Calibrate Weight Loss Review: Are Metabolic Resets Legit?

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Oh, great, just what the world needs – another weight loss program. You might be thinking: “Why can’t all this be easier? My wallet and psyche can’t take it anymore. Everyone on Instagram’s got abs, so why is it that I can’t seem to lose weight and keep it off?” 

The fact is, obesity is a disease. So why isn’t it treated like one?

How many of the health and fitness magazines out there take this approach? Not many; they’re just happy to sell you another supplement, workout program, or meal plan. And a year later when you’ve gained the weight back, you’re sitting there, blaming yourself for being too weak to keep the pounds off. It’s insanity.

But this “obesity is a disease” approach is exactly how companies like Calibrate approach weight loss and it’s exactly the reason they’re delivering such stellar results to their patients. Ten percent of your bodyweight in the first year, to be specific.

So how do they do it? The answer is twofold. Buckle up, buttercups: we’re gonna educate you, and then we’re gonna get you healthy.

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First, Calibrate tackles weight loss with a medical solution that’s backed by actual science and is used in the medical world – not advertised on late-night TV. The reality is that a majority of Americans aren’t getting the help they need to lead healthier lives. Only 2% of people who qualify for the use of these medications actually receives that medication. Calibrate is aiming to help the other 98%.

And second, they set patients up with dedicated coaches to develop long-term plans that get to the root of the problem and develop real lifestyle change. Medication stuff aside, Calibrate’s coaches help their patients develop real change in the four pillars of health (which we’ll touch on below).

Remember that long-term weight loss (that is, losing weight and actually keeping it off) is a marathon, not a sprint. Calibrate not only wants to see a healthier, happier you in the short term, but also for the rest of your life.

calibrate fast company article

What is Calibrate’s weight loss program, exactly?

Calibrate is a year long weight loss program that sets you up with certified doctors and coaches who, by using actual data and research-based programming, help you to reset your metabolic system, lose weight, and keep it off. They’re able to prescribe medications that are actually proven to work, and help you along a personalized plan that’s based around four pillars of health: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health. As a member of Calibrate’s program, you can also speak to doctors online, over the phone, or straight on the Calibrate app (that doubles as a means of tracking your progress against these four pillars). 

At its heart, Calibrate wants to educate their patients about metabolic health – not how to stick to some impossibly unsustainable, unhealthy diet or fitness regimen. In fact, the primary goals you and your coach will work on are things like lowering your blood pressure and blood sugar, not the number you see on the scale. By focusing on these sorts of health vitals, weight loss will follow. Along your journey, your coach will help track the four pillars of your plan: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health

“Working with patients over the years, I’ve seen firsthand that diet and exercise alone don’t work for sustainable weight loss. Calibrate creates a personalized care path for each member that allows you to lose weight and improve your overall health.”

Sona Shah, MD, Calibrate Medical Director

What are Metabolic Resets, and are they legit?

They’re legit, yes. Unfortunately while some of the major health and wellness magazines have started to publicize metabolic resets in their headlines, the definition has started to morph as people try and take credit for the idea. But at its core, it’s quite a simple concept:

“A metabolic reset is a whole-body reset that sets up every part of your system to have a healthy response to food, sleep, exercise, and emotional triggers. When you have control over not just your metabolism, but your whole metabolic system, you have control over your weight.”

Calibrate helps you achieve this through their unique program. Rather than selling you on some “lose weight fast” program like the health magazines do, Calibrate’s doctors and coaches use your actual lab work and genetics to develop a customized plan for you to achieve sustainable results over the course of the year, and beyond. 

By tracking and monitoring progress against their four pillars of health, and taking specific dosages of medications that work for your body to help you get there, you’ll be set up for serious results.

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🤔 How does Calibrate weight loss work?

