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What is take shape for life
General Information about Take Shape For Life
What is Take Shape For Life?
Take Shape For Life, a division of Medifast, Inc., is a nationwide network of
Health Coaches and Health Professionals committed to and driven by a mission of making Optimal Health a Reality for the lives of millions of people across
America. Take Shape For Life’s comprehensive approach seeks to promote healthy lifelong changes in your life, by helping you lose weight quickly and
safely, while providing you the personalized coaching, tools (our BeSlim™ philosophy) and support to keep the weight off for life. We do this by combining
a clinically proven plan of Medifast Meals in an easy-to-follow program with the
added support of a caring, knowledgeable Health Coach. What makes Take Shape For Life unique?
Take Shape For Life is committed to helping you achieve optimal weight loss and
maintaining that weight loss with simple strategies for lifelong health. With Take
Shape For Life, you have the added benefit of free personal support and coaching from a qualified independent Health Coach who will help guide you
through our program, which includes our BeSlim™ philosophy, and help you achieve and maintain Optimal Health.
What is the role of a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is a knowledgeable, caring, supportive individual who will be
there all along the way, during your weight loss phase and through your transition and maintenance, to provide the support you need to succeed and
maintain your weight loss and Optimal Health for life.
What are some of the benefits of choosing Take Shape For Life?
• A personal Health Coach wil help you get the most out of your program,
help you reach your goals, and can save you money with our BeSlim™
• Your Health Coach can help design the program that is right for you,
assist you with ordering products, track your packages, answer your
questions, support you along the way and teach you strategies for long-term success!
• Take Shape For Life provides weekly interactive support calls for clients
and Health Coaches to provide you with additional support and knowledge, right from the comfort of your own home!
• As you learn more about Take Shape For Life from your Health Coach, you
may want to join us in our mission to get America healthy! You can make
a difference and help others get healthy by becoming a Health Coach as
General Information about Weight Loss Phase of the Take
Shape For Life Program Can you explain the Take Shape For Life Program using Medifast Meals
• It’s an easy, safe, and rapid way to lose weight, using clinically proven
• You are provided with the FREE support of a Take Shape For Life Health
Coach to help support, educate and guide you on your program
• You’ll learn long-term weight control with Take Shape For Life’s BeSlim™
• You’ll eat a total of 5 Medifast Meals (1 meal every 2 – 3 hours), plus 1
lean and green meal of meat and vegetables daily
• Your Medifast Meals are premeasured so you don’t have to count
• You’ll consume between 800-1000 calories each day
• On average, you can lose 2 – 5 pounds per week
• Medifast Meals have been clinically proven in studies conducted at Johns
What are Medifast Meals?
Medifast Meals are low-calorie, pre-measured, nutritionally balanced meal replacements, designed to help you lose weight and improve your health. These
delicious low-calorie, low-fat fortified meals come in a wide variety of flavors and
choices. Medifast Meals come in individual packets that you mix with water, microwave, and/or refrigerate. Medifast Meals are available in a wide variety of
foods and flavors including shakes, puddings, soups/stew, chili, oatmeal, bars, and hot beverages. Quick and easy to prepare, they offer a healthy fast food
alternative to a busy lifestyle! Plus, Medifast Meals have been clinically proven and recommended by over 15,000 physicians.
How does it work?
During your weight-loss phase, Take Shape For Life recommends the 5&1 plan.
The 5&1 Plan was medically designed to create a calorie deficit, allowing your body to burn fat for energy. Each nutritionally balanced Medifast Meal is
formulated with a proven combination of carbohydrates and protein, allowing
you to successfully lose weight while maintaining lean muscle mass. How often do I eat?
You will eat every 2-3 hours. Throughout the day you will have a total of 5
Medifast Meals and 1 Lean & Green meal.
What does the Lean & Green meal consist of?
The LEAN portion of the Lean & Green meal consists of either:
• five (5) ounces of cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, or
• seven (7) ounces of cooked chicken, turkey, fish or seafood.
The GREEN portion of the Lean & Green meal consists of:
• 2 cups of salad greens, with 1/2 cup of raw vegetables and 1-2 tbsp of
low-carb salad dressing – or
• 1-1/2 cups of low-carbohydrate cooked vegetables
Is the meat serving size the cooked or uncooked weight?
It is the cooked weight.
Are there certain “approved” vegetables for the Lean & Green meal?
All vegetables promote healthful eating; however during the weight loss phase of
your plan, we do suggest that you avoid the “higher carbohydrate” vegetables*
in order to enhance your weight loss results. Once you transition to phase 2 of
the program and are living the BeSlim™ philosophy, we encourage you to include
vegetables for long term health.
Low carbohydrate vegetables used in conjunction with your Lean & Green meal
can be refe.
*NOTE: Carrots, corn, potatoes, peas, and Brussels sprouts should be avoided while in the weight loss phase of your Plan. Please add them to your diet once
you transition to the maintenance phase of the program. What kind of snacks can I have on this program?
Take Shape For Life offers a variety of healthy, delicious snacks that can be used
to augment the 5 & 1 Plan, including:
Other snacks you can have on the program: three (3) celery stalks, one (1) cup of Sugar-free Jell-0™, one (1) cup of bouillon, one (1) tbsp of peanut butter, one
(1) sugar-free popsicle, or two (2) dill pickle spears. Limit your snack intake
to one a day.
• TIP: Adding 1-2 tbsp of sugar-free, fat-free pudding to the Medifast Shakes
can count as your one snack for the day.
*NOTE: Eating more than one snack per day may hinder weight loss. For
information on slower weight lo
Can I use Medifast Meals interchangeably?
