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Old 07-07-2005, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Medifast

I'm interested to know if there are any members here who have experience with Medifast? (no I'm not trying to recruit ).

At first I believed that all these low-cal programs were not good - but I'm honestly having second thoughts. Let's face it - if you are 100 pounds overweight - a 1 pound weight loss per week = 2 years of weight watchers or whatever else you use. Do these lower calorie shake-based programs work out in the long term? Many of them resulting in losses of up to 20 pounds per month?
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:31 AM   #2
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Hi. I haven't tried them , but did check into it. They are SO espensive. You may want to check into New Image. It's basically the same, but cheaper (still $$$ in my opinion though). At that time I chose Slim Fast Optima powder to make shakes. It allows you to use 2 shakes a day & eat 150 calories of food w/ each shake , have 2 snacks & sensible dinner. I lost 10 #s the first month.
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Old 07-10-2005, 04:48 AM   #3
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I thought that the medifast shakes were based on Soy Protein - which I believe is slightly more effective that other shakes. But then who knows. I thought Medifast seemed kind of expensive.
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Old 07-10-2005, 01:37 PM   #4
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I did the medifast diet years ago. I lost 86 lbs on it...It all came back plus more once I stopped. I myself wouldn't do it, it's costly and unless you have the will power after you lose your weight to do the work to keep it off you are setting yourself for a huge let down. JMO...I also tried nutrisystem, and the cambrigde diet at one time or another pretty much the same thing happend..lost weight and it came back after I had to start eating "real" food.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:22 AM   #5
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I think it would be good to ask yourself what happened for you to get fat in the first place. I know that for me, it was simply a matter of loving to eat, and getting a car instead of riding a bike everywhere. For long term success, I really think that you have to change whatever it was that was going on that led to the problem in the first place.

A radical change in diet might work in the short run, but what happens when you end it? If you still live and eat the way you did before you started the program, you will end up being right where you were when you decided to try it. I really think that for long term success, we have to learn things like portion control, how to get more exercise in our routines, how to eat and live like a thin person! That can never come out of a box or pill bottle or whatever.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Medifast is A+ for Me

I know a lot of you won't agree, but I think Medifast is the best program going - especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. It's easy, there's no writing down every morsel I put in my mouth, there's no prep, no cooking and it's a portable diet, which means that you can do it on vacation. I can even use my supplements if the power goes out, which is a strong possibility during hurricane season in Florida! I also don't believe that it is that expensive. If I compare my grocery shopping bill when I was buying fresh fruit, vegetables, ground turkey, chicken breasts, eggs, low fat cottage cheese, et.al - my average grocery bill was $110 every two weeks. I spend $290 every month on my Medifast supplements. For $70 extra a month, I'm losing weight in a fairly quick and convenient way (18.5 lbs in 18 days).

I think Medifast is just like any other dieting program - if you don't pay attentiion to what you do when you finish it, you will gain the weight back. It happens with Atkins (my aunt lost over 80lbs and put it all back on) it happens with Weight Watchers (a friend hit goal and is now 50lbs over again) and it can happen with Medifast too. The think I like about the program is that it teaches you healthy habits like portion sizes and gets you used to eating 5 or 6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism in check.

I, personally, suffer with compulsive eating disorder. I could not get it through my head that 'moderation' was the key. But now, I realize that I don't have to gorge myself in order to be satisfied. I posted this on another thread but it seems it was deleted. I was only trying to be honest when I said that some people simply cannot, for whatever reason, just count calories and exercise and lose weight. A lot of other people, like me, are in the prime of their lives and don't want to spend another 2 or 3 years being fat. Because the Medifast supplements are safe, even for children, you can use them for a life time and I intend to do that. For instance, I'm just not a breakfast person. Instead, I used to skip breakfast, pig out at lunch, then eat some nonsense like cereal for dinner because I was too bloated from my lunch binge. But now, I know that I can use the oatmeal supplement for breakfast, a supplement snack bar for a mid morning snack, eat something sensible like a salad for lunch, have another supplement snack bar for a mid-afternoon snack and then eat something like BBQ chicken breast and veggies for dinner. This seems very realistic to me, especially to get me through the tough times when I don't have the time or the patience to cook something. They also have pre-packaged meals, similar to Lean Cuisine, which are much better for you.

