Calibrate Metabolic Reset For Weight Loss Review – Forbes
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Digital metabolic health company Calibrate is on a mission to create a new standard of care for treating obesity. The company’s intensive, four-level weight loss program aims to provide long-term support to its customers by coupling patient education and lifestyle changes with research-backed medication with a goal of providing sustainable results.
Calibrate was founded by Isabelle Kenyon in 2020 as a way to help put people living with obesity back in control of their health. Calibrate’s digital metabolic health program—which is available in all 50 states—expands access to comprehensive obesity treatment in order to improve overall metabolic health, according to the company’s chief medical officer, Kim Boyd, M.D.
Calibrate is unique in that it focuses on long-term outcomes, explains Dr. Boyd. While most treatment options for obesity focus on short-term weight loss, Calibrate aims to address the underlying causes of obesity by combining medication with sustainable behavior changes over the long-term, she continues.
An estimated 42.5% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over are living with obesity, and an additional 31.1% are overweight, according data from the 2017–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). These numbers are something Calibrate aims to change, says Dr. Boyd.
“If we can provide access to effective treatment to people [living] with overweight and obesity and give them the tools to sustain weight loss, we have the opportunity to help millions improve their metabolic health and fix our spiraling health care spend related to cardiometabolic disease,” explains Dr. Boyd.
Calibrate recognizes that obesity is not just a matter of eating too much and exercising too little, says Donna Ryan, M.D., a clinical advisor at Calibrate and professor emeritus at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rather, obesity is the result of genetic susceptibility to environmental forces that drive weight gain, she says.
In certain individuals, once weight is gained, the body “defends” its highest fat mass, which basically means it works against losing that weight, says Dr. Ryan. “Any time a person with obesity, or excess abnormal body fat, tries to lose weight from that set point, biologic and physiologic forces promote weight gain through increased appetite and decreased energy expenditure,” she explains.
Calibrate’s approach to weight management, the One-Year Metabolic Reset program, involves a thorough medical evaluation, the prescription of GLP-1 receptor agonist medications and 1:1 online coaching, explains Dr. Ryan.
The Metabolic Reset’s four-part program is approved by Calibrate’s clinical advisory board, made up of obesity treatment and metabolic health experts and scientific researchers, and the company guarantees weight loss of at least 10%.
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To be eligible for Calibrate, you must:
After your eligibility is confirmed, you’ll go through the following steps:
1. Complete your health intake
When you sign up for Calibrate’s One-Year Metabolic Reset, you’ll receive a comprehensive intake form that should take about 20 minutes to complete. From there, you’ll be provided with a link to schedule a virtual visit with one of Calibrate’s doctors, as well as your first accountability coaching session. Be sure to schedule your virtual doctor’s visit at least five days before your first coaching session so that your lab results are available.
2. Get your lab work done
A lab order will be created and emailed to you within three days of signing up for Calibrate’s program. You’ll need to schedule and complete your blood draw locally so that it’s available to your Calibrate doctor prior to your virtual visit. This lab work entails the following:
3. Set up your welcome kit
Your welcome kit will be shipped to your home; expect to receive it within five business days of signing up. The kit includes:
In the guide, you’ll find instructions on downloading the Calibrate app, how to sync your scale, as well as how to sync Google Fit or Apple Health apps. The folder includes a guide to Calibrate’s food philosophy, illustrated with four triangles which relate to each level, or stage, of the program.
Calibrate is not a diet, and you won’t be restricting calories. Instead, you’ll learn to eat less sugar and processed foods, focusing instead on healthy, whole foods in the right proportions. This way, you’ll make changes that are sustainable long-term.
4. Enter your baseline metrics
Record your starting waist circumference and weight in the Calibrate app (instructions are available on the app and in the guide).
5. Read your Calibrate Fundamentals class
You’ll receive an email two days prior to your doctor’s visit with instructions on how to download Zoom and a link to the first three Calibrate lessons, which should be read before your appointment.
6. Complete your virtual doctor’s visit
Discuss your lab results and the Calibrate program with your doctor. At this time, your doctor will ensure that you’re a candidate for a GLP-1 medication, and prescribe the best option for you based on your individual circumstances.
