Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Is Medifast Expensive?

Is Medifast too expensive?
It depends on what price you place on your health.
When people find out I lost 25 pounds in three months with Medifast, the first question they typically ask is "Is it expensive?" My usual response is "Not really," followed by "It depends on what you consider expensive."

I then let them know the cost of the food, about $12 a day for the five Medifast replacement meals plus about $4-$8 for the lean and green meal I purchase or prepare myself. Though that may be more money than I usually spend on food, I am also saving money on alcohol, coffee drinks, vending machine snacks and other wallet shrinking purchases from my pre-Medifast days. Overall, the extra expense is either a wash or only slightly higher than what I was spending before on edibles and potables.

I'd rather shrink my waist than my wallet with frivolous food and drink purchases
Since I do not participate in Medifast through one of its centers, I do not pay for any coaching or guidance. Instead, I have a free health coach through Medifast's Take Shape for Life program and also get support from the free Medifast forums, independent blogs and a couple of Facebook groups to which I belong. I buy my food through my health coach at the same price I would pay online buying through Medifast direct, and sometimes I purchase or swap foods through one of my Facebook groups or eBay.

For me, there is no price too high for getting into a healthy weight zone and feeling comfortable in my own skin. Every penny I have spent on Medifast has been worth it, and with every pound I've lost, my odds of getting diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions have gone down.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that I look better in my clothes and can go shopping in my closet again.

If I were living on a subsistence wage, I could not afford to do Medifast. But I am fortunate to be at a place in my life where a minor extra expense is not only within my budget, but almost mandatory if I want to reclaim my fit and healthy body.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my Take Shape for Life website.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Amazing Things You Can Do with Medifast Brownies

You'll heart this legal fudge
from the Medifast California website
If I had to choose one Medifast food I could not live without, it would probably be the brownies. My last “meal” of the day is usually made with the magical Medifast brownie powder mixed with three tablespoons of water. I don’t microwave this delightful mixture... just eat it straight out of the bowl for a chocolaty nightcap.

Another thing I like to do with Medifast brownie mix is blend it up with crushed ice and water for a different spin on a chocolate shake. Sure Medifast makes its own shake mixes, but I prefer to make my shakes with the brownie mix because it tastes better and has chocolate chips in it that I can eat after my shake is gone.

Another delicious variation on the Medifast brownie mix is adding water as directed and rolling the mixture into several small balls. I freeze the brownie balls for a few minutes, then eat them like candy.

Recently I found a cool way to use the brownie mix that I can’t wait to try -- a brownie cookie made with brownie mix and the Medifast S’more Crunch Bar.  The recipe involves softening the crunch bar a bit, then mixing with the brownie batter. You can form the dough into one big or two smaller cookie-shaped objects and microwave until done. Here’s a You Tube video with exact instructions. When my next order arrives with a box of S’more Crunch Bars, I’m going to try this and let you know if it's as good as it looks.

In the meantime, what is your favorite way to improve Medifast brownies? Let me know in the comments section below.



Subscribe to Diet Skeptic Does Medifast by Email

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon


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Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Medifast Pros and Cons

Trying to lose weight ... again? That was me every year at the end of December before I heard about Medifast. With more diets out there than Duggar kids, it was tough to find a program that fit my needs.

After losing almost 30 pounds in three months, I can confidently say Medifast worked for me. But it's definitely not for everyone.

If you're thinking about trying Medifast, here are some of the main pros and cons to consider:
What are the pros and cons
of doing Medifast?

Medifast Pro: It works.

The Medifast diet is guaranteed to make you lose weight if you follow the plan as instructed. Even if you cheat a little you will still lose weight, albeit a little more slowly.

Medifast Con: It's expensive

If you buy your food directly from Medifast it averages about $2.42 per meal or a total of $12.10 per day -- excluding the lean and green meal of veggies and protein you cook yourself. In total you can figure $16 dollars a day for food, which translates to $112 per week or $480 per month. That's a lot of moolah.

Medifast Pro: It's expensive

The fact you're spending so much money on Medifast replacement meals makes you more likely to stay on plan. Why waste money on Medifast food if you're just going to cheat? Plus, many people actually spend less money overall since they're not raiding the office vending machine, eating at fast food joints or drinking mojitos and margaritas.

Medifast Con: It's processed food

If you're already eating clean, you probably don't have a weight issue.

