Can I Omit The Snacks On Medifast Achieve?

By: Lindsey Price:  Many people who begin medifast are not used to eating as often as the plan allows.  For example, if you are on the medifast achieve plan, you eat four medifast meals and two lean and green meals.  You’re also allowed to have a snack.  People sometimes mistake one of the lean and green meals for a snack.  The reason for this is that on the 5 plus 1 plan, there was only one lean and green meal and 2 optional snacks.

As you can probably guess,  the number of meals means that you are eating every few hours, so people sometimes ask about skipping snacks.  Someone on the achieve plan might say: “there are six eating times throughout the day and I really don’t want to add the snacks on top of this. So can I skip the snacks – specifically on the achieve plan?”

I would strongly suggest that you ask a counselor on the Medifast Official Site since it is so easy to do so.  But the wording of the snack indicates that this is optional.   Here is the wording: “In addition to your four Medifast Meals and two lean & green meals, you may choose a healthy Medifast snack….”  “May” being the optimal word.  Also, note that there is only ONE optional snack on the achieve plan, not two.   There are two lean and green meals, but one snack.  You’re supposed to eat four medifast meals, two lean and green meals, and you CAN have the one optional snack if you like.  But the wording indicates that this is not a requirement.  You do want to make sure that you get in the rest of the meals (including the prepackaged and the lean and green) because you want to get all of the nutrition that you need and you want to take in enough calories to support you in ketosis.  People often think that skipping snacks or meals on medifast will help them lose more weight more quickly, but the opposite is often true.  You will have a hard time getting into fat burning mode if your body isn’t taking in enough calories to do so.   That’s why sometimes, skipping meals actually slows your progress.    Because the snack is worded as being optional, I wouldn’t think that there is a problem with omitting it, but I’d highly suggest that you run it by a counselor just to be sure.  This is only my opinion and I would ask medifast to be sure.  Here is the latest medifast special for cyber Monday / week.

Cyber Week Special: 30% off 30 Day Kit + 6 Bonus Gifts! w/renewal plan

Holiday Special: Try 14 days – only $10.64/day + 3 Bonus Gifts! w/renewal plan

Can You Have Crab On Medifast?

By: Lindsey Price: I often hear from people who are considering or starting the medifast diet and are wondering which of their favorite foods are going to be allowed or off limits, particularly as it relates to their main, lean and green meal.

During certain parts of the year or in certain parts of the world (when and where seafood is prevalent) I’m asked about seafoods like crab. Someone might say something like: “I live in Cape Cod where we are big on our seafood, particularly crab. I would like to try medifast but I am not giving up my crab. Would I be allowed to have crab on medifast for my lean and green meal?”

The answer to this is yes. In fact, crab is listed in the quick start guide as one of the leanest meats. You may have seen the quick start guide and you may not have. You can get it for free on the company’s website here Medifast Official Site.) But it basically breaks down meat into three categories: lean, leaner and leanest. And in the leanest category, you can have the biggest portion. The less lean the meat, the smaller the portion.

Crab is listed in the leanest category which means that the portion size a generous seven ounces and with it, you can have two healthy servings of fat. With this said, you’re not going to want to fry it in deep fat or put breading on it. That would defeat the purpose of choosing a lean food. But you could certainly prepare it in a small amount of olive oil or margarine for those healthy fats.

Also, medifast offers crab in a prepackaged option. They do have a soup that is called Medifast Maryland Style Crab Soup. I hope that this article has shown you that you won’t have to give up your crab on medifast. In fact, it is one of the healthiest meal choices when chosing a protein for your lean and green meal. I think that many people are surprised at what they are able to eat on this diet. I was surprised when I first saw ground beef on the quick start guide but also happy that I wouldn’t have to give it up. With all of the dessert and snack type foods also offered (like soft serve ice cream and brownies) it’s hard to feel completely deprived on this diet. Whether you’re craving salty or sweet or your own favorite standbys, you can usually find something to make it work.

