How to get carbs under control while on Medifast?

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So I can't remember where I read that Sobe Lifewater had like 15g of carbs even though it was diet or sugar free and I scratched my head wondering how that could be and how awful to find that out and whether that translated to condiments. I know that we are only allowed 3 condiments a day. I thought I was OK, since I've been having 3 tsp. of fat free creamer in my coffee and 2 packets of Truvia. So I thought, ok, 3 tsp. are my 3 condiments, I thought Truvia didn't count... well, yesterday I accidentally looked at the nutrition information for Truvia, each packet has 3g of carbs!!! What?? So that made me look at the nutrition info for the fat-free creamer, 2g of carbs!!! So my fat-free, sugar-free morning coffee has 12g of carbs!!! What do I do?? I can't give up my coffee! It's the only thing I have left! I've given up so much: bread, fruit, juice, etc.!.

I also thought I had given up sweets and have switched to sugar-free gum and mints. Well, another revelation I had yesterday is that the sugar-free gum and candy are also full of carbs! The gum has 2g of carbs (2 pieces) and the candy has 14g of carbs (for 4 pieces)!!! SERIOUSLY?? The small print says that 13g are from sugar alcohol, which has a minimal effect on blood sugar. Does anyone know what that means in regards to MF?.

No wonder I've plateued so quickly! I've probably haven't hit the mild ketosis state that we're supposed to be in due to all those "hidden" carbs! ARRRGGG!!!!..

Comments (54)

Have an Medifast shake for breakfast and use some of it to flavor/sweeten your coffee. Or, if you're like me and drink a lot of coffee, use the whole shake! lol.

Try to get in the habit of looking at the nutritional information on everything you eat. If it comes in a box, it probably has carbs and sodium - carbs from flavoring, and sodium as a preservative. Neither are good for your weight loss efforts..

Take a look at liquid sweetening options. Many of the carbs in powdered sweeteners come from the carrier they use, and I hear that you can avoid that in liquids. That said, you also need to be aware that even "zero" doesn't mean zero. The FDA allows manufacturers to round down - so it can have nearly a whole gram of carbs in it and they can still call it "zero". To be safe, I always counted a zero carb condiment as 1, except when I KNEW it wasn't, like black pepper...

Comment #1

Check out the Medifast FAQS (click on "back to MF" at the top, then "Frequently asked questions") and read the Quick Start Guide. You can get it by clicking on "Success Tools" at the top of this page, and "Eat Right". Don't assume anything- if it's not on the list, you can't have it. There are no "free foods"..

SF candy is not on plan at all. SF gum and mints can be used while on MF, but you are limited to 3 pieces and it counts as your optional snack for the day...

Comment #2

Thank you for the suggestions! I especially like the one of using my shakes for flavoring, like Swiss Mocha or Dutch Chocolate or French Vanilla! Now that I'm thinking about it I may mix my hot cocoa with coffee for my snack right now....

The way my day is, in order to not get hungry I eat breakfast at 8:30am, that also gives me 3 hours between the time I take my thyroid medication, which does not mix well with soy. Coffee, in addition to being my comfort food, tides me over til 8:30. Then the sugar-free candy tides me over between my last snack and dinner. I did read the quick start guide when I first started, but I guess I need to read it more often, since I've gotten some of my facts mixed up. I can deal with the candy being a snack, I usually don't eat all 3 or 4 pieces anyway. I can give it up, too.

Thank you again for your responses and congratulations on your successes! I hope to join you soon!..

Comment #3

The same works for calories as well. Splenda for instance has just under 5 calories per packet. But because it's less than 5, they can put "zero".

Monica - I say lose the candy and have a healthier snack, such as dill pickle spears or even some low sodium bullion. Even sugar-free Jello would be better than candy of any kind!..

Comment #4

I do what corbi does and count everything that says 0 carb as 1 carb even if it isnt! For coffee I use 2 tbsp torani sugar free syrup and count it as 1 carb even though it says 0 on the bottle (you know how it goes - no decimals lol) then I use 1 individual container of half and half - I buy a big box of those little things because it's easier for me to measure (as in I dont have to measure it lol) That counts as 2 carbs, and I count the actual coffee as 1 carb. So all in all if I have coffee in the morning it gets counted as 4 carbs, unless I have it black (2 carbs) or if I only mix it with a shake (shake + 1 carb).

