Medi Weightloss clinics are located around the country and help dieters to slim down with food plans, counseling, and medication. The physician-monitored program is popular among customers who are comfortable with a structured program and are ready to make significant changes to their diet to lose weight. But not everyone can stick to the plan long enough for weight loss to occur.
How Does Medi Weightloss Work?
If you are interested in using Medi Weightloss to slim down, you should live near one of the company’s clinics. After an initial meeting with a doctor, dieters usually agree to weekly in-person meetings for the duration of the weight loss process. This weekly check-in is a cornerstone of the program, so proximity is essential. Clinics are located in 25 states and in most major US cities.
At your first meeting, you will meet with a medical professional for preliminary testing. Certain states require that patients meet directly with a physician for the initial consult. In those locations, you will meet with a board-certified MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine). Some, but not all of the doctors, have additional training or credentials in obesity medicine.
In other states, however, you might meet with a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. If that is the case, the medical doctor who oversees the clinic will review your medical information even though he/she does not meet with you.
During the initial meeting, your provider will administer several tests, screenings, and other measurements that may include an EKG, urinalysis, blood panel, body composition analysis, and other vitals. Your provider will also review your health history and current prescriptions. Communication with your health care provider may be involved.
After medical testing and consultation, your provider creates an individualized diet plan. There is an emphasis on accountability, education, and support. The plan may include prescriptions for weight loss medications, diet supplements, or vitamin-based injections. An activity or exercise plan is included, as well.
As you move through the program, you return to the facility to attend weekly one-on-one support meetings. At these meetings, your health is monitored and supplements, prescriptions, or injections are administered. This is also a time when you can ask questions and make any necessary modifications to your plan. You may meet with a nurse, medical professional, registered dietitian, or fitness trainer.
When you finally meet your goal weight, you transition to monthly meetings. During this phase, your provider may make adjustments to the diet and recommend supplements or testing during each meeting.
The Medi Weightloss Diet
To lose weight on this program, you’ll have to restrict calories and carbohydrates significantly. Medi Weightloss promotes a high-protein, hypocaloric (low-calorie) diet to put the body into nutritional ketosis. When your body is in a state of ketosis, you burn primarily stored fat (rather than glucose) for fuel.
Pre-packaged meals are not provided, although the company sells some limited supplements and ready-to-eat menu items. Patients are given a food list to help them grocery shop and prepare food at home. You’ll also get a guide to help you order off of restaurant menus. Food journaling to promote accountability is the main focus of patient education.
The Medi Weightloss diet is comprised of three separate phases.
During the first phase, also called the Acute Weight Loss phase, you will eat primarily protein foods to get your body into ketosis. Calorie counts during this stage may be low. There are several media reports and reviews from patients stating that they were given daily goals in the 500-800 range. According to the company, those claims are not true:
“That is not an accurate number for total calories. Our patients eat at least 500-700 calories from protein sources. They get additional calories from fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and miscellaneous items (such as certain condiments, broths, spices, herbs, etc).”
In fact, during this phase, dieters do not journal calories or carbohydrate intake so they may not know the actual number that they are consuming. Instead, they journal the number of protein calories consumed and also servings of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and other foods.
As an example, a patient may be prescribed 700 protein calories, but it is also recommended that they consume at least two servings of fruits or veggies, two servings of fat, and four servings of other calories. The total number of protein calories prescribed depends on results from metabolic testing and activity level.
The company acknowledges, however, that many patients do eat only protein calories during the first 4-7 days of the acute phase in order to achieve a state of nutritional ketosis, but never longer than that. The number of protein calories consumed is usually adjusted at least once during the Acute phase.
As you get closer to your weight loss goal, you’ll move into the Short-term Maintenance phase. During this short stage, you can slowly increase your intake of carbohydrates and calories. You’ll introduce servings of starch, dairy, and normally there is an increase in the servings of veggies, fruits, and fat. Protein calories may stay the same or change. Most patients continue weekly visits.
