The FAQs “Are you a nutritionist?” No. We are weight loss coaches, counselors, consultants, mentors . . . all apply. Consultants at the “big box” storefront weight loss companies are also not nutritionists — and, on top of that, too many of their employees aren’t even slim! Nutritionists are experts at the science of food (and many of them are also overweight). They can tell you how many vitamins, minerals and nutrients are in a piece of fish, but they cannot get the weight off you. WE can, and we do so very successfully — which is why so many doctors refer their patients. Most nutritionists give you lots papers to read and decipher, giving you daily nutrient percentages to figure out and achieve on your own. We don’t. We take the time to sit with clients individually to plan personal daily menus. “Is the program restrictive in any way?” “Restrictive” as opposed to what? . . . the way you’ve been eating thus far, which in why you are overweight? To have absolutely NO restrictions means to eat what you want, when you want, as much as you want or as little as you want. Those habits don’t work — not only for weight loss, but you’re not going to feel well or age well in the long run, and you certainly will NOT lose weight. It is NOT restrictive to eat from ALL of the food groups every day. If you’re overweight, and if you’re honest with yourself, you know you need discipline in your eating habits, and you MUST learn about portion control not only to lose the weight but, more importantly, to keep it off. “Will I have to measure my food?” Yes. It does not mean you can never go out to eat. It does mean that you must control your environment as often as you can. If you NEVER control your environment, if you NEVER plan ahead, if you NEVER prepare what you need, if you ALWAYS wing it, you’ll NEVER have success at losing weight. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got! “How long do you think it’ll take?” It depends . . . on a lot of things. It’s like a road trip. You can look at the map, determine how many miles you have to travel, figure your average speed and then estimate how long it will take you to get there. That works sometimes. But maybe you come across a traffic jam or a detour. Maybe you drive through a town you’ve never been to and decide to stop a while. Many factors are taken into account when it comes to setting a client’s weight loss goal and maintenance weights, including age, height, starting weight, gender, medical issues and associated protocols. And an average weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is considered safe. However, just like that road trip, we can make a very educated projection as to how long it will take you to reach your goal. But you need to accept that it’s only that—a projection, based on years of experience and a track record of success. But just like when you drive your car, you may not go at a consistently steady speed or burn through your fuel at a perfectly consistent rate. And just like traffic jams and detours, things get in the way to slow us down or get us off track. “What about exercise?” Exercise is not part of our program, but of course the type of exercise you may choose to do is best left to you and your physician and/or your fitness trainer. Can you lose weight without exercise? YES. Can you lose weight only with exercise? ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you worked out 5 days a week, even with the best trainer money could buy, but didn’t complement that activity with eating correctly, you wouldn’t lose weight. That’s why so many people who don’t eat right are so obsessive about exercise or working out; they think if they do it ‘til they drop, they don’t have to make any changes in their diet, or they lose weight very slowly or not at all. The perfect combination is to learn how to eat correctly AND exercise. But if you only have the time and the money to focus on one thing, choose learning how to eat correctly first. Drop a size or two, start feeling better about yourself, like what you see in the mirror a little more, and then join a gym. Too often, when someone tries to conquer two bad habits at once — like smoking and drinking, for example — chances are they’ll fail at both. Remember, too, that no matter how much time you spend exercising or working out, you can NEVER out-exercise a bad diet! “Do you work with pregnant women?” Yes. Eating from each food group every day and using proper portion control —no more and no less — is what is necessary to provide important nutrients that a woman and her growing baby needs without gaining more weight than is necessary. Women who are at a good, healthy weight pre-pregnancy, should gain no more than 25 to 30 pounds during pregnancy. For those who are overweight pre-pregnancy, a gain of 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy is all that is necessary. And women who are obese at conception should strive to gain NO MORE THAN 11 to 20 pounds. We guide pregnant women through each gestation with the same discipline, structure and accountability as we do with our weight loss clients. Additionally, we have a wonderful post-delivery program for nursing mothers. “I know someone who lost weight with you, but gained some or all back. Why?” You don’t know how much weight they had to lose. You don’t know if they dropped out of the program before getting to the goal weight we set for them. You don’t know if they got to the goal weight that we set for them and then chose not to go through Stabilization and Maintenance. If someone drops out of this program before they reach a goal weight that we set and without going through Stabilization and Maintenance, they absolutely WILL gain all of their weight back — and we tell this to people not only when they call for information, but we make it very clear in the consultation as well. Additionally, if someone completes Stabilization and Maintenance successfully, and then goes back to their old eating habits instead of continuing with what we taught them, they absolutely WILL gain their weight back — and more. Is that our fault or theirs? If a cardiologist inserts stents to clear a patient’s arteries after a heart attack and the patient goes back to smoking and eating poorly and has another heart attack, does that mean the stents didn’t work and it’s the doctor’s fault? The doctor gave the patient the best chance to live, told the patient about the lifestyle changes he had to make, and that’s what we do. We give clients the best chance to remain slim forever — but ONLY with maintaining the lifestyle changes that we teach. “Why are you so expensive?” First of all, we don’t think we are expensive. We’re valuable: Our time, experience, knowledge and success are incredibly valuable. And the work we do and the results we get are invaluable. Secondly, if you ask that question, chances are we’re not the program for you. Our clients are those who believe the benefits of changing their behavior will outweigh the costs. “Do you offer any discounts?” No. We don’t haggle as if our services are the equivalent of getting a good deal for a shmata at the flea market. We place a high value on the services we provide and the results that our clients achieve. When you pay less, you’re not as committed — which is why so many overweight people look for the cheapest program or quick-fix gimmick they can find, and they do that over and over and over again with each new “miracle diet,” spending thousands of dollars in total. So, essentially, “cheap” becomes “very expensive,” and “quick” becomes “never!” Feeling it in your pocket is a commitment. So, to questions such as “Can you give me a deal?” or “Can you do it for less?” the answer is, “If you’re looking for the cheapest, you’re not looking for us.” Our program may cost a little more, but aren’t you worth it? “Do you take insurance?” No, we don’t. But, if you have a flex spending account, the sales receipt we provide is acceptable to verify your expenses. Additionally, you can include in your year-end tax filings all medical expenses paid to lose weight IF it is a treatment for a specific medical diagnosis by your physician (such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, PCOS, etc.). Your physician would only have to give you a prescription form with a medical diagnosis (i.e., diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, obesity, etc.) and a notation that “weight loss is strongly encouraged and at this time medically necessary.” Then, the receipt we provide can be used for your year-end tax deductions. [This is IRS Ruling 2002-19, Part 1, Section 213] If you’re only looking for a program that takes insurance, consider these questions: Are you really looking to do the work of losing weight in a manner that will give you the best chance to keep it off for good, or is your mind-set that of, “If I find a place that will take my insurance, what the heck . . . I’ll give it a shot?” Do you realize that whatever program your insurance might cover will definitely put a cap on the number of allowed visits? Do you realize, then, that a cap on the number of visits means that in order to stretch out the amount of visits you can have you’ll choose to see someone infrequently. So, with too much time in between visits, you’ll mostly be on your own. We, on the other hand, service our clients individually 2 to 3 times a week! Do you realize that you’ll have a $30-50 (or more) co-pay at every visit? Do you realize how fast those co-pays add up to $100’s of dollars out of your pocket for infrequent visits, minimal guidance and structure, and zero accountability?