Does Medifast make you gain weight?

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I started Medifast in May and was hoping to be a lot less in weight now. I work 8-12 hours or more on a swing shift on most days (5-7) and have an hour commute to work. Also it is a high stress job. I am tied to my point of operation most of the time with one or two "bathroom breaks" only depending on whether I have 10 minutes to get away. No lunch or other breaks. Anyway on top of this schedule I was awaiting surgery for cervical spinal stenosis which added more stress..

No doubt I had to restart several times. I am okay as long as I stick to Medifast meals only. Everytime I add a L&G I gain weight so I usually just have Medifast meals (5, and sometimes 6 a day)..

Now, my problem...I had the surgery and although I can't drive yet I decided to try the program as intended to see if I can get on track and stay there. I had all 5 Medifast meals and tuna and green beans the first day. I had all 5 Medifast meals and Grilled Chicken Salad with extra chicken from Subway yesterday. I had green peppers, red onions, cucumber, and tomato and a few dill pickles on salad w/small amount of red wine vinegrette. I weighed my self today and GAINED 4pounds! HELP????.

Comments (24)

First, take a deep breath. It's entirely possible that you are retaining water..

To begin with, if you are not eating your L&G, you're body is in starvation mode and you will not lose weight. You need to follow the plan as written in order to get the best results possible..

For work, I would recommend sticking bars in your pockets (or somewhere available), to munch on for your 10 min breaks. They're the easiest to work with (no prep and they don't crush like pretzels/puffs)..

I have doubled meals occasionally (when my schedule is tight) so that I can get all my meals in, so you might consider that. The 2-3h per meal is ideal, but not always doable.

Be careful with onions are not a vegetable, they're a condiment (1T or 1 thin slice). Be sure to drink all your water and more if you can. Also watch the sodium, it will make you retain water and cause false 'gains'..

Lastly, are you on meds from surgery? Many meds have side effects that may cause a weight gain (real or false). Meds such as prednisone cause water retention. Meds such as oxycodone and narcotic pain killers can cause constipation. These things will make it appear like you've gained..

Be patient and stick to the plan. It takes about 3 days on average of being on plan to reach ketosis. Every time you fall off the wagon, you have to restart the cycle and everything slows down..

I hope this helps. You can do this...relax, breathe, and try your best to stay OP..


Comment #1

Do you live in the US? Most states require breaks by law, just eat during those: .


Oh, you mentioned you get breaks. Yeah, eat then....

And everything said above. Eat 5 Medifast and 1 L&G a day. Don't skimp..

Comment #2

If you can cook ahead you can stay out of Subway, which would be much better. There is no way you got a full 6 ounces of chicken at Subway, even with extra meat, so you're still shortchanging yourself..

I will cook for a week at a time. Most things will last a week in the fridge, but for those that won't there's always the freezer. If you grill up steaks, weigh into 5 ounce portions, you're done with lean. Easy. Or, 4 cheese sticks are even easier. For green, you can do salads (I'll make 7 at once in tupperwares - don't add dressing until you're about to eat them).

Measure into 1.5 cup portions and fridge/freeze. This week I just chopped up tomatoes - 6 tupperwares of 1.5 cups of tomatoes in my fridge. Lazy this week! .

If you have a bunch of L&Gs sorted at once, then it's much easier to stay OP when you're in a rush to get to work (if you eat your L&G for breakfast) or tired after work (if you eat it for dinner). Good luck!.

Comment #3

I work a similar crazy shift job in the Air Force...I take bars and munch on them when I have a quiet minute...toehrwise, I'm crunching into my headset, and the rest of the flight crew can hear me! I too don't get many opportunities to get to the bathroom, so try and drink most of my fluid before/after my flight shifts. When working overnights, I try and have my L&G before work, or split it and eat half before and half after. My weight loss is very slow, but I am still losing..

Comment #4


Comment #5

I get a break only if I have time to leave job long enough to walk to bathroom and back. Usually about 10 minutes all together. I always thought it was a law to have breaks too, but some compaies get around that law. We only have one bathroom for women and it is two buildings and two floors away. We actually have a union also and they do not contest the rules of no breaks. lol.