I know I have problems - it's just unfortunate that lack of health insurance prevents me from continuing my counselling. However, this will not last forever and, in the interim, I'm losing weight and I'm breaking old, nasty habits with food. This was proven to me when I could sit and watch a friend and colleague eat a full Bob Evans breakfast while I drank iced tea and an Applebees irrisistabowl while I had diet coke. All I could think of was the first three days I was on the diet and felt like death while my poor body detoxified itself of all the crap I'd been putting into it. That food didn't even LOOK good anymore after I realized the harm it had been doing. That in itself was enough to make me never want to eat that way again.

As always, no diet "fits all" but if Medifast is good enough to receive the seal from Johns Hopkins and has been around for 23 years, that's good enough for me. BigJimBoy is right - it is a high soy protein, low carb, low fat diet. Soy has been proven to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which is key in helping me overcome the high percentage chance I have at developing diabetes and/or heart disease. Losing weight slowly may be ideal, but the faster I can get out of that high risk range, the better.

I should also note that I do exercise. I've stepped it down a notch for the first month as recommended, but after next week, I'll be back doing my 4 days a work, 3 cycles per time at Curves.

Anyway, like I said - it may not be for you, but I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't post about the success too.

Alisha
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Old 07-27-2005, 07:55 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Another Medifast fan here...

I think Medifast rocks too. (I was on it from October to about December last year.)

I've tried several diets: Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, WW again, then Medifast... and while I cannot say that MF is the magic cure for weight loss, it sure works fast, and while on it, I was not as hungry as I was on WW. And I felt super healthy, with no bloating, and I had energy to burn. I would get urges to clean my floors at midnight while lying in bed (spooky I know!)

The success rates I have seen ran like this:
After 2 years off X plan, Y % of dieters had maintained their loss. Weight Watchers was 5%, and I believe Medifast (and other liquid-based diets like HMR/Optifast) was either 22 or 24%.

These are not astounding differences, but there IS a significant variance there. Worth it? Up to the individual.

Pricey? Yes, about $10-$12 a day, depending on if you do the Complete Program (no "real" foods) or the 5 & 1 Plan with a healthy protein/green meal a day tossed in. But for me, and my horrendous habit of fast food/pizza takeout/drinking wine pre-diet, I actually spend less a month on the MF food. Go figure. You might want to add up all your spending on grocery/takeout/alcohol in 1 month and see the total. It can be very shocking

For women, if followed correctly, 20 pounds lost a month is definitely possible the first month, and usually 3-4 pounds a week after that. Guys lose faster, about 5 pounds a week.

My cholesterol dropped like a rock while I was on it, going from 303 to 202. I had tons of energy. Almost every single morning on it, I weighed in to find I lost a half pound or more. That is a big, big motivator!

I agree with HourglassLass - no diet program will keep you thin after you stop it. It's entirely up to the newly skinny person to maintain healthy habits... and transition properly off any reduced calorie plan and not go hog-wild with the freedom now available in choosing foods. (I'm living proof of going hog-wild, but Medifast works and I felt great on it. My gain had nothing to do with MF and all to do with my compulsive overeating afterwards.)

I'm planning on going back on it in mid-August to lose the weight I gained back, plus more to reach my goal, and also to get my head shrunk to figure out just why I sabotaged myself. Luckily, head-shrinking is covered by my health plan but Medifast is not.

To me, losing weight fast and quick is worth the higher cost of MF. But proceed with caution and see if it is right for you... some people cannot take the restrictions of not being able to have whatever foods they want or alcohol (no drinking at all on MF unless you want to get knocked for a doozy of a loop and stall out for probably a week or more.)

Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:16 AM   #8
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Hi Sarah! I'm so glad you posted that. I was beginning to feel like a bit of a leper for choosing the MF program. BUT, it works and it also keeps my patience in check because the scale moves almost everyday! Once in awhile it will go up a pound, but I take comfort in the fact that I haven't cheated and that I also consume a minimum of 80oz of water every single day (usually more) and it's just water weight that hasn't... uh... expelled yet.

