Long-Term Success Rates of Medifast?

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Yesterday I ran into a previous Real Estate client. She had had gastric bypass years ago. I noticed she'd put on a lot of weight (50+) since I saw her last. We got to talking and she mentioned that she is still down 80 pounds or so and still is happy she had the surgery. I have a friend on Monday getting gastric bypass she barely makes the cut-off of being heavy enough.

It got me wondering what the long-term success rate is for Medifast. I've been dropping weight on Medifast just dandy, but anyone know if those studies look at long-term keeping the weight off? Good grief, I can't believe even with major surgery weight is so tough to keep off.


Comments (39)

I've been seeing of lot of "95% of people on diets regain all of their weight". Personally, I lost about 30 pounds, then quit smoking and gained it all back. I am now re-losing that weight. I am afraid of T&M, so I plan to be very diligent, I don't want to be in the weight-loss phase again...

Comment #1

Wow, after all this work and moneyim putting into it, I DONT WANNA BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO REGAIN THE WEIGHT BACK, AND REFUSE TO BE!..

Comment #2

Lve gained it back a couple of times. However, I also fail at the transition...

Comment #3

Medifast or John Hopkins must have some success rates documented on some research paper out there. I'd say a google search would find you the answers.

I think the more emphasis you place on and T & M phase, the better you will succeed at keeping the weight off.

I too have a friend who had gastric bypass several years ago. She lost a significant amout of weight and was really looking good! but over the past year since retiring from her job she has gained back maybe 80 pounds.

If you don't continue to eat right, the weight will most definitely come back on! We are a country of lazy minded eaters! The goal is to get it off, and then stay vigilant so you keep it off..

Thats my 2 cents worth..

Comment #4

It's because most people feel that they have lost the weight so they can go back to eating whatever they want. I know that I will have to watch every bite that goes into my mouth for the rest of my life. I also saw an interview with a doctor a few days ago that said people that were formerly obese will need to exercise 1-1.5 hours 5 to 6 days a week. I know that will probably hold true for me as well...

Comment #5

To me, nothing matters except my mindset to keep it off. It could be 1 in 1000 or 1 in 1,000,000. If it's doable, I could care less what the statistics say, because I'd do it...

Comment #6

I agree with Eagle. I think your odds of long-term success go up proportionally with your level of committment and true understanding of T & M. Look at all those on this site that post losses for a couple of weeks then disappear (and we all know that they gain back anything that they lost during their time on MF.) Statistically speaking those people would count against long-term success ratios but it's impossible to quantify their level of committment...

Comment #7

I know three people who have gained a significant amount of weight back after having lost it through gastric by-pass surgery. I have wondered if it was because these people just didn't know what to do in order to keep it off, or if they just lost their willpower. Food, as we all know, is extremely charismatic!.

Personally, I've lost and gained so many pounds I hate to even add it up, but this time it feels different. I feel like for the first time in my life I have admitted that I have a problem which will stay with me forever...kind of like an alcoholic...and I know that if I eat the way I used to eat (once I'm done with MF) then I will balloon up again and in fact, faster than ever before!.

This time I am so dedicated to changing my eating habits and lifestyle that I know I will do whatever it takes to stay at goal once I get there..

I already have the mindset. When people who know I am on a diet offer me something like, say, their favorite cheesecake recipe and I turn them down they will often respond, "You can try it when you finish your diet." I almost always respond, "Maybe, but I'm definitely aware that I may never be eating cheesecake again and I am OK with that.".

I'd rather keep the weight off than eat cheesecake. (I love cheesecake, but honestly I have eaten enough for a lifetime!)..

Comment #8

No matter what method or program you use to lose the weight, if you do not change your habits/thoughts about the food you eat, you too will regain any weight you lost. This may include recognizing that you have a food addiction & getting professional help. It may include admitting that you just do not know what healthy eating is and getting professional help. It may mean a number of different things for different people, but the answer to long term weight maintenance is life long awareness of what you eat & how you live life after weight loss...

