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Medifast Diet Review: Does it Work?

One of the leading meal delivery and meal replacement diets serving men and women since 1980.

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What is it?

Medifast Diet is a weight loss plan offering over 70 prepackaged foods, and suggestions for healthy meals. The plan offers 6 meals a day. With an eating schedule that allows meals every 3 to 4 hours.

The diet plan is also known as the Medifast Achieve plan, and it’s said to be the company’s easiest and most convenient weight loss strategy. It’s said to help promote weight loss while still preserving lean muscle mass. Even after one finishes losing weight, the diet plan is meant to help give people lifelong support. Our experts conducted many reviews and found that the 18Shake Diet plan was the most effective. It offers a natural metabolism booster and an appetite suppressing meal replacement shake, both of which are stimulant free and only made with natural ingredients. Discover more about the 18Shake Diet Plan when you click the link here.

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Medifast Diet Ingredients and Side Effects

Here are some common ingredients added to Medifast’s prepackaged foods:

Soy Protein Concentrate

Soy Protein Isolate

Milk Protein Concentrate



Artificial Flavor

Xanthan Gum


Acesulfame Potassium

Modified Food Starch

Guar Gum



Maltitol Syrup



Soy Protein: This soybean extract is often GMO unless otherwise stated. According to Health Research Funding:

“May cause mineral deficiencies… Soy products have some anti-nutrient contents”

“Blocks calcium absorption… soy products contain phytic acid, a natural plant based substance responsible in blocking calcium and some other valuable minerals”

Soy has issues due to its natural components which may decrease the amount of minerals the body absorbs.

Fructose: This basic fruit sugar is often added to processed drinks and foods as a cheap sweetener.  A clinical study performed by the University of California Davis found that it was:

“associated with the insulin resistance syndrome…. May be detrimental in terms of body weight and adiposity”

Not only did it fail to suppress appetite, but it’s been shown to have damaging effects on metabolism and overall health.

Large amounts of it are stored as fat which can potentially increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Guar Gum: Common thickener extracted from the guar plant. Web MD describes its issues:

“Side effect include increased gas production, diarrhea, and loose stools”

“can cause blockages of the esophagus and the intestines”

It’s often added to processed foods as a cheap binder and thickener.

Sucralose: Artificial sweeter which is around 1,000 times sweeter than standard table sugar. It has no calories since the body cannot use it.

Studies have been performed which showed this ingredient was potentially dangerous. A study by Duke University found:

“Alters Gut Microflora and Increases Intestinal P-Glycoprotein”

This can be potentially damaging to the immune system, and when eaten, sucralose is considered a toxin according to this study.

A list of the top 10 ranked diet plans are made available in the link provided here.

Web MD has this to say about the Medifast Diet:

“those extreme changes may make sticking with the program a challenge”

“this is an extreme diet, so don’t try it without talking to your doctor first”

They call it extreme due to the 800 to 1,000 calorie limit a day that is suggested. This is extremely low and will result in weight loss, but it can be difficult to maintain.

The Achieve plan offers:

  • 4 Medifast meals: 70 different food options are offered such as sweets, soups, pastas, bars and shakes.
  • 2 lean and green meals: This is separate from the prepackaged meals. One choses 3 servings of vegetables. 2 servings of healthy fats and 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein from the menu offered.
  • 1 Healthy snack: This can be a serving of fruit or yogurt, a baked potato, whole wheat pasta, or several other offered foods. Also separate from the prepackaged foods.

Click the link here to see the highest rate diet plans.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Medifast Diet  Quality of Ingredients

The ingredients added to the prepackaged foods are commonly found in other processed meals. These cheap additives are potentially unsafe, and they can actually make it harder to lose weight.

The added fructose, artificial additives, binders, and cheap thickeners are not quality ingredients. They may also make it harder to sustain the diet.