Medifast Con: The food tastes funny

Though some people never get used to the off taste of Medifast foods, it usually takes only a week or two
Add enough Sriracha sauce
and you won't taste a thing
for your taste buds to adjust. Using spices, Sriracha hot sauce, low-fat Laughing Cow cheese and other add-ins can help mask the funny flavors. 

Medifast Con: Rapid weight loss can cause health issues

The Medifast website acknowledges that rapid weight loss can lead to gall bladder issues. "Weight-loss programs can induce rapid weight loss which may cause gallstones or gallbladder disease for those at high risk," To minimize the risk, be sure to eat your two healthy fat serving as recommended and consult with your doctor if you experience any adverse symptoms. And remember, being overweight can also cause health issues.

Medifast Con: You won't fit into your fat clothes any more.

Medifast Pro: You won't fit into your fat clothes any more.

Please note: The opinions here are strictly my own and based on personal experience. If you have a chronic health condition, consult with your doctor before starting Medifast or any diet.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

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Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Medifast Dilemma: Diet Saboteurs or Distorted Body Image?

Do my eyes deceive me when I look in the mirror?
After losing more than 25 pounds on Medifast, some people have started saying, “You’re getting too skinny.”

Who? Me?

I am now only about five pounds away from what I consider my ideal weight, the same weight I was through most of my adult life. I’ve gone from a tight-fitting size 12 (and sometimes reluctant 14) to a comfortable size 10, and after shedding those last few pounds I’ll feel just right.

Still, the naysayers make me question what my ideal body weight should be.

Is it possible I’m still viewing myself as the former fat version of me when I look in the mirror?

Or does the “you’re-getting-too-skinny” crowd, which has started pushing food at me, secretly prefer I stay pleasantly plump so they can feel better about their own extra weight?

"Just one little cookie won't hurt, dear."


At this point, I feel pretty confident that I perceive my body objectively, but I need to be careful not to move past my healthy set point.

There is a part of me that worries when I migrate from the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan to the Medifast transition and maintenance programs all my fat will instantly reappear overnight. On those few occasions I have strayed from the diet, I half expected my pants to be too tight to zip up the next day.

Yet based on the history other Medifast dieters have had staying fit and trim long after losing their weight with Medifast, I remain hopeful I’ll be among the many Medifast success stories. For now, I choose to receive the contrary comments as compliments and to have faith I can stay the course without going overboard.




Subscribe to Diet Skeptic Does Medifast by Email


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon




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Visit my other blogs:

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Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.

Friday, December 27, 2013

5 Favorite Medifast Recipes for Lean and Green Meals

One of the best things about Medifast is how simple the diet is. I only have to prepare one meal a day, my lean and green meal, consisting of massive doses of veggies and lean protein.

In a pinch, I can do salad or cooked veggies with grilled chicken, Boca Burger patties or other favorite protein. I often buy grilled chicken strips or already-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. When the cupboards are bare, there's always tuna -- or hard boiled eggs

But on those days I'm feeling creative, it’s fun to go a little wild with my lean and greens. Here are a few of my favorite go-to meals:
Alice Springs Chicken Medifast style

In my pre-Medifast days I loved Alice Spring’s Chicken from Outback, and now I adore this delicious Medifast lean and green copycat from the Sandy’s Kitchen blog. It has all the same great flavors – chicken, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. When I prepare  this, I can't believe I'm eating OP!

One of my favorite ways to spice up lean and green meals is to experiment with international cuisines. Sandy’s version of Thai Green Coconut Curry Shrimp with Basil makes me feel like I'm eating at my favorite Thai restaurant. You can alter this recipe so many ways by adding chicken or varying the veggies.

When I start to miss comfort foods like meatballs and spaghetti, I get my fix with Italian Meatballs & Spaghetti Squash from the Lean and Green Recipes blog. This Medifast-friendly meal switches out spaghetti squash for the higher glycemic pasta, a popular trick for low carb dieters.

One of my favorite vegetarian lean and green meals is stuffed portabella mushrooms from the official Medifast Lean and Green cookbook. The recipe as written includes  low fat mozzarella cheese,  fresh tomato, rosemary, cilantro, garlic and other fresh ingredients that meld into a flavorful meal. It's a perfect pot luck dish when I want to make sure there's something I can eat amidst the casseroles and cakes.

