In the online weight loss community, there are countless pictures of the “sugar shot” – men and women in grocery store or warehouse chain isles posing with food products representing how much weight they have lost. Lynnette Moore posted her own sugar shot recently – 63 pounds off and counting.
“I got to age 43, and I said I want to live my best life now and I just didn’t want to invest in a whole year of losing weight,” Moore said. “I wasn’t at the point of surgery. As a nurse, I’ve dealt with so many patients that surgery didn’t go well.”
She prayed about it. Then a woman she knows from Alton, Illinois posted a before-and-after photo that caught her attention and changed Moore’s approach to food. This woman also became her coach.
“Her body transformed in just a few months, and I said, ‘I want to try this,’” she said.
The program that made a difference for her comes in a brand of products launched by Medifast in 2016 under the name Optavia. The packaged foods were developed by a doctor and promises nutrient-dense alternatives that fuel the body with good stuff four to five times a day (every two and a half hours). You add a lean protein and a green vegetable that you prepare in the evening to round out the eating plan. You also need to drink 64 to 100 ounces of water each day.
The timed meals, which they call fuelings, keep participants in a fat-burning mode.
“The whole point is to become a healthy human being,” Moore said, through the six habits of health – health weight management, healthy eating and hydration, healthy motion, healthy sleep, healthy mind, and healthy surroundings.
“Just dealing with you as a whole human being through weight loss, you learn to be a whole healthy person,” she said.
The plan also pairs people with a coach to walk them through the process, an online community of recipe-sharing supporters and reading material to help individuals assess their current situation and how to proceed in their health transformation. There are food lists and serving size measurements and things to avoid, like sugar, alcohol, and all the junk you are accustomed to eating or drinking that you already know are unhealthy.
Moore said that between the food fuelings and doses of water, cravings dissipate.
“From January to April, my body was completely transformed,” she said. “I’m a healthy human being, I have energy – I feel amazing, I have mental clarity. There’s no stimulants, no chemicals, no caffeine – nothing in it.”
A couple of months ago, Moore decided the plan that was working for her would also be a blessing for others and decided to become an independent coach. And she changed her weight goal.
“When I first started, I was 278; my goal was just to get under 200,” she said. “Once I started to feel the way I feel and telling people about it, seeing different people, my goal changed. I went to my doctor and asked, ‘What is a healthy weight for me.’ I decided that my new goal is 150.” She said that would give her a healthy body mass index.
The program recommends waiting two or three weeks and checking with your health care provider before beginning a slow exercise program, like walking, and gradually increasing duration and intensity. For people already engaged in regular exercise, the program suggests reducing the duration and intensity to allow your body to adjust to the new caloric intake.