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Can I take a short break from Medifast plan?

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Hey I know it's a no no but I'm going off plan for three days because of a celebratory time. Has any one else taken a short break? How did it affect your loss?..

Comments (26)

I don't want to encourage bad behavior, but I just took a vacation, eating what I wanted while away. I put on 8lbs while gone (a lb a day)...came home...got right back on Medifast and dropped 14lbs in 10 days...

Comment #1

I could never trust myself while losing weight on the 5/1 plan to take a break. I know myself too well!.

I had two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, two wedding anniversaries, a Valentine's Day, an Easter, my own 50th birthday, kids birthdays, etc. I just stuck to it and it worked for me!.

Now that I'm concentrating on maintaining, I have a little more choices available but there are still things I know I'm probably gonna have to live without (i.e. icecream, chips, cake, pizza, chocolate) because, again, I know me..

I've been through too much and spent to much and love the new me and my new clothes to much to risk all I've lost..

But THAT'S JUST ME! (Please, no jumping on poor old kissywawa!)..

Comment #2

Kissywawamy first instinct is to think OF COURSE I will be able to have those particular favorites (your list is mine too!!) in moderation. but the truth is, I have TRIED THAT. I have gained weight back, and lots of it. the only thing I have going for me in this Medifast is that I cannot go off plan, or I know I will do it all the time..

I commend you for sticking thru under all those circumstances. I have always felt like "getting thin" will change the thing in my brain, but it will not. I hope I have learned that..

Hungrygirlit IS taking a chance...no judgement, and it is VERY enticing to think about having a break (my child is making a special dessert tonight, and asked me to just try "a little") and I hope it works for you...some people can do it. everytime I try (before MF) to go off "once" or for a weekend, I am weaker for it, sometimes to the point where I gain it all back. good luck.....

Comment #3

I have taken a break...more than once. But they were planned and I still watched what I ate so I wouldn't have crazy effects. I also knew that as soon as I returned home I was immediately back on plan, no oh I'll just add another day..

I went off for two weeks over Christmas and only gained a pound..

I think if you are going to make a conscious decision to go off plan, don't allow yourself to go crazy. It's all in moderation...

Comment #4

First I will say, to each their own, Live and let Live, etc..

But I have seen many go off plan as described, then they go back on, then another reason to celebrate comes along and they go Off plan again, the problem is, for SOME, not everyone and this is just an observation, it seems that over time, they tend to be OFF Plan more than on plan, weight loss and MOTIVATION slow completely and we never hear from them again. Sad really and just an observation..

I have a birthday coming up and plan to celebrate and enjoy like I always enjoy my current life. ON Plan! But, I feel so good and I am so much healthier being OFF ten medications, I guess it makes it easier for me to stay OP..

Well Best of Luck to you, Have a Super ON Plan night everyone!.

We can do this, if we choose too. How cool to have a choice..

Dan-O..

Comment #5

Hi: I notice this is your very first post here. Welcome. Since you didn't ask for advise, none will be given from me.

I'd like to share with the others here the following.

After many failures at staying off cigarettes, I finally found what worked for me 13 years ago this month. I finally accepted the fact that I could not have "only 1 cigarette." A few days after that 1 cigarette, I'd convince myself that since I hadn't cheated for 3 days, I could have another. Before the week was over, I'd be back to my usual pack a day addiction.

In a Smokers Anonymous group a man's story helped me when my mind began to rationalize that I could have just one. His health was very poor due to a lifetime of smoking (he began at age 6) and his alcoholism. He daughter found him near death one day and placed him in rehab. He needed blood transfusions and went through all the hell of quitting both addictions at the same time. His life was saved. This dear man now walks 4 miles every morning on his treadmill, is smoke free and not drinking.

Needless to say his wife is so happy to still have him in her life.

When we had to close our SA program due to lack of participation, I attended OA (overeaters anonymous) meeting even though I sat there weighing in at 120 pounds. I could take from that 12 step program what I needed to keep my nicotine sobriety. I was welcomed with open arms. I listened to the struggles people had with their food. Some were very inspiring and encouraging.