An 800 to 1,000 calorie a day diet is recommended, which is considerably low. Web MD has this to say about liming calories:

“Women should not restrict themselves to less than 1,000 calories per day… men to less than 200 calories per day without medical supervision”

When reducing calories to such a small limit, there’s a possibility for nutritional deficiencies and side effects. This is why this limitation is often only suggested to people under strict medical supervision.

The Price and Quality of Medifast Diet

Pricing can vary, but Web MD says:

“a 4-week supply of meal replacements will cost at last $300 plus shipping”

The foods offered are low in calories, but they’re also often loaded with artificial and processed additives. These kinds of ingredients can be found in other processed foods for much cheaper. The only difference is that there are fewer portions offered.

Health USA News also says about Medifast:

“It doesn’t perfectly align with the government’s guidelines for healthy eating… provides a little too much protein and too few calories”

“At 800 to 1,000 calories a day, it also dips low for many diets”

Both the kinds of foods offered and the limitations on calories make this a poor diet plan. There’s far too much of a risk of not being able to stick to the diet due to its extreme limitations. This is not suited for all people, and it’s the reason why many customers said they couldn’t continue with the Medifast Diet.

A list of the highest rated diet plans is made available in the link provided here.

Business of Medifast Diet

Medifast, Inc. is the name of the group; their contact information is listed as:

Phone Number: (800) 209-0878

They settled a $3.7 million dollar lawsuit for making false weight loss claims of:

“Medifast 5 & 1 plan…. (could help) lose up to 2-5 pounds per week”

The Federal Trade Commission found:

“did not have a reasonable basis in scientific evidence to support the claims”

They also have complaints on Consumer Affairs and Rip Off Report.com. Here’s what some customers had to say:

“I did not sign up for an auto renew account but my account automatically auto renewed”

“They always sign up for automatic shipments”

“terrible customer service & absolutely don’t care”

“They will not give money back”

Many users were concerned that the company did not allow for a money back return. People also said that the customer service staff was unhelpful, and that they were constantly put on hold for long periods.

A comprehensive list of the top 10 diet plans can be seen in the link provided here.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Medifast Diet

Here are some customer quotes about the Medifast Diet:

“Horrendous food, very costly, total disappointment”

“My stomach was constantly turning; eventually the gas became so bad”

“The food was extremely horrible and made me feel so dizzy and weird”

“The “food” tastes like cardboard and is NOT healthy because it is full of additives and preservatives”

The majority of reviews on the food were negative. Many were concerned that there were side effects, and that the food tasted artificial. For many it was impossible to continue using the diet. Some people did manage to lose weight, but this is common in low calorie meal plans.

People did complain about gas, bloating, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and hair loss. This caused many concerns in people, as they were uncertain as to what could have caused these symptoms.

The overwhelming consensus is that the food options are not very good, and that they’re full of unwanted cheap additives.  The top 10 ranked diet plans list is viewable when you click here.

Conclusion - Does Medifast Diet  Work?

The Medifast Diet consists of pre-packaged low calorie foods, as well as diet advice and suggestions for grocery foods. Though it’s comprehensive, many users have said the quality of foods is poor, and health sites like Web MD have confirmed it’s difficult to maintain. Customers were also often disappointed with the high amounts of artificial ingredients, and potentially harmful additives. This includes things like binders, cheap sweeteners which can cause metabolism issues, and GMO additives.

Our experts have rated many different diets, and the highest ranked one of 2016 was the 18Shake Diet. It offers 2 all natural supplements, an appetite suppressing high protein meal replacement, and a metabolism boosting stimulant free diet pill. Customers have left glowing testimonials and opinions on the 18Shake Diet. Both combine to help provide weight loss benefits such as increase metabolism, improved digestion, well-rounded nutrients, and many other benefits.

Both supplements are backed by a full 30 day money back guarantee. All purchases are supported with this no questions asked risk free policy. Discover more information about the 18Shake Diet Plan by clicking here.

