I get a lot of questions about the medifast “lean and green meal.” If you are not familiar with this, it is the larger meal that you prepare each day while on this diet. You do get to eat five prepackaged meals per day that you really just have to assemble. But, the “lean and green” does require a little food preparation. However, you can make this very simple too. The only real requirement is that you have 5 – 7 ounces of lean protein and three servings of vegetables. You can accomplish this in anyway that you wish.
Still, people often write me and ask if they can just skip the lean and green meal and or if they can just eat a prepackaged meal instead. In other words, they would be eating six “medifast meals” while forgoing the lean and green. I’ll tell you what I think about this practice in the following article.
Why Most People Consider Skipping Their Lean And Green: I find that overwhelmingly people want to omit this because they think that it will allow them to lose weight more quickly. Roughly each prepackaged meal is about 100 calories each. Obviously, very few home made meals are going to meet this criteria whether it’s “lean” or not. So, if you’ve consumed your 5 ready made meals, you’ve only at 500 calories for the entire day. People decide that they don’t want to ruin this hard work by eating a larger meal. I understand this thinking but I know for a fact that it’s flawed because I extensively experimented with cutting it out and it backfired on me.
Why I Think You Should NOT Skip It: My Experience: Here’s what most people don’t understand. The calories for this main meal are already built into the program. This diet is designed so that you’re taking in around 1200 calories per day. This is an acceptable low amount by most any standards. Having 500 calories before this gives you a lot of wiggle room with your main meal. Even if you take some liberties, you’ll often still be in the 1200 -1300 range unless you just don’t follow the guidelines.
Understanding That Ketosis Requires Regular Meals: Medifast works because ketosis works. Since you’re eating a low amount of calories and a high amount of protein, you’re body is sort of forced into burning fat rather than carbohydrates. But, you will slow this process if you don’t give your body the fuel that it needs to do it’s job. If you watch The Biggest Loser, you know that Jillian gets on the contestants when they don’t eat enough. The same thing is going to happen if you start skipping meals. I know this for certain from personal experience.
So, don’t cheat yourself. You really don’t need to. I really believe that if you eat regularly within reason, you’re going to have better results. And, the lean and green is beneficial not just in terms of keeping your metabolism going, but also in terms of teaching you how to plan and prepare healthy meals. You will need this later when you go to the maintenance phase of the plan.