Can you really lose 5 lbs a week on Medifast?

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I know that Medifast claims an average weight loss of 2 to 5 pounds per week..

Is anyone here actually consistently losing 5 pounds per week, 20 pounds per month, AFTER the first month?.

I average just under 2 pounds per week and am curious if people do actually lose that much consistently..

Comments (51)

Noooooooooooooo. Lucky if I got over two on 5&1.

Comment #1

I average 3.

Comment #2

Bunch of men average around that. My personal non-week 1 avg is just over 4 lbs..

Comment #3

I average from 3-5 pounds per week, but since I just started taking bcp we will see how it fluctuates LOL..

Comment #4

Awh love the waving kitty!!!.

Comment #5

I averaged just over 4 a week the first 5 months. My wife was around 2 a week..

Comment #6

I am averaging 3.5 a week after 8 weeks, but I have a lot to lose. I do know someone who has lost 60 pounds in three months. I don't know what her secret is, but I sure wish she could bottle it up and pass it around!.

Comment #7

I am curious about some of the women who began at a very high weight such as me. I started at 400 pounds. I would think they also had some decent losses during their first few months. Just a guess, but I would think that the heavier you are, the more you will lose weekly..

Personally, I am hoping I lose at least 15 pounds a month for a while. But, if it is less, I can live with it.


Comment #8

I'm still over 5 a week if you include the first week, and 4.4 if you drop the first week entirely. I don't expect it to last much longer, and I'd be happy to average 3.5 over the longterm, but it's still pretty fun.

I can see where a lot of your bigger guys could probably average it for several months..

Comment #9

I average 3 a week and I just wrapped up week 12..

Comment #10

Yeah, I guess it makes sense that those with more to lose and some men would lose more. I guess for someone under 200 pounds it might be expected to be less..

Comment #11

Gigi you are doing pretty darn good.

Comment #12

Thanks! I think I finally stumbled onto something that really works for me..

Comment #13

I also lost around 4 lbs a week for the first few months...but I also started at 329 lbs..

Comment #14

I'm averaging just shy of 4 a week, but it's starting to slow down. I started at 435, so I had a lot to go at the start. I hope to keep up a good pace...but know I won't. *sigh* .

The 2-5/week doesn't say consistent...


Comment #15

My husband's average is 5 pounds per week. This past week he lost 3 pounds. The first week, he lost over 10 pounds..

Comment #16

I started Jan. 6 and averaged 4-5 pounds/wk the first 5 months, but now it's only around 2 pounds/wk...right now I'm at a plateau which is discouraging...but I'm gonna keep going!.

Comment #17

In my past experience with MF, once I got into my third month I rarely lost more than 2 pounds a week. My losses were usually between 1.3 and 2 pounds..

Comment #18

I am about to wrap up my 3rd month and I average about 2lbs a week..

Comment #19

I'm 14 weeks in and average 2/week..

Comment #20

About 20 weeks in and I think 2.5 pounds per week when I last calculated. Like others have said, it was faster to start and has slowed down as I've lost weight. I still like Medifast a ton though! I am happy with my losses so far..

Comment #21

I believe it can be misleading if a person does not have a clear understanding of how weight loss occurs in the body. Do you notice the word "average" is used. And the ads will say at the bottom in small print "results may vary". This is a mince on words in my opinion..

The reason for the huge release of pounds initially in layman's terms is simply "water weight". It is the body using up the stored glycogen because going on the Medifast plan the carb intake has been decreased to approx. 100 grams per day or less. Glycogen contains water. Pounds are released in short order.

The "ketosis" word is much over used as well in my opinion. It is all about selling product. Do not get me wrong, I do believe this form of weight reduction works.

As consumers we have two choices: to either just follow the directions as given or to continue to educate ourselves in the area of nutrition and weight loss as it is a constantly evolving field.

It takes the burning of 3,500 calories to lose a pound. 5 X 3,500 = 17,500 calories to burn off 5 pounds. We eat at least 800 cals/day X 7 days = 5,600 cals eaten each week.

Now we need to burn 17,500 + 5,600 cals/wk to lose 5 pounds = 23,100 cals to burn each week......

Divide into 7 days = 3,300 cals per day burned needed to knock off 5 pounds in a week..

I wear a bodybugg and I can get to a 3,300 burn if I work out hard (at least one hour of aerobics) and work manually hard all day (gardening, etc.).

But.........there is NO way I can burn 3,300 cals on this diet plan. I do not have the caloric intake to sustain the burn on the Medifast plan.