How Does Medifast Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Easy to follow
  • Cheap Price
  • Fast Results
  • Medifast
  • 60 /100
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> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 14 of 22, 434 total comments)



Loved it! Lost 40lbs in under two months, cholesterol down from 280 to 198, OFF insulin and using oral meds after one month!!

Great coach!

posted Dec 16th, 2010 1:20 am

Debbie Purcell

I have been on Medifast for 1 1/2 years and have done well. I tried to transition and ended up with three unopened cases ($900). I asked my health coach to stop the orders for a few months as I had way too much Medifast. When I tried to re order again, my coach, Dave Williams had accidently cancelled my membership. I called corporate office and explained to them what happened and I wanted my discount reinstated. They told me "sorry". I was up to 18% discount. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth because I have been so loyal and it was a mistake made by my coach. I never cancelled my membership.

posted Nov 30th, 2010 6:59 pm

Dave Garner

Dr. Fleckenstein: I've read the John's Hopkins research. Their view, based on research -- not on opinion -- differs from yours. I'm inclined to believe JH since you cite no reference for what I can only see as your opinion.

Responding to other comments:

I certainly didn't enjoy the taste in week one, but I decided that didn't matter since I was losing a pound a day and my one "real meal" (the Lean and Green -- protein and three veggie servings) tasted better than anything I could recall. By day three I didn't crave sweets or caffeinated soft drinks) . The complete blood work Medifast requires at the beginning of the program also motivated me to stay with the program, after seeing I was approaching the danger zone for Triglycerides at age 60.

Now, nearly a month into the program, I'm happy with my 20 pound loss and a 1.5 pound loss on Thanksgiving, and find myself more than half way to my goal.

posted Nov 26th, 2010 10:07 pm



I have lost 78 lbs with a goal of losing 25 more...this has been a great diet for me and also my family. Our family (of 4) has lost a total of 225 Lbs. My husband is on maintenace and keeping the weight off. This diet totally works for us.... and it is staying off.

posted Nov 18th, 2010 8:50 pm

Laura Yager


Easy to follow, no guessing games and easy to maintain!! Great for busy lifestyles!

posted Nov 16th, 2010 9:23 pm

Melissa David


Amazing program! You follow it, it works!!

posted Nov 16th, 2010 9:21 pm



I have never tried a diet so easy. No it's not a diet for people wanting to loose a few pounds, Yes, it can be hard. However if you follow the program as written, it is impossible not to loose weight. I have been on this diet for 3 months and have lost 48 pounds. My way of looking at food has completely changed!

posted Nov 15th, 2010 10:22 pm



I also tried it as far as the taste of the shakes I perfer SiimFast

posted Nov 11th, 2010 12:29 pm



loved it. came off fast and easily without taking my muscle away because my body was fully supported by nutrition. LOVE IT

posted Nov 10th, 2010 8:47 pm



WHAT A SCAM!!! This company has NO MONEY BACK guarantee. I was sold on this program by a health coach
I met in Chicago. I thought it would be a great program to help
me shed my last 40 lbs, but unfortunately the program is just not for me. I am not saying it doesn't work, but it's not
a good fit for my taste and my lif...estyle.
I tried to return the products and was told I could not return any of
it, it has been 3 days only. Apparently
once you open the boxes and use a packet, they can only exchange it, but not
return it. I know plenty of other
programs and companies that stand by their products and offer a full money back
guarantee within the first week. Other companies realize that their product might not be for everyone and thatâ??s why they offer full refunds. THIS COMPANY clearly doesnâ??t back their own product line â?? how else would you explain what they did to me? What also makes no sen...se is that they CAN exchange your open boxes (so clearly they do take them back), but simply REFUSE to refund your money! I have never been more dissatisfied as a customer in my life! I will never recommend this to any of my friends, but if anyone asks, Iâ??ll point them to Nutrisystem instead, at least they have guarantees and donâ??t make people flush over $300 down the drain. Iâ??ll be sure to let everyone know what a horrible experience I had to steer more people away from this!!!!

