The Program That Worked for Me

A few people have asked me which program I chose to lose weight and I’m happy to pass that information along. Take Shape for Life is what I chose. Some of you may know it as Medifast.

Here’s why I chose it:

  • It’s about health, not appearance. All of the writing is geared toward finding good health for life. Improving one’s appearance is a side benefit.
  • People on the plan lose 3- 5 pounds a week. That was a pace I knew would keep me motivated to stay on the program.
  • It has been around for a long time, around 20 years. This reassured me that if their claims about this being a healthy way to lose weight were not true, there would be articles, reviews and other pieces of information out there telling me otherwise (and, yes, I did a google search!).
  • The science behind it. It incorporated everything I have learned through Healthy Incentives about weight loss, weight maintenance and nutrition. Everything they said was true was validated by experts I have confidence in and believe.
  • It’s a holistic approach to weight loss. It addresses all of the different factors that can go into weight gain and that are important in maintaining a healthy weight. Like the cultural and societal factors we have no control over – high fructose corn syrup, how the grocery store is organized. The psychological factors we do have control over, but feel like we don’t and how to gain control of those – motivation, identifying what causes urges to overeat. And a plan for good nutrition that I could get my head around and makes my body happy.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • My weight loss averaged about 3 pounds a week. The first few weeks I lost more and as I neared my goal weight I lost less. This feedback on the scale every week made difficult choices more rewarding.
  • I had confidence in the science behind it which kept me motivated.
  • What I learned through the reading and work book was fantastic.
  • I had a health coach to support me.

Here’s what I didn’t like about it:

  • The food. A few days into the program my health coach told me it’s not about the food. It’s about getting healthy. And for me, it was. I have talked to others who have tried Medifast before and it didn’t work for them because they disliked the food so much. I didn’t care so much about that if it was helping me accomplish something I thought was going to be so difficult when I started out.

One of the most important things I have learned on this journey is that diets are not one size fits all. Every diet sells itself as the one that works. I think it has to be the one that works for you.

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