I'm writing again because you covered something in your post that I meant to but forgot! The fast food and alcohol! When I lived in England (pre-Florida and pre-MF) I shudder to think at just how much money I spent on beers at the local pub after work. I'm not even a big drinker, but it's pretty commonplace in England to meet your friends somewhere for a drink after work or even during lunch. I bet I spent anywhere between $40 and $70 (after conversion from pounds sterling to dollars) a week! Shock horror! Now that I'm back home and have a car, I've probably only had about 3 glasses of wine in the whole 7 months I've been here. HOWEVER... the fast food is what got me. I'm just like you.. the Burger King there , the Micky D's there , the going out for breakfast and lunch once a week with my friend/colleague... I bet that ran me at least another $50 a week. This was mainly because of 1) My compulsive/binge disorder, 2) my absolute HATE of cooking and 3) because it was a social activity with my friend/colleage whom I only see once a week.

So in short, I completely agree. Even with a packed fridge of food, I'd still eat out and spend money so I'm actually SAVING money on MF.

We both agree, that MF isn't for everyone, but I don't think you can honestly knock it until you try it. If it isn't the diet for one individual, that doesn't mean that it's a bad diet! It's just nice to know that I'm not alone here

I wish you the best of luck in reaching your goals. You'll get there!!

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Old 07-28-2005, 03:18 PM   #9
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The only problem I generally see with any such diets (including the names - WW, SB, Atkins, etc.) are that they aren't lifestyle changes. They're quick fixes to something that happened over a long period of time.

Yes, if you can change your lifestyle to keep the weight off after the "diet", then they'll work. However, if changing your life isn't something you're working on while dieting, you may find that you lose all the weight quickly and feel so much better about yourself that you don't pay a lot of attention to the maintenance and it can creep back on little by little. You may find yourself yo-yo dieting.

If you're going to use any kind of diet, at least consider changing your eating patterns and exercising regularly. IE: Cut out sodas and opt for water, eat more leaner meats and veggies, switch to whole grains, etc. Then, when the diet is complete, you've already worked on changing your lifestyle habits and they're bound to hang on with you even afterward.
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:52 AM   #10
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I am so glad that you guys posted that info about medifast. I ordered it today after doing some research. I ordered the variety pack since I don't know which flavor is better. I am pretty excited about this because my new job has me out in the field some days, eating in restaraunts on some days, and eating in the office on other days. One of my coworkers has gained quite a bit of weight with the hectic schedule (she started the same time I did). Things get so hectic that I lose track of myself during the day, emotion takes over, and I end up eating whatever because sometimes I run out of time to plan my meals. I can plan my meals about 50% of the time, but that is not good enough to lose weight when the other 50% is left to chance. Since I have started this job, I have had quite a struggle to lose any amount of weight or excercise consistently and my hope is that the MF can even the playing field with my meals during the hectic day. I am not gaining weight, I am just eating too much to lose weight. I run 3 miles a day about 3 times a week because that is what I have time for. I have a full time job and I am finishing my master's degree -that is why things are so hectic and I have no time. It won't be permenantly like this, just 'till the end of the year when I graduate. I have never heard of medifast until these recent posts so I started checking into it. There is a special now (1 month for $230). I didn't think that was bad in comparison to what I spend on groceries so I thought today would be a good time to give it a try! Thank you guys for all you MF info. If you have any more info, please pass it my way.

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Old 07-31-2005, 06:19 PM   #11
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Kelligirl, I think it's great that you decided to give it a try. You sound just like me in the way that emotion takes over and then you just eat whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelligirl
Things get so hectic that I lose track of myself during the day, emotion takes over, and I end up eating whatever because sometimes I run out of time to plan my meals.
I can't believe the difference in myself since I've been on this program. When frustration takes hold, I now find that I am forced to deal with problems head on instead of burying them underneath cheese and pepperoni! That is the BIGGEST lifestyle change I could hope to make. Busy lives due to school, jobs, children, whatever - can make anyone prone to eating things that aren't good for them - just to fill a hole and get on with it. It's also especially difficult when you don't have the time to cook everyday - or just hate it like me. I'm SO grateful that I can use these supplements for as long as I want to because I will always have something nutritious and simple to grab on the go if I need it. Apple cores and banana peels in the car under the Florida sun just doesn't work for me. However, if I can take a wrapper off a snack bar and eat it on the way or mix a shake in a 'to go' cup - now THAT works for me! I think you'll find that handy too.

