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

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 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.

How Many Calories Are On Medifast Achieve? Does It Contain Too Many Calories?

By: Lindsey Price:  I sometimes hear from people who are considering the new and popular medifast achieve plan but who still have some questions and concerns about it.  When you research this plan, you may see that it offers one additional lean and green meal.  The older 5 plus 1 plan only had one lean and green meal with five prepackaged medifast meals and two optional snacks.  In contrast, the new achieve plan has two lean and green meals with four prepackaged meals and one optional snack.  Some people worry that this is going to make the calorie content too high.  They’ll ask questions like: “just how many calories are in the achieve plan?  I worry that it will contain too many calories to be effective?”

Well, let’s look at the numbers.  The Medifast Official Site states the achieve plan is going to contain 1,000 to 1,300 calories per day, depending upon your lean and green choices.  In contrast, the 5 plus one plan contained 800 – 1,000 calories per day.   Yes, the achieve plan does have the potential to take in 300 additional calories per day, but nothing says that you can’t be careful with your lean and green meals in order to stay in the 1,000 range if that is your goal.  Frankly, 1,300 calories is still in the dieting range and should certainly bring about efficient and very noticeable weight loss.  When you consider that the average daily caloric intake in the western world is over 3,500 calories per day (in the United States, statistics tell us that it is around 3,770) then you can see how most people would be creating a calorie deficit by taking in a range of 1,300 calories per day.  In order to lose a pound a week, you need to “save” about 500 calories per day.  As you can see from the above, most people are going to save 2 – 3 times that.  The medifast guidelines from the 5 plus one plan used to be around 2 – 5 pounds the first week and 1 – 2 pounds per week after that.  Looking at the above numbers, this does not seem out of the question for the achieve plan, even with the addition of the new lean and green meal.  But these are just one person crunching the numbers.  I’d highly recommend running this question by a counselor on the Medifast Official Site.  You’ll likely get a quick and more “official” answer.

How Many Daily Servings Of Greens Are There In The Medifast Diet?

By: Lindsey Price:  I’m sometimes asked about the green vegetable requirement on medifast.  I believe that the word “greens” are closely associated with this diet because of the “lean and green” meal that you have each day.  Some people ask about this because they are concerned about getting enough fiber or enough vegetable intake.  And others ask because they are trying to be honest with themselves and they know that they struggle to be enthusiastic about eating vegetables.  In either case, it’s normal to want to know exactly how much (or how many) of these green vegetables you will be expected to eat.

Basically, there are two ways that you will take in any food on medifast – regardless of whether you are talking about green vegetables or something else.  It will either be contained in the prepackaged meals that they provide you with or you will include it in your “lean and green” meals that you prepare each day.  Now, some of the prepackaged foods do contain small amounts of vegetables.

Examples are the celery, peas, and green peppers that you will find in the stews, soups, and in the “flavors of home” meals that might already be included in your package.  Generally though, these are small amounts that you don’t notice all that much because they are blended in with other foods.

In terms of the greens that will be included in your lean and green meals, they ask that you take in three servings.  And while many people assume that the vegetable must be green, that isn’t necessarily the case.  It’s true that you often get a bigger serving size if you choose a green colored vegetable (because greens tend to be lower in carbohydrates, which mean that you can safely have more of them.)  But you can also have non green vegetables like mushrooms, red cabbage, and squash.

Generally speaking, if the vegetable is both green and low in carbohydrates, you can have an entire cup of it.  This includes vegetables like mustard, collards, spinach, and many different types of lettuce.

The non green type (or the types that are higher in carbohydrates) have serving sizes of one half cup.  Examples are celery, mushrooms, asparagus, and squash.

If you have some vegetables in your prepackaged meal, you don’t have to count that.  And if you don’t enjoy vegetables and you think that it is going to be difficult for you to get all of the requirements in, know that you don’t have to get your lean and green meal at dinner time.  Perhaps you’d prefer to have a mushroom or spinach omelet and then do one of the prepackaged flavors of home meals for dinner?  Maybe you’d like to have a lunch of chicken breast with celery sticks and some non fat dip on the side? It’s OK to play with which meals include your vegetables to make life easier for you.

If you’re interested in seeing what is on special at medifast for particular packages, you can see the latest coupons here.

What Is The Most That You Can Lose On The First Week Or So Of Medifast?

By: Lindsey Price:  There’s no question that people wanting to lose weight on a diet want to get a fast start.  Because that is often what is going to help you to stick to it.  No one wants to do the work, spend the money, and make the sacrifices if you aren’t going to be rewarded for your efforts.

It is much easier to stick to something (including a diet) when you know that there will be a pay off in the end. And in our fast-paced society, we want that pay off nearly immediately.

To that end, someone might say: “what is the most weight that someone can possibly expect during the first couple of weeks of medifast?  I honestly would love a 10 pound weight loss.  I am not sure if this is too much to ask. I’ve seen people discussing that type of loss, but I don’t know how realistic it is.  However, that’s about what I’d need to see in order to be able to see a noticeable difference.”

You can lose a notable amount of weight in the first week, as the range is stated at as much as five pounds in the first week and as much as two pounds after that for the next week and beyond.  (Note that the range is stated as 2 – 5 pounds per week for the first week and 1 – 2 pounds per week after that.)  So you might get within that range after the full two weeks, but I think that it’s probably a lot to expect in the first week.  Do some people proclaim that they’ve done better than this?  Yes, some have.  I’ve even seen some photos regarding this.  And I am always happy for people who have had good success, but I don’t think it’s good to expect that type of loss.  And I’m not sure that it’s completely sustainable.

