

The Two New Medifast Flavors Of Home Options: Chili Lime And Lemongrass Chicken

Folks who were on medifast several years ago did not have the luxury of lean and green meals being prepared for them. People often asked if they could find something that would allow the convenience of the prepackaged meals when it was time for the lean and green meal. But for a long time, this just wasn’t available. You weren’t supposed to use an additional medifast meal because these did not have enough calories to count for a lean and green meal. Eventually, medifast introduced its flavors of home meals, which were ready made items that were substantial enough to be used for your main meal. These items took off pretty quickly – so much so that medifast has recently added to the line up with two new flavors. This article will go over these new choices and outline the nutrition information.

Chili Lime Chicken – This item is a bit spicy. It’s chicken over long grain rice that is flavored with chili peppers, lime cilantro and pineapple juice so that it’s bit spicy and sweet all at once. This item has 300 calories with 12 grams of fat and only 2 grams of sugar. There are four grams of fiber and a very large 27 grams of protein.

Ginger Lemongrass Chicken: This is definitely an Asian type dish. It’s also a chicken and rice dish at heart, but it is enhanced by ginger, lemongrass, bamboo strips, coconut milk, and carrots. It is very similar in nutrition as the lime chicken. It has 300 calories, 4 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.

The other original flavors are still available, like the turkey meatball marinara, chicken cacciatore, chicken and rice with vegetables, and beef stew. All of them are pretty similar in terms of calories and fat. All of them are available as part of a box. Six meals cost $29.70. You can get a box of the same six meals or you can get a variety box which has 12 meals – (with a variety of different flavors) for 54.96.

Of course, the cheapest way to get these meals is to buy them as part of a package. The medifast flex 30 day kit comes with 12 of these flavor of home meals, which as we have seen is a value of about $55. In addition, you get 126 of the lower calorie prepackaged meals. This would get you 12 days where you don’t need to cook your lean and green meal yourself. And it would save money.   Here is a coupon for medifast flex

The Medifast 2017 President’s Day Sale

Medifast does sometimes take an opportunity to put their most popular plans on special.  The holidays are a common time for them to do this.  And they’ve put a few plans on special in honor of President’s Day.  Here are the specifics.  The medifast go plan is on special for $329 – discounted from $455.  This popular plan used to be called the 5 plus 1 plan and it’s the plan that many of medifast’s clinical studies were based off of.  On this plan, you eat five prepackaged meals per day (that are provided by the company) and add in one lean and green meal that you prepare.  Plus you get a free food journal, a welcome kit, a dining out guide, and a medifast blender   Here is that coupon. President’s Day Deal – Save $126 on the Go 30-day Meal Plan! w/renewal

Medifast also offers the medifast flex plan.  That plan gives you four prepackaged meals per day and you make two lean and green meals on your own (this plan used to be called medifast achieve or the 4 plus 2 plan. ).  The flex plan is on special for $299.  That’s quite a discount because it is normally $443.  You get all of the free stuff described above.  But you also get three “flavors of home” meals which you can use as lean and green meals if you like.  These substantial meals are pretty expensive when you buy then by the box, so this is a nice incentive. President’s Day weight loss deal – Up to 30% off Medifast monthly meal plans! Plans starting at $9.97/day, w/renewal

Which plan is best for you really depends on how much you want to provide your own meals and how much you want to rely on the prepackaged meals.  If you like making the lean and green and would rather have two instead of just one, then you’ll probably like the flex.  If you want to stick with the traditional medifast plan where you eat six times per day, with only one of those being a lean and green meal, then you’ll probably want to choose with the go plan.

Cheese On Medifast: What Are Your Options?

By: Lindsey Price:  If I had to pinpoint three foods that dieters ask me about, the three would be chocolate, cheese, and potatoes.  People often assume that all three of these are off limits on medifast, but that isn’t always the case.  Medifast has many chocolate options and they do offer mashed potatoes (and I have seen some great potato pancake recipes for these.)  As far as cheese goes, not only are there options in some of the prepackaged foods, but you are also allowed to add in cheese (within reason) to your day.  I will discuss this more below.

