Ohhhh forgot the CONSTIPATION factor- a good pro-biotic, or flax seeds, psyllium- helps get the body flowing..
This is a great reminder to all of us. Thank you for taking the time to write this...
- Off plan foods. Just because it seems everyone else is eating Laughing Cow cheese, doesn't mean you should. Nutrition Support still doesn't recommend it and it is officially off-plan. Some of us actually don't eat it because it's off plan..
- Thinking that "fat free" anything is going to be okay to add in - no, it's not. Usually fat-free means they added in carbs when they took out the fat. Fat-free cheese is NOT on plan..
- Not reading labels - your diet soda may have 6 grams of carbs in it..
- Bites, Licks, and Tastes - these can add up.
- Staying at one extreme of the plan guidelines or the other. If you have as little as possible, staying substantially under 80 carbs/day, you may be putting your body into starvation mode. If you work the plan for the most possible carbs/calories per day, it might be too much. Try varying the foods you eat, or "carb cycling" where you eat at the low end of carbs for a couple days and then the high end for a couple days - this can wake your body up..
- Some people report issues with too much sodium. Clearly this is errant nonsense and you'll pry my salt lick out of my cold dead hands. But just in case, I offer it here..
- Not reading the plan guidelines closely enough and getting in all your healthy fats for the leans, etc..
- Choosing condiments carefully. Clearly a tablespoon of salsa is not equivalent to cream cheese or parmesan. Maybe make a shift to condiments that don't "add" quite so much..
- Being on the wrong diet. According to Nutrition Support, "The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan is designed for people who are overweight or obese (BMI >25) and have at least 15 pounds of body fat to lose and thus fat stores to utilize as fuel. It may not be as effective or appropriate for persons who are already at a healthy body weight.".
- Weighing too often and psyching yourself out. If the scale depresses you or makes you want to give up, put it away and go by how your pants fit..
Good thread. So many times we see posts from people panicking because they haven't lost anything for 2 days and wonder what's going on. The fact of the matter is, we are living creatures, so absolutely NOTHING about weight (loss OR gain) is straight-forward or completely linear. Sometimes, it just is what it is and we have to deal with it..
One small correction to your list, though: A plateau is defined as 3 or more weeks with absolutely no weight loss at all (not even a fraction of a pound). If your loss has slowed, but you still lost, you have not hit a plateau. If your haven't lost anything for a week or 2, you have not hit a plateau. If you happen to hit a plateau, be sure to measure yourself your body is still doing what it supposed to, it just isn't showing on the scale...
Someone (Corbie, I believe) left that as a comment to a freak-out I was having about my scale not moving and it really hit home for me. Take a look at where you were a month ago, two months ago... If you look at progress through a narrow lens, you will be sorely disappointed. Looking at the big picture REALLY helps..
Also, I want to echo something Freya mentioned about "just b/c everyone else is eating LC cheese...." ... When I was a newbie, I would see recipes posted and because I was still getting the hang out of it, I just assumed the recipes were completely on plan. Definitely not true! If vets hadn't chimed in and said, hey, btw, this isn't completely OP, I would have been completely in the dark. If something looks or sounds too good to be true, it might be, so double check with your own Medifast nutrition pdfs.
Everything mentioned so far is great, I will keep this in mind for myself and to recommend to anyone going through a hard time...
This is an absolute must-read thread for newbies and veterans alike. I wish the moderators would post this as a sticky on the top of this forum. Great advice from everyone..
Thank you, tara, for posting it and for all the time you took to write it...
Great thread! Thanks for starting this. I agree, this one ought to be sticky...
Hey stalking victim of mineaka freya, thanks for chiming in!!..
I forgot another friend. Tom- the monthly visitor. It causes many to not lose or even gain. Even if you are 10000% op. It plays games with your head and can be a very vulnerable time for many of us to step off track! I track my friend and expect a zero week before I get it...
You are doing great. Keep it up and forget about Thomas...