Amarantha, thanks for the kind words. It doesn't matter if you've not been on the program before - simply recognizing that there are people out there who can benefit from this type of program and not being judgemental is helpful all on it's own. Thank you

And yes, what you said is true. This is a very healthy program to follow. It's received the seal of approval from Johns Hopkins Medial Team and has been around and PROVEN for over 23 years to be effective. I don't think you'll find that type of track record on most other diets, including South Beach and/or Atkins. And most importantly, it is NOT a fad diet - it is a medical program that, up until fairly recently, was only available through a physician. Because of the success rate, it's now available to the general public (thank goodness!) This is a program that works if you work with it. It is no magic diet, no magic pill. It just tends to work a little FASTER than most, which gives me the motivation and strength I need to stick with it. Counting, weighing, measuring, label reading, etc. to see a 1 lb loss at the end of a week is NOT my idea of motivation - especially when you're looking at losing 150 lbs. I'm 34 years old and I figure, why should I spend the next 2 or 3 years fat and slowly getting slimmer if I don't have to? If that is someone's choice - more power to them. However, it isn't MY choice and I don't like being made to feel like I'm doing something wrong because I choose to follow this plan instead. I've said it all along - if it's good enough for physicians around the world AND Johns Hopkins Medical Team, then it's good enough for me!

Like I mentioned before - I have nothing to do with Medifast as a company other than I use the products. I don't even have one of their Health Advisors. I order my 28 day supply every month, online, just like any other average Joe and I send them MY money. I would never purport that this program is for everyone but I wanted to post on this thread because I've had such fabulous results. Results I've never seen from ANY other program I've tried.

I also wanted to try and help people understand that this is NOT a liquid diet, fad diet, anti-this or that diet, proposed magic answer or anything else . I wanted people to see that this is a sound, medical program, that has helped millions of people lose weight and that it is safe and OK (for most people) to do. Why did I want people to know this? Because I'm in the same boat as everyone on here and I'm in the same boat with a lot of people I know in person - I have a weight issue. I also became very sick and tired of feeling sabotaged and angry because people around me, who have no idea about the program or what it entails, have this habit of making me feel like I'm not worth my salt, that I'm weak and/or that I have somehow cheated this weight loss game because I'm on MF. They also delight in telling me that I'll gain all the weight back.

Regardless, I manage to stay on track because I know that I am learning healthy, LIFESTYLE changes that will stick with me. I also know, first hand, what it feels like when your body is trying to detoxify itself of all the crap you put into it - and let me tell you - it isn't pretty. I now know what a proper portion size is, how to fit eating 5 times a day into my schedule and how to deal with problems and stress without relying on food for a quick 'pick me up'. What more could I ask for really?

So anyway, it's just nice to know that I'm not alone. Good luck all.

Alisha
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HourglassLass
And yes, what you said is true. This is a very healthy program to follow. It's received the seal of approval from Johns Hopkins Medial Team and has been around and PROVEN for over 23 years to be effective.
"Seal of approval from John Hopkins"? I think a more appropriate (truthful) term would be "John Hopkins University was paid by Medifast to do two studies for them" which were never published in a peer-reviewed journal. That doesn't necessarily mean they gave Medifast their "seal of approval" whatever THAT means. The study (really just an abstract IMO) posted on the Medifast website concern diabetics - with a study group of 112 at the baseline (they never mentioned how many study participants were still involved at the end of the 52 week study - that is IMPORTANT info as typically there will be dropouts over time and that should be noted).

The other study (again just an abstract) was done simply by random selection of patient charts from 20 Medifast clinics, and only looked at the weight lost during the fast period - they didn't look at the long-term results (what happens after the fast period?). Another thing to keep in mind is that both studies involved participants who were actually being monitored on a regular basis - they weren't just buying the products online and using them on their own. This is a critical part of both studies - medical support - which is lacking in their non-supported products

