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Thanks for sharing Alanna. Ive lost weight before, but nothing like this. 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. They need to engage and empower their employees to produce results. Pouring the mix into a thermos and adding boiling water and stirring well.

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Medifast Shakes

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.

Medifast makes it easier to eat fewer calories without feeling hungry and without sacrificing nutrition. The plan is simple: You continue on this plan until you reach your weight-loss goal. Seniors, new moms, vegetarians, people with diabetes, bariatric surgery patients, and many others can lose weight safely and get healthier with Medifast. You have more than 70 meals to choose from, including shakes, soups, chili, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit drinks, iced teas, hot beverages, bars, pretzel sticks, cheese puffs, puddings, and more.

All are low in fat and have a similar nutritional footprint, so you can eat the ones you want and get great nutrition every day. And many are certified gluten free. Your counselor can tell you more about the science behind the safety and effectiveness of Medifast products. Compared to other meal replacements, Medifast Meals contain fewer calories per serving, while being formulated to keep you feeling full and satisfied. That means you get results faster with Medifast than with other weight-loss meal replacements.

The balance of fiber and protein in Medifast Meals helps you feel full and satisfied. Most Medifast Meals are made from soy, though some contain egg or whey protein.

Use a nonstick pan. Get it hot medium heat. Use Pam if sticking is a problem. Pour the batter in you can do 3 small pancakes or one big one. Now leave it there! Don't mess with it. Wait until it looks like it is starting to set, like real pancakes. When you can put a spatula under the edge to flip it, and the edge is solid and not runny, flip it. Let it cook another minute and you're done! Some people want their pancakes to be fluffier. You have several options to accomplish this: Let it sit for a few minutes before cooking.

Eat open faced or fold in half. The peanut butter is an optional snack, and the jelly is a condiment. You can use a plain pancake as "bread" for various sandwiches, but I find them too sweet for that and use the soup bread see recipe on this page instead. It won't set if you go overboard. Then you can use some of your Lean ricotta sweetened with Splenda or your Healthy Fat 1 Tbsp cream cheese sweetened with Splenda as a filling, roll it up and enjoy.

Good with a sprinkle of cinnamon, too. The easiest way of all to enjoy the pancakes either the plain or the chocolate chip is to make them in a coffee mug in the microwave. You can then dump it out and eat it by hand, or just grab a spoon and eat it from the mug. I usually top it with 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup right in the mug and eat with a spoon. I love how the chocolate chips pool at the bottom of the mug! My favorite "mug muffin" was suggested to me by a commenter on my blog, Lillabeth.

Mix and nuke 55 seconds. This makes a fantastic lemon poppyseed muffin! So good in the morning with a cup of coffee. I am not a fan of the "new" pretzels, which are very similar to little breadsticks. However, they taste better if you dip them in something. The bars are great as is, or for a change of pace, try microwaving a bar for seconds and eating it with a spoon.

The chocolatey bars and the caramel bars are nice and soft and gooey that way. You can also freeze the bars which is yummy and it takes a lot longer to eat them. Try cutting your bar into little squares and freezing them in a baggie for a longer-lasting snack.

I also found a way to have "cereal" for breakfast using the bars. The almond milk counts as 1 condiment. Salted caramel is delicious! You can also make cookies from your bars and they are awesome! See the recipe under "Brownies" and another under "Soft Bake" below.

Or you can make the frozen "candy bar" recipe under "Puddings" above. The brownies are pretty good as is. I personally like my brownies moist and fudgey, so here is how I make them in my high-powered microwave: Mix 2T water and 1T any flavor sugar-free syrup into the brownie mix in the included tray.

Then, you can do any of the following: Eat the warm brownie. Spread 1 Tbsp peanut butter on the brownie and let it melt and eat it. Freeze the brownie in its tray until it is solid. Then peel off the tray and eat it this is so good! You can create flavor variations by using sugar free syrups, diet sodas, or coffee in place of the liquid. You can add extracts like peppermint or orange, or spices like cinnamon. You can also make cookies. Brownie Crunch Cookies Microwave 1 Crunch bar for 15 minutes to soften.

