What you decide to do in maintenance is completely up to you. Some members will incorporate Medifast into their diets for a very long time, possibly forever. Others will learn to live without them (raising hand). And yes, if you want to maintain your goal weight, you will likely be on "maintenance" for ever. That's kind of the point. Go check out the t&m forum to pick up a pretty good picture of what people are dealing with and how they're dealing with it...
Yes you will be in maintenance for ever, you will be maintaining that new low weight you will have worked hard to achieve..
Now what maintenance will look like for you, no one can tell you that until you get there!.
Transition, where I now am, gently guides you off of Medifast meals and towards new healthy eating patterns, and that is how you maintain. Some people keep Medifast meals as part of their lives, others leave Medifast behind and live off of 'real food' it depends on so many things..
Don't let it worry you at this stage, just deal with one thing at a time, that's what I did in the end, I lost the weight, now I'm dealing with transition, and I'm taking it slow, I'm not ready to go out on my own yet, so I'm on 4 Medifast meals a day, and I'll probably do the same for another week.
I think that Medifast food will be part of my life for a while, not every day maybe, but some days...
I know that I will be on maintenance forever. I find it too easy to load up my plan with things I shouldn't, mostly fatty type foods. Keeping my dietary fat within 20% was a struggle for me all through 5&1 and it's harder now in transition. I really have to stay on top of myself and plan my meals carefully to stay within the 40/40/20 rule. Since I'm still in transition, I am still eating Medifast meals, but I expect to wean myself off within a few months if I can keep my calories low enough...
I am still using Medifast meals twice each day. I like the foods and find them convenient and relatively inexpensive.
Sometimes, I will have 3 Medifast meals in a day and sometimes zero, but they key thing is that I will be in maintenance for the rest of my life if I want to stay at this weight. And I do!..
The T& M guide lays out the program. Dr A's book really helps. You take 4 weeks to add food back in and the 4-8 weeks to get used to all the food and make the gradual transition into Maintenance. You will monitor your weight and calories for the rest of forever to keep the weight off. As others have said once in to M you can choose Medifast food or not. I am in week 6 and actually so full I am having trouble getting in the 3 Medifast meals with all the other food. Follow the program, just like in 5&1, Medifast knows what works...
I think the biggest thing is knowing that you are going to eat healthy from now until forever. That cheeseburgers, pizza, cakes, etc. (things that I loved) are for special occasions and not once a week. Eating whole/clean healthy foods will sustain you and make you feel wonderful! There are a TON of resources to eat this way and the cool thing about Medifast is that you can transition smoothly from their meals to food for life...
I am getting ready to start Transition and Body for Life. I will go through transition with Medifast and keep the same 40/40/20 rule, forever. I will still check in here daily and weigh in each Wed. If I get up more than 5 lbs 2 days in a row, I will jump back on the 5/1..
I think your wise to start looking at your options now and plan. You will be at goal before you know it!..
The whole idea of losing weight is hopefully to keep it off or to MAINTAIN the weight loss you achieved.
If we choose to go back to eating the same amount of the same things that put on our extra weight in the first place, one will gain all our weight back and then some..
Yes, hopefully maintenance is forever. Who wants to be large again? Who wants to do this again and again? It's our choice and we have lots of resources to learn how to keep our weight offIf we weigh ourselves periodically, the weight will not creep back on. We will know what we weigh.
Maintenance is hopefully what we will do for the rest of our lives. I don't want to be overweight again.
I continued to eat Medifast twice a day in the beginning of maintenance and then went down to once a day, then none at all. Finally after half a year, I substituted other good healthy and nourishing foods for Medifast and continued to weigh myself weekly as I still do. I allowed myself a 5 pound leeway and have done well with that. I watch my portions and calories and know that for my height and activity level and the weight I want to maintain, I can consume about 1500 calories per day. This has worked well for me for the past 16 months.
If we really want to keep off your weight, we will. We have the power and we can make that choice.
Have you ever noticed that the unhealthy food in the grocery stores takes up way more isle space then fresh produce and fresh fruit and healthy foods? Good luck in your weight loss phase...