Naturally Slim Program Review
Lose Weight and Keep It Off
In the fall of 2011, I used the online MyFitnessPal program to lose 20 pounds and kept that weight off for a full year. Although I was pleased I had kept the weight off, I was still 30 pounds from my goal and found I just wasn't losing anymore even though I was eating low-calorie and low-fat meals.
Discouraged, I decided to apply for the Naturally Slim Program through my work in the fall of 2013. A good friend had tried the program last spring and lost 40 pounds. His wife had lost 30. Both of them had nothing but good things to say about the program and what it taught them about how to eat to lose weight fast and keep it off.
This program worked terrifically for me, and the testimonials of other people who have spoken to me or written comments suggests that I'm not alone. My company has continued to sponsor this program and the hundreds of participants so far have always averaged over 10 pounds of weight lost in 10 weeks.
No dieting method is guaranteed to work for everyone, but trying this different strategy for weight loss is definitely worth a try, especially if you are discouraged by not being able to lose, or keep weight off after losing. Naturally Slim teaches you how to listen to your body and change your behavior about eating in ways that are not difficult, and don't leave you feeling deprived.
Naturally Slim Review
In eight weeks, I lost 19 pounds. I can't believe it. I've never lost weight so fast in my life. It is especially amazing to me because I was already eating very moderately when I began the program. My results are a faster weight loss than average, but the results for the 320 people from my work who have been on the program are an average of over 8 pounds in the first 8 weeks of Naturally Slim.
- It Wasn't Hard to Lose Weight. More importantly, it wasn't hard to lose the weight. Better than that, I have learned how to eat so that I will not gain the weight back. Instead of feeling like I will always be a fat person no matter what my body looks like, I've learned to view myself as a normal-sized person who just had some bad habits I've learned to break.
- Pounds and Inches Off. What is most amazing to me is that I really see the difference in this weight loss. My face looks different and my clothes are all getting baggy. There are some skirts I love which I haven't worn in years because they were too tight. I tried them on last week and now they are loose. It feels like a miracle.
- Effective Weight Loss. I have actually reached my original goal, but because I have reached that so much more easily than I could have imagined, I have the courage to set a weight goal I did not think I could ever obtain. I want to have a normal BMI height weight ratio and to give myself a 5-pound leeway so that I can keep my weight under control the rest of my life by regularly checking and altering my eating if I go up a couple of pounds. How much further? Just 14 more pounds.
- Lose Weight and Keep it Off. In previous diets, I would get discouraged at this point because it seems that the weight loss slows down and gets harder, but Naturally Slim is a way of eating rather than a diet, so I know that I can continue without feeling completely deprived and that I will eventually get to where I want to be and stay there.
Effective Weight Loss
3 Sisters Opinion
November 2012: I finished the ten-week program and had a final loss of 22 pounds. My results are not typical, but the average loss of the over 200 people at my company who completed the program was 11 pounds in 10 weeks.
Update February 2013: When I got back my cholesterol tests, I was surprised to find that my cholesterol had gone up during the program. At the beginning of the program, I had a normal 195 total cholesterol, but my cholesterol count at the end of the program was 213. I was quite surprised because most people in the program have better numbers, but in following the guidelines of the program I had changed from eating a lot of vegetables and salads to eating more proteins, including steak and eggs (not required by the program but because I found they filled me up quickly).
Starting in December 2012, I changed my diet back to include large quantities of vegetables and fiber but kept the other basic principles of Naturally Slim. My weight loss slowed at first (this was also Christmas time) but after a while, my body seemed to adjust and I started losing again.
In three months, I've lost another 10 pounds, and have reached a normal BMI! Better yet, I went to have my cholesterol checked again at my doctors and it was 187m which is the lowest it has ever been.
