I often hear from people who have a lot of questions about Medifast logistics. A common concern is how to arrange meals for all six of you to eat throughout the day. (Yes, there are six, including the five prepackaged meals and the only “lean and green” meal you make yourself.)

People often ask me if there are restrictions on the timing of these meals. We all live busy lifestyles and some of us don’t even eat dinner until late at night. A common question I get asked is “how late can you eat with Medifast?” I recently heard from a woman who usually had dinner around 8:30 at night. While planning how she suspected Medifast was going to work for her, she realized that she would probably need a late-night snack, which would mean she could be eating until 9:30 or 10:00 at night. He wondered if this was allowed or if it would be a good idea, since most diets don’t want you to eat late into the night. Many diets cut out all meals after 7:00 pm.

I have never read or seen time restrictions of this kind on Medifast. I know people who eat much later than 7:00 pm on this diet because they work nights or because their lifestyle prevents them from eating earlier. If you’re worried about eating last minute, you can always make sure you’re eating one of the smaller prepackaged meals as your last meal of the day rather than the largest green, lean meal. You can also have your breakfast or lunch lean and green so that you are eating only a very small meal this late in the day. Keep in mind that prepackaged meals are only 90-110 calories each. Lean and green has so much more and is designed to be your biggest meal of the day.

I realize that some people worry about eating late because they think that eating and then going to bed soon after means they don’t have a chance to burn off those calories or their metabolism will slow down as a result of this. I’m not sure I really believe this theory, as no one ever reported poor results from a late meal with Medifast. But, if this worries you, know that you can always stack most of your meals earlier in the day. There is nothing that says you have to eat your meals in evenly spaced increments. In a perfect world, this could happen. But this is real life. Sometimes you just have to do your best and stick to what your schedule and lifestyle allow.

And you should be aware that you are likely to eat considerably fewer calories and carbohydrates than you are used to, no matter when it happens. The calorie input and output equation remains the same no matter what time you are talking about. So to answer the question posed, as far as I know, you can eat as late as needed at Medifast, but if you have concerns about it, you can always alter your schedule as needed. There are no strict rules set in stone. No one will sneak up behind you and tell you that you are eating too late.

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