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INTRO NUMBER TWO: The Billboard Effect.

Why I Switched from Weight Watchers to Medifast
These investigators performed a best evidence synthesis to synthesize the results, thereby excluding studies of poor quality. I am highly motivated. My best, Deb HS. It might work for some, but there are just too many negatives for us to back this diet. Weight Watchers is one of the few commercial weight-loss programs whose ability to produce weight-loss has been clinically proven repeatedly through research studies. Whenever I go for my weigh in, my counselor seems very busy and rushed, even though I am the only person there.

What is Take Shape for Life?

Jenny Craig

An electronic one is preferable because it shows your weight to the last point which makes it more accurate and easier to track your weight loss. Once you have your weight recorded, you can then calculate the number of calories you should be eating each day to lose weight.

Using an online BMI calculator is also advised. Get yourself linked to a weight loss friend, a dietitian or counselor. Someone who will be there for you whenever you needed them. As mentioned earlier, having someone who believes in you and relates to your struggles is very important in making any positive progress. You should be able to have a set amount of time, say 20 minutes each day, where you meet and talk with your weight loss partner about your progress.

By doing this, not only will you have an accountability partner who will always keep you in track and help you if you slipped, you will also have the motivation to do better because no one likes being a disappointment.

The next and maybe most important thing is to stock up on the low-calorie foods. Throw away all the high calorie and high fat foods in your house and anything over-processed. Remember the program does not ban any type of food, but chemical and synthetic products are not qualified as food. Instead buy and keep in large quantities whole foods, low dairy foods, fruits and vegetables of your liking, proteins such as lentils and black beans, nuts, chicken preferably skinless, canned fish and water.

You should then try as much as possible to cook these foods in very little oil. Deep frying should be in very limited occasions if any. The next step then is to take the calorie chart that you made when you recorded your weight and divide it into 6 meals that you will be taking throughout the day. For example, if the calories that you are required to take to lose weight are a day, then you are supposed to make 6 meals, each carrying calories and eat them.

A day has twenty-four hours, but are for sleeping so you will be working with roughly 18 hours. This means that the 6 meals should have a three-hour spacing. You can choose to have all the meals with the uniform number of calories or, make some meals like breakfast heavier than day time snacks.

You can start with as little as 20 minutes and work your way up gradually. The trick is to be consistent and disciplined. At this point it is advisable to have a food journal where you can be recording what you had for every meal and whether you stuck to the calories. You can also record the length of time you exercised and what specific workouts you did. This is important to keep yourself on track and to also monitor your progress.

You should also toss anything that might trigger you to snack or eat more than you should. Make sure to keep in constant communication with your health partner and dietitian being absolutely open with them. It is better to admit that you failed or slipped than to act like everything is fine while in real facts you are failing. Using these steps, apparently, will give you your very own Jenny Craig at home. Does this diet program work? At the high cost of the diet plan, will we actually lose weight?

According to WebMD many people can attest to the fact that the plan worked for them. The plan also works great for vegetarians and those that do not consume gluten since there are a variety of options. However, the diet is not good for vegans because almost all the prepackaged foods have some levels of dairy in them. According to a review of previous studies, it was seen that obese adults that were put on the Jenny Craig diet plan showed a 4. Everyone burns calories differently, and for some, counting calories can be a bad thing.

Customers are given prepackaged foods with the calories already counted and certified as okay. There is no scientific research linking this diet to weight loss and management.

National Institutes of Health conducted a study on mice that were given a low-calorie diet. Middle-aged mice 16 months old were fed the diet for 4 consecutive days, followed by 10 days of unlimited access to food.

The mice overate during these phases so that their overall calorie intake was similar to mice continuously fed a regular diet. There is a wealth of information, blogs and articles pointing out the downfalls of meal planning. The mega-downside is that this diet is super expensive. Jenny Craig prices are as follows:. These prices do not include the cost of buying the foods. The Jenny Craig online website allows for people to order, choose and buy foods without having to physically go to the local Jenny Craig centers.

The online system requires your information, so they can recommend the best foods for you. When ordering online, the first order is usually chosen by the company as a way of giving you an idea of what would best work for you and from then on you choose the plans yourself. Orders are made in batches of two weeks, but there is a three-day sample trial. This sample meal includes nine meals, three snacks and three salad dressings.