posted Nov 9th, 2010 4:40 pm



it's great... 30 pounds lost in 3 months and it's still off 3 months later

posted Nov 4th, 2010 6:11 pm



This plan really works, as long as you follow the plan. The 1st week was the hardest as far as hunger goes. Highly recommend using the online support provided.

posted Nov 2nd, 2010 7:05 pm



The 1st week I lost 6lbs. The second week I lost 5 lbs. Total weight loss after 2 1/2 weeks is 14 lbs. Do I think this works... I know it works. I have run out of holes in my belt, I can tuck my shirt in over a flat stomach, my pants are falling down. I am soooooo pleased with the results I am giddy.

posted Oct 25th, 2010 4:42 am



I just want to say "thank you" to the wonderful counselors at Medifast in Addison,TX. The plan is simple, the food is awesome and the counselors are great!!! I have lost over 50lbs and I'm now on maintenance.

posted Oct 24th, 2010 4:05 pm



I have been on program for 5 weeks and am down 22lbs...was a bit tough the first few days (like duh, I wasn't consuming what made me fat in the first place) but found lots of variety and especially like the cappicino and soups...as good as you can get anywhere..also the completly balanced vitamins have made me feel the best I've felt in years and I have lots more energy...onward to the next 25lbs....

posted Oct 13th, 2010 3:14 pm



my doc recco'd I try this. i'm down 15 pounds in two months and feel relaly good about meeting my goal by end of year.

posted Oct 1st, 2010 12:39 pm



Really easy to follow and the food's surprisngly good. I lost about 10 pounds in my first month. I really love the shakes. My favorite L&GM that I have once a week is grilled salmon (with balsamic vinagrette for my sauce), with spinach and baby greens salad, baked sweet potato and fresh green beans.

posted Oct 1st, 2010 12:37 pm



6 weeks and 19lbs GONE!

posted Sep 30th, 2010 5:13 am



I went to the location in Addison, Texas and was very disappointed. They promised to take my picture for me to see what my weight loss would be and I would alternate speaking to people weakly but it never happened. I spent $800 and only lost 10 pounds. My father became sick and passed away. I asked if I could restart my program and I was told it had expired. No motivation from the staff at all!

posted Sep 28th, 2010 12:49 am



I went on Medifast after someone I knew tried it. I had tried Nurtasystem first and was disappointed with the food. It looked so good on the packages but tasted like crap. I've read all these comments... here's what I'll say about Medifast... Firstâ?¦I lost 40lbs in about 5 months. I did not exercise. I had one cheat day a month and my one â??lean green mealâ?ť each day usually consisted of a steak and some green veggie. I did not portion control this meal. As for the Medifast food itself --- think convenient and easy. Itâ??s not a liquid diet. There are several options besides shakes. My advice is not to consider it food though. Nothing tastes as good as if it was slathered in butter or covered in syrup. There are some things that are completely gross (my mother and I differ on these items). I would say â?? try everything once. You can ship back anything you get and exchange it for something else if youâ??ve only tried one item out of the box. Well worth the effort because the stuff they send you in the start-up package is NOT their best stuff (mom and I agree on this). Once youâ??ve lost your weight --- give yourself and extra 5 or 10. Transitioning back to regular food is a slow process and you may be tempted to shove something previously forbidden in your mouth (like a pound of pasta). That being said, I kept the weight off (except about 6lbs which I gained that first month off the diet) for over a year so far. If it takes me 8 years to gain it back and 8 months to lose itâ?¦ seems like a worthwhile diet. Best of luck to all of you.

posted Sep 26th, 2010 11:49 pm


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QUICK FACTSQUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1980
  • Founder: Dr. William Vitale
  • Headquarters: Owings Mills, Maryland
  • Stock Symbol: MED
  • Accessibility: Online
  • Diet Type: Meal Delivery, Meal Replacement, High Protein

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Save time and energy by never having to grocery shop, count calories or cook your meals again. Medifast meal delivery service will send high protein meals directly to your home. By controlling portions, nutrients and calories, Medifast users can expect to lose 2-5 pounds per week for the first two weeks on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan and 1-2 pounds per week thereafter.

