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NTIANI SparkPoints: (589)
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Posts: 70
9/22/12 12:53 P

First of all - the hair loss. Yes that it is a significant possibility as is a myriad of other health issues. Medifast is a very restriced low cal/low fat diet. Your body NEEDS healthy fats. A significant lack and you will notice hair loss, brittle nails, your skin texture may change a bit.

I find medifast to be interesting. Mainly because there are plenty of drs that are willing to sell it, just as there are plenty of drs willing to sell you FDA approved diet pills that despite stating they are not to be used past 6 weeks - are used for years.

My question is always this: Will you learn how to sustain yourself the rest of your life on 800-1000 calories? Are you learning how to properly shop and prepare your own meals? - And the answer is really - no you aren't. Just like Nutrisystem, Shakeology, Body Vi, Phentermine, etc - yes you'll absolutely lose the weight. But I give you three months before you see at least 1/3 of the weight come back on.... and then overtime more and more, plus a few extra.

I think we live in a society where we don't want to work for results - we want it and we want it now. Instant gratification can be our biggest downfall in life. I have a great deal of weight to lose - but it took me two pregnancies to put it all on, so I figure it'll take me some time to get it off too.

While 100lbs may seem like a lot - don't look at it as 100lbs. Break it up into smaller, mini goals. Achieving those mini goals will help you to better see your success and your progress. Slow and steady wins the race - without heart, liver, and kidney complications. :)

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,410)
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9/22/12 12:44 P

yeah, my insurance was billed almost $14,000 for my gallbladder operation and hospital stay!

then some people develop medical problems after their gallbladder is removed.....



SHARLOWM Posts: 4
9/22/12 12:28 P

I have done medifast twice now. The first time ( a few yrs ago) I lost about 15 lbs in a few months. No problems. Went off the plan and gained it all back in a few months. tried again this summer.. Lost 15 lbs in the first month, then nothing....Stayed on it for 3 months, my hair started falling out, and it is an expensive way to maintain wt. I had a problem with the fact that you can't do any real exercise on the plan. I noticed that I was losing lean muscle mass, and although I had lost weight and my clothes fit better, I was more "jiggly" in my arms and legs. Not exactly the picture of health I wanted. I agree with others that some coaches are geat, but alot are in it for the $ they get off your food orders. I am happy with the l5 lb and will take it, I was never really "overweight" wanted to lose those 20 vanity lbs and get into smaller size. I have decided to get off the plan, carefully! so I don't gain all the wt back. I am going to focus on sugar free, low carb non processed foods, smaller more frequent meals and get back into lifting wts and working out like I did pre-medifast. I would not recommend medifast for anyone who has less than 30 lbs to lose, Its not worth the expense, hair falling out and losing muscle. I also agree that it sets your body up to blow back up once you start eating fruits and other normal foods. If you are exremely obsese, have tried everything else and can afford to do it, I think it is a good thing to try. If you go on the "my medifast" website you will see that the biggest issues are gallstones, hair falling out and failure to stick to the plan....

50BRITTMOM SparkPoints: (3,199)
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9/15/12 1:10 A

My sister went on the Medifast plan a few years ago. She wanted to lose weight for her daughter's wedding.
In short:
- she lost weight in a short period of time
- she gained it all back plus 30% after she stopped the plan
- it was very expensive

Just something to consider

SARAHD33 SparkPoints: (33,403)
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Posts: 296
8/25/12 8:10 A

I would like to echo what Heather (Dragonchilde) said about negativity. I have only posted criticisms of the program, not of the people who choose to do it. In fact, the only reason I keep taking time to respond is that I do hope success for everyone here! And by success, I do not mean just hitting your goal weight, but maintaining a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

In my opinion, Medifast sets one up for greater challenge in maintenance than SparkPeople's plan does. In fact, though I lost weight with SparkPeople, for me, maintenance is a bigger challenge. I have really only become active in this community since I hit my goal weight, and SparkPeople's boards are great for support wherever you are in your journey.

So here is why I think Medifast makes it harder to MAINTAIN your goal weight
1. Physiology: The calorie deficit is simply too large. At a deficit like this, as other folks have said, you will lose weight. Unfortunately, you will lose not just fat, but lean muscle mass, bone density, and organ mass. You will teach your body how to survive on really low calories, and it will become very efficient at it. So, when you reach your goal weight, your maintenance calorie range could be very much lower than it would be for someone of the same gender, height and weight who has lost weight by only losing fat, and with a less severe calorie deficit. When you do start eating more, your body will say , "oh, great, my owner finally stopped starving me! We better store all of this energy for the next time starvation hits!"
2. Psychology: Eating prepackaged food does not teach you how to eat in the real world, no matter what people say. So that transition will be harder to make. You also do not address the psychological work that goes into restructuring your eating as you move along. If you follow SparkPeople (or weight watchers), or any other program where you are preparing your own food, or eating out, or whatever, you learn about nutrition as you go. You learn to like new foods you might not have tried before. You learn which foods make you full, and which foods make you feel hungry. And with logging, you get regular feedback on this, too.
As for support, SparkPeople now provides several paid options for support that I bet would replicate that which is provided by Medifast.

