What Happens If I Eat A Burger On Medifast?

By: Lindsey Price:  I get asked a lot about cheating on medifast.  And one of the most popular cheats are burgers.   Because let’s face it.  Burgers are delicious and often very convenient.  All restaurants serve them.  Most kids will eat them if you make them for a family meal.

Unfortunately, most diets do not include them, so most people assume that they are absolutely off limits on medifast.  Someone might ask: “what happens when you give in and eat a burger on medifast?  I’m only half teasing when I say that I feel like alarm bells are going to go off or something.  A burger is my favorite meal and I’d like to have it some of the time.  Will this completely wreck my diet?”

Frankly, I don’t think anything wrecks your diet for the long term.  Sure, you may not lose a lot of weight on the day that you eat the burger.  You may even gain.  But dieting gains and losses are not made over the course of one day or one meal.  It’s for this reason that people who are dieting often weigh themselves weekly or monthly.  It’s the week to week, and month to month losses which will make the most long term difference.  One meal often doesn’t derail this – unless you eat the meal and do not get back on your diet.

There are two places where you could have a burger – during your lean and green meals, or in place of one of your other prepackaged meals.  Honestly, you are allowed to have 5 ounces of very lean ground beef on your lean and green meal.  So if you made a 5 ounce lean burger and used lettuce for a bun, then you’d have no problems whatsoever.  You are not cheating on your diet at all.  As I understand it, would be well within the guidelines.  Pair that with the three non starchy vegetables and have a feast.

However, let’s say you want to get a burger from a restaurant or fast food joint.  Okay, we can agree that this isn’t exactly within the confines of the diet.  (And you can definitely talk to a medifast counselor about this.)  But, in my opinion (and I’m not a counselor) there’s a way to minimize the damage.  Obviously, depending on what type of burger you choose, fat and calorie content is going to widely vary.  You are better off getting, say, a small, plain burger.  Assuming you are going to skip mayo and cheese, burger king’s whopper junior has 240 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. Mcdonald’s small hamburger has 250 calories.  If you add cheese, add 50 calories.  Wendy’s junior cheeseburger is 280 calories.  As you can see, this isn’t absolutely horrible.  You probably don’t want to make this a daily ritual, but once in a while, it’s not going to hurt you too much.   This might put you a little over your lean and green calories for the day, but so long as you keep the portion size small (and obviously you don’t get the Big Mac) then I doubt it is going to be catastrophic.  The next day, you will want to try to get back in compliance.  Then, at the end of the week, see what happened.  I’d suspect that not much.  From my experience, the key is getting back in compliance as quickly as possible and keeping the “cheat” as diet friendly as is possible.  Obviously, you don’t want to gorge on huge mayo and cheese-filled burgers on a daily basis, but if you use common sense, having a burger every now and again doesn’t have to kill your diet.  But this is just my opinion.  Please ask a medifast counselor to get an official take.  (You can do that here: Medifast Official Site    Here is the latest medifast special: Summer is coming! Save $145 on the 30-day Flex Kit. Offer includes 21 Free Shakes, w/renewal

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