Every 2 to 3 hours. It is important to start each day with a schedule, allotting specific times for eating your meals. Build 6 time slots for meals into your daily schedule and strive to be as consistent with this eating schedule as possible. If you know your schedule will shift a little (perhaps on weekends), make sure to shift your meal times accordingly.
We recommend that you eat your five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal within a 24-hour period, regardless of what time your day starts. No matter when your day starts, try to have your first meal within an hour of waking, then eat another meal every two to three hours after that.
Eating every 2 to 3 hours helps to keep blood sugar levels more stable, ward off hunger, and keep metabolism active.
It is extremely important that you get in all five Medifast Meals and the full portions of your Lean & Green Meal each day. If you miss a meal, you may need to space the rest of your meals closer together to make sure you get the rest of your meals in before the end of the day.
Skipping meals will not help to increase your weight loss; in fact, it may have the opposite effect! If you have to decide between "skipping" a meal or "doubling up" to ensure you get in all five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal within a 24-hour period, it is better to double up (eat two Medifast Meals at the same time) than to miss the nutrition provided by one of the Medifast Meals.
If you are completely out of Medifast Meals, have three smaller Lean & Green Meals (4 ounces of lean and 3 servings of approved vegetables) and one serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy (e.g., milk, yogurt) each day. Choose dairy products that are about 100 calories per serving and unsweetened or no sugar added (to keep carbohydrates to a minimum).
If you are running out, but still have a few Medifast Meals left, you can make your Medifast Meals last a little longer by stretching them out and adding another Lean & Green Meal. For example, if you have 10 Medifast Meals left and your order is scheduled to arrive in five days, you can stretch out your Medifast Meals by eating two Medifast Meals and three smaller Lean & Green Meals each day, instead of five Medifast Meals and one full Lean & Green Meal each day.
Generally speaking, you shouldn't need to take vitamin supplements while on the program. The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides you with at least 100% of the daily value for 24 vitamins and minerals.
If you have been prescribed special supplements by your physician or have a specific concern, please consult with your physician so that they may adjust recommendation, as they deem appropriate.
If you and your physician choose to incorporate additional vitamin/mineral supplements, please be aware that the liquids, chewable, or powdered formulas often have added calories and carbohydrates which could hinder your ability to achieve the fat-burning state.
Medifast powdered products have an 18-month best-if-used-by date. Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes and Bars have a 12-month best-if-used-by date. This does not mean that the product will expire, "go bad," or be harmful; it simply means that the vitamin and mineral pre-mix contained in the products may lose some of its potency, potentially rendering the product less effective. For best results, use your Medifast Meals as soon as possible and store them in a cool, dry, clean environment.
Yes. This can be a useful technique to get you through a challenging time if you are feeling hungry. Some Clients say this helps them to stay on the program successfully. Remember, however, it is most beneficial to spread your five Medifast Meals out throughout the day.
Medifast Meals are quick and easy to prepare whenever you're ready to eat them. You may choose to prepare certain Meals (such as the soups) ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or a Thermos. We recommend preparing the Meal no more than a few hours before consumption and thoroughly mixing the Meal prior to eating to prevent any settling that may occur. Refrigerated pre-mixed items should be consumed within two days; non-refrigerated items should be consumed within four hours.
You might also be interested in Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes. These pre-mixed shakes are shelf-stable, can be stored easily and are interchangeable with your other Medifast Meals. Medifast Crunch Bars, Pretzel Sticks, and Cheese puffs are another great alternative for "on-the-go" lifestyles!
Absolutely! While on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss, we recommend that you avoid fruits, dairy, and starches because of their high carbohydrates contents (eating too many carbohydrates during the weight-loss phase can prevent you from achieving or maintaining the fat-burning state). However, these foods are very healthy for you and we encourage you to re-introduce all fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole-grain products during the Transition and Maintenance phases of your weight-loss journey.
We recommend plain water first. In addition to the recommended 64 ounces of water each day, you may drink any zero-calorie or calorie-free beverages, including unsweetened hot or iced tea, coffee or decaf, or diet sodas. You can also drink Crystal Light® and Sugar Free Kool-Aid® in moderation (see Condiment Options List). As a general rule, Medifast recommends that you try to drink as much fluid as needed for good health to keep your body hydrated.
Alcoholic beverages are not recommended on the Medifast Program. Alcohol provides unneeded calories, can slow your weight loss, tends to stimulates the appetite (encouraging additional food intake or lowering your resistance to outside temptations), and can deplete your body of needed water. Low-carbohydrate versions of beer and other types of alcohol are not recommended because these also provide calories with no nutritional value. Those who choose to drink alcohol tend to feel its effects at lower consumption levels, due to the lower calorie level of the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan.
You can season your Medifast Meals and your Lean & Green Meal with most herbs, seasonings, or spices. Experiment with different seasonings to find the flavors you enjoy. For general health purposes, we recommend limiting salt intake. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF).
Some condiments are a significant source of additional calories and/or carbohydrates. Of course, we do want you to enjoy your food, but we recommend limiting condiment use in order to achieve the best weight-loss results and keep you in the fat-burning state. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF).
Special occasion meals are easier to handle than you may think! Simply rearrange your Medifast Meal routine (if necessary) so that you can enjoy your Lean & Green Meal at your breakfast meeting, family brunch, awards banquet, family dinner at a restaurant - or virtually any special occasion involving food!
You should have your typical Lean & Green Meal serving of meat and vegetables as usual. Request that your meat be prepared/served without sauce sauces and/or added fats; switch out starchy vegetable options (like potatoes) for lower carbohydrate choices (like steamed broccoli or green beans). ). Ask your server to skip the breadbasket or bowl of chips, and always get dressings on the side if ordering a salad.
If you can't avoid eating something that isn't part of the Lean & Green Meal, it may raise your daily calorie intake - but you can get back on the 5 & 1 Plan starting with your next meal. It is still best not to skip meals, even when you think you may have over-eaten. Resume your plan as soon as you are able.
As an alternative, you can bring along a Medifast Meal and ask the waiter for hot or cold water (depending on what you are eating) to mix your Meal. Then simply prepare your Medifast Meal and eat it with everyone else!
Yes, as long as it is sugar-free gum. You can also have sugar-free mints. Three pieces or sugar-free gum or mints (containing 5 calories or less) can be count as your one optional snack for the day.
Yes. This item counts as the Green portion of your Lean & Green Meal. Serving size: 1-1/2 cups (12 oz) = all 3 Green servings (4 ounces of shirataki noodles is equal to one serving). We do encourage use of other Green selections first as shirataki noodles do not have the same vitamin/ mineral content of most vegetables.
Coffee shop lattes are generally prepared using a 1/2 cup or more of milk, which naturally contains carbohydrates. Using this larger amount of milk will add too much additional carbohydrates to your diet during the weight-loss phase. Instead of a latte, try a regular cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of low-fat/fat-free creamer, half & half, or skim milk, and sugar-free syrups or extracts for flavoring. Refer to our complete list of Condiment Options (PDF) for serving sizes.
As an alternative, Medifast offers delicious Cappuccino, Chai Latte, and Hot Cocoa! These hot drinks can be used as part of your 5 & 1 Plan, and can also be enjoyed throughout Transition and Maintenance.
You may stay on the 5 & 1 Plan until:
If you have significant weight to lose and plan to be on the weight-loss phase of the program longer than 16 weeks, we recommend that your physician monitor your program. After you've completed the weight-loss phase, you will transition into the Maintenance Plan. Refer to our Medifast Transition & Maintenance Guide (PDF).