Medifast versus Nutrisystem – So, you did your homework and it’s come down to choosing between two popular diets: Nutrisystem and Medifast. But which diet is better for you? Both Nutrisystem and Medifast are built around memberships and the delivery of prepackaged foods supplemented by fresh food from the grocery store.
Because of this, both Nutrisystem and Medifast are potentially both good choices for people who don’t like to cook.
Nutrisystem is ranked higher on the list of best diets with U.S. News & World Reports, while Medifast scores better with readers of Consumer Reports. We’ll look at both weight loss programs and help you make a decision on which weight loss program to choose.
- Ranked #18 in Best Diets Overall – by U.S. News & World Reports
- Consumer Reports Diet Plan Ratings Score: 56
- Nutrisystem Review: WebMD.com
- Summary: Very easy to follow, they send you packaged meals and you eat every 2-3 hours during the day. Supplement their meals with food from the grocery store
Consumer Reports summarizes Nutrisystem as being, “best diet for non-cooks who want to spend the least possible amount on packaged foods.” They deliver preservative-free meals and snacks to your home one a week, and tell you when to eat them.
Nutrisystem claims that you’ll lose 10 pounds in your first month with their Turbo10 plan. and scores high as one of the easiest diets to follow according to U.S. News & World Report. You may supplement their prepared food with your own grocery store foods, (they include a pamphlet to help with choices) and they claim that there are no limits on calories or food groups. (Although smart choices would obviously be fresh fruits and vegetables & lean proteins.)
Nutrisystem focuses on three main areas: portion control, balanced nutrition, and frequent meals:
- Portion Control: You might be eating some really healthy foods, but maybe you don’t realize how important the portion size is. Did you know the average soft drink is about 50% bigger now than it was in 1977? Same goes for snacks like chips and pretzels. In fact, portion sizes keep growing in America which is a major factor in our obesity epidemic. Nutrisystem’s pre-packaged meals and snacks are all optimal portion size
- Balanced Nutrition: It’s not only choosing the right foods, but the right mixture of nutrients to keep you healthy and lose extra weight. Nutrisystem has a team of dietitians who designed the diet to have: high protein, low fat, low sodium, low glycemic carbs, good taste, and 25-25g of fiber per day.
- Frequent Meals: Not just the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nutrisystem encourages you to eat six smaller meals (every 2-3 hours) each day for maximum energy and less hunger. These meals are a mix of their packaged foods and fresh foods from the grocery store
How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost?
Generally Nutrisystem costs about $350 per month, or $10-12 a day. You can pay an extra $2 for more food selection with the “Uniquely Yours” option.
- You can get a discount on Nutrisystem when you use the coupon above
- View all new coupons for Nutrisystem here
- Ranked #28 in Best Diets Overall – by U.S. News & World Reports
- Consumer Reports Diet Plan Ratings Score: 70
- Medifast Cost
- Medifast Diet Review: WebMD.com
- Summary: Their nutritious bars and (just add water) shakes have half the calories that you’re used to, so you lose weight quickly. When you reach your weight loss goal, you are weaned to smarter choices at the grocery store
Medifast doesn’t have the name recognition of Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers, but it’s effective and gaining popularity. It was developed by a doctor and has been well known in the medical community, having been recommended by 20,000+ doctors since 1980.
Medifast focuses on lower-calorie meal replacement with their vitamin-rich “meals” (mostly bars, powders, and shakes) delivered monthly with program enrollment. Generally you are eating half the calories that you’re used to when you start their program, so you should notice results quickly. Medifast scores better for fast weight loss, but gets lower score for maintaining the weight loss long-term.
Medifast is delivered in 30-day kits which contain a lot of bars, shakes, and snacks. These meals and snacks are nutrient dense so you can get the vitamins you need without excessive calories. (only 800-1000 calories per day)
Medifast Achieve Plan: Their popular “Achieve” plan consists of 4 Medifast “meals” each day plus 2 “lean & green” meals (vegetables and lean proteins) from your grocery store plus one snack. Like Nutrisystem, Medifast encourages more small meals throughout the day instead of the traditional 3 meals we’re used to.
After a few days on the Medifast diet your body will achieve a mild “fat-burning” state which will cause weight loss without muscle-loss. Each one of these meals is designed with low-fat protein together with fiber to keep you from feeling hungry.
After you reach your weight loss goal with Medifast: The idea behind the diet is to lose weight quickly, then wean you off of their prepared meals after you hit your target weight. So, in theory the cost of the diet is higher at first, then shifts to having you buy your own fresh food at the grocery store to maintain the weight.
How Much Does the Medifast Diet Cost?
According to the website, Medifast will cost about $12 per day in the beginning. After you reach your weight loss goal and go into “maintenance” mode, the amount you pay Medifast should decrease, although you will then have to buy more of your food at the grocery store. Healthy options are generally more expensive, so no cheap ramen or spaghettios!
- You can save $100 on Medifast with the exclusive coupon above
- View all featured coupon codes for Medifast here
More Weight Loss: Nutrisystem vs. Medifast?
According to Consumer Reports, you will lose more weight in the first 6 months on Medifast.
Here is a comparison of the typical number of pounds you can expect to lose:
- Nutrisystem: (for 5 months) Men 10-30 pounds, Women: 7-24 pounds
- Medifast: (for 6 months) Men 20-43 pounds, Women 14-40 pounds
Nutrisystem Versus Medifast: Which One Costs More?
Based on the current prices on their websites, both diets cost about $10 per day.
According to Consumer Reports, the first three months of Medifast costs more, averaging about $250 per month compared to Nutrisystem which averaged about $215 per month.
Keep in mind that you still have to buy some of your food from the grocery store, so your total cost of food per month will probably be higher than that number.
You can find coupons online to reduce the price of the first month here:
- Nutrisystem coupons here – Up to $50 off + free shipping
- Medifast coupons here – Up to $100 off the retail price of your first month
Diet Comparison – So, which is better, Medifast or Nutrisystem?
Like buying a car, it helps to do your homework, but ultimately the final decision depends on the individual. Here’s a few important points to consider:
- looking for a diet that’s easy to follow? Point Nutrisystem
- If you want to lose weight quickly, point Medifast
- Taste? Both involve packaged food, but point Nutrisystem
- Interested in sit-down easy meals? Point Nutrisystem
- Do you like eating bars and shakes on the run? Point Medifast
- Most interested in long-term weight loss, or you have a history of quitting diets? Point Nutrisystem
Oh, heck. What which one do the experts say is better? Nutrisystem scores higher on the list of top diets from U.S. News and World Report, ranking at #18 to Medifast which is at #28.
Consumer Reports readers score Medifast higher with a 70 rating, while Nutrisystem gets a 56. (view full scoring of best diet plans)
Note that both diets are outranked significantly by Weight Watchers (get coupon), which is ranked #4 overall