Pizza on a diet? Who knew?

For a cool twist on pizza, I love this recipe from the New Beautiful Me blog that makes the crust out of cauliflower. I sometimes tweak it by adding some low-fat feta or turkey bacon crumbles and, yes, I totally feel like I'm cheating.

What are some of your favorite Medifast lean and green meals? Post your Medifast friendly recipe links in the comments section below.



Subscribe to Diet Skeptic Does Medifast by Email

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon


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Visit my other blogs:

Groovy Movies

Fit Kitty


Bookish

Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Should Medifast Be Part of Your New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight?

Losing weight was always at the top of my list
of New Year's resolutions

Like most overweight Americans, every year after Christmas I would put “LOSE WEIGHT!” at the top of my list of New Year’s resolutions. Like a star atop a Christmas tree, the words were more decorative than meaningful. Without a concrete plan to shed my extra pounds, I was doomed to failure.

This year I am thrilled that losing weight is not one of my goals for 2014. I have already lost the bulk of my unwanted pounds thanks to starting the Medifast program in late September. Since the plan is so effective and easy to follow, I’m confident the rest of my extra pounds will melt off like marshmallows in a camp fire.

Looking back, I realize why my annual resolution to lose weight was more fluff than substance. I did not believe in diets so I didn’t follow a concrete program. Instead, I resolved to eat more healthy foods, drink more water, cut back on “bad” foods, ask myself “Are you hungry” before I ate something, eat more slowly and consciously, oh yeah—and watch those portion sizes.

I wanted a diet that would move the scale
faster than a snail's pace
Those are all good rules, only I didn’t always follow them. Plus, they were geared to a slow and gradual weight loss which did not provide the instant gratification of seeing the scale move south on a more rapid, steady basis. Patience is not one of my strong suits.

Granted, Medifast may not be for everyone. The food tastes funny at first, but after a few days I not only got used to it, I actually started to crave it. The one lean and green meal per day tasted heavenly, providing a renewed appreciation for “real food,” even without my pasta, tortillas and other pre-Medifast favorites.

For those who are disciplined and have incredible will power, eating smaller portions of healthier foods is probably the best weight loss method long term. But chances are people like that don’t have a weight issue to begin with.

Happily for me, Medifast gave me the ammunition to win my own personal battle of the bulge so now I can focus on other aspects of my life that are more rewarding.


If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my Take Shape for Life website.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Medifast Is Processed Food

One of the common knocks on Medifast is that the replacement meals are processed food. Aside from the bars, most of the meals consist of some kind of mystery powder that you mix with water. Certainly nothing you would see growing on a tree or grazing in a meadow.

That this powder is chock-full of protein, fiber and vitamins does not impress the purists. You could get the same amount of protein and fiber in real food without all the chemicals.

Knowledge of healthy eating
does not always result in eating healthily
So true.

But if it were that easy to lose weight by eating whole foods, why are Americans so fat? Even nutritionist conferences contain some rotund people.

For some of us, eating healthy to lose weight just doesn’t work. In between our Brussels sprouts and grilled chicken breasts we manage to sneak in brownies and cheesecake, chips and dip, bread and butter, oodles of noodles, cheeseburgers and fries, and other fattening foods -- often rationalized by the thought, “Well, for the most part I eat healthy.”

Sure there are some disciplined people who can handle a DIY diet devoid of processed food. But I am not one of them. I was a vegan in a former life and ate extremely clean, but after a while I couldn’t handle the extreme aspect of my diet and boomeranged into a diet of debauchery.

After five decades on this planet, I have come to realize that few things are all or nothing. I can use Medifast as a tool to lose weight as I gradually wean myself off of some of my worst eating habits. Kitchen Parade blogger and foodie Alanna Kellogg reached the same conclusion after a friend told her, “Being overweight is so harmful to your health, the importance of losing weight trumps the importance of real food. If losing weight takes processed food, it takes processed food.”

Chances are, if you need to lose weight, you are probably already eating processed foods, but ones which are not nearly as healthy and helpful as Medifast.

I have learned the hard way that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and I'm willing to make a short-term tradeoff for a longer-term reward.



Subscribe to Diet Skeptic Does Medifast by Email


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon




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Visit my other blogs:

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Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Is Medifast Dangerous?