Quote:
I don't think you'll find that type of track record on most other diets, including South Beach and/or Atkins. And most importantly, it is NOT a fad diet - it is a medical program that, up until fairly recently, was only available through a physician. Because of the success rate, it's now available to the general public (thank goodness!)
After viewing the nutrition info on their website, I wouldn't exactly call the "general public" version of Medifast a "medical program". IMO, the 'over the counter' Medifast program is quite a bit different from the one that you might receive at a medical center such as Johns Hopkins. Like Optifast (which I did in 1990-1991) Medifast is primarily known for their VCLD (very low calorie diet) - in the neighborhood from 400-900 calories/day. (I doubt they're promoting the 400 calorie plan at this point, however; but it was popular in the 1980's). It is definitely NOT healthy to do a VCLD without medical supervision - when I was on the program (participating through a study by Stanford University which was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health - the study was NOT about the rate of weight loss on Optifast or VCLDs, but was done to "test the relative effectiveness of four procedures for maintaining or extending the weight losses achived during fasting with a VCLD" where I (along with about a thousand other women) were chosen to be on a three-month VCLD, followed up with 18 months of monitoring and assessments, including weekly support group meetings and medical exams. As the study manual (which I still have!) says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanford VCLD Maintenance Study Manual
Lasting weight loss is hard to achieve. It demands the following:
  1. Change your eating habits. You must reduce the overall number of calories you consume and the percentage of calories derived from fat.
  2. You must exercise regularly. Heroic measures are unnecessary. For most of you, brisk walking is sufficient (keep in mind that most of us were at least 200 lbs at the beginning of the study)
  3. Eliminate junk food from your diet.
  4. Find alternative ways of coping with moods and interpersonal situations associated with overeating.
We have found that regular group attendance is essential if these goals are to be met. There is simply no substitute for attending the weekly meetings - not reading this manual, talking to your group leader on the phone, or discussing your weight loss with a friend. We know you want to achieve a long-lasting weight loss. And we also know, from experience in helping thousands of people, that you must attend group sessions regularly to achieve this goal.
I note that Medifast is now selling their packaged food plan on Home Shopping Network - obviously they know something about the power of a brand name - people see "Medifast" and think that by buying these products online or through HSN or wherever, they're getting the same program as patients under medical supervision - and they AREN'T. I checked the nutritional info for some of the products Medifast is selling and they have basically the same ingredients that you would get elsewhere - e.g. their nutrition bars have the same stuff in them as many other bars on the market (actually, in comparing Medifast bars' nutritional stats with Luna Bars - the Luna ones actually are HEALTHIER as far as ingredients go IMO.

Medifast, IMO (the products not being sold by medical centers) is basically no different from NutriSystem or Jenny Craig, really. And if eating prepackaged meals is what works for you, then cool beans but IMO it is CRITICAL to stress that this is NOT the same as doing the Medifast or Optifast program under medical supervision, which were the conditions of both the Medifast-commissioned JH abstracts.

It's important to keep the FACTS that aren't stated in the company's marketing materials in mind. The "over the counter" Medifast products are NOT the same as the formula sold by doctors and medical centers.

Regarding the matter of not having time or inclination to prepare healthy meals - as I've stated numerous times in the past - losing weight (and MORE importantly, keeping it off in a HEALTHY way) does entail WORK - it really comes down to the attitude and the priority it takes in your life. That cannot be stressed often enough. If you've read Anne Fletcher's excellent book Thin for Life, it becomes clear that for those who are successful at maintaining weight loss over a long period of time, the "diet" is never over - in other words, after they reach their goal weight, they don't eat whatever they want, nor do they go back to their old habits. (Check out this post by Meg in the Thin for Life discussion at Maintainers - it sums up what I've said quite nicely, I believe).

Incidentally, I'm pretty much the same - I usually don't have TIME to cook or, when I do, I want to spend as little time in preparation as possible - but I still find it very easy to eat healthfully w/o weight gain - usually I'll go to the salad bar in the produce section of my local grocer and assemble a chicken salad. If I do cook, it's usually something like chicken, fish or steak from my Geo. Foreman grill with some veggies and usually a side dish such as potatoes or rice, etc. My breakfast is always the same and it takes less than 10 minutes to make - some oatmeal and a plain omelet made with 1 whole egg + 3-4 egg whites.

Or quoting Booker T. Washington: "Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work."

That's my two cents anyway - FWIW!
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Old 07-31-2005, 09:54 PM   #13
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Common sense would say if you do anything to lose weight that you aren't going to continue, you'll regain.

