Why I Switched from Weight Watchers to Medifast

INTRO NUMBER TWO: The Billboard Effect.

Weight Watchers FitPoints (Activity Points): Exactly How Do They Work?
There are two ways to follow Slim 4 Life. I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. I think I had 3 cookies all of Christmas and was careful with food choices. I am on it right now and have lost about 16 lbs in 5 weeks. Want a natural way. I think I have enough for at least a month or two. I truly want to lose weight but need a quick start for now.

Slim 4 Life Ingredients


If making dietary changes we recommend consulting with your medical doctor. Coaching and networking, weighing in and showing up, online or in person—like I did back in the day in a church basement with a couple of dozens other folks fingers-crossed on the scale, chatting together, sharing recipes, and listening to a motivational leader. I understand the attraction to Weight Watchers. Been there, done that, and, I have been successful.

And that's the point; the weight didn't stay off so I, like millions more, yo-yo diet. On the Trim Down Club website, club members like the women I met every Saturday morning at weigh-ins in the days of yore meet up with other club members; the supportive and active Trim Down Club community.

More than 1 million members and a social media following of nearly , cannot be wrong. Many people who search for diet information about Weight Watchers also check out the Ketogenic system.

Like many, I have done similar diets where you put your body into Ketosis—like Atkins. Comparing it to Weight Watchers is a bit of a stretch though given Weight Watchers does not severely restrict carbohydrate intake. But the two are pretty dissimilar. Not a good match. Nutrisystem is another diet that pops up in searches for diets similar to Weight Watchers likely because of the prepared, packaged or ready-made meals and snacks. Weight Watchers has really cornered the market on prepared foods found in nearly all of your supermarket aisles.

Nutrisystem , though extremely popular, relies on pre-made, processed and packaged foods. As I mentioned, Weight Watchers encourages but does not restrict carbs. Just about every frozen Weight Watchers entree has white pasta or white rice with a smattering of protein and lots of carrots. I know this because for years, on and off, I ate them regularly. And finally, the 21 Day Fix is a diet that often appears when people are surfing the Web for diets like Weight Watchers.

But they are about as close as fifth cousins. The 21 Day Fix is wildly popular and trendy and among the most searched diets. And at 21 days, it couldn't be more dissimilar to Weight Watchers which has only your goal weight defining the duration. The Trim Down Club helps folks make the change for life. If you follow the diet religiously —and it is very doable—you absolutely will lose weight, usually in the neighborhood of a pound or two a week.

But hopefully the habits learned while on Weight Watchers will stick. I mean you can , you can lose. In , Nidetch sold Weight Watchers to R. I suppose that was a smart move on her part and made her filthy rich. Heinz, obviously, is a mega-food producer and one of the kings of processed foods, and while it sold most of Weight Watchers to a European entity about 17 years ago, it still produces Weight Watchers packaged foods under the Weight Watchers label and Smart Ones brand.

And I am here to tell you, I ate my share and then some of those so-called Smart Ones frozen pepperoni pizzas, and I did not do myself any favors. So go on, try Weight Watchers. But please buy and prepare your own meals using fresh whole foods. Do not buy their crap Sorry, Oprah. And finally, since loss-gain-return, loss-gain-return is the cycle for the vast majority of people on Weight Watchers—and the money-counters hope you do keep coming back—consider this a word to the wise: I know; they are speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

If you try Weight Watchers and gain the weight back, you are not a failure. So, yes, Weight Watcher is worth a try, if you are one of the actual smart ones who does not buy into the product line and works to maintain your weight loss.

Trust me on this, sisters. Fit page, Weight Watchers Australia website, accessed 15 October , https: Plans Page, Weight Watchers website, accessed 15 October , https: Anyone Use Weight Watchers Before? Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes.

It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Aways consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements. Articles, reviews and investigations are our own opinion, and written based on the information publicly available or simply contacting the companies.

We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. This means that if you purchase an item following one of the links, we will receive a commission. Regardless of that, we only recommend the products or services, that we strongly believe will benefit our readers. Read full disclosure here. What Is Weight Watchers? You go off the diet. You regain the weight. You go back on the diet.

The Big Idea Then after being on a diet recommended by health officials, Jean had an epiphany and figured out what would work. My Firsthand Experience In my first experience with Weight Watchers, I lost 23 pounds in three months; I still feel proud of that today.

Weight Watchers Point System Weight Watchers implemented a points system in the s, where foods were given a numerical value based on nutritional profile. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle: I dieted and exercised the heck out of every day--eating very little. After losing the weight I felt better and ate normal, healthy meals.

