I am often asked how much cheating is allowed on Medifast or if you will still lose weight if you cheat. Well I guess that depends on what you mean by cheating. Because technically, I’ve been cheating on my diet the whole time. However, I think there is a safe and effective way to do it, which I will discuss in the next article.

Understand how Medifast really works: The reason this diet is so effective is really threefold. First, you are simply consuming fewer calories than normal, since the foods are low in calories and carbohydrates. Second, you’re eating six small meals throughout the day, which helps speed up your metabolism and fight hunger. Finally, because you eat fewer carbs and more protein, your body enters a metabolic state called ketosis that encourages it to burn its own fat.

Ketosis is truly the promised land of this diet and where you finally want to be. You can test this by using ketone strips, which will definitely tell you if you have reached this state. (You can get them at most drug stores or supermarkets.)

Does cheating on the Medifast diet knock you out of ketosis?: You will stop losing weight as fast and as dramatically if you stop ketosis. However, the good news is that it only takes a few days to get back in. So there really is no need to panic if you realize ketone strips are out. And you’re much more likely to get out of this state if you cheat by eating carbs. You’ll be in much better shape if you cheat on protein. So, technically, it’s better to steal a juicy burger than trying to steal a donut or piece of cake.

The trick that I think has actually helped me lose weight with Medifast: Ok, now I’m going to admit that I don’t always stick to things as they are designed. But, I’m smart about it. I add stuff to my prepackaged foods several times a day. What I mean by this is that I add fat and sugar free syrups to smoothies, puddings and cappuccino. Sometimes I also add fat-free whipped cream. I also add fat-free cheese, sour cream, and hummus to chili, eggs, and soups/stews. I also sometimes add soda water to smoothies for a fountain-type soda drink. I use the dry ingredients for the pudding to make “safe” muffins, cakes, and cookies.

Bottom line, I take a lot of liberties with food, but I try to use fat-free or sugar-free ingredients when I make this. This gives me more variety and makes me more excited to eat the food.

The liberties I take with lean, green food: Each day, you will eat five prepackaged meals on this diet and prepare one meal yourself. (Some people will skip this meal, but you shouldn’t because I think doing this will slow down your metabolism. I’ve experimented with this and it has almost always slowed down my results.) glycemic vegetables and for the most part, I’ll stick with this. But, if my family is eating minced steak, sometimes I’m not going to make chicken breast just for myself. Or, if my family has sweet green peas, I’m not going to deny them because they’re high on the glycemic index. And every once in a while, I won’t say no to a hamburger if I take the bun off.

I figure if I’m eating a “lean, mostly green food,” I’m doing pretty well. And even with the little slip-ups, I’m still eating WAY less calories and carbs than normal. And, if my weight loss is any indication, I’m fine.

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