So, here is to successful maintenance of healthy weight for all of us. No matter how you get to your goal weight, maintenance can be even harder for some people. Prepare yourself for success from the very moment you start on your weight loss journey! Don't choose a program that is going to make maintaining a healthy weight even more challenging than it already is!

Edited by: SARAHD33 at: 8/25/2012 (08:18)
OCEAN6000 SparkPoints: (3,760)
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8/25/12 1:14 A

We are lucky to have a place to come where we can read up on the latest weight loss programs, etc. Don't underestimate the intelligence of fellow SparkPeople. If there was one magic pill that worked for us all, we wouldn't be here searching for support and information that will help us. If the Metafast program works for some, let them be. I know that I've tried MANY different diets and 'support' is what gets me the best results, not negativity. Just saying.

CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (2,485)
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8/22/12 9:35 A

I'm not convinced that pre-mixed dietary programs are the way to go. I'd wonder about the effects of the ingredients, not all of which are well-established as actual food.



Edited by: CEDARBARK1 at: 8/22/2012 (09:44)
MCROW3 SparkPoints: (4,326)
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Posts: 121
8/22/12 12:10 A

Ok this is pretty simple, of course if you eat less than 1000 calories you're going to lose weight. There is no magic here and certainly nothing to pay $300 per month for. You want to try an extreme diet that works talk to your MD about doing an 800 calorie per day diet, all calories are protein and you take a vitamins. Anyone with half a brain can figure out how to lose weight by not eating.

The problem is that with these diets is that is pretty well impossible to get all of your required nutrients and in spite of what people will tell you, you will be losing a good amount of muscle. This is why people who lose a lot of weight on these diets have more problems with looking drawn out and with a lot of extra loose skin. You look too much weight too fast you will lose a lot of muscle mass and have more loose skin. In the then end you will just end up thin and soft instead of chubby and soft. IMO, the idea is to get thinner and more fit not thinner and more frail and sickly looking.

This does not include the effects of chronic malnutrition.Yes, that's exactly what these diets are.

RACKMYBRAINS Posts: 435
8/21/12 11:44 P

After researching this a bit myself, a large part of the Medifast program seems a lot like Jenny Craig - although Medifast is lower carb and Jenny is higher carb. I did Jenny for about a year, the whole deal, going to a center, buying the food (which is a lot like Lean Cuisine, really), and seeing my assistant/counselor. Honestly, for that year I did extremely well with only a few bumps in the road, and I lost over 110 lbs. Just like Medifast, Jenny has training for transitioning to regular foods, and maintenance after that.

As great (and easy!) as it was, I have to say that it was very difficult - even with the nutrition training - to transition to normal (non-Jenny) foods. I think no matter what program you do (low carb, higher carb, etc.), the problem isn't so much with losing the weight on a special program but in keeping it off and maintaining a normal weight. I gained quite a lot back, just trying to figure out maintenance. And I think they did a great job with their training seminars and education. I do think it was money well spent, certainly. I learned a ton about reading labels, general nutrition, cooking, planning, just everything.

But if you turn over your weight loss to an expensive plan, it's very easy to start relying on it... and it is quite expensive; Jenny was, and if Medifast does the prepared meals thing also, they will be too. Also, although the weight loss can be faster (because it is totally programmed and controlled), I think there are things along the way that you skip in the learning process.

Only about 5% - that's one in twenty - really learn everything they need to learn during a weight loss program; 95% of dieters regain weight, no matter the diet program. So I would suggest: think really hard on whether or not you want a controlled program where you'll have to transition back to normal food... or wouldn't it be better to start from the get-go with something you can maintain forever as a real, permanent lifestyle change? In the latter case, you don't have to transition back in any way.


Edited by: RACKMYBRAINS at: 8/21/2012 (23:49)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,482)
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8/21/12 11:07 P

I don't see anywhere where someone was criticizing those who do this diet. Most of the posts I read (although I didn't read exhaustively this time) were critical of the *diet* - not being supportive of a diet is not the same as criticizing the people who do it.

Given that this is a website that promotes healthy lifestyle changes and balanced, complete diets that you can live with for a lifetime instead of get-thin-quick fad diets, it's not surprising that there's little support for it here.

Look for a Medifast team. I'm sure there is one; there's one for almost every diet under the sun. But here in the general diet & nutrition board, expect general Sparkpeople guidelines and honest facts about science and the human body.

SCOONCHY Posts: 19
8/21/12 10:09 P

I can't believe some of the really negative posts. If you don't like medifast, then don't do it. You don't have to criticize those that do. I counted calories and did 7 hours of exercise per week for 10 months and didn't lose any weight. I got a body scan and it turns out that I have inadequate lean muscle mass and that's why I wasn't losing even though I was doing everything right. I need to gain 14lbs of muscle to get into the "normal" level. I started MF because the conventional methods didnt work for me, and on MF the weight started coming off slowly but surely.

Please don't assume that people on MF don't exercise or want to eat right. Everybody's body reacts differently to diet and exercise and therefore has different needs. This plan is working for me.