When I started the Medifast weight loss program almost three months ago, my daughter warned me it was dangerous because it would slow my metabolism. She suspected I would gain my weight back right after I stopped the diet (and then some!) since my body would cling tightly to every calorie after I had starved it for so long with a very low calorie diet (under 1000 calories per day).

Medifast could be risky, but so could being overweight
A web search on the dangers of Medifast turned up another red flag: high protein diets put extra strain on the kidneys; so Medifast could potentially cause such problems as kidney stones.

On various web forums, people also claimed they had to have their gall bladders removed after being on Medifast, due to their relatively low fat intake and rapid weight loss. The Medifast website even states, "Weight-loss programs can induce rapid weight loss which may cause gallstones or gallbladder disease for those at high risk."

The official Medifast website states that if you have any acute or chronic conditions, such as heart attack, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, anorexia or bulimia, "Do not use Medifast until your health care provider says you have recovered or that your condition is stabilized."

In other words, "Dieter beware!" Do your own due diligence -- whether its web research or a frank talk with your health care provider.

Since there is no history of gallstones in my famiily, and I do not have any chronic or acute health conditions, I believe the risk-reward ratio of Medifast is on my side. My BMI is already back in the normal range, and I am looking forward to getting my labs done to see if my cholesterol and glucose levels have decreased (stay tuned!).

As for my daughter's warning, only time will tell. Her wedding is in May and I am determined to still be slim enough to wear a fitted dress and look presentable in the photos. With only 30 pounds to lose altogether, I will not be on Medifast long term and am optimistic that my health condition will actually improve as a result of this marvelous diet.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

What is ketosis?

One of the ways Medifast helps people magically lose weight is by putting the body in a mild state of ketosis. While ketosis may sound like a dread disease, it is actually a pretty cool thing.

In a nutshell, here's how ketosis works: when you switch to a high protein, low carb diet, the liver runs out of glycogen stores and starts using fat -- instead of carbohydrates -- as fuel.

Fuel burns, right? So what happens is that your fat starts melting off your tummy, hips and other areas of your body and is disposed as a waste product.
Ketosis helps fat melt off your body

B'bye, fat. Don't let the door hit you on your way out!

Seriously, ketosis is the magic behind Medifast and other high protein / low carb diets like Atkins and South Beach. It takes about three days for your body to achieve this state once you change your eating habits, so every time you cheat you risk getting out of ketosis and having to start all over again.

The way I look at it, carbs for Medifast dieters is like antibuse for alcoholics. While the calories from a hunk of bread or chocolate chip cookie may not kill me, the extra carbs may cause my body to get out of ketosis and force me to start the process all over again.

The first few days of getting into ketosis are the hardest part since you can experience undesirable symptoms like headaches and sluggishness. After that, however, the ketones suppress hunger and the headaches go away as your metabolism adapts to burning fat vs. sugar.

On the rare occasions I've cheated on Medifast, I did it in waves, giving myself a few days to indulge in some forbidden foods/drinks before going strictly back OP and returning to my fat melting state.


You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

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Visit my other blogs:

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Bookish

Dictionary Woman

Follow Nancy's board Medifast on Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

True Confessions of a Medifast Cheater

December has to be the most challenging month for staying OP with Medifast. Everywhere I turn, cookies and other fattening foods are calling out like temptresses, "You know you want to taste me ... a little bite won't hurt."

Yes, I cheated. And I don't regret it!
For the most part, I have been able to resist their wily ways, but yesterday was an exception. I was invited to two holiday events: lunch at a steak house for work and a dinner party in the evening.

For lunch, I said no to the baked potato and warm bread and butter, something I would never have done pre-Medifast. I enjoyed my tender and savory steak, green salad with minimal dressing, and a small helping of ranch beans. I could have foregone dessert, but when the waitress brought out a tray of warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies, I ate part of one.

So, although I technically cheated, I ate far less than what I would have eaten had I not been following Medifast.

Now for dinner. My book group of 25 years, which contains some Ina Garten-worthy cooks, conjured up their annual holiday spread. This year I was fortunate that many chose veggies as the base of their dishes. I loaded up on those, skipped the dishes that were overly carby (such as the lasagne), and sampled a couple of the desserts. And, maybe, I had a glass of red wine. Or two. But overall, not too bad.

I am actually fine with having strayed since my cheats were not too horrendous and in every case, worth it. I am on Medifast for the long haul, and one day does not a body make or ruin. Aside from the delicious food, I feasted on the many compliments about my weight loss, and at the end of the day my pants still fit.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my
Take Shape for Life website.