Try making the reeses peanutbutter cups with the hot cocoa for a candy craving - if you dont have pb2 I use 1 tsp peanutbutter (1 carb) with 2 tsp torani sf vanilla for the filling - pic on my blog!..

Comment #5

Go for low fat rather then fat free, most fat free has 1 to 2 carbs more per serving then low fat. Then depending on what you have for your L&G you can sometimes count it as your healthy fat serving...

Comment #6

Those carbs are not that "hidden." Fat free products compensate for lost taste by adding more sugar. Medifast suggests low fat or even half and half (measured and limited) in your coffee. Sugar free candy is not part of this diet at all..

I am concerned that you are using all these "sweets" to get you through the next meal. That can lead to trouble down the line, something that can cause you to regain..

Sometimes we read the documentation and interpret is as we would like it to read. The condiment list is not a list of "free foods" but a "limit" guide. The Medifast people know what works and have designed this product for optimum health and weight loss..

You seem surprised to find the candy you were eating wasn't fitting in the plan? It's still candy and has no place in a weight reduction diet..

I don't think you plateaued, I think you just weren't losing, a big difference. Since you haven't really been on Medifast or in ketosis, I suggest you pick a date in the very near future to start. Maybe after the weekend. Get online and READ everything, including the transition and maintenance plan. Maintenance is how you will be eating for life! Notice the lack of cookies, candy, cakes, fast food, etc. UNDERSTAND what Medifast is and why you want to be on it.

Do you think you can stop looking to replace "goodies" and stop thinking you've given up so much for the diet? Start looking at what's best for YOU? This diet requires a little preparation of the mind and the fridge. Plan ahead for your L&G...plan your snack (if you choose to have one) ahead of time, know the condiment and veggie list. This is so important if you are going to truly make Medifast work for you...

Comment #7

Wow, you don't pull any punches, do you? I DID read everything, including the T&M plan. I'm sorry I'm not perfect and misinterpreted some things and that I didn't MEMORIZE IT. It's hard, and I know I have some issues I need to work through. I also have a husband and a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old that I am not going to get rid of all the juice, fruit, crackers and other snacks that they eat because I need to lose weight. I work full-time and I volunteer at my church every Sunday afternoon with 15 4-year-olds that I also have to feed. I have lost 10 pounds in the past 3 weeks.

You call that support? I guess you can only support people that are perfect, like you...

Comment #8

Monica - Rather than let one person derail you, go up to the edit Profile/Settings. Under miscellaneous there is a link for buddy/ignore list. Enter the person's user name to your ignore list and viola! You don't have to read any more posts from that person ever...

Comment #9

Monica it speaks volumes for your commitment, that even though you probably haven't gotten into ketosis you have remained doing Medifast and still lost..

A lot of people are surprised by the extra carbs they don't realize they are eating. You are not the first nor will you be the last..

Like Dh says you can put a person on ignore and move on.

By the way LOVE your name.

Huggs from another Monica LOL..

Comment #10

Monica, don't give up on Medifast or this site. There are all sorts of support out there. The important thing is that you noticed what you were doing and that you don't continue to do it. That's what matters. Now you know and "knowing is half the battle" eris that GI Joe? At any rate, you can do it! You can lose weight and have your coffee too. You just have to adjust it a bit.

Try the pickles or maybe a portion of your L&G to tide you over. You CAN do this!..

Comment #11

You know, once you actually get into ketosis you may find that the cravings for sweets etc get more managble!.

Don't give up on this forum. I am new here - and I am finding all kinds of motivation and answers in here..

Good luck, you can do this. It just takes some getting used to. Don't be afraid to ask questions!..

Comment #12

Monica you are one busy woman! Knowledge is power and now you know. (A couple of things,actually, about those carbs and how to ignore.) You got this. Hang in there! Please come back there are many of us that have been where you are and are here for support!..

