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NORAM66 SparkPoints: (21,323)
Fitness Minutes: (40,813)
Posts: 75
12/9/14 2:40 A

The support of my health coach and family have been very important in my weight loss with Take Shape For Life. I am maintaining a 50 pound weight loss. My physician enthusiastically recommended this program when I was considering it. I am no longer taking any medication for high cholesterol and am no longer pre-diabetic. I am more physically active than I have ever been and don't have to make myself go to kettlebell classes which are challenging. I walk and take a yoga class for balance. Once I accepted that I am going to have to exercise and eat good food for 3 meals and 3 healthy snacks a day for life it's made my decision pay off. And I have inspired other people which is a different feeling.

I think WW is a great program, tried it 4 times or so over the years but the support part fell short of what I need.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (285,038)
Fitness Minutes: (136,173)
Posts: 13,637
4/16/14 10:34 A


RAMBLINRS13 Posts: 192
4/16/14 8:34 A

I actually tried it and didn't like it. I was craving real food, whole foods. I know many people have followed the plan and lost weight, but I couldn't keep following it. It's a soy based product and soy is a phytoestorgen. That fact alone made me reconsider Medifast. I try to steer clear of soy for that reason.

MLAN613 Posts: 19,027
4/15/14 7:51 A

I looked into it at one point. And I don't think it seemed healthy at all. They laid out a 1300 calorie plan. I run (slowly) half marathons. Um, if you say 100 calories per mile, that would be 1300 calories. I'd be burning off my food in just the race, never mind the minimum my body needs to function. Yes, I enjoy breathing and heartbeats.

They tried to say their special food is created to provide the nutrients my body needs. I still didn't think it seemed to be a healthy alternative to real foods, watching my calories, and making wise choices. Plus, it's really expensive.

BISCUITANDPENNY SparkPoints: (889)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 16
4/14/14 8:12 P

I was on it about 2 years ago and got sick trying to get off of it. They fail to tell you that little tidbit. I liked the food when I was on it, but it's really low cal and no, I don't believe the best choice out there.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (225,434)
Fitness Minutes: (84,359)
Posts: 7,170
4/14/14 2:20 P

I doubt he'll keep it off.

ANGELDN3 SparkPoints: (557)
Fitness Minutes: (907)
Posts: 4
4/13/14 7:33 A

Don't know when the last time someone posted, I have been back and forth on TSFL. I have a coach, I guess been lazy, I am starting back on it. Take care all.

MALICORNE1 Posts: 67
9/14/13 8:31 A

Since yesterday , I have started a protein liquid meal replacement. I won't call it diet , because it has all the necessary protein , fat and carbs as well as all balance vitamins and ...ins that a body needs for proper nourishment.

I have decided on this solution for the simple and desperate reason that my present lo-cal diet leaves me tired for very little results. (slow metabolism- hypothyroidy !)

This isn't Medifast, and I'll not give the name _ for the time being_ emoticon until I have tested it for a full month, and then gone for a check-up with my family doctor and an evaluation following blood analysis.

It tastes good, is n't expensive: $60.00 for 60 liquid meals , and include 2 regular snacks and 1 regular dinner per day.

Given the snacks' and dinners' choices, one gets between 1200 to 1350 cal a day.
It suits me well. ( My caloric bracket being 1200 to 1550 )

I'll keep posting the infos as how good or bad my health and results are , following the use
of that product.

Edited by: MALICORNE1 at: 9/14/2013 (08:39)
MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (285,038)
Fitness Minutes: (136,173)
Posts: 13,637
9/13/13 11:33 A


BETH5612 SparkPoints: (4,701)
Fitness Minutes: (1,875)
Posts: 143
9/13/13 11:17 A

Just wondered. I've been researching MediFast and they have a Take Shape for Life program that involves coaching by people who've been in the program. My SIL is a coach and she says it pays pretty well.

9/13/13 9:21 A

I would be happy to share my pic. Looking to meet people who share a similar passion to get healthy with whatever method works for them. I am interested in health as a whole but Medifast has my heart because it helped me personally. I was surprised to see people here doing the program and simply wanted to offer encouragement. Is there a problem with that?

BETH5612 SparkPoints: (4,701)
Fitness Minutes: (1,875)
Posts: 143
9/13/13 8:33 A

Patti, I'd love to seme your before and after photos. Is your goal in joining SparkPeople to coach others through the Medifast plan? I notice your page is called "Get Slim For Life."