One of the great benefits of Medifast Meals is that they may be used interchangeably. The bars should be limited to one per day (due to their higher
caloric and carbohydrate content).
Can I substitute a sixth Medifast Meal for my one Lean & Green?
This is not recommended. In order to maximize effectiveness and to ensure that you get all the nutrition your body requires, the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan (5 Medifast
Meals + 1 Lean & Green meal) should be followed – unless otherwise recommended by your physician.
How many calories are in the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan?
The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan provides between 800 – 1000 calories per day,
depending on your personal selections. Can I substitute frozen meals for my Lean & Green meals?
Take Shape For Life does not recommend frozen dinners while on the plan –
primarily due to their varying calorie levels, excessive sodium content, and lower
Do any of the products contain MSG?
The Cream of Tomato and the Robust Tomato Fast Soup are the only two
How does Medifast sweeten its products?
Medifast uses a combination of fructose and Acesulfame Potassium to sweeten most products. This combination is used because we have found it to make the
best quality products without contributing significantly to calories, sugars, or
carbohydrates. Click the link below for further information about Acesulfame
There are sugar alcohols in some flavors of Medifast bars (Carmel Nut and the
Diabetic Plus bars). There is no Aspartame or Sucralose in Medifast products.
What’s the difference between ‘Medifast 55’ and ‘Medifast 70’ shakes?
“Medifast 55” Shakes have 90 calories and 11g of protein. The “Medifast 70” Shakes have 100 calories and 14g of protein. Medifast 55 shakes are
recommended for women. Medifast 70 shakes are recommended for men and
for women who are active or prefer a higher protein count. What is the average weight loss amount per week?
Clinical studies indicate that most people tend to lose an average of 2-5 lbs per
week during the weight-loss phase of the Take Shape For Life program.
Individual results may vary, and are dependant upon various factors such as your weight when you start the program, targeted weight-loss goal, level of
exercise, presence of medical conditions, use of medications, accuracy with diet compliance, etc. As with most weight loss programs, we suggest that you consult
with your physician prior to starting the Take Shape For Life weight loss program.
Are Medifast Meals safe?
Medifast Meals have been clinically proven through a number of controlled
studies. More than 15,000 physicians nationwide have recommended Medifast Meal programs to their patients – and more than one million clients have safely
Are there any stimulants in the Medifast Meals?
No. Medifast Meals do not contain any stimulants, ephedrine, or other herbs that might be harmful to your body.
How much does the Take Shape For Life program cost?
The Medifast Meals cost about $10/day, $70/week, or $275/month when taking
advantage of our convenient Variety Packages purchase option*. However, when you join the BeSlim™ Club, you can enjoy even greater savings on all of
your Medifast Meals! Ask your Health Coach for details about this progressive
savings program! Best of all, the helpful support you receive from your Health Coach costs nothing.
*NOTE: Costs may be slightly higher when purchasing on a per-product basis.
Most people find the cost of their Medifast Meals comparable to the amount they're already spending on groceries and dining out. Did you know that the average adult spends nearly $16/day on food? Between the grocery store and fast food, we spend much more money on food than we realize -- and we often don't make the healthiest of choices. At $10/day, the Medifast Meals represent significant cost savings for many people. When you also consider the additional benefits inherent in every Medifast Meal (doctor-formulated, vitamin-fortified, portion-controlled), and the support of your Health Coach, the Take Shape For Life program equates to an even greater value.
Can I just try the Medifast Meals for a few days?
We recommend trying Medifast Meals for a minimum of two weeks, allowing
ample time for your body to maximize its fat-burning potential. However, if you’d
like to just try the foods for a few days, there are some options: • Individual samples of Medifast Meals
of any Medifast Meal or snack cost $2.50 each; samples of
Medifast Soy Crisps are $2.00 each. You can order single samples online through your Health Coach’s co-branded website, or call the Client Contact Center at 800-
572-4417 to place your order. Representatives are available from:
• Noon - 6pm on Sundays (all times are Eastern).
provide ten (10) Medifast Meals (enough for 2 days). Our
Sample Packs come pre-packaged, and no substitutions can be made. More our “Shop” section.
are an easy, economical way for you to order our most
popular Medifast Meals. 2-Week Variety Packages come pre-packaged, so no
substitutions can be made. Variety Packages for Women contain “Medifast 55” Shakes (90 calories, 11g of protein) and cost $140.50. Variety Packages for Men
contain “Medifast 70” Shakes (100 calories, 14g of protein) and cost $142.00. of our shopping cart.
Can I customize my variety pack?
Our pre-packaged Starter Kits and Variety Packages cannot be customized or
changed. However, they contain a wide variety of our most popular meals.
If you need assistance with your first order, please work with your Health Coach. He or she can answer all of your questions and assist you with placing your first
order. Or you can call the Client Contact Center at 800-572-4417 to help you
with your order. Does Medifast carry kosher products?
The majority of Medifast products are certified kosher by The Orthodox Union of
New York. For specific information, refer to our comple
STARTING THE WEIGHT-LOSS PHASE OF YOUR TAKE SHAPE
FOR LIFE PROGRAM
How do I get started on the program?
You should consult with your physician or qualified medical practitioner prior to beginning (and throughout the course of) any weight loss program. You’ll want
to work with your Health Coach and order at least a 2-week supply (a 4-week supply is ideal) of Medifast Meals before you start. Continue ordering on a
monthly basis. Better yet, join the BeSlim™ Club and have your order
conveniently delivered to your door each month, at a 5, 8, or 12% savings over the regular cost of your Medifast Meals (for more details on this program, see
the BeSlim™ Club section of these FAQs). Can I do the program if I am a vegetarian?