Black Friday / Cyber Week Deals For Medifast

By: Lindsey Price:  Like many retailers, medifast has rolled out its holiday sales events early.  As of today, you can enjoy deep discounts on medifast’s 30 day or 14 day packages.   You’ll enjoy 30 percent off if you go with the monthly package and 15 percent off if you go with the 2 week package.  The saved money is nice, but to me it’s the free gifts that contain the biggest value.  I will explain.  If you go with the monthly package, you get all of the guides for free as well as a blender bottle and 3 free taste of home meals.  That’s a $15 value as these meals are around $30 for a box of six.  They are not usually thrown in with promotions.

Here is how the pricing shakes out with this new promotion.  If you choose the monthly package, you would pay $299 for enough meals to last for 30 days.  You get 126 meals that includes:

  • Brownie Soft Bakes
  • S’mores Crunch Bars
  • Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Ziti Marinara
  • Strawberry Shakes
  • Dutch Chocolate Shakes
  • French Vanilla Shakes
  • Chocolate Chip
    Soft Bakes
  • Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
  • Mixed Berry Cereal Crunch
  • Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bars
  • Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks
  • Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
  • Chicken Flavored Noodle Soup
  • Cookie Dough Chewy Bars
  • Original Pancakes
  • Sour Cream & Chive
    Mashed Potatoes

Plus, you get NINE taste of home meals which includes:

  • 3 Chicken with Rice and Vegetables
  • 2 Turkey Meatball Marinara
  • 2 Chicken Cacciatore
  • 2 Beef Stew

This works out to be a great deal.  And here are the six free gifts:

  • 3 Flavors of Home® lean & green meals
  • Food Journal (to track your progress!)
  • Medifast Achieve™ Plan Guide
  • Blender Bottle
  • Healthy Living Workbook
  • Dining Out Guide

 

If you go for the 14 day or two week plan, then you will pay $149 and you will get 56 meals which includes foods like:

  • Brownie Soft Bakes
  • Chicken Flavored Noodle Soup
  • Dutch Chocolate Shakes
  • French Vanilla Shakes
  • Mixed Berry Cereal Crunch
  • Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
  • S’mores Crunch Bars
  • Sour Cream & Chive
    Mashed Potatoes

And you will get three free gifts (as opposed to the six gifts on the monthly package.)  They are:

  • Food Journal (to track your progress!)
  • Medifast Achieve™ Plan Guide
  • Blender Bottle

If you’ve been waiting for the optimal time to dive into medifast, this might be it.  Not only are the plans heavily discounted, but the free gifts are more generous and plentiful than what you sometimes see.  Here are the links to the specials:

Cyber Week Special: 30% off 30 Day Kit + 6 Bonus Gifts! w/renewal plan

Holiday Special: Try 14 days – only $10.64/day + 3 Bonus Gifts! w/renewal plan

Where To Buy Medifast Cheap

By Lindsey Price:  I sometimes have people contact me and ask me where they can “buy medifast cheap.”  I can only assume that people think that there are several medifast dealers and that hopefully competition will make these dealers compete for business so that one or a few of them will be the cheapest out there.  People often look online or on places like craigslist or ebay in search of cheap medifast food.

But here’s what you should know about this.  Only one company manufactures or sells the foods / products and that is the company themselves on the Medifast Official Site. I know that this is not commonly known, but medifast doesn’t sell it’s products or foods in grocery stores, in health food stores, or in pharmacies, etc.  That means you’re likely not going to find it in your local wal mart, walgreens, cvs, publix, wegmans, or gnc.

With that said, there are a handful of clinics scattered across the country where you can buy foods and products.   But there are not many of these except for in states like Texas and Maryland.  (I only have two centers in my own state and the closest is four hours away from me.)

The point that I’m trying to make is that unless you have an official clinic close by, you might want to be skeptical if you see people claiming to sell medifast out of their garage or a strip mall.  The company doesn’t have third party retailers.  They handle sales and distribution themselves.   When you see the foods on craigslist, what you are often seeing is used foods that someone did not finish, or at least that was always my perception.  If you personally know the seller, then this might be a decent way to try out some of the foods, but I have to tell you that many have told me that they’ve gotten expired foods or something that just didn’t look quite right.