One of the easiest places to look for cheese on medifast is in its snacks.  There are Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs,
Medifast Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs
, and cheese pizza bites. They also offer cheddar and sour cream popcorn.  Moving on to more “real” or substantial food, there is an offering of Medifast Macaroni & Cheese.

Now, people would typically eat the “bites” and “puffs” for a snack and the macaroni and cheese for lunch.  But what about for dinner or other times during the day?  Well, cheese is classified as a sort of extra or condiment in this diet.  You can certainly have it, but you want to stick to lean choices and you want to keep the serving size reasonable.  Here is how it would work: If you want cream cheese, the guidelines indicate that you can have it, but it’s recommended that you eat one tablespoon of the low fat variety.  If you can’t stomach low fat, then you can have 1/2 tablespoon of regular.  The same is true if you’re having blue cheese, feta cheese, or parmesan.  You can have 2 tablespoons if you are going with non fat and one tablespoon if you are going with the regular version.  A serving size per day of the laughing cow spreadable cheese is one wedge.  So you can see that you don’t have to cut cheese completely out.  You can get it in your medifast meals if you like and you can also add it in to your meals and snacks within reason.  So yes, you can certainly have some cheese on medifast and you don’t have to totally cut it out.  You just have to be smart about it.  Most of us are used to the lower fat versions of cheese by now, and when you embrace that, your serving size is double.  Here are the latest medifast specials.  If you have any questions about this, you can reach out to a medifast counselor on the company’s site.

Can You Have Orzo Salad On The Medifast Diet?

By: Lindsey Price:  I sometimes hear from people who feel that the medifast diet might be a good fit for them.  But, they have one hesitation – they don’t want to give up their favorite foods.  Many realize that they are no longer going to be able to eat the truly bad junk foods, but they’d like to keep some reasonably healthful favorites in their repertoire.  One example is salads that contain some pasta. Someone might say: “I know that salads are a decent way to get in your lean and green meal on medifast, but what about orzo salad? I absolutely love this meal and I eat it all of the time.  I would hate to have to give it up.  Can you eat orzo salad on medifast?”

I would strongly encourage you to reach out to a counselor on the Medifast Official Site.  I can certainly try to answer this from my own knowledge of the program and from research, but I’m not a counselor so I’d strongly suggest just contacting one.  In general, medifast doesn’t encourage the intake of a lot of carbs – although they do sell snack crackers and a few of their entrees (the ziti, the macaroni and cheese and the chicken and wild rice) DO contain a small amount of pasta and rice.  Their dining out guide does caution you against eating a lot of pasta and bread while eating at restaurants.  There’s probably a concern about getting out of ketosis by consuming too many carbs.

So if you are going to include orzo as a lean and green meal, I would suggest keeping the orzo content very light.  You’d want to use a minimal amount and instead load up on the vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, etc.  This type of salad is part of a Mediterranean diet, which is considered healthy.  They do allow at least some olives on medifast, but it is considered a fat so you want to make sure that you use a small amount (5-10.)  If you really want to be in compliance, you’d want to omit the cheese also.

I am not sure that this would be something that you’d want to have every night, especially in the beginning when you are trying to get your body into ketosis.  But I think if you had it sparingly and loaded up on the vegetables and maybe even some lean chicken, this would allow you to use the orzo very sparingly so that it could be both really tasty and in general alignment with the diet.  But please ask a counselor to be sure.  You can very easily do this online at the link above.

Are There Any People Who Can’t Go On Medifast? Are There Any Medical Conditions That Make It Off Limits?

By: Lindsey Price:  I sometimes hear from people who would like to try medifast, but who believe that something in their life (like a medical condition, a lifestyle choice, etc.) will make medifast off limits to them.

Before I continue on with this article, I have to tell you that I’m not a doctor.  I’ve researched about this diet a great deal and that is where my information comes from.  I’d encourage you to reach out to a medifast counselor on the Medifast Official Site and also to your own doctor with any questions.

There are some medical conditions that preclude dieting.  Pregnancy is one of them.  Women who are supporting a healthy baby should not diet.  It could put their own health at risk (as well as their baby’s.)

