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I get a lot of questions about “lean and green food” from Medifast. If you are not familiar with this, it is the most filling meal you prepare each day while on this diet. You can eat five packaged meals a day that you really just have to prepare. But, the “lean and green” requires a bit of food preparation. However, you can also do this very simple. The only real requirement is that you have 5 to 7 ounces of lean protein and three servings of vegetables. You can achieve this in any way you want.

Still, people often write to me and ask if they can skip the lean and green food or if they can just eat a prepackaged meal. In other words, they would be eating six “medifast meals” while forgoing the lean and green ones. I will tell you what I think of this practice in the next article.

Why Most People Consider Skipping Their Lean and Green: I find that people overwhelmingly want to skip this because they think it will allow them to lose weight more quickly. Roughly each packaged meal has about 100 calories each. Obviously, very few home-cooked meals are going to meet this criteria, whether they are “lean” or not. So if you’ve had your 5 ready meals, you will only have 500 calories for the entire day. People decide they don’t want to ruin this hard work by eating a larger meal. I understand this thought, but I know for sure that it has flaws because I experimented extensively with trimming it and it backfired.

Why I think you should NOT skip it: My experience: This is what most people don’t understand. The calories for this main meal are already built into the program. This diet is designed for you to eat around 1,200 calories per day. This is an acceptable low amount by most standards. Having 500 calories before this gives you a lot of leeway with your main meal. Even if you take a few liberties, you will often still be in the 1200-1300 range unless you just don’t follow the guidelines.

Understand that ketosis requires regular meals: Medifast works because ketosis works. Since you are eating a low amount of calories and a lot of protein, your body is forced to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. But you will slow down this process if you don’t give your body the fuel it needs to do its job. If you see The big loserYou know Jillian picks on contestants when they don’t eat enough. The same will happen if you start skipping meals. I know for sure from personal experience.

So don’t be fooled. It really is not necessary. I really believe that if you eat within reason regularly, you will get better results. And lean and green is beneficial not only in terms of keeping your metabolism going, but also in terms of teaching you how to plan and prepare healthy meals. You will need it later when you move on to the maintenance phase of the plan.

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