Everyone wants to be slim and trim. Keeping your body weight in check is beneficial for your health, as it can reduce the risk of various diseases and disorders. Medifast and Weight Watchers are popular diet programs, but are they truly effective? Read the comparison of Medifast vs Weight Watchers below to find out which one that’s better for you.
Continue reading below to learn further about:
– The overview and history of each diet program
– How each diet program works to achieve weight loss
– The available foods and snacks in each diet program
– The effectiveness of Medifast vs Weight Watchers
– Which diet program that is more recommended for the money
Medifast is a weight loss program which is based on specially crafted meal replacements. It has been around since 1980, and it is now one of the most popular diet programs in the market. It was developed by William Vitale. See also: Medifast vs Optavia.
The company initially sold meal replacements through primary physicians. However, the company now sells meal replacements directly to consumers. Medifast’s meals include dehydrated meals, snacks, and dried shake powders which can be easily shipped and stored, and then prepared at home quickly without requiring any additional ingredient.
The meal replacements are suitable for substituting most foods. That said, depending on your particular diet plan, you may still eat one self-selected normal meal and one self-selected snack daily. Medifast vs Weight Watchers will take you to eat small yet frequent meals, usually about six times per day, with some meals being small-sized snacks.
Medifast offers two diet plan options: Go and Flex. The difference between them is mostly about simplicity and personalization. Both plans involve some self-prepared ‘lean and green’ meals, which are meals that are made from low-fat protein sources and non-starchy vegetables. In other words, it excludes corns, potatoes, carrots, peas, and squash.
Medifast Go is simple to follow, so it is great for busy or practical people. It provides everything except one meal every day. You will get five meal replacements and a guide for choosing an ideal ‘lean and green’ meal for dinner.
Medifast Flex offers more variety and personalization, so it is great if you want to customize your diet to suit a particular need or preference. It includes four meal replacements, which consist of a breakfast, shakes, and bars. It allows you to select ‘lean and green’ meals for lunch and dinner.
Medifast: How It Works
Medifast aims to help in weight loss by giving you frequent low-calorie meals in relatively small portions. This eating pattern is able to induce weight loss without causing significant hunger, which commonly happens if you try to lose weight by skipping meals or reducing your three daily meals.
Eating frequent small meals instead of three large meals has been shown to be able to create calorie deficit without constant hunger. This is an effective way to keep you in your diet, because one of the main reasons why diets fail is the hunger. This method has been proven in multiple studies.
By giving you a low-calorie diet, Medifast helps to reduce your calorie intake. By burning more calories than what you eat, you can burn down the excessive fat in your body and lose some weight. Besides providing meal replacements, Medifast also provides education and support in various forms to their clients.
Medifast: Foods and Snacks
When choosing between Medifast vs Weight Watchers, you certainly want to know which one that has better foods and snacks. Now, let’s take a look at what Medifast offers. The meal replacements from Medifast include prepackaged meals, bars, shakes, drinks, and deserts. All of them have low calories and high proteins, with reduced carbs.
However, the Medifast meals are also fortified with vitamins and minerals in order to provide the recommended nutritional values. So, by going into a Medifast diet, you will not compromise your vitamin or mineral intake. In fact, you can actually fulfill your vitamin and minerals needs better with Medifast’s foods if previously you’ve been used to junk foods. Some foods may have added sugar, but only in small amounts in order to improve the palatability.
One of the daily meals may consist of a snack bar, cruncher snack like pretzel sticks or cheese puffs, or dessert. Medifast has 13 different varieties of snack bars. Meanwhile, for dinner, there are several options of oatmeal and pancakes. Finally, there are also several drinks, including instant cappuccino, low-calorie hot cocoa, smoothies, and milk shakes. Overall, the foods, snacks, and drinks have very good tastes.
Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Medifast for weight loss. In a study over 90 adults with obesity, it is shown that Medifast helped to reduce 12% of body weight, whereas the control group of self-selected low-calorie diet only helped to reduce 7% of body weight.
In a non-randomized study over 1,351 dieters, Medifast was shown to be able to help them lose averagely 26 pounds within a year. Meanwhile, in another study over 77 overweight adults, Medifast could help to reduce 10% of body weight within 12 weeks.