Comment #9

Thanks for the great responses. I've already pre-paid my transition and maintenance at the center. I suppose in the future I'll need to watch anything that isn't a fruit, vegetable or lean meat and eat only in small amounts with extreme caution...

Comment #10

No disrespect to you, doll - you know best what you need to do for your own success. But what the doc said is just plain silly. We put the lie to that with our ability to lose on this diet without exercise. If your calories in = your calories burned, you maintain your weight. Saying obese people must exercise heavily is based on an assumption that they can't learn to restrict their intake. I don't believe I'm helpless to follow a plan of restricted intake. I reject his underlying assumption!..

Comment #11

If I, a formerly obese person, did not have to exercise 1-1.5 hours 5-6 days a week to lose the weight to no longer be obese, then why on earth would I have to now exercise that much just because I am now no longer obese? Does not make any sense to me..

I think it is a crying shame that so much "information" is floating around out there and being applied in such general statements to the general public. People, we have to start thinking wisely & be discerning when we hear this stuff. Not everything "They" say is the truth, a good idea, or has to be followed. We are given the gifts of common sense, discernment, rationalization, and we need to get back to the basics of using them for our own benefit..

*getting off my soap box now*..

Comment #12

I think you took what I posted out of context. I never said his word was gospel. I just said that for ME it rings true. I lose so much better when I exercise than when I don't so for I know for ME exercise will always be an essential part of my plan. And considering 95% of people regain their weight that would go to show most don't learn how to eat properly. I think that everyone should exercise (that is physically able) because there are so many more benefits to exercise than just burning calories...

Comment #13

I'm sorry JessyP27 I thought by only quoting what the doctor said I would avoid appearing as though my reply was to what you said about yourself. My reply is responding only to the statement attributed to the doctor. I understand what you said about for YOU it rings true...

Comment #14

That registry that shows folks that have lost weight and kept it off does indicate folks exercise about an hour a day plus do extra things like stairs instead of elevator etc. But everyone is different just trying to see what's best. I'm seriously considering shoving the Skull Candy in my ears and going for a walk in the morning now to commit...

Comment #15

I second this all the way! I was looking into gastric bypass and chose medifast so I wouldn't have to go under the knife but while going to the appointments for the bypass they kept throwing around the word really made me think addicted to food, you can't be addicted to food...TRUTH is you can and most obese people eat when you're sad, mad, bored much like when people drink, smoke, top it all off an a addiction to food is the worst addiction to have because you can't live without don't need alcohol, cigs, or drugs to live but you do need food...So I believe maintaining a weightloss off of any program is going to be determined on mentally being strong enough to know what is good and healthy for you and making the right choice.....

Comment #16

After seeing several folks on Medifast talk about the book the Beck Diet Solution I bought it today and it is a daily workbook for 6 weeks that uses cognitive therapy (what we think) to help us change our attitudes and behaviors about food. I am going to use it because it means that I am working on both behavior (diet) and attitude (my inner "stuff" about food. ) I am getting more clarity that I need an entire overhaul about how I think about food. Thanks for the inspiration that these boards provide me daily!..

Comment #17

I can't claim to be a maintainer, but I have done Medifast on and off over the last 10 months and lost 82 pounds. Over a year ago, the first time I heard of Medifast, a couple of my friends were trying it to lose 20 pounds and tried it. My response (as a big fat 230 pound person) was, "well, you'll never be able to keep it off." That is a really easy excuse for someone who knows she has a seemingly enormous amount to lose, and is scared to even take the first step. Why even try if you're never going to succeed in the long run?.

Then, another friend tried Medifast and lost 60 pounds in just a few months (guys can do that). After seeing what happened for him, something pinged in me. If Wes could do it, why couldn't I? Suddenly, that excuse I had "You'll never keep it off" seemed like the cop-out that it is. Maybe you will keep the weight off, and maybe you won't. But the only sure thing is that you will never know one way or the other unless you lose the weight in the first place..

So I guess my feeling about long term success rates is basically, "so what?" With Medifast, at least you can put yourself in the position to try to keep the weight off. If you never lose weight in the first place, you'll never have the chance to test yourself at all...

