I receive a lot of questions about the particulars of the Medifast diet. The other day, someone wrote to me and asked, in part. “What time of the day do you eat your meals on Medifast? I have a busy schedule and I’m concerned about having to eat six times per day. I’m trying to get a clear picture of what my schedule and my life would be like on this diet.”
In responding, I told her that Medifast really can be tweaked to be a pretty convenient diet. Most of the work is done for you and there is quite a bit of flexibility in when and how you eat your meals. I’ll explain this more in the following article.
Spacing Out Your Medifast Meals. What Works Best?: The company indicates that it’s optimal to eat every 2 to 3 hours. This keeps your metabolism up and helps your body to get in a metabolic state called ketosis which is going to help you lose weight pretty quickly. Since many of the meals are prepackaged, snack type options, this really doesn’t need to be all that difficult. Here’s an example of how I complete this.
I don’t like to eat immediately upon waking, but I do like to have coffee. So I consume 1/2 portion of the medifast cappuccino and one half portion of the Medifast hot chocolate / cocoa. This gives me sort of a mocha concoction that taste very good, wakes me up, and counts for one of my meals. (One down and five to go.) This typically happens around 6 am.
I do have a little bit of time before I have to go to work, so I’ll typically prepare either the diet’s scrambled eggs or oatmeal. If it’s the weekend and I want to take a bit more care, I’ll add some vegetables or fat free cheese to the eggs, but I don’t have this luxury on most weekdays, where I just do the bare minimum at around 8am.
By the time I get to my mid morning snack (at around 10am) I’m at work, so I keep it convenient and easy. Typically I will have one of the Medifast bars now. This works well because all I have to do is rip the wrapper off the bar and eat it. This really doesn’t interfere with what I’m doing at work so it is no big deal.
I usually take my lunch at around 12:30. I will typically eat chili or one of the soups. Again, this is just assembly because the meals are prepackaged. I usually have my afternoon snack at around 3 pm because this is when I tend to get hungry in the afternoon. If I’m not that busy at work, I will try to have one of the 55 shakes. I do have the luxury of having a blender at work, but if I didn’t, I would just have one of the ready to drink shakes that you don’t have to mix. And, if I don’t feel like a shake, I will sometimes have the chips instead. At this point, I’ve had four of my six meals.
The Lean And Green Meal. When Should You Have It?: Now, of these six meals that you’re going to be eating, one of the meals is bigger than the others and one of them you have to make yourself. This is called the “lean and green meal” and it’s important because you’re adding in fresh foods and you’re learning how to plan, prepare, and consume healthy meals since you don’t want to just eat prepackaged foods all the time.
There is a lot of variation as to when people eat their lean and green meal. I find that most, including myself, eat it for dinner. This just makes life easier because you usually have to cook for your family anyway. However, I do know some people who eat it first thing in the morning (when they have more time and wake up ravenous) or who eat it around 3 pm when they are the most hungry. There is no right or wrong answer here. You can do whatever works for you.
This just leaves my nighttime snack. Sometimes I’ll have the chips or if I’m not feeling too lazy, I will whip up a shake. Occasionally, especially in the summer, I’ll consume the fruit drink over shaved ice (like a snow cone) or eat a frozen shake (like a frosty.)
Combining Medifast Meals: I know that some people really don’t want to be bothered with eating so often so they will eat say two meals for breakfast, two for lunch and add in two with their lean and green meal or skip the lean and green all together. I don’t’ advocate skipping the fresh meal as I really believe you need fresh foods, but I do know people who’ve done just fine by combining the meals. Technically, this should slow or impede ketosis but it doesn’t always seem to.
Of course, the best case scenario is to follow the directions and to space the meals out. This really isn’t that hard once you get into a routine, especially since most of the foods are prepackaged.