Take Shape for Life

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Take Shape for Life

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Take Shape for Life is a health and wellness multi-level marketing company whose main product is Medifast weight loss meals and shakes. The company achieves $206 million in global revenue annually. The company currently ranks #66 on the top 100 list of MLM companies for 2016 on the Direct Selling News website. The company's headquarters are located in Owings Mills, Maryland. The company was founded by medical doctor William Vitale in 1980. Dr. Vitale sold his products directly to doctors at that time and are now offered directly to consumers. Take Shape for Life is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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The Good

  • Medifast Program
  • Startup Kit

Medifast Program

Independent distributors are called health coaches. They believe that physical, spiritual, and financial health must all be optimal for true wellness to be achieved. Consumers are provided a health coach and encouraged to purchase the Medifast 5 & 1 plan to help them achieve their weight loss goals.

This plan calls for eating 5 prepared meals 2-3 hours apart. A 6th lean and green meal is self-prepared with suggested recipes and eaten for either lunch or dinner. All Medifast meals are scientifically designed and nutritionally identical to make it easier to keep on track with the program and achieve rapid weight loss.

For example, if a customer wants to eat a Take Shape for Life cookie or brownie for each of the 5 meals, the customer will acquire the same nutrition as another day where they decide to eat the program's eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, sloppy joe, and crab soup.

Once the consumer reaches a target goal weight, protein and vegetables are added to maintain weight loss results.

Startup Kits

There are two separate ways to join the Take Shape for Life business opportunity. Individuals may purchase the Health Coach Business Kit.

This kit includes one-year free access to your own online store, plan guides, and tools to grow your business. Commissions are 20 percent on all weight loss products sold. Health Coaches get rewarded for purchasing products themselves, acquiring new clients, and sponsoring new health coaches.

The Health Professional Business Kit is the same price as the Health Coach Kit and is exclusively sold to professionals in the health care industry. It contains the same resources provided in the Health Coach Kit.

No previous experience is required to become a Health Coach. You simply need to be able to listen to clients and recommend dietary plans that fit their individual needs and preferences.

The Bad

  • Expensive Startup Cost
  • Transparency
  • Expensive Product
  • Extreme Diet Change

Expensive Startup Cost

To become a certified Health Coach, you will need to spend $199 for the New Health Coach Career Kit. The kit includes marketing and sales materials your recruiter might recommend to help build your new business. Plus, there is approximately a three month educational period before a health coach begins to notice significant income revenues from the Take Shape for Life business venture.

Transparency

Before becoming a certified Health Coach you will be required to pass a simple exam. Some previous customers felt deceived by the term certified Health Coach.

The expectation was that they were receiving weight loss guidance from highly trained healthcare professional to help guide them in their weight loss goals. When it was discovered that this is not the case, it was very disappointing to customers.

The business opportunity is not spelled out on the company's website with specific details. Take Shape for Life does not disclose incomes generated through its compensation plan. There is no way to tell how much or how little money you can earn by joining.

Though they are a publicly traded company on the NYSE, their compensation plan is not easily accessible to the general public online. Only by attending a meeting open to the public are we able to see the actual TSFL Income Disclosure Statement.

Expensive Product

The nutritional food packages cost around $310 for 30 days worth of food. The package includes five meals per day. This typically replaces your grocery bill and fast food bill, but for the average consumer this can still be quite expensive. It may cause a tough sell for the Health Coach unless he or she has strong marketing and sales skills.

Extreme Diet Change

Be aware that the Medifast weight loss program is a drastic diet that puts you in a state of ketosis. This is a metabolic state where most of the body's energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood.

This is a naturally-occurring state that happens every night when you go to sleep and ends when you consume food in the morning.

Prolonged ketosis states may lead to dangerous dehydration levels. Be sure to drink plenty of water while you are on the program. Because Take Shape for Life customers get started on a more extreme diet change, exercising should be kept at low intensity levels while on or using the products.

You do not want to be doing heavy weight lifting or strenuous activity during this time. It will put too much strain on the system that is already trying to adapt to super low-calorie meal intakes.

The Bottom Line

The Take Shape for Life Program is perfect for busy individuals looking for already prepared nutritious meals and snacks they can easily carry with them throughout the day. It is also perfect for those who are tempted by fast food meals or family member temptations.

