Weight gain after going off Medifast just a little bit?

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Why should a person gain so much or retain so much fluid after detouring off program just a little bit on a holiday? If it takes 3500 calories to make a pound, why should someone who maybe ate a few hundred extra calories on a holiday seem to have gained 2 or 3 pounds, makes no sense!..

Comments (25)

The added sodium and carbs from typical holiday foods cause you to retain more water. I deviated from plan a little bit over Thanksgiving and saw a 5.6 pound GAIN. It took me a full week to get that plus another half pound off. For me personally, my body does not react well to processed simple carbs. Eating them slows my loss and often causes me to gain water weight, delaying my overall losses by several weeks..

For me, it totally wasn't worth it. I'm keeping that in mind over Christmas so I don't delay getting to goal even longer...

Comment #1


I think it's different for everyone. I had a GO CRZY DAY on thanksgiving and I still lost 3 lbs the following week. I think the getting off the plan for a day surprised my system and then getting back on worked for me. I know it's trickly business and you have to make sure you get back on...

Comment #2

When I did strict low carb, just one tortilla would cause a 2-3 lbs gain on the scale. But it also would help me break stalls. Once I got that 2-3lbs off I'd be able to break thru the stall I was at. It's just water, not actual fat gain. I've found that if you cheat, drink EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA water that day and the next and you can help avoid the gain...

Comment #3

I too wondered why just eating say a pound or more of extra carbs would show up on the scale as 3-4 lbs in the next day or so. Then I read this on another forum that offered an explanation that made sense to me. Apparently much of that immediate weight gain after cheating with more carbs is water? I'm not a nutritionist nor do I claim to know if this below is exactly true, but it does make sense and explains things a little better for me. Anybody here with more knowledge please chime in or correct this so I'm not spreading false info.

Carbohydrates exist in two forms when you are eating normally "free" or accessible carbs and stored carbs called glycogen. When your body needs fuel, it will burn the free carbs first (like if you drink a glass of OJ full of carbs). When all the free carbs are gone, your body will burn the stored carbs (glycogen). Glyogen is stored within your muscles, and contains carbs and water stored together. Once the glycogen and stored water is gone, your body turns to fat and some smooth muscle to burn..

Remember that in the first week of this diet, you will lose a lot of weight. Most of that will be as a result of using up the glycogen, because every gram of stored carbs ALSO stores 3 grams of water. If the glycogen is used, the water is released. Result? Large weight loss..

This is ALSO why, if you have a high carb meal, your weight goes UP UP UP. Every extra gram of carbs will be stored with an extra 3 grams of water. This is why if you eat 1lb of chocolate, your weight goes up by 4lbs (at least! 1lb carbs + 3lbs water)...

Comment #4

Well, you are right. You simply can't gain a pound of fat by eating less than 3500 calories than you have burned off. What a person gains is from water retention/storage and perhaps some of the sheer bulk of what was eaten still being in the body...

Comment #5

Yea thanks and I know all that to be true...I don't freak if the scale changes here and there as long as I stick to the plan, Before MF, I ate South beach Diet and it's the same....

I KNOW it will all work out in the end and that includes eating a little something off plan for a special occasion. I don't choose to be a diet **** over my goals I have set for myself. I KNOW that me doing this plan to the best of my ability, WILL produce results...afterall, we lose fat by reducing calories in...So it's simple, even if you eat something more on one day, if you still take in less calories over the days that follow, it WILL come off! Thank God!.

I was sooooo hungry yesterday...Now on day 5 of Medifast and yesterday I was so stinkin' hungry, I had 2 extra shakes, some SF jello, a pickle, a SF hot chocolate to keep me from eating "bad" things and I still went down on the scale today! I drink a ton of water. so I am sure that helped. For me, I just take it one day at a time.....

Comment #6

It was diet drill seargent basically I was trying to say, it bleeped it out....

I lost 50# on the SBD before Medifast and it was the same, whatever WOE you are choosing to use to get the fat off, it's still the same, less calories in=lose fat. My body personally does best cutting out bad carbs. But even when I did eat them and got right back into plan, it came right back off, usually with another pound, or 2....

So I am using Medifast to kick it up a notch and get me the rest of the way. I LOVE to cook and eat healthy, I just need to have a simple focus at this time and learn to KEEP it off...I hope Medifast can do that for me!..

Comment #7

Jasmine, I'm like you. My body seems to be very sensitive to processed carbs. Given how much my overeating reminds me of my binge drinking back when I drank, I truly wonder if body just doesn't process stuff like that well.