It is reported that some people regain several pounds after they stop dieting. However, after calculating the regain, they still end up with lower body weight than their initial condition. So, we can say that Medifast is effective for weight loss.
Weight Watchers: Overview
Weight Watchers is currently among the most popular weight loss programs with millions of members. Some high-profile celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey have also subscribed to the diet program, and this is perhaps one reason behind the huge number of new subscribers that Weight Watchers received in 2017.
Weight Watchers was founded in 1963 by Jean Nidetch. It was started in New York as a weekly weight-loss group. However, it now has become one of the most sought-after diet programs in the world.
Weight Watchers initially used an exchange system, in which it counted foods according to their servings – pretty much like the diabetes diet exchange system. However, since the 90s, it has implemented a point-based system which assigns values to all foods and drinks according to their calorie and nutrition levels.
Weight Watchers: How It Works
The latest point system that Weight Watchers uses is called SmartPoints. It assigns different values to foods based on their calorie, sugar, fat, and protein contents. Each dieter is given a set of daily points according to the dieter’s age, gender, height, and weight loss goal. Weight Watchers does not restrict any food, so you may still eat any food that you want. However, you must not exceed the limits set by your daily points.
Healthy foods typically have lower points, so you can eat more of them. On the other hand, unhealthy foods like chips, soda, and candy typically have higher points. Fruits and non-starchy veggies have zero points.
The company has introduced a newer, more flexible version of SmartPoints which is called WW Freestyle. It still follows the same principle as SmartPoints, but it has more than 200 foods that have zero points, which include eggs, fish, skinless chicken, tofu, beans, and non-fat plain yogurt. High-protein foods have lower points, whereas foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat have higher points.
You can become a member by subscribing to a Weight Watchers diet plan. There are several benefits that you can get by becoming a member, such as 24/7 online chat support, apps for tracking your progress, group meetings, and a personal coach.
Weight Watchers: Foods and Snacks
When comparing the foods of Medifast vs Weight Watchers, you are probably attracted to Weight Watchers because it allows you to eat any food that you want. So, you won’t have to give up your favorite meals and snacks. However, Weight Watchers actually wants you to make smarter choices by pushing you to eat healthy foods that have low points.
Foods that are encouraged by Weight Watchers are lean proteins (eggs, tofu, fish, skinless chicken, non-fat yogurt), non-starchy vegetables (asparagus, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers), healthy carbohydrates (brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil), and fresh unsweetened fruits.
There are also foods that are discouraged by Weight Watchers. While you can still eat these foods, you can only eat them in small portions, as they come with high points. The foods that are discouraged by Weight Watchers are typically high in sugar or saturated fat. Some examples are candy, cakes, cookies, potato chips, processed meats, and sugary drinks.
Weight Watchers: Effectiveness
Weight Watchers emphasizes that food choices and portion control are very important for weight loss. It says that a healthy diet will actually bring you through a slow yet consistent diet progress, instead of a sudden drop. It says that the dieters can expect to lose about 0.5 – 2 pounds per week.
There are also several studies that show the effectiveness of Weight Watchers. One study showed that people who went through Weight Watchers could lose twice more weight than people who went through a basic diet program. Another study over 1,200 adults with obesity found that Weight Watchers dieters lost significantly more weight than those with self-help materials. Finally, Weight Watchers dieters who successfully completed a one-year diet plan were found to be more successful in maintaining their achieved body weight.
Medifast Vs Weight Watchers
- Graham cracker crunch, plus chocolate & marshmallow is a recipe for DELICIOUS
- Only 110 Calories Per Serving
- Whopping 11 Grams of Protein Per Serving
- Oaty texture and dark indulgent chocolate chips
- 2 ProPoints value per mini bag
- 358 kJ/ 86 kcal per mini bag
Both of them are good diet programs. You can lose weight effectively as long as you are committed to your diet program. However, Weight Watchers is more recommended because of the Smart Points system. It still allows you to eat your favorite meals and snacks, but in controlled amounts. It also encourages you to make healthier food choices.