Over the last five years I have gained about 15 pounds. Reaching 40 was like a stopwatch to my metabolism. In November I picked up running to spend more time with fit family and friends. I am doing the "Run Double C25K"--an app to help you run a 5k in 9 weeks.

Since I have never ran a step in my life, this is a challenge, but I want to be healthier, fit, and to spend time with other healthy people to stay on track. I haven't lost one pound and use that as motivation to keep moving. Surely all those skinny runners looked just like me when they started! Alanna you look great and each of us will succeed using different methods, sometimes even the same methods at different times.

Can't wait to hear more about your successes. Thanks for your honesty and for revealing that different things work for different people at different times of life. A friend at work lost a lot of weight using Medifast and it's transformed her life--she even just went platinum blonde and is still slender after transitioning to mainly real food again--in her early 60s. I lost a little over 30 pounds counting calories in my early 40s when I developed hypertension and around 10 of them slipped back on with perimenopause I've figured out I need more protein now and less carbs.

Hard realization for a carb lover, but my body is talking! Thanks for the inspiration! And you size up the program exactly right, "It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple. I didn't realize you were a successful WW!! You've really got me thinking on that one This column inspired me to take a chance on a new program.

I've been considering going back to WW "again", to loose the 20 pounds which crept back over the last 6 months. But I'm a very picky eater, a great cook, and to top it off, help my neice operate her scratch bakery. Not a good weight loss combination. Since I am certain you are particular about food with a discerning palate would you be willing to share your favorite medifast "meals".

It's a short list. At first, I could tolerate the chicken noodle soup but I've got three boxes on hand and am having to force myself to eat one a day just to get rid of it. I like the spice pancakes and the chocolate pudding but don't order them because I really don't want to get used to sweet and carb-y things, which I didn't eat before and certainly don't want to get started on.

I hated the eggs. I hated the sloppy joes. I hated the vegetable soup. I liked so few things, I sent everything except shakes and bars back Medifast has a good return policy and stopped trying any others. I'm not bored with the shakes, they're filling, they help me drink more liquid, I like them hot and cold. I know that the Medifast forum is full of people who take the food and turn them into something else eg some today who doesn't like the chocolate shakes says that they make good brownies but I do not want to pretend this is "cooking" or "real food".

So I ignore those possibilities. For the record, I am NOT a picky eater with real food. While there are a few things I don't care for sweetbreads and Wonder bread or prefer cooked one way more than another boiled kale vs sauteed kale , it is rare for me to not like something.

The one thing I'd say is, do everything you can t take charge now at 20 pounds. Don't let it turn into 30 or 40 or worse. I wish I'd followed my own advice. Thank you for the article. I at a point where I really need to loose the weight-again-and keep it off this time. My health is affected by the extra weight. I know of other people who have chosen meal replacement programs with great success. My question to you which I can't find in the article is why this program and not Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem?

I was younger than 40 at the time and thought "not me!! To be honest, I was in my late 40s when I began to notice this. It wasn't just weight creeping up, it was that I didn't feel well eating like I did when I was younger. At about the same time I read about a group of people who maintained their health and had minimal weight gain throughout their lifetimes.

It didn't prompt me to eat the way they did, but it did inspire me to find out how people in other countries and cultures ate.

There were a lot of similarities and some differences -- mostly in exactly what they ate. I also started thinking back to when I was growing up in the s and s -- when it was rare to see someone who was truly overweight. I was also in contact with older adults, many of whom weren't significantly overweight and had few health problems. I either observed or asked them about their eating habits.

I started noticing some similarities. The slim, healthy people in other countries and the slim, relatively healthy older adults I saw had some things in common. Most never ate processed foods. If they did, they were consumed rarely. And contrary to the advice now to snack throughout the day, most never snacked. If they did snack it was only once a day. Among the older adults, those who were slim ate less than they had when they were younger.

Not little enough to be malnourished, but definitely less than when they were in their prime. I eat three meals daily and rarely snack. About the only time I snack is if a meal is going to be significantly late. I do eat less at meals.

Two of my meals, usually breakfast and lunch, tend to be smaller and one is larger. I don't feel deprived because I'm satisfied with how much and what I eat. There's nothing I don't eat, but many things that I don't eat often.

If I really want something, I have it. I also have a general plan of what to eat at meals. I'm also a fan of Michael Pollan's mantra: I've found that I don't need to eat as much real food to be satisfied.

Another thing I learned is that it's perfectly normal, in fact, somewhat necessary, for a woman to gain pounds from the time she's about 20 until her mids.