BETH5612 SparkPoints: (4,701)
Fitness Minutes: (1,875)
Posts: 143
9/13/13 8:31 A

David, I hear what you're saying about nutritional benefits, and in fact my mother is having a protein shake every day for lunch instead of a meal. She says she feels great as a result. However, she isn't losing weight, and she's probably 40 or 50 pounds overweight.

DAVIDJACKSON01 SparkPoints: (126)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 42
9/13/13 2:22 A

Medifast is one of several diets programs that incorporate liquid meal replacement shakes with regular food to help dieters lower their calorie intake while maintaining their nutritional needs. Many dieters do not get adequate nutrition in the food they eat and the meal replacements help to fulfill the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.

9/13/13 1:10 A

I love the Medifast program. So happy to hear you are doing well.. I was in weight loss for 18 months and lost 150 pounds.. Have maintained over a year now.. Wishing you continued success. The program is not for everyone but I know a bunch more that have helped by this program..

BETH5612 SparkPoints: (4,701)
Fitness Minutes: (1,875)
Posts: 143
7/29/13 11:58 A

Nonstopnow, how is the Medifast plan working for you now? Are you still losing weight?

NONSTOPNOW SparkPoints: (1,265)
Fitness Minutes: (795)
Posts: 1
4/1/13 4:29 P

I'm so happy to find this thread on Medifast! I tried Spark throughout the month of January and part of February, keeping track and ins and outs for calories, with very little success. I started Medifast (MF) on February 27th, a little skeptical about the whole ketosis thing. The 1st thing I realized was that I was freed of making decisions about what to eat and when to eat and how to get in my 5 fruits and veggies a day and balance the fat and carbs and learn new recipes. The new decision was to pick a packet 5 times a day and pick one protein and add three svgs of veggies off a list. No more obsessing about food!!! Everything I needed for my 5 daily MF meals was in boxes in the kitchen waiting for me! For the one Lean & Green meal each day, it's easy to throw together because I'm not adding butter or cream or cheese or whatever and I don't have to think (obsess) too much.

I am now experiencing no mood swings from carbs. I eat every 2-3 hours and rarely count the minutes until I can eat again; in fact, I have to watch the clock to be sure I don't go over 3 hours. It's strange to hear myself say, "oh, I have to eat again now" but I do all the time.

My relationship with food has changed in one month. I now see food as sustenance for my body -- what I need to put into it so I can do physical things -- and too much food as hurting myself and making myself carry extra weight around. I want to be kinder to myself. I don't cheat on MF, initially because of the physiology of ketosis (extra carbs, protein or fat takes you out of fat-burning mode) but more recently because I realize I'd be doing myself a disservice. I remember all the times I "played" with the rules on other diets (especially Weight Watchers). I'm losing weight for myself -- it's my birthday gift to myself this year (turning 55 in June). I want out of the old relationship with food.

As for learning new habits, I've found that cooking once a day with restrictions is what I needed to get me to find recipes and foods that taste good. Fish -- I tried scallops and Mahi Mahi for the first time. Lean beef, without bacon or special sauce or cheese or bun, is great. Eggbeaters - first time ever. Veggies in new ways (I've always been a veggie lover so this was easy for me). Laughing Cow cheese tastes really creamy when you lose your taste for real cheese (fatty).

Anyways, I'm glad that Spark has a group of other MF folks. I think you have to figure out what works for you, based on your history with various diets. I needed a plan that would not let me cheat and that make meal decisions easy, so MF fits perfectly. Oh yeah, I've lost 17 pounds in the first 30 days. My doctor gave me the green light to go ahead, especially when I explained the transition part of the plan when I'll be adding back stuff that I can't have now.

CHEFLER Posts: 80
3/22/13 9:50 P

Trish, I'm with you! The plan has been a success for me, too. I'm still in the weight loss phase of the plan. Down 65 lbs with 35 to go, and I know I'll do it this time. I wish I would've found this plan 10 years ago. Congrats on keeping it off and sticking with it.

TRISHA026 SparkPoints: (3)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
2/27/13 2:42 P

Here's is my experience with Medifast. Like one of the posters below, I found out about Medifast through my doctor. Her and her husband are both doctors. They did research to find the best plan out there, specifically looking for one that you did not lose muscle mass. Her husband needed to lose 45 or so pounds, so they chose Medifast. It worked quickly, he lost the weight and then the staff in the office also used it and lost weight.