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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Medifast Ziti Marinara: Review

My ziti marinara looked nothing like this.
How did they get their ziti to blow up so big?
First the bad news: If you’re jonesing for pasta on Medifast, the new ziti marinara may not satisfy your craving.

It is a great replacement meal, however – especially for lunch.

Unlike some of the Medifast hearty meals, the ziti marinara does not have to be soaked for hours to be palatable. I usually soak it for 15-30 minutes prior to microwaving, and the texture is just fine.

So if it’s not pastalicious, why bother?

Even though it bears little resemblance to the Italian entrée of the same name, the Medifast ziti marinara tastes good and is very filling – my two main requirements for a go-to Medifast meal. It’s a nice change of pace from the other Medifast Hearty Meal comfort food like the mac & cheese, and I actually prefer it to the chili and sloppy joes.

As with the other Medifast “meat” meals, the ziti marinara has some kind of texturized vegetable protein which provides the mouth feel of meat without the fat, calories and moral dilemma of adding to the planet's methane gas problem.

If you want to try it, Medifast allows you to order a one-packet sample, but you can’t go wrong ordering a whole box.

How to Improve Medifast Ziti Marinara

Medifast's newest replacement meal is perfectly palatable on its own but you can add canned tomatoes, sautéed spinach or even light Laughing Cow cheese if you want to make it more mangia-licious. Just make sure you deduct accordingly from your daily Lean & Green allotment.

Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals - Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Kitchen Gadgets

As for Medifast’s claim, “Ziti Marinara combines the zesty flavor of long-simmered tomatoes and fresh basil with the fulfilling chew of al dente pasta,” well… that may be going a tad far.

But if you’re looking for another tasty replacement meal to add to your rotation and don’t have expectations it will taste just like the Olive Garden’s, the Medifast ziti marinara makes for a great lunch option and is a positive add to the product line.

And since we’re going international, maybe a curry meal will be next! Are you listening, Medifast?


Friday, December 13, 2013

How Modifying Medifast Foods Can Turn Meh Into Marvelous

In my last post, I mentioned how much I loved the Medifast chocolate chip soft bakes for breakfast, but I think the message may have gotten lost amidst the rest of the text.

Medifast chocolate chip soft bakes are so good, they deserve a post of their own.

There are many ways to prepare this packet of salty-sweet goodness, but baking them as directed is not one of them. One of my favorite ways is preparing the dough as directed, forming it into balls, and then freezing them for a short while. This provides the classic unbaked chocolate chip cookie dough eating experience without the guilt.

Your Medifast Chocolate Chip Soft Bakes
will never  look this perfect
unless your name is Martha Stewart
My very favorite way to prepare the Medifast chocolate chip soft bake powder, however, is to mix it with the requisite 2T of water and microwave the dough for just 30 seconds, either in the tray provided or any shallow bowl. I can't explain why this half-baked result is so good, but trust me -- it is.

This delicacy has become my daily breakfast ritual, and I can imagine eating it for breakfast for many months and years to come -- even after I reach my weight loss goal.

The weird thing is I used to think the Medifast chocolate chip soft bake was just meh, and I let the packages sit on the shelf for a while before I tried these two modified preparation methods.

The moral of the story is not to give up on any particular Medifast food. If you don't like the food as prepared by the official cooking or mixing instructions, play with it. Try adding more water ... or less. Undercook it; freeze it;

turn it into a muffin or shake. Mix it with another Medifast food for two meals (the crunchy bars pair well with the soft bakes when you crush them, mix them with the dough and turn them into candy).

So which Medifast foods did you not like at first that later became one of your favorites?

If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my Take Shape for Life website.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to Make Medifast Food Taste Better

Three secrets to improving the flavor and texture of Medifast replacement meals

When I first started Medifast, I had trouble cooking the food according to package directions. My chili and pasta tasted like they had pebbles in them when I cooked them as instructed.

Then I found out the secret that Medifast doesn’t reveal: You have to soak them for at least a half hour before cooking them. This trick not only saved my teeth, it also made my meals taste much better.

