Any Time of Year Can be Your "January" to Kick Off Your Weight Loss Journey

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All opinions are my own. Any time can be your "January" to kick off your weight loss journey via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #diet #weightlossgoals

The first month of the year is synonymous with getting back in the gym, joining a weight loss program and making a resolution for better health. It's viewed as being the month of new beginnings, fresh starts and a clean slate. But for all of the motivation and energy January brings, February and March usually see a sharp decline in momentum. Maybe we set unrealistic goals and are frustrated at the lack of progress achieving them. Maybe it's not as easy as you thought it would be. Maybe real life got in the way. All I know is that I have experienced each one of these hypotheticals myself. Have you? The thing is, no matter what month or season it is, any time can be your January. Why? Because you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to feel better about yourself. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin. And you know what? You can decide to make that happen whenever you choose, not when society dictates it. In March, in the middle of a hot August day or right after you have over-stuffed yourself on that secret stash of Halloween candy you've been hiding from everyone. You deserve to say, the time is right now. In fact, I made October of last year my January and began the Medifast Go weight loss program. People thought I was crazy since it was the season of food. Wouldn't I miss out on all of those glorious meals and treats? Wouldn't I feel deprived and miserable? It made me worry, too... can I really do this? But Medifast Go taught me a lot. It's really not just about meal replacement bars, shakes and ready-made meals. If your diet plan makes food the focus, then you're on the wrong weight loss plan... because what happens once you stop? Why, the weight comes back of course. While obviously Medifast's food is the basis for their program, it is not the foundation. Wait, what? The foundation of Medifast is education. This education propels you forward in making a lifestyle change that sticks because it is a guide in understanding food and yourself.  With my month's shipment of meals came a cook book, one that is filled with savory and sweet recipes for a large variety of food. It also showed how to incorporate your Medifast meals into it to really switch things up. I personally am not creative when it comes to the kitchen and let's face it, there's only so many times you can eat soup. The cook book is one of the ways Medifast sets you on the path to success. Then there's the booklet for dining out. It literally lists every chain and popular restaurant you can imagine and tells you which meals you can order to keep you on track. This booklet has been a staple for me because my family only eats out on weekends. And when I want to order from a locally owned restaurant, I simply find a similar menu item on the list. They really make it easy for you. Lastly, there's the food journal, which really makes you accountable to yourself to help you keep on track. Combining these tools with the food you'll be eating aid in changing how you eat going forward. I don't know about you, but it's not neccessarily food that is my problem, but the way in which I eat. My mindset, habits and lifestyle choices. I value a program like Medifast Go that takes those things into account and makes them an important piece of their plan. Before and After pics on the Medifast Go program via @agirlsgottaspa. Happy with the inches lost so far! #sponsored #medifast #weightlossjourney #diet Before and after pics on Medifast Go via @agirlsgottaspa. Inches lost are obvious! #sponsored #medifast #weightlossjourney #diet I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment (and I'd love to know which month you're making your January!) You can also follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works How to Stick To Your Diet During the Holidays Can You Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight? 5 Tips to Lose Weight Right Now Try 30 days of Medifast with 7 Days of Free Meals included in the first month's order with a renewal plan. Offer expires April 30, 2018 or get $15 Off orders of $150+ with promo code SAVINGS15 at checkout! Some exclusions apply. Offer expires April 30, 2018. *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

Read more →

5 Tips to Lose Weight Right Now

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 5 ways you get can on the path to losing weight right now via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #weightloss #diet

(Medifast Cappuccino - so super delish)

