Product & Plan FAQs

General Information

What is Medifast?
Medifast is a portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced, low-fat, and clinically proven program that helps people lose weight faster and more effectively than traditional diet plans. Medifast Meals come in individual packets that you mix with water and microwave or refrigerate, and are available in a wide variety of foods and flavors, including shakes, soups, stew, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, puddings, pretzel sticks, and cheese puffs. Quick and easy to prepare, they offer a healthy fast food alternative to a busy lifestyle!
How does Medifast work?
The clinically proven results of Medifast are based on the use of a structured meal plan featuring Medifast Meals, which are nutritionally designed with a proven combination of protein and carbohydrates, allowing you to successfully lose weight while minimizing loss of muscle. The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, our standard plan for weight loss, is medically designed to create a calorie deficit, allowing your body to burn fat for energy.
Why is the Medifast weight-loss program special?
Medifast is an effective, healthy weight-loss program, especially when compared to other diets you've likely experienced without success. Think of Medifast as a lifestyle change, not just a short-term diet or weight-loss solution. Medifast is a portion- controlled, low-calorie weight-loss program that leads to faster weight loss than traditional diets. Medifast is special because you can achieve the quick weight loss you want, and, unlike other weight-loss programs and diet plans you've tried, Medifast is clinically proven to produce an average weight loss of 2 to 5 lbs per week for the first two weeks and 1-2 lbs per week thereafter. Medifast has specially tailored programs to meet the needs of nursing moms, seniors, teens, and people with diabetes or gout.
What is the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan consists of 5 portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced Medifast Meals plus one Lean & Green Meal each day.
What is a Medifast Meal?
Almost all Medifast products are "meals" since they contain protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. There are only a few exceptions: Flavor Infusers?, Medifast Soy Crisps, and Medifast Crackers (Soy Crisps and Crackers are optional snacks). All other Medifast offerings, including shakes, soups, stew, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, puddings, pretzel sticks, and cheese puffs, are Medifast Meals.
What is a Lean & Green Meal?

The LEAN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes 5-7 ounces (cooked weight) of lean protein or meatless protein (serving size varies depending on your protein choice) and 0-2 servings of healthy fat ( serving size varies depends on your protein choice). For a complete list of lean options and portion sizes, please refer to our Lean Options List (PDF) and our Meatless and Vegetarian Options List (PDF).

The GREEN portion of the Lean & Green Meal includes 3 servings of low- carbohydrates/non-starchy vegetables from our Green Options List (PDF) ) Each serving of vegetables will be either 1/2 cup or 1 cup depending on the vegetable(s) you choose; choose any 3 vegetable servings to make up the full Green portion of your Lean & Green Meal. For a complete list of approved vegetable choices and their respective serving sizes, please refer to our Green Options List (PDF).

Why are there certain "approved" vegetables for the Lean & Green Meal?

All vegetables promote healthful eating; however, during the weight-loss phase of your plan, we do suggest that you avoid "higher carbohydrates" vegetables in order to enhance your weight-loss results. Once you transition to the maintenance phase of the program, we encourage you to include ALL vegetables for long-term health.

Our Green Options List (PDF) will help you identify the relative carbohydrates levels of these approved vegetables. *NOTE: Carrots, corn, potatoes, peas, onions, edamame, and Brussels sprouts are not recommended during the weight-loss phase of your Medifast Program, but you can include them in your diet again once you transition to the maintenance phase.

Can I use Medifast Meals interchangeably?

One of the great benefits of Medifast Meals is that they may be used interchangeably, so you can choose any five Medifast Meals you want for the 5 & 1 Plan. (The Maintenance Bars - in the green wrapper - should be limited to one per day on the 5 & 1 Plan due to their higher calorie and carbohydrates content. The Crunch Bars - in the yellow wrapper - are completely interchangeable with other Medifast Meals.)

