Cheating during Medifast - how to handle?

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Ugh, I cheated yesterday. Big time. Not even going to say what I ate because it's SO horrible and embarrassing. I'll just say this - once I'm in maintenance, it'll be something I allow myself once a week, and that's the absolute maximum..

It was just ... there ... and I was just ... hungry..

And was ****** me off the most is that I had TWO bars in my freaking purse that I could have easily eaten instead..

I'm SO ashamed and MAD at myself I could spit!..

Comments (31)

Please dont beat yourself up. Just get back on the plan..

It is a tough time of year! and well you are human,.

Dust off yourself and climb back on..

Medifast will see you successful.


Comment #1

Sam- don't worry about it, seriously! You know that you messed up, so own it and just move on! I've cheated several times but gotten right back up (with the help of my Medifast friends) and so can you! Nobody is expected to be perfect right out of the gate, or anytime, really...and all we can do is try our hardest!!..

Comment #2

Most of us have been there!!! Hop back on the wagon, and you'll be just fine!!! It's when you let one day turn into a week, turn into a month, etc, that it's really bad! You can do this!!..

Comment #3

Heck mad at yourself! And the next time you think about cheating......remember how it made you feel this time and it will detour you from cheating again. Yes...get right back on the saddle....but don't forget how it felt to fall off. Those are the feelings we need to hang onto to keep us straight the next time. GREAT work so far.....hang in there you deserve the best....and Medifast can help you get that!..

Comment #4

Do not be ashamed! We are only as sick as our secrets or something like that. Honestly, I have cheated a couple of times and I felt so bad about it, it just made it 10 times worse. Just remember how badly going off plan made you feel and perhaps the next time you have the urge to cheat you can reflect back and try to remember it is not worth the bad feeling you have afterward..

I wish I had done exactly what you did when I cheated, and that is come here and post about it. The power is gone from the problem when you tell others about it...

Comment #5

Just let your next meal be a Medifast one. Then rinse and repeat. All is not lost. You will just get to your goal a few hours later than you would have had you not eaten off program! =)..

Comment #6

Shame is a very toxic emotion - try to put a positive spin on it - you ate something you could have chosen not to eat, it felt bad, remember that and give yourself a break!.

Get back on the horse and let it go!..

Comment #7

Confession is good for the soul... time to get back on the horse, remember how this felt!..

Comment #8

Use this as a learning experience. Remember how it is making you feel and decide if it's worth it. AND jump right back on plan. And drinks lots of water..

Comment #9

Hey there. I agree with the fellow posters that feeling ashamed probably isn't going to help you in the short or long run. I'm one of the 100% OP all the time folks...but that doesn't mean I plan on beating you up over the off plan behavior. My advice is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, move on, but also learn from it and have a plan in place for a similar situation. I sound like a broken record about that, but it is what got me to goal and kept me 100% OP...planning, planning, planning.

I also took a close, hard, honest look at what food I was craving....and why I might be craving it. It helped me really truly honestly understand the emotional eater aspect of what got me to be 200+ pounds. I've found that work while I was on Medifast to be one of the most valued thing I did while on MF..

And I know maintenance is a while off...but a tiny word of wisdom. Whatever that food is...think about if that type of food should be in your maintenance diet, even once a week. I know that I had to say goodbye forever to some foods because they aren't healthy for me to be eating...the trigger me and start me, even ever so slowly down that bad path. It was tough and I resisted admitting that to myself for a long time, but once I did...and truly meant it, it made a world of difference. Just some pun intended "food for thought" as you get closer to transition and maintenance.



Comment #10

When I add shame into the mix, it tends to foster a mental state that actually keeps me cheating. Try to let go of the shame and focus on the fact that you're already back and moving forward...

Comment #11

You just have to move on... it's definitely not the end of the world... but disappointing yourself is the hardest part of this journey. I think being perfect is just a terrible quality to have.... and it's impossible to have perfection 100% of the time... I am always telling my 8 year old....

And best does not equal perfect. Good luck to you!..

Comment #12

Figure out what triggered it and move on, planning to handle it differently in the futuresave shame for things that are morally wrong, not making a mistake in your eating program. I wish I would have learned that lesson years ago.....