  1. First off, visit their website and fill out a short questionnaire detailing your physical health. Age, height, weight, pre existing conditions, insurance provider, etc.
  2. If you’re an eligible fit for their program, you can choose which plan is right for you. More details on each plan are below.
  3. Next, fill out a more comprehensive health assessment and select whether you’ll need lab work done, or if you already have recent lab work you can send their way.
  4. Finally, schedule your first video visit with your Calibrate doctor and coach. They’ll develop a personalized plan of attack for you, as well as set you up with an FDA-approved medication that’ll help reset your metabolic system.
  5. At this point, they’ll also hook you up with a smart scale and access to the Calibrate app. This is how you’ll keep in touch with your coach as you make progress on your personalized health plan. Don’t go deleting all the other fitness apps on your phone just yet, but know that this one is going to be your best friend for the next 12 months. The rest will just help you along the way.

Is Calibrate available in my state?

Currently, Calibrate is available in California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, but they’re expanding nationwide. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s 30% of the US population that they’re serving — and they’re growing fast. 

If you live in another state, we highly recommend joining their waitlist now to lock in Early Access pricing. 

Who is Calibrate a good fit for?

First off, Calibrate has two strict requirements that patients have to meet if they want to sign up: 

  1. Patients must be 18-65 years old, and
  2. Must have a BMI of over 27. (This’ll automatically be calculated when you fill in your health questionnaire, so no worries if you don’t know this). 
Now that we’ve got those out of the way, let’s talk more about what the ideal candidate looks like. Ask yourself a few things:
  • Have I struggled to lose weight all my life, and always wondered why?
  • Have I been able to lose weight, but never succeeded in actually keeping it off?
  • Have I always suspected something was wrong with my body that was preventing me from losing weight and/or keeping it off?
  • Have I tried diet pills or workout plans that never seemed to pan out?
  • Do I think I’d benefit from a professional teaching me the habits toward leading a healthier life?
  • Am I willing to make a significant investment in myself – emotionally, physically, and financially?
  • Do I acknowledge that true weight loss won’t happen overnight, and that I’m in this for the long haul?

I’m not trying to sell anyone on anything with these questions, but I do think it’s important to set expectations and define who is the type of person that needs Calibrate’s weight loss program. It’s one thing to look in the mirror and wish you were a bit slimmer, and another thing entirely to know there’s a real barrier between a healthier you and what you see.

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Who is Calibrate not designed for?

Calibrate’s team is unable to work with patients that have or suffer from:

  • Drug/alcohol abuse*
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding
  • Eating disorders
  • Those who have had bariatric surgery within the past 18 months
  • Cancer
*The prescriptions that Calibrate prescribes are non-addictive, but addiction is outside the scope of their doctors’ immediate expertise.

Does Calibrate take insurance?

Calibrate will work with your insurance to help you get coverage for your lab tests and prescription medication. Insurance does not cover the subscription to Calibrate’s program, though it may be worth asking your insurance carrier.

As of right now, only commercial and employer insurance plans cover Calibrate-prescribed medications, so those with government insurance or who are uninsured are out of luck (for now). But we still recommend submitting the questionnaire so you can be notified when this changes.

💊 What medications does Calibrate offer?

As far as the prescription aspect of Calibrate’s weight loss plan goes, their team prescribes GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide-1s) to patients. These are “safe, FDA-approved, and support successful lifestyle changes by telling your brain to decrease hunger, increase fullness, and regulate hormones.” Most commonly, they’re used to treat type 2 diabetes because they’re so effective at lowering blood sugar. But even if you don’t have diabetes, they’re clinically-tested, stimulant-free, non-habit forming, and effective weight loss tools. They’re also known to commonly improve heart health and kidney function. Remember, we’re in the pursuit of long-term health, not just short term weight loss!

GLP-1s have three primary functions:

  1. Slowing digestion down, which in turn prevents your blood sugar spikes.
  2. Increasing the production of insulin.
  3. Preventing your liver from releasing too much sugar into the bloodstream.