RUGAROO SparkPoints: (45)
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8/20/12 2:31 A

Oprah has had a personal chef and a personal trainer at her disposal. She has had the ear of world renowned weight loss doctors. The plan is not the problem. Oprah is.

RUGAROO SparkPoints: (45)
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8/20/12 2:29 A

I'm joining Medifast this week and I am very excited. Eating isn't my issue. I eat a pretty balanced diet. My issue has been that the other programs I tried don't work very well for me because at the slow pace of weight loss, I cannot be physically active enough to keep it going. I seem to come to a grinding halt in energy and weight loss and my doctor's answer is to forbid nearly ALL net carbs. I can't accept that. I don't think it is healthy. So my goal is lose the weight, or the majority, so that I can adopt an active lifestyle that will make the changes permanent.

I've read a bit of this thread and am scratching my head. I know many, many people who have lost weight eating well and moving more, who gain it back. ANY plan can fail because people fail. There are success stories with Medifast and with the transition training and one year weight support, I would say that people are given the tools to succeed. I told the coach that I may need more calories because I run out of steam sooner than most due to a neuromuscular disorder and she said that we would certainly do that at the first sign of a problem.

There is a lot that I want to learn about health and wellness and I hope that my choice of plan won't be an invitation for people to treat me like a lesser person. From the tone of this thread, it seems less an issue of concern for our health and more an example of classism. Not wanting to post alongside people who make a choice that one has rejected is disturbing.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,745
8/17/12 2:54 P

I would pass on a diet where one of the side effects is hair loss. I just cant wrap my mind around that.

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 8/17/2012 (14:55)
SARAHD33 SparkPoints: (33,403)
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8/17/12 2:42 P

I will restate what I said before...
If you go on a very low calorie diet, your body learns to survive on very low calories. When you start eating what would be "normal" calories, weight loss can level off or weight gain can occur.
Our bodies are amazing at surviving, and will do amazing things to avoid losing weight too quickly.

What kind of calorie levels do people eat on a daily basis who are one year out and in successful maintenance mode? What are the stats on success for Medifast? What percentage of people who get to their goal weight are still there in a year? How does that compare to other programs?

PANDAS10 SparkPoints: (16,949)
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Posts: 408
8/17/12 1:09 P

Here is a link to my "liquid" diet blog.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_
individual.asp?blog_id=4834775


I am familiar with Medifast, have used some of the products, and understand that it doesn't have to be an entirely liquid diet.

It *can* work... but it's hard. And it doesn't teach you anything. I lost 80lbs doing an Optifast style liquid diet; and gained 100lbs back in a year.



VANHALENFAN Posts: 434
8/17/12 11:46 A

Yes, it was not appetizing in the least bit. I just couldn't keep up with it because the "foods" (and I use that term loosely) were just too gross. I felt like I was just eating chemicals, and nasty ones at that! I can't recommend Medifast. Possibly if you are extremely overweight and need to take off pounds fast for health, but even then....Use under your doctor's care and blessing.

LYNNABERNATHY1 SparkPoints: (88)
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8/17/12 10:19 A

Oprah had admitted many times that she has trouble controlling her bad behaviors when it comes to food. She turns to food for comfort. It does not matter what you do for weightloss, if you fall back to old habits and bad behaviors then you will gain the weight back. Period. Medifast provides over a year of support AFTER members get down to their goal weight to ensure that they stick with positive behaviors and continue with a healthy lifestyle.

Some people NEED support. Medifast offers continuous behavior counseling to target and address the hanits that led people to being overweight in the first place.

If you are not educated on how the program works then please don't discourage people from looking into something that might help them reach their goals. Weightloss is not a one size fits all since every body is different mentally, emotionally and biochemically.

I'm disappointed that on a forum where people, like myself, turn to for support and positivity there is judgement, ignorance and negativity :(

WEREYORKIE SparkPoints: (28)
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8/17/12 3:22 A

Well, simply put... the first time Oprah Winfrey lost all that weight back in the 80's, she lost it on Medifast.

And gained it all back and then some. Why not just eat clean (no processed foods) and lose weight sensibly? It may take some time, but at least you learn how to good habits.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (4,658)
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8/17/12 1:36 A

I wouldn't give up my joy of real meals.

LYNNABERNATHY1 SparkPoints: (88)
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8/17/12 12:21 A

"We have an extensive transition process where we teach our members how to eat and what foods to eat and then they have 52 weeks of support while they are at their goal weight.This means that they come in and don't have to buy anything, just get the support they need to stay on the right track and not gain the weight back. This is the most comprehensive and effective program I have ever encountered (and I have tried/learned just about everything out there)."

Glad what you're doing works for you. Fortunately we are there for those people who need more convenience and extra support.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (123,353)
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Posts: 6,568
8/13/12 8:38 A

It's expensive and success does not tend to be long term. Why not try out Sparkpeople? It's free, and it works! No nasty "space food" either!

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (2,949)
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8/13/12 8:29 A

I hit a long plateau, and since there is a medifast center on my way to/ from work and not a convenient weight watchers near me, i was considering doing it.

