5 Smart Reasons Why People Love The 5&1 Plan

Dietary and nutritional content reviewed by Jasmin Gorostiza, DT, DM, DSS, CFPP.️

PLUS we explain the confusion between the Optimal 5&1 Plan vs Medifast 5&1 Plan …

The 5&1 Plan is a complete program for people to lose weight. We say complete because it not only changes your eating habits to lose weight but it also ensures that you keep the weight off.

What Exactly is the 5&1 Plan?

So what exactly is the 5&1 Plan? What is the difference between the Optimal 5&1 Plan and the Medifast 5&1 Plan?

To start with, the only difference between the Optimal 5&1 Plan and the Medifast 5&1 Plan is branding. The diets are exactly the same.

To start with, the only difference between the Optimal 5&1 Plan and the Medifast 5&1 Plan is branding. The diets are exactly the same.

Confused? You are not alone. So were we.

Here’s the story behind the confusion.

Medifast as a company has been in existence since the 1980’s. This scientifically-based diet was first developed and used in the 1980’s at the esteemed Johns Hopkins University in New York as a way to help surgery patients quickly and safely shed weight prior to having their surgeries.

Because of its effectiveness in helping patients lose weight effectively and more importantly, in a very safe way, the diet gained popularity beyond the confines of Johns Hopkins University and has become one of the most sought after clinically-proven diet programs in the United States.

Because of its effectiveness in helping patients lose weight effectively and more importantly, in a very safe way, the diet gained popularity beyond the confines of Johns Hopkins University and has become one of the most sought after clinically-proven diet programs in the United States. Related Read: Nutrisystem Frozen Meals Really Work

Medifast-5&1-Plan
The Medifast diet program is based on the 5&1 Plan. Photo courtesy of Medifast.

Medifast, was designed around the concept of eating six small meals a day — a combination of soy-based meal replacements and your own healthy, low calorie meals — to cut calories while keeping your metabolism high. This diet uses portion-controlled, low-fat, and nutritionally balanced meal replacements to help people realize faster, yet safe weight loss than most traditional diet plans.

As people learned more about the diet and lost weight successfully, the company eventually setup grassroots-type of weight loss centers around the country and marketed Medifast via its Take Shape For Life community outreach program.

So the bottomline is this. Medifast manufactures and directly sells the 5&1 Plan to customers and also distributes the exact 5&1 Plan via its Take Shape For Life community outreach programs.

So the bottomline is this. Medifast manufactures and directly sells the 5&1 Plan to customers and also distributes the exact 5&1 Plan via its Take Shape For Life community outreach programs.

Sometime in 2017, the company decided to spin-off Take Shape For Life and rebranded this as OPTAVIA. In fact, here’s the link to press release they had.

Hence what was formerly Medifast 5&1 is now known as Optimal 5&1 IF you buy the product from OPTAVIA.

OPTAVIA then decided to instead drop the Medifast name from its products and replaced Medifast with Optimal. Hence what was formerly Medifast 5&1 is now known as Optimal 5&1 IF you buy the product from OPTAVIA.

Now If you buy the same product from Medifast, the Medifast 5&1 Plan is now known as Medifast Go.

Now If you buy the same product from Medifast, the Medifast 5&1 Plan is now known as Medifast Go.

As confusing as the whole rebranding situation is all about, the product remains the same and is as safe and effective as it was from the time it came out to the market.

In spite of the confusing name and branding changes, people are still very much using and losing weight with the 5&1 Plan because it simply works.

In spite of the confusing name and branding changes, people are still very much using and losing weight with the 5&1 Plan because it simply works.

And here’s another major reason why Medifast had to rebrand to OPTAVIA. As a result of the 5&1 Plan’s effectiveness in helping people lose weight, the company found out that there is surge in demand for its product in other parts of the world.

With the strong demand for the 5&1 Plan in the Asia-Pacific market, the company now plans to fully expand its presence in the region starting in 2019. Here’s the link to the announcement.

Hence to avoid confusion, Medifast (the weight lose company) and Take Shape For Life had to rebrand to OPTAVIA to avoid confusion with the namesake pre-insurance company when they start their expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the Asia-Pacific region, there is a major pre-insurance company with exactly the same name as Medifast (here’s the link). Hence to avoid confusion, Medifast (the weight lose company) and Take Shape For Life had to rebrand to OPTAVIA to avoid confusion with the namesake pre-insurance company when they start their expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

So again, the OPTAVIA Optimal 5&1 Plan is exactly the same as the Medifast 5&1 Plan (now called Medifast Go). It’s the same diet program that has been recommended by more than 20,000 doctors to help millions of people lose weight fast and effectively.

