Take Shape For Life is a subsidiary company of Medifast – the well known diet program that is advertised on TV and supposedly recommended by doctors. Take Shape For Life is a program that includes some Medifast meal products plus a more upmarket product range called Optavia and offers the customer more in the way of lifestyle coaching.
Take Shape For Life is a weight loss program that is operated by direct marketing and you are encouraged to sign up yourself and become a distributor (Health Coach) by paying $199.00. Although Take Shape For Life is part of Medifast, the structure of this company and the products are not the same. Take Shape For Life has its own line of products called Optavia which have a more upmarket appeal than Medifast and are generally more expensive.
There are no foreseen side effects to this weight loss program.
Take Shape For Life is very expensive. The Optavia Optimal Kit costs a whopping $426.15 but is sufficient for 30 days supply of snacks and meal replacements.
We are not impressed with Take Shape For Life. This weight loss program is expensive and in our opinion does not provide good value for money. $426.15 for what is essentially a collection of upmarket snacks is not going to help you establish healthy eating habits and we imagine that the aim of this program is that you stay on it long term. That way you can continue to buy these overpriced meal replacements forever.
We are never very keen on direct marketing either. It is always such a hassle to buy from a distributor (health coach) and in many cases it is not as easy for people to make money as it first appears. For the customer who does not want to be a distributor it is important to remember that these so called Health Coaches have no special training and are not equipped to provide you with genuine dietary and health advice beyond recommending more products.
Overall, we do not recommend Take Shape For Life.
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Take Shape For Life is described in the advertising as “a thriving community … redefining the path to health and wellbeing, and creating Optimal Health.”
All this sounds impressive but behind this fancy language we found that Take Shape For Life is a weight loss and health program that provides you with healthy tools for weight loss. Essentially this means a diet plan with instant meal products and snack meal replacements including some Medicare meals plus a book that you read and a companion work book that marks your progress. The food products are combined with motivational advice and support from a Health Coach and there is also access to an online community for further support.
Key to Take Shape For Life is that you eat 6 times a day so that you can avoid hunger pangs and keep your blood sugar regulated.
Key to the program is a book called Dr A’s Habits for Health and a workbook that you complete. All kits come with instructions.
Take Shape For Life is not the same as Medifast. The Take Shape For Life food products are trademarked Optavia although there are also Medifast products on offer.
The Take Shape For Life plans are easy to follow. For example there is the Optimal Weight 5:1 Program which urges you to eat 5 meal replacements such as a Shake or one of the branded candy bars plus 1 Lean and Green meal a day. (Lean and Green is Medicare ready meal that you microwave. Alternatively there is the 3: 3 program for weight maintenance that combines 3 meal replacements with 3 balanced meals per day.
However the main difference between Medifast and Take Shape For Life is that Take Shape For Life run as a network marketing company which means that you can sign up to sell products and become a Health coach yourself for a $199.00 fee. Your role is then to sell products, sign up new people as Health Coaches and offer health advice to your customers.
The general name for people providing this function in an a MLM business is a distributor. We have also seen the term ambassador. With Take Shape For Life it is Health Coach.
Take Shape For Life is touted as a way to provide Optimal Health™. This expression is trademarked but we can find no reason for this. We guess it means optimum health – being the best that you can be for your age and situation.
It is described as a “comprehensive healthy lifestyle offering (that) can help you safely and effectively reach and maintain a healthy weight and adopt habits for a lifetime of health.”
According to the product information, there are three components that create a foundation for transformation:
It is important to point out that the health coach is essentially just an ordinary person with very minimal training. Anyone can sign up to be a life coach simply by paying $199.00. This means you cannot expect any real dietary or health advice or to learn anything that you could not learn yourself. The Life Coaches are people trying to make some money via network marketing and are not necessarily the best people to offer any advice. Their views are always going to be slanted to buying more supplements.
Most diets and weight loss programs will work if you stick at them and Take Shape For Life with the emphasis on 6 meals a day and a wide choice of meal replacement sweet products will be easy for some people. If the diet plans actually reduce your usual calorie intake and you increase your activity and exercise levels while using, you will lose weight.
However it all looks a bit unnecessary to us. We cannot see why you should want to pay out a lot of money in order to eat packet meals and instant candies and puddings for a month. For the same cost you could probably change your diet and get a month’s gym membership.
In addition it puts your weight loss in the hands of a company who just want to sell you products. It does not help you change your diet and of course if you have anyone else in your household who also needs to lose weight you are not going to provide them with healthy low calorie food without buying additional products.
Take Shape For Life provides different kits of products to eat over a time period, typically 30 days.
The Optavia Optimal Kit contains the following products.
This option mainly includes snacks described in the product information as “fuelings”.
It also comes with a weight loss book called Dr A’s Habits of Health. This is written with Take SHAPE For Life and Medifast products in mind. However some people have said that it provides sensible health and weight loss advice even without subscribing to the plan.
The program also includes Living a Longer Healthier Life: The Companion Guide to Dr. A’s Habits of Health – a work book that you use while you lose weight. Plus,
There are no side effects as far as we can see.
Not suitable for individuals under 18 unless under supervision from a doctor. Seek medical advice if you have any underlying health issues where weight loss and dietary changes would be an issue. Do not attempt to lose weight if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
There are plenty of customer success stories on the Take Shape For Life website but it is impossible to find out much in the way of independent customer opinion.
Here is a shortened account of one typical story posted on the Take Shape For Life website by a woman called Siobhan. She is so impressed with Take Shape For Life she has become a “health coach “herself.
… My husband was so inspired that he decided to join Take Shape For Life® and lost 84 lbs*
Family and friends noticed Siobhan’s 85 lb* weight loss as well.
They are all inspired by my progress and it’s the biggest compliment I have received. The fact I could inspire anyone to want to achieve Optimal Health™ like I did, truly humbling. Since learning the Habits of Health and following them, I am able to keep the weight off for good.
This all sounds great and we are happy for them but it seems very unlikely that this diet plan will work as well for everyone.
The small print states that,
Take Shape For Life® makes no claim that these results are representative of all participants on the Take Shape For Life® Program. Take Shape For Life® recommends you consult with a physician before starting a weight-loss program. Average weight loss for Clients on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan™ with support is 20 lbs.
It does not explain how long you have to take the program to achieve 20lbs weight loss and there is no proof that it will achieve this anyway.
There is no money-back guarantee on offer. You could speak to your health coach if you are dissatisfied but we cannot see you getting a refund.
You can see Take Shape For Life products and plans on the official website but you have to join up to the program first or alternatively find a Health Coach or distributor to buy from.
The previously mentioned Optavia Optimal Kit comprises of 119 servings that you take over 30 days. This costs a whopping $426.15.
You can also buy a selection of individual products – usually in batches of 7 such as OPTAVIA Indonesian Cinnamon and Honey Hot Cereal with Chia Seeds from Bolivia, Quinoa, and Whole Grain Barley. This pack of 7 breakfast cereal servings costs $22.95.
You can also buy the book – Dr A’s Habits for Health ($29.95) plus the companion work book (17.95 direct from the Take Shape For Life website. It is much cheaper via Amazon where you can buy plenty of used copies for as little as $1.64.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.