Monday, December 23, 2013

Is Medifast Dangerous?

When I started the Medifast weight loss program almost three months ago, my daughter warned me it was dangerous because it would slow my metabolism. She suspected I would gain my weight back right after I stopped the diet (and then some!) since my body would cling tightly to every calorie after I had starved it for so long with a very low calorie diet (under 1000 calories per day).

Medifast could be risky, but so could being overweight
A web search on the dangers of Medifast turned up another red flag: high protein diets put extra strain on the kidneys; so Medifast could potentially cause such problems as kidney stones.

On various web forums, people also claimed they had to have their gall bladders removed after being on Medifast, due to their relatively low fat intake and rapid weight loss. The Medifast website even states, "Weight-loss programs can induce rapid weight loss which may cause gallstones or gallbladder disease for those at high risk."

The official Medifast website states that if you have any acute or chronic conditions, such as heart attack, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, anorexia or bulimia, "Do not use Medifast until your health care provider says you have recovered or that your condition is stabilized."

In other words, "Dieter beware!" Do your own due diligence -- whether its web research or a frank talk with your health care provider.

Since there is no history of gallstones in my famiily, and I do not have any chronic or acute health conditions, I believe the risk-reward ratio of Medifast is on my side. My BMI is already back in the normal range, and I am looking forward to getting my labs done to see if my cholesterol and glucose levels have decreased (stay tuned!).

As for my daughter's warning, only time will tell. Her wedding is in May and I am determined to still be slim enough to wear a fitted dress and look presentable in the photos. With only 30 pounds to lose altogether, I will not be on Medifast long term and am optimistic that my health condition will actually improve as a result of this marvelous diet.


  1. Tons of estrogen (soy) in this diet. Be aware if you have been diagnosed with estrogen driven cancer.

    1. Yes, there is a lot of soy in this diet. I no longer use any Medifast products and wouldn't recommend the diet as a long-term solution even if there is no Hx of estrogen driven cancer. If I had to do it again, I'd attempt to lose the weight with a more whole food ketogenic approach. That's how I eat now and have kept the weight off for more than two years.

  2. I had to have my gall bladder removed after doing medifast.