The other day, I had someone email me and basically say: “I'm very interested in the Medifast diet. I'm very intrigued by the dramatic results my friend has had, but I want to know if I can just substitute the Atkins shakes in the grocery store for the Medifast ones.” I have to say that probably the majority of questions that I get about this diet have to do with the shakes. There seems to be a perception that this plan is defined by them. I understand this somewhat. These items are tasty, filling, and pretty convenient, so there is a lot to like about them. But, there are only one of many food choices. However, I'll answer the question about substituting the Atkins shakes in the following article.
Why Medifast Shakes Are So Popular And Are Beyond Comparison: I believe that these shakes get so much attention because they are known to be pretty tasty while still being very low in calories and carbohydrates, and very high in protein and fiber. There are not a lot of diet foods which are able to retain a decent taste and texture while being so sound nutritionally. This combination (along with the other foods) puts you body in what I called the promised land which is technically defined as ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body begins to turn on and burn it's fat stores because you aren't giving it the excess carbohydrates that commonly help with this job.
If you pick up and examine say a slim fast shake, you'll see that there is really no comparison. Most “diet shakes” are really full or sugar, calories, and carbs and therefore aren't nearly as effective in getting you into ketosis.
Medifast Shakes Versus Atkins Shakes. Which Is Better?: OK, let's take a look at them side by side. I'll be looking at the chocolate royale for Atkins and the dutch chocolate 55 for Medifast. And know that I'm evaluating them based on their ability to get you into fat burning mode. (Although I do have to say that the Atkins shake has that chalky after taste that is nasty and typical of so many diet foods. I don't find this on the 55 version. ) Any way, these two shakes are pretty similar in terms of protein, carbs, sugars and fiber. In all of these categories, either would get you in ketosis (so long as you ate either diet's meals for the remainder of the day.) However, the chocolate royale has a whopping 170 calories per serving. This is almost double the dutch chocolate's 90 calories.
I find this to be a deal breaker. That's almost like consuming two meals (at least in terms of calories) instead of one. The whole point to this is to keep your calories low so that you can get in fat burning mode. Why go through all the work and trouble and then consume a product that has twice as many calories?
What Are You Really Saving With The Atkins Shake?: I asked the person who sent the email why she wanted to substitute the other shake? She said she liked that she could pick them up at the grocery store and she perceived them to be a bit cheaper. This actually isn't really true. These shakes average out to be well over $2 each. This is about what you would pay for Medifast too, sometimes less.
And, I can't stress this enough. You are eating a variety of foods on this diet, and many of them aren't liquid. You will also eat eggs, chili, oatmeal, bars, etc. And, most people place monthly orders and have the food shipped right to their door. You don't need to buy grocery store products on top of that. If you do, you're spending more money than you need to for something that has many more calories than what you would get other wise.
If you use coupons or discounts, you can basically get 5 Medifast meals each day for about $8 each day (less then $2 each.) But, if you add on a grocery store shake or two onto this, you're bumping this up to $10 -$12 per day for food you don't need that is giving you more calories. It's just unnecessary when they provide you with everything you need.