I’m on my last 15 pounds to lose, but wanted to try out a few new meals. The problem is that the return and exchange process is rather cumbersome and didn’t want to do this. So instead, I decided to buy individual flavors to try out. I really wish TSFL/Medifast would have a pricing system similar to some grocery stores where they allow you to mix and match six packs of microbrews. But my guess is that TSFL wants to make a few extra pennies from people who only buy one or two meals.
In any event, if you aren’t sure if you’re going to like something, I would recommend doing just that: buying one or two of those meals so you don’t have to worry about returning them.
Now onto meal reviews. I really wish TSFL/Medifast has a review section like every other website. But you’ll have to rely on websites like this one…
Parmesan Cheese Puffs – 1/4 stars
If you are expecting cheese puffs to be like the puffs you get at the grocery store, think again. The Medifast puffs (regardless of flavor) are more like densely packed Cheetos than puffs. But, with that in mind, let’s talk about flavor. The Parmesan puffs are rather bland. They have a very light flavor, which means that you get a lot of the soy protein taste. I would recommend adding some coarse black pepper to this mess if you end up getting it.
Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs – 3/4 starsUnlike the Parmesan cheese puffs, these are packed with flavor. They are spicy in the same way that ranch dressing is spicy. While the mouthfeel is the same with these puffs as they are with the Parmesan puffs, they are still more flavorful than the Parmesan. I’m going to add these to my food rotation. The puffs in general has the added benefit that it usually takes longer to eat these meals. This is due to the fact that the bite sizes are smaller and you naturally stop between bites to wipe your hands. But this is also why I don’t give this meal more than three stars. It’s messy. Bring a napkin and prepare to wash your hands after.
Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Shake – 1.5/4 stars
Since I liked the Dutch Chocolate shake, I figured drinking the Dark Chocolate Antioxidant shake would be just as good. In addition to the chocolate, it includes extra Vitamins A, C, & E. In my opinion, they should add these vitamins to ALL of their shakes. But it’s hard to imagine why this meal went wrong. I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate, but figured it wouldn’t taste that much different than Dutch Chocolate, which is pretty rich. I made the mistake of buying an entire box of this. I’m going to keep it, but I don’t plan on buying this one again.
Cherry Pomegranate Antioxidant Shake – 1/4 stars
This shake is surprisingly bad. It has a very strong cherry flavor. Notice I say flavor and not taste. The cherry flavor is similar to cherry flavored cough syrup. Yeah, it tastes like cherry, but you still taste the poison that is the cough syrup. I plan on skipping this in the future.
Orange Cream Shake – 3/4 stars
I wanted to give these a try, so I bought two individual packets. I’m glad I did! The orange cream is a great addition, especially if you like Orange Cream ice cream. When I make shakes, I typically use the shaker jar and add about a cup of ice after everything is blended and shake again. This makes the drinks extra cold. It takes on a more milkshake-like consistency but it is still a liquid. Since it’s cold, it’s much more refreshing. This is especially true for the orange cream shake. Drinking this cold reminds me of the days I would eat ice cream and doesn’t make me miss it quite as much. I’m adding this to my rotation.
Mocha Shake – 3/4 stars
It’s spring time so I wanted to try some more coffee-flavored stuff. I love iced coffee so I gave the mocha shake a try. I’m glad I took the risk and bough an entire box of this. This shake is just so delicious I probably good have all five meals on the mocha shake alone. Now, I’m not a big coffee drinker, so it’s important to note that it has just a hint of coffee flavor with much more chocolate and vanilla taking the palate center. If you’re missing iced coffee due to this diet, I recommend giving this a try. And just like the orange cream (and any of the shakes really), add a cup of ice AFTER blending for a colder beverage.
Cranberry Mango Fruit Drink & Tropical Punch Fruit Drink – 0/4 stars
Again, bought two of each. These are just flat-out gross. I was very skeptical of these to begin with. Over the last four months, I’ve noticed that you really need a lot of flavoring to mask the soy protein taste. These drinks, unfortunately, don’t do this. They are very thin and don’t dissolve well. You want to drink these like Hi-C and Hawaiian Punch, but they are just gross. I would skip these.
Coffee Soft Serve – 3/4 stars
Like the mocha, I wanted something that was going to taste more like coffee. I’m glad I tried these out, My only complaint with the soft serves is that they require a lot of work. The blender should be cleaned after each use. So this can get annoying pretty quick. You should get a very good quality blender because it would be easy for it to break after a few regular uses. I wouldn’t make these more than once a day. But outside of this, the soft serve was very delicious and great to have on a warm or hot spring day.
