The first few days
As you begin the Medifast Centers Program, you may feel hungry, tired or irritable as your body adjusts to the reduction in calories. This is temporary, but make sure you keep close watch on your hunger during this time. If you’re excessively hungry or tired in the first few days, have an extra Medifast Meal or a couple additional ounces of lean protein (egg whites, etc.). It’s better to have an extra Medifast Meal than to go off your program entirely. Within a few days, these symptoms will disappear, leaving you feeling energized and confident. You can make this adjustment period easier by doing the following:
- Choose a start date when you don’t expect any special food-centered events.
- Stay busy.
- Remind yourself that you are on a journey to improve your health, and take it one day at a time.
- Avoid the sights and smells of food, and stay focused on your health goals.
Some people lose weight quickly in the first few weeks and then experience slightly slower (yet steady) results as they go along. It’s important to weigh yourself regularly at the same time of day, using the same scale, and wearing the same clothes each time. Weight fluctuates, even in the same day, due to differences in fluids, hormones, and other factors. So notice changes beyond pounds, like how your clothes fit as you lose body fat and inches. Stay aware of how you feel— physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Hitting a plateau
At some point, you may find that your weight loss slows down or seems to stop. If you notice you haven’t lost any additional weight within a two-week period:
- Make sure you’re following your plan exactly, not skipping meals, and sticking to
your Lean & Green Meal guidelines, which includes weighing and measuring your portions carefully.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water— at least eight glasses (64 oz) a day.
- Pick the lowest carbohydrate vegetables from your Green Options list.
- Skip optional snacks to further reduce your carbohydrate intake.
- Try a new form of exercise, or add extra time or intensity to your current routine.
- Keep your workouts to under 45 minutes while you are on the 5 & 1 Plan®, as overexercising can slow weight loss, too.
Here are some ways to make your Medifast Centers Program easier and more effective:
- Keep a food journal to track your successes, challenges, feelings, and observations.
- Space your meals carefully. Eat every two to three hours to help control your blood sugar and maximize steady weight loss.
- Don’t skip meals, which can decrease your nutrient balance and slow down your metabolism—and your weight-loss results.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Spend at least 15 minutes eating each meal. Cut bars into small pieces, and eat one little bite at a time.
- Drink lots of fluids. Make sure you get at least 64 ounces of water each day. In addition, you can have calorie-free beverages like unsweetened tea or coffee, sparkling water, or diet soda.
- Limit caffeine to 300 mg a day. Following a reduced-calorie meal plan might make you more sensitive to caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol, even low-carb versions, since alcohol adds non-nutritious calories, stimulates your appetite, and can deplete your body of water. Even one drink can slow your weight loss.