The Medifast program sets out to structure a person’s lifestyle according to their diet and activities. There are different plans to suit women, men and diabetics. The program pushes the idea that it is a lifestyle change that aims to provide support and a community to help dieters to reach their goal.
The program consists of a few plans that act like stages or phases, gradually adjusting members to a new lifestyle that’s conducive to weight loss and maintenance.
The 5&1 Plan
This plan is probably what sets the Medifast diet apart from the rest in the sense of the menu being predominately made up of a range of Medifast branded choices.
This stage of the program aims to
Restrict calorie intake
Introduce 6 meals a day every 2-3 hours
By doing this, the reduced calorie intake in the diet should encourage weight loss. Eating every 2-3 hours should ensure that food is more spread evenly throughout the day reducing the chance of dieters being hungry.
The Transition Phase
The aim of the 5 & 1 Plan is to help members to reach their goal weight. The next phase, transition is aimed at gradually increasing the calorie count of diets to allow the body to adjust to this change. It does this by lifting restrictions on healthy foods, re-introduced and prepared by the members themselves. The more weight lost during the 5&1 Plan, the longer spent on the transition phase. The first 4 weeks of transition are the same no matter how much weight you have lost. In the first week, more vegetables are added followed by additional fruits, dairy and whole grains for weeks 2-4 respectively. These foods were initially restricted in the 5&1 plan in order to maximize weight loss but are a re-introduced as a healthy aspect of long term lifestyle change.
The Maintenance Phase
Once the transition phase has re-introduced foods conducive to a long term healthy weight lifestyle, the maintenance phase is entered to re-enforce this diet through education and application by making everyday healthy decisions. This includes having 6 meals a day (which can even include Medifast meals) and limiting portions. During this phase there is a stronger emphasis on understanding the effects of calories on your body and hence what the right amount of calories is right for you. This will more than likely involve some trial and error. To track your own weight the program encourages the use of scales, measuring tape, paying attention to how your clothes fit and how you look.
For more info you can visit http://www.medifast.com/