Comment #13

You asked a to get your carbs under control. I answered and pointed out why what you were doing was only going to hurt you in the long run. If you don't really want to know where you derailed, say so. Say you just want to vent or something. I am so happy you lost 10 pounds, I was going by your own ticker that said less than 2 pounds. I can only respond to what you put out there.

Candy will still be off limits no matter what I say. Having to feed other people? Really? I spend every single day feeding other people...that's really not an excuse for candy..

By the way, I said you didn't know how to read...I said you need to study it and learn more about it. In your post, you said you thought you could have fat free, sugar free, candy, etc. Since it's obviously not written in the plan, I have to assume you either just plain wanted to eat it without any regard or you misunderstood. Again, I must be wrong and forgive me for not being all gushy with you...I have my own life, problems, struggles and just offered up what was obvious. There are plenty of people who post regularly who can teach you how to eat around the plan and enjoy all kinds of off plan stuff. I hope you find what you're looking for..

The advise you were given above is good, click on my name and IGNORE. Easy!..

Comment #14

Monica, there is a reason why some seem to attack. What that reason is, none of us have found out. There are certain members you will want to avoid. It's good to learn this in the beginning. You will do just fine! Look at the individuals pages and their personal experience ie: tickers to see who is a d isn't successful in this plan when you choose to take their advice. Silence in this area speaks volumes!.


Comment #15

I'm hypothyroidism as well, so I can't mix shakes with my morning coffee, but I have found that Hot Cocoa works well for a mocha fix, and tastes better in my opinion then the shakes! I just take a little bit of coffee, mix it with the powder then pour it into the rest of my cup. If your using instant coffee, like Starbucks Via (which is freaking delicious btw) just mix the powder and Via packet together with a little water, add the rest of the water and heat it up...

Comment #16

Oh no, don't leave the forum, just do as the last person suggested, the ignore, and come back! I'm new at this but it seems that there are some good tips and support in this forum. And some really nice people! : )..

Comment #17

There are shakes that are not soy based. The 3 anti-oxidant shakes are whey protein based rather than soy. I've found that taking my thyroid meds right as I get up in the morning, then eating about 8 am has worked well for me...

Comment #18

Liquidchr0me, funny that you mention Via, that's what started this whole thing in the first place! I was going to make myself a cup of coffee in the afternoon w/ Via (which IS delicious!) and was debating because I had already had my condiments for the day... I figured, well, how bad can it be? To think, I was worried about the 1/2 & 1/2, until I checked out the Truvia! and that set the ball rolling, downhill I might add....

That's what really floored me. I had already determined the nutritional content of the creamer (which the brand I use is the same for FF and Lite) and have been using less and less as time goes by so that it fell fine under the 3 condiment limit. I keep sugar-free mints at my desk so when I have the urge to munch on something I don't hit the snack machine. Up to 3 pieces of sugar-free gum or mints can be had as an optional snack, I thought. I have 1 or 2 most days. I didn't look at the nutritional information because up to 3 pieces were allowed, so why bother?.

If I were to wait until I studied the whole program so that I can do it perfect from the start, I would probably never get started in the first place. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I wasn't looking for reasons WHY I'm over on carbs, I was looking to see how other people have overcome it. Hence the post "Need help on getting carbs under control", not "why am I not losing weight?".

The craving for sweets and bread is all but gone, however, isn't a little hypocritical to say it really goes away? I mean, it looks like 90% of Medifast meals are sweet, and a lot of the recipes are how to make Medifast meals look/feel/taste like regular food. I've seen recipes for pizza, cookies, muffins, etc. Yes, I get hungry and when that happens I either drink a diet coke, water, or just eat my next meal. The 1 or 2 sugar-free mints are for the times that the food has either left a bad taste in my mouth or I just need to chew on something. I've ordered some Medifast snacks, they should get here sometime next week..

So I don't understand why my ticker doesn't update if I've updated my weight in the tool, is there somewhere else we're supposed to change it? I can only check out the website every so often while I run reports at work and haven't explored the whole site. I was very encouraged by many posts I read and decided to put my question out there. I appreciate your help and I hope to get to know you all better as we go through this together..



