General Diet Plans and Questions - medifast




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mommajayne
02-09-2004, 03:26 PM
Is anyone using this product? How is it working for you? How do the shakes taste? How much have you lost? Thinking of trying it, but would like some information first.

Thanks


bicker
02-09-2004, 06:48 PM
Medifast is similar to Optifast and HMR, but is lower-carb or high-protein (depending on how you look at it) than both the others. I did HMR (and you can read about my success on my web page - click on my user name at left, or by searching for my previous messages on this forum).

laura/austin
02-13-2004, 01:09 AM
I'm also looking into Medifast/Optifast/HMR. I have found some helpful info at XXXXXXXXX; so you might want to try that site as well. Maybe we can end up starting the liquid diet group here at 3FC.
Cheers, LauraD


BabySteps
03-09-2004, 11:18 AM
I think its would be a great idea to start a Liquid Diet discussion here. I just purchased a big box of EAS AdvantEdge shakes. I want to do a modified fast. I think I will have a small dinner with the family. I have been to that Liquid Diet Discussion board, its a pretty active place, do you know of any others we could check out?

I am starting today.
BabySteps

bicker
03-10-2004, 07:34 AM
Some boards do have specific Liquid Diet discussion areas. I'm not sure what 3FC's policy is on putting links to other boards out publicly, though, so if you're really interested, send me a PM and I'll point you towards the ones I participate in.

MrsJim
03-10-2004, 06:33 PM
Okay - I saw "liquid diet" and since I've done it, had to answer.

First off - addressing Brian's query about 3FC's policy - if you click on "Register" at the top of the page you can access the forum rules at any time. Basically here are the rules:

This forum is used to share support and is not to be used to advertise other websites or any other type of advertisements which intend to sell products or services for personal monetary gain. By joining this forum, you agree not to post any advertising messages. For example, you may discuss fitness videos and their effectiveness. You may not join the forum to advertise "cheapfitnessvideos.com". You may provide a link to your personal homepage in your profile.

Messages intended to promote potentially unsafe and/or controversial weight loss procedures or products (including but not limited to non-medically prescribed supplements and MLM products) are considered inappropriate and may (at the discretion of the forum team) be removed without warning. This rule is intended to protect our users from Multi-Level Marketing schemes, or other hidden sales tactics, which are strictly prohibited on this site.

You warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.

You agree not to solicit other members to e-mail you privately for information. This is intended to protect our members from possible sales tactics. If you have legitimate information to share, in accordance with our rules, you may post it on the board. Otherwise, we assume that the information you offer may violate the guidelines posted here.

You agree not to solicit our members to join other weight loss forums. This is considered "competitive" behavior which deteriorates our purpose.

Respect toward fellow members is expected. You agree not to harass, flame, insult, taunt, or otherwise disrespect any member of this forum. In other words, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. This requirement is meant to encourage the overall strength of our support system, and will benefit our community as a whole.

With that said...back to the topic of liquid diets. I know that not everyone visits the Ladies who Lift forum but the topic of liquid diets came up in last week's 'weekly thread'. You can find where the topic starts here: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=532274#post532274 It was actually BabySteps who brought up the liquid fast topic...a lot of our Ladies who Lift had some great responses - here's mine copied for your convenience.

Okay...my two cents on the liquid diet thing.

Most of you know that I did a medically supervised Optifast study in 1990, and lost quite a bit of weight, and was one of the VERY FEW women of over 1,000 who participated in the study who actually kept the weight off after the completion of the 18-month study period (there was a 5% success rate).

Hon...even though I was successful, I DON'T go around recommending liquid fasts, not even for a very short period of time. Mostly for the reasons that have already been outlined by our Robin and others...the binge factor...not learning about how to eat 'the right way' (fortunately I was blessed with a TON of determination and a couple of great counselors whose advice I listed to avidly). Those EAS shakes are NOT formulated to be all you need, or even for most of the time (given that you said you were planning on 'eating a small meal at night' if I recall correctly).