The Medifast Plan menu consists of shakes, bars, soups, and other sides you can pair up to create your diet or the day. Medifast offers 70 meal choices to satisfy different palates and dietary requirements. Kosher, low glycemic, lactose-free and vegetarian diets are all supported by the Medifast plan. Medifast even has specific plans for the unique needs of women, men and diabetics.

Medifast's success has been proven in multiple clinical studies, the Medifast website offers dozens of real-life testimonials, and its products and programs have been recommended by more than 20,000 doctors since 1980.

A John Hopkins study found the Medifast plan helps dieters quickly and safely lose weight by decreasing the amount of calories they consume each day. The study also found that participants with type 2 diabetes lost 2 times the weight of individuals following the American Diabetes Association's dietary recommendations. Medifast also shows positive results in participants with other illnesses, like hypertension and high cholesterol.

All of the Medifast products are available online, but Medifast does offer some physical centers throughout the country, in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. You can choose to go to a center, but you can complete the program online just as easily.


Medifast YouTube Channel

Medifast Recipes at iFood TV

Meal Replacement Shake Review

  • Convenient, pre-packaged foods sent to your home
  • Reasonably priced
  • Large variety of foods so there is something for everyone
  • Encourages and incorporates exercise
  • Clinically proven weight loss
  • Doctor recommended
  • Provides detailed weight loss maintenance plan
  • Plans made for diabetics and other medical situations
  • Quick Start Guide available at TrustMedifast.com

  • Must cut carbs
  • May be tough transitioning back to regular diet
  • Low-calorie diet has its critics
  • Makes social situations harder to manage

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

I am a 48 year old male with a fairly unactive lifestyle. On May 16, 2011 I started the Medifast diet following the 5/1 plan. My starting weight was 325 lbs. I am 11-1/2 weeks into the diet and have lost 58 lbs.

I come from a family of excellent cooks. Are the food offerings gourmet quality? No. However, they aren't, in general, as horrible as people say. Sure, there's a few clunkers out there but, for the most part, there are so many varieties that you should be able to find your way through. - Greg 8/5/11

I am 49 yrs old...5"5" and I started my program Aug 8th 2010 at 172 lbs I lost 45 lbs in 14 weeks! It's easy and the results are rapid. The first week I lost 8.5 lbs and the first month 17.5 lbs and then I averaged about 2.5 lbs a week. I have been reading lots' of discouraging people on here in regards to the food. Yes, there are some of the meals that you will not care for. But, you will figure out your likes and dislikes right away. Just don't eat more then one pkg out of each box for any returns.For me personally ..I love the bars and like the rice cakes, pretzels and puffs vanilla and mocha shakes yum! - Lorrie 8/4/11

I started medifast around October 2010. I went from 165lbs to about 142lbs in 3 months. I was very pleased. Unfortunately once I became comfortable being able to fit in my own clothes again I stopped the program. I did not start the maintenance program. My own fault. I ended up gaining my weight back and have started weight watchers and it's been successful so far. So depending on wether or not I would of stayed on the program I would have a better review. So it does work, and I do like it. But it was not for me and the food gets old quick! If you keep to it right, and do not cheat! I would cheat just for one day with some medifast and maybe a real meal with the family and I would be gaining a pound.. Just keep to it. - Alyssa 7/4/11

This diet works without a doubt as long as you can stick thru it. It is VERY difficult the first few days but once you make it thru week 1 the cravings pretty much go away. The food will also begin to taste better, however its best to try everything because not everyone like everything. I personally just do the shakes and brownies sometimes the scrambled eggs. They also have a great community site for advice and support and you can get great ways to doctor it up the meals too. The weight definitely comes off quickly and you see results weekly on the scale on with a measuring tape which is great motivation. Of course it has its downside like every diet the weight can come back quickly and more, but only if you don't go into the transition stage and gradual reintroduce foods back into your diet and maintain a healthy balanced diet. - Izzy 5/17/11