Lastly, you enter the Wellness Phase when you have met your goal weight. Monthly visits help to keep you on track with your long-term weight maintenance plan, and additional testing and supplements may be suggested. During this phase, the dieter moves to a 40/30/30 eating plan where 40 percent of calories consumed come from carbohydrates, 30 percent come from fats and 30 percent come from protein.
To stick to the eating plan, guidance and motivation are provided at weekly check-ins. Recipes are provided online through the patient portal where you can also track your progress.
Hydration is also a vital component of the Medi Weightloss diet. It is common for dieters to become constipated and tired when they remove or reduce carbohydrate intake. Proper hydration may reduce these symptoms. A specific hydration recommendation is provided for each patient based on their weight and activity levels.
Medi Weightloss Cost
The company provides several different programs with different price points for each plan.
For example, Medi Weightloss offers obesity management and metabolic syndrome services for adults and adolescents, medical nutrition therapy and counseling, behavioral counseling, fitness recommendations, screening for type 2 diabetes and other conditions. According to the company, prices may also vary by location. They recommend reaching out to your local provider to get an exact price for the service that interests you.
Customer reports for the weight loss program are fairly consistent. Most patients report paying $275 to $300 for the initial consultation and $75 to $80 for each weekly visit. Supplements, prescriptions, and food will cost extra.
Some Medi Weightloss locations accept insurance and offer in-network providers with some major insurance carriers. But not all plans may not be covered, and it will vary based on your specific plan. Check with your provider to see if a plan will be covered if you will need financial assistance.
Does Medi Weightloss Work?
According to the company, an average dieter can lose 7 pounds during the first week and 2-3 pounds per week after that. This is a faster rate of weight loss that is generally recommended. Most health organizations suggest that you lose weight at a slower rate of about 1-2 pounds per week.
The amount of weight that you lose on the Medi Weightloss plan will depend on how long and how well you stick to the plan. There are several factors that may affect your ability to maintain it:
- Weekly meeting attendance. If you can attend regular meetings, you’ll get a boost of motivation and accountability as a result. These factors are likely to make you more successful in the plan.
- Your home and work environment. If you are surrounded by people who consume a typical American diet at home and work, you may have a harder time sticking to this plan. Most common foods (starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, baked goods) are not included in a ketogenic diet. Cravings for these foods may be difficult and even intolerable at times.
- Access to healthy food. To make food choices that keep your body in a state of ketosis, you will need access to healthy low-carbohydrate, protein-rich foods. Since packaged meals are not provided by the company, you’ll need to be comfortable shopping and preparing special meals at home.
- Emotional Support. Many former Medi Weightloss clients say that the program is very hard to maintain. For this reason, it will be helpful for you to have emotional care at home. If you have a friend, a spouse, or another family member who is willing to provide the support you’ll be more likely to find success.
The company reports that the program is based on scientific evidence. Currently, no independent research has been published in peer-reviewed journals to support this specific weight loss company. There are some related studies that support certain aspects of the plan, but there is also evidence that doesn’t.
For example, many health experts suggest that dieters who receive regular face-to-face counseling are more likely to stick to a weight loss plan long enough to see results. But other studies have shown that remote counseling can provide the same benefit. And there are also some studies that support a ketogenic diet for weight loss. There are other studies, however, (and medical professionals) that have found ketogenic diets too restrictive and therefore not effective for losing weight and keeping the pounds off for good.
A Word From Tips For Healthy Living
There is no diet that is right for everyone. Different dieters have different needs. The right program for you is one that fits into your lifestyle and can accommodate your long-term health goals. By most accounts, this program is very structured which is helpful for some dieters. But it may also be too restrictive for others.
If you are considering this plan, reach out to your local Medi Weightloss provider and ask specific questions about cost and insurance before you invest. You might also want to ask to see a sample meal plan to see if it is something that you feel you can follow. In addition, you can speak with your healthcare provider to get recommendations and suggestions. The more questions you ask, the more likely you will be to find a program that fits your needs.