I sometimes hear from people who are concerned about certain things that they hear about the Medifast diet. Often, they are interested in the diet but they are concerned about the perceived side effects. One example is that of sleepiness or fatigue. I heard from someone who said: “I have a dear friend who has had a lot of success on Medifast. I am interested in going on it myself, but I am concerned about fatigue. When my friend first went on the diet, she was sleepy and tired for the first week or so. This is a big concern of mine because I have a very stressful job that requires for me to have a lot of energy. Will I be sleepy or tired of Medifast?”
It’s nearly impossible for me to predict what someone’s experience might be. I have heard many variations on different people’s experiences. I have heard some people say that they were initially a little more tired. And I have heard some say that they actually felt more energy. There are many theories about why this happens, but here is mine.
First all of, you have to understand that when you use this diet as designed, your body should eventually go into a metabolic state called ketosis in which your body is burning its own fat. When this happens, your body is working very hard. That might be why they suggest not exercising or at least taking it easy for the first few weeks. Your body is already laboring and may not be used to this process. That’s why I think that some feel fatigue, because their body is working harder than usual. However, some people report feeling extra energy as well as a lack of cravings when they hit ketosis. Again, there are a range of possible responses.
I also think that some people report having more energy on this diet is because many of the foods are lactose and gluten free and are extremely easy to digest. For people who have had digestive issues, this can make them feel much better and have much more energy since their body hasn’t had to labor through digestion. Along that same line of thinking, many people go from eating three main meals to eating six smaller meals on the diet. This too can make digestion much easier.
On the flip side, some find that they have less energy from taking in fewer calories. However, since you should be eating every few hours, this becomes less of a problem because of the frequency. But to answer the question posed, it’s possible that you could feel less energy when first starting the diet. But it’s possible that you could feel more energetic also. Whatever you experience, most people only need to adjust for the first week or so. After that, you get used to the diet and find that you experience what is your new normal.