Please note that I stressed that the plan I was on was MEDICALLY SUPERVISED. Each week all study participants had to come in for blood and urine analysis, general health checkup and an occasional EKG, just to make sure that everything was working correctly. We all were asked to take a prescription medication called Actigall as well - a common side effect of doing a very-low-calorie liquid diet is gall bladder misfunction, which would necessitate surgical removal of the gall bladder. Not to mention the hair loss, skin itchiness, being freezing cold all the time (in July/August!), etc.

Liquid fasts are a LAST RESORT and IMO, should always be medically supervised if they are attempted at all. And keep in mind the huge binge factor!

Just my two cents...

Suzanne 3FC
03-10-2004, 09:34 PM
Those are excellent points, MrsJim. There are a few success stories out there, but liquid diets have a very high failure rate. It is my opinion that a liquid diet should only be followed under the advice and supervision of a physician.

I don't think it's something we want to promote, though, and prefer not to create a Liquid Diet forum area.

If there are several people here that are following this type of diet and wish to discuss it within a thread, then that is your choice. We have occasional Slimfast threads pop up from time to time. They generally fizzle out, though, and I'm assuming it's because the participants move onto other diet plans.

bicker
03-11-2004, 06:23 AM
Thanks for clearing up the policy question here, MrsJim. Just one more question along those lines: What is 3FC's policy if I am solicited, privately, to provide such information (as opposed to the other way around)? To be honest, I don't believe any site is better than this one (after all, I'm here, eh? <grin>) However, when the issue is support, I feel "the more support the better" and so I visit multiple sites.

Regarding what Suzanne said. The failure rate for medically-supervised VLCDs is about 80%-85%. The failure rate for Weight Watchers, measured the same way, is about 95%-97%. I'm all for providing clear and meticulous warnings about the perils of VLCDs, but let's not overstate them. They are safe, when medically-supervised. They are effective, and for obese folks have been shown to be the "best" approach, as compared to all others.

BabySteps
03-11-2004, 10:40 AM
Mrs. Jim,

I found an old review of Optifast I thought you might be interested in reading, I agree with the review, it is not a good option for someone just needing to lose a small amount of weight, but for those who need to lose much more, it just might be worth a try. This person gave optifast 4 out of 5 stars ;)
__________________________________________________ ______________

It's been 10+ years now and the weight's still off!
May 19 '01 (Updated May 20 '01)

Author's Product Rating ****


Helpfulness of Suport

Pros
A head start to weight loss for the morbidly obese (not just overweight)

Cons
You need to learn lifestyle changes for the weight to stay off; expensive

The Bottom Line
Only for the morbidly obese - and make sure you have a caring physician and staff, not one of those 'franchise' diet docs.


Full Review
I thought that Eopinions readers would like to hear from a successful graduate of the Optifast program!

I was in the Program in 1990-91. That year, I was at a high (I think - I was afraid to get on a scale for years) of 265 pounds when I was accepted into the program. At 5'4" tall and 27 years old, I was wearing size 24-26 clothes and totally miserable. When you weigh that much, it's really hard to get excited about the prospect of a 1/2 to 2 pound a week weight loss, so a program like Optifast can be a beneficial 'head start' for the severely obese person who needs the encouragement of a significant weight loss to carry on with maintaining permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

I must state right here, though - I did the Program as part of an 18-month Stanford University study on weight loss maintenance. Since Oprah had just lost all that weight on the program, naturally thousands of women called to try to enter the study - which only cost each participant $500 (half of which was refunded at the end of the study). I know Optifast costs much more than that in the real world!

If you are planning on doing this program, take a long hard look at the medical facility offering it. As a guideline, I was required to attend group counseling and nutrition sessions once a week. I also had to come in for medical checkups, which included bi-weekly blood work and EKG to make sure everything was okay. It was also recommended that all participants take the prescription drug "Actigall" to prevent gall bladder damage (which was supplied to us by the study at no extra charge).