Laughing Cow cheese makes me smile
Meanwhile the soft bakes – both the chocolate chip cookie dough and brownies – tasted just meh to me when I baked them as directed. Then I experimented with the cooking times and learned they both taste great uncooked, formed into little balls and frozen for a short while. The brownies also taste great as plain batter, and the cookie dough is to die for when cooked for just 30 seconds. It is now my favorite breakfast, hands down. Don’t laugh, but just the thought of it is enough to get me out of bed!

As for my third secret, it’s a product found at just about every grocery store – Light Laughing Cow cheese. I melt a wedge into one of the Medifast Hearty Meals, like the new ziti marinara and such old favorites as mac & cheese, chili and sloppy joes. Voilà – the off flavor is masked and the texture, much creamier.

I didn’t invent these secrets, but rather found them on various blogs and in the official Medifast forums. Still, not everyone is a webaholic like I am; so if you haven’t discovered these tricks yet, I urge you to try them. And if you have a secret to share with me, please let me know in the comments section below.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Do You Eat on Medifast?

It's been over two months now since I started Medifast, and I am down 22 pounds. It has been the easiest fat melt ever for me since I get to eat every few hours and am rarely, if ever, hungry.

Unlike diets where the "d" stands for deprivation, on Medifast I get to eat frequent high protein, high fiber meals that leave me feeling full and satisfied. It's easy to pass on the cookies and bagels in the break room at work when I know I can have a cookie dough chewy bar or bag of chili cheese puffs for my next "meal."

Here's what I eat on my typical day:

Breakfast: Cookie dough soft bake cooked for only 30 seconds in the microwave

Late morning lunch: Medifast macaroni and cheese, sloppy joes, chicken soup or the new ziti marinara
A diet that lets you eat mac & cheese? I'm there!

Mid afternoon snack: Chili cheese puffs

Lean & green dinner: Salad with grilled chicken or two Boca burgers with salad or cooked spinach

Early evening snack: Chocolate peanut butter or cookie dough chewy bar

Late evening snack: Brownie soft bake batter

On some days I've had a milk shake, pancake, oatmeal or other Medifast replacement meal in place of one of the above, but this is my typical day of meals at the moment. What I love about Medifast is that some foods which did not appeal to me at one time now taste pretty good and when I get tired of one food there is another meal option to take its place.

Dining out has been relatively easy, too. I ask for a veggie to replace the carb. For instance, last night we ate at the Old Spaghetti Factory for my husband's birthday and I subbed broccoli for the pasta to accompany my baked chicken.

Having tried Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and other replacement meal diets in the past, I can't explain why Medifast is easier for me to follow. The simplicity of the Medifast program and satiety factor of  the replacement meals have made my weight loss seem almost magical, making Medifast the closest thing to the perfect diet I have ever found.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my
Take Shape for Life website.


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Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can you drink alcohol on Medifast?

One of the most common question people ask me about Medifast (besides Is that the diet where you only drink milkshakes?) is if it's okay to have some wine or other favorite adult beverage and still lose weight.

The answer is yes.

And no.

The carbs in alcohol can take you out of ketosis, the fat burning state that is the magic behind Medifast and other low carb, high protein diets.

When I first started Medifast, however, I didn't want to give up my nightly drink so I just limited it to one or two ounces of wine or gin. When I went out to dinner, I ordered a Bloody Mary, which is one of the low carb crowd's recommended adult beverages. And I still managed to lose weight.
Many low carbers favor Bloody Marys

But after a couple of weeks, my weight loss stalled, and my TSFL coach advised me to ditch the alcohol altogether. Since I do not fashion myself an alcoholic (oh, denial, you are not just a river in Egypt), I gamely accepted the challenge.

I subbed my night cap for hot tea or ice water, and the pounds started melting off again.

Since then, I have indulged in an occasional alcoholic beverage, with no adverse effect on my weight loss. But I do not drink reflexively, partaking only on special occasions and limiting myself to only one small, relatively low-carb drink.

As the ads always say, your results may vary. But that is my personal experience.

If you are stalled on your Medifast weight loss and having a nightly cheat drink, consider foregoing it and see if that tips the scale in your favor.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving Thanks to Medifast on Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for my wonderful family, loyal friends, furry pets and amazing job. But this year I have a new thing to be thankful for -- Medifast.

For the past five years I was convinced I could not lose my middle-aged fat. The media supported this myth, maintaining how difficult it is for women to shrink their menopausal bodies as their metabolism slowed down.