Yes, websites such as this one offer medifast coupons and showcase the latest deals.  But they don’t sell the food.  And they shouldn’t be claiming to.  People who are on the look out for cheap medifast dealers want to save money, of course and you can’t blame them.  In today’s economy, ever dollar can count.  But this savings isn’t going to do you any good if you buy expired or imitation food that isn’t really edible or isn’t what you expected.  Honestly, most people don’t realize that if they aggressively use the coupons that are readily available, they may not be paying much more than they would pay buying old food from strangers.   And if you just want to try the food, you should know that the company offers every menu item for sale individually, but that’s not the cheapest way to go.

Because if you do order the foods individually or go with the smaller package, you won’t be able to take advantage of the coupons.  The cheapest way to go really does depend on how long you plan to stay on the diet.  The following link lists what is currently a popular medifast discount: Medifast SpecialsTry Medifast Achieve for as low as $149 w/ renewal plan

 

How Can You Do Medifast If You Don’t Eat Greens?

By: Lindsey Price: I sometimes hear from people who feel like medifast might work for them but they are concerned about the “lean and green” portion of the diet. Some believe that they won’t have any problem eating the meals that are provided by the company. And they aren’t necessarily concerned about the “lean” protein portion of the lean and green meal. They are concerned about the “green” aspect of it.

I might hear from someone who says: “I really do not eat greens and this concerns me. Because when I read about the medifast diet, the information always includes something about the ‘lean and green meal.’ This makes me hesitant because I hate any kind of green food. What would I do if I don’t like and don’t eat greens?”

It might help to know that really, what the “green” is referring to are vegetables. And not all of them have to be green in color. For example, if you look at the quick start guide on the Medifast Official Site, you will see the list of suggested vegetables. The type of vegetables you choose dictates how much of them you can have. If you choose vegetables that are higher in starch and carbohydrates, then the serving size gets smaller.

For example, if you did like greens, you could have an entire cup of collard greens, an entire cup of spring mix salad, and an entire cup of endive. (So you would be consuming three whole cups.) But you are not limited to just greens. You can also have vegetables that aren’t green if you’re willing to go down to 1/2 cup per serving (which is still quite a bit if you consider that you can have three of them.) So, if you want to avoid greens altogether, you could for example have 1/2 cup EACH of tomatoes, red peppers, summer squash, or portobello mushrooms. These are only examples.  But you can choose three servings. This allows you to avoid the greens and still meet the requirement of having the vegetables.

I’d like to make one final point. From my experience, it is possible to get used to vegetables. And they do very much aid in weight loss and just in the way that you feel and in the way that your body functions. Quite personally, I have learned that I prefer most vegetables raw. I like them when they are crunchy instead of soggy.

Plus, you may not realize this, but you are allowed two servings of healthy fats with your lean and green meal. So, if having a salad of spring greens with low fat dressing, then that’s OK. I like raw spinach when I use it as salad greens. Also, I like raw red peppers with salad dressing. You can also use margarine to dress up the veggies also.

You can read more about what life is like on medifast in this free ebook.

Can You Eat Or Diet Like You’re On Medifast Without Having To Buy Their Food?

By: Lindsey Price:  I sometimes hear from people who completely believe that the medifast diet would likely be effective for them.  Many of them have watched friends, family, or coworkers lose weight on medifast so they generally already buy into the program.  But, where they have some reservations is on the price or what it is going to cost.  And that is when they will try to get creative and they will try to determine a way that they can eat or consume diet foods like they are on the medifast diet, but they are trying to avoid having to buy too much of the food.

I might hear a comment like: “I would really love to do medifast.   My sister lost a good deal of weight on it and she didn’t seem to be miserable in the process.  I want to get the same results.  But, my budget is limited.  Is there any way to do the medifast diet without having to buy their foods and their meals?”

This is a relatively common question and it’s completely understandable.  It’s hard to shell out money for something before you have had the results.  Sure, you may have seen friends and family have results.  But you haven’t seen them on yourself yet.  And no one wants to willingly waste money.