Yes. There are numerous vegetarian options available within the Medifast Meal
lineup. The following Medifast Meals and snacks are vegetarian endorsed
Below is a list of foods that can be used in place of the meat portion for the Lean & Green meal:
• 2 Eggs (not more than 3 times a week)
• Morning Star Burger or Chicken Patty
Low carbohydrate vegetables used in conjunction with your Lean & Green meal
When should I start my program?
The first three days are critical to your success, so work with your Health Coach to select a start date that makes sense for your schedule. You might want to
look for a time when you don’t anticipate any family, work-related, or other
social-type events that involve food. What should I do when on vacation?
Plan ahead, so you can continue your program while vacationing. If your meals
aren’t with you, you can’t eat them! This may necessitate packing food items in
your luggage. Pre-planning can help you continue to lose weight while you travel. Clients who are able to plan and continue the program while traveling or
ordering out get the best results. Traveling presents countless eating temptations. Always keep in mind your end
goals -- a healthier weight, and a healthier lifestyle. If you’re unable to follow your current plan, you can try a 3 & 2 Plan (3 Medifast Meals and 2 Lean &
Green meals). Remember to limit portion sizes of the Lean & Green meals – and enjoy your travel!
If your vacation is a ski trip or other strenuous activity, you may wish to contact
your Health Coach or our Nutrition Support team, to determine how to
incorporate additional calories in order to help prevent fatigue. Email our Nutrition Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long can I stay on the 5 & 1 Plan?
You may stay on the 5 & 1 Plan until:
• you’ve lost your desired amount of weight
• your weight loss has slowed to less than 3 lbs in a month
• you develop a new contraindication to the program (such as pregnancy)
• your physician recommends you transition into Maintenance phase
If you have significant weight to lose and plan to be on the weight loss phase of
the program beyond 16 weeks, we recommend that your physician monitor your program.
After you’ve completed the weight loss phase, continue to work with your Health Coach as you transition into maintenance. He or she will help you BeSlim™ for
life by living our BeSlim™ philosophy. I’m trying to quit smoking – could this affect my results using the
For general health, it is recommended that you stop smoking. Most individuals
cannot successfully stop smoking and start a weight loss program at the same time. Once you are no longer smoking, the Take Shape For Life program is
highly recommended to help you achieve Optimal Health.
USING YOUR MEDIFAST MEALS
How often should I have my Medifast Meals?
Optimally, you should plan to have your Medifast Meals every 2-3 hours. It is important to start each day with a schedule, and to allot specific times for eating
your meals. Build six (6) time slots for meals into your daily schedule, and strive to be as consistent with this eating schedule as possible. If you know your
schedule will shift a little (perhaps on weekends), make sure to shift your meal
times accordingly. What happens if I miss a meal?
If you miss a meal, eat the rest of your meals closer together -- making sure you
get all the required meals in before the end of the day. Because of the low
caloric level of the Medifast Meals, skipping meals will put you below the optimal nutrient level your body needs to function. This decrease in your nutrient balance
makes your body conserve energy -- causing you to lose weight slower, not faster!
What if I don’t feel hungry?
It is important to get all 5 Medifast Meals and the 1 Lean & Green meal in each
day, otherwise you are not getting al the nutrition and calories required to maximize the 5 & 1 Plan’s effectiveness.
What if I run out of Medifast Meals?
Always work with your Health Coach to make sure you have the right number of
meals on hand. If you happen to run out of Medifast Meals prior to the arrival of your next shipment, your Health Coach can help guide you with eating well in
Should I take vitamins?
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need to take vitamin supplements along with the program. The 5 & 1 Plan provides you with all the necessary Recommended
Daily Allowances of vitamins and minerals. Address this matter with your
physician if you are currently taking additional doctor-prescribed vitamin and/or mineral supplements.
Can Medifast Meals be consumed following the expiration date?
Medifast powdered products have an18-month best-if-used-by date. The
Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes and Bars have a 12-month best-if-used-by date. This does not mean that the product will “go bad” or be harmful; it simply means
that the vitamin and mineral pre-mix contained in the products may lose some of its potency, potentially rendering the product less effective. For best results, the
products should be used as soon as possible and stored in a cool, dry, clean environment.
Can you provide mixing instructions for each Medifast meal?
Use water for all Medifast Meals that require mixing. For specific information,
Can you mix two Medifast Meals together?
Yes. This can be a useful technique, helping to get you through a challenging time if you are feeling hungry. Some clients say this helps them to stay on the
program successfully. Remember however, it is most beneficial to spread individual meals out throughout the day.
Can I mix the packets ahead of time?
Meals may be prepared ahead and stored in a thermos or refrigerator for up to
12 hours. You might also consider Medifast Ready-to-Drink boxes, which offer a convenient way to take your shakes with you. These pre-mixed shakes (available
only in Medifast 55) are shelf-stable, and can be stored easily.
Will I ever be able to eat fruit, dairy, or starches again?
Absolutely! While on the 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss, we recommend that you avoid fruits, dairy, or starches because of their high carbohydrate content.
However, these foods are very healthy for you and we encourage you to re-
introduce all fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grain products during the Transition and Maintenance phase of your weight loss journey.
Can I combine other brands of diet foods?
We recommend that you stay with a single brand of products (such as Medifast
products). Each Medifast product is formulated to provide you with the complete nutrition your body requires. Mixing in different product brands may lead to
nutrient deficiencies. How much water should I have on this program?
It is important to drink at least 64-ounces of water per day while on the Take Shape For Life program to keep your body hydrated.
What types of fluids are recommended?