I hate the word diet. Diet, to me, means going without. When you go without then that is all you can focus on. Can't eat chocolate? Now I want ALL the chocolate every chance I can get. Can't go out to that favorite restaurant? Now I want to camp out and basically live there. I prefer to look at weight loss as a lifestyle change. Lifestyles changes are permanent, diets are temporary. Whether or not you have the money to join a weight loss plan to make that lifestyle change (see below for some discounts for Medifast Go that might help), there are 5 things you can start doing right now to set you on the right path to lose weight. Eat a high-protein breakfast Protein is like the golden child of every weight loss plan. It boosts your metabolism, decreases hunger and as you are losing weight, adds lean muscle. Of course, you don't have to just eat protein, you can drink it, too. Eat small meals every few hours Eating smaller, healthy meals several times a day helps to maintain your blood sugar at a consistent level helping you to avoid energy crashes. It also means you feel full longer decreasing your chances or excessive snacking. Psychologically speaking, you may think that eating more often means you'll gain weight, but as long as it is low calorie, low fat, high protein and minerals, then it is much better than the potential for eating 3 large meals and snacking in between - because let's be honest here, snacking is what often does us in. Decrease Stress Easier said than done, but it's well known that stress can pack on the pounds. If you don't incorporate any form of stress management techniques into your day, then there is no time like now to do things like: download the Calm app to your phone, start going to bed earlier, learning basic yoga, meditation and even just exercising for 30 minutes a day. Some days just chasing my two year old around from room to room for 30 minutes straight and making a game of it counts as my exercise for the day - and it boosts both our moods, too. Drink water before and after meals I'm not a fan of water, however I've come to not mind it as much when adding Medifast's Calorie Burn Mixed Berry Flavor Infuser (it tastes so good!) Drinking water a half hour before a meal acts as an appetite suppressant because you feel fuller prior to your meal, helping you to either eat less or just the proper portion size. Since water has no calories (the flavor infuser I mentioned is only 5 calories btw), you avoid loading up on empty calories that would only contribute to weight gain. Decrease sugar and starch Oh the addiction to sugar is real my friends. Sugar gives you temporary pleasure, but then converts to fat and you have to work that much harder to lose it. Starchy foods also convert to sugar. When you significantly reduce them both, you'll begin to notice the pounds start to melt away. I say reduce because in the real world cutting them out entirely simply means you'll find a way to sneak them and overindulge. All of the above are steps you can take starting today to start your weight loss journey. There's no magic potion, only a committment to becoming healthy. I'm cheering you on! You can also follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works How to Stick To Your Diet During the Holidays Can You Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight? If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, you can get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping on your the first order as part of the renewal plan. Or for a limited time you can get 20% off any order of $300 or more + Free Shipping with promo code BIGDEAL20! Valid December 26, 2017 through January 2, 2018 at Midnight ET. *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

Read more →

Can You Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight?

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own. So you cheated on your diet, now what? Tips to keep moving forward via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #weightlossjourney #diet #motivation

The temptation is all too real. You're trying your best to lose weight and get back on track to being healthy, when you get thrown off your routine with an invitation out to dinner, a get-together with friends or just grocery shopping while hungry. It's happened to the best of us - we've all been there. So you've cheated on your diet, now what? It's time to be real, but not give up. Be Honest with Yourself Changing a lifestyle is hard work. If it were easy, everyone would be their ideal weight without any issue. We all have our vices (mine is chocolate and fried food.) Don't fall victim to all of those "I lost 26 pounds in two weeks" stories that are vapid throughout the interwebs. It's not realistic, it's unhealthy and it's why there is always a disclaimer with the average weight loss in small print. "Results are not typical." Just because you strayed off your diet program here and there is no reason to lose hope. Just behonest with yourself and try again. Allow Yourself a Cheat Night Notice I didn't say "day." I don't believe in throwing away an entire day of indulging in fattening foods so that I stay on track the other 6 days. I do allow myself once per week to eat something I'd like - within reason. If we go out to dinner, I'll typically order salmon or chicken, most times those meals come with rice. Rice is another favorite of mine. So I might eat some rice. Or allow myself to eat 1-2 chocolate chip cookies when I make them with my kids. It's about giving in just enough to satiate your craving without going overboard (e.g. eating an entire loaded sundae when a baby cone would be enough.) You'll find that if you give yourself permission, it takes away the constant desire to do it. So you cheated on your diet, now what? Tips to keep moving forward via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #weightlossjourney #diet #motivation Pick Up Where You Left Off I'm doing Medifast Go, so that means I eat every two hours 6 times a day. When I give myself permission for a cheat night, I pick right back up on my routine the next morning. I don't lament on how many carbs, calories or fat I consumed and wallow in it. I don't beat myself up. I don't tell myself I just threw away 8 weeks of dieting. I admit, when I see an increase on the scale I feel disappointed, who wouldn't? But I do have to remind myself to keep pushing forward, keep exercising and that inch loss still counts! Now will you continue to lose weight if you cheat on your diet? If you follow my above tips, you should be OK. So far I have only gained back one pound in the two months that I have been on this weight loss journey, but as I continue to get back on track, exercise and not go completely crazy, my inches continue to melt away. I haven't lost sight of my goal. You shouldn't either. Now for my 8 week stats: Starting: Weight: 183 lbs BMI: 35.7% (I’m 5′) Bust: 43″ Waist: 44″ Hips: 46″ Butt: 47″ Arm: 13″ Legs: 25″ Neck: 13.5″ Eight week mark: Weight: 177.5 BMI: 34.7% Bust: 41″ Waist: 41″ Hips: 43″ Butt: 44″ Arm: 12″ Legs: 24″ Neck: 13″ TOTAL:  5.5 lbs lost, 1% BMI loss, and  13.5 inches lost. Follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works How to Stick To Your Diet During the Holidays If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, you can get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping on your the first order as part of the renewal plan. If you’ve already worked this weight loss program with success, I would love your encouragement and tips in the comments! *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