After giving all your information, the Jenny Craig Food Delivery team ships the food out to you. You can choose from picking up your food from the local center or have them directly delivered to you — which will cost you extra. Not all experts agree with low-calorie diets, pointing out the possible side effects — which are a bit shocking. According to WebMD , possible side effects of a low-calorie diet include: Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers are a couple of popular diet plans.

These systems have often been compared by many reviewers in the hope of finding which one is the best route to take. All three systems include prepackaged meals in their diet plan. This can be attributed to the fact that with prepackaged foods, calorie control is a guarantee. In terms of prices, Weight Watchers is the cheapest, followed by Nutrisystem. Jenny Craig was dead last in this category — the most expensive of the three. When it comes to the support system, a study by the Colorado State University has shown that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer constant weekly group or individual counselling and meetings that are physical and interactive as opposed to Nutrisystem whose support system is only online and among dieters.

The other difference among these three systems is that Nutrisystem does not offer any background check or change for its clients. A background check in terms of their previous eating regimen, their exercise habits, etc.

Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig help in knowing the past of its clients to determine their problems and assist in changing their ways of thinking and doing things when it comes to their nutrition and health. What we gather from these comparisons, is that the only thing separating Jenny Craig from the competition is the outrageous price tag.

I just started my third round this past Tuesday. Counting calories, eating healthy and exercising are sure to help you lose some weight, but at what cost? Is this diet plan going to catapult you to weight-loss glory? It might work for some, but there are just too many negatives for us to back this diet. If your goal is to lose weight, increase energy and eliminate hunger, you should go with a simple supplement designed to deliver results and not drain your bank account.

One of the best products of the year is called Burn TS. This supplement is a proprietary blend of 4 natural ingredients shown in published research to increase energy, burn fat and curb appetite. Customer reviews are showing great success, with some users pointing out the amazing value of the product.

Choosing the right weight-loss system can be confusing and often times frustrating. Let us know a little more about you and your goals. Jenny Craig makes a variety of healthy meals that you can purchase while you are on the program. The ingredients in their meals includes vegetables, whole grains, fruits and lean meats such as chicken, beef, pork and chicken.

Their meals are low in calories, carbohydrates, sugar, and saturated fats. There are no known side effects of the Jenny Craig program although some of their clients have reported food allergies. Choosing the right product is the 1 question asked by DietSpotlight readers. We recommend trying any product before buying it and know that finding a product with a sample offer is near impossible - so we created our own product, Burn TS, with scientifically backed ingredients.

Jenny Craig claims that the members that follow their program lose an average of pounds per week. Jenny Craig can be purchased using their Official Site or through Amazon. You can contact Jenny Craig by going to their website at http: You can also call for immediate assistance.

Jenny Craig guarantees that their clients will lose an average of pounds while in on their weight loss program. The most common complaint of clients who have reviewed Jenny Craig is regaining weight when the client ends their participation in the program. Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.

Do Not Send Email Notifications. If you order online, the cost is ridiculous even though I can afford it. You must have a huge freezer capacity if you have others in your household. I am very disappointed. Although their food is good, they are often out of the items you prefer. I woild like to know what the cost is per week for Jenny Craig and the cost of the food. There are planned and personalized week, so it varied.

The foods are delicious: Then at halfway we start doing 2 days on our own. I would like to know the cost of the program and the price of the food for a week on this program. I am a member of Jenny Craig. I joined about a month ago. I will probably stop buying the food completely within the next weeks. What are some bad warnings about the diet? I gave myself the night off and sat down to dinner with friends, enjoying a glass of very good wine and a small, low-calorie dessert with dinner.

But the next morning I got up and threw a Medifast shake into the blender: I want to get OFF Medifast and back to real food. I can't, of course, know where this story will end. A new box of Medifast arrived on Saturday. And that fat face in the mirror? When Weight Watchers works for us, when our other healthy lifestyle choices work for us, wonderful! But when something in our lives isn't working, maybe it's time to consider a new approach.

Expecting different results from the same behavior is absurd. So a fresh start is hopeful. It's not giving up, it's taking charge, even when unexpected and unhappy compromises are required. And that, Kitchen Parade readers, is why I write this story, one I could easily have let happen in the background, no word to the wise. This go-round, I've been so lucky to get great support day in and day out. But we're not all so lucky. Are you looking for Choice? Do you need to tell your story?

