Saturday, December 6, 2014

Merry Christmas! Your Medifast Center Is Closing

Medifast just gave many of its center members the best Christmas present ever by announcing it is closing 34 corporate owned Medifast centers on December 31, 2014.

Don't be fooled by the white coat.
It's all about selling memberships.
And that's good news why?

Many people who join Medifast centers do not realize they could lose just as much weight -- if not more -- by purchasing their food online through a free Take Shape for Life health coach. When their local center disappears, they will be forced to choose another option for procuring their replacement meals if they want to continue to melt fat on the Medifast 5&1 Plan.

According to the official Medifast press release, center members will be offered several options, such as purchasing food online through Medifast Direct.

But the best deal by far is to sign up with a Take Shape for Life health coach. For the same amount of money they would pay to purchase their food through Medifast Direct, they can receive ongoing support from knowledgeable men and women who have successfully lost weight on the program.

On one of the Medifast Facebook groups to which I belong, one of the members recently posted that she lost a lot more weight after signing up with her TSFL health coach after her Medifast center closed earlier this year. Which makes sense to me.

Though Medifast centers try to act all medical, they are really just retail storefronts designed to push expensive program memberships.

According to Glassdoor reviews from actual people who work at the centers, counselors are pressured to sell, sell, sell while pretending to care about their clients. Here are a few excerpts from their candid reviews:
"It is all about the money and NEVER about the client. Consultants are judged on how many clients they can get in and out in an hour and how much they can sell. The worst place I have ever worked for!"

" . . . long hours, working weekends, ridiculous unrealistic sales goals, the company charges weight loss program fees of hundreds of dollars to clients to sit for 5 minutes with counselors who don't know anything about weight loss!"

"I was asked to lie to our members by my manager. You often spend a large portion of your day calling old members begging them to rejoin. You will have to clean bathrooms and also simultaneously be expected to be dressed in a blazer and business professional attire."

"Have to check-in w/management to use bathroom, and only management schedules lunch time and breaks. Management ridicule clients behind their backs. Zero respect for clients or employees."
As for clients, some people profess to love their Medifast center, but others complain about duplicitous sales tactics, such as this disgruntled poster on the ConsumerAffairs website:
"I went in for what was to be a free consult. Changed my mind within the 3 day period. Went in to return their product which they refused. My free consult was $25 at refund. It was labeled an orientation and my refund was $82 when I paid $400. I don't need a blender ($40) or a ($30) kitchen scale or an ($8) water bottle they were giving away free."
Think of all the fresh vegetables
you can buy at Whole Foods
In contrast, all of the TSFL health coaches whom I have come to know and respect this past year really care about helping people lose weight and gain optimal health. Many of them make themselves accessible to their clients on a daily basis via text, email and phone. Some of these coaches are featured on a Medifast Before and After pictures blog post I published in September.

So, thank you Medifast for giving your center members the best Christmas present ever. With the money they save on memberships they can buy organic vegetables and grass fed meat at Whole Foods and still have enough dough left over to buy cool new clothes that flatter their shrinking figures.

UPDATE: Though orphaned Medifast center members will be assigned Take Shape For Life health coaches, they are permitted to switch to a TSFL health coach of their choice.

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