By CANDICE GREY
Update: Dec 27, 2022
- Custom plans
- Professional checks every so often
- Step-by-step approach
The Medi-Weightloss system should not be connected with the term “diet.” Instead, Medi claims to be a lifestyle-changing program to get you on the right course to long-term weight loss and healthy habits. This program is not done solo; it will be under supervision by a professional weight loss specialist.
Started in 2006, Medi headquarters in Tampa, Florida. They are not just tied to Florida, though; 89 clinical offices are found in 26 states. With weekly consultation meetings to check your progress, nutritional plans, and supplements, the Medi system is geared toward those needing a kick-start to lose a large amount of weight; under medical supervision and focused—not a lot of room for slacking.
What is The Medi-Weightloss Program?
The Medi-Weightloss Program is a diet that is high in protein and low in carbs. It is meant to help people lose weight in a healthy way that lasts.
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It was first made by businessman Edward Kaloust in 2005. The company says that more than 300,000 people across the country have used the program to lose a total of 7.5 million pounds. On the company’s website, it says that the program can help you lose up to 20 pounds in the first month by making a plan that fits your specific needs.
A low-carb, high-protein diet and weekly visits to one of the company’s clinics are both parts of the plan. It may also involve using supplements, prescription drugs, or nutrient injections with the help of a Medi-Weightloss health professional.
The company also has a number of other programs for specific groups, such as the Medi-Weightloss:
- Adolescent Program
- Corporate Wellness Program
- Preventive Medicine Program for those with specific health conditions
How Does The Medi-Weightloss Clinic Work?
The Medi-Weightloss Program starts with an initial consultation with a medical professional at one of the company’s clinics.
During your consultation, the professional will collect information about your health history and may ask you to go through several tests, such as a blood panel or body composition analysis.
The medical professional will use this information to create a custom diet and exercise plan for you. Depending on your needs, they may also prescribe medications, supplements, or nutrient injections.
The program also offers convenient packaged meals as part of its Medi-Weightloss Signature Menu, which you can purchase for an additional fee.
The program is divided into three consecutive stages:
- Acute weight loss phase
- Short-term maintenance phase
- Wellness phase
Acute weight loss phase
In the acute weight loss phase, you eat mostly high protein foods and limit carbohydrates to help your body enter ketosis, a metabolic state in which you burn fat for fuel instead of carbs.
Calorie recommendations aren’t available on the Medi-Weightloss website, perhaps because the company’s medical counselors tailor their recommendations to individuals’ needs and goals.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not eating enough calories can lead to adverse effects.
Unlike other diet plans, the Medi-Weightloss Program doesn’t require you to log the number of overall calories or carbohydrates you consume during this phase.
Instead, you should track the number of calories you eat only from protein foods, as well as the number of servings you eat of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and other foods.
Short-term maintenance phase
Once you get closer to your weight loss goal, you progress into the short-term maintenance phase, which allows you to slowly increase the number of calories and carbohydrates you consume each day.
Generally, you’ll continue going to weekly check-ins at a Medi-Weightloss clinic because a medical professional may need to make minor adjustments to your diet and protein intake.
The final part of the program is the wellness phase, which begins once you meet your weight loss goal.
During the wellness phase, you’ll likely need less frequent clinic check-ins. You can also increase your intake of calories and carbohydrates.
For most people, the Medi-Weightloss Program recommends transitioning to a 40/30/30 plan, which is made up of about:
- 40% of total daily calories from carbohydrates
- 30% from healthy fats
- 30% from protein
Depending on which phase of the program you are in, the exact rules for what foods you should eat change.
But the program usually has you eat a lot of fruits, vegetables that don’t have a lot of starch, heart-healthy fats, and lean protein sources. Since the first part of the program, “acute weight loss,” is meant to get you into ketosis, you may need to cut back on high-carb foods.
Here are some foods that the diet says you should eat:
- Apples, oranges, berries, kiwis, pears, peaches, and plums are some of the fruits.
- Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, kale, and tomatoes are all non-starchy vegetables.
- Lean cuts of beef and pork, seafood, eggs, tofu, and tempeh are all good sources of protein.
- Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and cashews are some of the nuts.
- Seeds: hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds
- Olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil are all cooking oils.
- Water, coffee, and unsweetened tea are the drinks.
Some foods that are higher in carbs, but not too much, are also allowed.
- Milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter are all dairy products.
- Quinoa, brown rice, oats, and farro are all whole grains.
- Potatoes, corn, peas, beets, yams, and parsnips are all starchy vegetables.
- Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils are all legumes.
On the Medi-Weightloss Program, you should eat less foods that are highly processed, full of carbs, or have extra sugar added to them.
Here are some foods you may need to limit on your diet:
- Fast food, ready-made meals, fried foods, chips, and pretzels are all processed foods.
- Refined carbs include white noodles, white bread, and crackers.
- Baked goods, cookies, cakes, and candies are all sweets.
- Beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks
- Sugar comes in white, brown, maple syrup, and honey forms.
Does It Help You Lose Weight?
A 2020 study found that after 39 weeks, people who used the Medi-Weightloss Program lost an average of 21% of their body weight. During the program, they also lost a lot of body fat and fat around their bellies.
Keep in mind, though, that Medi-Weightloss paid for this study and hired the people who worked on it. So, these results could be wrong.
Even though there isn’t any peer-reviewed research on the effects of this diet in particular, studies show that eating patterns like this may help people lose weight.
For example, many studies have shown that low-carb diets can help people lose weight and cut down on body fat.
Other research shows that eating more protein can make you feel fuller, decrease your appetite, and change the way your body looks. A medical professional will also give advice and do regular check-ins as part of the plan.
Some studies show that this could also help you lose weight. It can help you stay accountable by giving you more support and direction.back to menu ↑
The Medi-Weightloss Program might help people lose weight, but it might also have a number of other benefits.
First of all, the program is made just for you and includes personalized advice from a health professional as well as detailed tools like shopping lists, recipes, and workout plans.
This may be better than a one-size-fits-all diet plan that doesn’t take your individual needs into account if you have a health condition, food allergies, or take medicine.
It also lets a health care professional help you and make changes to your plan as needed, which can help you succeed in the long run.
The plan is also broken up into different steps, which may be good for people who like a more structured plan.
It also makes it easier to move into the last phase, called the “wellness phase,” and lets you stay there as long as you want. This helps you keep the weight off over time.back to menu ↑
When deciding if Medi-Weightloss is right for you, there are a few bad things to think about.
First of all, there isn’t much research on the program itself, other than studies that were paid for by the company.
Second, some of the herbs in Medi-Weightloss supplements, like hoodia, guarana, and Gymnema sylvestre, can cause side effects or interact with other medicines. Most people probably wouldn’t need to take these supplements.
Also, the plan can be very strict and hard to stick to, especially during the first phase of weight loss.
Because many high-carbohydrate foods are off limits, it can be hard to eat out or with friends, which can make it harder to stick to the diet in the long run.
Depending on which clinic you go to, prices can vary, but Medi-Weightloss programs can also be very pricey.
For example, the first consultation usually costs between $250 and $300, and check-ins cost an extra $75 to $100 per week. This is a lot more expensive than popular diet plans like WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Noom.
On the other hand, medical nutrition therapy with a dietitian is covered by most health insurance plans. This is a much cheaper way to get personalized therapy for losing weight.
If you buy packaged foods, supplements, or medicines in addition to the program, the total cost will go up even more.
Lastly, remember that the program requires check-ins at one of the 90 Medi-Weightloss clinics around the country once a week or once a month. So, the program might not be the best choice for people who don’t live close to a clinic.back to menu ↑
Sample Meal Plan
Your diet plan can be different depending on what nutrients you need, how much weight you want to lose, and what phase of the program you are in.