Comment #18

It seems (unfortunately) that 5% is pretty accurate..

For this program, as well as many others..

Although I will say that Medifast has their transition plan down to a science..

It's just a matter of following it (following it exactly)..

In fact, while going through the transition (almost 2 years ago) and in to maintenance and adding additional/new exercise in - I lost another 8 pounds. I never gained it back..

As one of the previous posters - I am a firm believer in exercise as part of my new lifestyle. While many can lose the weight without it, I believe (for me, anyway) it would have made T & M a lot tougher.

I certainly do not exercise for 60+ minutes a day. But I do try for 30-45 minutes 4-5 times per week..

It makes me feel better, it makes my body look better, and it allows me to splurge when I want to splurge. For me - especially for the long haul - being so strict about my caloric intake because I wasn't burning calories while exercising would just frustrate me and make me feel slighted..

So that was a pretty long-winded answer for - "I believe the success rate is 5%.".

I wish you all much success!..

Comment #19

Just like losing the weight was up to me, figuring out how to maintain it is up to me. I have to choose to get up and move. I have to choose which foods which days I am going to eat..

I am just starting maintainence and it is a struggle to find my balance. I am still on the boards every day just to keep myself clean and honest...

Comment #20

Personally, I'm glad that it's taking some time to lose the weight because it gives me time to develop healthy habits...

Comment #21

As quite a few people said, if you don't change your lifestyle, you will gain the weight back. You will not be able to maintain your weight loss with your old patterns of eating. That is the importance of staying on the 5+1 plan. It gives you the tools to continue to eat like a thin person. It gives you strength to not return to your old eating habits. It gives you tools to succeed when you start to slip.

There are days when my maintenance is easy and there are some days when I struggle. I find that as long as I stay away from too much sugar, I do fine. As soon as I go for the sugar, I get hungry and have issues.

I want to be part of that 5% that makes it. I hope that my lifestyle change is permanent..

Fight the good fight every day!.


Month 1: -8, 5, - 2, - 4 = -19.

Month 2: -3, -2, -1, -3 = - 9.

Month 3: -4, -2, -4, -2 = - 12.

Month 4: Scaleless in Maine = -11.

Month 5: -2, -2, -3, -2 = -9.

Month 6: -2, -3, -4, -1 = -10.

Month 7: - 2, -2, -2, -2, -2 = -12.

Month 8: -2, -2, -2, -2 = -8.

Transition: -20 (for a total of -108).

GOAL: Black Friday, November 27, 2009.

Current Weight is 138. I am healthy!..

Comment #22

When I said stay on the plan, I meant during the weight loss phase. I am now in my maintenance plan, not still on 5+1...

Comment #23

Weight loss surgery treats the stomach/intestines for a issue that lies in the mind. It's quite easy for a surgery patient to regain their weight when they eat the wrong foods & slowly increase their daily caloric intake. My sister has regained most of her weight after GBS because she still eats like a fat woman..

The long term success rate for keeping weight off long term is grim. Whether it's truly 5%, or 7% or whatever doesn't really matter...what DOES matter is how you plan to treat maintenance. A firm Food Plan needs to be put in place & followed. I personally use 2-3 packets per day & I limit my calorie intake to approximately 1500 *to maintain a weight of 133* I eat 5-6 small meals per day and only L&G meals when I sit down to a full meal at home, in restaurants or on vacation. Healthy eating is a lifetime commitment & the only way to keep weight off permanently..

The success you find or don't find with maintaining your weight loss lies in YOUR hands. Medifast gives us the tools & the structured programs to follow, including Transition & Maintenance, and, like the 5/1, it is up to US to stick to the Food Plan. Maintenance is doable...I've kept 92 lbs off for 21 months now, one day at a time. Like Fuzzy says, there are good days & not-so-good-days in Maintenance but one thing remains constant: The Food Plan stays in charge of what I eat, not me..