So again, the OPTAVIA Optimal 5&1 Plan is exactly the same as the Medifast 5&1 Plan (now called Medifast Go). It’s the same effective diet that has been recommended by more than 20,000 doctors to help millions of people lose weight fast and effectively.

Hope all these clears up the confusion about the 5&1 Plan.

Cake Boss Buddy Valastro Loses 35 Lbs. With The 5&1 Plan

People were shocked when TLC’s Cake Boss star, Buddy Valastro, revealed on Instagram in July 2018 his 35 pound weight loss. No one really expected it.

His show, which premiered back in 2009 and is now on its 14th season, comes with occupational hazards of the caloric kind and it surely has caused Buddy’s weight to spike over the years.

Here are some excerpts from the article that featured him on People magazine.

“I just woke up one morning and looked at myself and was like, ‘Come on, you’ve gotta stop eating,’ ” he says. “It wasn’t like a health scare or anything like that it really was really just, I wasn’t moving the same and was feeling kind of sluggish.”

Using a program called OPTAVIA, which was recommended to him by his brothers-in-law and calls for six small meals per day, he’s lost 35 lbs., and he has 15 more to go to reach his goal weight.

“There’s a million ways to lose weight,” he says. “This worked for me — you just have to find what works for you and try to stick to it.”

Adds Valastro: “I’m not doing it because I’m trying to look good, I’m doing it to feel better. I feel so much better now. But when you do lose weight, you feel good, you do look better, and you know, your clothes fit.”

Buddy-Valastro-Before-After-5&1Meal
Left photo is Buddy Valastro before going on the OPTAVIA Optimal 5&1 Plan. Right photo is him 35 lbs. lighter and healthier. Looking real good, Buddy!

Congratulations to you Buddy! Well done and thanks for inspiring thousands of people with your weight loss story.

With that, here are the reasons why people are loving the 5&1 Plan.

5. Clinically Proven To Be Effective

Medifast is a clinically proven diet meal replacement plan that has been found to be effective for weight loss in studies conducted at reputable medical institutions in the United States. Such effectiveness in helping people lose weight has made this diet one of the most highly rated diet programs today.

To this day, Medifast remains highly recommended by doctors since it has been clinically tested and proven to be effective and safe for losing weight.

4. Highly Recommended By Doctors

You should have more confidence in a diet program that has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors to over 1 million people worldwide since 1980.

To this day, Medifast remains highly recommended by doctors since it has been clinically tested and proven to be effective and safe for losing weight. People who have lost weight through this revolutionary diet program swear by the simplicity and effectiveness of the program.

3. Easy To Follow Diet Program

Medifast meals offer over 100 different meal choices, including shakes, soups, stew, oatmeal, chili, hot and cold drinks, scrambled eggs, bars, and puddings. delivered to your home.

This diet program is centered around the “5 & 1 Plan” meal combination. With the “5 and 1 Plan”, you eat 6 times a day — 5 Medifast meals and 1 “Lean and Green Meal” that you prepare yourself. The lean and green meal can include up to seven ounces of chicken, turkey or fish, of up to five ounces of beef, pork or lamb. The lean and green meal can be eaten at any time during the day.

Users of this diet program attest to the simplicity of the 5 &1 Plan. When asked if this is something that they would recommend to other dieters, without hesitation, they said that they would highly recommend Medifast over any other weight loss program.

Users of this diet program attest to the simplicity of the 5 &1 Plan. When asked if this is something that they would recommend to other dieters, without hesitation, they said that they would highly recommend Medifast over any other weight loss program.

2. Well-Balanced, Pre-Portioned Meal Replacements

The science behind Medifast’s meal replacements are resoundingly sound. Calorie controlled, packed with vitamins and nutrients and with exact counts of carbohydrates and protein, this attention to detail makes losing weight much, much less of a chore.

[Medifast 5&1 Update: In October 2015, Medifast relaunched its Medifast 5&1 plan as Medifast Go! weight loss plan. For more detailed information on the Medifast Go! plan, you can check out our complete review here.]

Meal replacements are the main foundation of the Medifast weight loss program. These meal replacements can be protein bars, fortified protein shakes, or the increasingly popular Flavors of Home meals that Medifast now offers.

Watch the video below to learn more details about the Medifast 5&1 Plan.