The scientifically designed meals are also great for those with diabetic, gluten intolerance, or cholesterol and sodium-related health conditions. The weight loss programs are sound and medically-backed. Physicians used to recommend them before the direct sales marketing approach was developed to save doctors' time and energy levels in explaining how the programs work to patients. The business opportunity itself is not as sound as the program.

However, that does not mean that you cannot earn money being a Health Coach with the Take Shape for Life Program. Proceed with caution before buying in and ask plenty of questions to ensure you understand all the details before joining.

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User Reviews

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10 Reviews

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Marsha McCorkle
May 16th, 2018 DETAILS
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As far as fast weight loss, coaches, and meals, I love this program. I lost 57 pounds in less than 6 months. It was expensive, and very difficult for someone who has a family and has to buy groceries in addition to this food, but I was by myself and didn't have that problem. It is a great program, worked very well, and I felt great while on it. My problem came after the program. My weight has almost all come back on!! I couldn't get back on it. Very frustrating. I now feel like I am ready to start again. I loved most of the foods, and especially the cappuccino. Your tastes change very rapidly after on the plan, you may not like something one day, but love it just a few days later. Energy is through the roof after just a few days. Almost any diet works as long as your on it, the problem is definitely keeping the weigh off.

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Tiffany
December 19th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ DETAILS
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I did Take Shape for Life. I was hoping to loose weight after having my baby. The food is way over priced and I was always getting way more than I needed. I decided that good old diet and exercise would be far more effective for me. I prefer to eat real whole foods. I am sure this is a great program for some but it just wasn't for me.

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Jacinda E
December 19th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
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I would say that this company is pretty expensive to start a business. Initial entree fee to buy food and to start your business is $600. Then buying food each month can be from $100-$400. I loved the people that I worked with and the knowledge i gained from the books sent. But overall pretty expensive and it is hard to help change peoples eating patterns.

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Christie Mckee
July 6th, 2017 San Marcos, CA

I joined the program for weight loss about 3 years ago. I joined the company as a health coach to help others achieve what I had and so far my family has lost over 500 lbs. This result alone has been worth the time and money I invested and I have continued to make money each month with relatively little time supporting clients and other coaches. One thing to be aware of is the coach you get when you sign up. You should feel fully supported and not have to think about anything in the first week-just follow the easy steps. After about 30 days you can probably succeed on your own but staying connected assures you are held accountable and maintain the health goals you achieved. It is not magic-it is based in education and that is the part of it I like. It helped me change my thoughts about food and my relationship with so many health concepts. This is not a sit back and make money type of company-you actually coach and train coaches for the money you earn.

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jill Piechowski
June 29th, 2017

I am thrilled with the results for our family and the support provided by the company all the way from the health coaches to the customer service people. The integrity of the company is obvious.

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Lynn Ramsey
June 26th, 2017 Hopkins, MN

I was introduced to Take Shape For Life and I had never done any serious diet program before. I was mortified that I could not loose the 30 pounds I wanted on my own. I was seriously supported by my coach and have always been intuitive about healthy eating. My coach provided me with the support and encouragement I needed and whether this program is scrutinized by it's business model or not, the fact is that this is a weight loss program that works and does indeed teach you the healthy lifestyle to adopt for continued success! I have kept my weight off for 5 years now and I choose to pay if forward to help others and that is extremely rewarding!

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Iris Crannell
April 4th, 2017

Total scam! I ordered the start up with book on the phone. I was NOT informed that the fifty dollar book was not able to be returned. After reviewing the book. I chose to return it. I was denied!!!

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Lindsay Lucas
January 10th, 2017

I have lost 20 lbs and am on my way to losing 15 more. My coach is incredible. She has been by my side the entire way, giving really helpful tips and encouragement. I am very happy to be on this easy-to-follow, healthy, effective program.

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Misti
October 4th, 2016 West Jordan, UT

I have absolutely loved this product and my health coach! I lost 52 pounds over two years ago and have kept it off by following what I learned from all the education! I would highly recommend this product to anyone who may be a prediabic of diabetic.

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Deborah Schellhase
July 27th, 2016 Little Rock, AR

I lost 40 lbs with Take Shape for Life in 4.5 months. I have kept this off for the past year and I love the program! I really learned things that helped me keep off my weight. And I love the support I got from my personal health coach! AND yes, I became a health coach to help others do the same and have a lot of happy clients who are having success in losing weight just like I did. The company is high integrity and I'm very pleased to be associated with them.

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