You can use any flavor, but I like Caramel best and Peanut Butter second best. Add 2 packets of Brownie mix and 4 Tbsp water to the softened bar and use a spatula to mix thoroughly into a stuff dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and place on parchment paper or a plate sprayed with Pam. Microwave for 2 minutes and 15 seconds or longer, based on your preference. This makes 3 Medifast meals and they can be frozen and eaten frozen, too!

Another thing that lots of people like is to just mix up the batter and freeze it for an hour or two. It tastes rich and fudgey. I have also tried putting the batter in the tray, microwaving it 15 seconds, stirring, microwaving 15 more seconds, stirring, and then freezing. Fudgey and good but not as dense as raw batter frozen. Another great way to use the Brownie mix is to make a muffin! This is by far the best muffin I have come up with. Put the batter in a little custard cup sprayed with Pam and microwave it until just done.

The Soft Bake chocolate chip cookie is good as is, but if you want a more cookie-like experience, just mix the batter with 2 Tbsp water and then plop it onto a sheet of Parchment paper NOT wax paper!

Microwave it for seconds until firm. You can also make delicious crunchy cookies like this: Microwave an Oatmeal Raisin Crunch bar for 15 seconds and smoosh it with a spatula. Add the cookie dough and smoosh it around until combined. Form two cookies on parchment paper, smooth them with wet fingers, and nuke for 2 minutes both at once.

Cooking it a little longer makes it more crunchy; I usually go 2: So good and crunchy when cool! Soft Bake can also be just mixed with 2 Tbsp water and eaten "raw" like cookie dough. You can also make a fabulous shake out of it! You can blend the packet with 1 cup of cold coffee and some ice, or you can blend with 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a handful of ice, and a spoon of instant coffee granules or a Starbucks Via packet to make a great, creamy Java Chip Frappuccino.

You can also make a little muffin from the Soft Bake using the muffin recipe under "Brownies" above. I am not a shake fan. I used almost no actual shakes in my Medifast journey. I strongly prefer shakes made from puddings see above or the Ready-to-Drink Medifast chocolate shakes, chilled. But if you do have shakes, they are much better in the blender with the required amount of water plus a handful of ice.

Some people "soak" the shakes by mixing them up with water an hour or more ahead of time, storing in the fridge, and then blending with ice when needed. It takes some of the gritty texture out of them. I finally tried the "soak" method and what a difference!

I always thought people were crazy saying their shakes were like actual milkshakes. Mine were more like thin drinks with crushed ice floating on top. But once I tried soaking, I will never go back! Mix or blend the shake powder and water and then stick it in the fridge for an hour or two. Then add ice and blend. VERY thick and creamy, almost like a real shake!

You can perk up your shakes by adding sugar free syrups for flavor or blending them with half the water, a handful of ice, and a half can or more of diet soda. Try different combinations until you find one you like. My favorite shake is something I made up because I did not like the Vanilla shakes. This is very yummy! It really does taste like French toast! Another way to use your shakes is to make "shake cakes. Shake Cake Spray a small ramekin or custard cup with Pam or use a Medifast Brownie tray to cook this.

Add 1 Tbsp Egg Beaters and 2 Tbsp sugar free syrup, any flavor vanilla is good, so is caramel. Mix until it has a batter consistency. You may add cinnamon if you like. Put the batter in the dish or tray and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then microwave for seconds. You may have to nuke for shorter or longer periods, depending on the wattage of your microwave, but you want to nuke it just until the center looks done and not wet.

This recipe does use 2 condiments so be aware. You can eat it warm or let it cool and smear it with cream cheese frosting if you have a Healthy Fat to use 1 Tbsp cream cheese plus a bit of Splenda. I think any flavor shake would work in this recipe.

When I started using more whey based meals and less soy, I started making these instead of using the Medifast Brownies. I do this in a spare Brownie tray but you can use a small glass ramekin or silicone dish.

Microwave for seconds until it looks done, like a cake. My new, rather powerful microwave took 45 seconds. Tweak the time as needed to get the cake done but not overcooked. One more super awesome shake recipe that I found here. It's banana french toast. The original recipe calls for stuffing the french toast with sweetened cream cheese, but I don't think it needs it. I love this for breakfast! Pour this mixture into 3 triangles of a preheated sandwich maker.

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