We recommend plain water first. In addition to the recommended 64-ounces of water per day, you may drink any liquids that are considered non-caloric. This
includes unsweetened hot or iced tea, coffee or decaf, diet sodas, or other
calorie-free beverages. As a general rule, Take Shape For Life recommends that you try to drink as much water as possible for good health and limit your intake
of other non-caloric liquids when possible.
Can I drink alcohol?
Alcoholic beverages are not recommended on the program. Alcohol provides unneeded calories and can slow your weight loss. Low-carbohydrate versions of
beer and/or other types of alcohol are not recommended, because they too provide calories with no nutritional value. Alcohol stimulates the appetite
(encouraging additional food intake), and it also can deplete your body of
needed water. Those who choose to drink alcohol tend to feel its effects at lower consumption levels, due to the lower calorie level of the 5 & 1 Plan.
Why do the bars contain more carbohydrates than other Medifast
The manufacturing of a solid product requires a different processing method for binding the carbohydrates with proteins. This results in a slightly higher
carbohydrate level than the powdered Medifast Meals. Hence, limit your bar intake to one a day (or less) during the weight loss phase of your plan.
Can I use any seasonings?
You can season your Medifast Meals and your Lean & Green meal with any herb,
seasoning, or spice. Experiment with different seasonings to see what flavors you enjoy. For general health purposes, we recommend limiting salt intake.
What are the limitations on the condiments I can use?
Some condiments are a significant source of additional calories. Of course, we do
want you to enjoy your food – but we recommend limiting condiment use in
order to achieve the best weight loss results.
For more specific condiment usage information, refer to our complete list of
What happens if I would like to go out to eat at a restaurant?
Special occasion meals are easier to handle than you may think! Simply rearrange your Medifast Meal routine (if necessary), so that you can enjoy your
Lean & Green meal at your breakfast meeting, family brunch, awards banquet, or virtually any special occasion involving food!
You should have your typical Lean & Green serving of meat and salad or
vegetables as usual. Ask for your meat to be served without sauce if possible. If
you can't avoid eating something that isn't part of the Lean & Green meal, it may raise your daily calorie intake; but you can get back on the 5 & 1 Plan starting
with your next meal. It is still best not to skip meals, even when you think you may have over-eaten. Resume your plan as soon as you are able.
As an alternative, you can bring along a Medifast Meal and ask the waiter for hot or cold water (depending on what you are eating) to mix your meal. Then simply
prepare your Medifast Meal and eat it with everyone else!
Can I chew gum?
Yes, as long as it is sugar-free gum. You can also have sugar-free mints. Make sure to limit these to no more than 5 a day.
Can I have butter substitutes?
You can use butter substitutes such as Molly McButter®, Butter Buds®, and I
Can't Believe It's Not Butter® spray as great alternatives to actual butter. Can I have lattes?
Take Shape For Life offers delicious Medifast Meals that include Cappuccino,
Chai-Latte, and Hot Cocoa! These beverages can be used as part of your 5 & 1
Meal Plan, and can also be enjoyed beyond the weight-loss phase, as you live the BeSlim™ philosophy (see BeSlim™ section).
Coffee shop or other non-Medifast types of lattes are not recommended on the
Medifast program because they are made with about 1/2 cup of milk – and milk
(whether skim or not) adds too many additional carbohydrates to your diet while in weight loss phase. We recommend limiting skim milk in your coffee to up to 2
tbsp. As an alternative, you can get a regular cup of coffee with up to 2 tbsp of low-fat or fat-free creamer, half & half, or skim milk. You can also add sugar-free
syrups (4 tbsp/day limit). Once you transition, you can include low fat dairy products.
Can I have shirataki noodles?
You can have shirataki noodles - serving size 1-1/2 cup (12oz). This would be
considered the “Green” portion of your Lean & Green meal. ON THE PROGRAM
Why did the scale go up?
The amount of weight you lose will fluctuate from week to week. Several
situations may change the number on the scale, such as the time of day you weigh yourself, your menstrual cycle, not drinking enough water, whether or not
you recently eliminated, or how closely you are following your 5 & 1 Plan. Don't panic if the scale doesn't move for several days -- or even goes up slightly. If you
stay on your program (and are consuming all of your meals), the scale will
eventually show results. Try to weigh yourself only once a week, at the same time each week (the ideal time being immediately after you wake up).
What can I do about a plateau?
Contact your Health Coach for support! Plateaus can occur at different times for
different people. They normally happen because your body is attempting to hold on to the fat stores. It's as though your body reshuffles its weight status while
assessing whether it's ready to continue losing. Once it feels settled, your system will kick back in and allow your weight to drop again. If you experience a weight-
loss plateau, look for other indications of progress such as wearing a smaller size
of clothing. Weight loss should resume if you continue to follow the program. You can contact the Nutrition Support Team at email@example.com if you
Is medical supervision required while on the program?
You should consult with your physician or qualified medical practitioner prior to
beginning (and throughout the course of) any weight loss program. You should
• are on medications, especially diabetic medications
Are there any special guidelines for clients over the age of 70?
If you are over the age of 70, this program should be done with your physician’s
supervision. Your physician may recommend a higher caloric intake based on
your individual needs. Dosages of medications may need to be adjusted and labs and vital signs need to be monitored. For more information, please refer to the
SOY, FIBER, DAIRY, WHEY
What type of soy is in Medifast Meals?
Medifast Meals use Supro® brand soy protein, a high-quality complete protein derived from soybeans. Supro® is produced by DuPont's Protein Technologies.
DuPont has been conducting soy protein research for more than 30 years.
What are the benefits of soy?
* Some research studies have shown that soy protein helps to lower blood cholesterol levels.