Here is a sample meal plan for 3 days to give you an idea of what your menu might look like during the first few weeks of the program when you are losing weight quickly.
Sample Day 1
- Breakfast: mushroom, tomato, and bell pepper omelet
- Salmon baked in garlic with asparagus for lunch
- Dinner: a salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, and avocado.
- Apple slices with peanut butter are good snacks.
Sample Day 2
- Breakfast: a smoothie made with almond milk, protein powder, flaxseed, spinach, and berries.
- Tofu stir-fried with peppers, broccoli, green beans, and ginger was served for lunch.
- Dinner: beef and cabbage soup with veggie side salad
- Turkey rolls with tomatoes and lettuce are a snack.
Sample Day 3
- Scrambled eggs with garlic and kale for breakfast.
- Pork chops baked with cauliflower rice and broccoli for lunch.
- Dinner: chicken with lemon pepper and Brussels sprouts cooked in butter.
- Chia pudding with fresh fruit is a snack.
Sample Shopping List
During the wellness phase of a Medi-Weightloss plan, you might eat the foods on the following shopping list. This shopping list is not all-inclusive, and if you choose to follow the Medi-Weightloss diet, you will be given your own personalized nutrition program and list of foods to help you reach your health goals.
- Non-starchy vegetables (bok choy, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, zucchini)
- Fruits with low sugar (avocado, apricot, oranges, berries)
- Low-starch beans and peas (black beans, lentils, mung beans, tofu)
- Slim meats (chicken and turkey breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin)
- Fish (halibut, tuna, salmon, cod, haddock) (halibut, tuna, salmon, cod, haddock)
- Whole cereals (quinoa, brown rice, amaranth)
- Milk and cheese (yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, or soy alternative)
- Seeds and nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, chia, flax, hemp)
- Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil) (olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil)
The Process and Tips
At the first appointment, the patient meets with a doctor or nurse to do some preliminary tests. During the first visit, the provider will do a number of tests, screenings, and other measurements. These may include an EKG, urinalysis, blood panel, body composition analysis, and other vitals. The provider also looks at your health history and any prescriptions you are currently taking.
After testing and talking with a doctor, the provider makes a personalized diet and exercise plan that puts an emphasis on accountability, education, and support. The plan could include prescriptions for weight loss pills, dietary supplements, or vitamin-based injections.
Your health is checked every week, and supplements, prescriptions, or injections may be given. You can also ask questions and make any changes to your plan that you need to at this time. You could talk to a registered dietitian, a fitness trainer, or a nurse.
The first stage is when you lose a lot of weight quickly. During this stage, the number of calories may be quite low. Protein sources provide about 500 to 700 calories, and fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and other things like condiments and broths add a few more calories. Patients don’t write down how many calories or carbs they eat. Instead, they keep track of how many protein calories they eat and how many servings of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and other foods they eat.
For example, a patient may be told to eat 700 protein calories, at least two servings of fruits or vegetables, two servings of fat, and four servings of other calories. The total number of protein calories that are recommended is usually changed at least once during the acute phase, based on the results of metabolic tests and the level of activity.
As patients get closer to their weight loss goal, they move on to the next phase, which is the maintenance phase. During this phase, most patients still come in once a week.
When patients reach their goal weight, they move on to the third wellness phase. They start going to the clinic once a month and may have to go through more tests. During this phase, patients switch to a 40/30/30 eating plan, where 40% of calories come from carbs, 30% from fats, and 30% from protein. This is the same as some other low-carb diets.
When you reach your goal weight, you move on to meetings once a month. During this phase, your doctor may change your diet and suggest supplements or tests at each appointment.
The company does not provide pre-packaged meals, but it does sell a few supplements and ready-to-eat menu items. Patients are given a list of foods to help them shop for groceries, cook food at home, and choose restaurants. The main focus of patient education is getting people to keep food diaries to make them more responsible. At weekly check-ins, people are given advice and encouragement to help them stick to the eating plan. A patient portal on the web has tools to track progress and recipes.