I looked into this question myself when I was considering medifast.  And, I ultimately determined that although you could try to buy grocery store items and / or make your own foods, you really don’t come all that close to the low amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and calories with the high amounts of protein and fiber with those types of foods.

To demonstrate my point, I’ll look at some popular diet bars, shakes, and brownies – all of which are popular choices on medifast.  And I’ll show the difference.  First, let’s look at a pure protein power bar.  I actually used to eat these and I will admit that I enjoyed them.  And, admittedly, they contain a lot of protein.  I’ll look at the chocolate deluxe flavor.  It has a very high 17 grams of protein.  That is the good.  But, it has 180 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.  This might not seem a lot.  But, it is when you compare the medifast bar.  I’ll chose the S’more Crunch Bar.  It has only 110 calories and only 2.5 grams of fat.  Let’s say you ate two of these each day.  You’d save 140 calories and 4 grams of fat.  That’s almost another bar’s worth of calories and fat.

Now, I’ll compare some shakes.  I’ll look at the Atkins RTD Advantage shake in French Vanilla.  It has  160 calories and 9 grams of fat, which is pretty substantial when you look at the French Vanilla Shake which only has 110 calories and only .5 grams of fat.  If you consumed two of these shakes per day, you’d save 100 calories and 17.5 grams of fat, which is quite a bit.

Finally, I’ll compare brownies. I realize there aren’t too many diet brownies.  And this is why people will make them at home.  I will be honest and tell you that I have tried this also.  But after a couple of days of making all of my own “special foods,” this gets very old.  But for the sake or argument and assuming that you would enjoy all of that cooking, let’s look at diet soda brownies, which are pretty well known.  They don’t contain much sugar because you use diet soda that is loaded with artificial sweeteners. Medifast doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners.  (This didn’t used to be important to me, but it is now that I’ve researched the harm that these artificial sweeteners can do over time.)  But let’s keep going and set that concern aside

The diet soda brownies are relatively low in calories and sugars, but they are loaded with carbohydrates at almost 24 grams.  The medifast Brownies in contrast only has 15 carbs.  This may not seem like a lot.  But as someone who has tracked her results very carefully, I can tell you that even a small deficit like this can make a difference between getting in ketosis or not, especially when you’re first starting out.

You can probably tell from this article that I believe it would be difficult to get medifast results without medifast food.  And frankly, I think that if you did it by making your own foods, you wouldn’t save that much money.  Many of the diet foods that you make yourself require special ingredients and yield a small amount.  Keep in mind you eat six times per day on medifast.

If you use coupons, you can generally get the meals down to just a little over $2.00 per day.  (You can see what specials are running here: Medifast Official Site (And there are coupons on the side of this blog.) But generally, you are offered a substantial discount off of your order of a generous amount of free food.  I consider this to be fair.  And I can tell you that having it made for you is a huge relief.

Alternatively, you can just order some foods individually at first just to see the results for yourself so that you won’t feel as much hesitation.  I hope that this has helped. Here is the latest medifast special: Try Medifast Achieve for as low as $149 w/ renewal plan

What Does Medifast Cost Per Month. How Much Is It?

By: Lindsey Price:  I sometimes hear from people who truly want to know how much they are going to spend on medifast each month.  They really want to be able to plan and anticipate any expenses so that they know ahead of time.  For the purposes of this article, I am going to assume that you are going to be on one of the monthly packages.  And the reason for this is that they are typically going to be cheaper and you can typically use coupons for them.  If you order by the box and a la carte, you’ll pay a little more and you are not able to use coupons.  Many of us do place a la carte orders for items that we really love and want to have extras of, but it just makes financial sense to order a package.

