Should I eat Medifast foods in the upper end of the scale?

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Hey guys!.

I've been doing pretty well on medifast but i've hit my longest plateau to date. I've been hovering for well over a week now in a 250-252 range. I'm getting penty of exercise with sprint interval training on the treadmill four times a week, and i've started to re-incorporate weight training, crunches and other conditioning exercise with light freeweights on the days in-between cardio..

My question is, i've been eating lower end of the recommended scale, in the 700-800 calorie range. I love soy like Boca meatless ground burger and shirataki noodles, and they don't have the same calorie level as some of the other L&G items. So, I tend to net out a little less on the calorie scale on my L&G's, especially if life interrupts me and I miss a Medifast meal..

I've heard other MF'ers suggest eating towards the upper end of the scale, in the 900-1000 calorie range, to get the body out of conservation mode and kick it back into safe weight loss. I'm wondering if this is correct and if I should incorporate it. Has anyone else had a similar problem and tried it with success?..

Comments (14)

I don't know if it's correct but for me I tended to lose better when at the higher end of the range. Can't say if that would help you but you mentioned that you often fall lower than 800 calories & sometimes don't get all your Medifast meals in. That could adversely affect your weight loss right there...especially if you're working out...

Comment #1

I have found I do better alternating my numbers. Say 3-4 days in the 800-900 cals, then a high day maybe even 1000-1200, then a low day 750-850 then back to an average. I wasn't doing it on purpose, I just noticed that some weeks I lost a lot better than other weeks. Went back and looked thru my days and this is what those weeks consisted of..

Regardless of what you do, I would strongly recommend getting all your 5 Medifast in. Especially as a man, who is exercsing, you need all th evitamins and nutrients you can get. I would also think dropping below 800 cals is way too little for you.

Let us know what you decide to try and if it works.........

Comment #2

I think the other girls have said it, you have to get all five of your meals in and that would put you in what Nutrisystem recommends between 800-1000 calories per day. If you get to little first it's unhealthy and your body will go into starvation mode. And considering as much as you work out, I would think even closer to 900 would be good for you...

Comment #3

Are you working out for more than the recommended max of 45 minutes per day? If so you may want to scale that back a bit. Make sure you get ALL of your recommended meals. I have also seen Nutrisystem suggest moving to a 4&2 for those folks who work out alot and the scale is not moving, but that is to increase the calorie intake, which I think you are realizing could be your culprit. Be creative and come up with a few ways to get in more calories without too many more carbs. Maybe an extra burger or some more veggies. Do you eat cheese or eggs? Split up our L&G or just add a small salad with your lunch...

Comment #4

Umm, well.. I'm usually pretty good about my workouts unless I get interrupted by life or have had an alternative workout that day (other than my usual routine). I did stop doing weight training for about a month and I have noticed a loss in muscle mass, probably due to being on the lower end of the calorie range..

My workouts are usually anywhere from a half hour to fourty five minutes on the treadmill depending on my free time. I usually do a five minute warmup, then interval between sprinting for a minute and backing down to a jog/walk for a minute, and continue like that to keep my heart rate up. Right now I have the treadmill at a 9.5% incline and alternate between a 3-4-5 mph speed. The last ten minutes of the treadmill time are spent walking at 2 mph (same as the warmup). I aim for four days a week, and usually get three in..

The freeweights are light, and I do three sets of 12 of each: curls, arnold presses, oblique leans, standing lumberjacks, crunches, tricep isolation curls and calf lifts. The cardio work out seems to keep my legs in shape so I don't focus on anything other than the calf muscles with freeweights. It generally takes me about 40-45 minutes to do all of these exercises. I do these three days a week on the opposite days from the treadmill..

I've decided to start bumping up my calorie intake a little to see if that helps kick things back into gear. I don't think i'm exercising long enough to switch to a 4&2, I just think my body is being super conservative and I have noticed some loss in muscle mass. Since that time, i've re-incorporated the muscle training back into the workout schedule instead of going pure cardio...

Comment #5

I hope you don't mind me adding my 2 cents....I believe you and I started approx one day apart (Dec 3 for me) and from what I have read, seem to share a similar workout routine and physical characteristics (about 6'3"; large frame, in my case).

I am currently doing 3 days of weight training/lifting alternating with 3 day of cardio (intervals) and do not feel a need to switch to a 4/2 plan at all. I regularly see a doc specializing in nutrition/sports medicine (she has monitored me throughout this process, including accessing my daily meal plans on occasion) and she has recommended that I always keep my protein levels in excess of 100g/day, have a Medifast bar either prior to, or just after my workout and never allow my calorie/carb level to fall below 825kcal/80g per day. At least in my case, I believe this has allowed me to continue a fairly consistent weekly loss rate (my weekly stats below) while avoiding sending my body into a conservation state. I also 'bounce' my daily calorie total from day to day (for example: Mon 875kcal/Tue 825kcal/Wed 895kcal/ect) which I believe may also help in avoiding prolonged plateaus (at least to date)..