I do not have immediate access to water (or microwave) so I need to carry everything I need. Sometimes I have a shake on the way home since I have such a long commute since they closed up the nearest branch to me.

My biggest problem is gaining weight if I eat a L&G meal. I know my metabolism is very very slow due to years of dieting. Kick start advice? I figure I will try to stay on track and eat a L&G everyday for at least a week and see what happens..

I am taking Vicadin at the moment because of my spinal surgery, at least 2 or 3 times a day. It's only been 10 days since my surgery. I did not eat anything in hospital due to fast for 12 hours before hand, and nauses after surgery for the 3 meals they brought while there. Had to send all back, couldn't even keep water down..

Everyone seems to have good success the first week and even though I have restarted this several time I am sticking to it this week. I couldn't swallow for first week also so didn't have anything but Medifast meals then either..

Comment #6

You should not do 6 Medifast only (full fast) unless you are under the supervision of a Dr. I think you should really stick to the rules and follow the program exactly as written for a couple of weeks to see how things work for you. I have a horrifically slow metabolism and it took me much longer to lose my 50 lbs than it takes most, but I still did it..

Comment #7

Pardon my direct speech, but I feel this is an important point: This is the wrong way to think about this. If you will not eat the L&G, then you are NOT doing the Medifast plan. Instead, you are abusing your body and I would have concerns about an eating disorder. You will need to find another diet if you refuse to eat the L&G, and I would strongly recommend working with your physician to find one that will work for you..

Without the L&G you are not getting adequate nutrition, and you will put your body into starvation mode. This is not "optional" or a "see how it works for you" kind of choice. You must eat at least 5&1 every day or you are hurting yourself..

Weight will come off if you stick to the plan. Follow it exactly and you WILL lose..

Hope this helps....

Comment #8

Have you considered that there is more of a correlation between your recent surgery, the medications you are on while you recover, the bodies natural healing reaction to illness/surgery and your weight gain, than there is a correlation between eating/not eating the complete 5+1 including L&G?.

Couple of things jumped out at me:.

Your surgery was 10 days ago. Your body is still healing and when ill or healing the body's natural defense is to retain water to protect the tissues. This may be contributing to the weight gain you are seeing..

You are on Vicodin/other meds? Again, your body will react to these meds, and many, such as the Acetaminophen in the Vicodin (Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen), causes water retention. This too may be contributing to the weight gain you are seeing..

As others have suggested, do the Medifast 5+1, including the L&G, & look past the scale due to what your body is having to do in order to heal. If you stick with the 5+1, your body will catch up & I believe you will see your weight drop as you heal..

Comment #9

Are you weighing every day? And what TIME of day? After a day of eating/drinking, your weight will appear "up"! You shouldn't gain on MF. You are supposed to lose. You HAVE to eat all your meals! ALL of them! If you are in constant starvation mode (and were prior to MF) your body needs time to adjust and realize it's going to get fed again in 2-3 hours. Another good point, are you eating every 2-3 hours? If you go long periods of time between meals, that can be another reason for starvation mode. I see from your ticker you've lost 24 pounds already! So you've been losing. Are you saying you're just now not losing? Surgery is a HUGE stress on the body.

Give your body some time to readjust. You will continue on your path of losing if you follow the plan to a T, and that means weighing your L&G's and EATING them darlin.

Comment #10

Vicodin or any pain meds like it also cause constipation! BIG TIME!.

Comment #11

Thank you all for your advice. I will stay on track and see what happens..

Comment #12

I do that too!!! I slice tomatoes, add some garlic powder, apple cider vinegar and olive oil and YUM!!.

Comment #13

Stargazer - hang in there. Eat the 5 Medifast meals and L&G. With your surgery and not having eaten the L&G previously your body is probably still playing catch up..