The only Medifast Meals that you should limit to fewer than five per day are:

  • Maintenance Bars (in the green wrapper) (only 1 a day on the 5 & 1 Plan)
  • Essential1: Calorie Burn Meals (up to 3 a day on the 5 & 1 Plan)
  • Medifast Plus for Joint Health Shakes (up to 3 a day on the 5 & 1 Plan)
  • Medifast Plus for Coronary Health Shakes (up to 3 a day on the 5 & 1 Plan)
What kind of snacks can I have on this program?

In addition to your five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal, you may choose one of the following optional items per day (NOTE: Snacks are not to be eaten in place of Medifast Meals or Lean & Green Meals.):

  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 fruit-flavored sugar-free Popsicle
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free gelatin dessert, such as Jello
  • Up to 3 pieces of sugar-free gum or mints
  • 2 dill pickle spears
  • Medifast Soy Crisps (Apple Cinnamon, Ranch, or White Cheddar flavors - one packet = one snack serving)
  • Medifast Crackers (Multi-grain or Garden Vegetable flavors - one packet = one snack serving)

Eating more than one snack per day may hinder your weight-loss efforts. For tips to help you with slower weight loss, please refer to our Plateau Tips (PDF file).

Can I substitute a sixth Medifast Meal for my one Lean & Green?

Medifast does not recommend this. In order to maximize effectiveness and to ensure that you get all the nutrition your body requires, the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan (five Medifast Meals plus one Lean & Green Meal) should be followed as written, unless otherwise recommended by your physician.

The Lean & Green Meal contributes needed calories and dietary fiber, vital vitamins and minerals, protein to help protect lean muscle mass, and a small amount of dietary fat which is essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and keeping the gallbladder at optimal health. The Lean & Green Meal also provides a once-a-day learning opportunity to better understand how to select and prepare healthy meals while still enjoying the convenience of the structured 5 & 1 Plan.

Is the Lean serving size the cooked or uncooked weight?
It is the cooked weight (to ensure proper portion sizes, weigh your items after cooking them).
How many calories and carbohydrates are in the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides approximately 800 to 1,000 calories per day and 80-100 grams of carbohydrates, depending on your personal selections.
Can I substitute frozen meals for my Lean & Green Meals?

Medifast does not recommend frozen dinners (e.g., TV dinners) on the 5 & 1 Plan ? primarily due to their varying calorie levels, excessive sodium content, and lower protein and fiber levels than the 5 & 1 Plan provides.

Has the use of Medifast been researched?

Yes! Since 1980, Medifast is the brand recommended by over 20,000 doctors. Clinical studies by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as other major teaching universities, have shown the plan to be both effective and medically safe.

Is Medifast safe?

Medifast has been clinically proven through a number of controlled studies. Since 1980, more than 20,000 doctors have recommended Medifast Programs and Products to their patients and more than one million customers have safely used Medifast.

What is the average weight loss amount per week?

Individual results may vary. Clinical studies indicate that most people lose 2-5 pounds per week for the first two weeks and 1-2 pounds per week thereafter. The scale isn't the only test, so check other indicators such as your waistline measurement and how well your clothes are fitting you. Individual results may vary, and are dependent upon various factors such as your starting weight, targeted weight-loss goal, level of exercise, presence of medical conditions, use of medications, accuracy with diet compliance, etc. Medifast suggests that you consult with your physician prior to starting a weight-loss program.

Is Medifast covered by my medical/health insurance?

Weight-loss programs are generally not covered by medical insurance, but please check with both your doctor and your insurance carrier for information relative to your individual circumstances. Some policies may cover weight-loss programs in conjunction with specific medical conditions in which obesity is a factor (such as primary diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or heart disease) and weight loss can lead to management or improvement of these conditions. But again, you will need to ask your doctor and your insurance carrier this question in order to receive an accurate answer based on your coverage and medical status. Medifast does not bill insurance companies on behalf of its customers.

How does Medifast help sustain your weight-loss results?

Medifast won't abandon you the way fad diets have in the past. The Medifast Transition, Maintenance, and Exercise Plans pick up where the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan ends, and teach you how to sustain your weight-loss results long term!