* Studies show naturally occurring isoflavones (such as those in the Supro brand
soy protein) have increased the mineral content and density of bones, which may protect against the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
* Several studies have indicated that a regular intake of soy foods may help to prevent hormone related cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and
* Soy works to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood, and each 1% reduction in LDL cholesterol results in a 2–4 percent reduced risk
for heart disease. * Soy reduces triglyceride levels and increases HDL cholesterol levels (good
cholesterol which further reduces the risk of heart disease.
* Soy isoflavones, which are natural estrogen sources, may help reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats.
* Soy is a complete protein, providing all of the essential amino acids. What products do not contain soy?
The following products do not contain soy:
How much fiber is within the Medifast Meals?
There are 3-4 grams of fiber in most of the Medifast Meals -- with the exception of the bars. The bars contain 1-2 grams of fiber. You also get fiber from the
“Green” portion of your Lean & Green meal.
Are there any dairy-free Medifast Meals?
Yes, we have one dairy-free product -- the Medifast Ready-to-Drink shakes. For more information, ple.
Which Medifast Meals do not contain whey?
THE FAT-BURNING STATE (mild ketosis) and WEIGHT LOSS
What is the fat-burning state?
On the 5 & 1 Plan, your body enters a fat-burning state -- also known as “mild-
ketosis”. The nutrient balance of the Medifast Meal in combination with the low calorie level causes the body’s fat stores to release free fatty acids, which are
then converted by the liver into an energy source called ketones. This mild
dietary fat-burning state helps the body achieve rapid weight loss while preserving muscle tissue. The fat-burning state also helps eliminate physical
hunger while providing sufficient levels of energy. Is this fat-burning state harmful to me?
No, the fat-burning state achieved while on the 5 & 1 Plan is very mild. The fat-burning state is a normal adaptive mechanism that your body uses to manage
energy. The level achieved will protect you from losing muscle tissue (due to the amount of protein that can be consumed in conjunction with the plan).
Incorporating regular exercise also helps to tone and build muscle tissue.
How long does it take to get into the fat-burning state?
It generally takes about 3-5 days to get into the fat-burning state. How can I tell I am in the fat-burning state?
The best way to determine if you are in the fat-burning state is by recognizing physical clues -- such as feeling less hungry and more energized.
Can I use Ketone Test Strips?
Take Shape For Life does not recommend using ketone test strips while on the 5
1) If you are not using them the same way or at the same time each day,
2) On the 5 & 1 program, you are only in a mild dietary state of ketosis, and
ketone strips are designed for a much stronger state of ketosis – such as a low carbohydrate diet.
The best way to determine if you are in ketosis is to look for physical reactions, such as feeling less hungry and more energized, and losing weight at a steady
rate. If you have any further questions or concerns about this, you may contact our Nutrition Support.
EXERCISING DURING THE WEIGHT-LOSS PHASE OF THE
TAKE SHAPE FOR LIFE PROGRAM
Should I exercise along with the program?
Exercise is a necessary part of losing weight and maintaining your weight loss. If
you do not exercise currently, we recommend you wait 2-3 weeks before you begin an exercise program. Start an exercise program slowly and gradually
increase time spent on an activity (and intensity of the activity) as your body
allows. Choose an activity that you can enjoy regularly. Most of our clients find walking to be the easiest activity to incorporate into their day.
For an individual that has an exercise regimen in place prior to starting the
weight loss phase of the program, we recommend cutting exercise in half for the first couple of weeks. This allows the body to adjust to its new calorie level. As
your body adjusts to this lower calorie level, you can increase time and intensity
of your exercise plan. Listen to your body and only do what it allows. If you feel
light-headed or faint, stop your exercise and take a rest before you resume.
Exercise is beneficial for improving your metabolism and helps to maintain any weight previously lost.
Remember to drink fluids. Fluid intake is important when you exercise. You may
find on the days that you are exercising that you will need additional water, especially if it is hot outside.
What type of exercise (and how much) is recommended?
If you haven't been exercising at all, be sure to check with your doctor first to
make sure your exercise plan is appropriate for you. Once you’re deemed ready, adopt a slow pace. Start with gentle walking. You can take short walks
throughout the day or go on a single long one. Make a commitment to walk
every day, even if your walk is a short one. Gradually increase the distance and time spent walking once you reach a comfort level. Of course, in addition to
walking, you may begin with any exercise that you enjoy. You may try incorporating a variety of exercises such as walking, stair climbing, biking, weight
training, aerobics, swimming, pilates, etc. Some people choose the guidance of a personal trainer to help establish an individualized exercise program.
SYMPTOMS AND SIDE EFFECTS
*NOTE: Most of our clients report feeling energized – and better than they did
prior to starting the Take Shape For Life program. If you are il or do not feel
well, see your doctor. Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should be able to continue on the Take Shape For Life program, as most symptoms experienced
If you have any questions, please contact your Health Coach or Take Shape For
Life’s Nutrition Support via email by telephone: (800) 509-1281.
PHASE 2 – LIVING THE BESLIM PHILOSOPHY
How do I transition to the BeSlim™ philosophy?
Once you’ve reached your goal weight, or you haven’t lost additional weight in
the last 4 weeks, you should begin the Transition phase to the BeSlim™
philosophy. The Transition Plan gradually adds calories back into your diet, while giving your body the appropriate time it needs to adjust to its new level of
Can I use Medifast Meals as part of a weight maintenance plan?
Yes, we encourage continued use of Medifast Meals, so you do not gain back any
weight lost. In fact, most people use 1-3 Medifast Meals per day as part of their
ongoing Maintenance plan. You may also use a Medifast Meal as a protein source in your regular meal – adding other foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, or a salad to maintain a healthy nutritional balance.