On 1000 calorie daily intake I can comfortably burn off about 2400 cals per day and that is with 30 minutes of running on my rebounder included. Sometimes I can get up to a 2600 calorie burn. Just depends how much time I spend sitting at the computer or not..

So do the math and you will have your answer.


Comment #22

My average is 3.5 lbs per week, counting in my first big week, but am usually just a little over 2 lbs on a weekly basis; just going into week 8. I am always curious as to speculations concerning what makes you loose quicker or slower. I rarely (maybe 2 or 3 in seven weeks) have any snacks and use hardly any condiments either. I use primarily shakes and bars, with eggs or pretzels maybe 1-2 times per week. One issue I do see posted over and over is regarding sodium. I have to say I use a lot of salt but I do not seem to be having any ill effects from it. Maybe it is the copious amount of water I consume - or maybe I was just meant to Medifast!.

Comment #23

I would also like to add that those with more to lose will lose more initially because they burn more calories each day just to keep the body functioning (basal metabolic rate). My body will burn more cals today at 223 pounds resting then it will when I weigh 150 pounds (positive thoughts create positive results)..

I should clarify that I "could" still burn 3,300 cals per day on this diet but I would be starvin marvin falling over fatigued and end up cashing in and eating everything in sight within a few days..

Comment #24

I am averaging 2.5 after 12 full weeks with a goal of loosing 45 lbs and I am 5'8". Pretty tickled with it, just hoping it holds up for the final 14 that would be wonderful!.

Comment #25

Just under two per week. (1.84 ) I'm thrilled with this number. It is EXPENSIVE to lose, but nothing else has worked for me in years..

Comment #26

2.22 lb/week and just started week 10. I started at 170 lb. (5'8" tall) No formal exercise, but live a somewhat active lifestyle..

Comment #27

As of last week, I am averaging about 4.25 lbs/week. I started out much bigger than most, but I am going to ride these losses for as long as they will take me.

Comment #28

I appreciate the detailed response you gave about burning cals.

I'm a bit confused however as how "starvation mode" -as people call itcomes into affect.

I do not work out every day now (i used to preMF), but try to 2-3x a week. the other days my job keeps me pretty sedentary. I would love to see a more consistent loss, but have been warned off of "over exercise.".

If it is simply a game of #s... well how do I play?.

Comment #29

We just finished our 8th week and I have averaged 4.5 pounds a week while my DH has averaged 5.6. This does include our first "big" week. I expect mine will slow a bit over time, but so far most weeks I am losing at least 3 ibs. Of course, I still have a lot to lose..

Comment #30

My average is 2.74 per week. Next Saturday, Aug 28th will be my 6th month mark. I only lost 4 lbs the first week, and I don't follow the plan strictly. I am thrilled with my losses so far! I started exercising after 8 weeks, and I usually exercise for more then 45 minutes, 7 days a week..


Comment #31

Starvation mode comes from the theory of when the caveman roamed the earth. The body learned to store energy during times of feast to be utilized during times of famine.

Well years later we do not have famine anymore but supposedly the body does not know this and hangs onto the energy. So we feast and got over weight. Now we try to reduce to lose weight. If the body thinks a famine is coming it will not continue to release weight. But we can get around this by making certain during reduction we give our bodies enough calories.

Great question. I still struggle with "starvation mode" in understanding it. I have googled it and with anything one googles it seems one will get a varying point of view. I asked a dietitian in real life if starvation mode is real and she said yes it can indeed happen. I had asked because one of the google articles referred to it as a "myth". It is not a myth.

If the body does not get enough calories it will stop releasing pounds or "hold onto weight" as it is so often explained. The key to unlocking this code is to find out what that number is. I suppose it is different for everyone.

It is all about the calorie deficit. The difference between the number of calories burned in a day and number of calories eaten in a day.

We need to have a calorie deficit to lose weight. But what is that magical number? Too great of calorie deficit could induce the starvation mode. That is why the Medifast limits on exercise. That is also why they say to eat at least 800 calories per day. That is why some MFer's have said they lose more when they eat 1000 cals per day vs. only 800 cals.

I have more or less put myself on what I call a 12/24 reduction. 1200 calories in and 2400 calories out per day. Through my body bugg software this puts me at my goal next April. Right now I eat more around 1000 calories per day but it will vary and probably average more like 1200 over time. My burn ranges anywhere from a sedentary day of a 2200 cal burn to a more active day of a 2600 cal burn. That will change over time as well.