As previously mentioned, Medifast is no longer about nutritious protein bars or fortified protein shakes. They have also introduced Flavors of Home to give dieters more variety with their choices. Watch the video below to learn more about this.

Do You See Yourself Losing …
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1. It Simply Works

Here is how Medifast really works as explained by Gwen Peterson, a certified health coach at Take Shape for Life (TSFL). TSFL is the coaching arm of Medifast, which provides support and guidance in the event that you feel such is needed during your weight loss journey with Medifast.

Each meal replacement serving counts as one meal out of your daily 5 while on the 5&1 Plan. Another great feature of this weight loss program is that you can completely interchange the meal replacements, which means that you can eat any of the five meal replacement servings per day in any order and still achieve your weight loss goals. Also read: Save now with the latest diet coupons.

Lean-and-Green-Cookbook-b
The Medifast Lean and Green cookbook is just one of many ways to add variety to your program. Photo courtesy of Medifast.

As for the Lean & Green portion of the program, this may be any meal that consists of up to seven ounces of chicken, fish, or turkey plus some vegetables. You can also have up to five ounces of lean beef, pork, or lamb with vegetables. You can eat your Lean and Green meal anytime you decide to, which is really a great option.

As for the “Green” part of the plan, Medifast gives you vegetable options based on carbohydrate level tracker to help you make better informed decisions to help you lose weight.

Medifast has been introducing more variety in their meal replacement options. To date, you have more than 70 meal replacements to choose from so that you can enjoy these meals in any order and enjoy them any time of the day.

With the variety of meals to choose from, you have meals or snacks that you can eat depending on whether you desire something savory, chewy, sweet, crunchy, hearty, hot, or cold. In short, Medifast has formulated meals to satisfy your cravings.

Each of the low-glycemic Medifast meal replacements that you will be consuming are individually portioned, low fat, and calorie- and carbohydrate-controlled meals which are fortified with the essential vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy and yet, sustained weight loss.

An important aspect of these meal replacements is that these have been specially formulated to make you feel satisfied enough until your next meal.

An important aspect of these meal replacements is that these have been specially formulated to make you feel satisfied enough until your next meal.

These meal replacements are also formulated to ensure that you get your daily nutritional requirements while you lose weight on the program. Most of these meal replacements are soy-based, which is a great source of protein.

Do You See Yourself Losing …
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Medifast has formulated various meal replacement plans for you to choose from. The diet program offers plans for women, men, and diabetics. If you are lactose intolerant, Medifast also has a package available for you.

If you want to read more about why we think Medifast can help you lose weight, we suggest that you read these Medifast diet reviews.

Do you think Medifast is the right diet for you? Do you have any plans of using this diet program to lose weight? Have you used Medifast before? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Do You See Yourself Losing …
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Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate

26 thoughts on “5 Smart Reasons Why People Love The 5&1 Plan

  1. The gradual weight loss that comes with Medifast makes me look very healthy. I don’t get people asking me if I got sick. As a matter of fact, I’m getting compliments and I know that they’re not just pulling my leg because I actually feel good. Modesty aside, I’m confident that I look good.

    Reply
  2. I tried IF for about two months and every single day, I was dizzy. I don’t even know how I lasted two months on that kind of diet. A friend told me about Medifast and I thought it was a better and safer option for me. Well, I was right. I didn’t get dizzy. I ate regularly and saw good results after just a couple of weeks. It’s definitely a lot better than starving myself. I’m still on Medifast as I’m writing this. I want to lose more weight and I want to do it safely.

    Reply
  3. The Medifast 5 &1 Plan is a lot safer than IF. In my opinion, it’s even more effective. I tried IF and I just couldn’t deal with the hunger. The fasting time is just too long for me that I end up pigging out when it’s time to eat. I feel a lot better with the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan.

    Reply
  4. If Buddy Valastro can stick it out with Medifast, then maybe I can as well. Imagine all the sweets Buddy faces every day. It’s pretty tough to avoid all that but it seems that Buddy conquered it all. I find that very inspiring.

    Reply
    1. First and foremost, Buddy is a chef. He knows what good food is. For him to choose Medifast means a great deal for folks out there looking for great tasting meal replacement dishes.

      Reply
  5. I don’t mind eating 6 meals a day but then again, who would? My initial reaction to eating 6 meals a day was very negative. I couldn’t exactly figure out how to prepare 6 meals every single day. I can’t even come up with dinner for the family on a regular basis, what more 6 meals in a day. Come on. Anyway, that was before I knew that Medifast has some prepacked foods that I could eat the whole day. So the moral of the story is to get to know the program first and I’m glad I did that with Medifast. It’s really a very easy program to stick with.