I had tried WW'ers for 6 months, it had worked in the past, but I'm older now & had hormonal issues & hypothyroidism and this time it just did not work. So my Dr. recommended I try Medifast. I lost 35 pounds and my husband lost 40 pounds. We maintained muscle mass & have no sagging skin issue. I'm sure that varies with each person & I think it's important to have a regular exercise plan.
Someone mentioned in another post, it doesn't teach you about healthy eating habits. I take an issue with that, as it most certainly taught me about eating healthy & making better food choices. I learned so much by reading Dr. A's Book and took the information that I learned & put into practice with my eating habits. We no longer eat fast food or crave it at all. I do cook healthy now, didn't before. When I go out to eat, I make healthier choices.
After you reach your goal, there is a transition phase, then a maintenance phase. Those phases introduce healthy veggies & fruits & foods back into your diet gradually. What other plans offer a maintenance phase?

It has been almost two years and my husband & I are maintaining successfully & under goal. We still buy the products, such as the bars, as they are perfect for traveling, for work, or when you just don't have time to cook. We certainly don't have to buy as much as we did when first starting the plan, but we will always have some available for the conveniences I mentioned above. And they all have the right nutrients, so I know I'm always eating something that is good for me. But you don't have to continue to buy the products after reaching goal, but it works for us & our lifestyle.

I am not against any plan, I am only sharing my experience with Medifast. Our bodies are not the same, our health issues are not the same. I feel sad for those who put down others who are trying to become healthy & spew ignorance about what they haven't even tried or know the facts about. I have seen people in WW'ers put down others for using other means of getting healthier. That is pathetic to me. I would never put down anyone who has succeeded with another weight loss plan, as long as it has proven to be healthy & not a harmful diet. This is a healthy plan that is safe & is about "optimal health" & teaching you to make the right food choices & getting the right micro-nutirents. The ultimate goal is to become a healthier person for yourself & your loved ones.

Medifast enriched my life is so many ways, I do not take any medications now, before I was on several & was going to regular doctor visits. Now I see my Dr. once a year. Even though I did not have alot of weight to lose, I had some major health issues and they were getting worse. Now I'm happy, healthy & I workout daily & love it! Good luck to all of you on Medifast or those who are still looking for the perfect plan for you. Your health is worth it, it's your life and you can improve the quality of your life by losing excess weight! Find what works for you & put your health first, now! Good luck!

Edited by: TRISHA026 at: 2/27/2013 (15:16)
GENELA Posts: 8
2/14/13 1:45 P

Hello! I must agree with you about the TSFL program! My husband and I started last July and I am 35 lbs lighter. I am more active than when I started. I am a long way from goal weight however I remember my pain getting up and moving around that I no longer have. I remember being 373 at my heaviest. When I started, I was 327 lbs now I am 288 lbs -I will NOT go back - I will keep moving forward! Educating yourself about any Plan is well advised. For the TSFL (Take Shape For Life) Medifast products, it is all about OPTIMAL Health! BTW-when I saw my doctor in December -he was AMAZED and said if I keep it up - he will be taking me off my diabetes medication! music to my ears. Yes-it works! Next month I start taking Horseback riding Lessons. Stay Encouraged and Keep On Keeping On!

Edited by: GENELA at: 2/14/2013 (13:48)
KAMWICK Posts: 12
5/26/12 11:57 A

It's too bad that Medifast products seem to have gotten a bad rap here. I think there is a lot of misinformation about the program, and rightly so, since so many folks don't have the information to do it right and be successful. Basically, it takes understanding why and how the products should be used, and then following clinically proven programs FULLY. Many people go to a Medifast center, pay a ridiculous amount of money, then quit right after they've lost weight. Then they gain it back. There is another, more effective way to use the products - medically and scientifically based.

I've been using Medifast products since February 23rd under my doctor's supervision. She is a Take Shape for Life coach as well as a medical doctor. I had a D&C in February for ongoing bleeding, endometrial thickening and anemia. I weighed 185 pounds (I'm 5'4", small frame), and discovered during that minor surgery that my blood pressure had gone up to the bottom of the "high" range. Scared the heck out of me. After the D&C I made the decision to have a total hysterectomy and did not want the added mortality risk factor of high blood pressure. (I am age 52, had no menopause in sight, thickened endometrium, history of stage 0 breast cancer).