As of this writing, any of the medifast four week variety packages are $375 per month.  (Update:  the price has gone down, see the coupon for the achieve plan at the end of this article. That really is the cheapest option.) This includes the favorites package (which is the most popular,) the on the go package,  the gluten free favorites, and the chocolate lovers.  Now, this is before coupons.  I keep all of the coupon codes on the right side of this blog.  And I will also place them within this article for convenience.  And generally speaking, they usually offer at least $60 off of the packages. You can look at the latest specials here: Medifast Specials

That said, they generally also offer an option of free meals if you choose to go with the auto ship option (which you can easily cancel once you have lost the weight.)  This is an excellent value because they will often offer you well over 50 free meals which is worth well over $100. (Note that if you are opposed to or unsure about auto ship, check out the achieve program below, which is about $10 per day.) Here is the coupon for auto ship:  Try Medifast Achieve for as low as $149 w/ renewal plan

Now, do keep in mind that you do have one lean and green meal each day. (To two per day, if you are going with the achieve plan.)  So, you do have to buy some groceries.  But, if you are very crafty about it, you can usually just modify what you are already buying for your family so that you aren’t spending that much additional money.  I think it’s very realistic to believe that you shouldn’t spend more than $50 for groceries (for yourself) per month especially since you’re only having to come up with one meal.

They do not charge you to use the website or to get counseling.  They only charge you for the food that you buy.  You won’t pay per pound like some diets.  And when you have lost the weight, you simply don’t place any more orders.  But to give you a hard figure as to how much medifast would cost per month, I’d say that about $320 per month is more than generous, including your groceries.  This works out to be just a little under $11 per day for five meals each day.  That’s about $2.20 per meal which I believe is extremely competitive. Update: Check out this new special.  With the new achieve program, you’re now looking at about $10 per day. Try the Medifast Achieve Program for less than $10/day  (You can read an article I wrote describing what you get with the achieve plan and why it’s a good deal here.)

 

Medifast Triglycerides: Does The Diet Help To Lower Them?

By: Lindsey Price: I sometimes have people ask me about the health benefits of medifast. One example is whether or not the diet lowers triglycerides. This is important because a high number of these are linked to an increased risk for heart disease issues – including heart attacks.

High triglycerides are linked to being overweight because they are the end product of your body digesting the fat that comes from your diet. That is why people with high levels are advised to change their diet and lose weight with the hopes that this will lower the number of triglycerides and also lower the risk of heart disease and other health issues.

I looked for any medical or clincial study that linked medifast to lowering triglycerides, but I didn’t find any. I think that this may be because it’s somewhat obvious that if you lower the fat in your diet and lose weight, your levels should just automatically go down.  And this would be true regardless of what method (or diet) you used to cut the fat and to lose weight.

However, I did find many testimonials from people who used medifast to lose weight and who also saw a much lower level of triglycerides. Examples are Sam Hardman who lost 85 pounds and who was able to greatly decrease his medications for high cholesterol and triglycerides. Or Tracy Shields who lost nearly 54 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 8 in ten months and who also saw a decrease in her triglycerides. Shannon Roberts – Musch is another example.

You can find more examples of success stories on the Medifast Official Site.  And on there, it’s suggested that patients with high triglycerides supplement with an omega 3 fatty acid like medifast’s own Essential 1 for heart health. Of course, for a matter as serious as your heart, you should consult your doctor. You can also take any questions to a medifast counselor (by way of the official website which is linked to above.)

So although I could not find specific literature claiming that medifast lowers triglycerides, I believe that this is a logical conclusion as there are plenty of testimonials from dieters who have had this happen on the diet. And many people notice their numbers lower when they decrease their fat intake and lose some weight. Since medifast helps you do this on both counts, I would think it is logical to assume that it also helps lower triglycerides, but I am certainly not a doctor or specialist. Here is the latest medifast special: Try Medifast Achieve for as low as $149 w/ renewal plan

What Comes In The Medifast Welcome Kit? What Do You Get Free?

By: Lindsey Price: Recently, I’ve heard from a couple of people asking me what comes in the “medifast welcome kit.”  Medifast typically includes these kits on first orders as a way to welcome new users and to answer and address many of the questions you might have about starting the diet.  This article will outline all of the items included in the kit as of this writing.  Note that the company does sometimes slightly change what is included, but this list was accurate at the time the article was written and most changes are slight.