Also, people who have acute and chronic medical conditions like cancer, liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease, or anorexia are advised to wait until their condition has stabilized and to get clearance from their doctor before going on any diet.

There are some conditions where you can use medifast, but you are highly encouraged to work with your doctor when you do so.  Such conditions are things like diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, or people on coumudin or lithium.  People with these conditions are sometimes able to go on the plan, but they do so guided by their doctor.  Medifast has handouts and support to help you along the way, but they strongly encourage doctor participation. (You can see the handouts about using medifast with these types of conditions under the “tools” section of the official site linked to above.  Once you’ve clicked the tools section, look on the left side under “medial conditions.”)  Although being at an ideal weight can help with many health conditions, you never want to do anything that is in contrast with something your doctor is doing.  That’s why it’s very important that you consult him.

Medifast does offer special programs for nursing mothers, those over 65, teens, those with diabetes, those with gout, those who need a gluten free diet, and vegetarians.

Medifast is also a popular diet for those who have had (or want to have) bariatric surgery.  However, this is done under doctor supervision because it is important that you work with your doctor to determine your ideal calorie level before and after surgery.  And it is important to know when you get to a level where you are wanting to only maintain your weight loss instead of actively losing weight.

The bottom line is that many people who have health concerns can use medifast, so long as they are being supervised by their doctor.  However, pregnant women and those with unresolved chronic health issues should wait until their issues are resolved.  If there are still questions about this, ask a medifast counselor and also your doctor.

Should I Exercise On The Medifast Diet?

By: Lindsey Price: I sometimes have people ask me if exercise is required on medifast and whether or or not they have to do it. The answer is that while it is not required, it is certainly encouraged. Still, people sometimes express concerns about what type of effect exercise is going to have on their long term goals. I might get a comment like: “I get that exercising on medifast might enhance my results. But here is my concern. What if I exercise and diet and then I lose weight and have the body that I want? What happens if I stop later? Is this going to mess up my metabolism? I don’t want to start a habit that I know I might one day stop. I don’t want my body to get used to exercising if I am not going to do it forever. Should I exercise on medifast?”

Before I tell you my opinion, I have to tell you that I am not an exercise counselor or dietician of any kind. But I can tell you my opinion based on my own experiences. Knowing myself the way that I do, I know that if I am going to stick with anything day in and day out, then the thing has to be manageable and easy. I have to be able to easily achieve it every singe day and I have to feel better when I do it, so that I can easily make it a sustainable habit.

Honestly, I do not like doing traditional work outs. And if you told me that I had to go to gym every day or sweat it out with a room full of strangers doing cardio fitness, then I am pretty sure I would bow out pretty quickly.  Some people love group work outs.  I am not one of these people.

But I love yoga. I mean, to me, doing a yoga is a gift to myself. I feel so much less tense and centered after I do it. Unfortunately for me though, doing yoga by itself wasn’t giving me the weight loss or the muscle tone that I wanted. Then one day I discovered yoga with weights. This changed everything.  I was getting a lean, toned body and a quiet, centered mind along with stress reduction.  Then, I discovered DVDs that offered yoga with weights in fifteen minutes. Not only that, but the results that I got were wonderful. I got toned in places that hadn’t been toned in quite some time. And, I got that stress relief that I’d always loved about yoga.

Now, I can do anything for fifteen minutes, which is why I rarely miss one of these short workouts. It honestly feels like a treat and I look forward to it. The key, I think, is to find whatever this is for yourself. You may not like yoga, but you may like meditative jogging, kick boxing, martial arts, ice skating, roller blading, biking, or something else. Whatever it is that you enjoy which also offers exercise is fair game. Once you find movement that you actually love,  find ways that you can do it in manageable chunks of time and still get results.

As far as allowing your body to have expectations in terms of exercise, I think that the benefit is worth the risk. I think it’s better to exercise and eventually stop then to never exercise at all. Plus, I think that if you find a sustainable, pleasant workout then there’s no reason to think that you would want to quit. And you might find that, like me, if you make a habit of easy, short exercise sessions, you will actually find that you feel off or tense when you don’t do it and therefore you do it. It becomes body maintenance to help you be your best just like your teeth or combing your hair.