I had read that the Medifast program was originally developed to assist obese patients in losing weight quickly prior to surgery. Knowing that my doctor was a coach, I asked her to help me with it. I was successful in losing 17 pounds prior to surgery (March 29). A couple of days prior to surgery, my doctor took me out of the mild ketosis phase (800-1000 cals) and had me add more foods (to about 1200 cals). I had a fabulous surgery, with normal blood pressure (daVinci robot-assisted, with an experienced surgeon - people should really check this out if they need a hysterectomy- I went in at 5 a.m. and was HOME at 4:30 p.m. Only took ibuprofen for pain). Two weeks later I went back on Medifast. I am now at 150 pounds. I will continue until I reach 130, then do 4 weeks on transition, and then go into maintenance. I am very committed to successfully complete the program, and successfully maintain.

Because I have been gradually increasing my exercise (and muscle mass) as allowed after surgery, I am not having the saggy skin problems people are describing. I address plateaus and slower weight loss periods this way also. I also have the added bonus of a LOT of energy and rapid weight loss that is truly gratifying. Ironically, since my surgery, I haven't had any menopausal symptoms. I can't take hormone replacement therapy. The medifast products do have a lot of soy (plus, I'm vegetarian), and lowering one's blood pressure has been found to reduce hot flashes in those who suffer from them. I'm not sure there is actually a connection, but this is what I'm experiencing.

The thing I want to share with people is that Medifast really should only be done under medical supervision, and I think the Take Shape for Life system is a very good way to do it. If your doctor is not a coach, then find one for free and get your own doctor involved. Why more docs aren't doing this I don't know. My doc is one of the few that I know of that will actually tell people to their face that they need to lose weight, and often won't refer for surgery such as knee replacement or gastric bypass until the person has lost the extra weight they need to. She is TRULY a doctor, and I feel lucky to have found her.

The program is FREE for the user (coaches are paid a nominal stipend by TSFL to provide the coaching). You order the products through the coach's website, there's free shipping for monthly orders over $150 and extra bonuses (free food, tools, etc.) for the first 3 months. It's not like a Medifast center where you have to pay $100.00 just to join, and then buy the foods on top of that.

I have found that I'm actually spending less per month on food with this program. One of the reasons I weighed so much is that I am definitely a "foodie" and was always buying new foods to cook and try, so the food budget was higher.

My doctor also has once a month group meetings with us in which we are doing a book study of "Dr. A's Habits of Health", which outlines how to successfully lose the extra weight, transition and maintain, but beyond that set the stage for ongoing good health. The point is not simply to lose extra weight, but to set the stage for continued optimal health, based on the science that is available today. ("Dr. A.", Wayne Anderson, is a medical director for Medifast, but is also a cofounder of the Take Shape for Life program and is the executive director for the Health Institute, which does training and certification for health coaching). His book outlines how to use "portion-controlled meal replacements" (such as medifast products) in order to lose weight safely and rapidly, but he ALSO outlines an alternative 1200 calorie program that one can do oneself involving non-Medifast foods. So, the point is that Medifast, if even used, is just a small part of the program. Basically it's the idea of 6 small meals a day, with a good balance of carbs/calories/fat and protein to induce a fat burning state (mild ketosis, not extreme as on other types of programs).

Bottom line is that for me, losing the extra weight is the easiest, smallest part of my health journey (because the weight loss is definitely easy - I'm feeling very little hunger and maybe because I'm successfully losing, the temptation to cheat doesn't seem to be there).

The most important (and challenging) part for me in future will be learning to continue eating 6 meals per day, and gradually increasing the calorie intake as well as the energy expenditure (calories burned) in order to maintain the weight. Since I do enjoy exercising, I am hoping eventually to be able to increase my energy output in order to consume 1800-2000 calories/day, while still maintaining. But it will be an ongoing, exacting exercise for me.

Right now, I am looking at it as a fun kind of new hobby. An ongoing challenge that no longer seems to be so overwhelming since I have been able to lose the weight so quickly. My past experience, and the experience of every single person I've known that has struggled with their weight has been that the 'slow and steady' method is definitely not as gratifying or easy to do. I prefer to save my struggles and concentration for the period AFTER I lose all the weight. Right now I'm using the Support in Motion website to monitor my daily intake of food (they have all the medifast nutrition info listed). When I go to transition and maintenance I will use the Spark tracker to track my food intake (all my old favorites are already entered there).