The Medifast diet consists of five prepared meals and one "Lean and Green Meal." (L&GM) known as the Medifast 5 & 1 plan. Your L&GM will consist of a lean protein (a seven-ounce serving of chicken, turkey or fish, or a five ounce serving of beef, pork or lamb) with a tablespoon's worth of condiment like ranch dressing, ketchup or mustard. You will also choose your side dish, which can include a salad, or raw or cooked vegetables. You will always eat at least three servings of vegetables in your L&GM.

The Medifast program encourages you to keep your metabolism high and avoid hunger by eating every three hours. It also recommends that you stay hydrated by drinking your choice of calorie-free beverage, preferably water, consuming at least 64 ounces each day. While your Lean and Green Meal and beverages are up to you, the rest of your meals will be chosen from the dozens of low-calorie, high nutritient meal-replacement items that Medifast delivers directly to you. With options like puddings, oatmeal, shakes, and scrambled eggs, it's hard to get bored.

At the beginning of the program, you will remove high carbohydrate vegetables from your diet like corn and carrots, to jump start your weight loss. You'll slowly introduce these items back into your diet over time and they can be a part of your diet in the maintenance phase, if you wish.

While on the Medifast program you don’t have to worry about counting anything; calories, grams of fat and carbs are all controlled and you can expect to lose between two and five pound per week. The Medifast meals are made with 24 different vitamins and minerals to keep you full and satisfy your nutritional needs.

A typical day of eating on the Medifast program looks like:

  • Breakfast – Spiced Pancakes with Sugar-Free Syrup
  • Snack – Chocolate Crunch Bar
  • Lunch – Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
  • Snack – Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks
  • Dinner – Baked Tilapia Fillet; SautĂ©ed Sugar Snap Peas with Mushrooms, Carrots
  • Dessert – Coffee Soft Serve

The Medifast website offers an exercise guideline document, but there is specific workout program. Medifast recommends getting daily exercise, but your intensity, mode and duration are left completely up to you. They suggest running, jogging, swimming, dancing or walking, but with such a low calorie, structured program, getting your daily 30 minutes reccommended for health should be enough for you to successfully drop weight.

Medifast recommends waiting two to three weeks before introducing exercise if you do not already exercise regularly. You should also consult your physician if new to exercise. Start slow, and gradually increase you time and intensity as you feel things become easier. If you have been exercising consistently prior to starting Medifast, it is recommended that you reduce your intensity and duration of exercise for the first couple of weeks so your body can adjust to your lower calorie levels, and do no more than 45 minutes of vigorous exercise each day during this time period.

Medifast suggests, as do we, that you find something that you enjoy for your workouts so you are more likely to stick to them. The gym isn't your only option. You can take up jogging outside, dance classes, swimming, or biking to get in some exercise while finding a new activity you enjoy.


Common questions asked about the Medifast program by our community. Click each to see the full answer.

Does anyone experience an early plateau on Medifast? - NB 6/21/11

Is there any medical supervision on Medifast? - KJ 6/10/11

What is the cost of 3 months on Medifast? - Jeannie 6/8/11

Will my body adjust to hunger at the beginning of the diet? - Lisa 3/7/11

Ask or answer Medifast Questions now.


For more than 20 years, Medifast has been the answer for many people's weight loss struggles.. It’s also helped people with pre-existing health conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, lose weight safely. The taste and quality of the meals have gotten mostly positive feedback, so if you want to take out all of the guess work, Medifast may be the diet for you. You'll learn how to eat proper portions with balanced nutrition, while eating consistently throughout the day. Most programs and diets cannot boast the doctor recommendations, positive clinical findings and glowing testimonials that Medifast can. It's worth a look if you have weight to lose and are looking for a convenient, all in one approach to eating.


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