I often write about the specifics of the Medifast diet. I’m sometimes asked: “Can athletes use Medifast? Does the diet offer enough calories and protein to support exercise?” I’ll answer these questions in the following article.
You Can Exercise On Medifast: The company actually encourages for you to exercise at least 2-3 times per week. For those who don’t normally exercise, the company recommends waiting 2-3 weeks before starting your regimen to give your body time to adjust to less calories. For those that already do exercise, the company recommends that you cut your regimen in half for the first few weeks, again to give your body time to adjust to a lower amount of calories (around 1,000 – 1,300.)
I would not call myself an athlete, but I have built my regimen up to where I exercise regularly and rigorously. I did not exercise when I started, so there was no difficult adjustment period. But, I started by power walking, and eventually added ankle weights and then a weight vest. Today, I do weights, cardio (elliptical and / or treadmill) and try to also do some circuit training. I’ve never had a problem or felt light headed or dizzy. I think that, by now, my body probably feels that being on the diet is a normal way of life. But, every one is different. The company suggests resting and starting again if you experience this.
The Medifast 70 Shakes Are A Good Option For Athletes: There are basically three types of shakes on this plan – the ready to drink, the 55, and the 70. The ready to drink shakes are pre-made. The 55 and 70 require for you to mix them or use a blender. Mostly, women use the 55 and men use the 70 as this one contains more protein. But, the 70 is also appropriate for athletes because of the higher protein content.
The Diet Is Low Glycemic: I feel that this diet can be a good fit for athletes who are looking for a convenient low carb / high protein diet. The foods are mostly prepackaged which makes things very convenient and many are soy based. All are very low in carbohydrates and sugars. This fits in well with many athlete’s dietary requirements as having enough protein to build muscle and support energy expenditure is very important.
And, if there is any doubt that 1,000 – 1,300 calories is not enough to support exercise, you can always tweak or add to your lean and green meal. This is the only time of the day when you cook for yourself and prepare your own meals. You’re suppose to eat 5 – 7 ounces of lean protein, but I wouldn’t see the harm in adding a bit more if you’re going to be burning it via exercise anyway.