Two weeks prior to the fast stage, we were all required to keep a 'food journal' where we wrote down every bite we ate and if we were hungry when we ate it. These were submitted to the medical counselor each week.

The fast itself was five shakes, totalling 800 calories per day. I don't recall the exact nutrtional info other than they were made with egg-white protein. I also took FiberCon each day since I wasn't getting any fiber in my diet.

During the program, I kept my own personal journal in which I wrote down my thoughts, experiences and feelings. The first two weeks were definitely the most difficult - I'd say the best thing a participant could do is NOT watch TV commercials or food advertising. It's hard to overcome those old eating triggers.

As far as exercise, we were advised to get a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of walking or whatever - however we were told that the more exercise we did, the better our results would be. Encouraged by my weight loss (10.5 pounds the first week, 20 pounds by the end of the first month) I quickly added time and hills to my daily walking, then joined a low-impact aerobics class at the Rec Center. By the end of the fast, I was going to regular Jazzercise classes five days a week, as well as walking.

At the end of the 12 week fast, I was down to 207.5 pounds. 26 weeks after the beginning of the fast, I was down to 182.5. Currently I am about 152. The point is, I have kept the weight off and stayed below post-fast levels for 11 years now! My photos are posted on my webpage - if you're interested...

So, would I recommend Optifast? Well...

A caveat here - Optifast is NOT for everyone. It is intended for only the morbidly obese - not just someone who has 10-30 pounds to lose. Talk to your regular physician first. You need to have the proper mindset - this is not a magic pill (the proof being that I was one of only 3% of the study participants who kept the weight off by the study's end). Make sure the medical center offering it has a competent staff, adequate medical testing, and spends time with you when you come in. Most importantly, you have to accept that you'll need to change your eating and exercise habits permanently in order for the weight to stay off. Good luck!

Recommended
Yes

Approximate Monthly Cost (US$) Unsure
Food Variety Restrictions You eat the same thing for months
Restrictiveness of Portions Few small portions

MrsJim
03-11-2004, 12:43 PM
Babysteps - actually *I* wrote that review some time ago for Eopinions. Just FYI. :)

Note my caveat at the end of the review - I stand by what I wrote back then. Also note that at the time (don't know if Eopinions has changed since then) the website only gave you a choice of "Yes" or "No" for "Recommended" which is why I wrote the caveat back then.

Bicker - I'd be interested in knowing where you got the failure rate percentages. What time frame does that cover - 3 months after the fast period, 6 months, a year? To me, it's keeping the weight off LONG-TERM that matters. I know that I would not have been able to keep my weight off (and lose more following the fast period - my weight at the end of the 12-week fast period was 205 pounds, at the end of the 18-month study my weight was recorded at somewhere between 177-180 pounds and of course, I've lost still more since then) unless I had taken the initative ON MY OWN to make permanent lifestyle changes.

BabySteps
03-11-2004, 05:40 PM
Mrs Jim,

I knew it was you ;) Thats why I winked :)

BabySteps

bicker
03-12-2004, 07:52 AM
Bicker - I'd be interested in knowing where you got the failure rate percentages. The Fat of the Land - Michael Fumato.

There are scant few scientifically-sound studies done, because the big money at companies like Weight Watchers applies so much pressure to keep their failure rate secret.

To me, it's keeping the weight off LONG-TERM that matters. Me too. The study Fumato referred to was based on two year weight-loss maintenance.

People should ask themselves why Weight Watchers and other programs like it don't publish their success/failure rates. (HMR, incidently, does publish theirs. They're proud of how successful their patients are.)

It doesn't take much to look around and realize that most everyone who tries to lose weight fails, given that overweight has a majority in this country now. I know it is hard to believe, but medically-supervised VLCDs are indeed proven to be the best approaches for the morbidly obese. I sure had a hard time believing it. I tried everything before I tried this (except surgery), and this worked. Two years later, well the proof is in the pudding, eh?I know that I would not have been able to keep my weight off unless I had taken the initative ON MY OWN to make permanent lifestyle changes.I agree. I had to make the decision to do the VLCD and to comply with its tenets. I had to do all the work to adopt a new, healthy lifestyle. The VLCD just made it more readily sustainable, since it got me to a point where I could begin deriving new motivation from previous success well before I ran out of the motivation I started the effort with.