So, is the "Medifast Diet" (simply eating the 5 meals per day plus protein and vegetables until reaching desired weight without doing research or having medical supervision) "good" for you?

By itself, NO.

Are Medifast products used as part of a well-researched, well-FOLLOWED, medically supervised program good for you? From my experience, and those I've met who've successfully followed the program, DEFINITELY YES.

Edited by: KAMWICK at: 5/26/2012 (13:28)
OLEARYD26 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,474)
Posts: 38
5/25/12 1:34 P

If you can prepare simple healthy meals, its better to form your own good cooking habits rather than rely on meals delivered to your door. Forming habits is where you learn how to change your life so as not to return to old habits!

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
5/25/12 12:49 P

We always say 1 to 2 pounds a week is the safe rate, but a better way to think about it is as a percentage of your excess weight. It's safe to lose around 2-3% of your excess weight per week (or maybe up to 4% if you're really obese and you're getting checked out by a doctor every week.) So if your friend had over 200 pounds to lose, then 30 pounds in a month isn't too far out of bounds. It's a little too fast and he'll definitely have some muscle loss that he'll regret later, but if you're 200 pounds overweight, getting the weight off is important enough for general health that you could argue that it's a reasonable trade-off.

If you have 50 pounds to lose, then 1-2 pounds is the fastest safe rate. That's why SparkPeople says 1-2 pounds, because the vast majority of people have 25-100 pounds to lose and that range is 1-2% for that majority.

5/25/12 11:04 A

Thank you to all of you who responded to my question...both here and in private messages. I have learned a lot, had some other things that I thought I knew confirmed, and am so thankful for this Spark community.

I asked you guys because I knew I would trust your answers.

I only need to lose 50 pounds so losing 30 pounds in a month sounded great to me....but I don't want to sacrifice my body or my health long term.

I think I'll keep plodding away at my snail's pace. I have so much to learn about nutrition and how the body works that I'll be busy!

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

FEDGIRL4 Posts: 2,184
5/25/12 10:37 A

DIVINEPRICESS, to answer your direct question, Medifast is a food delivery system. You get the food every week or other week. Just like any other meal delivery system (i.e., Jenny Craig), it costs a lot. Will you lose weight? Yes. Will it be quickly? Depending on your current eating habits, possibly or probably.

That being answered and said, the other posters are correct. Depending on your build and weight, if you lose the weight too quickly, you will have a lot of saggy skin.

The safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

Edited by: FEDGIRL4 at: 5/25/2012 (10:39)
REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
5/25/12 6:13 A

1. Medifast doesn't teach people how to make good decisions with food long haul.. It is a lazy option replacing other lazy habits that got us fat in the first place.
2. Can you see yourself relying on this all your life? It is much more common sense to learn to master and navigate the kitchen if you have kids they also don't learn bad habits..
3. The skin issue is also correct- I have lost weight the hard way.. Lossing weight fast makes buying expensive plastic surgery a must.. The experts on sparkspeople also brush the fact it is very very unhealthy to have mega amounts of excess skin from yo yo dieting.. If skin can't breath or be keep clean it can loss circulation, not breath and cause bed sores aka gangrene by a more "politic correct name"..

There are no fast fixes lossing weight- it is best done eating varied "real food" at a slow and easy pace.. If people don't have time to make real food- if a lifestyle illness touches down in their life they will slow down anyway and then all those excuses they make for being busy will be very irrelevant. If I had a dollar for all the clients I have met whom regret not looking efter their body business more carefully I would be a very rich health care worker!

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 5/25/2012 (06:22)
NONA-UK Posts: 245
5/25/12 1:55 A

Apart from every thing else - if you lose weight this quickly you WILL be left with lots of extra saggy wrinkly skin. It's like taking a balloon and deflating it. That on its own is enough to put me right off the idea of any crash diets.

5/25/12 1:29 A

I have a friend who is currently on the MedFast 5 & 1 plan, and he says he lost 21 pounds in the first two weeks, and 30 pound total in 4 weeks.

Everything I've read on Spark says losing 1-2 pounds a week is healthy; so how does this MedFast diet fit in? Is it healthy? Is it excess fat he's losing or muscle and/or tissue?

If it's working so well for him, I'm thinking of trying it, but I've learned over the years to beware of "quick fixes".

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