Update April 2013: In the last video of the program, Marsha talks about a number of the different aspects of the program and says that the more of them you do, the quicker you will lose. I do like this aspect of being able to not follow everything strictly all the time but always have a plan of how to eat if my weight creeps up. I have decided that I want to set a goal of having my BMI in the middle of my range, rather than at the top. That is a goal I would not have ever considered possible before Naturally Slim, but I now feel like my weight is really something I can control. I feel like I have power over my eating, not the other way around. I have lost another 3 pounds and have 7 more to go. It is not as easy to lose weight when you are in your BMI range, which makes me realize why they have all those "lose 10 pounds in a week" sorts of articles in women's magazines. I want this weight to stay off, so I'm willing to take my time and take breaks along the way when my goal is to maintain my weight. I'll let you know when I make it!
My advice: Losing weight is the most important thing you can do to improve your health, so using the Naturally Slim diet is a great idea, but you may need to adjust the program as you finish your weight goals and seek a lifetime of healthy weight.
Update October 2013: Almost one year after the end of the program, I've gotten to my goal weight and kept it off even when we traveled out of the country and I did not have access to a scale, orange juice or any of the other foods I usually eat. I was worried when we came back and I first stepped on the scale, but I'd actually lost a pound from when I left. Naturally Slim has taught me a lifestyle of eating which makes it possible for me to eat when I feel hungry and stop eating when my body has enough. I really don't expect to gain my weight back every again.
Update October 2014: I continue to maintain my weight loss. I have not gone back on the program in the past year, but I monitor my weight daily and adjust my eating. The most important parts I've discovered is to limit my sugar and salt intake, and eat only when I'm hungry.
Update 2016: I was actually looking at my Naturally Slim book yesterday because I'd forgotten how long it had been since I'd been on the program. I continue to use principles I learned in Naturally Slim to maintain my weight. Remarkably, I can say that all of the friends I know who have done this program have been able to maintain their weight loss successfully. I've actually had several friends do other weight loss programs during the time since I've been maintaining on Naturally Slim. They have not been as successful at maintaining that weight loss. Naturally Slim teaches a method that works.
Update 2017: I'm continuing to maintain a healthy weight and ready to hit my 5-year anniversary soon. My work continues to offer this program and I continue to follow the results. The most recent group who went through had a much smaller average weight loss. I do think that it may be this program doesn't work for everyone and perhaps most of the people it works best for have already done it. Recently, along with working to maintain my weight, I've been focusing on eating really healthy foods. I'm aiming to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables each day along with a few servings of fruits. I find those low-calorie, bulky foods are another way to keep me satisfied and away from cravings. However, I also find it important to eat plenty of protein, which is something I learned on the program. Two of my favorite "secret" diet foods are the high protein Kashi cereals and Greek yogurt. Choibi non-fat is my favorite.
Results from One Company
Keep Weight Off For Life
Almost one year after the end of the program, I got to my goal weight and kept it off even when we traveled out of the country and I did not have access to a scale, or any of the other foods I usually eat.
In fact, even though I knew my clothes had not gotten tighter and I didn't look any bigger, I was worried when we came back and I first stepped on the scale. To my surprise, I'd actually lost a pound from when I left. The program has taught me a lifestyle of eating which makes it possible for me to eat when I feel hungry and stop eating when my body has enough.
Now in 2017, several years after the program ended, I've not only enjoyed finding I have dropped 4 sizes in clothes but I've also found that my long term problem with knee pain is much better. I'm able to exercise harder and feel much better overall.
Moreover, I'm not the only one at my company that has had success in losing weight and keeping it off by using this method. The best part is that I really know I won't gain this weight back again.
Would Naturally Slim work for you? I'm not sure any program of dieting can work for everyone, but I think the fact that this program aims to teach a lifestyle of eating rather than dieting makes it worth a try.
History of the Program
Naturally Slim was invented by a woman who wanted to figure out how to lose weight herself. Observing and questioning her "true thin" friends, she devised this system, which helped her to go from 150 to 102 pounds, and remain at that weight for over 30 years. She taught the system to some doctors and recorded their progress in a book, The Dallas Doctor's Diet. Her daughter, Marcia Upson, became a family nurse practitioner and turned her mother's business into Naturally Slim classes for individuals and businesses. Judging from what Marcia says on the videos, she originally taught the classes in person but now the program is largely done by video with an interactive Internet component.