Month 1: -7, -3, -2, -2 (-14).

Month 2: -2, -3, 0, -3 (-8).

Month 3: -3, 0, -2..

Comment #13

The most important thing to do is to figure out why it happened. What were you feeling? Was anything "up" for you at the time? What triggered the off plan binge?.

If you can understand what emotions pushed you out of control, then the next time an urge hits you can address the cause, the emotional/mental stuff, and not get distracted by the stuff that's not actually true, the voice screaming "I'M HUNGRY!!!!".

From your story, you already know it wasn't physical hunger that made you do it, because you had 2 bars in your purse. So you're ahead of the game in that you've already ruled out one possible cause.

I had some amazing sessions with my therapist about the emotional causes for my eating. Fantastically helpful..

Good luck!..

Comment #14

Figure out why it happened so you can stop it next time. Hop right back on plan. We are all human, it's part of the process..

I ate some chips last week....have been fine for months. Couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. I had a weird period that started early, so I wasn't thinking the whole PMS salty thing or I would have had some puffs to head that off. Surprised me. But now I figured it out I know I will do better next time...

Comment #15

Thanks guys! I appreciate all the advice ....

I decided my response should probably be a new thread since it's a question for everyone. It's here if you guys want to read it:..

Comment #16

I have to disagree with those who say don't beat yourself up. BEAT YOURSELF UP! Give yourself the devil for cheating so early into the plan! But then, of course, get right back at it and don't look backexcept to remember that you DON'T want to do that again! And drink as much water as you can stand. Slugging down the water goes a long way towards neutralizing an unplanned eating episode. Good luck!..

Comment #17

You are only human so don't beat yourself up on this. We have to learn that one day of eating off the program doesn't mean a downwards spiral into binging and completely going off the Plan for "multiple" days. Even the Medifast book states that we might not always be 100% on plan and to try just getting back on plan as soon as you can...

Comment #18

I just glossed over the thread, but maybe you should talk to someone about the this statement. Now, I don't know you, but what I've seen around here, this quote can be a dangerous game to play...

Comment #19


I don't see anything wrong with the statement about "once I am in maintenance, I will allow myself something once a week" - I think that is great! We have to learn moderation while on the program, in maintenance, and the rest of our lives. If this helps someone - why the heck not?.

I know from my past experiences, that I used to beat myself up when I cheated, and then I would feel so bad that I would coninue eating everything in the house.

Last Friday I had a couple glasses of wine and ENJOYED them and did not let myself feel bad about eating off the program for that "moment". My weight loss even seemed to improve after that episode - but I got back on the program the very next day.

Will I have a glass of wine on Thanksgiving - probably - but I will also be watching and eating healthy vs. how I used to eat on other Thanksgivings gone by...

Comment #20

I agree with nancymarie. I've never been compulsive when it comes to food ... in the sense that if I have it once a week I will then want to have it more and more and more. But I do know one aspect of my personality:.

If I don't allow myself to have foods that I want every once in a while, then one day I will SNAP and BINGE ... and that's how the weight will come back on. It's sort of like the condiments while OP - my mom (who is also doing the program) refuses to have them. I on the other hand make sure that I do use all three a day - because once I get into maintenance, I'm going to go "MMM, MAYO! MMM, SYRUP! MMM, ALFREDO SAUCE!" And I'm going to pour way more than enough on everything. And gain the weight back..

Allowing myself this particular thing (which I'll share is fast food) once a week (a plain meal, no biggie sized, no extras) is a MUCH better idea for ME than to never eat it ....

Because then one day I'll smell McDonald's fries and go "OMG!" and I'll get a Big Mac meal, biggie sized, with extra cheese, a snack wrap, McNuggets, a shake, and an apple pie. I'll NEVER even be able to eat all that in one sitting, but trust me, it'll be heated up and eaten throughout that day, hahaa...

Comment #21

Having been down this weight loss road many, many times in the past, there is one thing I've learned. I'm an eater, period. Whatever the reasons, circumstances involved, I can and do return to eating poorly.

How that happens isn't because food jumped in my mouth, or I grabbed something while sleepwalking. It happened because I gave myself permission to do it in some way, shape or form.

