I often hear from people who are considering the Medifast diet. A concern that many have is whether this diet offers them enough to eat. I often hear from people who ask “how much food is allowed on Medifast? Are you very hungry on this diet and if so? at how to deal with becoming used to eating less? ” I will try to address these questions below.
The actual amount of calories is going to vary from person to person, mostly because of the “lean and green” meal. You are asked to eat five of the small Medifast meals per day (which are provided.) For the most part, these meals are around 90 – 110 calories a piece. And, to give you an idea of what these foods are like, they are single servings of foods like shakes, protein bars, eggs, soup, chili, pudding, ice cream, brownies, pancakes, chips, nachos, cappuccino, hot chocolate, and fruit drinks.
You can eat these in any order and frequency that you want. The only limitation is that you can only have one maintenance bar per day, but this is the only limitation. If you added all of these meals up, you're generally looking at around 500 – 550 calories before your lean and green meal. This one meal you make on your own is supposedly to consist of a small portion of lean protein and meat and three servings of vegetables. There are a lot of recipes out there to help you and you can get creative in order to have a lot of variety. Still, after you take the “lean and green” into account, you're looking at around 1,000 – 1,200 calories. Some people tell me that they do not think this will be enough.
I agree that it does take some getting used to. But keep in mind that, unless you are stacking your meals due to a lack of time, you will probably be eating every couple of hours. And, you are allowed one extra snack per day (that does not even have to be a Medifast meal) of a pickle, a Popsicle, jello, gum or mints, or celery. This can help, especially in the beginning.
To give you an idea of how this might look in real life, here's a typical day: the chocolate chip pancake for breakfast; a chocolate mint bar for a snack; chicken noodle soup with jello for lunch; a french vanilla shake for an afternoon snack; a “lean and green” chicken with a salad for dinner; and nachos for a nightly snack. I found that this adjustment was not as bad as I thought, but every one will have individual reactions and results.
I have found that drinking a lot of water helps tremendously. Repeated studies have shown that sometimes our body confuses hunger with thirst and dehydration. Also, I did and still do take advantage of the one additional snack. In the beginning, I opted for more for the foods but now I usually take advantage of the gum. Two more tips that I can give you is brushing and flossing your teeth after you eat. If you make a habit of taking this type of extra care each and every time you eat, you'll often find that you do not want to have to double your efforts by eating again.
Finally, in the beginning, I got in the habit of walking when I was hungry and tempted to cheat. I would leave my house or work desk and just walk around the block or down the hall because I knew if I did not remove myself from the situation, I would reach for some food and later regret it. This helped a lot. Does it get easier? I believe that it does. Your body can and often does adjust reliably quickly to a new schedule and lifestyle. It may be a bit weird at first, but like anything else, practice makes perfect.