It's simply not worth it for me to go OP. Not even once. I had to learn that over and over again before it finally sank into my thick skull. The water I retain, the mind games it plays with me ... just not worth it...

Comment #8

Glycogen + 3 H2O -> Energy.

When you eat carbs, your body converts it to Glycogen, and it's stored in the liver. Every molecule of glycogen bonds with 3 molecules of water. Hence why you lose an assload in week 1, and why you gain an assload when you go offplan...

Comment #9

Is there a conversion chart for "assload"? Wondering just how much that is? LOL..

Comment #10

Only a small amount is stored in the liver. Your muscle tissue holds the majority of it...

Comment #11

Well, I would imagine that assload is relative to the size of the a** you're measuring/weighing. My former assload was much bigger than it is now...

Comment #12


The reason not to go off plan isn't that you'll have a temporary few-pound water-retention gain. It's primarily for 3 other reasons:.

1) You kick yourself out of ketosis. 3-5 days of potential headaches, misery, hunger, and cravings..

2) You make the mental war a bazillion million times harder. If your greedy self-entitled inner brat knows she/he can stomp her/his feet and get whatever she wants *sometimes*, she's got no reason to stop stomping her feet. It's nothing but constant inner turmoil after that - "How about just one bite of this?" "Oh, one small piece can't hurt, I've been so good so long" etc..

3) You don't know until it's too late if you're one of the people for whom one off-plan meal spells the end of being OP, for months/years/forever. It's destruction testing. Most people who go off plan seem to disappear for quite some time or forever. A few manage to come back with no problem. You don't know which you are until you try it, and the odds are against you. Why risk it?..

Comment #13

I meant off-plan here when I said OP. Someone really needs to do something about "on" and "off" starting with the same letter!!!..

Comment #14

Freya..this makes PERFECT sense to me. I especially like number 2. Nice tip on dealing with the inner nagging voice we all hear at times...

Comment #15

Yep, I agree with all those reasons. Especially number 2....since once you give let's that 2 yr old tantrum brain know that it can win. I like the theory that with each time you stay on work out the "resolve" muscle....and each time you go off plan you workout the "cave in" muscle. Which muscle do you want to get bigger? I pick resolve.

Another reason I chose to stay on that it is super stressful for your body getting into ketosis. Ketosis isn't the nature state of how I body fuels only goes into ketosis when the usual fuel is not available. Our body fights switching over into why would we put our bodies through that stressful few days over and over. When I see people constantly going off plan...and then getting back on plan, I feel sorry for the stress they are putting their bodies through (of course a decade of being overweight was also very stressful to my body, but once I started MF...I was not gonna stress my body any more than I have to).


Comment #16

Yes! I was thinking today about how sometimes movie stars will gain/lose 50 pounds for a role. I've always reacted like "omg that's so unhealthy I can't believe they do that to their bodies for a job." Well, looks like I've been doing that to myself over and over for NOTHING, so who's the bigger idiot?.

Staying on the straight and narrow now, thank you very much. Dave's Killer Bread in transition will be all the excitement I need. And beets...

Comment #17

Yes, but the liver has much more capability to store glycogen than muscles, 1000% in fact. Besides, I didnt want to complicate the issue when my point was clear...

Comment #18

Oh yes, Freya. Dave's Killer Bread. Let's just hope it doesn't turnout to be some epic, danged trigger food because that is what my first serving of grains is going to be!..

Comment #19

Yes. Totally. I remember reading a health study done a few years ago where they said that people who yo yo diet are actually more at risk than people who just stay moderately overweight (I imagine people who fit the overweight not obese BMIs, etc) because of the stress and trauma to the body of the constant dieting over and over again. They said in particular yo yo dieters are at risk for heart related diseases. Of course, I still think that there are so many more health concerns with being overweight and obese, but I take and accept their point.

I've never tried Dave's Killer Bread...I'll have to check that out.



Comment #20

<snicker> It's also used for "Original Poster". Can get a bit confusing...

Comment #21

Yes yes yes!!! I will cry big weepy pathetic tears if I can't handle Dave's Killer Bread responsibly...

Comment #22

Dave's cinnamon raisin bread will probably always be a trigger for me I can eat the entire loaf in one sitting...

Comment #23

Sounds great. Never heard of it before, Is it a regional product?..

Comment #24

Probably. Certainly. Northwest - Portland, Seattle, Vancouver areas. It's made by Dave, a former meth-head convict, who tells his whole "stole for drugs went to jail got out turned my life around bake bread" story on the package. What's not to love about that? And he's cute, if you like bad boys, which I DO.


It's all whole grain amazing goodness. Best bread I've had since I stopped baking my own...

Comment #25

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


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