I‘m a big guy at 6’4″, and because of my tall frame I tend to wear excess weight pretty well. While I would be considered overweight by most measures I don’t necessarily look too bad. Because of that a lot of people will look at me funny when I say I’m trying to lose weight, because they don’t think I really need to lose any weight.
Despite what others think, I really do want to lose the excess fat, over the past ten years I’ve struggled with my weight off and on. I’ve had periods where I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, like in 2007 when I was down to around 225 lbs or so, down from around 260. I’ve also had periods where life got in the way and I overate, and my weight ballooned to an all time high of 271 in 2011.
Last year I reluctantly joined the Weight Watchers program with my wife, and we both ended up losing around 30 lbs on the program. I got down to about 241 pounds after 6 months or so in the program. At the end of the year we ended up stopping the program due to being out of town and having a bit of burnout, and in the meantime we both ended up gaining about 15 pounds of the weight we lost back.
A month or two ago I decided to give the weight loss another chance. This time my starting weight was 255.5, and I didn’t want to do Weight Watchers this time, I didn’t want to be the only guy in meetings with 20 women again, I wanted to try a program more focused towards guys.
So what plan did I decide to give a try? This time around I decided to give Medifast a try. Some family friends had gone on the program and had lost a considerable amount of weight in a short time period. Here’s a quick blurb from the folks at Medifast giving an overview of the program.
When you want to lose weight and get healthy, Medifast makes sense. Whether your doctor has recommended that you lose weight or you just want to look and feel better, Medifast can help you get results quickly and simply.
Medifast has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since 1980 and is clinically proven to be safe and effective. Studies at major university teaching hospitals have proven Medifast Meals to be safe and effective. Studies published in major medical journals have proven meal replacements to be an effective method of weight loss and weight maintenance.
So Medifast has a good track record and has been recommended by doctors for over 30 years to lose weight and get healthy. Maybe not a bad program to try. When I checked out the company’s website, they also have two main programs to check out, one for women and one for men.
I decided to jump in on the Men’s program and try it out for a few weeks.
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan
So how does Medifast work? There are a couple of different ways you can do it. You can sign up through one of their weight loss centers, and attend and get weighed in at their bricks and mortar location.
If you prefer, you can do it all online like I am. You just sign up, buy your Medifast meals online, and then you start eating the Medifast meals 5 times a day – every 2 to 3 hours. Then eat your own healthy “lean and green” meal once a day, usually either at night for dinner, or at lunch. Here’s how they explain the program, and the meals:
Medifast Meals are doctor-designed nutrition. Each has a similar nutritional footprint, which means you can choose among more than 70 items and be thoroughly nourished and satisfied. Our low-glycemic meals are low in calories and fat. After a few days on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, your body will reach a mild fat-burning state, so you can lose quickly while preserving muscle tissue.
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss is simple. Each day, you eat six times, once every two to three hours. The plan puts your body in a mild fat-burning state so you lose weight quickly and safely without taking weight-loss drugs or missing out on nutrition. You choose five Medifast Meals (the “5”) and one self-prepared Lean & Green Meal (the “1”), consisting of measured portions of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. You can make the Lean & Green Meal yourself, or order it in a restaurant. The plan is easy to follow, with no guesswork and no counting of carbohydrates, calories, or points. Medifast Meals are portable and are either ready to eat right out of the package or mix easily with water. It’s the perfect fast weight-loss plan for those with busy lifestyles.
So basically they have designed these easy Medifast meals that you’re supposed to eat which give you all the nutrition that you need every day. You eat the meals, but all the while you’re creating a deficit in calories so you’re losing weight. You also eat your own lean protein and green veggies meal, and that’s it. Super simple!
The only problem I’ve had so far with the program is with some of the food options. They have everything from shakes to bars to soups and brownies. Some of the menu choices aren’t half bad, but others are, quite frankly, awful. I’m about a month in now and I’ve tried most of the menu options, and I now know which ones I prefer. Until you find which ones you like, however, you may end up buying a few that you don’t like.
If you want, you can also work out while you’re on the program, although they suggest holding off on too much exercise for a week or so until your body gets used to your new level of calorie intake.
Weight Loss With Medifast: 1 Month Later
I’ve been doing the 5 & 1 Medifast weight loss plan for just over a month now, and in that time I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, at a faster rate than I did on the Weight Watchers program.
- Starting weight: 255.5 pounds
- Current weight: 241.5 pounds
- Weight lost: 14 pounds
I’ve lost just over 14 pounds in about 5 weeks, about 3 pounds a week or so. All that and the change in my fitness has been minimal. I may have been walking or playing with my son a bit more, but not much more. The main change has been the diet.
I plan on adding in more fitness back into my schedule, working out in the mornings 5-6 days a week. I’m sure doing that will only increase the amount I’m able to lose – although at some point I expect somewhat of a plateau. We’ll see.
Medifast: A Good Way To Lose Weight Fast
So far I’ve been pretty happy with the Medifast program. It’s dead simple to do, you just eat 5 of their pre-packaged food choices every day, and one meal of your own. That’s it. No points to keep track of, and no weekly meetings (which could be a downside I suppose if you get something out of them).
The only downsides I’ve run into include the fact that some of the food choices just don’t taste very good (so you’ll need to try them out to see which ones you like), and the fact that it can be pretty expensive. I’ve found that it has cost around $150 or so every two weeks (You only pay for the food). Granted, I’ve cut my grocery and eating out spending substantially by doing the program, so in the end I think we’re actually spending less. But for those who are good about keeping food spending low, doing the program may mean an increase in your food budget.
Have you tried Medifast in the past? What were your thoughts about the program?