Comment #24

"Mindfulness" and" focus" need to become your two favorite words for this is what you will need to do the rest of your life when it comes to eating. that doesn't mean you can't have a treat, but you need to stay "mindful" of those treats and high calorie/fat foods so they remain an occasional treat, not a weekly or daily one. As soon as you lose your "focus" on what is at stake if you go back to old habits, then that weight you lost will jump right back on..

There is a saying I heard that on these borads once that sums it all up,,at least for me,,,,"If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got." for me, this means I can never ,ever, go back to eating as I did before MF, because so do so, will end up with me right back to the 5/1, instead of enjoying maintainance as I have for over 3 and 1/2 years. it simply isn't worth it to me to lose sight of this...

Comment #25

I know I don't have much to lose compared to some people, but weight lose is still a large struggle for me. I have noticed that my body likes a "stable" weight. I can vary my diet quite a bit and stay at relatively the same weight for quite a while. I'm hoping that is what will save me in maintenance and why I like Medifast so much. During Transition I will be 100% OP just like I have been for 5&1. Heck, it is only a few more weeks.

On maintenance I plan to weight myself every week, and anything more than 5 lbs is gonna get a kick in the bum :-).

I'm not gonna gain this weight back!!!..

Comment #26

I wonder what the success rate is for people who make it to goal and go all the way thru transition..

Comment #27

I made it to goal in September, 2008, went through transition & am still maintaining at +/- 2 lbs from my goal. I'm not going to say it's always easy (I am 5' 1/2 " tall & 67 years old so I have to really watch my food intake) but I'm doing it. I still have 2 - 3 Medifast snacks a day & 3 meals. I still eat a small amount every few hours BUT I am still thrilled to be the lowest weight I have been since junior high...

Comment #28

The research has been done, and 95% of people do gain their weight back on ANY diet, no matter which one it is. But the good news, it's not like catching a virus and "oh you have a 95% chance of catching it" sort of thing. Gaining the weight back or not is FULLY and COMPLETELY your CHOICE. It is up to YOU whether you decide to gain it back not. Truly. If you internalize the precepts of this program, and COMMIT to seeing it through the reducing phase AND the transition phase and into the maintenance phase, and choose to make eating "within your means" a lifelong choice, then you will maintain...

Comment #29

That's really fantastic ctmom. And you're proving that it can be done...thanks. I need all the boost I can get right now.

I loved reading all the honesty on this thread, and the determination re the stats of regaining... that of course we can keep it off...if we don't overeat consistently in the future...

Comment #30

Someone needs to be in that 5% might as well be me..

Comment #31

I dont believe the 5% success rate is accurate. You must realize that 95% of quoted statistics are made up on the spot.

I cant really find any information on the internet stating what the success rate is for weight loss in general, and I dont know how you would be able to measure that accurately. As an example, I have a co-worker who has claimed several times that he is trying to lose weight. He hasn't had any noticeable success at losing weight until recently when, sadly, he was diagnosed as being type 2 diabetic. I dont mean to pick on him, but it seems like there are a lot of people out there who claim that they are trying to lose weight, but their dedication is questionablemyself included..

I guess you could look at it as being similar to smoking cessation. I have heard statistics that the success rate for smoking cessation is less than 10%, but how many people do you know have quit smoking? I am one of those people (I havent burned a coffin nail in over 2 years), and I could probably think of at least 30 people who have successfully quitmore than the number of people I know who currently smoke. So maybe it's possible that theres only a small chance that youll quit smoking or lose weight in any given attempt..

However, I can confidently say that, barring any medical problems, youre chances of losing weight without making a change is 0%. Dont let phony statistics and naysayers hijack your concerted efforts to lose weight...

Comment #32

I've done Medifast twice before, and quit each time after about 80 pounds...never reached my goal weight. I have yo-yo'd for years...and am one of the "fail to maintain" stats. BUT, I know this time I have run out of time...I will NOT go through this process again. I say it here, and I say it on my page. I have CUT the string on the yo-yo. It will not come up again..

I agree with Eagletrub....This time I will be a "she maintained her weight loss" stat...