A Blender Bottle:  You’ll get a hand blender that helps you to blend your shakes.  Honestly, you can always use this item to blend soups and pudding as well.  This blender is pretty convenient because it is portable and needs no electricity. Also, it has a flip top so you can literally blend a product and then consume it all in the same cup.

The Dining Out Guide:  This handy guide helps you to eat out and convert your lean and green meals into popular meals that you would get at restaurants.  This guide provides a lot of reassurance and specific answers about eating out.  With some attention to detail and modifications, you can safely eat out on this diet.

The Medifast Achieve Plan Guide:  This very detailed guide explains how the plan works and helps you to get the most out of it.  Although it answers many of the questions that you might have when you start the plan, you should never hesitate to reach out to a medifast counselor if you have additional questions.   (You can do that here: Medifast Official Site.) They are always pretty happy to help and that’s what they are there for.  Also, the forums are a wealth of information and encouragement from people who have “been there” and have gone through what you might be experiencing right now.  They can give you “real world” advice. This can be very reassuring and motivating.  Never hesitate to use any resources that will make your experiences better.  One thing that you will find about medifast is that everyone wants for you to succeed and to have a good experience.

A Free Gift:  Unfortunately, I have no way whatsoever to know what the free gift might be. It can vary.  Sometimes, it is a sample of food or an exercise or diet product.  But it’s always a nice extra that you’re not having to pay for yourself.  Here is the latest medifast special: Try Medifast Achieve for as low as $149 w/ renewal plan

I Keep Messing Up On Medifast: Tips That Might Help

By: Lindsey Price: I know from experience, and from the comments that I hear from others, that many people go into the medifast diet scared that they are going to do it wrong. Even though the diet is pretty straightforward, they worry that they won’t understand the instructions and will eat more than they should or consume foods that they shouldn’t. They worry about compliance and if they will stick with it for as long as needed in order to lose their goal amount of weight.

Some find that their fears were unfounded, but others end up worrying that they keep “messing up” so that their experience is therefore going to be considered a failure. I might hear a comment like: “medifast started out well for me. Within three weeks, my clothes were extremely lose and I was very encouraged. And then my boyfriend surprised me with a trip away. I told myself that I would eat sensibly on the trip, but of course I did not. I ate whatever I wanted for five whole days. I came back six pounds heavier. I did try to go back on the diet right away. But I wasn’t as compliant as before. I would eat between my diet meals or I would have two lean and green meals per day. Frankly, it was hard for me to go from eating with wild abandon to eating with restraint. I guess I wanted to continue my vacation. I did lose some of the six pounds. But I am worried about what happens now. Because I’m not doing the diet like I’m supposed to. Yesterday, I had two maintenance bars in one day and I know that I am not supposed to do this. I’m worried that I will not be able to get back on track. I’m worried that I will just keep right on messing it up. ”

I am by no means a dietitian or mental health expert. But I think that you should give yourself credit for the strides that you have made. Acknowledge that you were so successful that your clothes weren’t fitting you. And know that if you did this once, you can do it again. You truly can.

Yes, there might be an adjustment period as you return back to real life after a vacation. So you might not get the results quite as quickly until you get back on track. But, even if you are able to lose weight a little more slowly or just maintain for a little while, as long as you are still making an attempt, you are still in the game. To me, “messing up” really is just quitting. And you haven’t done that.

Losing some weight is better than losing no weight. Dieting half way is better than not dieting at all. Do you want to get back in full compliance as soon as is possible? Yes, you absolutely do. But, don’t beat yourself up or psyche yourself out. If you focus on the negative, you are more likely to quit. Tell yourself that you are going to take it one day at a time and one pound at a time.

I might be very liberal with my attitude, but I’ve always given myself permission to do whatever I needed to do to stay on the diet and not quit. If this means taking off, so be it as long as I get back on. Because to me, only quitting is messing up beyond repair. The rest can be worked with until I am OK with the results.

You can read more about the medifast experience in this free ebook.