In my mind it boils down to not having numbers written in stone but a fluid weight loss plan that can be flexible and work for that particular time frame. I say this because as I lose weight my basal metabolic rate will decrease and I will have to be more active to burn the same amount of calories.

This leads me back to "starvation mode". My only answer for myself for this will be that if I start to notice my weight is not decreasing and it is not due to having to have a poo, TOM, exercise (which can cause water retention due to tiny muscle tears), etc. I will take a look see to determine if I need to up my calories some. Sometimes it may just boil down to trial and error..

The thing about weight loss that makes it complicated is that it really is simply calories in vs. calories out over time, but with that said it gets complicated when we start talking starvation mode, ebb and flow of the scale, body fluids, etc. Oh it can get so frustrating! But nothing is impossible if the heart is beating. Starvation Mode is very interesting topic to me. I am going to continue to research it.

I have asked myself well if the body goes into starvation mode how does one become a 80 pound anorexic? Well I believe that is a completely different situation. Those folks are not getting nutrition at all obviously. That opens a whole new can of worms and is a whole different disease than my obesity disease..

There was a study done I think in the 1940's at U of MN regarding how much wt. the body will release under times of malnourishment. I have to look that up and get back to you. It relates to the starvation mode business and helps to better understand. Will get back to you on that..

Also the hardest thing for me when starting Medifast was to cut out my exercise and then just come back to 30 min. per day. I also was one to want to work out daily and do one hour of cardio, burning anywhere from 600 to 900 cals. That is just too much for me right now doing this diet plan.

I have cut back and am trying to follow the rules of the plan more closely. But we can exercise our hearts out when we get to goal. That was a hard concept for me to embrace. It took a friend to tell me, "it goes against our logic (meaning hers and mine) but just do it and see what happens." So far, so good.


Comment #32

Again! excellent! i'm going to bookmark this thread so I can read your responses again. unfortunately, I don't have the ability to monitor exactly my calorie expenditures. but it is good to know how it works so I can guesstimate the best I can..

My sister, who has been between 50-90 lbs over weight her whole life (i have ranged 20-75 over weight) is currently at her lowest weight and in excellent health. she is in "average" weight for her small stature & only about 10+ lbs from an "ideal" shape. this is due to a ton of reasons, of course, but the last couple of months she has been doing the "Insanity" work outs which burn very high cal. (these are done 6 days/week)..

As someone who has in times past been a VERY active exerciser, including lifting weights, but never been able to be at an "average" weight (though at my high weights I was NOT doing great workouts, just standard cardio) I am very curious as to how to balance everything..

My concern now is getting my muscle mass up, at least eventually, so that when I am in maintenance I won't regain what I have lost!.

Comment #33

I totally agree about getting the muscle mass up. As you know, if we have more muscle we can actually eat more as the body with more muscle burns more cals. That is why men tend to have faster weight loss than the ladies. I worry about dumping my metabolism on a 800 to 1000 calorie diet per day. Yea, a person loses weight quickly but then what happens when the wt. loss is complete and one is sitting with a metabolism that is not allowing one to eat much without gaining wt. back? .

Right now my response to myself is well you need to exercise while you lose weight to keep that metabolism going. Also the beauty of working out as you know is that we continue to have a better burn after the exercise for a period of time.

I think middle aged women who do this diet strict by the book, dump a ton of weight fast, but do not exercise along the way do a great disservice to themselves in the long run. I can see how one could pack the pounds back on in short order if not careful.

These are all things I think about alot. Another reason why I tell no one I am on only about 1000 cals per day. I do not need the lecture. But the caloric restriction this diet affords me is working and I need that restriction in my life right now. So I will defeat this monster by working out regularly and getting into a regular strength training routine as well. I would enjoy hearing about the insanity workouts sometime..

Good luck to you..


Comment #34

I feel better having read this. I thought something was wrong with me as it looks like I am going to be about 2 lbs per week. Tomorrow is weigh in day and the end of month 1..

Comment #35

I lost 3 pounds a week on average over the first 12 weeks. Now that it's been 17 weeks my average for the whole period is down to 2.8. I seem to be drifting down to 2/week. If I can stay at 2, I'll be at goal by the end of January. *fingers crossed*.

Comment #36

I just joined the Medifast Center and they guarantee an average of 3 pounds per week IF you do what they say. So far on my own I did lose an average of 3 per week. I guess Medifast advertises UP TO 2-5 pounds per week weight loss. Sounds like it's those darn guys who get the 4 to 5 pound weight losses each week unfair I tell ya!.