Read more →

How to Stick to Your Diet During the Holidays

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to stick to your #diet during the #holidays! Check out these delicious #recipes! via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #weightloss The holidays bring on the greatest tests of will power, especially when on you have been following a weight loss plan. Every chocolate dessert or new trendy coffee seem that much more tempting when you know they are forbidden. When choosing to jump on board Medifast Go, I was very much aware that I would be hitting every major holiday along the way. I kept feeling bouts of sadness that I wouldn't be able to partake in a cookie exchange or eat two helpings of my mom's famous chocolate trifle. What would I do when invited to a holiday party? It was completely stressing me out. And this is when any other time I'd fall off the wagon. You, too? But I chose to switch up my mindset and keep reminding myself that I am doing this to sustain the life of someone else (kidney donation if you haven't followed from the beginning) and so giving up is not an option. Someone's life depends on me. Then I remembered that Medifast has so many awesome Meal Makeovers in their Simply Well cookbook and on their blog. Below are a few holiday-themed recipes from Medifast that will not only keep you on track with your weight loss goals, but they taste soooo good! Pumpkin Spiced Latte 1 Medifast Meal | 2½ Condiments Yield: 1 serving Total Time: 5 minutes Ingredients ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree ½ cup strong brewed coffee 1 packet of Medifast® Gingerbread Softbake Directions Combine milk and pumpkin puree in a microwave-safe mug. Microwave for one minute, and stir. Add coffee and the Gingerbread Softbake, and stir until smooth. Serve immediately! #Holiday #recipes (like Gingerbread waffles) - and how to stick to your diet during the fall season! via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #medifast #yum Pumpkin Pie Whoopie Pies Yield: 4 servings (2 whoopie pies per serving) Per serving: 1 Medifast Meal | ½ Healthy Fat | 3 Condiments Ingredients 2 packets Medifast Spiced Pancakes 2 packet Medifast Gingerbread Soft Bake ½ tsp baking powder 6 Tbsp egg whites ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk 2 tsp vegetable oil ½ cup whipped topping ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice Cooking spray Directions Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine pancake mixture, soft bake mixture and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Add egg whites, milk, and oil, and mix until a batter-like consistency. Divide batter evenly among eight slots of a lightly-greased muffin tin (should fill only a third of each slot). Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice. Once cooled, slice each muffin in half horizontally. Spread one tablespoon of whipped topping on the bottom half of each muffin, and top with the remaining muffin halves. Cauliflower Rice Stuffing Yield: 2 servings Per serving: 3 Green | 2 Healthy Fats | 3 Condiments Ingredients 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced mushrooms 1/3 cup diced yellow onion 2 oz chopped walnuts 4 cups riced cauliflower ½ cup chicken stock 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary ½ Tbsp poultry seasoning ½ tsp salt Directions Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, mushrooms, onion, and walnuts. Sauté for five minutes. Add cauliflower rice, sauté for an additional two minutes. Add stock and seasoning; mix well. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Frozen Pumpkin Shake Per serving: 1 Medifast Meal | 1 1/2 Condiments Ingredients 1 Medifast Vanilla Shake 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/4 tsp cinammon 1/2 cup cold water 1/2 cup ice Directions Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The bottom line is that age old saying - everything in moderation. Adjust recipes to make them healthier, don't over-eat and eat smaller portion sizes. You'll thank yourself once the holidays are over and you may just find some really grest recipes that continue past the holidays and find their way into your everyday diet. Now for my 6 week stats – Starting: Weight: 183 lbs BMI: 35.7% (I’m 5′) Bust: 43″ Waist: 44″ Hips: 46″ Butt: 47″ Arm: 13″ Legs: 25″ Neck: 13.5″ Six week mark: Weight: 176.5 BMI: 34.5% Bust: 42″ Waist: 41″ Hips: 43″ Butt: 44″ Arm: 12″ Legs: 24″ Neck: 13.5″ TOTAL:  6.5 lbs lost, 1.2% BMI loss, and  12 inches lost. Follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, you can get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping on your the first order as part of the renewal plan. If you’ve already worked this weight loss program with success, I would love your encouragement and tips in the comments! *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Read more →