But i just couldn't stomach the idea of paying for prepackaged, processed 'diet' food when i am currently paying for healthy, homemade food and a pricey gym membership, two things that will serve my weight loss long term, not short term.

Not knocking the medifast diet for those who lost a lot of weight on medifast, but the diet doesn't give you much foundation for keeping it off. Are you going to buy their space food forever? When you're done you need to learn how to prepare healthy food in your own, or you're not going to keep the weight off.

So i decided to take some of their principles - small, healthy meals and snacks - and apply them to my own food. I started making homemade fruit sweetened protein shakes, buying low sodium vegetable or bean soups, and eating smaller meals. That way you eat less processed foods, but you still get the metabolism benefits of eating more frequently. I think this option is healthier and tastier than eating their sugar-laden prepackaged foods, and it also gives me enough calories to maintain my active lifestyle without starving.

Edited by: KFWOHLFORD at: 8/13/2012 (08:32)
LYNNABERNATHY1 SparkPoints: (88)
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8/13/12 12:04 A

Wow...I'm just shocked at the negativity on this board. I have lost 100 pounds, most of it through watching calories and exercise but when that didn't work anymore (because I was borderline diabetic and had trouble balancing my blood sugar) I moved to a higher protein lower carb diet (recommended by my Dr.) which worked great with my body and I've kept it off.

After losing the weight I was so passionate about helping people lose weight that I decided to get into the industry so I started working for Jenny Craig. I was so excited at first but then I spent a lot of time trying to help people and I learned that is counting calories and exercising is very difficult to do for a lot of people and unfortunately motivation wanes long before results are met. People lose about .5 pounds per week for a month but then go on vacation and gain 5 pounds so there is a perpetual cycle of losing and gaining. It's incredibly frustrating.

I did a lot of research on programs and spoke to a lot of people and found that most of the people who got to their goal weight and kept it off did it by following a low-carb plan and putting their bodies into ketosis. Medifast, is a much safer way to go into ketosis than other programs because you are getting carbs which your body needs to function instead of completely cutting them out. You have energy because you aren't relying on carbs for energy so your body is constantly supplied with it by burning fat for energy.

I started working for Medifast and had to go through a full month of education and training, on top of that though, most of the people hired are registered dietitians or at least have their nutrition degree and are applying for their RD. A few of us were hired because we have a very good base knowledge of nutrition due to our experiences. Medifast is very selective about who they hire. The company truly cares for the members and I love knowing that I have every resource I need to help every individual that walks into my center. When you first join you are sent for a complete blood panel that is reviewed by a Dr. and my coworker is a RD who has been with the company for a long time.

The most rewarding part of it is that I have met so many people who are close to their goals or in maintenance and their lives have changed drastically. There are some who fall off the wagon like any program but that is to be expected. Every week we work with our clients to making positive behavior changes and we teach them about making good choices and why it's so important to break their bad habits and create good ones for long-term weight loss. We have an extensive transition process where we teach our members how to eat and what foods to eat and then they have 52 weeks of support while they are at their goal weight.This means that they come in and don't have to buy anything, just get the support they need to stay on the right track and not gain the weight back. This is the most comprehensive and effective program I have ever encountered (and I have tried/learned just about everything out there).

I am so passionate about helping people lose weight. Any diet program works if you stick to it and staying positive and motivated is the most important part of the equation. Finding a plan that works for you and seeing great results on the scale is the best motivation out there. So kudos to you if you are counting calories or carbs or whatever, just stick to it and be proud that you are taking the steps towards a healthy lifestyle. If anyone is doing medifast and has any questions or needs a little more support then let me know!

Oh and forgive me, my profile has not been updated. I have another profile under lynnlarson which was before my divorce and for some reason I was locked out of it....Haven't been motivated to recreate my old one :(



SCOONCHY Posts: 19
7/5/12 11:22 P

I'm starting week 5 on medifast. Are you doing the online program, or are you oing o a center? I'm going to a center and am so glad o chose it. The weekly check-ins keep me accountable, and my counselor has added food to my plan every week for the past 3weeks because I was o deep n ketosis. If I was doing it on my own I would not have done that, and would've ended up losing more muscle mass.

I too have a family and make meals for them, but I don't eat what I prepare for them. You can do it!

I had been exercising and counting my calories for several months and didn't lose anything. I got a body scan and found out that my muscle mass is way below normal and I think that's why I couldn't lose on my own. Im doing medifast now to drop the fat, and will resume my full workout schedule slowly as I transition back to higher calories and real food. I was weight training 2 hours per week and going to spin class 3 -4 times a week and not losing anything- so frustrating! I'm not doing medifast because I'm lazy and don't want to count calories or exercise, but I turned to it because that wasn't working and my blood pressure was getting higher and it was more dangerous to my health to be overweight than trying medifast. With all the food that my counselor has added to my program, I'm not under 1200 calories so my experience may not be the same as most medifast users.

