Can I Afford The Medifast Diet?
I sometimes hear from people who are interested in trying (and hopefully succeeding) with the Medifast diet but who are concerned about the cost. I often hear comments like: “will I really be able to fit Medifast into my budget? Is it really affordable? There have to be some hidden costs, aren't there?”
I can try to answer these questions by sharing my own experiences. But first, I'd like to get this out of the way. You don't have to pay anything to look at the company's website. It is full of guides and helpful information, all of which you can read and use immediately without paying anything. You can chat with or email staff if you have any questions. I have found that support to be quite good, always available, and encouraging. There isn't a charge for this either. You are paying for your food. That is the only costs associated with this diet. So, why don't we look at that?
Almost always, Medifast has some sort of special running. They will usually either take some monies off of your order or offer a really decent amount of free food. Both types of discounts are generous. But, for the purposes of this article, I'm not going to take those specials or discounts into account. I'm going to pretend that they don't exist. And, I'm going to assume that you are going to be on the full time, five plus one plan. You can order Medifast meals individually and you don't have to buy food for the whole month. But for simplicity purposes, I'm going to assume that you are going to order the most popular package – the five plus one women's four week package, better known as “Medifast favorites.” Right now, the cost of that package is $339. Again, I'm looking at this without coupons.
With this plan, you will eat 5 times per day and you will eat the meals that Medifast provides you with. (You do make one main meal each day on your own, too.) So, you are looking at a little over $11 per day for five meals. This is about $2.20 per meal. Now, you have to ask yourself where you can buy a healthful diet meal that is going to contribute to your weight loss for $2.20. I mean, I can certainly go through a fast food drive through and pick a few things off of the value menu for around $2 – $3, but that meal is going to ensure that I gain weight, not lose it.
If you've ever shopped at a health food store or went to the grocery store armed with recipes for diet meals, then you know that you often have to buy expensive ingredients that specialized and pricey. And to get the amount of protein in the Medifast meals, you're going to have to add in protein powder that is quite pricey, at least in my own experience. I highly doubt that you are going to be able to cook your own diet meals for less than $2.20 per meal. And, if you are able to do it, then I suspect it wouldn't be without a lot of time and effort. With this diet, it's totally prepared for you. They do the shopping and most of the cooking. For most of the meals, you will merely need to assemble them.
Now, there is the question of groceries. You will be responsible for one “lean and green meal” per day. You can have this at any time, but many people chose to have it at dinner when they sit down to have a larger (or more formal) meal. And many people just modify what their family is already eating. I don't think that you need to spend a lot of money on your lean and green meal.
So if you're trying to determine if this plan is affordable, then you have to ask yourself how much you are already spending on food. In my case, I was a fan of the vending machine and the drive through. Or, I was buying my food at work and I was buying a lot lower quality food. So I don't pay anymore than I was before and I'm much healthier. I can't answer how much you are already spending on food, but you probably can.
Another consideration is how much your weight loss is worth to you. This is very individual. For me, I was perfectly willing to cut out some not so savory expenses like expensive coffees (that I didn't even taste) or books that I could buy but read only once when I could have easily have checked out at a library, in order to restore my health. But that is only my take. Yours may be different.
To me, Medifast is more affordable than many diets that I've found, at least for me. But I can't gauge whether you deem $11 per day or $2.20 per meal before coupons as affordable. Only you can evaluate that. I hope that this has helped some.