Here is my preparation instructions: 1) In a blender, put in 1 1/2 (1.5) cups of ice. CRUSH them until you stop hearing ice chunks. 2) Remove 1/2 cup of ice from blender. Throw the rest out. Put the 1/2 cup of crushed ice back in. 3) Add 1/4 cup of cold water, followed by the packet. Blend for 30-45 seconds, stopping and scrapping as needed.
What I found is that it’s impossible to measure 1/2 cup of crushed ice. It’s much easier to crush more than you need, measure it out, throw the rest away.
Mixed Berry Cereal Crunch – 3/4 stars
I didn’t get cereal because I thought you had to have milk with them. While TSFL/Medifast recommends almond milk, I wanted to avoid this all together since I was about convenience. Having a bowl to clean was something that I wanted to avoid. But then I realized you can just eat the cereal! So glad that I gave these a try. The mixed berry is a cross between Cheerios and Fruity Pebbles. You can eat them just like you would the cheese puffs. A great for your mid-morning meal or your last meal of the day.
In March, MediFast had announced that the cost of their food would be going up. Here’s the breakdown:
Keep in mind that the rate of inflation is roughly 3%.
This cost increase, all things considered, is very small. This equates to a 7-cent increase per meal, 35-cent increase per day, a little under $10 per month.
On day 14, I discussed the breakdown of how much everything costs. Here’s the update:
|Per Meal||Per Day||Per Week||Per month|
Prices rounded to the nearest cent.
You should always consult a doctor before going on any diet. At least that’s what they say. But if you’re like me, you already know you’re overweight. I wanted to jump right in.
So when I went in to the doctor’s office for a routine check-up, they were flabbergasted over how much weight I’ve lost. I went to the doctor’s office for a few things. First, enough people were concerned over my weight loss goal that I wanted to see if 150 would be a healthy weight for me. Second, I noticed that since starting Medifast, my fingers and my toes got cold, even though people around me were hot.
I asked my doctor to run a full blood screen to see if I may be anemic and to find out where my cholesterol was at. The good news is that I’m not anemic. The even BETTER news is that my LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 147 to 112. The doctor tells me this, in it of itself, is spectacular. At this point, LDL won’t go any lower without medication, but didn’t think it was necessary.
I’m making better choices and learning to stick with them.
My new weight loss goal has been changed from 150 to 175 with a maximum loss to 170. My doctor was surprised that I haven’t been 193 since becoming an adult and agreed that 150 would be too light for my frame and build. WIth this in mind, I’m 15 pounds away from my goal!
Lastly, remember that you’ll need to buy new clothes…actually, you’ll WANT to buy new clothes. Keep this in mind if you budget your money. I’m now wearing pants where the waist is smaller than the hips. This is CRAZY! I’ve never been that shape before.
This blog post will contain playful descriptions of bodily functions. I’ve found that this information is severely lacking and I think it’s important for everyone to be aware the changes your body (well, my body) will go through while on TSFL. This is provide for informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional and you should consult your physician before going on any diet.
Being sick sucks. Being on TSFL/Medifast didn’t help. The biggest obstacle is having to eat every two to three hours especially if all you want to do is sleep. Eating a Lean and Green while being sick also doesn’t help.
If you’re like me, you want to eat comfort food when you’re sick. So this used to be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and lots of yogurt. Additionally, I like to take Nyquil (liquid), which does contain alcohol. Alcohol is forbidden while under Medifast. After consulting with my coach, it was more important for me to get better than it was to be on the diet. But I didn’t want to stop my fat burn. So, I “cheated” a bit.
I took Nyquil in the morning after my morning shake. This allowed me to sleep for about 3-4 hours, after which I would eat my next meal, stay up an hour and a half and then eat another meal. Took another dose of Nyquil and repeated. This was a good rhythm since it allowed me to each on a predictable schedule but not be over burdened of trying to get up every couple of hours.
Another thing I did was double my “snack” intake. When you’re sick, your body uses a lot of energy to kill bacteria, viruses, etc. This is why you become tired. (Please note: I am not a doctor and you should not accept this as medical advice.) Your body has to burn more calories while you’re sick so you naturally want to eat more. My snacks consist of ½ oz of almonds or pistachio nuts. Since I doubled, I ate a total of one ounce. I also ate one cracker in the morning and one cracker in the evening. While I still found myself hungry, I felt that this was enough calories to make due.
While you can’t plan on being sick, you can give yourself an advantage. Don’t fall into the temptation to completely get off the meal plans. But if you do, get right back on it. As in life, it’s not about falling down; it’s about getting back up.