Edited by: SCOONCHY at: 7/5/2012 (23:37)
JPWARD001 SparkPoints: (314)
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6/22/12 1:39 P

Hello, I am 2 weeks into MediFast and I love the way I am can absolutely control what I can eat. My husband wanted to start it and he bailed on me so I am doing it alone. I need to talk to someone who is currently successful. A couple of people at work have lost over 150# on the program but they are both single and don't have to worry about what the other people in the family want to eat. I had lapband surgery that had to be removed. I had lost 126# before they removed my band. I have gained back 40# since the band was removed 2 years ago and I am just sick about it, none of my clothes fit and I don't have the money for new clothes right now. I desperately need support and the people at work are to close.

Edited by: JPWARD001 at: 6/23/2012 (15:04)
SARAHD33 SparkPoints: (33,403)
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6/16/12 3:13 P

Here's another problem, and a very serious one:
Very low calorie diets can seriously (and potentially permanently) damage your metabolism.
They can make it so it is eventually difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a healthy weight on even a normal caloric intake. Starving yourself will teach your body to become ever more efficient at fat storage.
These low calorie diets are so enticing with their impressive rapid weight loss, but as other posters have said, nearly impossible to maintain the results. And it is not just a matter of willpower. It becomes a fight with your body's own survival instincts to hold on to energy stores for the future.
Use the Sparkpeople guidelines! They are moderate, and safe, and effective.

Edited by: SARAHD33 at: 6/16/2012 (15:14)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,482)
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6/16/12 3:03 P

Here's the problem with diets like this.

Do they work? Sure. With proper medical supervision, you can lose a lot of weight, and fast. But the problem with fast weight loss like this is that they don't teach you proper eating habits, nor do they promote a healthy lifestyle. FRankly, they're short term fixes, and unsustainable. THe vast majority of people who do lose weight with them gain it right back afterwards, because they didn't learn how to handle their food. When they go back to eating as they did before? They gain it back.

Get-thin-quick fixes do work, but aren't sustainable. Ask yourself this: Are you willing to eat this way for the rest of your life? CAN you?

If the answer is no? Skip it. Slow and steady wins the race.

TRYAGIN SparkPoints: (7,484)
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Posts: 320
6/16/12 3:00 A

I was on medifast and was thrilled with how fast I lost weight.
However, people were telling me I looked ill and unhealthy.
Also after I went off the program I gained pretty much all the weight back
and was back where I started. I liked the food, and still eat the pudding it's pretty
tasty. Good luck to you if you are doing it, but I'm going to track calories and eat
healthy this time, my wife told me she wants us to do something we can maintain
for the long term.

JUSTDOIT011 Posts: 1,411
6/16/12 2:29 A

Can't we all just eat healthy (which includes eating within a healthy calorie range) & exercise more? Why do some Americans feel the need to find a magic pill or a magic shake or a magic expensive diet that will lose the weight for them? All foods in moderation. Follow the MyPlate recommendations. It's really that simple!!

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,410)
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Posts: 3,171
6/16/12 2:22 A




"Its a message board about Medifast"

NO. This is the DIET and NUTRITION Message Board.

The thread is about the Medifast Diet.


"yes i do expect there to be support for the medifast program"

That's not how this message boards work. If I make a thread about Purging tips that does not entitle me to get support for purging tips.


How have I specifically disrespected you? I was trying to explain to you that diet under 1200 calories aren't support here. (It's not my rule. )

Here are the rules about members not promoting diets that contradict:


All SparkPeople diet advice has been approved by a Registered Dietician because it is considered to be a serious health issue. Because of this, please be careful about what you recommend to others, as it could be dangerous if you go outside of medically-accepted boundaries. We encourage members to help each other using the SparkPeople recommendations. We do not allow members to promote diets that directly contradict our program recommendations.










www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_ar
ticles.asp?id=349


CELESTJILL Posts: 936
6/16/12 1:28 A

Its a message board about Medifast...so yes i do expect there to be support for the medifast program on it. To me Sparkpeople has always been about moving towards health. Its not up to us to judge what that looks like for each other. Are you working with your doctor? I dont know its really only your business not mine.
Its a journey to find our best health wherever we start from whatever those goals if its to lose or gain or maintain. What i have always loved about sparkpeople is that its about motivation and support.
If it comes from love and concern i respect that.
Ive made an educated and informed decision. All im asking is that you respect that. You dont have to agree with my choice. Just respect that in return.


AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,410)
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Posts: 3,171
6/16/12 12:15 A



"stopping people from reaching their goals when they are clearly excited about a weightloss program that works for them. "


The thing is that you are on Sparkpeople-the website isn't meant to support people who follow a plan under 1200 calories.

Even people who follow the HCG 500 calorie and claimed to be monitored by doctors got kicked out and are not supported.

I might work for you, but you can't ask the community to support and encourage others if the plan is to eat under 1200 calories. How do we really know if the person is even monitored by a doc?





