Medifast vs Weight Watchers: Anyone switched?

  • 2220 days ago

    Sage Level 1

    I have been on the 5&1 plan for 13 weeks now and am about a week or two from hitting my first goal. I am considering switching to a less restrictive diet for a few months, like Weight Watchers, while I deal with some issues at home and at work. I have done WW before, and averaged a loss of 6-8 lbs per month on that program. I want to maintain my Medifast loss and build on it during my break. My goal is to restart Medifast at the end of September and lose another 40-50 lbs. That will put me at a weight that I will be very comfortable at..

    Rather than just stopping Medifast cold turkey and switching to WW, I feel like I should do the transition program for a while..

    Has anyone done this type of thing before? I am interested in experiences and opinions on how to make this change with as little negatives as possible..



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  • 2215 days ago

    The only experience I have seen with this course of action, and I have seen a few people on here try it, is complete failure and a return to medifast to lose the weight they gained back on WW..

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  • 2206 days ago

    It seems to me that it might be better to stay within the guidelines and guardrails of the Medifast program... especially if you know you'll be back. Transition seems like it would work for that..

    If WW worked for you before, then I guess really it is ultimately your decision about what works best for you..

    The only thing I've ever heard about WW is it just teaches you how to manage points in such a way as to manipulate the system in order to fit garbage food in each day. If that is part of your reasoning, then you might want to reconsider. If it is not, then just forget what I said..

    I don't know if your issues are financial, or just "stress" related. But I happen to think that Medifast makes my life way LESS stressful when all I have to do is throw 5 packets in my bag each day and plan out a simple L&G. If I had to go to a point system, I'd be a mess. But that's just me. You didn't go in to your reasons, so I won't speculate further..

    Congrats on your progress thus far. Whichever way you end up going, I wish you the best of luck, and hope to see you back here to finish the thing..

    Cheers Dearie,.


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  • 2197 days ago

    We don't know what issues you are dealing with to make you think about going to WW and it really isn't our business. You need to do what works for you in your life at this time. If it is a financial issue and WW has worked for you in the past and you feel you need to do that for a while, do it. Things to consider would be the amount of time you want it to take to get yourself to your goal. Can you get to goal on WW: yes, is it going to take longer than MF: most likely, is it cheaper: yes. I personally have done WW many times in the past and been successful with it until my hypothyroidism interfered with my weight loss.

    It takes a lot of the thinkng out of it. I will admit though, I am missing the "zero point fruit" this summer, but I keep telling myself there will be other summers, summers where I am at my goal weight eating that "zero point fruit"! I hope you make the decison that is right for you. If you do decide to do WW, you can always come back to MF!.

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  • 2188 days ago

    Medifast has some less restrictive plans so you could check those out as an alternative..

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  • 2179 days ago

    Hi Don,.

    I can't answer your specific question as I have never done WW myself. I have observed several people on these boards attempt to do what you are contemplating, only to come back months later with gains and regret..

    I also have a dear friend who had great success on Medifast, switched to WW with the illusion that eating "real food" would be better, and now cannot seem to make any progress at all. I have never quite understood the "real food vs Medifast" argument, because we DO eat real food on Medifast!.

    Without understanding what is going on in your life right now, I think it would be good exercise for you to contemplate exactly how or why you believe that such a change in your diet program would be helpful to you. What is it about WW that you find more appealing than Medifast (from the other side of the fence). And don't just think about what you get to eat... think about your mindset... your approach to dieting... your ability to stay on plan...

    Visualize how a WW day will go compared to a Medifast day (what and how much you will eat, how you will track, how you will shop, how you will dine out, etc). I know you have been on WW before, but it may be different for you after your Medifast experience..

    I wish you the best, whatever path you choose!.

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  • 2176 days ago

    If the issue is financial and you can no longer afford to be on MF, then switching to WW would be better than quitting. If you do switch to WW you might want to consider the Simply Filling (I think that's what it"s called). Also be prepared for a slower weight loss, which is ok..

    But any other issue I would say to stick with MF, it is quicker and simple..

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  • 2176 days ago

    Hi Don, I have done both Medifast and WW and had success with both. Since we don't know your reason for the switch, we can only give general advise..