What is the BeSlim™ philosophy?
o Many of our most successful clients follow our BeSlim™ philosophy.
The BeSlim™ philosophy is a part of the Take Shape For Life program that incorporates key behaviors mastered by those who lost significant
amounts of weight and kept their weight off for years. These key
reakfast (eating Breakfast every day) – High quality fuel, such
as our delicious Medifast oatmeal, scrambled eggs, cappuccino, or chai latte, is essential to start your day the right way.
xercise – Continued exercise increases metabolism, provides
strength, flexibility, and mental clarity.
upport – Your Health Coach is here to help you reach and
maintain your goals, providing the coaching, tools, education, and caring support you will need along the way.
ow-fat meals 5-6 times a day – Eating frequently, controlling
portion and total calories, especially those from fat, are critical for success.
ndividual Plan – Your Health Coach will help you create an
individual plan to help you achieve an optimal healthy lifestyle
and build the skills and strategies you need to cope with
onitor your weight – Weigh yourself on a regular basis to
maintain optimal weight. Catch it before it becomes a challenge!
What is the BeSlim™ Club?
The BeSlim™ Club is Take Shape For Life’s progressive savings program, which
offers clients and Health Coaches an easy way to obtain their Medifast Meals quickly and at a savings. Available to all, the BeSlim™ Club is great for
individuals learning and practicing the BeSlim™ philosophy. When you join the BeSlim™ Club, Take Shape For Life will reward your commitment with a savings
o In months 1-3, you save 5% on your order over $75.00.
o In months 4-6, you receive 8% off the price of your order over $75.00.
o In months 7 and on, you save 12% on your order over $75.00.
By simply setting up an account, your order will automatically ship to you each month.
How do I place an order when I join the BeSlim™ Club?
Your Health Coach can help you set up your account, or you can call 1-866-200-6715 Monday through Friday, 8am to 10pm Eastern. Please have your client
ID# and credit card ready when ordering.
What happens if I cancel my BeSlim™ Club order?
Take Shape For Life allows you to miss one monthly BeSlim™ Club order shipment without losing your discount. Simply call the Client Contact Center at 1-
866-200-6715 to place your order on hold to continue receiving your discounts.
Client Care is available:
Monday through Friday 8:00am – 10:00pm EST
Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm EST Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm EST
Please call 1-800-572-4417
Return Policy for First Time Orders: Full 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
If you are not satisfied for any reason, receive a Full refund of the entire purchase price on orders of $275 or more when the unused portion is returned
within 30 days of purchase. First time client orders only.
Return Policy for Subsequent Orders
Receive a refund of the purchase price on any unopened, unused boxes returned within 30 days of purchase. Refund applies to the products returned only.
Instructions for All Returns
Client is responsible for cost of shipping returned items and package must be
postmarked within 30 days of purchase date. The packing slip must be included in the package and your client order number should be clearly marked on the
outside of the returned package for proper processing. Please allow 3-4 weeks for the return to be processed. We will not re-ship returns sent after the 30 day
purchase period. We are not responsible for lost or stolen packages. Only the
account used for the original purchase can be credited. Shipping charges, if applicable are non-refundable.
Does my insurance cover Medifast?
Check with your individual insurance carrier. Some carriers cover weight loss
programs in morbidly obese patients. Are Medifast Meals tax-deductible?
Medifast Meals may qualify as a medical expense under the IRS’s Weight Loss Program Tax Deduction rule when recommended by a physician or qualified
medical practitioner for the treatment of an existing disease. Consult with your financial advisor or tax preparer.
• You can include the cost of a weight loss program undertaken at a
physician’s direction to treat an existing disease.
• You cannot include the cost of a weight loss program in medical
expenses if the purpose of the weight control is to maintain your general good health.
• The costs of weight management programs include physician (or
qualified medical practitioner) services, counseling, and products.
• The weight loss must be recommended for the treatment of an
existing medical condition or disease such as heart disease, high
• Medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income may be
For more information, refer to the American Obesity Association website:
APPENDIX: MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND THE
What conditions would absolutely PROHIBIT my use of low calorie
• Myocardial Infarction (MI) / Heart Attack within previous 3 months (unless
• Recent or recurrent CVAs and/or TIAs, stroke; uncontrolled seizures
• Type 1 Diabetes (can be used for improved nutrition or weight
maintenance but not recommended for a weight loss program; can add
Medifast Meals to regular dietary intake)
• Severe liver disease (may require a low protein diet)
• Active Thrombophlebitis (DVT/PE within 3 months)
• Eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia
• Severe psychiatric disturbance (history of major depression and/or suicide
• Corticosteroid therapy >20 mg/day
• Chronic illicit drug usage; addictions; alcoholism; substance abuse
What conditions could LIMIT my use of Medifast products?
Certain conditions may necessitate close supervision by your physician.
Please check with your physician prior to starting the Take Shape For Life
program if any of the following conditions apply: • Use of the medication Lithium (your physician may wish to order
laboratory blood tests to determine lithium levels while on the program)
• A history of seizures (your physician may wish to order laboratory blood
tests to determine seizure medication levels)
• History of Peptic Ulcer disease (not active)
• Anticoagulant medication such as Coumadin or Warfarin, require
consistent intake of Vitamin K to get the most benefit from the
medication. Since Vitamin K in foods may affect the action of
anticoagulants, you should avoid drastic changes in dietary habits or in your consumption of foods high in Vitamin K. All Medifast products contain
Vitamin K in the vitamin/mineral premix. You can use Medifast Meals with this medication since your daily intake of Vitamin K will be similar each
day. Your physician should be aware that Medifast products are fortified with Vitamin K. It is important to work with your physician to have
laboratory blood work done to determine a therapeutic level of the
• Over the age of 70 years old, a higher calorie and/or protein level may be
necessary, so we do not recommend the standard 5 & 1 Plan. Some people over the age of 70 have been successful with weight loss using
Medifast Meals in conjunction with a 1,200 calorie per day diet. Please
• Adolescent use – beyond puberty and under the age of 18, any weight
loss program should be used only as directed by your physician.