7. Begin your metabolic reset
The One-Year Metabolic Reset includes four levels of accountability coaching that break down into sessions with Calibrate’s coaching team, focus classes on topics you choose, sessions focused on setting healthy daily habits and learning techniques for long-term success. Goals may include getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, learning stress reduction techniques, making healthier food choices, and logging 150 minutes of exercise each week.
Customer support is available to new and existing customers from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.. Existing members can contact the support team via the app or email.
To use Calibrate, there is a one-time fee of $1,649, or $138 per month for 12 months with Affirm. Lab work and prescription medication are not included in the membership cost, but Calibrate’s team works with your commercial or employer insurance to get them covered, the company says.
Calibrate’s digital program, combining medication and behavior change, is the first outcomes-based model in obesity treatment, according to a spokesperson for the company. “Being outcomes-based means we don’t make money on medication; rather our success is determined by delivering health outcomes over time. This is why we developed the Calibrate Results Guarantee, which states that eligible members are guaranteed a minimum of 10% weight loss at the end of the Calibrate Metabolic Reset,” says the spokesperson.
If you don’t achieve a 10% weight loss, Calibrate will refund the cost of your program minus a $250 fee for your Metabolic Health Assessment. The cost of medication and third-party services are not refundable.
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Calibrate’s use of GLP-1 receptor agonists, seemingly the best medications available for weight loss in most people, is what sets them apart, says Arti Thangudu, M.D., a triple board-certified endocrinologist at Complete Medicine in San Antonio, Texas. “Access to weight loss medications is poor. Most people cannot see an endocrinologist (the type of doctor most comfortable prescribing these medications), because there are so few of us,” continues Dr. Thangudu. In this way, Calibrate improves access for people living with obesity, she says.
To date, Calibrate has helped more than 20,000 people, with members losing an average of 15% of their weight and sustaining outcomes beyond their first year in the program, claims Dr. Boyd.
Twenty-one customers on Consumer Affairs rated Calibrate’s Metabolic Reset program 3.8 out of 5 stars. One of the reviewers, who gave the program 5 stars, says, “I haven’t had any problems with getting my medications and it is teaching me a healthy way to be mindful of what I eat, get my fitness in and how important taking care of yourself overall is!”
Another 5-star reviewer says Calibrate’s philosophy of making small changes over time really worked for her, writing, “For the first time I feel in control of my weight and my health. This empowerment feels better (almost!) than losing the weight!”
On average, six Trustpilot reviews ranked Calibrate 2.6 out of 6 stars. One reviewer, who lost 12% of his body weight, rated Calibrate 4 stars and said, “The program has been good for me. It has taught me I need more motivation for water intake and (like most people), I need to work on exercising more.”
A less satisfied customer complained about the customer service, claiming it was nonexistent, and the majority of dissatisfied customers were concerned over not receiving their medications and having difficulty contacting the company.
Good candidates for Calibrate are individuals who have struggled with lifestyle interventions alone for weight loss and who are fairly self-sufficient as far as needs from their doctor, says Dr. Thangudu
The medications used by Calibrate (GLP-1 agonists) work in the brain centers that regulate hunger, satiety and food intake, says Dr. Ryan. When the medication is started, weight loss begins and can continue until your weight hits a settling point, she says.
According to Dr. Boyd, our set point is determined by the interaction of our biology, genetics and environment and is regulated by our brain. “When trying to lose weight, our metabolic system is so committed to keeping us at what it perceives to be our “target” weight that if we simply reduce the amount we eat for a sustained amount of time, our body responds by doing everything in its power to defend its set point,” Dr. Boyd says.
Calibrate uses clinically-tested GLP1-medications including Ozempic (semaglutide), Saxenda (liraglutide), Mounjaro (tirzepatide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide).
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Heidi Borst is a freelance journalist, healthcare content writer and certified nutrition coach with a love of all things health and wellness. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, MSN, Yahoo and more. Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Borst is a lifelong runner and general fitness enthusiast who is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of sleep and self-care.
Jessica is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in both lifestyle and clinical health topics. Before Forbes Health, Jessica was an editor for Healthline Media, WW and PopSugar, as well as numerous health-related startups. When she isn’t writing or editing, Jessica can be found at the gym, listening to a health or true prime podcast, or spending time outside. She also really enjoys bread (even though she’s not supposed to eat it).