Weight loss is no simple endeavor. Even if you’re slightly overweight, the only way you can lose those pesky pounds is by completely reinventing the way you eat and workout. However, strict diets often lead to quitting and depression. Luckily, the experts at Medifast managed to create a new revolutionary weight loss program called Take Shape for Life.
In essence, the Take Shape for Life program claims to help any user with their weight loss struggle, promoting an overall healthy lifestyle. During the program, participants will be supplied with healthy pre-packed meals, with the addition of the Medifast professional support. With the Take Shape for Life program, users can expect to lose anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds per week, even without the need to workout!
Wow, this really sounds amazing! But can Take Shape for Life really deliver the stated weight loss and wellness benefits? We are going to find out in this unbiased review. Just read on!
Take Shape for Life Plans
Take Shape for Life comes in two different distinct plans, which include:
- The Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan
- The Optimal Health 3&3 Plan
The first option is specifically designed for weight loss, while the second one focuses more on weight maintenance and overall health.
With the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan participants will be prompted to eat five Medifast meals every day. Each meal is crafted by nutritional doctors and specifically chosen for its nutrient value. On this plan, you will eat every 2 to 3 hours, with the sole purpose of preventing hunger and metabolism slow down (1) (2). You will be also required to eat one Lean & Green Meal each day, ensuring that you’re getting the needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber (3). A professional nutritionist will also support you along the way, so you really don’t have to think about anything.
Now once you’ve achieved your desired weight loss results, you then can move onto the maintenance plan, The Optimal Health 3&3 Plan.
As we mentioned, the Take Shape for Life plan aims to help you maintain the newly acquired slim body, which is often the hardest part of dieting (4).
The diet itself is very high in protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and most importantly vegetables. The name 3&3 implies that you’ll be eating 3 Optimal Health products and 3 balanced meals. You’ll be once again guided through this process as well, which should teach you how to be slim and healthy long-term.
Take Shape for Life Products
In order to join the Take Shape for Life program, you will need to purchase a variety of pre-packaged meals, snacks, bars, or smoothies from their official TSFL website. And they’ve got a few different options available:
- 4 Week Variety Package – This option includes four weeks of pre-packaged meals from different categories such as Chocolate Lovers, Gluten-Free Favorites, Medifast Favorites, and On-The-Go Favorites. Depending on your goal and taste preference, you can choose different products that will be included in the package. Some of the products are Chicken Noodle Soup, Wild Strawberry Shake, Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Silky Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar, and so on.
- 2 Week Variety Package – Just like the 3 Week Variety Package this one also contains Medifast pre-packaged meals and snacks, but these will only last you for 2 weeks of the diet.
- BeSlim Variety Kit – Users can choose from the BeSlim Optimal, Discover, and Basic Kit, depending on their budget and goals. Each kit includes various different Medifast meals, snacks, shakes, and bars.
- Weight Loss Meals – Dieters can also purchase individual Medifast meals from different categories, including cereals, bars, drinks, eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, and soups.
- Beyond Weight Loss – This option features Optimal Health products that are specifically designed for the “3&3 maintenance plan” mentioned previously. Users can choose from strawberry yogurt bars, dark chocolate dream bars, cookies and cream shakes, and others.
- Lean and Green Meals – This option contains four different meals, including beef stew, chicken cacciatore, chicken with rice and vegetables, and turkey meatball marina.
Will You Lose Weight on The Take Shape for Life Program?
The Take Shape for Live program takes a traditional weight loss approach. The base of almost every weight loss program is the caloric deficit, and this program is no different. Dieters who carefully follow The Take Shape for Life regime will lose weight due to the restriction of calories, as they will be consuming only 800 to 1500 calories per day (5) (6).
However, the claim of losing massive amounts of weight per week is debatable as the number of weight users actually lose during the program will depend greatly on how much they need to lose overall. With an added exercise routine dieters can expect to lose weight at a much faster rate, rather than not doing anything (7) (8). So short-term weight loss is almost guaranteed. However, any long-term success will greatly depend on the user’s ability to implement the newly learned habits from the “3&3 maintenance plan” (9).
Take Shape for Life Side Effects
The Take Shape for Life program is more supportive in many ways than other diet plans. As the professional nutritionist will assist you along the weight loss journey, dieters are more likely to stay on track and avoid any risk associated with weight loss. However, the side effects that might occur whenever someone starts the Take Shape for Life program include:
- Bad breath
- Loose skin
Some users also reported frequent leg cramps, which may be triggered by the lack of hydration.
Take Shape for Life Pricing
Since the Take Shape for Life program is medically supervised, the price of the whole deal can’t be cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from $400 upwards to $500 for the whole program. The cost of extra foods and other supplements will be an additional expense. Users will also be charged monthly, so this whole weight loss and maintenance journey is definitely expensive.
The Take Shape for Life program consists of pre-packaged meals, exercise suggestions, as well as medical support. This style of dieting can be a great choice for busy individuals who simply want to get lean but don’t know how. And as we covered before, short-term weight loss is almost a sure thing. However, considering that the program can induce potential side effects and that it has no guarantee of long-term weight management success, you could also consider other weight loss programs that are significantly cheaper than this one.
- Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA, Krieger JW. “Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis.” Nutr Rev. (2015 Feb. 2). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26024494
- Hollie A. Raynor, Matthew R. Goff, Seletha A. Poole, and Guoxun Chen. “Eating Frequency, Food Intake, and Weight: A Systematic Review of Human and Animal Experimental Studies.” Front Nutr. (2015 Dec 18). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4683169/
- Yunsheng MA, MD, PhD, Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD, Jennifer A. Griffith, MS, Philip A. Merriam, MSPH, Ira S. Ockene, MD, Andrea R. Hafner, and Barbara C. Olendzki, MPH, RD. “A Dietary Quality Comparison of Popular Weight-Loss Plans.” J Am Diet Assoc. (2007 Oct). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2040023/
- Luca Montesi, Marwan El Ghoch, Lucia Brodosi, Simona Calugi, Giulio Marchesini, and Riccardo Dalle Grave. “Long-term weight loss maintenance for obesity: a multidisciplinary approach.” Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. (2016 Feb 26). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777230/
- Ikuyo Imayama, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Catherine M. Alfano, Chiachi Wang, Liren Xiao, Mark H. Wener, Kristin L. Campbell, Catherine Duggan, Karen E. Foster-Schubert, Angela Kong, Caitlin E. Mason, Ching-Yun Wang, George L. Blackburn, Carolyn E. Bain, Henry J. Thompson, and Anne McTiernan. “Effects of a caloric restriction weight loss diet and exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in overweight/obese postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.” Cancer Res. (2012 May 1). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342840/
- Sayed Hossein Davoodi, Marjan Ajami, Seyyed Abdulmajid Ayatollahi, Kamran Dowlatshahi, Gholamali Javedan, and Hamid Reza Pazoki-Toroudi. “Calorie Shifting Diet Versus Calorie Restriction Diet: A Comparative Clinical Trial Study.” Int J Prev Med. (2014 Apr). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4018593/
- Volek JS, Vanheest JL, Forsythe CE. “Diet and exercise for weight loss: a review of current issues.” Sports Med. (2005). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15651909
- McCarty MF. “Optimizing exercise for fat loss.” Med Hypotheses. (1995 May). Viewed at:
- Tuula Pekkarinen, Jarmo Kaukua, and Pertti Mustajoki. “Long-Term Weight Maintenance after a 17-Week Weight Loss Intervention with or without a One-Year Maintenance Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” J Obes. (2015 mar 30). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4396554/
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children.