It has to do with reproduction. This has been observed throughout the world and throughout history. It's even observed in art where maidens are slim and matrons are, well, more matronly. Part of the reason it may be hard for those of us "of a certain age" to lose weight is that we're not supposed to weigh the same as when we were younger.

Alanna, I wish you the best of luck on Medi-Fast! A couple of years ago my friend lost 40 pounds on the program, at the same time I was losing 20 lbs on Jenny Craig. Two years later, she's gained 35 lbs back, and I've gained Since I've gone vegan 9 months ago none of those "packaged" plans will work for me, they all rely on animal protein of some sort. However, if you "use" Medifast as a jumping point and maintain from there, awesome!

I just couldn't do it, call me a packaged diet failure. Alanna, you look wonderful! I really enjoyed your story. I'ts similar to mine. I lost 80lbs and my husband lost lbs on WW about 12 years ago. I am a lifetime member and even worked for WW as a meeting leader for a year quit because a new job forced me to travel a lot.

However, like many of us, I've gained the weight back. I wanted to do Medifast for a while, but I was worried that it really didn't teach about how to cook or eat.

It, like many other weight loss programs, just gives you the food to eat to lose weight. I liked learning what a portion is i. However, my sister-in-law pointed out something to me. She said, "You worked for WW, you know how much to eat, how to cook, and what you should do.

You're just having a hard time doing it. If you're goal is to lose weight and feel better, Medifast can help you do that. Then implement what you know you should do to keep it off. I just was having a hard time doing the WW plan; too "open" for me right now.

So, on to Medifast. I've lost 38lbs in 3 months and I haven't had one issue following the plan. Thanks so much for your post and inspraition. So glad you posted this!

As it turned out, I just got back from a trip and started on Medifast yesterday for the first time the package arrived while I was away. Love the tip about making the shake with coffee.

I'll definitely try that. I don't have a lot of weight to lose only about 15 pounds , but have just not been able to motivate myself to reduce my food intake enough to get rid of it. I think that putting myself on a diet like this where I have specific food to eat each day is the kind of structure I need to jump-start my weight loss. I usually eat well fresh foods from scratch, with lots of lean protein and veggies, not many sweets , so the idea of the pre-packaged food wasn't all that exciting to me.

I just bought the 2-week variety pack to try it out. If it works out OK, I'll order more. Since I don't need to lose a lot, I don't expect to be on it for more than a few months. If I find it hard to stick with it for a long stretch of time, perhaps I'll try alternating the Medifast food with home-cooked food on alternate weeks or even alternate days. As long as I'm lowering my overall food intake, I should still lose weight, though more slowly, of course.

Congratulations on your weight loss, and sticking with it! It's a great inspiration to me. Hi Alanna--I left a message on your blog but I guess it was after you closed it to comments. I am just wondering why you chose medifast over other meal replacement systems like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. Congrats on your weight loss--I hope to be down 20 to 30 lbs by this summer. In part, that's because I didn't "choose" Medifast, it chose me by virtue of my friends Kathy and Georgia starting it.

I did no other research. I honestly didn't even think of it but also know that I am often confounded by too many choices, leading to long periods of indecision. Sorry, not much help as you make your own deliberations! The "snack" ideas do resonate, since one of the things I most appreciate about Medifast is the frequency of the food intake. A meal implies something else, and for me, at least for now and I hope for later, more small and healthy meals during the course of a day feels right, keeping my sugar levels even over many hours.

My idea for these "non meal" meals are a small bowl of vegetable soup or a small salad or a small piece of protein or a small piece of fruit. There IS a difference between a girl's physique and a "matron's". My very thin friends somehow appear gaunt and wiry and tired, those with some healthy weight seem to glow.

Thank you, thank you, for adding so much to this conversation. Is "vegan" working as a weight loss vehicle for you? Mark Bittman of course lost many, many pounds with his "vegan until dinner" approach. I know that the first time I gained weight, back in my 30s, was when I stopped eating meat.

It's not fair to blame vegetarianism, it's just that I wasn't well-educated and switched to cheese as one protein source. That is terrific, go, go, go. And it really encourages me that I'm not alone in using both WW and Medifast as different tools at different times in our lives.

Your sister is a wise woman! If you're not used to caffeine, be careful using a full 2 cups of coffee to make the shake, it will, at least it did me, give you a bad-bad case of the shakes! Really interesting post - I'll be looking forward to hearing about your experiences going forward. Keep up the good work. Just for clarification, by "snack" I mean anything eaten between the three major meals. I define "treat" as cake, cookies, anything dessert-like. I don't see popcorn as a treat so much, but carmel corn or any of the sweetened popcorns would be a treat.