    But, if it were me, and if the reason was financial, this is how I would handle it. I would try to mimic the Medifast plan as closely as possible with more of a transition, maintenance mode so as to keep your carbs low as possible and to reduce the sudden blood sugar spike, which will probably cause the rapid weight gain people can see. So that means, no breads, sugars, potatoes, most fruits, high sugar veggies, pasta, rice, etc. Just like we are eating now. You will have to do alot of label reading and shop pretty much lilke you do now. But it is doable, if you are willing to put the extra effort in the research. Again, I would follow the guidelines like a transition and maintenance Medifast diet and see how it goes..

    Best of luck. Check in with us if we can help along the way..

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  • 2174 days ago


    Also, some folks have done a mini "MF transition" program instead of stopping Medifast altogether..

    Honestly, only you know if WW will work for you. I used to love the WW program; however, it ended up not being restrictive enough for me in the long run (as mentioned above). It's a good program though if one doesn't manipulate it. Unfortunately, I didn't seem to have that willpower. Although after being on Medifast since Janunary perhaps I would now.who knows. I love MF! It's worked so well for me.of course, the real work begins with maintenance..

    Good luck.whatever you decide..

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  • 2166 days ago

    Hi Don,.

    This has been what I have seen as well..

    What I have see for most of us that have made goal and are now maintaining is that we really have to watch our carbs. I see this is what I will have to do forever and actually if you look at the government's food pyramid (which is more like a plate now rather than a pyramid) it has changed to show we should be eating mostly veggies/fruit/protein then carbs/dairy. If you start WW and count points and are using those points for pasta/bread etc it could be disastrous. I firmly believe that all calories are not equal and yes, it's calories in vs. calories out but not all calories eaten react in the body the same way. Especially after not having more than 30% carbs while on Medifast for 13 weeks..

    I would do a full transition if at all possible. If not, ask Nutrisystem about a quicker transition. But then be very careful of the carbs. Try to mimic the Medifast plan as much as possible and if you use an on line tracker like the one on Livestrong site (My Plate) or another one, you can see the % of carbs/protein/fat..

    Good luck and keep us posted as to how it's going.

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  • 2162 days ago

    If you decide to switch horses midstream, do make sure you transition for the full 6 weeks..

    Good luck with whatever you decide..

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  • 2159 days ago

    I've lost weight with WW before, but that was BEFORE the points system. I've been double-tracking my foods in both WW and Medifast just to see how they compare these days..

    I don't see how the folks doing the on-line version get enough support. The point system has been changed, and the look-up program is the only way to know for sure what the food you are eating is worth. There is much more work involved in planning meals, staying within your points, and not going crazy with the weekly additional points everyone gets. If I was following WW alone, I'd be gaining weight instead of losing. Plus I am loving my convenience factor and the choices I have for Medifast foods. I KNOW my cookies, brownies, shakes and soft serve are totally OP..

    Only you can decide what is best for you. But whatever your final decision, follow a plan and stick with it without cheating (or using those extra points for sludge you'll stop your weight loss)..

    Wishing you the best..

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  • 2155 days ago

    Both systems really only work if you log your food. So if you're going to log your food anyway, why not do it on the MyMedifast and track your calories, protein, and carbs and just limit them to a higher number than you do now?.

    The thing I've observed about WW that bothers me is that the fans of WW tell you they are making a lifestyle change and it's not just a diet. They tell you they are learning to eat right. Well, I learned how to game the points system to justify what I wanted to eat. In the MANY years I was supposedly following WW, I only ever gained weight. That doesn't mean it doesn't work for some people. I'm sure it does.

    With MF, you pay for food and the information is free. I think this is a program with tools I can actually use the rest of my life. I have learned more in 2 weeks about what I SHOULD be eating than I learned in years of WW based on the actual nutritional values instead of a magical point system. A system where I had to pay to find out the point value of most foods..

    I don't know what you're situation is, but if it was me, and I was going to have to log what I ate anyway, I'd rather track nutritional values over points and save my money for other things..

    Plus, and this is just an opinion, but the I find the people on the Medifast boards to be friendlier and far more helpful and supportive than on the WW boards. I think it has to do with the the most frequent answer I saw on the WW boards which basically amounted to: Go read your guide materials that you paid for, unless you didn't pay for them, in which case, I did pay for them, so I'm not helping you..

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  • 2154 days ago

    Where is that "Like" button? like like like!!!.