I think that it’s better to shoot for reasonable and safe numbers and to be pleasantly surprised if you do a little better.  Frankly, when people tend to want those more dramatic results, they do silly things like not eat all of their food and over exercise.  Both of these things actually impede your progress because your body needs fuel and rest in ketosis.

Plenty of research indicates that you are more likely to keep the weight off if you lose it in a sensible manner.  When look at this sensibly, you are training yourself to adopt a new, sustainable life style that you can reasonably maintain.

Quick results don’t do you much good if you can’t maintain them. You don’t want to burn out before you even get started.  So my answer to this question would be that by the company’s own guidelines, five pounds in that first week certainly isn’t out of the question.  And frankly, that’s great.  Five pounds is noticeable, makes a difference in how you look and feel, and is highly motivating.

Beyond that, I think that you are really are getting into unrealistic and unsustainable expectations.  Want to know more about how medifast works?  Feel free to check out my free ebook where I keep tips and the latest coupons.

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


What Grocery Chains Carry Medifast?

By: Lindsey Price:  It is completely understandable that when you decide that you want to try a self improvement project – a new diet, a new look, an exercise regimen, etc., you want to implement it NOW.  Most of us don’t take these types of decisions lightly.  We research.  We compare the product with other products in the same niche.  And we consider the pros and cons. of each  Only after we have done all of this do we make a decision.  With that decision made, we want to get started.

That’s why I hear from people asking me which local grocery chain they can use to buy medifast products.  They want to be able to run down to their local Publix, Winn Dixie, Sweetbay, Walmart, Target, Groger, Walgreens, CVS, Sam’s Club, Costco, etc., and simply buy the products.  Many reach out AFTER they’ve been all over town – looking everywhere for the medifast shakes and bars, only to begin to suspect that the products may not be sold in grocery stores, drug stores, or pharmacies.  Many are really surprised because they see other diets in stores and wonder why they can’t get medifast.

I’m only speculating.  I don’t have any first hand knowledge whatsoever. But I’d suspect that medifast doesn’t sell their products in grocery or retail stores for a couple of reasons.  First, perhaps they don’t want to deal with distributors (when they handle things themselves.)  But most importantly, I think that they want their consumers to interact with their website (the Medifast Official Site) because that same website is where you are going to get support.  In other words, when you create an account and place an order, that is the same account you are going to use when you want to speak to a counselor, when you have a question, when you want to track your progress, when you want recipes, and when you want to interact with other dieters.  It’s well established that dieters who have support are more successful, not only in terms of losing weight and keeping it off, but in being happy with the entire experience.

Just selling you the product at a grocery store would only be half of this equation.  They want you to have the support and the tools that you need.  The food itself is only a part of the product.  I understand wanting to buy the product right away.  But shipping really is fast (and most of the time, it is free.)  Your order will arrive very quickly, most of the time.  And while you are waiting, you can get acquainted with the resources on the website, assemble ideas for your lean and green meals, and start thinking about incorporating exercise.  All of these things ensure your long term success, which is really the goal here. Here is the latest medifast coupon:
Save $66 with Medifast Today!

Medifast And Visceral Fat: Does The Medifast Diet Help To Burn This Very Specific Type Of Belly Fat?

By: Lindsey Price:  People who want to lose weight also want to lose fat.  Many want to lose fat all over, but some are interested specifically in belly or abdominal fat.  And there are some who are aware that it’s particularly important to lose visceral fat.  There are two types of abdominal fat: subcutaneous and visceral.  Subcutaneous lies right underneath the surface of the skin.  When you pinch around your belly and waist, it is the subcutaneous fat that you are feeling.  Visceral fat lies much deeper and is around vital organs like the liver, intestines, and pancreas.  There are health risks associated with having too much visceral fat – including interference with the health and function of your organs and hormones, as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Even worse, a large amount of visceral fat shows some correlation with certain cancers and with chronic disease.  Lessening this type fat could definitely be beneficial to your health.

So it’s a no brainer that you want to decrease this type of fat if you have too much of it.  That leads you to wonder if medifast can help you to do this.  Well, there has been a clinical study which can hopefully shed on light on this and give us some specifics.  In 2010, a study was published that outlined a 40 week trial in which 90 adults either used medifast or a self-selected, healthy food-based meal plan in order to lose pounds, fat, and inches.

At the end of the trial, the group who ate the medifast showed an average 15 percent reduction of visceral fat.  The food-based group only had around a 9 percent reduction.  There were also vast improvements in waist circumference.   The medifast group had a waist circumference reduction of almost 8 1/2 percent while the food based group had a reduction of almost 3 1/2 percent.

This data seems to indicate that medifast is more effective at lessening both types of abdominal fat than a self chosen diet, although both groups saw really nice gains.  If you are already leaning toward medifast and think that it could be a good fit for you, then it might be encouraging to know that clinical trials indicate that yes, medifast is quite effective at helping you to burn abdominal visceral fat, which is known to be challenging to burn.  This can have additional health benefits outside of just losing weight – although losing weight is always a worthwhile goal and is a healthy thing to do if you’re not yet at a healthy weight.  If it helps, here is the latest medifast special: Try Medifast Achieve For As Low As $149