Comment #14

Well, I am staying on plan for now thanks to all of your advice. I did gain another pound and I am not happy about that but I need to allow more time. I guess I am just used to "starving myself" usually just have protien drinks (from health food stores) and healthy snacks before Medifast. I hate to see the scales go up for someone who has struggled with weight and humiliation all my life I don't like to go that direction. Hopefully you are all right and my body will just take time to readjust....hope it does before I hit 200 pounds?.

Comment #15

Please hang in there you are having to teach your body a new way of eating sounds like you have been starving yourself most of the time when you want to lose weight problem with that technique is you are robbing your muscles and not actually losing any fat at all. Your body thinks is famine time and is hording anything you put in it will take a while before it changes hard as gaining weight is for any of us it may be necessary for a while please don't give up on yourself !! Be kind to you do not starve yourself feed yourself !.

Comment #16

You're not gaining a pound of fat, Stargazer. It takes roughly 3000 above your base metabolism to do that. You are only eating 500-600 on Medifast Meals alone. Your metabolism will rev up again as you consistently eat 5&1 and eat every few hours..

Comment #17

I could be wrong, but I always thought high stress levels made it more difficult to lose weight. That could also be a factor, in addition to some of the other suggestions..


Comment #18

Thanks again for all the support and suggestons from all of you. Since I am off on sick leave right now I can daily get on here and read posts. That helps a lot. I have not missed a day of work in 26 years until this surgery...guess that alone stresses me out? After working 6-7 days a week 8-16 hours a day it is strange being home, not that I am not needed here. My husband is the one who has poor health (heart attack, 5 bypasses, stroke, pad, and 2 yrs ago replace entire arota because of no circulation in his legs). Also my mother is 85 and no longer drives and has had a stroke.

About 10-15 years ago I went to a Gastro doc for chronic diarrhea. I was dx'd with Celiac Disease. 8 years later I go back and have another Colonoscopy and biopsy and was told it was not Celiac that it is Colloidial Collitis. Still no cure for my problem other than not eating. I hate to go out only to look for where the bathroom is first and last thing! Any way reasearched and found that nsaids can cause the CC.

Anyway I had "the fearful runs" all day yesterday. I did lose 2 of the 5 lbs I gained starting to stay OP. Now I hope this last problem ends soon before I go back to work. When you only have a chance to go to bathroom once or twice a day and have a 5 minute walk to get there...well. it's no place to have the "runs"....without fear of accidents!.

Comment #19

I'm not trying to be rude here but why on earth were you only living off of 5 or 6 Medifast meals? That is def not on plan and will not help you lose weight besides starving yourself. You absolutely have to eat the L&G and all 5 meals to get losses. If you are not giving yourself enough calories you will screw with your metabolism and retain fat..

The reason you are probably gaining is because your body is confused, you haven't put the right amount of calories in at all over a long span of time. Stick to the program AS WRITTEN for a couple of weeks and then get back on here and see if it is working..

Not to be mean, just being 100% honest..

Comment #20

Also, I have been where you are before. Just trust us, starving yourself and not getting the recommended amounts of food is most certainly not going to work. Medifast does work, it will work for you, I can promise it, you just have to make the commitment. Stick to it! Also, if you have time in the morning, just make a bunch of egg whites with vegetables and low fat cheese so you just have packaged meals to deal with at work..

Comment #21

OMGosh, I totally understand that! Being at work or out and about with the runs is horrible! Hopefully all will even out. Most people have constipation on this plan, so maybe that will help you stay more regular and not either/or..

Comment #22

Your work environment is in violation of labor laws. You could consult with your union rep, the state, OSHA, or an attorney. If I recall correctly, for an 8-hour shift you get 2 10-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch break, minimum..

Comment #23

Yes Freya11 we all think that is a violation of laws. but our union won't help...they just say that if we forced the 2-10 minute breaks and a lunch break then no one would be allowed to go to bathroom any other time (emergency or not). You have to watch these big international companies...self insured under medical and worker"s comp and have president's etc, visit them all the time. They make their own rules and nothing can be done about it legally. We've tried. Some are above written labor laws..

Comment #24

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


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