By: Jen Blackstock
There are so many weight loss programs out there, sometimes it is hard just to keep track of them, let alone choose one that will work. Add in the factor of diabetes, and the path to weight loss becomes harder to navigate and often contains land mines that we never even knew existed.
We want to lose weight and to do it the healthy way. And, if our program can control or even eliminate our type 2 diabetes, even better! We all see the participants on such weight-loss shows as The Biggest Loser, who lose a bunch of weight fast and then, a few weeks later, are told that their diabetes is gone. They are skinnier, and even better, they no longer have to rely on meds! Almost seems too good to be true, and certainly doesn’t sound like anything that can be done at home.
But there is one option out there that is gaining attention from both doctors and those seeking to lose weight: the Medifast for Diabetes Program. Medifast has been around for several years and is listed on the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies to work for. Their plans were originally only available through physicians, but they recently opened up to online orders, though they highly stress checking with your doctor to choose the plan that is right for you.
So what is the plan all about? Serious weight-loss and diabetes control. This is not a plan to lose only a few pounds. Rather, it is a plan built for those looking to lose 100 pounds or more. The most common option is the 5-1 Plan. This option consists of using 5 Medifast meal replacements and 1 “Lean and Green Meal” prepared fresh per day, with daily caloric intake of 800 to 1,000 calories. The meal replacements are ordered through the company and certified Low Glycemic, which is the touchstone of the plan. A sample day could be Medifast brand scrambled eggs, chocolate shakes, chicken soup, and brownie, all prepared and ready to cook, added to one cooked meal consisting of a lean meat and vegetables.
What sets this weight-loss program apart from the hundreds out there is the scientific studies conducted by major hospitals, including Johns Hopkins University. JHU has conducted several studies on Medifast, with one concluding that Medifast is more effective at controlling diabetes than an ADA-recommended program. The study found that approximately 40 percent of the Medifast participants lost 5 percent or more of their initial weight, compared with 12 percent of those on the standard ADA diet. Additionally, 24 percent of Medifast users decreased or eliminated their diabetes medication, compared to none on the standard ADA diet. Participants in the Medifast group achieved significantly lower levels of fasting glucose, insulin, A1c, lipids, and blood pressure after losing weight.
It should be noted that the Medifast program is NOT suitable for type 1 diabetes, due to increased susceptibility to hypoglycemia from the restricted calorie and glycemic levels.
Medifast is available through several distributors or online. For more information, please see www.medifast1.com/weightloss/diabetes.aspx
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