Take Shape for Life
Take Shape for Life was founded in 2002 by Dr. Wayne Andersen as a subsidiary of the Medifast Company. Take Shape offers a comprehensive program designed to promote healthy changes in your life.
This program incorporates the clinically-proven Medifast meal replacements with a time-tested physician-directed program, which includes the personal and FREE support of a Take Shape for Life Health Advisor.
How the Program Works
There are two main phases to this program – the 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss and the BeSlim Program for life-long health and weight maintenance. There is also a well-defined transition phase to take you safely from weight loss to maintenance.
Phase 1: 5 & 1 Plan
The Take Shape for Life 5 & 1 Plan for weight loss is as simple as eating 5 Medifast Meals and 1 Lean & Green Meal every day. No counting calories and no cooking complicated meals. A main premise of this program is that you should eat 5-6 times per day whether on the 5 & 1 Plan or in maintenance. Eating smaller portions frequently throughout the day will increase your energy, boost metabolism, and lessen cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
5 Medifast Meals
Choose from over 70 nutritionally-balanced Medifast Meals — shakes, bars, hot and cold drinks, oatmeals, chili, soups, pudding, scrambled eggs and more. Any combination of 5 Medifast Meals may be used on the 5 & 1 Plan.
Lean & Green Meal
The Lean & Green Meal is a meal that you prepare yourself once each day. This is a key aspect of the program in helping you learn and adopt healthy eating behaviors that will enable you to maintain the results you achieve during the weight loss phase of this program for the rest of your life.
The “Lean” part of the Lean & Green meal consists of 5-7 ounces of cooked lean meat (e.g., chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork, lamb, shellfish) that is grilled, baked, broiled or poached (not fried). The serving size will vary depending on the type of meat you choose as some meats are leaner than others. You can also select from a variety of meatless protein sources for this meal, including eggs, tofu, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, meatless burger patties, etc.
The program guidelines, along with your personal Health Advisor, provide very clear and specific recommendations for the selection of your source of lean protein.
The “Green” part of the Lean & Green meal is composed of generous servings of vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, asparagus, cucumber, etc. The program guidelines also provide very clear directions regarding what to choose for your “greens” and appropriate serving sizes.
The Take Shape for Life program was carefully designed to create a gap between the calories you take in and the amount your body needs. Each nutritionally-balanced meal replacement is formulated with a proven combination of carbohydrates and protein to allow you to successfully lose weight without losing muscle mass. You can expect to lose 2-5lbs per week during the weight loss phase of the program.
This program offers options to the 5 & 1 Plan specific to Men, Women, Seniors (over age 70), Teens, and those with Type II diabetes. The 5 & 1 Plan provides between 800-1500 calories per day depending on which plan option you choose.
As with any reputable weight loss program, Take Shape for Life recommends that you consult with your physician before starting any weight loss regimen.
Phase 2: BeSlim Program for Life-Long Health and Weight Management
Take Shape for Life provides a very clear and defined transition to the long-term BeSlim maintenance phase once you reach your goal weight. The duration of the transition plan depends on how much weight you have lost but typically lasts about a month. This transition step is where you gradually increase calories and re-introduce foods that you have avoided during the weight loss phase such as grains, certain dairy products and fruits.
The BeSlim Philosophy reinforces key behaviors that you learn and adopt during the weight loss phase of the program for life-long health and weight maintenance. These behaviors form the BeSlim acronym:
Breakfast – It is key for your body to start the day properly with a healthy breakfast soon after waking up.
Exercise – Exercise is a key component because it increases metabolism, provides greater flexibility and strength, improves bone structure and posture, enhances mental clarity, and strengthens the immune system.
Support – Take Shape for Life recognizes the importance of having support from others during your weight loss efforts. This is a fundamental concept of the program and the reason the company provides a free personal Health Advisor in addition to many other support resources, including online support forums as well as interactive weekly scheduled calls with staff nurses and physicians.
Low fat meals 5-6 times a day – Eating frequently, restricting fat intake and controlling portion sizes and total calories are critical for success.
Individual Plan – Your Health Advisor will help you create an individual plan to help you tailor the program to your needs and lifestyle and avoid common temptations. This individual plan is key to adopting habits and behaviors for life-long health and weight maintenance.
Monitor – Once you have achieved your healthy weight, you'll want to stay there. Frequent monitoring is the key. Simply weighing yourself on a regular basis, or trying on a pair of jeans once a week to check how they fit, can literally catch a problem before it gains momentum.
Incorporating these habits and behaviors into your daily routine sets you up for successfully maintaining the results you achieve during the weight loss phase of the program on the 5 & 1 Plan.
There are no registration or membership fees on the Take Shape for Life program. You simply purchase the Medifast products of your choice, typically on a monthly basis. While on the 5 & 1 Plan (weight loss phase), the typical cost is approximately $300 per month, which replaces most of your normal food costs. The cost of the grocery store food for the Lean & Green meal is, however, in addition to this monthly cost. As you reach your goal weight and transition into maintenance, you will eat fewer Medifast Meals, which significantly reduces the monthly cost of the program.
Take Shape for Life offers 1 free week of Medifast Meals for each of your first two monthly orders and progressive discounts on your monthly orders up to 12% indefinitely as long as you order consistently each month. There is no obligation and you can suspend or cancel your monthly orders at any time. The company also periodically offers other promotional discounts as well.
I believe the Take Shape for Life program works for so many people because of the clinically-proven Medifast products, and also because of the guidance provided by their Health Advisors. The goal of the company is to not only help people lose weight but to dramatically improve their overall health — leading to richer and more fulfilling lives.
Studies prove, and Take Shape for Life recognizes, that for many individuals, peer support in combination with other weight-loss strategies significantly improves the chances for achieving weight-loss results. This added peer support is also critical for sustaining those results long-term.
I recommend that you enhance your chances of success by utilizing the 1-on-1 planning, ongoing support, and inspiring motivation offered by a FREE, personal Take Shape for Life Health Advisor.
The relative affordability of this program when compared to other popular weight loss programs also makes it attractive to many people. There are no contracts or hidden fees to drive up the cost.
Preparing your own Lean & Green meal one time per day on the 5 & 1 Plan is a very important aspect of this program. This daily food selection and preparation provides daily reinforcement of what healthy eating choices you need to learn and adopt for life-long healthy behaviors. This greatly contributes to the long-term success of this program.
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