MrsJim
03-12-2004, 03:58 PM
I am VERY familiar with the Fumento book - I probably have quoted passages from it, or recommended it, dozens of times here at 3FC. I believe this is the passage you are referring to...page 160 of the hardcover edition (the chapter titled "The Profiteers").

Meanwhile, "Medifast estimates that 30 percent to 50 percent of its dieters keep the weight off after a year while HMR (Health Management Resources) claims a 60 percent maintanance rate after 2 years," the American Medical News reported in 1990. They forgot to add that pigs really can fly and that white alligators plague the sewer system of New York City. A year later, the FTC made them back down on their claims.

As of this writing [1997] only one diet center has published what could be considered reliable data. And what it shows is not encouraging. In a peer-reviewed study of 4,026 obese patients who went on the Optifast program, one-fourth dropped out within the first three weeks, and of the majority of dieters who achieved significant weight loss, only 5 to 10 percent maintained their reduced weights after 18 months. Other than this, says [director of the Nutrition Research Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX] John Foreyt, "There's no good long-term data on any of these programs other than testimonials and certain individuals' before-and-after photos."

Facing this data dearth, Consumer Reports did its own survey in 1993. "On average, our respondents reported that they stayed on the programs for about half a year and lost 10 to 20 percent of their starting weight," said the magazine. "But the average dieter gained back almost half of that weight just six months after ending the program, and more than two-thirds of it after two years." It also found that "None of the top five diet programs were better than others in helping people lose weight during the program or keep it off six months later. As a group, people on the three liquid-fast programs did lose weight more rapidly than those on regular diet programs - but they gained it back at roughly the same rate."

After that there's a chart from the Consumer Reports survey - I'll have to scan it and try and attach it as a jpg... and following the chart Fumento goes on to say:

There's a caveat to this chart. To just look at the results of the liquid-fast programs, they appear more successful both in overall weight loss and at the six-month follow-up. In fact, this is just the nature of the beast. Liquid-fast programs clearly cause the greatest, quickest weight loss. The question is: Does it stay off? The aforementioned Optifast study indicates few of their clients keep it off. The 15 percent or 12 percent weight loss the chart shows at the six-month mark will probably have practically disappeared by the 12-month or 18-month follow-up. Of course, this is likely to have happened also with those in the solid-food diet programs, too.

Incidentally, the study I participated in - which was on weight-loss maintenance, conducted by Stanford University was actually commissioned by Sandoz/Optifast. Apparently, after the study was concluded, Optifast decided that they didn't want to use it - like I said it was a MASSIVE study involving 1,000+ women (I was VERY lucky to be able to get in at all - the announcement was made in the local news media and literally THOUSANDS of women jammed the phone lines as this was right after Oprah's big loss on the program) and the overall 'success rate' at the end of 18 months was a less-than-spectacular 3-5%...remember, just because a study is commissioned doesn't mean the entity that commissioned it has to USE it, especially if they don't care for the results...so I suspect there were other studies done that were never actually published afterwards. (The only reason I know the results myself is because they were sent to the participants who stuck with the study the entire 18 months).

BabySteps
03-12-2004, 08:52 PM
Mrs. Jim,

You are one informed lady! Is there nothing you havent heard of :)

BabySteps

bicker
03-13-2004, 03:34 PM
The book clearly shows numbers for HMR, Optifast and Medifast in the 20% range, and Weight Watchers and others in the 5% range. Fumento equivocated the objective numbers with his own personal opinion, but in saying so he was condemning all approaches, because all approaches suck, from his point-of-view. Remember, however, that when all programs are gauged by the SAME success rate criteria: VLCDs, 20% successful; Weight Watchers and others, 5% successful. No getting around those facts.