How Medifast Works

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How Medifast Works via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #weightloss #mediafast #diet

(Bars left to right - S'mores, Caramel Crunch, Cookie Dough and Lemon Meringue)

There are a plethora of weight loss programs out there. Equally as such, there will always be both positive and negative reviews. Prior to joining the Medifast Go diet plan, I wasn't exactly sure how it worked. Obviously I knew you ate their food, and I saw an abundance of amazing before and after photos, but I still wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Now 4 weeks in and I have a good handle on how it works.

Getting Started with Medifast:

Select your food. It's not all meal bars (although the above photo of them are some of my faves.) For a 30 day supply on Medifast Go, you select 22 boxes of Medifast Meals and 5 boxes of Flavors of Home. There are 7 meals per box. The meal boxes are the foods you will eat 5 times per day, and Flavors of Home are your one "lean and green meal." The lean and green meal contains protein and your 3 servings of veggies. Right now my two faves are Chicken and Rice and Beef Stew. Your lean and green meal does not need to be dinner. If you want to eat it for lunch, you can, and just eat one of the Medifast Meals for dinner.  As for the regular meals, these consist of bars, chocolate chip pancakes, cereal, Gingerbread Soft Bake, shakes and ready-to-go drinks, meal options like Beef Soup, Vegetable Chili, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and then "snacks" like BBQ Bites and Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks.  There's obviously a lot more to choose from, so you have a lot of options and diversity. The great thing about all of the meals is that they are nutritionally all the same (except Flavors of Home.) The same calories, protein, vitamins and minerals and all are low in fat. That means you can eat oatmeal at lunch or for your mid-afternoon snack, or if you're feeling that sweet tooth earlier in the day, the Caramel Crunch Bar is perfect. Oh and least I forget one of the additional items I discovered - their Flavor Enhancers! You need to increase your water intake and if you are anything like me, you're like no thanks, because water is meh. I usually add a freshly cut lemon slice, but started using the Calorie Burn Mixed Berry Flavor Infuser. OMG so good! There's been a definite increase in my water consumption since I started using it. 21 packets come in each box. How Medifast works via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #weightloss #diet

Gingerbread Soft Bake

Exercise on Medifast

While you should lose weight from reigning in your caloric intake, cutting down on sugar, fat and carbs, this isn't a miracle diet plan or "an easy way to lose weight without exercise!" During my research I actually saw that as a pitch of many reps and reviewers. However, Medifast does not at any time in its tips or literature tell you that you don't have to exercise. They do tell you to start slowly if you've never really been active, but they encourage you to exercise to complement, and many times, to help expedite weight loss. Of course, exercise helps you to tone up too, which you'll want to do as the pounds melt away to avoid loose, sagging skin. Here's what I do - aim to meet my 6500 steps per day goal (I work from home, so this is actually a high number for me), I'll either jog for 15 minutes or do a HIIT workout for 15 minutes (there are a bunch on YouTube) and then I do about 5-10 minutes of planks, push-ups and side twists (again, YouTube is your best friend for this.) I try to mix it up each day so that I don't get bored.