I'd like to add to that one. Some of us also do not lose, or not lose as much, during ovulation. It stinks, but I usually get a bigger loss the followig week...
Thank you for starting it! Great thread, and full of wonderful information, all in one handy place. Nice work!..
Thank you so much for posting this reminder..
I only lost .4 this past week which bums me out. But it is good to read the above. I AM eating sunflower seeds........even though I know I shouldn't. I am going to have to put them away and quit it!!!!.
Freya - I wanted to say a quick word about sodium....
Obviously you've made the choice for yourself that sodium is okay, but I would suggest that it's something that many MF'ers would take care to watch. While you're absolutely correct that sodium does not cause people to gain fat or muscle weight, it can cause them to retain water, which gives the appearance of gaining weight, which can be discouraging to people who are following MF..
Additionally, many people who begin Medifast are obese and may have health issues involving hypertension, kidney issues, or digestive issues. Excessive sodium intake (and/or the increased fluid retention caused by it) can be linked to any number of health issues, including those I just listed above as well as osteoporosis, sudden heart failure, and even some cancers.
Nutrition support has noted that Medifast foods include a daily sodium allowance that is neither low nor high. I, for one, see no point in pushing my sodium intake into the high side by adding any more to my diet than is unavoidable.
You're correct that salt is not off plan (it appears on the condiments list), but I think calling sodium issues "errant nonsense" is not correct. If sodium can cause a higher number on the scale (fluid retention), then it is something MF'ers should note and monitor carefully...
I am recommitting tomorrow! Thank you so much for posting this. This is exactly why I got off plan - that and my grandmother dying. My 20 year high school reunion is in less than a month. It is now or never! Want to drop 10! I can do it - just have to stay on program!..
Hi Deb! Please allow me to introduce you to my dear friend: self-deprecating sarcasm..
I was making a joke at my own expense about my addiction to salt. I included sodium in my list because I AGREE WITH YOU 100% and that was the point I was making! I was suggesting that people should consider their salt intake because it can affect their health..
Thank you for providing so much more detail - that rocks!..
I actually found that incresing my intake to the top end of the calorie allowance increased my weight loss from about 1lb a week to 2lb a week (ok I wasn't in a stall, but it still made a difference!). I'm guessing that if you're a bit taller/bigger (I'm 5'8") you actually need the optional snacks etc. as the 800 calorie mark is borderline too low and can slow your metabolism. (Any exercise i'm doing is non-vigorous and well within Medifast guidelines)..
Definitely a great thread. Glad I heard about it and came to check it out.
Thank you Tarahh1 you rock alot! (As always)..
Congratulations on your loss so far and THANK YOU for taking the time to journal this for those of us who are just starting out...
Positive, great thread. Everyone had such great ideas and thougts. Nothing to add here..
Really really well written piece to keep around for reading!.
Don't forget that adding strength training changes mass, but you will not see the same losses on the scale..
(Which always cracks me up on Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout? If I pulled a workout like that I would be up 2 pounds)..
This is such a good thread, I wish someone would sticky it. I'm just about done with week 1 and I really appreciated the comments about recipes. I've read some of the threads and wondered if many of the meals were OP or not. I think for my first few weeks I can deal with Medifast meals as they are and less than stunning L&Gs. But the proof is in the scale, and I find out officially tomorrow how well the program works on my body. Heaven knows I've worked the program best as I could this week. (next improvement is weighing greens as well as leans)..
I was only losing 1 pound a week but exercising up to 2 hours a day thinking the more exercise I got, the faster I would lose. I cut back to 45 min-1 hr and upped my calories to the upper end (more like 1000 a day) and now I'm losing 2.5-4 pounds a week. On days I don't get to exercise, I stick to around 800 calories...
This is a good thread. I want to thank you for your comments about LC. Being a newbie I read about LC and thought I could eat it. I didn't realize it was off plan. I feel a little discouraged that I ate something off plan already when I'm only on day 4...