So a snack isn't necessarily a treat, but it could be. Your goal around "thinking about food less" really hit home for me. Any tips on how you reached this goal would be appreciated! I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since , but spent a lot of that time over goal. Two years ago, I got back down to goal and am now working part time for Weight Watchers. I agree that the importance of maintaining a healthy weight trumps other considerations.

I believe everyone must do what works best for them. I am so glad that you are losing weight, becoming healthier and feeling better about yourself. Losing weight is difficult, and maintaining a healthy weight is even more difficult. We constantly must start over and try new techniques. Good luck on your healthy living journey. By the way, my husband and I enjoyed Chicken Sybil for lunch today. Alanna, so feel like we could be sisters.

Have treasured this blog, along with Veggie Ventures for years. Have been on and off WW for almost 40 years. Still believe WW is best program if you take time to plan and follow program. Four years ago I was at my highest weight ever. My father in law had been on Medifast without telling us. He asked if I really wanted to loose weight. I had been skeptical about packaged foods and cost.

Yet when you really step back and think about it, it was skilled at buying ingredients with the best of intentions, changing plans, forgetting the recipe and then throwing away the food. Wasted food, larger clothes, and most importantly diminishing health can be even more costly than the MF plan.

With thyroid issues, to ease my mind, I also checked with our family physician. He gave his seal of approval. Originally I questioned how some of the prepackaged "meals" could keep me full. Like you, it took trial and error to find the meals I preferred. Tastes do change over time.

Recommend reconsidering some of the items you did not like earlier. I started Medifast in May and am approaching 60 pounds lost. This is my "mindless", stress management diet. I keep a variety of products well stocked so I can change my mind easily for each meal. Looking forward to maintenance, I can see Medifast as a quick option if those pesky 5 or so pound start to creep back on. I do believe that everyone is different and will champion any plan that works for someone as long as they are not compromising their health in the process.

For me, going truly low carb makes a difference. It irritates me to see all of the high carb options with WW and the many "healthy" frozen entrees by a number of brands. Wish they'd focus more on ramping up veggies and decreasing carbs.

Enough of my Saturday morning rant. Thanks for being a blessing to so many of your readers. Dear Alanna, I have only just "met" you having stumbled on your site while looking for a recipe.

I am a Weight Watchers Lifer who after several false starts on WW finally lost over 70 lbs 8 years ago and have kept it off. What did I do differently my last time on WW? I had also heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and execting different results.

Once I lost the weight it was always "Woo Hoo! This time was different. Then when I reached my goal weight 8 years ago I was so excited because I was finally able to start what I had set out to do when I joined. It was like I was finally in front of the door I had been waiting for for so long. I was going to start the maintenance program.

And I have never looked back. If you think you can eat a lot on WW when losing weight, you should see what Maintenance looks like! I wish you much success on Medi Fast but if you ever end up back on WW you might want to consider my strategy. Thank you for your great blogs and your enthusiasm for healthy food and for including WW points in your recipes. There's a big difference between my goal and my current reality.

The goal was to really step away from food, to stop reading about it, to stop writing about it and definitely to stop cooking it and thus going through the constant consideration of What's in the fridge? The reality is that I got away from that last but not away from the first ones, you'd think they would have been the easier ones! I'm still a work-in-progress on this regard but I am slowly filling my time with non-food interests again. How would you do it? I am happy that official WW people are finding what I'm doing to make sense, if only for awhile.

Your words really made my day, thank you. I'm so glad you wrote. I know it's because my practice was to do 18 points a day most days, then relax on the weekends.

And that system worked for me for about four years! Thanks for sharing Alanna. I lost 50 pounds thru attention to diet and exercise a few years ago but still had about 50 to go. You have inspired me to try medifast. Thank you for posting your experience and being so honest and forthcoming. I'm a WW life-timer and loyal to the program. I've been hesitant to post a comment because I did not want to appear as a troll or as negating others' experience.

That's not my intention. So, that said, here is my concern One's overall health status and underlying medical conditions can be at the heart of being unable to maintain a healthy weight. I understand the struggle with weight loss and maintenance. After all, I didn't end up in Weight Watchers because I ate healthy and exercised regularly.

However, I've often struggled since attaining my goal weight. Some times, I wasn't faithful to the program, and that is correctable. It's these times that a physician, not a new weight loss plan, was my best course of action. So, my intention is to encourage your readers to evaluated their own health and visit their doctor prior to adopting a new diet if they think it might be necessary.