Cook Your Own Food on Medifast

You are not "confined" all day to strictly eating Medifast meals. You can choose to cook your protein and veggies from your own storebought items instead of eating a Flavors of Home meal. I do this quite often, actually, because I don't want to get into the habit of not cooking healthy meals for myself. I want it to become a habit of shopping the produce aisle, choosing the meat or fish item and learning a recipe (their Simply Well Cookbook is bomb and lends lots of ideas!) Cooking my lean and green meal has actually become my favorite part of the day. While cooking my family dinner, I also make my meals (which I'll often hear how good it smells.) The Simply Well Cookbook has become a trusted friend, so far I've made Shrimp Scampi (where linguini is swapped out and replaced with spaghetti squash), Hamburger Mac and Cheese and Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers. I also love making salmon with spinach, mushrooms and broccoli in a skillet. Making your own lean and green meals can also help you to avoid the dreaded "backing up" that I mentioned in my last post. How Medifast works via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored #weightloss #diet

Don't Miss Out on Dining Out

Wait, what? You can actually eat out and get take-out on Medifast? Oh, yes you can! One of my biggest anxieties was around my family's love of weekend take-out and restaurant hopping. My husband and I work really long days, so come Friday through Sunday, we do not want to cook. In my initial shipment, I received a Dining Out Guide. It not only gives you lots of tips when eating out, it tells you what to look for and avoid with different cuisines. Then it goes on to list, by restaurant chain name, which meals from their menu keep you in line with your weight loss plan. Some are Applebees, IHOP, Chili's, Outback, T.G.I Friday's, etc. From reviewing the options, it has helped me to decipher the menus of the locally owned restuarants in my area, as well. For example, when my family orders pizza, I can order their Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons.) And no, you are not just eating rabbit food, there are also seafood, chicken and beef items listed for each restaurant as well. Just choose to load up on non-carb/non-starchy veggies and eat a smaller portion of the meal and take the rest home. And this is what I love - the Medifast Go plan is both convenient and non-limiting. So far it's working for me and is really also helping me to become more mindful when I grocery shop and when I eat out. My 4 week stats - Starting: Weight: 183 lbs BMI: 35.7% (I’m 5′) Bust: 43″ Waist: 44″ Hips: 46″ Butt: 47″ Arm: 13″ Legs: 25″ Neck: 13.5″ Four week mark: Weight: 178.5 BMI: 34.9% Bust: 42″ Waist: 42″ Hips: 44″ Butt: 44″ Arm: 12.5″ Legs: 24″ Neck: 12.5″ TOTAL:  4.5 lbs lost, 0.8% BMI loss, and  10.5 inches lost. While I may not have lost a lot of weight in one month (and yes, I am disappointed but blame myself), the inch loss has made a difference in how my pants fit. They are definitely much looser and have me at an in between size. I'm determined to work harder for month two to decrease my inches and weight loss. Follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like If you’ve already worked this weight loss program with success, I would love your encouragement and tips in the comments! *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Read more →

What the First 2 Weeks on Medifast are *Really* Like

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Prior to going on this Medifast weightloss journey, I did a lot of research. And I mean, months of research.

I'm not the type of person to make any decision without first looking into it. This diet was one of them.

Maybe you are doing the same thing right now and that's why you're here. You're wondering, "Do people really lose weight and inches fast?" "What's the catch?" "What does Medifast food taste like?" "Are there really ALL positive results?"

Article after article that I came upon boasted fast and dramatic weight loss. It was awe-inspiring and aspirational, but it was also unbelieveable. Both wow! and really? (said in my skeptical tone of voice) at the same time.

Having gotten two weeks under my belt I'm going to get real with you and explain what it's really like to be on this weight loss plan for these first few weeks. I'll break it down question by question. What the first two week on Medifast are really like via @agirlsgottaspa - get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping your the first order! #mediafast #weightloss What does Medifast food taste like?

I'll be honest, I didn't expect to like every single item I chose for my first month. However, I've been pleasantly surprised. I don't hate everything, and I actually really do have some favorites. I LOVE the Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Cereal Crunch. I typically eat cereal every morning normally and was worried that this cereal would be blah - but it so TASTY. Like so much so that I could probably eat it a few times a day.

Typically, I would also overfill my bowl if I loved a cereal and it has been difficult getting used to normal portion sizes, especially eating something that tastes so good.

The chocolate chip pancakes taste good, but there is a bit of a learning curve with adding the right amount of water for the type of pancake texture I like. I'm getting better at it though.

The maple and brown sugar oatmeal is delicious and I always add a dash of fresh cinnamon to it for extra flavor.

What it really like on the Medifast diet via @agirlsgottaspa #sponsored

All of the bars I have tried so far (cookie dough, fruit & nut, strawberry crunch and chocolate mint) are all good. They are small and at first you will want to cry over their size. But this gets easier as your body gets used to eating small in 2 hour increments.