Thus far, I’ve lost 35 pounds. I haven’t been this weight since my senior year of high school. I’m on track to lose 100 lbs by the end of April. Nothing I’ve ever done has ever felt this good.
One of my earliest posts is understanding how much you need to order. Unfortunately, the Take Shape For Life website has a lot of UI problems, of particular note is the ordering functionality. There should be a way to parse out how many bars you’re getting, how many shakes your getting, etc. They should also provide a way to you to hide certain foods based on your preferences. The site leaves much to be desired.
Even their client weight tracking system leaves much to be desired…so much so that I’ve actually STOPPED keeping track of my meals and weight on the site. I found it to be much easier and simpler to have a Google Spreadsheet keep track of my weight. I don’t keep regular track of my measurements, but do keep an eye on them.
This being said, I’m working on a Google Spreadsheet that will help you order your meals as well as provide really nice graphs for your personal use. As soon as it’s ready, I’ll make an announcement on this site.
The soups are probably one the the weirdest meals to prepare. It’s hard to imagine that the entire soup is in one packet. While the directions on the soup say to use microwave, I HIGHLY recommend that you use a stove top instead. There are a number of reasons for this. The main reason is that most microwaves tend to overcook the soy protein, which produces a lot of small bubbles that do not go away. While this doesn’t change the taste, it certainly changes the mouthfeel as well as the overall texture. Another reason I would recommend this is that you can control the heat much better.
Due to the nature of the meals, they have a tendency to boil over in a microwave, creating a mess. Using a small saucepan (1 quart is more than fine), you can cook your meal with relative ease. The directions are available via Medifast’s website, but try this instead:
- Fill the shaker jar with one cup of water without the blender ball.
- Put the lid on and mix well.
- Pour contents into a small saucepan and heat on MEDIUM and wait for soup to slightly boil (approx. 2-3 minutes). Stir occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes while continuing to stir.
- Remove from heat and cover for about 1 minute. Pour contents into a bowl and enjoy.
For flavor, add either splashes of Tabasco sauce or freshly ground pepper sparingly. The soups RARELY need salt. They have enough sodium in them already.
While this method takes longer, I believe the soup tastes better and is more savory. These soups are great to have on a cold day to warm up.
My favorite soup thus far is the Maryland “Style” Crab soup. Having grown up in Maryland, I have high expectations. While not a perfect meal (missing: large lumps of crab meat, oyster crackers, etc), it’s a pretty good match for a meal replacement. It’s worth a try.
Chicken Noodle and Chicken Wild Rice came with my starter package. These I had initially microwaved and didn’t like. When prepared on a stove top, however, they were very tasty. I will have the same rule for soups that I have for other meals: I won’t get a soup that I know I won’t like. For example, I’m not a fan of tomato soup. Or the broccoli soup. While I love chili, I have many doubts about the chili that Medifast has. Not sure how you can make chili from powder.
If you’re a soup and crackers guy, you obviously have to skip the crackers. Probably the hardest thing to get used to if you like soups.
Yesterday, I had lunch with my sister and her fiancé at Honey Pig, which is a Korean BBQ restaurant. Having been there several times before, I did not bother doing my homework. Unfortunately, this was a huge mistake. What I didn’t realize until after I ate was that their dressing uses raw sugar, which is a huge no-no while doing TSFL/Medifast. The only thing I could do is watch my portion size and make sure I ate all the raw, leafy vegetables I could.
The important thing about making a mistake like this is not to get hung up about it. So you didn’t follow-through. The point is not that you made the mistake but how make the next right choice.
As you should note, the post at the top of my blog is a weight tracker. So far, I’ve been on an downward slope. I’ve significantly slowed down my weight loss (as expected) and I hope to start exercising soon to get my calorie expenditure up. In the mean time, enjoy my reviews of pretzels, soft-bake items and shakes.
Honey Mustard Pretzels – 0/4 stars
This meal tastes horrible by itself. Very dry and very weird mouthfeel. It does not taste like a sourdough pretzel but more like something that was manufactures to taste like one. If you’re a pretzel purist (like I am), I’d skip this meal.
Brownies - 3.5/4 stars
Probably my favorite thing to eat outside of the s’mores bar, I usually like to save this meal for the end of the day. The only real problem I have with this meal is that you have to mix it with water, leaving a bit of a mess. It takes a while to get used to “folding” the powder on top of the water so it doesn’t splash. I highly recommend baking this in a toaster oven if you have one.