    Reply
  6. Ruth Anne’s story is amazing. She lost 65 lbs. That’s a lot! I also like the way her husband gently recommended Medifast. Her story is very inspiring. I just need to lose about 10 lbs and I can’t seem to do it. Hopefully, I can do it with Medifast.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing the video of Flavors of Home. I’m going to give that a try now. It looks pretty good. At least, I don’t have to cook. I think that’s exactly what I need to start eating healthy.

    Reply
    1. Medifast is really all about eating healthy. I got into it to get in shape. I got more than that. Now, I feel really good. I feel healthy. It’s really a wonderful feeling knowing you’re eating well. There’s no hassle and it’s easy to take their foods around so that you’re always eating right. That’s very important if you want to stay in shape all the time.

      Reply
  8. Now I understand why Medifast had to some major rebranding. With the expansion they would really have to do it. If not, they’ll end up competing with a company that goes by the same name. For the folks halfway across the world, it’s good that they can finally experience Medifast. For the folks (like me) here in the States, nothing has changed. I’m really happy to know that.

    Reply
    1. Unfortunately, most of Medifast’s meals are soy-based. Just an FYI, most diet protein shakes and bars are soy-based. You will also encounter this with other leading diets in the market today. However, if you can skip the diet protein shakes and bars provided by most commercial diets and go with their meals instead, then you might like to consider Nutrisystem instead. Nutrisystem has a vegetarian meal plan which users have rated quite favorably. You can check out our review of Nutrisystem HERE. Hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. I would have to agree with Janet. Nutrisystem is one of the top commercial diets that offer a good selection of vegetarian meals. They’re all packed with natural food ingredients. There’s less chances of experiencing any kind of side effects unlike a soy-based diet where some dieters experience dizziness. But then, of course, it’s better to get with a doctor first before starting any diet. Nonetheless, their four-week vegetarian plan is very doable. I like it because it’s gender specific. I’m on the women’s plan and I find it very flexible.

        Reply
  9. Are you guys familiar with the Cake Boss, also known as Buddy Valestro? He lost weight on the Optavia Program. His photos on IG prove it. He clarifies that he isn’t paid to be on the Program. As a matter of fact, he’s not even endorsing it. He just said that it’s what works for him. He looks great. I’m a fan of his show and I can tell how much he has lost weight. I’m inspired 🙂

    Reply
  10. The health coaches of Medifast are from Optavia. The food from both brands are the same. Both diet menus have Lean and Green Meals. Their snacks are the same. The only difference between the two is that Optavia gives you a chance to do without the meals in the long run. By then, you’re part of a community that’s going to support you. Other than that, both diets are one and the same.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for the clarification regarding the 5&1 plan. It really is quite confusing but that happens when a product is rebranding. It’s good to know that Optimal and Medifast are one and the same.

    Reply
    1. It’s weird because I came across some websites that are actually comparing the products. I’m just wondering, can we combine the two so that we could have more choices?

      Reply
      1. Those websites comparing the two brands are just meant to confuse us even more. Don’t mind them. There’s no need to compare since they’re both the same. To answer your question, I don’t think you can combine the two since they both offer the same food choices. They’re just grouped in different plans. Hope that answers your question.

        Reply
    2. Yes, they are exactly the same. It can get pretty confusing since Medifast still has their website and Optavia (where you’ll find Optimal 5&1 Plan) has theirs as well. Look closely, you’ll realize they’re exactly alike.

      Reply
  12. I like that I have a wide variety of choices from Medifast. I can look forward to eating something new everyday and still lose weight.

    Reply
  13. With the Medifast Achieve Plan. we get two lean and green meals, instead of one. That really helps in terms of not feeling sort of left out when eating with my family.

    Reply
  14. I wasn’t really crazy about the so called “packaged” food. But I took a chance on it and I’m surprised on how good it actually tastes. Now, I eat it all the time. I think Medifast is great!

    Reply
  15. I’m learning a lot from the lean and green cookbook. I can cook my own meals when I have the time. But I can also order my meals from Medifast when I’m pressed for time. That’s how flexible Medifast is. I think it’s really wonderful.

    Reply
  16. It’s about time that diet programs guide us how to make healthy meals. Most diet programs make us depend on them for all the meals. With Medifast, we are guided to come up with our own meal for the day.

    Reply

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