So kind of helping you understand the three cogs of the wheel, first talk about the health coach. So everybody who participates in the program gets a human being, a personal health coach that you would provide through your practice to walk them through the program. The person is not teaching them anything. They don’t have to be a health professional. Eighty percent of the coaches are not health professionals. What the health coach does is a tour guide. It guides them through the weight loss phase first, then it guides them through the learning system that’s provided by the company to help them maintain their weight loss, lose the weight. And the coaching is free to the client. You’ll learn later the business model, but the client doesn’t pay the health coach a penny because the company pays the coach for the services of coaching.
So the learning system that Dr. [inaudible] has put together was case closed the best learning system I’ve found. I mean, he is a very intelligent guy who’s gotten very practical in what he’s done, and what he does is he says that we need to teach people habits of health and to overcome the habits of disease that got them there in the first place. He says, “Don’t tell people to break this habit or identify that bad habit. Number one they’re not going to want to do it, and number two, they’re not going to recognize all their bad habits that got them there.” So he says teach them the good habits. It focuses on small, simple changes that they practice. They repeat them. One at a time, baby step by baby step that walks them down the path towards optimal health and actually able to maintain the weight that they lost. Again, guided by the health coach.
And the health related topics, it’s not surprise, it’s all the topics we all know about but nobody seems to deal with effectively. Implementing healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and yes, there is a approach to the psychological component of food addiction.
So this depicts what we’re talking about. Again, if a person starts off right here and they basically, through inactivity, poor sleep, lousy eating habits, they develop an inflammation, they lose muscle mass, and they get obese, and they get sick. So these are the habits of disease, and what Take Shape for Life does is it offers them the third era of medicine, it offers them that new health path. First, a fabulous method to get the weight off, which is sometimes very, very difficult, but then what it does is it teaches people step by step habits of health that lead toward optimal health.
And what the program that Dr. Anderson put together has lots of tools in the tool box. I use the tool box analogy because basically, a person who decides to choose Take Shape for Life are given a tool box, and one of the tools in the tool box is the health coach. The health coach hands them the tool box, and the health coach teaches them how to use the tools in the tool box, shows them the medifast [inaudible] weight loss plan, shows them that there’s a learning system, there’s online tools, that there’s phone calls they can go to every week and talk to a physician, talk to a nurse and learn how to maintain your weight once you’ve lost it. So they’ve got these [inaudible] network of tools that teach a person long term success.
Just a moment on the medifast plan. Medifast, it’s in the news a lot, and honestly, the reason is because Take Shape for Life is driving medifast to the top of the heap. You’ll learn about it a little bit there, but medifast is a thirty year old company that works toward your weight loss. What it is, it’s called the five in one plan because what the person does is they have six meals a day. It’s the most important healthy habit to maintain long term is frequent fueling, so they’re going to eat every two to three hours throughout the weight loss phase and for life. They’re going to have five medifast meals and one lean and green. That’s real food, real food that they’ve prepared, they’re taught how to prepare, and it adheres to the guides of the program, and by doing this medifast, women typically lose ten, fifteen pounds a month, men typically lose fifteen to twenty pounds a month, and that can be long term.
Medifast meals are, I call it nutritional rocket fuel. It is man-made food – some people get hung up over this is processed food. Well, that’s because they’re interpreting the processed food that the food industry makes that’s processed. This is man-made rocket fuel because they take a long time, two to three years, to make each product, to make them all nutritionally equivalent, that they’re a good quality protein. It’s not high protein, but they’re able to have a full dose of protein with a small number of calories. It makes them full, a very good satiety index where they don’t feel full through the entire program. They’re easy to prepare. There’s no vitamin supplements needed [inaudible]. They contain all the vitamins that they need, and as you’ll learn, it’s cost neutral, so all the clients are doing is simply shifting their food dollars from the grocery store to Take Shape for Life.
The lean and green I mentioned, it’s real food, it’s five to seven ounces of lean meat. It’s three servings of non-starchy vegetables. They can eat at home, they can eat at restaurants, there are vegetarian options, and the food is downright good, and it teaches people throughout their weight loss they actually can enjoy good food, healthy food.
So we’re going to take a couple minutes now to kind of walk you through the program, to kind of give you a picture of what it looks like for the client. So in the years or decades prior to making the fundamental choice to get healthy, what the client does is calories in, calories out, there’s fat accumulation. At some point, the person makes that fundamental decision I’m going to get healthy, and I’m going to use Take Shape for Life as my tool to get healthy, and they start the medifast five in one plan. So what that is is that people will have fewer calories than they need, they’re consuming about eight hundred to a thousand calories a day, which is not enough for anybody, but what that does is it opens up the storage of fat that they have been accumulating for years and years and gets them into a mild fat burning state, where what they’re going to do is mobilize that fat for fuel through the entire weight loss phase, which is how the program works, and the medifast allows them to do that.
