Alternative to Medifast

Lean and green means one lean meat and one approved veggie.
Lean and green means one lean meat and one approved veggie.

Meal replacement has long been a popular option for people attempting to lose weight. One of the more challenging aspects of dieting is estimating calories and knowing what to eat. Many people find that being told exactly what and when to eat eliminates the stress and confusion of dieting. One of the most popular programs is Medifast. There are a large number of other options to consider if you choose a meal replacement diet.


Medifast is a restricted calorie meal plan with a range of prepackaged foods. The plan is structured around 5 Medifast meals and one "lean and green" meal each day. "Lean and Green" meals are chosen from a list of approved foods. "Medimeals" can be ordered online or purchased at a Medifast Center. Products include shakes, soups, chili, bars and puddings among others. The 5 medimeals and one "lean and green" total a caloric intake of 800 to 1000 calories each day. Medifast claims that most people lose 2 to 5 pounds per week on this program.

Other options

Optifast was made famous in 1988 when Oprah Winfrey lost 67 pounds on the program. Optifast is a medically supervised program that can only be prescribed through a hospital or weight loss center. Optifast products include shakes, bars and soups. Dieters eat 5 Optifast shakes, bars or soups daily. The caloric intake on this plan is 800 calories. On their website Optifast states that most people lose 2 to 5 pounds a week on this program.

Weight Watchers uses a point system in association with their meal replacement products. Point values are assigned to their licensed products. Weight Watchers differs from other plans because it also has a point system for many grocery store items and restaurant meals. For many people this added flexibility is appealing and prevents boredom. The program is customized by individual based on current and goal weight. Each dieter is allowed a specific number of points each day. Support is offered online or at a Weight Watchers center. Weight Watchers helps dieters lose around 2 pounds per week.

BistroMD is similar to other meal replacement diets. Products are ordered online and delivered weekly to your home. The program includes 3 meals each day and 2 snacks. The meal choices are extensive and include options like Chinese chicken stir fry and cheese ravioli. The daily caloric intake on this diet is 1000 to 1400 calories. BistroMD claims that varying the number of calories each day by a few hundred calories will keep your guessing and help you avoid plateaus. This plan suggests the dieter will lose 2 to 3 pounds per week.

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