For many people losing weight is indeed a matter of life and death. Obesity is a killer, just like smoking, alcohol and drugs. I have great admiration for those who are working their program and becoming healthy.

I began on Medifast in January and two weeks ago, I was able to cut my blood pressure medication in half.

It breaks my heart to see so many mobidly obese children and adults. I wish doctors and medical professionals would address this most important issue when kids are just babies before parents begin to take them to fast food junk food alley.

Hope some find my disclosure helpful to keep on plan. How much better to eat Medifast then to have a gastric by-pass...

Comment #6

I have been bad myself. I do great during the day with the 5 Medifast meals, I exercise atleast 1 full hour 5 days a week, I drink lots and lots of water, then my evening meal comes and I think I can pretty much eat and drink whatever I want. I have been doing this since I started the plan about 6 weeks ago and I have still managed to lose 10 lbs. I know this is not what I should be doing, because if I continue this type of behavior I will most likely gain this weight right back, so can someone please give me some motivation to eat that 1 meal properly...

Comment #7

Interesting that the OP posted that ONE question about going off plan...and never came back..

If it was all that easy to eat off-plan in moderation, treat yourself occasionally and still get back on a solid weight loss program....then why are any of us here in the first place?.

We all have issues with food, and for most of us one taste or one day or weekend off plan starts us down the proverbial "slippery slope" toward failure...and self-recimination...and biging to make ourselves feel better....

This plan works because if you follow it exactly as written there is no room for error. It is this strict regimen that makes Medifast so successful for so many of us - we can lose the weight and feel successful without having to make too many choices.

When we hit transition, we can begin to re-integrate foods into our lives that we had to eliminate in order to lose the weight, and gradually take off those "training wheels" that allowed us to succeed...

Comment #8

Everyone has their own journey- and if you do go off plan it's a personal choice. I haven't been perfect on my journey either- and their right- just because you are losing weight doesn't mean your brain has changed or your habits. Just remember that. As long as you know you are getting back on the wagon- I believe everyone is human. Its when you are completely out of control where you are pre-planning to go off for every little holiday or special occasion that it becomes ridiculous. Why even be on MF?.

I think Kissywawa right! I spent too much money and time- and passed up too many tempting items to sabotage myself. If it's a one time vacation where you will be the only one sitting there without a special beverage in your hand- I think it's a personal decision- but do what you feel is right I suppose. But if you keep going down the trecharous road- that says every holiday and bbq is reward to yourself. Then Im' sorry to say- once you reach goal- it's going ot be even harder to keep the weight down!!!.

But good luck! This program is definitely worth the hard times- and it's not forever! I missed fruit all last summer!..

Comment #9

This thread is very interesting to me because I was thinking about doing something similar in a controlled fashion.

I have a really long road to go, so I was thinking that every week or so I'd allow myself to eat normal food maybe one day a week (sensibly), like maybe baked potato or omelette or fruit or other foods that are off-plan but not off the menu forever. I can't live with the idea that I'll never have pizza again, so I'm telling myself that I'll enjoy it in moderation some time in the next few weeks..

I know that lots of people advocate sticking to the plan without deviating even a little bit, but I have so far to go that it's just too scary to think of doing this straight out for a couple years... ;-).

Would love to hear more personal experiences both ways..

Comment #10

Wow! Someone quoted me! I'm so flattered!!!!!.

The truth is that I had a long way to go, too; however, eating "sensibly" even once a week is dangerous to your ketosis and could hurt you tremendously over the long run..

MF is hard there's no doubt about it. BUT if you stick too it the benefits are tremendous!.

And, here's the really cool thing, now, in maintenace, I can eat those baked potatoes, cheese, carrots, peas, bananas, really, whatever I want, and I know how to balance it all with exercise and other food choices because of the days I consistently followed the 5/1 plan...

Comment #11

About being OP:.

I have a very good friend who had started WW in May of '08 and who, at the time I began my Medifast Journey, had lost 28 lbs. I didn't think much of the # she had lost until I had been OP on Medifast for several months. I even went through a great Thanksgiving Dinner (all of which I had cooked and of which I had one TEENY bite of 3 selected items and that was it!).