The company offers a variety of services, such as help for adults and teens with obesity and metabolic syndrome, medical nutrition therapy and counseling, behavioral counseling, fitness recommendations, and screenings for type 2 diabetes and other diseases.back to menu ↑
Is Medi-Weightloss Safe?
Some worries have been raised about the safety of the Medi-Weightloss program.
First, the diet plan is limited, especially in the beginning when the symptoms are the worst. People who have had trouble with their eating in the past should not use Medi-Weightloss.
Putting food into “good” or “bad” categories and keeping track of what you eat can lead to eating disorders and make your relationship with food worse.
Athletes and women who are pregnant or nursing should also stay away from this program. Too few carbs are allowed during pregnancy, which could cause deficiencies.
Athletes and other very active people also need a certain amount of carbs to fuel their bodies, so they would probably feel tired on this diet.
If you take a drug to lower your blood sugar, it might need to be changed. Second, the possible supplements and medications you may be given are a much bigger worry.
Some of these supplements contain herbs like hoodia and Gymnema sylvestre, which may interact with medications or cause side effects.
Hoodia might cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, skin reactions, or a faster heart rate or higher blood pressure. In high doses, Gymnema sylvestre has been linked to hypoglycemia, weakness, trembling, sweating too much, and muscular dystrophy.
It is not clear what the dose of any of these drugs would be on Medi-Weightloss, so it is not possible to say how safe they are. If you are thinking about using Medi-Weightloss, you should talk to your doctor first so you can weigh the pros and cons.back to menu ↑
Is Medi-Weightloss For You?
Medi-Weightloss isn’t quite in line with federal guidelines for a healthy, balanced diet to help with health and weight management. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that Americans eat a balanced mix of protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables, and fat. During the first two phases of the Medi-Weightloss plan, carbs are cut back on a lot, and they are still limited during the wellness phase.
Medi-Weightloss is a low-calorie diet, and the number of calories a person needs each day will depend on their weight loss prescription plan. A calorie deficit is a good way to lose weight, but your body and brain still need calories to work. Because of this, it can be helpful to know how many calories you should eat each day, whether you want to lose weight or keep it the same.
The USDA says that cutting calories is the best way to lose weight in a healthy way.
This number can change a lot based on a person’s age, gender, weight, height, and how active they are. Use this calculator to figure out how many calories you should eat each day.
The first two phases of the Medi-Weightloss plan don’t follow federal guidelines for a healthy diet because they have strict rules about carbs. Even though the third phase is better balanced, it still has less carbs than what the USDA recommends (40% of daily calories instead of 45% to 65%).back to menu ↑
The Bottom Line: Is Medi-Weightloss a Rip-Off or Worth to Try?
Different people have different needs, so there is no one diet that works for everyone. Most people say that the Medi-Weightloss program is very organized, which can help some people who are trying to lose weight. But for some people, it might be too limiting.
If you are thinking about this plan, contact your local Medi-Weightloss provider and ask specific questions about cost and insurance before you invest. You could also ask to see a sample meal plan to see if it’s something you can actually stick to. Talk to your health care provider to get advice and recommendations. If you ask more questions, it will be easier to find a program that meets your needs.
Remember that you may not need to go on a long-term or short-term diet, and many diets, especially long-term ones, just don’t work. We don’t recommend fad diets or other ways to lose weight that won’t work in the long run. Instead, we give you the facts so you can make the best choice for your nutritional needs, genetic make-up, budget, and goals.
If your goal is to lose weight, keep in mind that just because you lose weight doesn’t mean you’re at your healthiest. There are many other ways to be healthy. Your overall health is also affected by how much you move, sleep, and do other things. The best diet is always the one that fits your lifestyle and is well-balanced.
- Custom plans
- Professional checks every so often
- Step-by-step approach
- Difficult to keep up
- There isn't enough unbiased research to back up the methods
- Prescribed supplements may or may not be safe