Oh, great, just what the world needs – another product or service promising to help you get healthy and lose weight. You might be thinking: “Why can’t all this be easier? My wallet and psyche can’t take it anymore. Why is it that I can’t seem to lose weight and keep it off?”
The fact is, obesity is a chronic disease. So why isn’t it treated like one?
How many 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 a vicious cycle.
Calibrate focuses on overall metabolic health which is why this is not just another weight loss program, but rather a metabolic reset. Because of this, they are able to deliver stellar results to their members. A loss of 10% or more of your body weight on average in one 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.
Table of Contents
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 program combines doctor-prescribed, FDA-approved medication with 1:1 accountability coaching and tracking for lifestyle interventions. The reality is that a majority of Americans aren’t accessing the tools they need to lead healthier lives and sustain weight loss long-term. For instance, only 2% of people who qualify for the use of these medications actually receive that medication. Calibrate is aiming to help the other 98%.
And second, Calibrate provides members with a dedicated virtual coaching program and a 52-week content curriculum designed to help members implement behavioral health changes commonly associated with weight loss across the 4 Pillars of Metabolic Health: food, sleep, exercise and emotional health. This is an important part of the Calibrate program because by combining GLP-1 metabolic health medication with behavioral changes, members are set-up for long-term, sustained weight loss, resulting in positive health outcomes.
Remember that long-term weight loss (that is, losing weight for sustained results) 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.
What is Calibrate’s program, exactly?
Calibrate’s program is not a calorie-counting diet. Members begin by meeting with a certified Calibrate doctor and accountability coach 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 safe, FDA-approved medications that are actually proven to work, and help you along a personalized plan that’s based around four pillars of metabolic health. The program is entirely digital – all Calibrate doctor visits and accountability coaching sessions take place over video calls – using telemedicine to treat members safely and effectively. Members can also reach the Calibrate medical team in the Medical Channel in the app or reach the member experience team in the Support Channel of the app. The Calibrate medical team uses lab results, daily tracking measurements and health history to treat members.
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. By focusing on these small steps to better metabolic health, weight loss will follow. Along your journey, your coach will help track the four pillars of your plan: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health.
What are Metabolic Resets, and are they legit?
They’re legit, yes. At its core, it’s quite a simple concept. Here is how Calibrate defines it:
Calibrate helps you achieve this through their unique program. Rather than selling you on some “lose weight fast” program, Calibrate’s doctors and coaches use your actual lab work and health history to develop a customized plan for you to achieve sustainable results over the course of one year – and beyond.
By tracking and monitoring progress against their four pillars of metabolic health, and monitoring the metabolic health markers that work for your body to help you get there, you’ll be set up for sustainable results.
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🤔 How do you get started on Calibrate?
- First off, visit their website and fill out a short questionnaire detailing your physical health. Age, height, weight, pre existing conditions, insurance provider, etc.
- 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.
- Next, fill out a more comprehensive health intake and select whether you’ll need lab work done, or if you already have recent lab work you can send their way.
- Finally, schedule your first video visit with your Calibrate doctor followed by a video visit with your Calibrate accountability coach. Your Calibrate doctor will evaluate which FDA-approved GLP-1 medication is appropriate for you, and your coach will develop a personalized behavioral health plan for you.
- Before these visits, you’ll receive 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.
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:
- Patients must be 18-64 years old, and
- Must have a BMI of over 30 or a BMI of over 27 with existing metabolic conditions . (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:
- Do I want/need to lose weight, keep it off and improve my overall health?
- Have I recently been diagnosed with a metabolic health condition?
- Has my quality of life declined due to poor metabolic health?
- Should I be creating healthier day-to-day food, sleep, exercise and emotional health habits?
- What is my “Why?” for wanting to join Calibrate?
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.
Who is Calibrate not designed for?
While Calibrate aims to provide care to anyone who needs it, there are certain requirements that members need to meet to sign up for the program. Any of the following would make a potential member ineligible for the program:
- Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- Planning to become pregnant in the next year or undergoing fertility treatment
- Currently being treated for cancer
- Active eating disorder
- Active gallbladder disease
- Bariatric surgery (within the past 18 months)
- In treatment for drug or alcohol abuse
- History of pancreatitis
- History of medullary thyroid cancer or MEN syndrome
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?
Calibrate offers its members GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide-1s), a prescription medication proven to be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes that can also address the underlying biology that is most important for weight loss. These medications mimic the effect of the GLP-1 hormone naturally produced in the gastrointestinal tract. GLP-1s were initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, but experts soon learned that in addition to improving glucose levels, GLP1-s also resulted in weight loss and other metabolic health benefits. (Mayo Clinic)
Dependent on your insurance, some of the GLP-1s that are most commonly prescribed in the Calibrate program include:
- Liraglutide (Saxenda®)
- Semaglutide (Wegovy™)
- Semaglutide (Ozempic®)
- Semaglutide (Rybelsus®)
- Dulaglutide (Trulicity®)
- Dulaglutide (Victoza®)
The GLP-1 hormone made by our gut sends signals to our brains to help us feel full, regulate blood sugar, and decrease appetite. Research shows a correlation between people who hold onto more weight and reductions in GLP-1 signaling. The GLP-1s used in Calibrate’s program help our bodies fight off natural increases in appetite and hunger that occur as we start to lose weight. They also work with aspects of our metabolic system – blood sugar regulation and our weight’s set point – to keep weight off in long-term.
Alright, so anyway: after reviewing your lab work, your doctor will prescribe you a GLP-1 medication that’s right for you. We’ll save most of the medical talk for when you meet with your doctor, but one last thing worth mentioning: patients who start taking GLP-1s can expect to lose at least 10% of of their weight for the reasons I mentioned above. When used in combination with intensive behavioral lifestyle changes, the research shows that people can sustain their weight loss long-term.(American Diabetes Association)
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 is not a calorie-counting diet. So don’t expect to “lose weight fast” like other programs promise. But all things considered, it’s still very fast. And more importantly, sustainable.
Members 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 sustaining 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-Year Metabolic Reset. This includes everything I’ve talked about thus far in this review and everything that’s designed to set members up for legitimate success. Virtual doctor visits (telemedicine), prescription medication, personalized one-on-one coaching on the four pillars of metabolic health, content lessons, a smart scale, achieving that 10% or more 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 Calibrate is 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.
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 video appointment with your Calibrate doctor to learn more about your metabolic health and what a one-year program would look like for you. During the video appointment, you and your Calibrate doctor will review your lab results and answer any questions you may have about the program. If you decide to sign up following the assessment, your $249 payment will be credited toward the one-year cost.
🎬 The Verdict: Is Calibrate worth it?
If you’ve read this far, you may share my sentiment that Calibrate is really making good on their mission – changing the way the world treats weight and bringing legitimate value to people who are ready for a doctor-guided program and a year-long program 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 goal is to bring legitimate, healthy, long term weight loss to the hundreds of millions of people in the US who are struggling with metabolic health at a price that works in the market. Their entire business model relies on staffing certified doctors and accountability 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 calorie counting 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% or more reduction in body weight is pretty convincing.
If you’re not ready for the commitment, keep your head up and make constant progress toward your goals. Remember that weight loss is a journey, and don’t fall for any more ‘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.