I'd love to hear it Are you taking account, taking stock? Do you take hope? Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns!

When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. Pinterest and Facebook users, "pin" and "share" with abandon, just don't copy the recipes themselves.

Fellow bloggers are welcome to repost my recipes, just write the recipe in your own words, use your own photograph, then link back to Kitchen Parade. Kitchen Parade Fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In these words, I hope, is a story of Choice and Hope and Compromise. The Dr Phil Effect. To read comments from other readers, please scroll down.

To leave your own comment, please scroll down to "Post a Comment". I went back to Medifast just this week. I have had 2 successful stints, both stopped by pregnancy. So I said heck with the money, back to Medifast.

Right now I'm done with pregnancy so I hope to take it all off and transition right this time! It is the only weight loss program I've ever been successful with, period. No doubt about it. I think the new trends for WW are great - focus on whole eating, etc. But it just doesn't work for people like me! And it doesn't work fast like Medifast! I am a subscriber of Veggie Venture.

I was very excited to see this come through my news feed! So glad this is working for you. What I have to do is get the blood sugar back in order; loosing the weight would be nice, too. I got home tonight after a dinner with some girlfriends, and just as I as going to tell my husband I needed to change my ways, he told ME the same thing about himself.

So I took the chocolate cake I'd made Sunday across the street to the neighbors. I just started Lose It, the app that helps you track calories and exercise, which was a big stumbling block for me on WW.

So far, so good! The bar code scanner has been a revelation. I am so proud of you for a mulitide of reasons. I am grateful you shared your story. I have lost 20 pounds just counting calories but am frustrated with the other 30 remaining and am ready for it to be gone.

I am considering Medi Fast. Some of us are allergic to soy and Medifast doesn't work very well in that case. Also, I never lost much on Medifast like I did with weight watchers. Also the food is expensive and too many chemicals.

I prefer real, fresh food. Congratulations on your weight loss and even more congratulations on your feeling great! I went to Weight Watchers in , when I finally got that "Aha! I don't mind spending money, but refuse to spend it on my monthly weigh-ins. Hope things continue to go well with Medifast. I will be interested to find out how you make the transition from packaged food back to "real" food.

How about doing the same thing without "meal replacements"? I found your site when I was looking for more veggie ideas for the diet part of the fitness program that I just completed.

I don't work for them or anything - just thought it was a really great program! The whole summer thing took me by surprise. It's so important, however you can do it. But then I said that already, didn't I? I met a woman at a cookie swap i December, she'd lost something like 40 pounds with My Fitness Pal, just tracking calories. For her, the tracking made all the difference. I haven't forgotten telling you, back in July, that I was thinking about it I told you before I'd really even told myself, haha.

I prefer fresh, real food too. I think of it as my 'reward' - not in the way you get a cookie as a reward but that as long as I can get to a healthy weight and stay there, then my love affair with real food can continue I made the mistake of not continuing to weigh in with WW once I lost the weight more than 10 years ago now. It won't happen again. I'm just trying to not veer off on my own path quite yet.

Because I've definitely learned some good things from Medifast, things I'll want to continue. Thanks for the referral too, I'll check into it! I make everything from scratch, so get to make the things I love to eat, but I find as I age I need to eat less to stay in a healthy weight range; consciously moving more helps too. I hope you will find the balance that works for you once you have transitioned back to food. Once you are happy you are in a weight range that suits you, please be kind to yourself and do something immediately to remedy the situation should the scales start upwards or your clothes get tighter, so that you don't have to resort to expensive, processed diet food ever again.

Alanna, Good on your for taking charge of your health! I told you it looks like you're aging backwards in that photo-weight loss and daily vigorous exercise sure shine almost as much as your smile. I am not trying to lose weight, only to get on my Reformer in the basement at least 3 times a week, but when a bunch of friends were trying and told me about myfitnesspal I did that. For me, though, cooking new recipes from scratch all the time, it was more of a pain in the bum to type in each recipe than the reward of seeing the calorie count would have been.

