Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I think I am going back to logging my food again. Medifast has a good foodlogger that already has all its meals in a dropdown menu so I use that rather than Sparkpeople when I am on the Medifast plan. I have done quite a bit of logging in the past, just for curiosity's sake, but it isn't really necessary because all the Medifast meals are about equal in nutrition. It's the Lean and Green meal that I prepare myself, along with fats, condiments, and an optional snack that can really alter my stats. I find I lose best when my carbs are around 80 and calories around 900. I think in general I stay closer to 95 g carbs and 1000-1100 calories per day if I am not paying much attention to my condiments and snack. I really want to break through that 200 pound barrier back into the 190's. I am staying off the scale until Sunday, logging my food and watching my carbs better, and I am taking a few days off exercising as well to see if that changes anything. Frankly, I am starting to get to a point where I am pretty desperate to get back down 20 more pounds.

*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. Medifast states an "average weight loss of up to 2 to 5 pounds a week."*


Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

I've been logging my food for a year now on and sometimes its a pain it holds me accountable big time and always lets me know daily where I sit with everything so if I do gain I just go back and see what I was eating or activities I did in the last week to see if I am doing something wrong!

Leslie said...

Hi Lyn - As always, I greatly appreciate your blog, your process and your honesty.

I just wanted to say that I'm not sure 900 calories is enough food to fuel you through a day when you're trying to increase activity and muscle use. That would leave me feeling food obsessed and deprived, but then I can feel those ways when I'm eating 2000+ a day!

You'll be back in the 190s quickly, I think! Keep on keepin' on!

Meghan said... is great!

I'm worried that you are not eating enough! 900 calories seems like a very small amount and couldn't put you into starvation mode.

Do what works for you though.

Good luck on getting into the 190's again!!

Erika said...

900 calories is not enough.

I'm at 1,400 calories a day, and I'm 157 pounds. It's been proven time and time and time and time and time again that if your body goes into starvation mode, you aren't going to lose weight because eventually you get so hungry you binge. Basically you would have to make 900 calories a reality every day of your entire life, no exceptions.

I am telling because I care! And because I'm at a normal weight and have maintained that for a year. Also I love myfitnesspal. Don't let desperation make you do something that will just undo your good work.

Slow and steady is the ONLY thing that works.

erin said...

Whoa. Unless your diet is under the direct supervision of a doctor, 900 calories is not sufficient to meet your basic nutritional needs for vitamins and minerals - at least 1200 calories are needed to do this.

On the bright side - wouldn't it be awesome if you aren't eating enough to lose weight? : )

Anonymous said...

See, 900 calories scares me. The problem isn't the present, it's the future. Losing weight on 900 calories is doable - maintaining a loss from eating that low is going to be practically impossible. Is it worth it, to lose the weight in a way/at a pace that will be unsustainable for the long-term? Where do you go from 900 calories, once your body adjusts to an intake that low?


Anonymous said...

Gotta be honest-900 calories a day is not sustainable in my opinion. Not at all. This will trap you in the binge/starve cycle which I know you want to break free of. It's just not doable for an extended period of time. The way you eat while dieting is pretty darn close to how you'll be eating forever; is this really livable? For how long?

I see you making a lot of progress but then when I read something like this it frustrates me. I would think through all your weight loss information and experience that you'd know better than this. You do. Please be careful.

Anonymous said...

I d have to agree that 900-1100 calories is not enough food to keep your metabolism up, 1500-1700 has always worked for me, no matter what i eat, or work out, BUT i feel like all the yoyo-ing is so bad for the metabolism long term, it might be good to dbl check with a good nutritionist, not an MD or a Medifast specialist, it really is for SHORT Term use and it really really is calories in calories out and it helps the health if those calories are healthy, but you already know all this! Its just not healthy to eat less than the resting body requires to function (1200) period,

Lyn said...

I know it seems very low, but I am being supervised by my doctor including blood tests (which I am due for again soon) and working with a nutritionist. Because Medifast is a very high protein diet with "complete nutrition" it is supposed to be okay. I have a couple of posts already about this and the strvation mode thing... but the thing I agree the most on is that this should be for short term use and that's why I decided last month that if this is not working for me by March 1 I am going to stop doing Medifast.

Amy said...

weight loss is such a catch-22, once your body has less fat, it is much harder to lose more. I do know that if you are only going to do a few minutes of exercise a day, weight work is most effective than cardio at keeping your metabolism elevated for a longer period, and might tire you out enough to help you sleep better too. Cortisol plays a huge roll in weight loss too, I find when I am too stressed out or overtrained, I actually lose weight when I take a week off from exercise. Hope you find the soloution, you are doing great!