I've lost 60 lbs. and kept it off for 5 years. It was a matter of gradually changing my relationship with food.
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:36 PM   #14
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MrsJim,

No offense, but I thought the Medifast packets sold by the Medifast website to "the public" were 100% the same product as what the MDs used to sell. Not the case? I know that having MD supervision is definitely a very good thing if on the VLCD, but I was not aware the actual ingredients varied...

JHU not only did a couple studies for Medifast, but does continue to use their products in an official capacity:

From the Medifast official site -
"For over 8 years, the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore, MD has chosen Medifast products for their very-low-calorie weight loss programs."

IMHO, if the school does this and allows their name to be used in marketing for Medifast, wouldn't that be their seal of approval for Medifast?

Also, on the Medifast site, under the study of the 112 diabetics, final # of participants is provided in graph form on p. 9 of the Study Results .PDF file, and in the Final Results link in text form: 16 remained till the end on the Medifast diet, and 7 on the ADA diet. Not a lot of retention, but still, the data is there

Again, IMO, looking at long-term results is indeed an important thing to do. I'd be interested to see these numbers myself. I will see if I can track them down. Heck, I'd be interested to see Weight Watchers full disclosure for all its members also... I've read but not off an official document, that 5% of WW members retain their loss 2 years after hitting goal, and the liquid diet people have about 22-24% successful maintaining rates 2 years later.

I won't argue that the MF bars are not wildly different from Luna bars. The lemon-flavored bars, for example:
Medifast: 160 calories (35 from fat), 4 fat grams, 20 carbs, 10 protein
Luna: 180 calories (35 from fat), 4 fat, 26 carb, 10 protein
Both are vitamin-enriched, with the Luna bars more heavily so. Cost? Luna: $18.75/15 bars on their site = $1.25 each.
Medifast: $14.95/7 bars on site = $2.14 each.

I think if you can find products on the shelves around you that are nutritionally similar and cheaper than X hyped brand, go for the more reasonable brand... (personally, I'm planning on using Medifast but not for the bars, heh! They remind me too much of candy which, for me, is not what I want in my daily habits.)

I agree that MF is not much different than other prepackaged foods except that it induces ketosis mildly and is lower calorically than other plans... about 600-700 on the Complete plan anyway. The MF 5 & 1 plan (5 Medifast meals and a low-fat protein and vegetable meal of your own) is about 800-1,000 calories. In comparison, Jenny Craig has a range from 1,200 to 2,300 in their plans. (Nope, I haven't seen Medifast pushing anything lower than the Complete plan, like 400 calories... YIKES. Actually, they seem to be moving away from the Complete idea too, and more towards pushing the 5 & 1 except for the morbidly obese who face more drastic health risks from their weight.)

To me, it's all about whatever works for the individual... and medical supervision is awesome for all big diet changes! For very low calorie diets, it is essential definitely!

I agree with MrsJim - losing weight is hard but the "diet" is never over. I gained my weight back so I know all about that

This time I plan on getting to goal AND staying there.
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Last edited by BerkshireGrl : 07-31-2005 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
MrsJim,

No offense, but I thought the Medifast packets sold by the Medifast website to "the public" were 100% the same product as what the MDs used to sell. Not the case? I know that having MD supervision is definitely a very good thing if on the VLCD, but I was not aware the actual ingredients varied...
I actually came to that conclusion during a Google search - I came across the websites of several weight loss medical centers/etc offering the fully medically-monitored program wherein they stated that there are two different formulations. Also I found this article from 1999 which states in part:

Quote:
Last summer, HealthRite stepped to the plate with the launch of an OTC version of its MediFast diet program, which the company unveiled at NACDS Marketplace. The MediFast Take Shape program ups the caloric ante on the original formula from 800 to 1,200 or 1,500 a day, a Food and Drug Administration requirement for OTC status.

HealthRite's Jason Pharmaceuticals division first began marketing MediFast as a doctor-directed diet. However, changes in Medicare destroyed the business by limiting physician margins and so, killing the financial incentive. In the meantime, more than 500,000 patients had been on the diet. The company needed to respin an OTC version to find a more open channel of distribution for a product for which an existing demand had already been demonstrated.

While the company has managed to pick up distribution in more than 23,000 retail outlets since the mid-1998 launch, it is still too early to see MediFast numbers in IRI's top 10. According to the company's earlier projections, that should be changing soon.

