Medifast is a diet which was developed by Dr. William Vitale and made available in 1980. You can purchase Medifast from the manufacturer or from Amazon. It consists of three plans, Weight Loss Plan, Thrive Healthy Living Plan, and Medi Fast for Special Diets. You have four meals, one health snack, and two lean and green meals on a daily basis. The dieter has more than 70 food options. The diet plan allows for consumption of 800-1000 calories a day making the diet a low calorie diet. It is also a low fat diet.
The diet plan is not cheap. It costs about $300 to $400 a month plus shipping. There are some complaints from customers where they have tried to stop an order from shipping, but are told that the shipping cannot be stopped. Apparently, it takes a few days to ship the order so it is unclear why the shipping can’t be stopped. There have also been complaints from customers that changing the password on their account is difficult which can sometimes lead to extra food or charges before they can alter their plan by using their new password. Further complaints on the web center around shoddy service.
Some customers complain about the taste of the food. One participant stated that they had to hold their nose as they ate the food as the food smelled bad. Others complain of the food being tasteless, and having a gritty feel. To be fair, there are other customers who do not have these complaints, and are quite happy with Medifast. Many of these happy customers are very happy with their weight loss, and like the fact that they do not have to come up with a meal plan.
More concerning, there are physiologic complaints of nausea, headache, and irregular bowel movements due to the lack of roughage. There have also been complaints of hair loss. Some participants complain of feeling cold. Rashes and leg cramps have also been reported. The leg cramps could be due to low potassium or calcium levels. The rashes could come from an allergy to one of the ingredients in the meals. Bad breath is also a common finding as a result of burning fat.
If you are a woman, remember that losing weight quickly can result in menstrual cycle abnormalities due to changes in the levels of estrogen. Rapid weight loss can also mean sagging skin which could, theoretically, lead to cosmetic/plastic surgery.
All in all, the main complaint centers around the cost of the meal plan. The side effects seem to be those common in a low calorie diet. Anyone who is considering starting a diet should consult their physician prior to starting the diet especially if you have a medical condition. Remember that any low calorie diet will cause quick weight loss initially, but the speed of the weight loss will diminish soon as the body tries to hold on to calories in the starvation state in which it finds itself.
I still recommend eating healthy and exercising as these are the only time proven methods of weight loss and maintenance. Severe caloric restriction and fad diets are unsustainable in the long run, and you are doomed to fail. To me, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a diet which will give you side effects and will cost you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Wishing you continued success in your quest for weight loss and maintenance, Pablo.