CELESTJILL Posts: 936
6/15/12 11:42 P

48 lbs down, and my doctor (who I did check with before starting the program and he runs blood work on me periodically) because any time you start ANY weight loss program your personal doctor should be involved--is thrilled with my progress. :)
I'm medically supervised.
the program was built under medical supervision and clinical trials that meet the medical communities standards. those trials were replicated by outside impartial clinical studies as well--and then all the success stories that are out there. I can pick up the phone and call nutrition support and speak to a Certified RD (registered Dietitian) through the take shape for life program. I can also call the one my insurance company has provided for me, and when I did just that several months ago and told her I was starting Take Shape For Life she told me she was excited and that once I hit my goal IF I still felt I needed her help I could call back but she wouldn't want to mess with a program that works so well and by following the book and workbook as well as the meal plans and going through the 3 stages (weightloss, transition, and maintenance) that I would be well educated about nutrition and most likely wouldn't further need their services.
so we can get caught up in semantics, but it doesn't change the fact that if you haven't tried the program you really should be criticizing it and stopping people from reaching their goals when they are clearly excited about a weightloss program that works for them. Do what works for you. I will celebrate your losses without criticizing your choices. I only hope that everyone can do the same.
I sat on a reply for a while because I was offended--and I realized that was on me. no matter how hard someone tries they can't offend me unless I choose to be offended. and I do not believe that was the intent. I think you were sharing what you felt was important information, so in the spirit of that I wrote sharing the information important to me on this topic.
This program isn't for everyone--but for those it is right for, well lets help celebrate their losses.

PANDAS10 SparkPoints: (16,949)
Fitness Minutes: (15,393)
Posts: 408
6/4/12 5:47 P

CELESTJILL: Merely having access to doctors or nutritionists is NOT medical supervision. Additionally, "nutritionists" are not required to have any defined education or licensure in nutrition. Dieticians are held to specific standards and must be licensed... just so ya know.

Medical supervision means that you actually meet with a physician, that you are examined for any signs or symptoms of any medical issues, typically lab is drawn to make sure the kidneys and liver are functioning normally and that electrolytes are balanced and blood sugar is in range among other things.

I'm not bashing the program, but NO ONE should do any program that goes under 1000 calories/day without medical supervision. It's simply too dangerous to do alone.

I personally did Optifast... although it was different from the Optifast of the 1990's. Because I had difficulty drinking shakes all time, I did in fact use some Medifast products as well. So I am well aware that it is not entirely a liquid diet. I am also well aware that the products are nutritionally formulated.

I'm glad that you are having success... but just remember, someday you will have to go back to eating regular food... and that will be the true test of success.


CELESTJILL Posts: 936
6/3/12 1:00 A

well I've lost 38lbs with medifast now with the take shape for life program. to the person who said it isn't medically supervised...there are doctors and nutritionists that you can talk to at any time about your concerns. Medifast has been around since the 80's. here is a link to the clinical studies
www.medifast1.com/how_it_works/why_it_work
s/clinical_studies.jsp

John Hopkins University--years and years of proven weight loss.
anyone who isn't willing to follow a healthy diet after they've lost weight will gain it back. Take Shape For life with the workbook and the textbook is like a course--you have to face why you put your weight on, and find what you can do instead. is it work? yes. is it hard? yes. no different than those who educate themselves and follow a healthy lifestyle through any other way.
for me, the fact that I have a coach I can call at any time, that there are doctors calls and nutrition support that I can turn to (and have utilized, I had not been losing weight nutrition support found that I needed more sodium in my diet, and adding a cup of chicken broth at night made it so I wasn't retaining water--weight started to drop again) this works for me.
its not for everyone. its a lot of money if you aren't going to follow the program. we sat down and looked at all of our little charges, stopping for drinks at the gas station, going out to eat, grabbing a fast food meal here or there and added it up, and I am saving money each month by sticking to this program.
I cook lean healthy meat and vegetables for my family, I add a starch for them, which I no longer crave or have a desire to eat--we are all eating healthier.
we had already made a lot of changes--but I need this one on one support, not just an online network. I could pay a nutritionist a couple hundred a month to follow up with me--but I use it for my medifast meals, get a free health coach and access to nutritionists and doctors if I need them.
I get frustrated when people who haven't used the program talk negative about it. it is medically safe. hair loss is not just with medifast but anytime you drop a lot of weight it changes the hormones of your body and you can grow hair in places you normally didn't, or you can lose your hair--because the program is medically based and has the research to back it and is regulated they have to write this on their packaging.
the food is good. yeah, there are some that I don't like but there are so many choices and medifast is great about changing it out for you for something you do like--the only people I have seen fail on the program are the ones not willing to be committed to a healthy life. they aren't ready, it wouldn't matter what program they tried to use. I thought I can do this on my own, but then I realized that if I could, why hadn't I? what I was doing wasn't working. I respond to the regiment of the program.
In April I walked a half marathon. a half marathon! I'd have never dreamt of doing that even 8 months ago! but I'm realizing that I can do anything I want if I truly want it. The coursework with the program has been pivotal for me. My coach has been priceless. through 4 funerals, the holidays, my dog dying and being in a car wreck that totaled my vehicle I have LOST weight. I don't lose drastic amounts every week like some people on the program, but I'm losing weight. I know that going through this the way I was a year ago, I'd have not recognized triggers and I would have put more weight on instead of taking it off...and walking a half marathon.
I'm not saying the program is for everyone. You have to be committed. My sister lost 30 pounds on it in 2 months. It was all she had to lose. She has kept it off for over a year now. I have a friend who lost 80 lbs 4 years ago, and hasn't gained it back. My dad lost 48. He stopped there even though he has more to go. It took him out of the danger zone, out of obesity and into "overweight" category. that was almost a year ago. he hasn't gained it back.
I guess I'm just saying don't knock it unless you've tried it--and really given it a fair shot. if you have and it hasn't worked for you I will respect your criticism.
its not a liquid diet. it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is and I like that.
the program works. and its working for me. I'm proud of my accomplishments. I know I'm building not just my physical body but my mental ability to keep the weight off. the way I view life is different. (half marathon) I live now instead of watching life go on around me and it feels great.