I have no suggestions for you in that area. So I will say that having some sort of goal a wedding, a half marathon is probably a good motivator. I don't know--still icy on the sidewalks so I'm not going to take the pup out for a 10 mile training walk this morning. Three miles will have to do. I'm so proud of you! Also, I can't go on something that eventually I have to "go off of". I am learning moderation, portion control, all the things I need to work out in "real life.

I love to cook, love to try WW recipies, and my family doesn't even know. I am staying right here, and have now kept my weight off for 6 months, even during the holidays.

Alanna you look wonderful! My husband and I went on Medifast a few years ago through a nurse at a hospital who guided us. We had to check in with her every week. We lost a lot of weight, felt and looked great. I agree with many of your observations Of course, once we got "off" it we managed to regain much of it.

That is not the fault of MF, but our bad habits returning. I am now WW'g with a friend Thanks for your honest sharing. You are indeed a blessing. I actually started low-carb whole food a few weeks ago and have felt really great. I used to do Weight Watchers, and I did it faithfully, but it just didn't work for me.

I mean, it's one of the most highly recommended and highly statistically successful programs. I know people who have lost pounds and inches and sizes.

But for me, it wasn't right; my weight and size remained stagnant. It took a bit to realize that I didn't have to fit in with all those statistics.

Good on you for branching out and finding a different path to health. In the past I had lost quite a bit of weight by basically learning about food portions and making sure I didn't overdo any certain type of food. And I worked out. But once I went off program I gained all that weight back -- and another pounds on top of it. TSFL is a division of Medifast that comes with all sorts of free support and education that makes transitioning back to whole foods safe and easy.

It helps you retrain your brain so you don't go back to the unhealthy habits you had before. It's more about creating health for life hence its name than about losing weight as a short-term goal.

I started Oct 2 and as of this posting I've lost 55 pounds. I think I safely fall into the category of "results not typical". It's amazing how great I feel -- how much energy I have, how my cravings have gone away, how I've broken my addictions from sugar and carbs, how I'm sleeping better Ive lost weight before, but nothing like this.

Nothing this fast or easy. That's worth a lot to me. A few thoughts on some of the objections: I wasn't excited about dehydrated food, either. But do you realize how much processed foods most of us use anyway??

Unless you're making your own breads, pastas, yogurts, growing your own veggies and fruits, etc etc, you are definitely eating a lot of processed foods, even if it's "healthy".

At least this food is formulated by doctors to be nutritionally balanced and healthy for you. I heard the price and laughed. But then I sat down and looked at how much I was spending on food: I ate a lot at my work's cafeteria or coffee bar. The portion of our grocery bill that was stuff I wouldn't use while on Medifast was huge. Suddenly the cost looked so much more manageable.

Support on this program is free, unlike other weight loss programs so I was saving those fees as well. Plus consider how much you spend on doctor co-pays, medicines, and how much you could spend ultimately in hospital and other medical bills if you don't lose the weight.

If you've spent money on failing on other plans in the past, why keep going back? The only way to know if you'll succeed on a different program is to try it. In the case of Medifast, if it's not the program for you, return your uneaten food and get most of your money back. This program does not abandon you once you've reached your goal. It will teach you how to transition back into "real" foods again and then finally teach you how to use those real foods to keep the weight off and be healthy for life.

And with TSFL -- the support is free to you for life, even if you're not using the Medifast products anymore. Not a bad deal. Some of it I won't touch again.

But a lot of it is really fairly decent and some of it I downright love And then for those foods you're not so crazy about, there are all sorts of creative people out there on the internet who find ways to prepare foods in completely different ways that do make them enjoyable.

For example, unlike Alanna, I can't stand the chocolate shakes. But they make a pretty decent cupcake! I never thought that a program that provides most of your food for me would ever work.

I LOVE fresh foods -- fruit in particular was hard for me to give up. When you see results like this as quickly as this, suddenly it's not quite the sacrifice. And I know when I reach my goal I get to have those foods again. I love this journey and I love helping others reach their health goals as well. There's no better feeling than this! Good for you for taking control of this, and I say whatever works! Great job so far!! However, once I had a little success with Medifast I was motivated to keep going.