But to answer the original question, yes, I believe that exercising when on Medifast gives you better results and helps you to develop a habit that enhances your life and relieves stress. But do note that they encourage you to take it easy the first couple of weeks and they encourage you to keep the work out sensible.  Please follow up and ask a counselor on the medifast site, because I’m not a counselor and you can do this very easily via email or chat. Medifast Official Site

Medifast Go – A New Option For People Who Miss The Medifast Five Plus One (5 Plus 1)

For the longest time, the focus of medifast’s diet was the 5 plus 1 plan (which consisted of five prepackaged diet meals plus one lean and green meal.)  This was always the most popular plan.  And it was usually the plan on which the clinical studies were based.  Yes, there were people that wanted other options, which is why medifast offered a 4 plus 2 and a 3 plus 1 plan for those who wanted to eat less diet meals per day.  However the focus was usually the 5 plus 1 – until the achieve plan came along and included 4 meals.  People who wanted to do the 5 plus 1 could still do it, but they typically would just buy an achieve package and eat five meals per day, which meant that they sometimes ran out before the end of the month was up.  However, now that medifast is offering the medifast go plan, people who want to do 5 plus 1 will have all of their meals covered for an entire month.  That’s because the medifast go package includes 154 meals instead of 135.  That gives you five prepackaged meals per day and as usual, you can add in your lean and green meal.

They offer a decent amount of variety in this package also.  Included are a good amount of bars and shakes, mashed potatoes, pudding, pancakes, soup, brownies, ziti, oatmeal, and pretzels – all coming in a wide variety of flavors. They also throw in several guides, a food journal, and a blender.

This plan is much more like the traditional medifast plan that was popular for so many years.  In terms of weight loss, the best idea of what expectations to have would be to look at the John Hopkins clinical studies that are based on the 5 plus 1 plans – as that plan is very similar to this one, (assuming that you are going to follow the traditional lean and green meal guidelines.)  Medifast Go is also currently one of the cheapest medifast plans, and that is even before the use of coupons.  If you’re someone who always preferred the 5 plus 1 or who always wanted to try the traditional medifast, now would be a good time to give medifast a try with the new addition of medifast go, which a nod to what was so popular, and worked so well, in the past.  I like that medifast has done this because now, regardless of whether you are doing 4 plus 2 or 5 plus 1, you can choose the plan that gives you enough or more than enough food for the entire month.   Here are the latest medifast specials for any of the plans. New Year, New You! Lose weight fast with Medifast GO. Try 2 weeks and Get 14 Free Shakes, w/renewal plan

The Medifast Holiday Special $26 Off / $10 Per Day / Two Week Trial

By: Lindsey Price: I know that not everyone thinks about dieting during this time of year. After all, this is the best time of the year for treats. It’s also the best time of the year for packing on the pounds. So while you may not want to diet right this very second, the odds are good that, like many of us, you will soon want to lose the weight that you put on either during the holidays or during this last year.   If you’ve been considering medifast, now might be a good time to place an order – even if you’re only going to start the diet after New Year’s.  They’re offering their two week trial package for $149 instead of $175, which is a $26 savings.  They’re also throwing in three free gifts, including a food journal, blender bottle (to mix up and drink your shakes) and a plan guide.  That comes in at about $10.64 per day for four medifast meals and snacks.   You get 56 meals and get to choose from over 65 menu items of foods like shakes, soups, bars, mashed potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and chips.   The plan is set up so that you eat four of these meals per day and then make two lean and green meals on your own.  Since you can have very brisk weight loss with medifast, 2 weeks should give you enough time to have some great initial results.   And if you haven’t tried the program, this is give you a chance to get in and try it in the cheapest way possible.  Your initial costs are extremely low and you have very little to lose.   And maybe, just maybe, if you get this all set up and squared away to start after the new year, perhaps you won’t feel as guilty as you enjoy the holidays.  That’s a good plan, anyway. Holiday Special: Try 14 days – only $10.64/day + 3 Bonus Gifts! w/renewal plan