Don't let anyone tell you that you
can't lose weight after you turn 50
I know it's not Christmas yet, but Bah Humbug!

Trying to lose weight is not the same as doing it. Thanks to Medifast, I have lost 18 pounds of fat in less than two months, and I feel confident my final 10 will melt off by the end of January.

Oddly enough, I feel a bit guilty taking any credit for this accomplishment because it has been so easy. When people comment on how great I look, I want to tell them, "It's not me; it's Medifast."

Medifast is so simple, convenient and flexible, even a monkey could follow this diet. The food does not taste wonderful at first, but over time my taste buds acclimated, and I began looking forward to my lunch time bowl of macaroni and cheese with a creamy Laughing Cow wedge melted in the middle and my chocolatey brownie batter night cap. In fact, I can totally picture still including Medifast foods in my diet for the rest of my life.

Five turkey feathers for Medifast
Not only that, the Lean & Green meal portion of the Medifast plan has made me realize how little I need excess carbs in my diet. When I do start adding pasta, bread and even high glycemic vegetables and fruit back into my diet, they will be decorative accents, like throw pillows -- not the whole sofa!

Medifast has taught me a different way to diet -- one that does not involve deprivation and suffering, but the pure delight of hopping on the scale and losing yet another unwanted pound. As my old "skinny jeans" slip down from my waist, I can't believe how fortunate I was to find this amazing diet.

As for Thanksgiving itself, I look forward to enjoying a festive meal with all the trimmings, feasting on turkey and green vegetables and, most importantly, the warmth and love of my family. If I choose to indulge in a taste of this or that, so be it. It's not the end of the world. The next day I will get right back on the wagon with my Medifast oatmeal and chicken soup.

Thank you Medifast for helping me lose my excess pounds and regain my healthy weight body. On this Thanksgiving week, I award you five turkey feathers!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Best Medifast Tips Ever

I stopped blogging for a while. Got busy. MF became a WOL (way of life).

But recently I found an amazing thread on the Medifast forums called "Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Medifast" and couldn't believe how many great ideas my fellow MFers shared. To help me remember them, I'm highlighting a few of my favorites here.

Tip: Try every food once-- if you don't like it, hold onto it and look for suggestions on the forum for ways to make it more tasty (like soaking the soups and chili). I was shocked when I tried some of the foods a second time and really liked them. Your tastebuds DO seem to change!

My Take: This is SO true. I am still waiting to try the pineapple mango smoothie again because it was that terrible, but I am determined to find a way to make it palatable.

Tip: You can call MF on the phone and purchase single meals to sample. No single packets available by the internet. 

Medifast allows you try single sample meals
so you don't waste money on a whole box.

My Take: Haven't done this yet, but it's a great idea. Why invest in a whole box if you're not sure?

Tip: You can split your lean & green.

My Take: This is a great way to eat more "normally" throughout the day. Recently I attended a meeting at which bagels and cream cheese was served with sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumbers. I ate the veggies only (with a shmear of cream cheese) and just had fewer veggies later. Couldn't believe how good it was without the bagel. Who knew?

We taste with the eyes first.
Doesn't this infused water look delicious?
Tip: If you have trouble drinking all your water, squeeze a small slice of lemon into it. It's barely a tsp, so minimal calories-- but I love the taste! Just like at a restaurant. (Similarly, try adding TRUE LEMON or TRUE LIME- ZERO calories.)

My Take: Anything you can do to drink more water is a good idea. My coach suggests drinking half my body weight in ounces, and I notice I lose more when I do. Besides lemons, I have tried cucumber and limes. Looking to buy an infuser water bottle to experiment with other interesting combos. Also found out there is a True Orange and even True Grapefruit, and you can cook with all these. See recipes here.

Tip: Dollar store plastic bowls clean the easiest.

My Take: Haven't tried this yet, but I will. My good dishes have a mystery film on them.

Tip: Don't fret if the scale doesn't move. "A stalled scale is money in the bank. It will come off next week."

My Take: This is a very motivating quote. Weight loss is so not linear.

Tip: I'd wish I'd had the good sense to keep this diet to myself and just tell everyone that I am drinking LOTS of water and eating six small meals a day and just wear a MONA LISA smile whenever someone commenting on my weight loss. It would have saved alot of unnecessary talk of is this diet healthy, you are wasting away, THAT'S your goal weight... you'll be anorexic!!!!! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

My Take: Be judicious about whom you share your weight loss method with. Some people could really benefit from this program. Skinny Minnies don't need to know.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can lose weight safely and more rapidly with the Medifast 5&1 plan, please visit my Take Shape for Life website.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Medifast a Scam?