DOS98110 Posts: 63
6/2/12 9:50 P

I just started Fir for Life today. My doctor approved it because I have 130 pounds to lose, and there is a coach. Today alone I have talked with her four times. Her weekly meetings are great. No rah-rah and no gold star mentality. Thoughtful, smart folk talking about their goals, and some education. I have diabetes. Today my doctor told me to cut my medication IN HALF and my blood sugar is more than decent. She wants to see me for high blood pressure, too. I have been on high blood pressure medication for years, and it is not working as well anymore. I am 60. I have very severe apnea. If I don't turn this around, I do not know how much longer I will be alive; I don't sat from fear, but realistically. There are many thing I weighed in deciding to do this -- my commitment to eating locally and organically; eating highly processed foods; 1000 calories a day is quite low. But I am where I am, and I can either get some of this weight off (even 30 pounds would lower health risks).

I am not thinking about doing this for months or years. I am thinking about this one day at a time. Or the fat in my liver. Of how much at risk I am for a heart attack or a stroke.

For me, this is something of a desperate move, and I want to vastly improve the situation before I go to their 4 and 2 program -- 4 of their supplements and two meals with protein and vegetables -- about 1300 calories a day. For now, fat burning is right. We'll see.

I have been with Spark People for years. I have lost and gained 70 pounds so many times. My coach swears she will stay with me as I fight this battle. Through transition. And into maintenance.

I don't think this program is for anyone who has 60 pounds or less to lose. I hope all of you do well with all your choices.

PANDAS10 SparkPoints: (16,949)
Fitness Minutes: (15,393)
Posts: 408
4/22/12 2:23 P

Bookworm: I second the gallstones... I my gallbladder is full of them, but thankfully I've been able to avoid surgery thus far.

Medifast is similar to Optifast... although i don't know that medifast has any medical supervision.
There absolutely is a place for very low calorie, high protein liquid diets as tool for certain people... But it is only a tool and MUST MUST MUST be medically supervised!

I did Optifast for 8 months back in 2006-2007. My diet was to be around 800cal/day... although I did take it much lower than that at times.

I recently wrote a blog about liquid diets and encourage you to read over my experience with it. If this is something that you are seriously considering, you need to consult a physician and be medically monitored! And, yes, hair loss can be a result.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_
individual.asp?blog_id=4834775


Edited by: PANDAS10 at: 4/22/2012 (14:23)
BOOKWORM27S SparkPoints: (131,905)
Fitness Minutes: (63,497)
Posts: 10,962
4/22/12 12:36 P

I have not tried a liquid diet, but I did lose a ton of weight on a very low calorie and low-fat diet. One side effect that nobody warned me about..... you can develop gallstones on a very low-fat/rapid weight loss diet. I have calcified gallstones the size of grapes now! I have yet to have my gallbladder removed, and I just plan my diet around foods that do not cause an attack. I wish someone had warmed me about gallstones, I would have done things differently and incorporated healthy fats into my diet.
emoticon

DOINGIT20121 SparkPoints: (3,479)
Fitness Minutes: (2,711)
Posts: 31
4/22/12 12:09 P

I was on Medifast in 2011 and had a health coach who was horrible. She wanted to get credit for my online food orders because TSL is like having a homebased business. Many people who have been on Medifast and the TSL have gained the weight back. I think eating 800 calories is not healthy.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,745
11/8/11 2:53 P

I would avoid any diet that tells me hair loss is a possibility

STEELMILLGAL Posts: 15
11/8/11 9:05 A

Back in 2008, I lost 40 pounds on the Medifast diet. I started on April 19th at 178 and was down to 138 by July 4th.

A couple of things:

1) It is rather expensive. A month of medifast meals cost approximately $300. You eat 5 of their meals a day and then at night you have a "lean and green meal" - i.e., a protein and veggies.

2) I did have some hair loss issues - you can take biotin supplements and use Nioxin shampoo to help with this.

3) The weight loss comes off fast the first week or 2, then slows down so you don't lose 3-5 pounds every week. 1-2 is more likely.

4) Their meals did not taste that bad. They have added brownies, pretzels, and alot of other better products lately.

The reason I am not doing this diet now is that I want to try to make my own choices to eat healthier and the cost issues.

I honestly think because I was only eating 900 calories a day, that it did slow my metabolism down even further and I gained back the weight rather quickly.

