How does the Medifast diet work? And is it different to other diet programs?

Patient

Q: I am hoping you can answer my question. I weigh about 220 pounds and am 5 feet 10 inches tall. Recently I came across an article on the internet about the medifast diet program. My recent attempts to various diets have all failed. I was wondering how does the Medifast diet work? And is it different to other diet programs?

Doctor

A:   The Medifast program is designed as a low-calorie, high protein weight loss plan that may help to burn fat over an extended period of time. Since it does not make use of diet pills and other potentially harmful drugs, the plan may be safer for individuals who simply want to cut back on unhealthy foods and reduce the amount of junk food in the diet. The Medifast plan encourages dieters to ‘eat' six meals per day; five of these are Medifast Meals, while one is defined as a ‘Lean & Green Meal' that dieters can put together on their own. The program allows dieters to eat every few hours to keep blood sugar level stable, and provide a steady source of energy. This concept offers many benefits including:

Reduced hunger pangs
No extreme cravings for a particular food
Easier to plan a day's worth of food
Reduced risk of unnecessary snacking
Reduced chances of preoccupation with food and dieting.

Losing weight is essentially a mathematical formula: When you cut calories sufficiently, you will lose weight. Medifast supposedly cuts calories from the diet while maintaining the satiety levels. Once a weight loss goal has been reached, the diet then transitions to a maintenance phase which aims to help dieters adjust to eating more calories, controlling portions, and choosing and preparing healthy foods.

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