Yes, the success rates ALL suck. When faced with lots of bad choices, the correct approach IMHO is to choose the BEST choice of the lot.

MrsJim
03-13-2004, 06:27 PM
The book clearly shows numbers for HMR, Optifast and Medifast in the 20% range, and Weight Watchers and others in the 5% range. Fumento equivocated the objective numbers with his own personal opinion, but in saying so he was condemning all approaches, because all approaches suck, from his point-of-view. Remember, however, that when all programs are gauged by the SAME success rate criteria: VLCDs, 20% successful; Weight Watchers and others, 5% successful. No getting around those facts.

Yes, the success rates ALL suck. When faced with lots of bad choices, the correct approach IMHO is to choose the BEST choice of the lot.

Or perhaps not using a commercial diet program in the first place? My copy of Fat of the Land must be different from YOUR copy...hmmm...because in my copy, Mr. Fumento dedicates half of the book on HOW to lose weight. WITHOUT going broke. One of the reasons, I believe, that Suzanne made me the moderator of the Buyer Beware forum is because I sincerely believe that most folks can lose weight without spending a fortune, without all the gimmicks, without the commercial diet plans - and that would include the VCLD's such as Optifast and Medifast. My goal is to make people here aware that THEY CAN LOSE THE WEIGHT WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE. There IS no secret, there is no magic pill or formula.

Famous bodybuilder (and Bay Area resident!) Dave Draper has written a couple of motivational books that are worth a read. One of them is titled Your Body Revival. Here's a passage from that book that I like for some reason:

"There is no magic pill."
1649, a year before the fall of the Empire

First came an announcement from the great balcony that rose on monumental columns of grey stone high above the crowds; a dour figure dressed in thick black fabric bellowed through a cone-shaped device, his voice deep as a pit, as dark, as final, "There is no magic pill." Cold steel silence pierced the hearts. No one moved, dejection too heavy a burden. "There is no magic pill." Clouds moved, swift and ominous, as if roused by the declaration, murderous in its conclusiveness.

One by one the shadowy horde dispersed. "They promised...they pledged, they swore a better way: a pill to burn fat, to lose weight, build muscle and strength and add years to fleeting life. They said yes." The moon rose clear and bright, the stars sparkled, the breeze murmured; night birds sang, the jasmine breathed its lovely fragrance but no one noticed. Beauty failed to stir them. "What will we do?"

We're not among the sorry masses whose backs are without muscle and whose characters know no strength. Hard work and discipline define our journey, challenge and fulfillment our joy. The magic pill - a mix of deception and imagination - is offered on late night infomercials and static-filled radio stations along with fat-burning, muscle-building, waist-trimming electronic impulse devices (give me a break) as a means to the same end, make someone bucks and give the needy false hope. May they wake up tomorrow morning layered with genuine blubber.

Basically what the whole weight loss thing comes down to in a nutshell is calories in/calories out. That's the bottom line.

And what about the cost? How many peeps out there can afford to shell out $5,000 for the Optifast or Medifast plans that are generally NOT covered by health insurance? Weight Watchers might not be as successful (and actually I DO know a few folks who have done well with WW) but at least it's affordable for the vast majority of folks. I know for sure that had I not been chosen for the Stanford study (each participant was required to pay $500, half of which was refunded to the participants who stayed in the study for the entire 18 months) there was NO WAY I would have ever been able to afford the program. But would I have just given up and said "screw it - I am never going to be able to do this by myself"? I'd like to think my answer would be **** NO - I had already started exercising the year before (walking and taking a large-size women's movement class at Kaiser) - I think I would have done it - it would have taken a bit longer but I would have persisted. Doing the Optifast study gave me what the counselor called a "running start" but without my determination, persistence and self-motivation, I would have been one of the 95-97% in the study who relapsed and gained most or all of the weight back at the end of 18 months.