All of a sudden it was Christmas and I was still OP (no Christmas Dinner) and I had lost over 50# while my WW friend was still working on that same 28! I later found out that SHE had been eating according to HER Plan, but 'saving up' (?) for weekends when she went totally wild and ate whatever she wanted!!!!!!!.

It is now over a year since she started *her* Plan, and she has now gotten up to 40+# lost while in 7 months, I lost 61 and even now in Transition continue to lose!.

She had much more to lose than I did, but it seems, doing it the way she is, she will forever be at it..

I am SOOOOO thankful to have found Medifast and to have lost this weight. I am off of three different medications and now wear a size 5 Junior! I have sent all of my larger clothes up to my friend who is *just now* getting into them..

So, as many have said before...it is up to the individual person. BUT when you have put your good money into ANY Health Program, it seems so sad to take *just* what you want from it and not ALL that it offers...

Comment #12

I've got a question for anyone on maintenance (which I hope to be on soon). Medifast is basically a calorie counting diet which seems to be fundamentally sound. After I' m off of weight-loss and want to maintain my weight I've figured out that I should consume about 2,000 calories per day which is 14,000 calories a week. My plan (and question) is if I have a cheat day and consume, say, 4,000 on one day then go OP for two days at 1,000 calories per day for two days shouldn't I be OK? I'd be making up for the 2,000 overage with two days of 1,000 deficit. Any opinions or is anyone doing this with or without sucess? Thanks for the advice..

Comment #13

I think everyone accepts reality in maintenance, that there will be days you eat more than is optimal. There are no hard and fast rules in maintenance - you find your own balance between food intake and exercise. Lots of us still log everything just for that reason, and if we have a particularly "fun" weekend we compensate with extra exercise and/or lower calories..

Get out of the mindset of a "cheat" day in maintenance. You can only cheat if there are rules to break, and there are none in maintenance. This is not a diet, it is your LIFE. Some days in real life you eat more than others, the trick is to find the balance to stay fit..

ETA: The truly crucial thing is to go through Transition. It's tempting to skip it, but it is really important to ease back into eating other foods, and once you have finished transition, maintenance will seem a lot less daunting...

Comment #14

I think going off the plan goes against the whole reason for getting on the plan...jmo...and I can't see myself yo-yo'ing like that. I'm sticking to the plan, each day until my goal weight - I'm following it to a freaking T - NOT ONE SLIP for this girl - I hate being IN THIS FAT SUIT and NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS THIN FEELS!..

Comment #15

PS - using food to celebrate is how we got here!..

Comment #16

I understand your position, trust me we have all stood in the mirror, naked and said ok the diet starts tomorrow.....go do that, but say instead, "Thank you for staying on this Medifast program." I'm not sure I like the words "being bad" it's almost admitting to naughtiness (sp?)with a hint of acceptance...like a small child waiting to be caught..Now, stop that right now!!! does that sound like the right response? what do you want to hear?..

Comment #17

Phoca, I understand where you are coming from. Pizza was one of my big downfalls. Every Friday night, and on occasion one other night a week, I would have pizza for dinner. I love it, and I do miss it. But there is no way on God's green earth that I am going to sabotage all my hard work thus far because I want it now. No way.

Not by a long shot!.

You say you can't live with the idea of never having pizza again. That's fine. Just realize that you can have it, just not now. I pass by my favorite pizza place often, since it is on the road I travel most, and I think, "Yep. Gonna have that again. Just not now.

While I am in the process of losing all this excess weight, I am also in the process of changing how I think about food, and reprogramming myself to know and accept what a reasonable quantity is.

So, pizza? It'll still be there next year..

Potatoes? They'll be there next year..

Bagels? Chinese? Some other food (fill in the blank with your favorites)? They will all be there when you are ready and able to have them responsibly.

In the meantime, surf the boards and try the healthy substitutes for pizza, bread, etc.

