ImageMedifast plays nutritionist, chef and personal shopper for those individuals who need to lose weight but lack the time to do it.

With the help of the home delivery meal service, you stand to lose up to 20 pounds in just four weeks. The best part: you will not have to shop, cook or count calories or carbs. In layman's terms, Medifast is a high-protein, fortified meal replacement program, like Slim-Fast, served right to your front door.

Celebrity endorsements include General Hospital veteran Genie Francis and the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kristy Swanson, both of whom have whittled their waistlines on the Medifast program. What makes the approach so popular with clients is that it's simplistic. There is no counting -- not calories, not carbs, not points.

With the Medifast Plan, you receive 5 prepared Medifast meals along with 1 "Lean and Green meal." Similar to a soft diet, the Medifast meals are made up of shakes, bars, drinks, oatmeal, chili, soups, pudding and more.

With up to 70 options to select from, variety is of little concern. Designed to cater to different tastes, there are kosher dairy products, kosher parve products, low glycemic products, soy free products, lactose free products, low lactose products, not vegetarian endorsed products and products formulated for diabetics.

ImageThe "Lean and Green meal" is made up of a lean protein (7 oz. chicken, turkey or fish; or 5 oz. lean beef, pork or lamb) with 1 to 2 teaspoons of ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce or another condiment of your choice. In addition, you'll choose from 2 cups of salad greens and up to 1/2 cup raw vegetables or up to 1 1/2 cups cooked vegetables topped with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Medifast low-fat or non-fat dressing.

On the Medifast program, you eat every 2 to 3 hours to stave off hunger. You drink a minimum of 64 ounces of calorie-free fluids - water is the recommended beverage of choice. You can have one snack a day which can include soy crisps, crackers, fast soups, celery, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free Popsicle, dill pickles or sugar-free gum.

The weight-loss provider has been in business for more than 20 years and has served more than 1 million customers. According to a study done by the esteemed Johns Hopkins University, Medifast enables people to lose weight in a quick, safe manner by lowering calorie intakes. Membership can run about $10 a day depending on which program you sign up for.

There are transition and maintenance phases of the program to help dieters sustain their healthy new habits for life, along with their weight loss. Medifast is a quick fix that promises rapid results, but it is one that can be help you stay slim and trim for the duration.

In addition to promoting weight loss, research also shows that people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes lost twice as much as individuals following the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association. Medifast benefited patients suffering hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and other illnesses.

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