Comment #33

Your whole post was spot on. I'm highlighting this part because some variation of this is going to be part of my speech whenever someone quotes that failure BS to me. I'm going to bluntly call it out as the sabotage it is.

Other things I'll respond with are that right now I'm focusing on losing the weight. When I get to goal, I'll focus on maintaining. If I look too far ahead, the task looks way too daunting and my inner brat, as Freya says, will try to sabotage me...

Comment #34

Thank you so much for that positive feedback! This is what I'm wanting to hear!..

Comment #35

Yesterday was my worst OFF plan day in 16 weeks. Like I had 1 Medifast meal and the other 2 meals I had couldn't even be counted as L&G - well, there was a decent salad involved. DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE REST!!!!.


Even in all my crazy, beyond-my-control circumstances yesterday, I STILL kept my wits about me and I ate because I HAD to eat, but I ate within reasonable guidelines. I didn't just go and down a bag of chips or a large frozen mocha. AND I only ate until I was FULL and I only ate two normal-sized meals..

It was far from the craziness of my previous lazy eating habits..

That all said - I've LEARNED some things on Medifast. I've learned that FOOD doesn't make me overweight - it's the quality of food and the AMOUNT of food. I don't think I'll be any more prone to being obese than anyone else once I'm done with MF. If anything, I'll be a lot LESS prone b/c of what I have learned...

Comment #36

Thanks for all the replies. Guess I'll strive to be in that 5%! I did start exercising this week just 30 minute brisk walks each day, but hopefully that'll increase my odds so to speak...

Comment #37

I read an article that said lose the weight you want in the kitchen and get the body you want in the gym..........That if you exercise 300 calories it doesn't allow you to eat 300 calories. Instead eat 150 calories extra over your maintainance cals for the exercise. Or better yet eat your maintenance calories and not add just because you exercised..

Kind of was an ah-ha moment for me since every other plan I did added food if you exercised so like a good little weight watcher follower I walked an hour and earned 6 points and would get home and have 3 beers............So when Medifast didn't add food for exercise it took me a long time to wrap my head around that. This article really helped put it in perspective. I can't find it or I would post it...

Comment #38

Shows like the Biggest Loser also speak of needing 1 hr of exercise 4-5 days a week to maintain. I agree, it tones you up more than helps you lose which to me is important because even with the weight loss, I want to be firm as possible my tummy'll never be the same, but my arms and legs I can do something about.... and of course it's healthy for you and reduces stress and all the rest....

Exercise for me, makes me hungrier which is hard, but it also keeps me on the straight and narrow. I don't want to throw away all the sweat I just produced it makes me more aware and conscience of my eating choices which is all good..

I had a lot of friends & family berate me for going on Medifast they all said, you know the drill, "after you stop eating Medifast food you will gain it back". I disagree. Medifast worked better than WW or anything else for me because it taught me tons. On WW as long as you stayed within your points you could lose. So, whether the points were used for chips, cereal or fruit it wasn't teaching me about the correct mix of fuel your body acts optimally on..

I know now how important it is to minimize carbs and I SEE THE DIFFERENCE in how I feel and look..

ANother thing, not that everyone wants to consider gaining anything back, I sure as heck do not but, many people said to me "oooh youre losing weight so quickly, thats BAAAAD, slow and steady is the safest way...." Hogwash. IMHO! My girlfriend forwarded me an article (not sure from where, aol news maybe?) that said new studies show that UNFORTUNATELY many people gain back half the weight they lose within two years. So, if you lose more, more quickly, you're ahead of the game. Who knows what if any of these things/studies are true but, I just know Medifast has taught me tons. I look the best I've ever looked (Even better than in HS even AFTER having 4 kids! And IM not even at goal yet!) and for me the exercise is a huge part of my success. Keeps me honest.

And it's good for me. Arm muscles, leg muscles who knew they were hidden under all that chub!.

I know it is going to be hard to maintain, but I want to believe I've learned enough and Im active enough to keep the Medifast mindset going.... forever. Not just until goal..

Just my thoughts thanks for listening! ;-)..

Comment #39

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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