Here are some of the things that have helped me along my journey using Medifast meals and the Take Shape for Life plan:
• I have a big green lunch bag that I take to work with me everyday and I bring my Medifast meals along wherever I go. Last week I did something a little extra. I wrote down every meal that I’m planning to eat for the next several weeks. I was trying to plan my next shipment of food and wanted to make sure I had enough of the right kinds of foods. Then I put exactly my planned meals in my green bag and now I don’t have to think about “What am I hungry for?” I just look at my little sticky note that says “Breakfast = Blueberry Oatmeal, Snack = Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs, Lunch = Chicken with Wild Rice Soup, Snack = Lemon Meringue Crunch Bar, and Evening Snack = Brownie Soft Bake.” Then I pull out the right meal and eat it! Voila!
• I don’t try to make any of the fancy recipes! I eat my five Medifast meals a day just as they are. They are made to taste great, to fill us up, and to be easy. Every time I’ve tried one of the weird and exciting-sounding recipes, they have just frustrated me and never turn out right. And I consider myself a pretty good cook!
• I don’t make a bunch of fancy Lean & Green meals! I pile a bunch of salad on a plate (mix of Field Greens & Spinach – it comes in a handy recyclable box as a 50/50 mix), pour on a little Light dressing, slice some radishes, mushrooms and green onions, and put a hunk of meat next to it (not an easy feat for me considering I normally live pretty close to vegetarian). Then I eat it with enthusiasm. I’ve grown to really love these meals, although I look forward to having some form of pinto or other dry beans rather than meat (in the future) (and no, I don’t like tofu so don’t go there).
• I make myself a nice, steaming cup of hot cocoa using two packets of stevia and ½ tablespoon of Hersey’s Unsweetened Cocoa. I put the water in the microwave for a minute & a half, add the ingredients, then microwave it for another 30 seconds (it sort of ‘melts’ the cocoa). This calms my craving for chocolate and provides me with a calorie-free treat first thing in the morning and after lunch.
• I carry bars with me in my purse all the time for those unexpected occasions throughout the day when I am out & about and don’t have time to cook something or prepare a shake.
• I make sure I have at least one lunch-type meal (at lunch time), like one of the soups, stews or chili, have at least one salty snack like the puffs or pretzels, have at least one chocolate meal, and (I’ve learned that it helps to have) a hearty breakfast-type food at breakfast such as the oatmeal or pancakes.
• I’m conscious of what my family is eating for snacks and try to match my snacks with similar items. If they’re having popcorn, I have some puffs or pretzels. If they’re having pie I have either the cinnamon pretzels or the lemon meringue bar. If they’re having cookies, I have a Softbake. If they’re having brownies – duh, the brownie Softbake is divine! If they want smoothies, I can make myself a Medifast smoothie or shake. It makes me feel part of the normal enjoyment of treats.
• I’m conscious of my medical needs. I am on thyroid medicine; therefore I can’t have anything with soy in it for at least 1-2 hours after taking my meds. So, I keep track of that in the morning and wait to eat my first meal until after that time. I have to take the medicine on an empty stomach so I take it immediately when I first wake up. If I must eat very soon after awakening because of the time at which I have to leave the house, I save the Medifast hot cocoa (which doesn’t contain soy) and have it soon after taking my meds. I also have to take blood pressure medicine and an anti-seizure medicine (for my bi-polar disorder) and I wait to take those until I’m having my first ‘meal’ of the day.
• I keep a giant water jug that I bought from the gas station (to get cheap refills on Diet Coke) and fill it with water & ice and it has a long straw sticking out of it. I sip on it all day long and refill it about three times a day. Then when I get home I have a smaller (but still large) green cup with a handle & I always have a straw in it, and I keep it filled with water all the time too. I carry them with me wherever I go, even if it’s upstairs to grab a pair of socks from my drawer or drive down to the bank. I sip on them all day long. I never have a hard time getting enough water into my diet!
The other thing I just thought of is: avoid taking even ONE bite of anything! I was totally fine all day on Thanksgiving until the next day when we had more company over and I made a beautiful apple pie. I tried just one bite to make sure it tasted okay and it almost made my eyes roll back into my head it tasted so good. I had to lay my head down on the table and I almost felt like crying. I wanted that pie so bad. Yesterday my husband wanted me to try one bite of the amazing jar of peaches he had opened (that I had canned in the summer). I told him no! Just one bite? They're so sweet & yummy! and I said NO! Not even one bite. Just hold on to that thought the whole time you're on Phase One: Not even one bite! You can do this! WE can all do this! Let's share our success after as we go, shall we. Good luck!!
Do you have any secrets for your success? What’s your opinion? –Julie
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