In addition, I think I also saw your concerns regarding lean muscle burning as opposed to fat on another thread. I too am always concerned about this (since day one) and again, my doc emphasizes getting the afore-mentioned proper amount of protein and calories to help avoid this issue. Obviously, the weight training is key to lean muscle preservation as well (but you already know this)..

Since you already sound like you have figured out what to do, I am certain that I have simply stated the obvious here. However, I certainly wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you reach your weight/health goals.

It's great to see another December starter continuing to show such commitment and determination - you are doing an outstanding job!..

Comment #6

I am a woman who always ate at the upper end of everything carbs, protein and calories. My doctor would only agree to my using Medifast on those conditions as the metabolism is wrecked at the mid to lower ends. Even with doing that toward the end of my Medifast experience I just stopped losing. I had to go up to 1200 calories and start a modified transition. I quickly loss the last 10 pounds and have maintained my loss for almost 9 months. On every other eating plan out there men have higher recomendations than women so on Medifast I would say that it would be particularly important to be at the upper end.

To boost up the protein. The protein is the key to muscle loss. My husband also did Medifast but always ate about 1200 calories He did more like a 5/2 and did fine. He tried it with lower calories and just couldn't take off much upped the calories and it flew off..

It took a good four months after reaching goal for my metabolism to repair to the level that I could eat up to the number of calories the charts said I needed to maintain my weight.

My husband and I both loved the Medifast experience; however, felt very strongly about not cutting back on an already very restictive plan.


Comment #7

When I hit a plateau, I lowered my calories and carbs. The plateau worsened. I further lowered the calories and carbs (to 800 and <80) and I actually gained weight. When I gave up and just ate within 5&1 without thinking about calories and carbs (but at the higher end of both) I started losing again...

Comment #8


Thanks for the encouragement! It does look like we're similar in a lot of ways regarding our physical features and workout routine. I've gone ahead and decided to bump the calorie levels upwards, and the suggestion of going over 825 calories/80g. of protien is a good goal to shoot for on my daily food log..

I've also read that about muscle maintenance, that it requires a high protien level and to build muscle; a little supplimental calories both prior to and just after freeweights session. My coach in HS used to advise us to eat half an orange just prior to weight lifting and then half a cup of egg whites after the workout and that really seems to help build muscle really well. Since I usually do the bars for breakfast on the way to the office, i've found another good source for the freeweights. You probably get the same benefits with eating a Medifast bar just prior to or after..

Mission & Jorian,.

Thanks also for the advice. I definitely think that my body's metabolism is/was completely out of whack and that I needed to get back into the right calorie range...

Comment #9

Mission & Jorian, thank you so much for posting your input! I'd literally asked this question to the Medifast nutritionist this morning! Still waiting for a reply.

I work out everyday, and stay completely on plan, yet I've barely lost 5lbs the first 7 days. I've had my resting metabolic rate tested and the doctor says it's 1340. She also said not to drop below 1000 calories or everything will shut down. I've found that if I'm in the 800-900 range, with carbs not exceding 82, the scale doesn't move. Yet, if I up the calories, but still keep the carbs low, I can see change.

I'm so glad others have had the same issues and still found a way to beat the problem...

Comment #10

I'm happy to report... I'm back in gear.

Upper end eating, for me, appears to be doing the trick. I've been kicking the calories back over the 850 mark, and last night I lowered the incline but raised the pace on the treadmill to bump my heart rate back up there for the sprint interval training..

251.8 yesterday..

248.2 this morning..


Comment #11

Kamie, "only" 5 pounds in the first seven days? Does not sound lilke you have any problem to me. I only lost 3 the first week and averaged 2 per week after that. You are doing fantastic..

As to the original question, I found that shaking up my calories when I had a slump helped - dropping them lower when I was eating at the high end and vice versa. Toward the very end I slowed WAY down, and dropped my carbs to the bone by picking very low carb L&G meals and doing all shakes. It did seem to kick-start things and got me past my goal..

A little extra protein on workout days helped, too - an ounce or two more of lowfat cheese or meat really helped me recover faster...

Comment #12

I am glad you found something that works for your specific situation - good for you..

Again, I wish you all the best and I will look forward to congratulating you on reaching your health/weight goals - apparently in the very near future!..

Comment #13

Yep, a great big YAY for you. I know how good it feels to see that scale finally start moving again...

Comment #14

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