Since starting my Medifast journey I have started exercising regularly, my foot pain from plantar fasciitis is all but gone along with all my other aches and pains and I no longer get migraines regularly. I have also started tracking all my food in MyFitnessPal and I will continue to do that after I get back to eating real food to help maintain my weight loss.

Yes - Medifast is not a perfect plan and I would much rather be eating fresh food that I prepare myself, however I needed this to help jump start positive changes in my health.

I wish you continued success on Medifast and your journey to better health. I like it, thank you. And you're the second person today to mention a half marathon, good for you and Mark! It really is a life-saver for so many. Six months is excellent, stay with it! Good luck with doing WW with your friend, here's to both of you! I so get that. I'm so glad you've found something that is working for you now.

We have different ideas on what's processed food and what's not processed food, but I hear you on each of your points. And I'm so glad you brought up the long-term support, that was new to me. I remember when we first knew one another and talked about the differences between Weight Watchers my way and South Beach yours.

The weight isn't "melting off" me like it does for some on Medifast but still, each day when I get on the scale, each day when I feel bones I haven't felt in some years, I feel grateful. I would've expected better of you guys. Your reasons for switching from WW to MF could have been written by me last summer. I had lost on WW, but the gained back exactly half of it, all the while attending meetings faithfully and sort of following the program. When my daughter decided to try MF last January, I was supportive of her but skeptical of the meal replacements.

She did really well, so I decided I would give it a try. I decided to commit to 2 months and see where I was. Well, 6 months later, I am still here and down 50 lbs. It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple. I am a longtime and, fortunately, a successful -- so far -- WW member , and I read you for inspiration and recipes.

I wish you nothing but the best with this and hope you will update us in your "journey. Meanwhile, keep on cookin' with Medifast. I'm glad you found a plan that works for you at this time. Thank you for your honesty and courage to write about your switch.

Keep up your success. Looks like you don't have too much farther to go! My story is that 11 years ago I lost 40 pounds in about two months. It was too much too fast, but I was "ready", as you say, to just get rid of the weight. I dieted and exercised the heck out of every day--eating very little. After losing the weight I felt better and ate normal, healthy meals.

Over the last five years I have gained about 15 pounds. Reaching 40 was like a stopwatch to my metabolism. In November I picked up running to spend more time with fit family and friends. I am doing the "Run Double C25K"--an app to help you run a 5k in 9 weeks. Since I have never ran a step in my life, this is a challenge, but I want to be healthier, fit, and to spend time with other healthy people to stay on track.

I haven't lost one pound and use that as motivation to keep moving. Surely all those skinny runners looked just like me when they started! Alanna you look great and each of us will succeed using different methods, sometimes even the same methods at different times. Can't wait to hear more about your successes. Thanks for your honesty and for revealing that different things work for different people at different times of life.

A friend at work lost a lot of weight using Medifast and it's transformed her life--she even just went platinum blonde and is still slender after transitioning to mainly real food again--in her early 60s. I lost a little over 30 pounds counting calories in my early 40s when I developed hypertension and around 10 of them slipped back on with perimenopause I've figured out I need more protein now and less carbs.

Hard realization for a carb lover, but my body is talking! Thanks for the inspiration! And you size up the program exactly right, "It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple.

I didn't realize you were a successful WW!! You've really got me thinking on that one This column inspired me to take a chance on a new program. I've been considering going back to WW "again", to loose the 20 pounds which crept back over the last 6 months. But I'm a very picky eater, a great cook, and to top it off, help my neice operate her scratch bakery. Not a good weight loss combination.

Since I am certain you are particular about food with a discerning palate would you be willing to share your favorite medifast "meals". It's a short list. At first, I could tolerate the chicken noodle soup but I've got three boxes on hand and am having to force myself to eat one a day just to get rid of it. I like the spice pancakes and the chocolate pudding but don't order them because I really don't want to get used to sweet and carb-y things, which I didn't eat before and certainly don't want to get started on.

I hated the eggs. I hated the sloppy joes. I hated the vegetable soup. I liked so few things, I sent everything except shakes and bars back Medifast has a good return policy and stopped trying any others. I'm not bored with the shakes, they're filling, they help me drink more liquid, I like them hot and cold. I know that the Medifast forum is full of people who take the food and turn them into something else eg some today who doesn't like the chocolate shakes says that they make good brownies but I do not want to pretend this is "cooking" or "real food".