Comment #19

On the community home page you have to put in your new weight and recreate your ticker. Then you have to copy and paste it in your signature. So basically you have to do it everytime you want to update it on your page..

Congratulations on your success so far!..

Comment #20

Hypocritical to say that the longing for sweet food goes away...? Hmm. Never thought of it that way. I guess I say (write) that because I have no problem staying on MF, no problem turning down things I used to love to eat. I bake and cook a lot, and have continued to do so for my family since I started Medifast (which wasn't even 2 wks ago, so I'm not an expert or anything) and I don't even want to taste it. That is new to me. As someone who could eat an entire cake, then want something sweet later...

It isn't like that now, and it's nice to feel like I am in control over the food, not the other way around..

I just like the way this diet makes me feel. I like that I don't go around obsessing over food all day long...

Comment #21

I absolutely LOVE being in control! Like you, I don't obsess over food like I used to either. What a great feeling!..

Comment #22

Well, now you know about the carbs. The manufacturers put carbs in everything, and that's why Medifast limits carbs and condiments. Just re-read the instructions and follow them, and you'll be fine. Unfortunately, the only way to control the carbs is to avoid them, but it's worth doing. Keeping your carbs down in the 80-85 range will make a difference in how you feel, and how much weight you lose..

No, it's not hypocritical to say it goes away. When you get into transition and maintenance, you'll find that the effect that "real" sweets has on you is entirely different than the effect the Medifast foods has on you. The craving for "sweets" that you have now that makes you think a strawberry shake cake tastes great isn't the same. I know how it feels, and I thought the same thing - but when you get done with 5&1, you'll find that your tastebuds have changed more than you realize..

This site's ticker is a mess. You have to log your weight, then go to the main page and recreate your ticker from scratch...

Comment #23

Some days the only thing I *can* control is what goes in my mouth - because I certainly seem unable to control what comes out of it!..

Comment #24

OMG! You can say *that* again!! Although you must have been talking about me!! LOL!.

Listen to Steph, Monica. She is very wise!..

Comment #25

Be careful now Ang, you know she is not the perfect role model! LOL! I am so just kidding! I love you Steph! Thanks for being you!..

Comment #26

Oh yea, I forgot about that! LOL! She's just about as close as it gets!! ROFLMAO!..

Comment #27

HEY! You mean... are you saying... that omg, I might not actually know EVERYTHING? I'm shocked. I'm offended. I'm horrified. I'm out of descriptors.....

And I'm laughing my butt off. Now that I'm over the irritation, I have to laugh at the idea that anyone ever DID think I thought I was perfect. I've been going back over my blog entries, and sheesh, the only mistake I DIDN'T make on 5&1 was going off plan! I did everything else I could possibly find to do wrong, and blogged about it too! It's really pretty funny in retrospect...

Comment #28

Yes it is Steph! Too funny! Now you have to get off your High Horse and get down amongst the restofus!..

Comment #29

I can't have been on a high horse, Ang. I'm afraid of heights. Ooooopppsss.... yet another Steph frailty. There are just too many to count!..

Comment #30

Well, that confirms it. I am going to HAVE to take down my shrine. LOL!..

Comment #31

I recommend that you replace it with a shrine to the human spirit - we're all living proof that we CAN overcome human frailties and succeed!.

Or, just put up a sex shrine. Whatever...

Comment #32

Ooooh ooooh! Sex shrine!!! Put up the sex shrine!!!!..

Comment #33

So this is something really small, but every little bit helps. I chew 1/2 stick of gum at a time, that way I can have twice as many..


Comment #34

You know, Barb, every little bit counts while on 5&1. I'm finding that not that I'm in maintenance, I don't need to pay as much attention to carbs except to be sure I'm getting enough when I'm working out - it's all about the calories for me now - but on 5&1 it matters a lot!..

Comment #35

I think that is the one Larry would choose too! LOL!..

Comment #36

I just like the way this diet makes me feel. I like that I don't go around obsessing over food all day long" [/i][/i].