Comment #37

Nora, do you think it might help to increase the exercise just prior to starting TM? like the last couple of weeks maybe eat higher protein while keeping the calories closer to 5/1 than TM? .

It is still a ways away for me regardless! with only 1-2 lbs a week, it'll be a while before I lose the last 20lbs!.

Comment #38

A few guys getting those averages that I know rarely, if ever, have a Medifast snack, so it's not without sacrifice..

Comment #39

I've been 10/month every month, including the first month. Works for me, but no, I WISH it were 5/week. I'd be on transition by now. Still, the pounds really do add up..

Comment #40

I really do not know. That is a great question that a trainer or dietitian could better answer. I suspect one needs to take it on a case by case basis. My initial intent on starting Medifast was to give my wt. loss a jump start and some easy caloric restriction without having to spend much time on counting calories. I do not know if I will stay on this plan to goal or if I will phase grocery food back in during the reduction phase and join a program at a gym that would offer a personal trainer and dietitian.

While on Medifast I am going to try to work back up to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise. I do 30 minutes of cardio now because I had been doing about an hour and I cut it in half to start out and adjust to the low caloric intake.

I think probably an important part of keeping the weight off is a good strength training program right now to build muscle mass along the wt. loss journey. I do not count my wt. training as the 45 minutes because for me weight training or pilates or working on the fitness ball does not burn many calories, so it will not give me too great of a calorie deficit.

Reduction and maintaining is really all a balancing act. Seeing what works best for us as individuals. But we can do it if we stay focused..

Happy Melting!.


Comment #41

I averaged 5 pounds a week during MOST of my first 6 months on Medifast and lost just under 100 pounds..

I took two months off on maintenance and gained back a little bit and lost 10 pounds the first week, 0 the second week, then 5 the third and 5 more last week. But I have been telling people from the beginning that I am the exception to the plan..

I think men tend to lose closer to the 5 pound per week mark..

Comment #42

I average about 15 pounds/month. But I have so much weight to lose, and sometimes I think that makes the difference..

Comment #43

This is all interesting to me. I don't know what to expect as I am just beginning. I would like to know how age affects the rate of loss.....I am 70 !.

Comment #44

Well, I been on Medifast for 3 months and I have lost 57 pounds so far withing this 3 months and I avg about 3-5 pounds per weeks! I started at 358 and yes the more you have to lose the faster we will lose at first but then it will slow down once we get closer to goal!!.

I also think that your chances of avg 15lbs per month are going to happen because thats what I avg!.

Comment #45

Wow, you look great! Yes them 5lb weeks are awesome arent they LOL..


Comment #46

Wow, just reading on how much everyone avg sometimes when I jump on my scale I cant believe it sometimes that I lose this much weight in a week sometimes!! Hey we soooooooooooooo deserve this!!.

Now.....wheres the "theory" on this LOL.

Comment #47

I'm just starting, so I don't have a good average yet. But last time I did MF, in 2005, I lost 74 lbs in 4 months. So that was nearly 20 a month..

Comment #48

When I started, I was around 6-7 a week. Now I'm down to like 4 a week..

Comment #49

I'm not losing the way I wanted to...I have started my 4th week and am only down 4 lbs. I keep telling myself it's because I only want to lose about 30-35 pds and that people with less weight to lose lose slower...yeah, yeah but it is still a motivation killer.

I'm starting to get discouraged and do not want to feel this way but I was hoping for faster weight loss. I will probably start to excersie this week, I was waiting at least the 2 wks before doing so just to get used to the low calories we consume. If any of you have any words of wisdom please, please let me in on the secret. My son is getting married in 8 months and I want to be a hot mama..

Comment #50

Nora44, thanks for the great info! .

I'm 50, started at 323 on the 4th of July, had been extremely stationary. I am averaging 3.5 lbs/wk if I exclude the first week. Hasn't been that long, so no telling where it's going, but I'll tell you one thing I ran across....

I've been logging my food in here pretty religiously and was quite startled when I ran the chart that displays both weight and calories: .

"That is why some MFer's have said they lose more when they eat 1000 cals per day vs. only 800 cals.".

That chart made that statement 100% obvious. The weeks I've run low on even one day, i.e. missed the L&G and had 6 Medifast meals, or not eaten all my calories, I've had about 2.5 lb loss. If I'm truly OP the whole week, I hit 3.5, 4.0, 4.4. I had read that, heard that, but I guess a picture really is worth a 1000 words. I was floored. Too low is as bad as too high!.


Comment #51

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


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