Human in Progress said...

Hi Lyn, I missed your earlier posts about the starvation mode stuff. I'm interested in the explanations your doctor and the Medifast specialists gave you for how a person can eat 900 calories (even if they are 900 protein-,vitamin-,and mineral-rich calories) and NOT have it slow down their metabolism. And how, impaired metabolism or not, later switching to several more hundred calories per day in maintenance (even with added exercise) won't lead to distressing weight regain?

Could you help me understand this or point to your previous entries on this topic? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think making any change in one's life based on "panic" is bound to be a mistake. Again, you're moving from the emotional, flailing for what you think the goal is. Weight loss in and of itself isn't it. Peace of mind and self love is. At any body size.

Lyn said...

Human in Progress~

I don't have time for a detailed explanation now, but it has to do with being on a protein-sparing plan. Here are a few links to browse. This first one is interesting, even though Medifast is not considered a VLCD... you can scroll down to Dietary Protein and there are links to some good scientific articles as well.

There is a blurb in here citing a study re: muscle loss vs fat loss if you want to look the article up:

on starvation mode:

Just some things to think about, tho I know not everyone agrees.

Lyn said...


I made the decisions about what to eat and what plan to use/how long some time ago, no panic involved.

Self acceptance and peace is important and another goal, but weight loss has to happen for my health and mobility, aside from any other, more superficial reasons.

Human in Progress said...

Thank you for the resources.

Anonymous said...

I wish so strongly that everyone would read Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. When a person is dieting 900 calories with a PSMF they are eating so few carbs that their pancreas does not release much insulin. Because they do not have excess insulin in their system they can readily use the fatty acids in their fat cells.

If you were to do a 900 calorie high carb/ low protein / low fat diet, you would have a LOT of insulin in your system that PREVENTS your body from being able to access the fatty acids in your fat cells and you start using protein (your muscles!) for fuel instead. This is "starvation mode". Your body will down regulate to try and conserve what it can.

These are two quite different scenarios. If you don't understand the difference (this is aimed at anyone out there reading this), PLEASE read up to understand the mechanism. You will save yourself so much dieting effort.

Go Lynn! I think you would do well to get strict, lose 25 lbs, and then figure out what eating to maintain 175lbs will be like. That you have lost the weight as slowly as you have, probably means you will have better long term success than most.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

Read an article the other day that resonated with me - basic opinion: focus on losing 10% of your body weight. Should you feel, after successful maintenance, that you could set a new goal, shoot for your next 10% of your new weight. And so on...

I'm mentioning this because, when you write of your past successes, you occasionally seem to dismiss how far you've come. I mean, think how many successes you've had! (278-10% = 250, 250-10% = 225, 225-10% = 203). That's THREE whole entire successes! And, perhaps, this is why you may (or may not) fight plateaus in these areas? (I wonder this for you because this is where *I* plateau for myself, at my -10%s...something I wondered about only after reading this article, and it somehow made me feel better about my current plateau at 157).

I don't know, maybe it sounds overly cheer-leadery, but the article I was reading was purportedly written by a medical doctor - prescribing 10% goals to patients because they can be achieved and maintained, and motivation and how you feel are SO important. Anyway, I guess it seems to me that your next goal, lowish 180s, sounds reasonable and a perfectly logical next step for you. Bottom Line: You've GOT this!

My question for now is...can you maintain where you are without Medifast? (Have you tried this already?) Something to think about, anyway...GOOD LUCK with it all!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I read your blog all the time and mentally cheer you on, but have never commented before. You are awesome!

I use the LoseIt! app on my smartphone to log my daily calories. When I do that, it helps. I don't always have the will, and when I don't do it, of course I gain.

I am losing slowly at 1500-1600 calories a day with exercise.

Anyway, you will keep going, I know it's hard to be patient with all the ups and downs but I've noted your persistence and determination. In a few months, you will look back and blog about this latest setback and how hard it was to get back down. These are expected, you will be fine!


Anonymous said...

Re: the book GCBC, Anonymous is correct. BUT (and it's a big one!), it's important to note that very few people live on a 900 calorie/PSMF plan forever. There is very little room (practically none)for anything above the very restrictive carb limit before you will start to gain weight back.

As far as I can recall, Lyn hasn't yet had luck with eating at that calorie/carb level without the use of MF foods for the bulk of her meals...hence the concern that it's unsustainable for the long-term.

I also think it's important to note, Lyn, that low-carb doesn't have to mean so low calorie - provided you choose the right foods, you should have room to eat more and still lose. Protein and fiber are found in many places, not just MF foods; there's no "magic" in them.