Results from One Company
Program statistics measured
Baylor University 2012
Baylor University Fall 2014
study of 120 employers
410 completed program
180 completed program
3414, average of 13 pounds per person in 10 weeks
2,271 pounds lost, average of 11.0
Satisfaction of Participants
91% Very Satisfied (58%) or Satisfied (33%)
Participants with metabolic syndrome health risk
Reversed metabolic syndrome status after program
41% reversal of hypertensive risk, 31% reversal of diabetic risk
Improved in biometic screenings of blood pressure, diabetics risk, cholesterol
almost all participants
almost all participants
Weight Control 18-60 months after program
77% kept weight off or lost more
What You Get
The online program being offered by a number of businesses as a way to improve the health of their employees. Individuals can also purchase it on the company website. Here is what you get:
- 10 online video lessons
- Naturally Slim Program: True Thin Lifestyle manual.
- Daily and Weekly Food Logs.
- Pedometer, measuring tape, tasting exercise materials.
- Online Naturally Slim Community Support membership for one year (actually, our company has extended this indefinitely).
- Follow-up newsletter after 10 weeks.
What Program Teaches
Learn to Listen to Your Body. As the teacher, Marsha, often says, this is not a diet. Instead, it teaches you to listen to your body and only eat when you are really hungry. That is the key to the program. As Marsha repeatedly says, "Your body knows how to be a body" and if you listen to when you are hungry, you will eat what you need but not overeat.
Eat Like a Thin Person: One very helpful aspect of the program is that it says that people who weigh more than they should aren't just "fat people" who can't control themselves. Instead, Ms. Upson suggests, we are people who have bad habits about food, many of which are caused by cultural influences she carefully explains. To "cure" ourselves of these bad habits and to teach us to eat like thin people so that we can be "naturally slim" is the point of the program. What I especially liked was that the techniques to eat like a thin person are simple, and ones I already knew but hadn't really put into practice.
Change Your Thoughts About Food: I also liked the fact that the program teaches a way of eating which combines ideas I've read in other sources and seen my own thin family members practice. These are simple to do and really do make a difference in how you feel about food and about eating. What is so very interesting to me is that I now enjoy the food I eat so much more. I eat less but am much more emotionally and physically satisfied with what I eat.
Tricks to Keep from Getting Hungry. Along with putting together some of these common ways to lose weight and keep it off, the program also has some special suggestions of when and what to eat which does seem to help people to eat less and lose weight faster. One of these tricks is another familiar technique: keep hydrated and remember that you may feel hungry when you are actually thirsty or tired.
Don't Count Calories, Change Habits. We all know that we lose weight when we take in fewer calories than our body uses. The heart of any weight loss program has to be getting us to eat less. As Marsha says, "people who need to lose weight have already got a lot of 'meals' they are carrying around with them." Counting calories works. I've done it successfully and programs based on that do help many people lose weight. The problem is, that once you stop counting the calories, the weight can very easily come back on again. The truth is, maintaining a healthy weight is going to take effort, but the program works to make that effortless by creating habits and patterns which, if you follow them for the program's 10 weeks, become something so easy to do that you can keep up with them the rest of your life.
Enjoy Food More. One of the things which makes me know I can continue with this program is that by freeing me from having to eat "diet" foods, and also forcing me to fully taste the foods I do eat, I actually can say I've learned to enjoy eating again. In fact, I have found that by following the slow eating techniques in the program, I have enjoyed the food I eat much more than I ever have before. I wouldn't want to go back to eating the way I did before even if I didn't lose weight!
I told a friend the other day that my weight loss on Naturally Slim feels like a miracle. It does.
Should you try the program? Definitely. If you want to find a way of eating so that you can get to the weight you want to be and stay there the rest of your life, I think this is an excellent choice.
If you've done the program, I hope you will write a comment to share your experience. I wrote this Hub in part because I could not find any good reviews of the program which weren't sponsored. In order for people to make a good choice about whether this program will work for them, it will be helpful for them to have the thoughts and advice of those who have participated.