This is exactly how I feel! I have friends at work doing WW. And while I think it's a great program, I myself don't like being on it as I hate that I am constantly thinking about what my next morsel will be so this makes me hungry all day long! I just joined a Medifast weight loss center to help me be more accountable as I cannot get online as much as I would like. I am also looking forward to their help when I get to maintenance as I feel that everyone seems to struggle with that. If I find any tips along the way I sure will pass them along. I will never berate anyone for the journey they are on..we are all in this to lose and the encouragement along the way helps us all to stay motivated! Let' get this ball Rolling..I told my son (8 years old) that today is the first day of the rest of my life! No more feeling horrible after more staying in on the weekends b/c of how horrible the night before' dinner made me feel. I'm done feeling that way. I sure wish I was bewitched and I could wiggle my nose and have the first 10 pounds gone...extra boost of confidence always helps! Good luck to all of us!..

Comment #37

Back to the original post - Yes, carbs are everywhere, and they really do add up. Keeping track is a pain in the rear, but well worth it. The times when I said "oh, I know what to do" is when I go over the carb limit. You are doing great by the way, weight loss looks good..

We all have busy lives, that is why Medifast works so well for many of us. I too have to cook dinner every single night. I am the only female in the house (besides the weiner dog) and they like "real meals" as my 6'2 teenager says. So I just had to adjust and keep it simple..

You can do this, just plan ahead..

Regarding the "sweets" - I was not a sweet eater, loved mexican, salty, spicy, food. When I first began MF, everything was so "sweet" I was worried that I would give up. I missed my salt! LOL - The soups, chili, chips, an occasional pickle and the eggs really helped..

I just steer clear of the "sweet" Medifast items..

Continued success to you - keep reading labels and enjoy your hectic life, it goes by so quickly..


Comment #38

I can't tell you how much I DON'T miss that feeling! Thanksgiving, I felt great while everyone else was moaning. Christmas, I felt great while everyone else was moaning. New Year's Day, I felt great while everyone was else was hungover and having a carb fest. Last Sunday when we had people over to cheer our Colt's on to the Superbowl my SO ate all day and drank. By 8pm he was moaning and went to sleep. I was happily drinking my dark chocolate shake and thinking, Boy, do I feel great! It's a wonderful feeling and a wonderful sense of accomplishment!.

Unfortunately, like you said, you can't just wiggle your nose but it works pretty quickly just doing the program as written!.

Congratulations to you and everyone for taking the steps towards a healthier and thinner you!..

Comment #39

OMG! y'all are hilarious! Love it! You made my morning! I totally agree with all of you that being on Medifast has given me my control back from whatever was controlling what went in my mouth. The freedom I've felt over the past few weeks has been paltipable, my husband comments on it almost every day. It was my first blog, too. I actually look forward to my next meal, not only because I'm hungry, but because they're so satisfying..

I had a fantastic weekend! 3rd weekend in a row with a birthday party w/ cake, pizza, chicken nuggets and I didn't want one bite! No big loss, but that's ok. Still had a loss during the week. I have totally scrapped the creamer and Truvia and am sticking to mixing my hot cocoa with my coffee and making that my first meal of the day (it is very yummy!) especially since I've been forgetting my 5th meal after dinner....

Thanks again for all the help and encouragement and I wish everyone continued success! C'mon February! I can take you!.

Happy Monday!..

Comment #40

Monica, I was addicted to french vanilla coffee mate and equal before starting MF. I mean, ADDICTED to the stuff. Didn't think I'd ever drink my coffee without it. Now I mix my cappaccino with my coffee. Yummy!..

Comment #41

I find I really need to watch those carbs too, they really sneak up on you. Like I didn't realize herbs even had carbs?! If you think about it they are plants...but I guess I never thought of it that way before. I still struggle with the coffee issue. I can drink it without creamer but still feel like I need some splenda or something. For the people that mix the hot cocoa or vanilla shake in their do you blend it? I tried dumping some vanilla shake in mine and it was a disaster! All clumpy..

Comment #42

Make it as a shake then use it like creamer, you can count it as one of your meals and just finish it off...

Comment #43

I'm going to throw you a curve ball. Don't stress about carbs. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs were once alive, bad carbs come from processed foods. While you are on the 5/1 plan, this is the time you use to learn what works for your body and what doesn't. I found I had the most weight loss when I stayed under 900 calories and kept my carbs in the 80's or 90's..

