DIY Diet That Looks Like Medifast
If you have heard about Medifast diet or tried and liked it, you might be wondering if you can eat like you are on this diet without paying money and getting it delivered. We have some good news - yes, you can! Fresh cooked home meals are cheaper and can be made from more wholesome products. You can choose organic and increase you calorie intake just a little bit if you feel that extremely low delivered food allowance is not enough. After all, not every physically active person can survive on 1,000 calories per day diet.
If you are not very familiar with meal delivery diets, here is a quick recap of Medifast and Optavia:
What is Medifast diet?
It is a prepacked meal delivery plan that has you eating 5-6 low fat, low calories, and low glycemic index meals per day. Most people lose 2-5 pounds per week while on this diet mainly due to body burning stored fat for fuel instead of carbs.
The main program of Medifast is 5 & 1 Plan, where dieters eat 5 delivered meals that include shakes, bars, and soups, and then make 1 Lean & Green meal themselves. That last meal includes some type of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables.
Once customers achieve their goal weight, they slowly transition to more vegetables, fruit, and dairy. The final stage is the longest when, hopefully, life change has happened, and dieters are ready for small portions of real world food with supplements from Medifast when needed.
While Medifast definitely yields results, if you choose to follow your own low calorie and small portion diet at home, you will almost always see similar results as long as you are disciplined enough to follow through.
What is Optavia diet?
This diet belongs to the same company as Medifast and is very similar. It also has the same 5 & 1 Plan. In addition to that customer can choose 4, 2 & 2 Plan, where 4 “fuelings” and 1 snack are provided + 2 meals cooked at home are needed. The third program, 3 & 3 Plan, offers 3 fuelings from Optavia + 3 home cooked meals. Unlike Medifast, Optavia does not include counselling, which is really the only difference between those two programs.
Optavia’s choice of fuelings is often bars that contain palm oil, added sugars, and hydrogenated oil. You are much better off looking for similar, but healthier bars or making your own meals.
Are there any problems with Medifast diet?
Yes, people are losing weight on diets like Medifast, Optavia, or Nutrisystem, but a good number of customers suffer from constipation and gallbladder problems. The calorie count is so low that many dieters experience lightheadedness, they feel tired and cold, and deal with feelings of cold. That especially applies to people who work out regularly.
In fact, the diet can be dangerous for people who are overweight, but less than 30% above the norm, and for kids and teenagers. The diet is not advised for people with various serious conditions and pregnant women. That goes to show that it is not that innocent and one should be careful starting on it.
One way to achieve such low calorie meals is to severely limit fat, which is then compensated by added sugars and thus high refined carbohydrates, none of which is any good for your health. To be balanced and long lasting, those foods contain not only preservatives and additives, but also artificial vitamins that otherwise would come from normal food.
While all those made-to-eat diets do work in a short term, they have risks and are expensive. If you are not ready to shell out whole bunch of money, you can go to your doctor and visit a nutritionist, whose help might even be covered by your insurance.
No matter which way you choose to go, our recommendation is to consult your doctors before going on an extreme diet with 800-1,000 calories per day and extremely rapid weight loss at first. You should be safe first and foremost.
Most doctors will recommend 1,200-1,500 calories per day for women and 1,500-1,800 for men for safe weight loss, which is 1-1 ½ pounds per week.
How can you create your own Medifast type diet at home?
As we said at the beginning, creating your own diet at home you will avoid bad for you ingredients, chemicals, and additives, while making fresh food with wholesome products and plenty of fresh produce. It’s also cheaper than any prepackaged diet.
According to American Heart Association, instead of various bars and shakes, consider fruit, veggies, seeds, and nuts for healthy snacks. Medifast requires home cooked lean and greens meals anyway, so you are good here – salmon with a hearty side of veggies is perfect, it offers plenty of omega-3 and fatty acids. Starchy vegetables should be avoided as much as you can, so stay away from potatoes, peas, corn, and yams, while choosing broccoli, green beans, Brussel sprouts, and leafy greens.
Cooking at home will also help you overcome all constipation problems that arise from not enough fiber in prepackaged meals. You can always add a side of brown rice or a slice of whole grain bread to your meals and do weight loss the right way.