Good Luck!

LOVEMYKIDS:) Posts: 22
11/7/11 9:36 P

I started Medifast last week and have lost 11 pounds in 5 days. I don't know how long I can stay on it because of the cost, and also the restrictions. I started crying yesterday when my son was eating chipotle, lol. I do have to admit it is giving me a lot of energy which is good and bad because they don't want you to exercise at all for the first month, and then not do much after that. I'm thinking maybe after a couple of weeks transitioning to a low fat diet, and work out more.

CELESTJILL Posts: 936
11/5/11 8:48 A

I'm doing Medifast right now. They have a program called take shape for life. a health coach works with you. Mine is checking in with me daily right now because I just started. what sold me on trying the program is that I need to build that habit of eating 6 small meals a day. The plan is a 5-1 plan. you use 5 meal replacements (soup, shakes, puddings, various snack items, pancakes, eggs even oatmeal) and eat one lean and green meal. So you CAN go out to eat with your friends, get a salad with some lean meat, could be chicken, fish, or steak. Just watch your sides the same as you would with any healthy eating plan. I went out to eat and had grilled fish a side salad, steamed asparagus and I was totally on plan and the food was delicious. I did that before starting the diet because my health coach suggested I try it next time I went out to eat to see how easy it is. You don't always have to go with a salad.
I'm liking most the habit forming 6 meals a day. I'm already in charge of one meal. I can do that. With the fit for life program (health coach is free, when you buy the meal plan) they also teach you how to transition off of the meal plans. They teach you how to do it on your own when you are ready to do that. Some people can just do that. I'm not in that place. This is a good fit for me. I just felt I needed to share that its not just drink a shake and starve. the foods they have are all nutritionally balanced to get you all the vitamins and minerals you need in a day, and you are eating every 3 hours. you also have extra snacks they have provided a list of, like celery sticks or almonds (sound familiar?) that you can add if you need to take the edge off. or have an extra shake and go back to plan the next day.
if you just bought the food on your own, didn't use it as an educational tool then yeah I think it would probably be hard to see how it can work. but using the program the way they have it set up educates you along the way in bite size pieces until you are at your goal weight, ready for maintenance and have all the tools in place to help you live successfully without putting the weight back on.

MORNINGGLORY609 Posts: 130
10/3/11 3:14 P

I agree with Russell...there was a point in my life when I only consumed that many calories, and I felt awful. And Medifast is right about hair loss. I lost hair, too. Your hair will begin to fall out if you aren't getting the proper nutrients in your body to sustain it.

I say limit your calories, work out more, and stay away from diets that could have you potentially losing too much weight too quickly. We all want a fast solution to our weight issues, but patience pays off. I would just hate to see you hurt yourself trying a diet like this.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/3/11 3:08 P

800-1000 calories.. why? just eat normal, healthy food, and you will lose. @ 1200-1500 .

SANSIMEONGIRL Posts: 139
10/3/11 11:11 A

I have seen success on it (a friend of mine lost 180 pounds and it has totally changed his life); and failure (my husband has been "on" it for months and hasn't lost any weight). It depends how motivated you are to stick to the plan. The guy who lost all that weight is single and childless. My husband has two boys he has full custody of and me to take on dates (we don't live together right now) so it is difficult for him to stick to it. I will say the first couple weeks when he did stick to it, he lost a lot of weight rapidly. But the food doesn't look good, I tried and and didn't like it (the high soy content takes a while to adjust to, they say), and the rapid weight loss gave him terrible breath. It also does not prepare him for "real world" eating. I would recommend sticking with the SparkPeople nutrition planner to plan your meals out every day; it is just so much easier make your eating fit with your life, no matter what occasion or unexpected thing pops up.

ILOVEMY2BIRDS Posts: 2,646
10/3/11 8:23 A

My opinion is don't do any sort of prepackaged diet.
It does not prepare you for a healthy lifestyle... Foe example...You can't go out to dineer with friends without stressing out over not being able to have your own food. etc.
It is probably full of chemical additives too.
I know having such a long term goal is tough on maintaining motivation and quick fixes always seem enticing, but remember people on such diets end up on and off them because thay don't work in everyday life.
Maybe a short term goal will be better... let's say lose 10 or 15 pounds by just cutting out something (like sodas or sweets etc) then make a new goal for the next 10 to 15 pounds. Some people call this concept "change one" because you change one thing at a time so you can really adopt the lifestyle for the long term.

READY2ROCK206 Posts: 500
10/3/11 12:30 A

I know a gal who lost about 70 lbs on it - if you can handle starving for months it seems to be effective. She calls it space food too - some of it looked downright nasty. It's pretty expensive too. Definately not for me, but she seems pretty successful.

RUSSELLDDN92014 Posts: 131
10/2/11 11:24 P

I have heard and read a little about the Medifast Diet. Has anyone tried it or know more about it? Some reviews say that you can loose 2-5 pounds a week on a 800-1000 calorie daily intake.... But then some say a side effect could be hair loss?

Since I have about 100 pounds to loose, it seems very enticing.

I would love some input, especially form those who may have been on this meal plan before.

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