It takes a while to get used to this diet but as we all can attest, if you stick to the plan it works. Find alternatives for the bad carbs you are eating. I agree, however, you should figure out a way to dump the candy. Those of us who have fought weight issues most of our lives must realize unless we make changes, we are going to gain the weight back when you reach the maintenance stage. There are some things you will probably never eat again. It only hurts when you think about it.

Somebody posted that they have young children with this and that in their pantry and was planning on getting rid of that stuff. Remember, you are on MF, not the rest of your family. It will always be that way so you need to figure out how to handle your eating habits and those of your kids. I have 12 yr old twin boys who are skinny as rails so although we feed them healthy food and snacks, they are healthy cookies, whole wheat mac n cheese, and minimal processed foods. And what 12 yr old doesn't love cheese pizza. When I lose control, I am chowing on the mac n cheese and I have a difficult time eating just one piece of pizza.

I don't want to continue going back to the 5/1 the rest of my life. I learned from this weight gain, I do indeed need to watch what I eat the rest of my life. And, I really thought I had this under control...

Comment #44

Coffee issue - can we not have Fat free Coffee Mate french vanilla creamer and Splenda in our coffee? I have switched to decaf coffee but can't drink coffee without a flavor or sweet. I'm not a big sweet eater, salt & bread is my thing. But coffee has to be sweet for me to drink. I usually do 1.5 to 2 teaspoons creamer and 2 pkg splenda in a cup...

Comment #45

Sure, you can have it - but you have to count them as condiments. See the guides on the Success Tools page up above for help..

Instead of creamer and splenda, have a french vanilla shake for breakfast and use some of that in your coffee. That way you can save your condiments...

Comment #46

Not counting those hidden carbs is probably why I only lose on average a pound and a half a week instead of two. I tend to chew gum all day because I usaully have a bad taste in my mouth. There is only so many times during the work day when I can brush my teeth. I will have to be more mindful of those carbs especially now when I am so close to my goal...

Comment #47

It does make a difference, although I found it made more difference in how I felt than in how much weight I lost. I mean, you're going to lose weight on 900 calories a day. Maybe ketosis helps that some - but where it REALLY helped me was in suppressing hunger, and feeling better...

Comment #48

I seldom lost more than .5 lbs per week and I seldom used condiments. Everyone is different and frankly, I would have killed to average 1.5 lbs per week!..

Comment #49

When I'm really craving carbs, I have one of the Medifast snacks. They are great and are made of soy. We are allowed one snack per day...

Comment #50

I chew gum all day too! That coppery taste in my mouth is yucky. I got a tip from another member here to break the gum in half. That is what I have done today. Instead of the 4 I would have chewed by now, I have only had 2...

Comment #51

YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!! Are You KIDDING??? Ten Pounds in three weeks is exceptional especially given the demands that you are dealing with in terms of feeding children. good grief! Snack time when I work with kids is always hugely difficult because my patience is a little thin, and those graham crackers or pretals or whatever seem sooooooo tempting. So I just wanted to say : Go YOU!!!! and Go YOU for coming to the forum to ask for help and share your discoveries. Learning these things.....higher carbs in fat free etc are just some of the tricks of the trade in a lifetime of weight management. you are doing just great with your process and discovery!!!!!..

Comment #52

May I quote you? Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write something I found pretty inspiring. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to stick to this diet with 2 skinny 12 year old around!!! I just feel that if you can do it, I surely can, with a lot less temptations to deal with. When I started this the first time around I boxed up all hubby food (we don't eat junk so it was stuff like peanut butter and whole grain pasta, etc.) and put it in his office. He was OK with that. It just helped me to gain control over just having that stuff around. Retired, time on hands etc, just too easy to go grab a spoonful of pb..

So anyway, thanks for writing. You helped me today..

Comment #53

SuperMonica I agree - I am also struggling - I work 4 12 hour days plus some overtime on top of it, have a 17month old and a husband who works graveyard. Soooo I understand your frustration. We are all here because of our struggles. You can email me anytime and we will figure it out together. I agree that is not support )))..

Comment #54

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