These are some questions that primarily pertain to individuals who are on the Medifast 5&1 Plan. Please reach out of you are ready to get started on creating a life of optimal health!

How long does it take to get to the fat-burning state? How can I tell when I have reached it?

If you’re following the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, you should reach a fat-burning state in 3-5 days. Once you get there, you’ll feel less hungry and more energized, and you’ll start losing weight at a steady pace.

How do I calculate my BMI?

Experts generally consider a BMI below 19 to be underweight and a BMI of 20 to 25 to be healthy. BMIs of 25 to 30 are generally considered overweight. BMI over 30 are generally considered to be overweight or obese. If you need to lose weight and are looking for a way to make Optimal Health a Reality, Take Shape for Life and our qualified Health Coaches can help.

Calculate your BMI on your Health Coach’s website by clicking here.

What are some condiment recommendations for someone on the 5&1 Plan?

Fresh and dried herbs, sauces and syrups, dairy, baking ingredients, and condiments must all be counted. When you’re on the 5 & 1 Plan, you’re allowed three servings a day of these items. Enjoy two tablespoon of hot sauce on your eggs, a tablespoon of milk in your coffee, or two tablespoons of capers on your fish. For a full list of condiments, as well as salad dressings and other healthy fats, see our complete list:

I love the flavor of the oatmeal and the pancakes, but sometimes I want a different consistency for breakfast. Are there other ways to prepare Medifast Meals and remain on Plan?

Yes! This tip comes from Shirley in Lancaster, PA: “I’m currently on a muffin kick,” she says. She adds four tablespoons of water and a dash of cinnamon to the Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, heats it in the microwave for one minute in a small container, and eats it while it’s still warm. “It’s especially yummy on cold winter days.”

Robin, in New Hampshire, offers this tip for making Pumpkin Spice Cookies: To the regular Pancake mix, add a packet of Splenda, 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Add just enough water to bring it to a cookie-dough consistency, then divide into four cookies, and bake at 350 for eight minutes. She uses the chocolate chip pancake mix in the same way. “Makes a yummy treat or a good meal to bring on the road.”

Can I do the program if I am a vegetarian?

Yes. You’ll find many vegetarian-friendly options (without meat or meat- derivatives, but may contain egg or dairy) in the Medifast Meal lineup.

For specific information, refer to our complete list of Vegetarian Products .

You can substitute Meatless Options for the Lean portion of the Lean & Green Meal. Additional Meatless Options are available on our Lean Options List. Low- carbohydrate vegetables that you can use in your Lean & Green Meal can be found on our Green Options List.

I love soup. How can I thicken Medifast Soups and stay on plan?

Cauliflower is a great thickener. Puree steamed or boiled cauliflower in a food processor, and add it to the soup until you have the consistency you desire. Remember to count it as one of your Green options. Keep pureed cauliflower on hand in a container in the refrigerator, and use it as needed.

Should I take vitamins?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need to take a multivitamin while on the program as the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides you with about 100% of the daily value for 24 vitamins and minerals.

If you have special concerns or have been prescribed supplements by your physician, please consult with that doctor so he or she can adjust the recommendation, if appropriate. If you and your doctor choose to incorporate additional vitamins or minerals, please be aware that liquid, powder, and chewable forms may have added calories and carbohydrates, which could hinder your ability to reach and/or maintain a fat-burning state.

What should I do when I’m on vacation?

Traveling presents countless eating temptations, and so many vacation foods are not part of the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan. Keep your goals in mind while you travel; you want to come back home as healthy as when you left.

So plan ahead! If your Meals aren’t with you, you can’t eat them. Pack food items in your luggage, or, if traveling within the United States, have them shipped to your destination. Planning can help you continue to lose weight while you travel.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy your vacation without overindulging in unhealthy foods. Stick to your Plan, and your trip will be a good memory!

How long does it take to get to the fat-burning state? How can I tell when I have reached it?

If you’re following the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, you should reach a fat-burning state in 3-5 days. Once you get there, you’ll feel less hungry and more energized, and you’ll start losing weight at a steady pace.

How does the Essential1®: Calorie Burn Flavor Infuser boost your metabolism?

Each serving of any Essential1: Calorie Burn product— Meals or Flavor Infusers—contains 100 milligrams of caffeine and 90 milligrams of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant found in green tea. This combination helps recharge your energy and tame your appetite while gently boosting your metabolism, so you can burn more calories. When you enjoy Essential1: Calorie Burn products three times a day, you can burn up to 100 extra calories!

Remember that you can only have up to three servings of Flavor Infusers in one day during the weight-loss phase.

What are some tips to follow to better achieve my goals?

Abraham Lincoln said, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Goal setting is not only an exercise toward goal achievement; it’s a great opportunity to get to know yourself and your motivations. Buy yourself a journal for just such an exercise—or get several small journals to keep your health and fitness, professional, and personal goals organized. And check in with yourself—and a supportive friend—weekly to check out your progress.

Lesson 5 in Dr. A’s workbook, Living a Longer, Healthier Life: The Companion Guide to Dr. A’s Habits of Health, is the perfect place to start with formulating your goals. There, you can read about Structural Tension and more about S.M.A.R.T.

When everyone else is enjoying party food, what can I do to make my vegetables seem more special?

How about a dip that’s completely on Plan?
Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip
Serves 4


  • 1½ cups hearts of palm chopped
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Mozzarella cheese, cubed small
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1½ cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of its juices


  • Place half the hearts of palm in a food processor. Add ricotta cheese, cream cheese, 3 Tbsp Parmessan, and garlic; process until smooth.
  • Add remaining hearts of palm and spinach; pulse briefly.
  • Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Stir in Mozzarella. Top with 1 Tbsp Parmesan.
  • Store in a refrigerator for up to two days.

½ Lean
1½ Green
2 Condiments


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