Can I take Medifast Meals if I am currently using diuretics?
We recommend that you ask your physician if a low calorie diet is appropriate for you. Your physician may recommend having your electrolytes monitored if you
take a diuretic, due to the increased urine output resulting from doing this program. The weight loss program in conjunction with diuretic use may result in
an alteration of your sodium / potassium levels (due to the increased urine
output). Your physician may adjust the dosage of (or discontinue the use of) the diuretic while you are doing the Take Shape For Life program.
Can I use Medifast Meals if I am currently using thyroid medications?
Individuals with hypothyroidism can do a program. It should be done under the direct supervision of your physician. The doctor may request to monitor labs and
medications throughout the program. Some may suggest using a non-soy
Medifast product around the time of day that you take thyroid medication.
For information on non-soy products, please refer to the Can I use Medifast if I have had gastric bypass surgery?
We have had many individuals on the Take Shape For Life program prior to and after having gastric bypass surgery. Your plan would be adjusted based on how
long ago your surgery was completed. Medifast Meals are portion-controlled, high protein, low carbohydrate, and fortified with vitamins and minerals. We
recommend (as with any weight loss program) that you consult with your doctor
prior to and throughout the weight loss process. Your physician may request to monitor labs, medications, or may suggest a different calorie level than our
standard 5 & 1 Plan. Your Health Coach wil be happy to work with you and/or your physician to help meet your needs.
What is Medifast Plus for Diabetics?
Medifast Plus for Diabetics is a specially designed line of food products
formulated to meet the needs of people with diabetes. Medifast Plus for Diabetics can be used as a supplement in a weight-loss program or in addition to
How do I use Medifast Plus for Diabetics for weight loss?
We recommend that you consult with your primary care physician or diabetes specialist before beginning a program using Medifast Meals – including Medifast
Plus for Diabetics. You should discuss blood sugar monitoring, oral diabetes agents, and changes to your insulin regimen with your physician before starting
the program. As with any weight loss program, using Medifast products may
lessen your need for diabetic medications. What is di
fferent about Medifast Plus for Diabetics?
It is specially formulated for Diabetics and contains less than 6 grams of sugar
and 9 total carbohydrates per serving. Medifast Plus For Diabetics has been
certified by the Glycemic Research Institute to make the claim “LOW GLYCEMIC” and is authorized to use the Glycemic Research Institute’s Seal of Approval.
How do I use Medifast Plus for Diabetics for Weight Loss?
Take Shape For Life recommends that you discuss blood sugar monitoring, oral
diabetes agents, and changes to your insulin regimen with your physician or specialist before starting the program. We suggest a program that includes 5-6
Medifast Meals and 1 meal per day. Medifast Plus for Diabetics is recommended as a physician-supervised weight loss program for people with type 2 diabetes
How should I use it for General Nutrition or Weight Maintenance?
Take Shape For Life recommends that you discuss blood sugar monitoring, oral diabetes agents, and changes to your insulin regimen with your physician or
specialist before starting the program. We suggest a program that incorporates
1-4 Medifast Plus for Diabetics shakes into your current meal plan. Should I continue my oral diabetes medication?
You should consult with your physician regarding changes to your medications.
In general, it is advised to check your blood sugar at least 2 – 3 times daily,
especially at the beginning of your program. If your blood sugar levels fall below the range specified by your doctor, you should seek the advice of your physician.
Medifast Meals provide a lower intake of calories and carbohydrates than your current diet.
What is Medifast Plus for Joint Health?
Medifast Plus for Joint Health is a specially designed meal-replacement supplement, specially formulated to relieve the excruciating symptoms associated
What is in the Joint Health Shakes that helps with arthritis symptoms?
The Joint Health Shakes contain glucosamine and chondroitin. These may reduce pain and help repair the damage caused by arthritis. To get the therapeutic
benefits of the shakes, you should take three (3) Joint Health shakes each day as part of a 5 & 1 Meal plan. Each shake provides you with 500 mg of both
chondroitin and glucosamine, and therapeutic levels are 1000 mg. You can
choose any other two Medifast Meals each day from puddings, soup, chili, beef stew, oatmeal, or non-shake beverages. If you are already using medication for
arthritis, consult with your doctor before incorporating the Joint Health shakes.
Who should use Medifast Plus for Joint Health?
Medifast Plus for Joint Health is recommended for individuals over the age of 18 who suffer with painful joints due to arthritis and/or injury.
Be sure to consult with your doctor about using these shakes if you are already
on arthritis medication. In many instances, prescription arthritis medications
contain higher levels of chondroitin and glucosamine than the Joint Health Shakes.
What is Medifast Plus for Women’s Health?
Medifast Plus for Women’s Health is a specially designed meal-replacement
supplement, formulated to relieve and prevent the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes or night sweats.
What is in the Women’s Health Shakes that helps menopausal
The Women’s shakes contain black cohosh, Echinacea, and chaste tree berry –
these ingredients help reduce symptoms of menopause. For maximum results
take 1-3 Women’s Health shakes each day as part of the 5 & 1 Meal plan. If you are already on a Hormone Replacement Therapy, consult with your doctor prior
to using these shakes. Who should use Medifast Plus for Women’s Health?