At the beginning, I don’t tell people to worry too much about the habits of health at the beginning, but about three weeks into the program, after they’ve lost sometimes ten, fifteen pounds or more and they’re getting kind of excited about this weight loss, they’re kind of getting motivated to do what it takes to keep it off, and one of which is activity. At the beginning, kind of get them into a good fat burning. They have to kind of back off a little bit on their intensity of exercise. If they haven’t started exercising, wait a little bit, but about three weeks into it get into it, because that’s where they start to learn the lifestyle part of it, and they get into the habits of health at a time where they’re very motivated to do so.
People always ask me how long do they have to be in the program. Well, as you can imagine, it’s going to take a lot longer to lose 120 pounds than it does to lose 20 pounds. It’ll work for everybody, but what they do is they stay in that fat burning stage until they reach a healthy body weight of less than 25. And I will say a lot of people don’t believe they can get there, but they can, and I will say from a physician’s point of view that I don’t start to see those [inaudible] inflammatory markers [inaudible] resistance cure themselves until they do get down that that healthy weight of about 25 or [inaudible] fat gets into a normal range. That’s beyond what you need to know, but that’s the reality of that is a healthy body weight.
After they reach that point of 25, I sit down on the phone or with my patient in my office, [inaudible] say this is a critical [inaudible]. Congratulations, you got to your healthy weight. You’ve got two paths you can go down. You can let this be a medifast diet, and there’s eighty-five percent, like with all diets, you’re going to regain your weight, or you can choose the Take Shape for Life, learn what got you here, learn how to maintain it, and maintain your weight loss long term.
So with the program, we don’t dump people right back into their [inaudible] calories in the beginning. There’s about a four week transition zone where they go up to maintenance over time, and in maintenance where they’ve got calories in and calories out. And this slide is the slide that connected me with the program when I first heard Dr. Nelson talk about it because this is based on the study that I’ve been talking about for eight years before ever hearing about the program. It was a study done by the national weight control registry where over four thousand people lost an average of over sixty-seven pounds and kept it off for an average of five and a half years, so a lot of people lost a lot of weight, kept it off a long time. They were really successful. They asked them a large battery of questions to find out what worked, and these are the common denominators that got them healthy, and Dr. Anderson called the [inaudible] lifestyle maintenance Take Shape for Life.
I’m not going to get into the details of it, you can read it, but I will just point out that the reason I really like as a physician the medifast plan that he partnered with is that because they’re eating real food, throughout the entire weight loss phase, they’re practicing every single component of [inaudible], so if they haven’t figured out before hand, when they get down to transition, they’ll say, “Good news, you’ve been practicing the be slim lifestyle throughout the [inaudible]. You just now have to apply it to eating non medifast food.”
Oh, I didn’t mention, everybody, is that when somebody gets in the maintenance, they can choose to continue to have it through medifast, many do, but there’s no requirement. Dr. Anderson offers in his approach about three pages worth of hundred calorie healthy fueling that they can have between their three modest sized meals to keep the fueling a day that’s necessary.
So what are the costs? Well, as I mentioned before, their eating, for most people, it’s free. The medifast component of their nutritional intake is about three hundred dollars a month. The lean and green typically costs about sixty, eighty dollars a month, so the total cost is about 360 to 380 dollars a month to be on the program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average American, between on the go eating out and eating at home, spends about 440 dollars a month, some more, some less. I’ve gotten a lot of people say that they’re actually spending less money on the program than they did before hand, and as I mentioned, the health coaching is free because simply Take Shape for Life pays the health coach out of their profits from the sales of medifast foods [inaudible] health coaching services that we provide.
So basically, I will have occasionally people say, “You know what? I don’t think that program’s going to work for me.” Well, the truthful answer is that if you do the program, it’ll work. Physiologically, it has to work. If you adhere to the program, it will work, and you know what? The timing just may not be right for them, and like I said before, I’m just not going to twist anybody’s arm to do this. If they want to get healthy, I’m there for them, so I simply say, “What do you want?” And that’s kind of the approach to people, simply saying, “You know what? Keep your eyes on the goal. Keep your eyes on what you want, because just like a potter has to work to create the pottery or the masterpiece, the sculpture that they’re making, the person creating health in their life has to work too to create health.”
So what Take Shape for Life does, it is a solution. It’s a truly proven solution, it’s a health path, a third era health path for those who really want to, are intrinsically motivated, not because I’m telling them to as their physician, but because they want to from within to assume the individual responsibility to create health in their own life, and that’s the key. That’s the key to the program, it’s all about creating health, and that’s the target. The target’s not weight loss. The target’s creating health.