After losing almost 10 pounds in two weeks, it amazes me how many people online call Medifast a scam. The last time I looked, the word scam meant "fraudulent scheme" or "swindle." Sure Medifast is expensive, but that's partly why the program is so effective. If I didn't pay a lot for the food, I'd be more likely to go Off Plan (OP). (Click here for all Medifast lingo and acronyms.)

Is Medifast a scam?
Another reason people call Medifast a scam is that many MFers regain their weight after losing it -- and then some. But that problem is not unique to Medifast. If there were one diet that was so perfect no one ever regained their weight afterward, the person who created it would be a zillionaire.

The reason people regain their weight is they do not follow the Medifast lifetime maintenance strategy, just as people who lose weight with Weight Watchers and other commercial diet programs regain their weight if they go hog wild after shedding their pounds. The Medifast program is called Take Shape for Life (TSFL) because it requires a lifetime commitment. It is not an amusement park ride from which you exit and walk away once you lose the weight.

Once you get off the Medifast diet, you cannot
just walk away and resume your former eating habits.
One of the ways Medifast helps people make the program a lifetime commitment is by offering free coaches with whom you stay in regular contact.

Virtually all of these coaches are "losers" who love to share their knowledge and experience with others while making a little money on the side. Though some people again use the "S" word to describe the TSFL coaching program -- likening it to Amway and other multi-level marketing schemes -- the upfront monetary commitment is minimal. Not only would people not be TSFL coaches if it did not make financial sense to them, the mere act of being a coach is likely a huge motivator for them to maintain their own weight.




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You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for no extra cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast replacement meals on Amazon



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Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Favorite Medifast Hacks

I'm starting Week 3 today and still going strong. This has to be the easiest and most rewarding diet I have ever tried. Aside from always feeling full and not craving disallowed foods, the online support for Medifast is amazing.

Oh, and did I mention I've lost 8 pounds!

My first Medifast shipment arrived with a month's worth of food and the Medifast Quick Start Guide, but that turned out to be just the beginning. Being creative with Medifast has become a popular game. People all over the web share their hacks on the Medifast forums, Facebook groups and other websites. When I become stuck, I simply search for a solution.

For instance, no matter how hard I tried I could not make my chocolate chip soft bakes look or taste  like anything similar to the photo on the package. I belong to a Facebook Medifast buy/sell/trade group and asked for some tips. Turns out some people turn these into shakes or muffins. My favorite idea, though, was freezing the dough instead of baking it. In 30 minutes I had a delicious frozen treat that was a cross between candy and ice cream. Tonight I plan to try another suggestion, baking a mixture of the brownie and chocolate chip cookie soft bakes and dividing it up into two meals.

I found the chili too bland for my taste so I took some people's advice and added cumin, garlic powder and a smidge of salt. The mac cheese, meanwhile, is okay as is. But it's almost decadent with a low fat Laughing Cow melted in.

Then there's my free Medifast Take Shape for Life (TSFL) coach, who calls me on the phone once a week. She lost over 100 pounds six years ago and knows all the ins and outs of the program. Even though I don't really need a lot of support at this point, she has an answer to any question I throw at her -- from how to consume enough water (drink 8 oz. before/after/with each meal and a couple of extra 8 oz. glasses between meals) to how to make the chili beans softer (soak for at least a half hour before cooking). Her once a week phone call also makes me accountable to someone without having to join a weight loss center.

So far, my two favorite non-Medifast websites have been SlimKicker, which has its own Medifast group with oodles of tips and recipes, and 3 fat chicks on a diet, which also has a hack-packed Medifast forum.

I've also done Google searches for "Medifast Trader Joe's" and picked up some great ideas for easy Lean & Green meal ideas using that store's specialty items. TJ's Chicken Curry was heavenly over a mixture of collard greens and chopped broccoli. I didn't even miss the rice. Ditto for their Chicken Asada.

I will be adding more Medifast hacks as I happen on them. In the meantime, what are some of the tricks that make Medifast work better for you?

Update Oct. 14, 2013

Thanks for the RT, Medifast!