Several of the more commonly prescribed GLP-1s are:

  1. dulaglutide (Trulicity)
  2. exenatide extended-release (Bydureon)
  3. liraglutide (Victoza)
  4. semaglutide (Ozempic)

After reviewing your lab work, your doctor will prescribe you a medication based on your biology — there’s no “one-size-fits-all” pill. We’ll save most of the medical talk for when you meet with your coach, but one last thing worth mentioning: patients who start taking GLP-1s can expect to lose anywhere from 3-5.5 lbs for the reasons I mentioned above. And when used in combination with healthy, sustained lifestyle changes, the research shows that an additional 6-9 lbs are not out of the question. (Mayo Clinic

Starting to see where Calibrate’s “ten percent bodyweight in a year” figure comes from? 

How fast will I lose weight from Calibrate?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Calibrate weight loss is not one of those BS “lose weight fast” programs. So don’t expect to lose all ten percentage of your bodyweight by next month. But all things considered, it’s still very fast. And more importantly, very sustainable.

Patients can expect to lose about 5% of their weight within three months, and another 5% by the six month mark. The remaining six months of the one year program are aimed at keeping the weight loss and supporting the lifestyle changes that the program engrains in you. Reinforcing habits, creating new mindsets, working with your coach, bolstering your emotional health –  this is what it’s all about, folks. 

💰 Pricing: How much does Calibrate cost?

The vast majority of people out there will go for Calibrate’s One-on-One plan. This includes everything I’ve talked about thus far in this review and everything that’s designed to set patients up for legitimate success. Virtual doctor visits (telemedicine), prescription medication, personalized one-on-one coaching on the four pillars of health, content lessons, a smart scale, achieving that 10% decrease in weight that Calibrate touts, etc. 

It comes at the hefty price tag of $1,550 so I won’t sit here and pretend like it’s for everyone. In fact, this price will come as a huge blocker to a lot of Americans out there. But for many, it’s a worthwhile investment in your health. Heck, I dropped $1,200 at the dentist last month and no one ever sees my back molars. 

I’ve heard Calibrate is experimenting with a group plan of sorts, where families/groups can split the cost and resources that Calibrate’s team provides you, but at this time I don’t see a lot of public information on that. You might consider signing up and asking Calibrate’s team about it, if that’s of interest to you. 

If the idea of paying $1,550 in full is scary to you, Calibrate has partnered with Affirm to knock the price down in monthly payments of $129. You’re still paying the same $1,550 in the grand scheme of things, but for some people it does make payment a lot more manageable. And you can see results along the way, so each installment gets easier to deal with, mentally.

Calibrate also offers a one-time plan at the cost of $100, which is basically just taking a look at your lab work, determining the appropriate medication for you, dosing it appropriately, and giving you a prescription. I can’t speak to how effective of a plan this is, but I personally wonder if you’d find similar success just seeing your Primary Care Physician and asking for something similar. You might even save a few bucks by doing so, who knows? 

🎬 The Verdict: Is Calibrate worth it?

If you’ve read this far, you may share my sentiment that Calibrate is changing the weight loss game and bringing legitimate value to a group of people who need serious medical help and coaching on their journeys to become healthier. 

But all benefits aside, $1,550 (or $129/mo) is nothing to bat an eye at. To play devil’s advocate, I’d say this: Remember that weight loss doesn’t come easily or cheaply. Calibrate’s mission is to bring legitimate, healthy, long term weight loss to the masses at a price that works in the market. Their entire business model relies on staffing certified doctors and fitness coaches who are experienced and passionate about health and wellness. They’re selling the opportunity for legitimate, long term change through research-backed medication, education, and lifestyle change  – not gas station pills and diet foods.

We’ve all been burned by ineffective weight loss programs in the past. It’s not good for our wallets or (more importantly) our self-confidence. But when an innovative company like Calibrate shows up and offers more promise than that cobweb-covered treadmill in your garage does, it’s worth asking yourself: what will it take for me to pursue real change? Research-backed medication, personalized coaching and education, and a 10% reduction in body weight is pretty convincing.

If you’re not ready for the investment, keep your head up and make constant progress toward your goals. Remember that weight loss is a journey, and don’t fall for anymore ‘lose weight quick’ schemes. And if you’ve reached a point where you know that Calibrate can be the catalyst toward you becoming a happier, healthier you, then consider giving them a shot.