No joke – over 50% of diet products simply don’t work. So what about Medifast? Here at DietSpotlight, we decided to conduct an in-depth review, closely examining the product’s side effects, ingredients, customer service quality and scientific studies. Plus we scrutinized hundreds of user comments, which are posted all over the internet. Lastly, we summarized all the facts and details to give you the bottom line. Go grab a pen and start taking notes!
What is Medifast?
Medifast is one of the most popular diet systems of all time. Not many other diets can make the claims that this weight loss program can – it’s been recommended by over 20,000 doctors and has been helping people lose weight for nearly four decades!
That’s something that made me sit up and take notice, and you should give it some serious consideration too. The Medifast program and meal-replacement products have been clinically proven to promote significant weight loss and to help with weight maintenance. 
Dr. William Vitale created Medifast. You are expected to eat specific food portions. Meals are delivered to your home on a regular basis. The menu consists of soups, entrees, bars, sides, shakes and high-protein foods.
According to the official website, there are three primary plans available, which are the Achieve Weight Loss Plan, Thrive Healthy Living Plan and Medifast for Special Diets. Each day you can have four meals, one healthy snack and two lean and green meals. There are more than 70 different choices to select from
Products Similar to Medifast
What Foods are Allowed on the Medifast Diet?
You won’t be starving or anything like that on the Medifast diet; in fact, the diet plans require you to have a snack or two every day to curb food cravings. Along with your daily meal-replacement bars and shakes, you’ll be eating plenty of real foods like these:
- Sirloin steak
- Chicken breast
- Pork tenderloin
- Salad greens
- Green beans
Does Medifast Work?
Medifast does work – that’s why it’s been around for almost 40 years and is still going strong. Like all effective weight loss plans, this one is going to require some effort and self-discipline. You’ll need to phase out your junk foods and change your eating habits.
You’ll need to prepare some healthy foods or pay someone else to do it at a restaurant. But if you just follow the plan, research shows that you’ll lose weight.
Medifast follows basic, proven principles of weight loss. You eat a reduced-calorie diet that is nutritionally balanced and includes plenty of low-glycemic carbs, lean proteins and modest amounts of healthy fats.
The meal-replacement bars and shakes offer similar caloric and nutritional profiles, so they are interchangeable. That’s a big selling point for me right there because sometimes you feel like a shake, and sometimes you don’t!
But, the problem with any weight loss plan is that people tend to regain those lost pounds once they stop the diet because they simply return to their old eating habits which made them gain weight in the first place.
If you want to achieve permanent weight loss, you need to change your lifestyle – especially your eating behaviors.
What are the Benefits of Medifast?
Since Medifast has you eating wholesome, nutritious foods at every meal, that’s going to have a positive impact on your health in some ways. In fact, research showed Medifast benefits include not only weight loss, but reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress as well, as these are two of the primary causes of chronic illness.
But, of all the Medifast benefits, the main one you’re interested in is weight loss. Research and customer reviews both say that this diet delivers. 
Another good thing about Medifast is that it’s a proven system with actual research to support its claims.; unlike some new miracle diet pills out there that lack actual testing and scientific support.
It’s a solid nutrition plan based on solid principles of nutrition and weight loss – and it’s backed by studies to show that it can help you lose weight.
Medifast Food – Lean And Green
But let’s talk about the food again
Remember: Medifast food isn’t just all about diet shakes and low-calorie candy bars. Yes, those meal-replacement supplements are in there as a foundation of the program, but you’re filling in all the gaps with real food – lean meats and fresh vegetables.
You do not have to feel hungry on this diet – ever! You’ll be given lists of low-glycemic carbs and lean proteins to round out your diet. Stock up on them and you’ll do just fine.
The plan also allows food substitutions for those of you who are transitioning away from meat, eggs and dairy. There are a variety of seafood options like tuna, cod, salmon and shrimp.
Eggs are also on the menu. And for vegans, there’s tofu in place of meat and eggs. So there is quite a bit of flexibility with this diet plan.
Medifast Shakes and Medifast Bars
Medifast shakes and Medifast Bars through the official website. Some flavors include:
- Dutch chocolate
- French vanilla
- Orange cream
- Cookie dough
- Peanut butter chocolate chip
- Caramel crunch
Tips for Medifast Recipes
Dozens of Medifast recipes are also available in a cookbook sold by the company. You don’t have to follow their recipes though, as long as the macronutrient proportions and serving sizes remain consistent with the program requirements.
You can combine your choice of one item from your lean protein list with three items from the veggie list and add whatever calorie-free seasonings your palette desires.
Is There a Medifast Alternative That Works?
Medifast is a meal-replacement diet centered on nutritionally-fortified shakes and snack bars, and there are a number of similar products on the market that make use of these types of food products for weight reduction.
One popular Medifast alternative is Slimfast. Slimfast offers weight loss shakes and snack bars that are also fortified with vitamins and minerals to support your nutrition needs while following a reduced-calorie diet.
The shakes and bars are available in the health and diet-food sections of most supermarkets. You can also purchase these online, and like Medifast, Slim-fast products are available without a doctor’s prescription.
Where are Medifast Locations?
If you’re looking to connect with weight loss coaches and fellow dieters for some moral support, in-person accountability and a sense of community, you’ll be happy to know that there are Medifast locations – dubbed Medifast Weight Loss Centers – in six states:
Their trained staff are available for one-on-one consultations and can help you track your weight, waistline and body part measurements along with changes in your body composition.
They can help you identify unhealthy eating habits that contribute to weight gain and give you strategies to overcome those challenges.
You can search the official website for specific locations in your state or call Medifast toll-free at 1-888-523-8746.
The Medifast nutrition plan helps you lose weight effectively by controlling your macronutrient combinations and lowering calories while keeping hunger and food cravings in check through frequent meal-replacement shakes and snack bars along with real food.
Total calories are around 800-1,000 per day, creating a caloric deficit that pushes your bodyweight down. It’s not as low-carb as the Ketogenic Diet or the Paleo Diet since some starchy carbs are allowed.
But, carbs are reduced enough so that your body will shift toward burning body fat for energy within the first few days on a diet. The meals are also very low in fat and moderately high in protein.  
How Do Medifast Meals Taste?
The taste of Medifast meals are tasty, according to some dieters. The shakes and dessert bars are popular favorites, and the packaged snacks taste good too. They even have microwavable entrees that you can use in place of your lean and green, homemade meals.
Medifast has a board responsible for taste-testing and developing new food products, so they are constantly checking feedback from customers and dropping the foods that aren’t going over very well.
As for the home-made meals, those can be as tasty or as bland as you choose to make them. Certain condiments are limited for caloric purposes, but most herbs and seasonings are allowed to improve flavor and satiety without adding calories.
Has Anyone Spoken About Medifast Diet Side Effects?
There aren’t a whole lot of negative Medifast side effects to speak of, though researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have cautioned that very low-calorie diets like Medifast can increase risk of gallstones. 
Consult your physician to see if a low-calorie diet presents any specific health concerns for you.
How Much Does Medifast Cost?
Medifast cost was difficult to track down since the company does not prominently post prices on its website. US News & World Report reviewed Medifast and found program prices in the $300-$400 range for 30 days of Medifast meals. 
You can find some Medifast meal products like the shakes and bars for sale on Amazon, with shakes and bars selling for about $31 for seven servings each.
Medifast’s MLM Opportunity
Medifast is a weight loss and health-related company that was founded in 1980 by a medical doctor named William Vitale. The company headquartered in Owings Mills, MD. Medifast offers its customers an opportunity to lose weight and earn money at the same time through their MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) opportunity.
A Little About Medifast
The company has enjoyed much success throughout the years and had a market capitalization of over 400 million. Medifast products have sold through their website, distribution channels, weight loss clinics and directly from medical doctors to patients. With the great sales success of their products, the company began selling their products through MLM, sometimes called network marketing, and the company has significantly prospered.
What About Making Money With Medifast?
By selling their products through MLM marketing, customers of Medifast products not only can enjoy a healthier lifestyle, but they are also able to earn a steady income. What is MLM? Through MLM, an individual earns a residual income by recruiting new members. When those new members recruit others, the individual will also earn money off of those recruits. This is what is called a downline, and the goal is to grow your downline for higher earnings.
An individual that joins the Medifast MLM plan will become what is called a health coach. The compensation plan will reward a health coach for being a user of their products. They will also be rewarded for recruiting and retaining other clients. To succeed, they will even need to mentor and build teams of other health coaches.
What Users Are Saying
“My husband is on the Medifast diet. Although the food is not gourmet, it’s not too bad (for diet food). He says these are tasty. He has already lost 22 pounds in 2 months so it’s working!”
“This is a quick snack that does not require cooking unlike the oatmeal that i overdid the water since i don’t have a microwave. I had to eat this snack at home cause the chocolate was melted all inside the wrapper. I’m glad i was naked and just stepped out of the bath when i ate this. I may put these in my freezer. It could not stand up to Texas heat. The bar was smaller than i expected. The flavor was ok.”
Also: read our Burn HD Weight-Loss Kit review »
“Bar was dry and not as tasty as I had expected. I do not plan to buy this item again.”
The Bottom Line on Medifast
The bottom line is that Medifast has been shown to be effective for weight loss. Several studies cited above showed that people who stuck to their Medifast plan lost more weight than people who followed food-based plans. However, the key to any diet plan is to not only lose the weight but to keep it off. That part is completely up to you.
What will happen when you reach your weight loss goal and stop dieting? You must figure out how to build healthy eating habits into your life to maintain your weight loss after completing Medifast or any other weight loss program.
Another product on our radar is a supplement showing promise.
Among the best ones we’ve seen this year is one called Burn HD. The blend contains four ingredients – Meratrim, ChromeMate, Green Tea and Caffeine. Research shows a connection between the ingredients and increased energy levels, metabolism and a curbed appetite.
Also, the team behind Burn HD offers customers a Special Trial Offer, which is a positive sign.Learn More About Burn HD »