Soft-Bake cookie - 3/4 stars
Next to the brownies, this is another meal I’ll have at the end of the day. Like the brownies, however, it requires some effort. The largest problem I have with the cookie is that the dough is very difficult to work without using your hands. However, the more you work it, the more dough gets on your hands. I feel like I don’t get my full meal with this cookie. It’s worth keeping around, but wouldn’t order it as often as the brownies. Again, I recommend a toaster oven.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes - 3/4 stars
These pancakes are annoying to make, but well worth the effort. While the package states that they are sweet enough to not need syrup, they are dry enough to need it. I like making these on Saturday and Sunday mornings as my first meal. I use a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. The annoying thing about these pancakes is that the the chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the container that use to mix the water. I recommend using a swirling motion before you pour it on the pan.
Strawberry and Chocolate Shakes - 3/4 stars
I’m reviewing two products at the same time because the level of taste is the same. Both the Strawberry and Chocolate shakes are flavorful and, quite frankly, was very unsure of how they would taste. Having had weight loss shakes before, I was expecting something chunky and with a terrible mouthfeel. But in reality, these shakes tastes down-right delicious. These are very simple to prepare with the provided shaker jar. If you joined the BeSlim Club, you actually get a Blender Bottle in which these shakes can be prepared. However, this adds to the clean-up, which is why I give it only 3 stars. However, if you’re like me and don’t have time in the morning to cook pancakes, this is a great wake-up meal. I recommend that you use the minimum amount of water (6oz) to get the full flavor. Shake vigorously, add a half-cup of ice, and drink immediately.
While we’re on the subject of shakes:
Chocolate Pudding – 1/4 stars
While the “pudding” tasted it good, it was hardly pudding. If anything, it was thicker version of the chocolate shakes. However, the mouthfeel was just wrong. Not worth it.
EDIT (March 12, 2013): I’ve found that placing the pudding in the freezer for 15 minutes works better than the fridge. It has a better consistency. With this change, I’d give it 2.5/4 stars. It’s worth having one box in your pantry.
It happens to the best of us: as we’re rushing out the door, we forget something. In the case of this morning, I forgot to eat breakfast.
My daily Medifast routine is to drink a shake in the morning (around 6:15 am) and then eat a bar on the hours that are divisible by 3. This means that in a typical day, I only need three bars (9am, 12pm, 3pm). So I only bring three bars with me (to cut off the temptation to eat more than one bar). Since I forgot to eat breakfast, I will HAVE to purchase my lean and green at work to keep on the “every three hours” schedule faithfully:
- 7:30am – First meal
- 9:30am – Mid-morning meal
- 12 pm – Lunch (Lean and Green)
- 3 pm – Mid-afternoon meal
I really prefer to eat my lean and green at home for two reasons: I have better control of what goes in my meal and I don’t have to eat out.
The important thing about a day like today is that it can be tempting to just “eat something”, especially if you’re a planner like me. If you don’t carefully consider your options, you can easily slip out of fat-burn mode. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, remember that you can eat your lean and green whenever it fits in your schedule.
Here’s the official word from Medifast concerning missing a meal:
What happens if I miss a meal?
It is extremely important that you get in all five Medifast Meals and the full portions of your Lean & Green Meal each day. If you miss a meal, you may need to space the rest of your meals closer together to make sure you get the rest of your meals in before the end of the day.
Skipping meals will not help to increase your weight loss; in fact, it may have the opposite effect! If you have to decide between “skipping” a meal or “doubling up” to ensure you get in all five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal within a 24-hour period, it is better to double up (eat two Medifast Meals at the same time) than to miss the nutrition provided by one of the Medifast Meals.
Another interesting question:
What if I run out of Medifast Meals?
If you are completely out of Medifast Meals, have three smaller Lean & Green Meals (4 ounces of lean and 3 servings of approved vegetables) and one serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy (e.g., milk, yogurt) each day. Choose dairy products that are about 100 calories per serving and unsweetened or no sugar added (to keep carbohydrates to a minimum).
If you are running out, but still have a few Medifast Meals left, you can make your Medifast Meals last a little longer by stretching them out and adding another Lean & Green Meal. For example, if you have 10 Medifast Meals left and your order is scheduled to arrive in five days, you can stretch out your Medifast Meals by eating two Medifast Meals and three smaller Lean & Green Meals each day, instead of five Medifast Meals and one full Lean & Green Meal each day.
Obviously, these should be the exception and not the rule. Medifast doesn’t really provide guidance on what constitutes “smaller Lean & Green Meals”, but my guess is that you probably divide the portion sizes by 2 (thus eating the equivalent of 1.5 regular lean and green meals a day).