Medifast and NutriSystem are two of the most popular meal delivery diets on the market today. Both provide you with pre-portioned, calorie controlled meals and snacks that take most of the guess work out of preparing a healthy diet for around the same price. So which diet is right for you? We take a look at the similarities, and a few differences, between these successful diets.
Medifast is a home meal delivery service that provides you with portion controlled, high protein meals. Named #7 on the list of the Best Commercial Diets by US News in 2011, Medifast claims dieters can lose up to 20 pounds in their first month. The success of the Medifast program has been proven in multiple clinical studies, including a Johns Hopkins study that found Medifast helps dieters lose weight quickly and safely, and helped type 2 diabetics lose twice as much weight as those following the American Diabetes Association’s dietary recommendations. Medifast also showed improvements in those with hypertension and high cholesterol.
NutriSystem is also a meal delivery service that provides meals and snacks that are calorie-controlled and pre-prepared, only requiring you to supplement in a few fresh foods. NutriSystem meals are available in both shelf-stable options and their fresh-frozen line of meals.
Medifast is reasonably priced and doesn’t require you to purchase any additional food. All of the Medifast products are available for purchase through their website, and you can also purchase meals at a few physical centers throughout the country. Prices vary based on your meal choices, but two weeks worth of meals and snacks will set you back about $160.00. For more accurate pricing, see the Medifast website.
NutriSystem will run you anywhere from about $263.00 to $342.00 per month depending on the how many months you buy at a time and any discounts that are available, making it a little more expensive on average than Medifast, but it all depends on what you purchase.
The Medifast menu consists of shakes, bars, soups, and sides you can mix and match to create your daily menu. Medifast offers 70 meal choices for different palates and dietary needs. There are Medifast products available for Kosher, low glycemic, lactose-free and vegetarian diets with specific plans for men, women, and diabetics. The Medifast plan takes out all the prep work and planning time of a healthy diet, but some find the low carb aspect hard to adjust to and social situations are difficult due to the lack of flexibility in the meals.
Experts agree NutriSystem is healthy and well balanced, and low in saturated and trans fats. NutriSystem meals also have a low glycemic index, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. NutriSystem offers numerous plans depending on your needs, including plans designed for men, women, diabetics and vegetarians. Plans and meals are purchased from NutriSystem’s website, but you will need to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables on your own.
To learn more about the many programs NutriSystem has to offer, read our full NutriSystem review.
The Medifast website offers exercise guidelines, but there is no specific workout program. Medifast encourages daily exercise, but for how long and how often is for you to decide. Medifast recommends waiting two to three weeks before introducing exercise to your program. Consult your physician if you are new to exercise. If you have been exercising consistently before starting Medifast, they recommend you reduce your intensity for the first couple of weeks so your body can adjust to the lower level of calories you will be consuming. They also recommend limiting vigorous physical activity to 45 minutes a day.
NutriSystem has created three workout DVDs; two titled Women’s Walk and Silver Walk, created by fitness expert Leslie Sansone, and a third DVD for men created by former NFL pro Vaughn Hebron called Functional Movement Workout. While you will recieve a DVD based on what best suits the program you chose, how often you exercise is left up to you, with no guidelines set in place.
Medifast and NutriSystem are very similiar. The two main differences are price: NutriSystem is more expensive on average, but NutriSystem has many plans to choose from which can make it cheaper than Medifast, and flexibility: NutriSystem offers many, many different plans to choose from, ranging from 100 percent controlled to only partially where you have some flexibility to eat out or prepare your own meals. For a more customizable plan, go for NutriSystem, but you will have to purchase additional food. If you want everything laid out for you, with zero extra work, choose Medifast. It is rigid, which makes it easy if you can stick to it.
Learn More About Medifast
Learn More About Nutrisystem