Weight Loss Program Questions and Answers (FAQs)
The FitsMe Weight Loss Program is actually two programs:
- 52-week program for people who have 50 or more pounds to lose.
- 26-week program for people who have less than 50 pounds to lose.
The programs are lifestyle-change, out-patient, self-pay, weight loss programs offering live online weekly closed-group sessions. Group sessions are led by a team of health care professionals in nutrition, behavior change, and exercise. The treatment team and approach are the same in both programs.
All of our programs are run online using the Zoom application. You can participate in any of our programs from the safety and privacy of your own home from anywhere in the country.
What if I’m not sure how much weight I have to lose?
We will help you determine your healthy weight loss goal. We use Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of your weight to height, as a general guideline. We look for participants with a BMI under 30 for our 50 pounds and under group, and a BMI 30 or above for our 50 pounds or over group. However, these are only general guidelines, and we will help you decide which group is right for you. The National Institutes of Health website offers an online tool for calculating your BMI.
What will I learn in the group sessions?
Think of our program like weight loss school. We’ll share research-based nutrition, behavior changes, motivation, exercise strategies, and information necessary for you to lose weight and keep it off. We also have a behavior therapist on our team to address the emotional issues related to weight control. It’s not group therapy, but we do address the emotional issues and relationship that you have with food in order to help you control food and eating.
What is a closed group?
Our weight loss groups are closed, which means you’re with the same people for the entire 26 or 52 weeks, which creates an environment of consistent support for losing weight. We don’t know of any other program that offers this level of commitment to help you lose weight, especially for 26 to 52 weeks and beyond.
Can I switch groups during the year?
No, once you start the program you remain in the same group at the same day and time each week for the entire year, and you cannot attend another group as a make-up session even if you miss your own group during any particular week.
How long is a group session?
Group sessions are 75 minutes long and start at 6:00pm and 7:30pm EST Monday through Wednesday. Times are based on availability. We do not have groups in the morning or early afternoon. You attend only one group per week.
If I have a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease, can I still join?
Yes. There are virtually no medical conditions that would prevent you from joining.
What is the diet?
We won’t give you a strict diet plan. You no doubt have done that before, and if it worked you probably wouldn’t be thinking of joining us. Instead, we’ll teach you a variety of skills, techniques, and options for making the changes to your diet that are necessary to live in your world and still lose weight without feeling hungry, restricted, or deprived. The goal is to educate you on all of the facts about nutrition and health so that you no longer have to go on a diet. The food options will be the foods that you choose to eat.
How fast will I lose weight?
We recommend 1-2 pounds per week. We’re more interested in having you lose weight at a sensible rate that is sustainable in the long run rather than a quick-fix where you lose quickly but then regain quickly.
How much weight will I lose?
Our average weight loss is 9.1% of initial body weight (approximately 31 pounds) with a range up to 45% (more than 100 pounds). Our “biggest loser” was a woman in her 50’s who lost 112.5 pounds in 52 weeks. In our 26-week program for people who have less than 50 pounds to lose, the average weight loss is 8.3% of initial body weight (approximately 19 pounds – range up to 55 pounds). Attendance is one of our best predictors of who loses the most weight, so showing up is important. Your persistence, commitment, determination, hard work, resilience, and patience are other factors that will contribute to how much weight you lose.
Will I have to stop eating out when I join the program?
Absolutely not. We want you to learn how to live and eat in your world. Our approach is practical. Eating out, and take-out, is part of many peoples’ lives and so we will teach you how to manage eating out and still lose weight. Again, our program is lifestyle change, which means you continue to do the things you like to do, but this time you’ll learn enough about your relationship with food to cope with all sorts of everyday high-risk situations. You’ll learn how to gain control over food and eating rather than have it control you. Imagine that.
How much exercise will I have to do?
You don’t lose very much weight with exercise and so we won’t overwhelm you with heart thumping exercise when you start. We won’t discourage you from exercising if you’re already working out, it’s just that we spend more time on the nutrition and behavior components of the program during the first weeks of the program to help you maximize weight loss, and then we’ll introduce exercise once you’ve lost some weight.
What age range are the participants?
The average age of our participants is 47 years. You must be 25 years or older to join.
Is weight loss medication used?
No, it’s not a core feature of our lifestyle-change program, but we are not opposed to weight loss medication and will refer you to one of our endocrinologists if you would like to explore that option.
Is surgery part of the program?
No, but we can refer you to one of our bariatric surgeons if you want to explore this option. We are not opposed to it, it’s just that it’s not a core feature of our lifestyle-change program.
Is there testing for metabolic rate & body composition?
Yes, our body composition lab is world-class. You can have testing for resting metabolic rate, body fat measurement (Bod Pod), and maximal and sub-maximal exercise performance.
Is there a follow up after the programs are completed?
Yes there is and it runs continuously in 3-month modules at a time. Once you graduate from the 26- or 52-week program you can join the Rainbow program and repeat the modules as many times and for as long as you like. You may continue into Rainbow right after you graduate or “fly on your own” for a while and then return if you ever feel the need for a tune-up.
Can I repeat a program?
No, but you have the option of joining the Rainbow program described above once you complete the program.
What is the difference between this program and others?
Closed groups, professional staff, and being with the same people for 52 weeks, or 26 weeks, all who have similar weight to lose and who really “get it”, who really understand the struggles of weight loss. Everyone in the room relates to each other the moment you start talking about weight loss. The support and camaraderie from each other, and guidance from trained and experienced health professionals, is invaluable.
How long has this program been running?
We’ve been running our weight loss program since 1991.
How do i join?
The first step is to attend one of our free-of- charge 75-minute online orientations where we formally present the program and answer all of your questions. We work on a first-come, first-served basis, and recruit first from people who attend the orientation, so it’s important that you attend this meeting. If you’re still interested in joining after the orientation, then you make an appointment for an individual screening with one of our staff. All individuals must have a screening appointment. You sign up and then start group sessions after that.
How much does the program cost?
Our fee is $65 per week, payable out-of-pocket at the beginning of each month. We accept credit cards (M/C, Visa), flex spending may apply.
Do I pay for every session?
Yes, you pay for every session, including religious holidays, even if you miss a session for any reason, unless your group falls on Christmas, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4th, or Thanksgiving.
Is insurance accepted?
We do not accept insurance. Your insurance company must reimburse you directly if they cover weight loss.
How do I find out about the next orientation date and other information?
To find out the date of our next orientation, or for more information about the program, contact us at [email protected]
Can I get a refund?
No refunds are given for services already rendered. When you join a 26 or 52 week program you are responsible for the balance of that program even if you leave.