Chicken noodle soup, vegetable chili (I add a pinch of shredded cheese to it), chicken and rice soup and the mashed potatoes are also really good. Despite it being powder and freeze dried, they're actually quite flavorful.

The strawberry and chocolate shakes are yum. Sometimes I just blend them with ice in a shaker, and sometimes I make it more like a cold treat by blending ice in my blender to thicken it up and then adding the shake mix.

The parmesan and olive oil crisps taste like the real deal. There's nothing diet or fake about them.

I've never eaten anything with lemongrass before so the lemongrass chicken had an unexpected kick to it - but it was good.

The chocolate mint soft serve and chocolate pudding also taste very real (and their portion size is actually pretty big.)

Wondering what the first two weeks on Medifast are really like? We give you honest answers. #medifast #diet #weightloss

Do you really lose weight fast with Medifast?

I certainly asked this. Multiple times.

What I didn't realize is that weight loss is due to a number of circumstances. For one, if you are a female in your 20's, then look at other female 20 year olds that have done this diet to see what would be realistic for you. If you are 30, look at someone who is 30. If you're a female in your 40's, then watch my journey.

Here's the thing - the younger you are, the easier it is to lose the weight "fast". The older you get, the slower it comes off.

Men also lose weight faster and differently than women. You can't be 40 looking at the before and afters of a 20 year old and you can't be a woman comparing the weight loss of a man. There's just no comparison.

Weight loss also depends on activity level. You can't follow the diet but never exercise and expect to look great. I've had to make lifestyle changes. I now do a HIIT workout for 10-15 minutes every morning and I try my best to reach my 6500 steps a day goal. This may not sound like much, but I want to start slow and build up from there. And this is because you need to know yourself.

For me, working out for 45 minutes every morning is not something I have much interest in, let alone time. I need the kickstart to get me in the right mindset. It's always better to start small and increase it with time, than to go all in and burn out quickly.

OK, and here is the other thing and may be TMI for you, but if you are considering this plan then you need to know. The food binds you up. And when that happens (and it will happen), this too plays a role in the number you see on the scale.

My tip is to increase your water intake (which should also help with hunger pains) and make sure your lean and green meal has roughage veggies like zucchini to help avoid this issue altogether. (Trust me, lesson learned!)

The other thing you can't forget is that inch loss counts, too. That number on the scale may not move as quickly as you'd like it to, but as long as you are losing those inches, then you are still on track to be choosing a smaller dress size soon enough!

Will I feel hungry on Medifast?

I'm not going to lie here, there are days when all I can think are, "OMG I'm going to die from starvation!" (said in my very dramatic, over-exaggerated voice that my family knows me for.)

There are times when I keep asking Alexa how much time is left on my 2 hour timer and feeling complete relief when I hear "10 seconds."

I absolutely look forward to my lean & green meal at dinner time every night because this is when I'm able to eat a protein and 3 servings of vegetables. (So it feels like I am eating a lot.) I choose to cook for this meal because I don't want to get in the habit of not figuring out portion and nutrition on my own.

I was able to get my hands on their Simply Well cookbook and it is AMAZING. So many interesting recipes that I would've never thought of on my own.

For example, tonight I made a Makeover Meal. This is where you mix a Medifast meal with food you buy at your local market. I chose to make the Chicken and Rice Stuffed Pepppers. I just mixed the Medifast chicken and rice soup with 2 eggs and split the mixture between two red peppers and baked them for 30 minutes.  It was so good and so filling.

So do you feel hungry on this diet? Yes and no. It definitely takes some getting used to, but I'm starting to get the hang of it and I think my body is, too.

Here's my stats so far:

Starting: Weight: 183 lbs BMI: 35.7% (I'm 5') Bust: 43" Waist: 44" Hips: 46" Butt: 47" Arm: 13" Legs: 25" Neck: 13.5"

Two week mark Weight: 178.5 BMI: 34.9% Bust: 42" Waist: 42" Hips: 44" Butt: 45" Arm: 12.5" Legs: 25" Neck: 13"

TOTAL: 4.5 lbs lost, 0.8% BMI loss, and 9 inches lost.

Follow my weight loss journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight At Home

*Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks.

Read more →