"There are approximately 144,000 chronically obese consumers out there; 500,000 more need to lose at least 25 pounds," said HealthRite chief executive Brad MacDonald. "If we can capture 10,000 of them, we'll do $10 million at retail this year."

Again, because dieting tends to be a cyclical process, the diet game favors repeat business. And, with half a million-plus consumers already familiar with the MediFast program, there's a fair chance HealthRite will meet its projections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
JHU not only did a couple studies for Medifast, but does continue to use their products in an official capacity:

From the Medifast official site -
"For over 8 years, the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore, MD has chosen Medifast products for their very-low-calorie weight loss programs."

IMHO, if the school does this and allows their name to be used in marketing for Medifast, wouldn't that be their seal of approval for Medifast?
Johns Hopkins - like most other medical universities - gets paid to do these types of studies by the companies that commission them. The fact that neither one of these studies was published in a peer reviewed journal (I checked Medline and couldn't find either one) makes it clear IMO that these were done mostly for marketing purposes.

My definition of "seal of approval" must be different from anyone else's - I went to the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center site and couldn't find a single mention of Medifast there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
Also, on the Medifast site, under the study of the 112 diabetics, final # of participants is provided in graph form on p. 9 of the Study Results .PDF file, and in the Final Results link in text form: 16 remained till the end on the Medifast diet, and 7 on the ADA diet. Not a lot of retention, but still, the data is there
I stand corrected on that - didn't look at the graphs closely enough (in my defense, we only have a 15" monitor here at home and I'm visually challenged...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
Again, IMO, looking at long-term results is indeed an important thing to do. I'd be interested to see these numbers myself. I will see if I can track them down. Heck, I'd be interested to see Weight Watchers full disclosure for all its members also... I've read but not off an official document, that 5% of WW members retain their loss 2 years after hitting goal, and the liquid diet people have about 22-24% successful maintaining rates 2 years later.
Judging from the results of the study I participated in, the success rates for liquid diets is more like less than 10%... Also, in his book Fat of the Land, Michael Fumento quotes a study which was published in the International Journal of Obesity 12 (1 [Feb 1988): 69-80 titled "An Eight-Year Experience with a Very Low Calorie Formula Diet for Control of Major Obesity" involving "4,026 obese patients who went on the Optifast program of which one-fourth dropped out within the first 3 weeks, and of the majority of dieters who achieved significant weight loss, only 5-10% maintained their reduced weights after 18 months".

Given that I would certainly term myself an overwhelming success in doing a VCLD, I would say in my own personal experience that the success or failure in these types of diets doesn't come from the product NEARLY as much as the quality of the medical staff - not to mention the willingness and desire of the patient to do well and make the necessary lifestyle changes required for such a success.

But since Medifast, apparently to make a bigger profit, isn't selling the online products to require medical supervision - they do suggest working with a doctor but heck, EVERY diet plan recommends that you at least talk to your doctor - these products being sold directly to consumers are in the same category as Jenny Craig or NutriSystem - and like I've said, if that's what works for you, no big deal - my thing is to point out that despite the use of the name Medifast, this is NOT the same as doing the medical program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
I agree that MF is not much different than other prepackaged foods except that it induces ketosis mildly and is lower calorically than other plans... about 600-700 on the Complete plan anyway. The MF 5 & 1 plan (5 Medifast meals and a low-fat protein and vegetable meal of your own) is about 800-1,000 calories. In comparison, Jenny Craig has a range from 1,200 to 2,300 in their plans. (Nope, I haven't seen Medifast pushing anything lower than the Complete plan, like 400 calories... YIKES. Actually, they seem to be moving away from the Complete idea too, and more towards pushing the 5 & 1 except for the morbidly obese who face more drastic health risks from their weight.)
I believe the VCLDs (800 calories or less) REQUIRE that the patient be medically supervised (during the study, I had blood/urine tests weekly for 18 weeks - plus monthly EKGs and of course, weekly weighins). Unless you're tiny or just had weight loss surgery, 1,200 calories is generally regarded as the lowest most people should go as far as intake during a diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerkshireGrl
To me, it's all about whatever works for the individual... and medical supervision is awesome for all big diet changes! For very low calorie diets, it is essential definitely!
TOTALLY agree.
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