Lyn said...


You are right, there is nothing magic about the Medifast foods. They're just prepackaged calorie controlled meals that contain a balance of fiber, protein, and carbs. There are a lot of other foods that one can eat to get that same nutrition; in fact, the Medifast transition and maintenance guide has an extensive list of foods to eat instead of Medifast foods when you reach goal. I never had any intention of eating this low cal/carb forever; it is just meant to get the bulk of the weight off, then transition to regular foods using Medifast's guide (I have blogged about this in detail several times, but you can also look up Medifast's transition and maintenance guide to read for yourself).

Diandra said...

Logging is a great tool. I uess most people have already voiced their thoughts on the 900kcal thing (I wouldn't be sure all the good nutrition in the world would keep your body from starvation mode if there simply isn't enough energy to keep everything running properly - you can put the best oil and lamps in your car, without fuel it doesn'T go anywhere). Have you ever calculated your BMR? I calculated that at my goal weight my BMR would be approx. 1,400kcal, and I try never to drop below that (which is surprisingly easy, I've got more of a problem not going above 1,700kcal, which I set as my upper limit for the day). I think these low calorie levels might explain why you gain so fast once you get off track.

However, in the end only you know what works for you and what won't. I bet if you locked three nutritionists in a room, they'd come up with four clashing strategies on losing weight in a healthy way and would get so angry at each other there'd be dead bodies. ^^

Lyn said...


LOL, yes, you are so right about the nutritionists. No one can agree on what "works" or doesn't, and everyone seems to have their own ideas even among professionals. I have two doctors supporting my decision, so I am going with it a bit longer.

It was explained to me that my body has an excessive amount of fuel stored in its fat cells, and my body will not go into any kind of starvation or crisis as long as I am getting enough protein and nutrients. The calories I am burning beyond that come from the fat cells, which is what we want. And I am definitely getting way better nutrition than I did in ten years of eating candy, donuts, cakes, chips, and Big Macs.

I guess only time will tell what will work for me long term. I do believe I will get there regardless of the path.

Anonymous said...

wCan I say I am concerned that you always seem to find a reason to stop exercising? Even if you never lose another pound it's a good idea to do it, take it from somebody who is getting older and stiffer by the day. You want to keep your muscles, bones and have flexibility at a minimum.


Lyn said...


I don't want to stop exercising. I felt great and my energy was so much better. I am frustrated at the whole situation but all I can do is keep trying different angles and seeing what works.

Lyn said...

...also wanted to add, never losing another pound would have me in a wheelchair within a couple of years, thus saith my orthopedic surgeon, so that is just not an option. The weight has to come off if I want to retain my ability to walk. (Knee replacements would 'fix' this but I am not ready to go that route yet for various reasons). I am going to sub my PT exercises for biking for awhile, as that will help with my strength and flexibility and perhaps not affect the scale as much.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, you said in a comment, "And I am definitely getting way better nutrition than I did in ten years of eating candy, donuts, cakes, chips, and Big Macs."

What about the vast space in between gorging on junk food and drastically cutting calories? Are binging and crash dieting the only options?

Lyn said...


no, of course not. I don't know if you've read my blog for long, but most of the time I have lost weight eating 1500-1700 calories a day. I also stalled for 20 months eating whole foods and that amount of calories, while exercising.

My main point in saying that was that a lot of people seem worried about my getting enough nutrition; really, I am getting far better nutrition than I did for most of my life.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you Lyn, the doc told me I am looking at knee arthritis in one knee, and right now the tendons on both side of my leg have made me stop doing Zumba and the treadmill. I'm doing weights and swimming, and I can tell I have more rolls now than when I was doing the other exercise. Sigh. I never mean to sound critical, you are doing so much better than I am on the losing, I haven't weighed in quite awhile.


Lyn said...

Thanks Paula. I know you have a good heart :)

This whole journey is wonderful and difficult and exciting. I love it and hate it. But when I look over what I have done with my life in the past 4 years... tears of joy. I need to keep THAT big picture in the forefront!

angie said...

Hi Lyn and everyone! I also do medifast and the thing w medifast is that it is pre packaged meals and they add tons of vitamins to make sure you are getting everything you need. Here's what to watch out for. Only did a two week plan and it worked fantastic! Try taking Biotin w it and your metabolism won't get sluggish on you and the weight will come off even faster. Here's the thing though now that it's over I don't feel very hungry so I'm having trouble eating over 900 calories per day, you guys probably won't believe that but it's true. Since doesn't have all those extra vitamins that seems like it cld be a bad thing.