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  • 2146 days ago

    I did the WW Points program last year, since then it changed again! I have already lost more in the past 5 weeks on Medifast than I did in three months on WW ( and I did not go off plan once!) On WW you will be eating more food than most people do, so it does get expensive too. Also, you are really tied to a computer, or other type of application, to figure out your points for every meal. There is a formula that they will not give you to figure them out..

    I think maybe the closest thing to medifast might be a South Beach Diet or a Atkins Diet. I would try to do some research on those, since most of the meals on those, do resemble our Lean and Greens..

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  • 2138 days ago

    Don - when the food on Medifast made me sick a few months ago, I transitioned off the program into the 4&2. I was still losing every single week, and I was eating more food that weren't from packets or packages. During that time, I had completely eliminated bread, pasta, rice and candy (although I occasionally had a little frozen greek yogurt), and that strategy helped me not crave anything really bad or to binge. And eventually there were days where I didn't eat any Medifast meals at all, and I supplemented the meals with a protein bar or two. I realized I was at a bit of a standstill, and I realized that I needed to get back on the Medifast vehicle to get to where I knew I wanted to be!.

    You mention being "less restrictive" to deal with family and work issues, and to me that sounds like you're looking for a more comfort food approach to dealing with stress? Maybe I'm wrong, but watch out with what you allow yourself to have! I don't know what the logistical situations are that you're going to be dealing with, but I hope that you can make the decision that won't lead you down a path to spiraling out of control..

    You're doing so well, and your health is so important! I think the satisfaction you'll get from continually doing well on the weight loss aspect of your life can outweigh the pleasure you get from less restrictive food?.

    Again...take this with a grain of salt, cuz I don't know what's going on in your life!.

    Good luck! we're here for you!!!.

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  • 2131 days ago

    Hello, brother!.

    Not getting where you are going here. I don't understand the premise that dealing with some issues means no NS, or why WW would be better. "Dealing with some issues" is life. There are always issues..

    We both know that lots of people lose lots of weight on both plans. Whichever one works for you, or maybe both work for you, it really doesn't matter, does it. Its all about eating less than you used to, and eating better than you used to, and the results will come. The name of the plan isn't particularly important..

    Do what you have to do. Stay strong..


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  • 2129 days ago

    First I have to say that there are no issues that eating differently will help. Enough said..

    However, I have switched back and forth between WW and MF. I do a low carb version of WW and try to keep my calories at 40%(or more) Protein, 30% fat and 30% (or less) carbs. It works pretty well for losing slowly like a 1/2 to 1 pound a week. The leaders at WW hate that I do low carb.... but it works for me..

    MF is not magic- it's just low carb and pretty low calories. I enter my food in both the Medifast and the WW websites. WW does not give enough info on protein/fat/carb levels along with sodium like Medifast does. WW does not teach you the composition of food like Medifast and it is their big failing in my opinion. Counting points teaches you nothing about how your body reacts to protein or carbs..

    Be aware that it is very hard to switch back to Medifast after the freedom of WW. I cruise on Medifast usually but struggle for several weeks when switching from WW to MF. Medifast is very restrictive. If you can stay on MF, it will be easier even if you have an extra bar once in a while..

    I never use the 49 extra WW points they give you or the exercise points. I just use the basic points, for me it's 26. I think I will gain on all those extra points. I think WW is a pretty good maintanace diet but I will always have to be on a low carb diet. Sugar is my enemy along with white stuff- flour etc..

    If you want to maintain your weight, you have to diet forever in my experience. I always have to be aware of what I am eating. And exercise. Or you will gain it back. It's as simple as that. After 50 years (!) of dieting, I have finally realized that.

    No matter what is happening..

    It has freed me ironically. I am at peace with food and don't care at all about the junk food I used to eat. Junk food got me fat and will keep me fat- I can't eat "a Little Bit" cause I have no sense about it..

    Just my humble opinion..


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  • 2129 days ago

    AHHHHH.....really nice to see an honest post with real caring and honest responses without it turning into a dog fight! Love it!.

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  • 2129 days ago

    That's a great post..

    MF works (IMHO) because of two reasons: 1) Its totally simple, foolproof, easy and painless. 2) By making you semi-ketotic, you're not that hungry..



    , that's what's important...and why WW wouldn't work.

    For me.



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  • 2129 days ago

    What honesty, and what caring posts. I love when this happens here!.

    I failed at WW many times….I don't have good memories of it at all….I don't think it is the right program for emotional binge eaters because you are constantly focusing on food, and the carbs aren't kept low enough to help enough with hunger..

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