South Beach Diet vs. Medifast
South Beach Diet is the last one I tried from the lineup of Nutrisystem, Medifast, and South Beach. I consider those three diets very similar, even though some people might disagree. Medifast is the most different out of these three, but let’s start form the beginning.
The first diet I tried was Nutrisystem and I didn’t like it too much. I didn’t know what to expect from all the frozen foods and I wasn’t ready for the restrictions. By the time I ordered Medifast, I was more prepared. I ordered only some foods and not the entire month’s worth. By the time I got to South Beach Diet my expectations were extremely timid.
Medifast diet has two plans. One is called Medifast Go! and is meant to help you lose weight rapidly and for a short time, it’s pretty restrictive calorie wise and supplies dieters with two meals and two snacks per day, with one meal that has to be supplied by dieters. Another plan is Medifast Achieve for steady long-term weight loss. It delivers 3 meals and snacks and requires three of your own.
Both plans are very calorie restrictive and include about 70 meal replacement choices to pick from. The diet sends frozen microwavable entrees, shakes, bars, snacks, and cereals. Medifast Go! forbids fruit, dairy, and starches.
I liked the fact that every plan encourages people to cook at least one meal themselves from fresh ingredients. I like the flexibility and family inclusiveness. I can eat low calorie meals and snacks all day myself and then cook a healthy homemade meal for my husband and two kids all while staying on diet and losing weight. I do not like the fact that I have to stay away from fruit and dairy. This is why I couldn’t be on this diet for a long time, but I can definitely see myself buying some Medifast Diet meals as supplements for when I need to lose a few pounds.
The taste of food is very important to me and I have to admit that I liked all the entrees that I ordered from Medifast. I also loved the shakes after gym instead of breakfast. My favorite meals were Beef Stew and Turkey with Meatballs. They both were about 200 calories, but thick and hearty with lots of protein and veggies. Yes, actual veggies were visible! I felt satisfied and full for a few hours after the meals, which I ate for lunch. I found them both a bit too salty, but that’s my problem with most ready to eat meals in this country, as my childhood Lithuanian cuisine does not include as much salt.
South Beach Diet kind of runs together with Nutrisystem in my mind. The meal plan delivers all the meals needed for a month and does not leave much space for creativity. It encourages veggie and fruit supplementation a lot more than Nutrisystem though, and I like that.
The diet has some plans to choose from and then entrees to pick based on your preferences. South beach Diet focuses on low-glycemic-index carb intake, healthy fats, lean proteins, and fiber. Dieters lose weight fast during the first phase, which lasts 2 weeks. Then steady and long period weight loss follows during second phase, and finally the third phase becomes a way of life after the weight goal is achieved. The most rapid weight loss is the hardest part as dieters have to cardinally change their lifestyle and cut out carbs, fruit, and sugar. Those foods get introduced at the second stage again and can be consumed in moderation, so it becomes easier, but the weight loss slows down to 1-2 pounds per week, yet remains steady. Third stage is like a welcome back to reality and real life foods, which can be tricky for some people.
I never wanted to get on this diet or any other meal replacement diet very strictly. I just wanted to test the waters and see which one can be used as a backup plan for times when I want to eat healthy small portions and lose weight.
The main thing for me is the taste of food, as I believe that all of them are similar enough for my purposes. South Beach Diet food was better than Nutrisystem, but entrees tasted very similar to Medifast. I liked all soups from South Beach Diet – Cheeseburger Soup, Mushroom Parmesan Soup with Chicken, and Creamy Cauliflower & Chicken that looked like soup. They are as good as Medifast Beef and Turkey entrees, also too salty, but flavorful and filling. I did not try South Beach Diet shakes and did not order any snacks or breakfasts from Medifast, so I can only compare entrees. And when it comes to those, I liked them about the same.
In conclusion, I think that both diets work and both can be used by me for my goals and needs. The price of both is similar, at around $300 per month, making Medifast more expensive because many extra customer provided meals are needed to be purchased on top of replacement meals. South Beach Diet provides all the meals, but discourages flexibility. All in all, I can definitely work with both and find ways to enjoy a meal from both here and there. I can’t, however, see myself relying on frozen entrees exclusively, be it Nutrisystem, Medifast, or South Beach Diet, I like my home made food too much!