I, too, needed a change from Weight Watchers. I am a lifetime member, but currently over my desired weight.

I tried WW several more times, with no success I decided on Jenny Craig for many of the same reasons, and I am finding the change was a good one. As a real-food cook, I was worried, but the meals are tolerable, and once I got past the first week of starving, even cooking for my family is ok--they were kind enough to eat dinners out the first week!

I worried about all the processed food and still do , so I was glad to hear the friend's advice that the important thing is to lose the weight and keep it off.

I do the Jenny 5 day plan loosely , which gives me 6 meals a week on my own, with their guidelines. I sometimes do more than 6 on my own, but have plenty of Jenny meals and snacks in the freezer for back up. I agree--find something that works for you in this stage of your life. There's another way to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as most other common diseases of aging, but it requires a complete paradigm shift-- to being fueled by fat, not carbs.

In this way you can keep your blood sugar low and consistent without having to "eat" every hours. And I think you're totally right to be suspicious of highly processed food-- it's not food! Look at what humans have been eating for most of our time on this earth-- it wasn't grains or sugars, and it sure as heck wasn't processed food. The longterm health risks of a carb-fueled, processed-food diet are still significant, even if you lose weight. And starving yourself is not the answer.

You'll lose weight with calorie-restricted carb-based diets, but it will always come back. I've been eating this way low carb, meats, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit, all real unprocessed food for two years and have never felt better. Best wishes to you and thanks for a great source of wonderful veggie recipes!

Alanna, Three years ago, I reached that very low place where my weight was at an all time high, and I was no longer chubby but FAT.

The good folks at Weight Watchers decide your initial weekly FitPoints Goal number, based on your age, gender, weight, and activity level. You could be doing aerobics, or you could just be walking to work, waging war against bathroom soap scum, or dancing your heart out at a party.

You just have to keep track of the amount of time you engaged in the activity, and the intensity level low, moderate, or high of the activity. You're not sweating from the activity, or breathing more rapidly than normal. You're breathing more rapidly than normal, but not out of breath not winded. You are able to converse but not able to sing while performing the activity. You can't converse normally while performing this activity, but can only utter short phrases.

Weight Watchers Research Dept. You can either enter it manually in the activity section of your account, or you can use a tracking device or app, such as Fitbit, which connects directly to your Weight Watchers account.

The revamp took effect in December , when Weight Watchers introduced their holistic Beyond the Scale approach sounds like a sci-fi sequel: Star Wars Episode 14, Beyond the Scale. For one, Weight Watchers says that your weekly FitPoints goal is fully personalized for you by WW, taking into account your age, gender, height, weight, and current activity level. Previously, with Activity Points, you would just calculate the points to earn using a more generalized, clumsier online tool.

The actual FitPoints you earn that are exchangeable for SmartPoints doesn't really vary much based on your weight and gender. The number of points you earn is overwhelmingly based on the time and intensity of the activity. FitPoints are easier to earn as well.

Plain and simple, you get points as soon as you start moving. With the old Activity Points, you had to reach a baseline before you could score — for example, you might have had to walk 3, steps to get points. Now, you could walk just a third of that and already earn as many as 2 FitPoints. What is FitBreak from Weight Watchers? FitBreak is an app that shows you very brief videos a few seconds long , and encourages you to then mimic that activity for exactly one minute.

If you do this 20 times over the course of the day a total of 20 minutes , you will receive 2 FitPoints. You must be logged into your regular Weight Watchers mobile app while using FitBreak, in order to automatically receive the points. When you start on Weight Watchers, you take an assessment where WW looks at your lifestyle and determines your first FitPoints goal. As mentioned, this goal is based on your personal factors.

For instance, if you currently spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, WW will start you off with a fairly low points goal. One is by wearing an activity tracker, such as the highly popular Fitbit, which integrates with your Weight Watchers account. The advantage of wearing an activity tracker is that you'll earn the most FitPoints this way.

Just make sure that your tracking app is synced to your Weight Watchers account so that your tracked activities are automatically converted and credited as FitPoints. Just log in to your My Day online dashboard, go to "Activity," and there you'll see where to input your activity. Even if you don't want to shell out for an expensive tracker, you can download a free pedometer app on your phone to count your steps for you. Once you get the hang of reaching your weekly FitPoints goals and for some people, WW is right in saying that this can be addictive , your goal will likely be changed to match your new lifestyle.

Weight Watchers Review