So I ignore those possibilities. For the record, I am NOT a picky eater with real food. While there are a few things I don't care for sweetbreads and Wonder bread or prefer cooked one way more than another boiled kale vs sauteed kale , it is rare for me to not like something.

The one thing I'd say is, do everything you can t take charge now at 20 pounds. Don't let it turn into 30 or 40 or worse. I wish I'd followed my own advice. Thank you for the article. I at a point where I really need to loose the weight-again-and keep it off this time. My health is affected by the extra weight. I know of other people who have chosen meal replacement programs with great success.

My question to you which I can't find in the article is why this program and not Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem? I was younger than 40 at the time and thought "not me!! To be honest, I was in my late 40s when I began to notice this. It wasn't just weight creeping up, it was that I didn't feel well eating like I did when I was younger. At about the same time I read about a group of people who maintained their health and had minimal weight gain throughout their lifetimes.

It didn't prompt me to eat the way they did, but it did inspire me to find out how people in other countries and cultures ate. There were a lot of similarities and some differences -- mostly in exactly what they ate. I also started thinking back to when I was growing up in the s and s -- when it was rare to see someone who was truly overweight.

I was also in contact with older adults, many of whom weren't significantly overweight and had few health problems. I either observed or asked them about their eating habits.

I started noticing some similarities. The slim, healthy people in other countries and the slim, relatively healthy older adults I saw had some things in common. Most never ate processed foods. If they did, they were consumed rarely. And contrary to the advice now to snack throughout the day, most never snacked. If they did snack it was only once a day. Among the older adults, those who were slim ate less than they had when they were younger.

Not little enough to be malnourished, but definitely less than when they were in their prime. I eat three meals daily and rarely snack. About the only time I snack is if a meal is going to be significantly late. I do eat less at meals. Two of my meals, usually breakfast and lunch, tend to be smaller and one is larger. I don't feel deprived because I'm satisfied with how much and what I eat. There's nothing I don't eat, but many things that I don't eat often.

If I really want something, I have it. I also have a general plan of what to eat at meals. I'm also a fan of Michael Pollan's mantra: I've found that I don't need to eat as much real food to be satisfied. Another thing I learned is that it's perfectly normal, in fact, somewhat necessary, for a woman to gain pounds from the time she's about 20 until her mids.

It has to do with reproduction. This has been observed throughout the world and throughout history. It's even observed in art where maidens are slim and matrons are, well, more matronly. Part of the reason it may be hard for those of us "of a certain age" to lose weight is that we're not supposed to weigh the same as when we were younger.

Alanna, I wish you the best of luck on Medi-Fast! A couple of years ago my friend lost 40 pounds on the program, at the same time I was losing 20 lbs on Jenny Craig.

Two years later, she's gained 35 lbs back, and I've gained Since I've gone vegan 9 months ago none of those "packaged" plans will work for me, they all rely on animal protein of some sort.

However, if you "use" Medifast as a jumping point and maintain from there, awesome! I just couldn't do it, call me a packaged diet failure. Alanna, you look wonderful! I really enjoyed your story. I'ts similar to mine. I lost 80lbs and my husband lost lbs on WW about 12 years ago. I am a lifetime member and even worked for WW as a meeting leader for a year quit because a new job forced me to travel a lot.

However, like many of us, I've gained the weight back. I wanted to do Medifast for a while, but I was worried that it really didn't teach about how to cook or eat. It, like many other weight loss programs, just gives you the food to eat to lose weight. I liked learning what a portion is i. However, my sister-in-law pointed out something to me. She said, "You worked for WW, you know how much to eat, how to cook, and what you should do.

You're just having a hard time doing it. If you're goal is to lose weight and feel better, Medifast can help you do that. Then implement what you know you should do to keep it off. I just was having a hard time doing the WW plan; too "open" for me right now. So, on to Medifast. I've lost 38lbs in 3 months and I haven't had one issue following the plan. Thanks so much for your post and inspraition. So glad you posted this! As it turned out, I just got back from a trip and started on Medifast yesterday for the first time the package arrived while I was away.

Love the tip about making the shake with coffee. I'll definitely try that. I don't have a lot of weight to lose only about 15 pounds , but have just not been able to motivate myself to reduce my food intake enough to get rid of it.