My personal favorite is one I came up with quite by accident, and I make it whenever I miss that pizza taste..

I was trying to figure out what to do for dinner one night, and took a quick inventory of the fridge and cabinet. I had cooked diced chicken, canned fire roasted tomatoes, lowfat mozzarella cheese, diced bell peppers (multicolored) and portabella mushrooms.

I took one small can of tomatoes (drain off as much of the juice as possible), 1 cup of chopped portabella mushrooms, 1 cup of the diced peppers; added garlic, basil and oregano, sauteed all of it to soften everything. Put about 8-9 ounces of chicken in a baking dish, pour the veggies over it and cover with a couple ounces of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 2 servings.

When my roommate and I ate that dinner, we both had the same thought: It tasted exactly like a pizza without the bread!.

The bottom line is this: If you want sabotage yourself, you will find a way to justify it. But if you want to lose the weight, you will do what it takes to get to goal. If you want good tasting food along the way, there are myriad ways to convert the unhealthy to the healthy. And who knows? You may just end up changing your tastes so much that you will no longer feel deprived of the "yes, but not right now" foods..

You've done very well so far. Don't lose sight of why you are on this journey and what you hope to accomplish...

Comment #18

Wow what a jerk, I am so sorry for sounding like that, I was just re-reading your post and related answers.....i don't know what I was trying to prove, I apologize for the naughty child remarks...where do I get off talking like that? Please remember you are doing this for you.......good luck with you quandry..

Comment #19

My "three days off plan" have turned into NINE MONTHS of struggling to get back on, and the regain of more than half of the 75lbs I had lost. It was SO not worth it...

Comment #20

Hi everyone,.

One thing that I don't think I saw mentioned here was the fact that going off the plan will generally knock us out of ketosis. As someone who is finishing up my first week (down almost 9 as of this am -woo hoo!), I know that I do NOT want to go through the carb withdrawals again...ever. I plan to stick with the plan 100% until goal, then transition. My feeling is that, though I was eating healthy before on ww, and genuinely LIKE healthy foods, etc - fruit, whole grains, starchy veggies (and yes, wine!) will be there after my transition..

I am so grateful to have found this plan and I want to honor myself and the plan as written. As others have said, that's just me...

Comment #21

I know this is an old thread and everyone said all the things about having to get back into ketosis, learning to deal with social situations while OP, getting off track. You have probably made your decision long ago. From personal experience - it becomes a habit- going off plan that is. It becomes easier and easier to go off plan and you dread going back on bc you dont want to deal with the first few days again. I would be at goal by now...a long time ago if I had stuck to it 100%. I went off plan 8 weeks ago and although I have not gained, I have not been able to motivate to get back on plan and stay there to lose the last bit.

Best of luck...

Comment #22

Are there any non Medifast products that can substitute in an emergency? e.g., I love weight watchers ice cream and desserts...

Comment #23

I'm not sure what emergency would present WW foods and not MF. If you're running out of Medifast foods, switch to a 4&2 to stretch out your supply. Other than that - plan ahead and ALWAYS have at least 5 ease-to-fix Medifast meals within reach. In your car, purse, at work, etc..

I haven't checked WW products, but I'm guessing the carb count would be WAY too high. If you're out and about with absolutely no way to get your Medifast foods, I'd go for extra protein. At least you won't be kicking yourself out of ketosis..

Personally, I know that loving low-fat, sugar-free, "light" foods got me at my starting weight...

Comment #24

NS suggests eating 3 l&g meals when you have run out of food. If you don't have enough Medifast meals to eat 2 per day, split up your meals so that you are eating 6 mini meals a day. If you are just out and about and missed an Medifast meal, do a 4&2 - 4 Medifast and 2 l&g..

My personal opinion here, no offense intended, but you asked for substitutes to Medifast and jumped first to ice cream and desserts? Those shouldn't even be considered until you are ion maitenance...

Comment #25

Did you know that there are ice cream recipes you can make with MF? I assume you're talking about a CRAVING emergency... in which case you can make things like brownie bites and soft serve right out of your Medifast meals!..

Comment #26


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