Medifast Plus for Women’s Health is recommended for Women (35-60yrs old)
that are experiencing the symptoms of menopause. These symptoms may include (but are not limited to): hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, fatigue,
vaginal dryness, loss of libido, headaches, anxiety, and insomnia. However, if a woman is already on HRT, she should discuss with her doctor the
use of these shakes. Many times these shakes provide lower therapeutic dosages than alternate HRT therapies.
What is Medifast Plus for Coronary Health?
Medifast Plus for Coronary Health is a safe and effective meal replacement
supplement specially formulated to protect the heart against disease. Formulated
with the highest quality nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, Medifast Plus for Coronary Health provides a natural defense against heart conditions brought
about by improper diets.
What is in the Coronary Health Shakes that helps with heart concerns?
The Coronary Health Shakes have Coenzyme Q10, amino acids, and Pycnogenol, which provide a natural defense against heart conditions. For maximum results
take 1-3 Coronary Health Shakes each day as part of the 5 & 1 Meal plan. If currently on heart medications, consult with your doctor prior to starting the
Is there any reason I should not use Coronary Health Shakes?
The Coronary Health shakes are designed as a preventive measure. Individuals who have heart concerns should discuss the use of this product with his or her
If you are on blood thinning medication, be aware that this shake has 28 mcg of
vitamin K in it. Vitamin K acts to clot the blood.
Can I drink any combination of Health Management specialty shakes?
Do not combine the Health Management Shakes (ex: we do not recommend mixing Medifast Plus for Joint Health and Medifast Plus for Women’s Health
within your meal plan). If you currently take medications for any of the above-named health concerns, consult with your doctor prior to using the product.
One to two tablespoons of canola or olive oil can be incorporated into the 5&1
Plan to help with constipation, hair loss, and dry skin.
During the first week or so on the program, some people experience diarrhea
from the body's adjustment to the concentration of nutrients in Medifast Meals. Too much sugar-free gum or mints can also cause diarrhea.
Gurgling stomach, cramps?
If you experience gurgling stomach, abdominal cramping, bloating, or diarrhea,
you may have lactose intolerance or a shortage of the enzyme that breaks down milk products. Try Lactaid pills (available at pharmacies), a non-prescription
enzyme that helps your body digest milk components. Take 1 to 3 regular strength pills with each Medifast Meal to control the symptoms. You may be able
to stop taking the pills after 2-3 weeks.
You will probably have bowel movements less frequently than normal because of the decreased food intake. If you have hard stools or feel constipated, try to
drink more fluids, increase exercise, and/or take a sugar-free fiber supplement such as Metamucil. You may use stool softener pills or laxatives if necessary.
As your body metabolizes fat stores, the fat-burning by-products can cause a slight breath odor. You can also experience a dry mouth because of slight
dehydration. To remedy both of these symptoms, drink a lot of water and other
fluids; use breath sprays or products such as Breath Asure®; brush your teeth, including your tongue, several times a day; and/or use sugar-free gum or mints,
The low calorie level of the program causes your body to decrease its
metabolism, which can make you feel cold more easily. Try drinking hot liquids
or taking warm baths. Keep a sweater handy.
Some people develop a mild skin rash on their chest, neck or face during the
early weeks on the program. Most skin rashes seem to be related to the high-protein balance of the program, and disappear within 1-2 weeks. If a rash itches
or feels uncomfortable, use Benadryl® to control the symptoms and/or a cortisone cream to speed healing.
Hunger that doesn't go away?
If you continue to struggle with hunger beyond the first 1-2 weeks, your stomach may be excreting more acid than needed for the small volume of food
intake, which can create a "gnawing" sensation in your stomach that feels
exactly like hunger. If you have a history of having an ulcer or gastritis, you can be particularly prone to this type of hunger problem. Consider taking an acid-
blocker medication such as Zantac®, Tagamet®, or Pepcid AC®.
A small percentage of people on the program will struggle with hair loss,
especially those on the program for more than three months. B vitamins, zinc, and Biotin are all helpful for decreasing the problem, as are more natural
alternatives such as primrose oil and flax seed oil. Hair loss is not permanent and
re-growth typically occurs within a couple months of going off the 5&1 program. What if I get sick?
If you get a cold or the flu, you can stay on the program provided your
symptoms aren't too severe. Taking antibiotics (if necessary) won't harm your
5&1 plan but may temporarily slow your weight loss. Be sure to use sugar-free cough and cold medications so that you don’t affect your fat-burning state.
What can I take for side effects?
Use antacids such as Maalox® as desired. You might also take an acid-blocker
medication such as Zantac® or Tagament® for a couple of weeks until you no longer experience the symptoms.
Aspirin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen may be used as necessary. Avoid long-term use as these may cause stomach distress when you are on the program.
Does the program affect my gallbladder?
As reported in our studies, no case of gallbladder problems were noted. Most
people do fine, especially on the 5 & 1 program when fat intake is higher. Women who are obese, older than forty, and have had children have a higher
incidence of gallstones. If you are in this group we always recommend that you use the 5 & 1 program to increase your fat intake. On the complete program
your fat intake is very low and may result in your gallbladder creating sludge
from inactivity. The additional fat ingestion should help the gallbladder remain more active. If you have a history of gallbladder disease or think you are having
any further questions it is critical that you talk to your doctor before starting our program.
Can I take (medications)?
Seasonal allergy or
You can continue most allergy and asthma medications including inhalers while
Unless necessary, avoid taking diuretics while you are on the program. If you are currently taking a diuretic, check with your doctor before making changes. You
may need to wean off the medication slowly rather than stopping it abruptly.
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