I go in spurts on this diet. I have been completely OP since I started on 6/22/10. I have lost 14.2 lbs. I have a friend who started 3 weeks prior to me. We were about the same weight and the same height and she defintely is losing more than I am. She cheats often.
Walked 3 to 4 times a week about 4 miles each time. I cut back to about 3 days a week about 2 miles each time the first 4 weeks. I am in week 5 and started exercising more. 3 miles about 3 times a week. I am probably not eating enough when I exercise..
If you log your food on this site, you will see that your total calories each day will be right around 800. If I have fish for my L&G, I may not hit 800. If I have more than one bar, I will go over 800. I haven't hit 900 yet, I think my highest was 849..
For veggies, you can use a measuring cup, or a food scale...
Hang in there - it takes awhild for the fat to burn and to turn into water and other stuff to pee out. Do some extra walking???..
Thank you for these great helpful tips. I know like many of us, I am very anxious to see some big results. So far I have been disapointed with low numbers my first two weeks. I am going to stay on plan though and wait it out. It's only been two weeks of healthy eating to make up for a life time of bad habits...
Awesome thread!!! Must have all new MF'ers read this!! Thanks for the wonderful thread!.
This is a great thread for newbies, and some not so newbies too! thanks for starting it. I found a few points here that need to even be remembered in maintenance! Thanks again!!..
I just thought everyone needs to read this. I know I needed to read it again so I searched it out. Bumping it so everyone can see it...
Ahh! LC isn't actually on plan?! I had it for the first time tonight since starting MF, and was stoked to have a bit of cheese. *sigh* - oh well..
Thanks for the thread. I'm going to save it in case of future problems...
Great thread. Great for new people as well as veterans to remind them of what's important....
It's not on the official Medifast List, but Nutrition Support has given instruction on how to incorporate the LC cheeses into our plan should one choose to do so.
You will find foods that are not on the list and will wonder if they are ok to eat. Simply check with Nutrition Support and see what they have to say. They can tell you no.... or they can tell you how to incorporate it and what to count it as...
Tara, great thread, thanks so much for posting it. Your success is such an inspiration to me.
I will add that a very well known fitness/nutrition instructor (not related to MF) recommends if you're losing weight to lose ~1-2% of your body weight per week. So if you are 200 pounds, that's 2-4 pounds and it obviously goes down from there..
Another item to add, when you're losing weight, look at it in terms of household items. Example - if you lose 1 pound, look at a pound of butter to see how much that is or 10 pound bag of potatoes. It really gives you some perspective on how well you're doing. In the past, if I lost a half a pound (when I weighed 155 so that was pretty good), I would look at a half pound of butter to keep me going!..
Great thread! I was looking for information like this. I usually eat when I get stressed...when food is not an option, I exercise. So, for the past week (my first week) I've been exercising. Nothing hardcore, only walking. I lost a good amount of weight week 1, but I stepped on the scale today even though I don't weigh in until Friday just to take a peek and discovered that I gained 2lbs! I'm not anywhere near that TOM. I've been OP the whole time weighing my foods and everything.
I don't eat any snacks either, not even gum. I'm guessing maybe I'm not consuming enough calories, and will try to up my calories on the days I walk. Also, I don't think I'm drinking enough water, that's the only thing I do not measure. Thank you for creating this thread Tarah!..
This is a great thread! Thanks for bumping it..
Great thread, first time I have seen this one!.
I am only losing about a lb a week, (due to unstable hypothyroid) maybe I will try bumping up my calories to see if that changes things up..
Someday when I get my thyroid meds right, I hope to start dropping some weight!.
Great post with great tips!.
Your weight loss is inspirational too! How long did it take you to get into the 120's?..
Lol Freya hehe I thought you were giving us the go ahead and have salt..
You'll have to make your own decision about salt. For me, I don't care if I'm given permission or not - I LOVE SALT. It's a BOUNDARY. HARD LIMIT...
THANK YOU!!! This is the info I needed. I think you have solved my challenge of not getting discouraged! I have used Walden Farms and Laughing Cow. Obviously, I read too many posts and recipes and thought I was ok. Thank you all again...
This made me laugh and nod! I have issues with too LITTLE sodium in my diet! I have low blood pressure and have a tendency towards electrolyte imbalance. I salted my tomatoes I ate at dinner tonight and did not feel bad about it at all. Now granted, I normally drink over the 64oz of water, more like 120+, so I'm sure that helps flush it all out.
Anyway, good to know I'm not the only one guarding my salt cellar with my life!..
I just wanted to say that I've used LC Cheese as my Healthy Fats a few times per week...and I've had pretty good losses so far. I think it's up to the individual as to whether or not they want to incorporate it...but they really have been a lifesaver for me when I've wanted to eat something off-plan...
This is a great thread. It really puts things into perspective. Thanks for putting it together...
Some people have been struggling with slower or no losses lately - bumping for your pleasure...
Thanks for the Bump , this is a good read !! I will conquer you 200 lbs !!!..
"- Some people report issues with too much sodium. Clearly this is errant nonsense and you'll pry my salt lick out of my cold dead hands. But just in case, I offer it here.".
I had to laugh at this! I've had lifelong low BP and flatly refuse to give up my sodium...despite what others tell me. There's just too many other things to give up right now. I might consider it someday...maybe when my inevitable plateau hits...
Glad I could entertain! But really... sodium is a problem with some health issues, and it causes you to retain a little water. When I'm losing 100 pounds, do I really care if I'm 1 pound "behind" where I would be otherwise, because I put some Tiny Chachere's on my L&G? No, I do NOT care. Sodium doesn't slow the fat loss, and that's what matters to me...
Freya (How is Odin? ).
I thought some cheeses were OK. I am not a vegetarian by any means, but I am not a hard core carnivore either, so I delve into the meatless options pretty frequently. The meatless options do include 1% cottage cheese, low fat cheese between 1 and 1.5 g fat/oz, 2% cottage cheese, moderate fat cheese 3-6 g fat/oz and part skim ricotta 2-3g fat/oz.
Kiki, why do you think someone said cheese isn't okay? There are cheese items on the condiments list, healthy fats list, and meatless options lean sheet.
Fat free cheese, higher fat cheeses (over 6g/ounce), and laughing cow are not on plan. But there are lots of cheeses that are!.
If you're having slower losses than you want, cheese is generally higher in fat and lower in protein than other options, I believe. It can also be constipating. Also, if you're choosing between some basil and some parmesan as one of your 3 condiments, guess which one has less fat/calories? It's something to be aware of, that you might tweak if you're not happy with your progress, but as I said, many cheeses are OP...
Thank you so much for posting this. I just started Medifast a few weeks ago and I'm doing very well, but I started looking for recipes to make things during the holidays when it may be harder for me and I kept seeing stuff like cream cheese and laughing cow cheese. However, I could find NO WHERE in my literature where it said I could have these things. Thought perhaps it was new. Important to hear from you that it's really not allowed. So I won't be using it. I have too much on the line to start cheating now! Thanks Jeannie..
I read this post yesterday and kept thinking "Oops... oops... oh, oops again.".
Water has been my biggest foe on this journey. I mean, I hate the stuff. Really. I wish I didn't, but there's just something about regular, unflavored, water when I'm not 100% thirsty that makes me want to gag.
But, yesterday, I glugged down all the necessary water and pretty much peed every hour.
After a week of the scale not moving down below 136.6 I finally woke up this morning and weighed only to find that those pesky .6 lbs were GONE!.
It's amazing how much burned/liquidated fat remains in your system. Even if it's not filling your fat cells it's still swimming around in there! I didn't realize the importance of drinking that water (even though EVERYONE was telling me it was important) until this morning when after a week of struggling the scale finally tipped because I was drinking my water properly.
Laughing Cow is not OP. Full fat cream cheese is, as a healthy fat, when your lean allows for healthy fats for the day. Low fat cream cheese is on the condiments list..
Print out all the materials at Success Tools: Eat Right, and get to know them!..
Freya, I always appreciate your 'go back to the materials' posts I definitely need to hear that this week...
There is no way I could have stayed w/ Medifast if cheese was not allowed. Sad but true..
Freya - I thought LC was okay as a fat (I hate LC but it was on this list from Nutrisystem about cheese).
Info on Cheeses from Nutrisystem re: incorporating types of cheese into the L&G meal:.
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) 1% cottage cheese= 1 Leanest serving (2 healthy fat.
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) 2% cottage cheese= 1 Leaner serving (1 healthy fat.
6 oz (1 1/2 cup shredded) low-fat cheese (1-1.5 gram fat/oz)= 1 Leaner.
Serving (1 healthy fat serving needed).
4 oz (1 cup shredded) moderate-fat cheese (3-6 grams/oz)= 1 Lean serving.
(no healthy fat serving needed)this would equal 4 string cheese sticks.
Incorporating types of cheese as a fat choice:.
1 wedge of the Original Laughing Cow cheese as 1 fat serving.
2 wedges of the Laughing Cow Light varieties as 1 fat serving.
1 piece of the Mini Babybel, Light (Original) as 1 fat serving.
10 pieces (approximately 47 grams) Laughing Cow Light Gourmet Cheese.
Bites as 1 fat serving.
1 tablespoon regular cream cheese as 1 fat serving.
Incorporating types of cheese as a condiment choice:.
1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese= 1 condiment choice.
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)= 1 condiment choice.
Fat-free cheeses don't usually fit into the plan as it is too high in carbohydrates...
I'm fairly new to Medifast, and just want to thank everyone for sharing such great information !!..
I love the cheese too!!!!.
NS is a little schizophrenic, really... They have been known to tell someone how to count a frozen pizza. So, I don't pay any attention to what they say after the words "not generally on plan" or whatever, because it's just a bunch of enabling nonsense. But they *will* tell the truth first, before they tell you how to modify things the way you want to.
So, here's the typical start of a Nutrisystem reply about Laughing Cow:.
"Hello, my name is Matt, I am a Registered Dietitian with Nutrition Support..
Laughing Cow Cheese:.
While not typically recommended, some individuals will choose to incorporate the Laughing Cow cheeses on their own.".
Then they go on to tell you how to count it as a fat, etc. And many people choose to do this, but many of us figure that since it's not recommended as part of the plan we won't eat it. A personal choice...
Just a note on LC both lite and original. I agree with Freya..I think sometimes Nutrition has been told to let us have things they really wish we wouldn't just so we stay. However, they always do preface it with "while we do not consider LC op" or something similar. After really looking and thinking and coming to the decision that I don't want to add anything that isn't OP and getting back to basics like I was my first 4 weeks. Two LC Lites are 70 calories. Is that really how you want to gain your calories.
Not worth it. Just my measly 2 cents. I also log each and ever "zero" carb, "zero" cal as one gram of everything because zero simply means less than one gram per serving, so for all we know, it could be really close to one. Again, to each his own, but that is how I am doing it. If I choose to use WF BC or WF BBQ sauce, I log it as one gram of carb and one gram of fat..
Oh, I love the cheese controversy. I like having purists like Freya around to keep me straight. As a newbie, I have to be careful the recipes are OP. Now I look everything up. I have never had Laughing Cow Cheese or Baby Bell in my life, but I love CHUHEEZE. I am so happy I am allowed to incorporate it healthfully.
I really am very diligent with this program, and am enjoying it, and the success I am having. Even though it is a long way off, I am already scared about being "on my own"..
Thanks Freya. Although I am devastated to learn frozen pizza is not on plan j/k..
I think enabling is going a bit far. I just think that the Medifast official literature sometimes doesn't keep up with new products that come out (laughing cow) or obscure foods people discover (shirataki noodles). It costs a lot of money to redesign the manuals and print news ones so I am sure they aren't going to do it every time a new potentially on plan food becomes popular. Nutrisystem is there to bridge the gap in between updates of official literature, in my opinion, not enable people to go off plan. What would they really gain by doing that?.