And actually in MY copy of Fat of the Land, Fumento does have some excellent suggestions and resources for losing weight and (more importantly!) keeping it off for good. There's a great book that he recommends that I also heartily recommend called Thin for Life by Anne Fletcher that is WELL worth reading.

Also in my copy of the Fumento book, page 184, he quotes a study from 1990 of women who were able to keep lost weight off and women who weren't - now THIS is interesting stuff:

Maintainers made decisions to lose weight and then devised personal weight-loss plans to fit their lives. These plans usually included regular exercise or activity and a new eating style of reduced fat, reduced sugar, more fruits and vegetables, and much less food than previously eaten. Maintainers reported being patient, setting small goals that they could meet, and sticking to their personally devised weight-loss plans. Some used ideas from earlier weight-loss experiences, some used diets from books, but all persisted until new eating patterns were established...However, they did not completely restrict favorite foods and made efforts to avoid feelings of deprivation while changing food patterns.

In contrast, few relapsers (36 percent) had exercised to help lose weight. They had lost weight by taking appetite suppressants, fasting, or going on restrictive diets that they could not sustain. They took diet formulas and went to weight-control groups and programs many times. While dieting they did not permit themselves any of the special foods they enjoyed...

Anyway...too nice a day here to go on...more later...

bicker
03-16-2004, 08:27 PM
Or perhaps not using a commercial diet program in the first place?Perhaps, but the clincher would be studies proving a specific approach is better than others; that's what folks can get out of the independent study published by Consumer Union that Fumento cited. Without proof, everyone is a sample of one, with either 100% success or 0% success, and that is of little value in helping folks decide what is and isn't a good approach.My copy of Fat of the Land must be different from YOUR copy.Must be.One of the reasons, I believe, that Suzanne made me the moderator of the Buyer Beware forum is because I sincerely believe that most folks can lose weight without spending a fortune, without all the gimmicks, without the commercial diet plans - and that would include the VCLD's such as Optifast and Medifast. My goal is to make people here aware that THEY CAN LOSE THE WEIGHT WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE. There IS no secret, there is no magic pill or formula.And my goal is to ensure that no one is deprived of the information I was deprived of for so many years, before I was able to lose my weight, safely and effectively.

Many people probably can lose weight without spending a fortune; but it is disingenuous to imply, even implicitly, that folks who don't lose weight without applying alternative approaches are failures. Comparatively few people have the will to maintain a regimen that they find to be onerous and lacking in payoff. Discussions about variuos approaches ensure that people have safe and effective alternatives to choose from, so they have a better chance of finding an approach that works for them.

Anyone who is successfully losing weight isn't looking for answers, at that time. The discussions about alternative approaches is best appreciated by those actually in the position of making such choices, since the information is most relevant to them.
Basically what the whole weight loss thing comes down to in a nutshell is calories in/calories out. That's the bottom line. That's mostly correct, but only "mostly." It is well-established that macro- and micro-nutrient intake both have a substantial impact on losing weight, maintaining weight-loss, and staying fit and healthy. Calories is NOT the whole story, and from my experience, those having trouble losing weight are as likely to have a problem with managing macro- and micro-nutrient intake as they are with managing calorie balance. And what about the cost? How many peeps out there can afford to shell out $5,000 for the Optifast or Medifast plans that are generally NOT covered by health insurance? My wife and I actually spent about the same on food PLUS service fees during the time we were on HMR than during the same amount of time after HMR.
Cost is a red-herring.Weight Watchers might not be as successful That was my main point in citing Fumento's book. I'm not sure, therefore, what your objection was, given that you've pretty-much granted what I asserted. (and actually I DO know a few folks who have done well with WW)I lost 75 pounds on WW in the late 1980s. People surely do lose weight, under certain circumstances, but as was my experience, weight regain is common.but at least it's affordable for the vast majority of folks.Cost is, again, a red-herring.

Suzanne 3FC
03-16-2004, 11:29 PM
This thread has gone way off topic, and there doesn't seem to be an end to this, so I'm going to close the thread.

I think mammajayne got her answer :lol: