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Medifast

Weight Loss Made Simple

The Medifast diet is a portion-controlled, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet plan that utilizes meal replacement foods that are obtained from the Medifast company. These meal replacement foods are nutrient-dense and low-calorie. As a low-calorie diet, the Medifast diet is intended to produce rapid weight loss at the start of a weight-loss program for persons who are moderately to extremely obese.

The Medifast diet was created and is marketed by Jason Pharmaceuticals, based in Owings Mills, Maryland. Dr. William Vitale founded the company in 1980. Originally Medifast was primarily a medically-supervised weight loss program. Medifast still offers this option, but only about 10% of its customers now utilize the diet under mandatory medical supervision. Currently an individual can access the the Medifast diet program through Hi-Energy Weight Loss Centers, at home by telephone or through the web site (http://www.medifastdiet.com), through hospitals or clinics, or through the office of a health care provider (for example, a physician, nutritionist, or dietitian). Medifast is available in Asia (India, Hong Kong, and Singapore) as Dr. Diet.

Specifically, the Medifast diet is a weight loss program that relies on meal replacement food products that are purchased from Jason Pharmaceuticals. Although medical supervision of the Medifast diet is not required, it is recommended. There are over 50 different meals that a dieter may choose as part of the diet, including shakes, bars, drinks, oatmeal, chili, soups, and puddings. The daily calorie intake on the plan is between 800 to 1,000 calories per day. During the weight loss phase of the diet, the dieter follows a 5 & 1 meal plan that consists of five portion-controlled, nutritionally-balanced Medifast meals plus one Lean & Green meal. The Lean portion of the Lean & Green meal consists of either: five ounces of cooked lean beef, pork or lamb; or seven ounces of cooked chicken, turkey, fish or seafood.

The Green portion of the Lean & Green meal consists of: Two cups of salad greens with 1/2 cup of raw vegetables (cabbage, spinach, sprouts, celery, radishes, cucumber, pepper, or tomato and 1-2 tablespoons of low-carb salad dressing, or One and one-half cups of low-carbohydrate cooked vegetables (Carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts should be avoided during the weight loss phase of the Medifast diet).

A person who chooses to replace all meals with Medifast food products and to not incorporate the Lean & Green meal into their diet must do so only under a doctor's supervision.

There are different formulations of the Medifast shakes, Medifast 55 and Medifast 70, for men and women. All of the low-lactose shakes contain proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, Medifast 70 has a higher soy protein content and is more suitable for men or for women who are physically very active. In addition, there is a Medifast Plus Shake for Appetite Suppression available that contains an appetite suppresant in addition to protein, vitamins, and minerals. There are also a variety of lactose-free or low-lactose products available for persons who are lactose-intolerant.

The purpose of the Medifast diet is create a calorie deficit that allows a person to burn fat and lose weight while maintaining muscle mass. The Medifast diet is most suited for those persons who need to lose a significant amount of weight and have had difficulty losing weight with other diets.

Many people on the Medifast diet lose an average of 2-5 pounds per week. Individual results vary based on initial weight when starting the program, targeted weight-loss goal, level of exercise, presence of medical conditions, use of medications, and compliance with the diet requirements.

More than 15,000 physicians in the United States have recommended Medifast programs to their patients, and more than a million persons have used the Medifast diet since 1980. The Medifast diet is most suitable for persons who need to lose a significant amount of weight.

Please consult a physician before starting any diet program.

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