I think that putting myself on a diet like this where I have specific food to eat each day is the kind of structure I need to jump-start my weight loss. I usually eat well fresh foods from scratch, with lots of lean protein and veggies, not many sweets , so the idea of the pre-packaged food wasn't all that exciting to me.

I just bought the 2-week variety pack to try it out. If it works out OK, I'll order more. Since I don't need to lose a lot, I don't expect to be on it for more than a few months.

If I find it hard to stick with it for a long stretch of time, perhaps I'll try alternating the Medifast food with home-cooked food on alternate weeks or even alternate days.

As long as I'm lowering my overall food intake, I should still lose weight, though more slowly, of course. Congratulations on your weight loss, and sticking with it!

It's a great inspiration to me. Hi Alanna--I left a message on your blog but I guess it was after you closed it to comments. I am just wondering why you chose medifast over other meal replacement systems like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. Congrats on your weight loss--I hope to be down 20 to 30 lbs by this summer.

In part, that's because I didn't "choose" Medifast, it chose me by virtue of my friends Kathy and Georgia starting it. I did no other research. I honestly didn't even think of it but also know that I am often confounded by too many choices, leading to long periods of indecision. Sorry, not much help as you make your own deliberations! The "snack" ideas do resonate, since one of the things I most appreciate about Medifast is the frequency of the food intake.

A meal implies something else, and for me, at least for now and I hope for later, more small and healthy meals during the course of a day feels right, keeping my sugar levels even over many hours.

My idea for these "non meal" meals are a small bowl of vegetable soup or a small salad or a small piece of protein or a small piece of fruit. There IS a difference between a girl's physique and a "matron's". My very thin friends somehow appear gaunt and wiry and tired, those with some healthy weight seem to glow.

Thank you, thank you, for adding so much to this conversation. Is "vegan" working as a weight loss vehicle for you? Mark Bittman of course lost many, many pounds with his "vegan until dinner" approach.

I know that the first time I gained weight, back in my 30s, was when I stopped eating meat. It's not fair to blame vegetarianism, it's just that I wasn't well-educated and switched to cheese as one protein source.

That is terrific, go, go, go. And it really encourages me that I'm not alone in using both WW and Medifast as different tools at different times in our lives. Your sister is a wise woman!

If you're not used to caffeine, be careful using a full 2 cups of coffee to make the shake, it will, at least it did me, give you a bad-bad case of the shakes! Really interesting post - I'll be looking forward to hearing about your experiences going forward. Keep up the good work.

Just for clarification, by "snack" I mean anything eaten between the three major meals. I define "treat" as cake, cookies, anything dessert-like. I don't see popcorn as a treat so much, but carmel corn or any of the sweetened popcorns would be a treat. So a snack isn't necessarily a treat, but it could be.

Your goal around "thinking about food less" really hit home for me. Any tips on how you reached this goal would be appreciated! I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since , but spent a lot of that time over goal.

Two years ago, I got back down to goal and am now working part time for Weight Watchers. I agree that the importance of maintaining a healthy weight trumps other considerations. I believe everyone must do what works best for them. I am so glad that you are losing weight, becoming healthier and feeling better about yourself.

Losing weight is difficult, and maintaining a healthy weight is even more difficult. We constantly must start over and try new techniques. Good luck on your healthy living journey. By the way, my husband and I enjoyed Chicken Sybil for lunch today. Alanna, so feel like we could be sisters.

Have treasured this blog, along with Veggie Ventures for years. Have been on and off WW for almost 40 years. Still believe WW is best program if you take time to plan and follow program. Four years ago I was at my highest weight ever. My father in law had been on Medifast without telling us. He asked if I really wanted to loose weight.

I had been skeptical about packaged foods and cost. Yet when you really step back and think about it, it was skilled at buying ingredients with the best of intentions, changing plans, forgetting the recipe and then throwing away the food.

Wasted food, larger clothes, and most importantly diminishing health can be even more costly than the MF plan. With thyroid issues, to ease my mind, I also checked with our family physician. He gave his seal of approval. Originally I questioned how some of the prepackaged "meals" could keep me full. Like you, it took trial and error to find the meals I preferred.

What is the Jenny Craig Diet?