"I'll just have this once a week, it won't hurt me," generally turned into I'll just have this twice a week, thrice a week, once a day, all day long. I think it's a slippery slope to start planning ahead into maintenance and beyond to include those things that currently make us loose control. But that's just my opinion. My opinion and 25 cents won't get you much these days...

Comment #22

And I do appreciate your advice FluffyBunny (and eagletrub) but I know the reasons that I gained weight in my youth (largely due to my parents divorce, food was a comfort) and the reasons that (once I snapped out of the "food as a comfort" phase) I kept the weight on as an adult (food that was fast, easy, and cheap ... due to my living situation and financial constraints)..

When I went away to college my first two years I was one of the few who LOST weight. I kept the fridge of my apartment stocked with fruits and veggies, and lots and lots of chicken. Of course I had some popcicles and chips for munching, but not too much junk food was ever kept in my apartment. I'm pretty confident that once I get down to my goal weight I'll be able to successfully keep the weight off, using things like fast food and munchies in very small moderation..

PERHAPS that sounds naive. And if I do see that the choices I'll be making aren't choices I can handle, then I'll cave and do as you are suggesting ... I'm not so smug to KNOW that I'm right, hahaa...

Comment #23

I don't know that I agree with the "beat yourself up so you don't do it again" attitude. That doesn't work for me. It keeps me eating. Remember we are all different and we respond differently. Toughness works better for some of us than others. For myself, I don't respond well to that.

It's like a sound loop in my head that never stops. When I treat myself with compassion and understanding, which is rare for me, I'm much more likely to be successful. When I go the self-reproach route, which is the usual, it takes me longer to get back on track. One of my challenges on this journey is learning to love myself anyway...

Comment #24

Eagle - I don't often disagree with you, but I do on this one. This is the very heart of what maintenance is all about. Learning to reincorporate every day food back into your life. The hope is that we learn enough during the weight loss and transition portions of the program to make wise choices. The majority of people I have met here that are in maintenance have chosen to eat very clean and healthy. Not everybody will do that, and some will be back here because of it.

I have had fast food, but I usually go for healthier choices available, salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, etc...

Comment #25

Hey De....I am kind of in the middle on this one. I think that it can be a red flag, if it ends up being something that triggers. However, I also think the original poster has absolutely the right idea about keeping an eye on it and doing something once she gets to maintenance if it becomes an issue. I think that if there are foods that might lead to eating too much of them or binging...then an honest look at that and realizing that those foods might not be able to be in your maintenance plan. know my issue with pizza. I have to be super duper careful if and when I ever have pizza in maintenance....since it can send me over the deep end and quick, etc..


Comment #26

Oh, I agree 100% with you Shelley! I do think that if it is a known trigger food, it should be approached with caution and reluctance, even in maintenance. There are things I stay away from and probably always will. Pasta is one of them. But it's also not realistic to say I will NEVER have pasta again, because that's just not true...

Comment #27

I agree with De and Shelley....

I know that if I am careful about the foods that got me here, I will be fine. But if I deprive myself completely it will cause me to over-eat them at some point..

I think eat one not-so-healthy meal a week isn't going to cause me to gain the weight back, as long as I make sure I get off my bum and work it off at the gym.

The good news about what everyone has said ... it's made me feel, not BETTER, but acceptable about my cheat. Everyone does the program differently. I felt AWFUL about the cheat because I've talked to so many people who are OP 100% of the time, I felt embarressed that I wasn't as strong as them..

Now I see that I'm not the only one who has cheated, and although I'm still angry that I did in the first place, I'm not ready to throw myself into oncoming traffic!..

Comment #28

But the point is you're not in maintenance yet and it seems dangerous to be daydreaming about the fast food you're goiong to eat when you arelet alone actually having some. I personally feel like I have to be tough on myself every day. Making exceptions for bad behavior is what got me here in the first place!..

Comment #29

Oh believe me nancharity ... I'm beating myself up for eating it while still on the program. And I'm not throwing out any excuses. It was a very stupid thing to do...

Comment #30

Atta girl, Sam, OWN IT and NOW move on! I'm proud of you! You're going to do GREAT!..

Comment #31

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


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