To me the definition of "on plan" is "fits within the nutritional guidelines of medifast." So if a food is in the right calorie, carb, fat, etc. range I consider it on plan for me. I think that defining "on plan" as "what is printed in the manuals" only has some obvious pitfalls - what if there is a typo that says 3 tablespoons instead of 3 teaspoons of something?.
Honestly I think this comes down to more of a psychological preference for rules and order, versus flexibility and creativity. If we are eating nutritionally identical L&Gs but yours is listed in the literature and mine is not, what is the difference? The difference is our perception and that's about it...
Two words: frozen pizza. *grin*.
I happily defer to Nutrisystem when they're telling us if something is OP or not. I just choose, personally, to ignore what they say AFTER the words "not generally recommended, BUT IF YOU CHOOSE TO EAT IT ANYWAY here's how you count it.".
I don't see the point in listening to the stuff that tells me how to be off plan, when the official source says it's off plan. I think the info about how to count off plan foods is enabling. Your interpretation of enabling may be different...
Interesting and helpful thread. Thanks to blondierae for pointing it out today I didn't even realize LC light was not OP until reading this thread. I usually split one wedge between my two MSF grillers (once a week) and since my overall nutrition score for the day was well within limits I didn't even consider asking. I knew cream cheese was OP as a condiment so I figured this was similar. I wonder why, if the nutrition is similar it would be off plan? Whatever the reason, I'll avoid it till I'm in T&M now that I know...
Someone mentioned "saving" this post. How does one do that?..
Cheese is the thing I miss the most, I think. That and alcohol..
Ok: Confession (play dramatic music).
Yesterday I went mad/crazy off plan. Ish.
You see, I ate 2 meals at school (bar, drink) and then had my typical lunch L+g (which is more like a "g" because it lacks much "l".).
Anyway, then I worked until 6. (Which, on a Friday, as a schoolteacher, is late. The prev. night I worked until NINE. At school. Yup.).
And then we had church small group to go to..
Instead of packing 39174864856 medifast meals, we ate out..
I had a salad... with cheese. (Forget this light stuff too. It was real cheese.).
I had a chicken sandwich thing which I ate open... at first..
But then I ate a piece of bread..
And most of an apple..
And I did not have any more medi-fast meals that night..
So, did I kill my soul by eating all of this food? (I figured not eating the other Medifast meals was the trade for eating a double L+g and then some.).
Ironically, I had my first loss this morning. (The 1lb I had been waiting for all week.).
Sometimes this whole thing does not make sense. However, what I ate "off plan" were at least healthy foods. Typically "off plan" foods would mos' def' be deep fried in fat (So delicious.) with a sweet drink on the side..
Today I am back on plan. (...for now... (queue dramatic music.))..
Ltlelephant... go to "thread tools" then "subscribe to this thread" to save..
Cheese is an option for the "L" in the "L&G." Check out "Meatless Options," which is under "Eat Right," which you can get to via the "Success Tools" tab near the top of this page...
I've found that when I've been off plan sometimes it doesn't show up in my weight for a week. That is, unless it's alcohol which shows up as a gain the next morning due to holding onto water weight. And it's likely you ate few enough calories yesterday to still create a calorie deficit. You lost weight but there is a possibility you threw yourself out of ketosis and will have a case of the hungries for a few days. Live and learn-at least you didn't eat deep fried foods!..
This is a great post! Thank you! I have been struggling for almost 2 weeks with my scale and after reading some helpful tips from other post's had to re-evaluate what exactly I am doing that could be holding up my weight loss. All of these tips are very helpful here!.
This is an AWESOME thread. I am in the dreaded week THREE UGH where I know when I weigh in on thursday (my scheduled day) I will not have a loss, I did peek today, am I am the same as last week. I have to psych myself into knowing that this is ok... that it will pass... so I can pass on all the junk at thanksgiving....
Thank you all so much...