At the onset of the program, dieters set success benchmarks and discuss current roadblocks in their everyday lives that have hindered them from reaching their goals in the past. NextStepMD health and wellness coaches like Heather Andrews are committed to figuring out how the program works with each person’s individual needs.
“[Dieters’] goal is simply to have a better quality of life, and we can help identify what that looks like,” Andrews said. “It could be anything from, ‘I want to be able to have activity with my grandkids’ … to somebody that wants to fit in a certain size dress. Some want to prepare for an upcoming surgery. Some want to just have reduced medications.”
Open to all people regardless of existing health complications, the three-phase plan was designed not only to help people feel their best, but also to maintain their goal weight after the process is completed through continuous learning and encouragement.
Phase One: The Weight Loss Phase
During the initial phase, dieters incorporate three NextStepMD products into their daily lives, in addition to lean proteins and vegetables. Instead of eliminating carbohydrates, dieters’ daily carbohydrate intake is controlled through these special products.
“Our vision with that is we want to make sure they’re losing weight by burning body fat and not losing weight by sacrificing muscle mass,” Andrews said. “We’ve learned that over time, when someone loses weight by sacrificing muscle, they don’t keep that weight off.”
Texas Diabetes works directly with the manufacturer of their products, making them exclusively available to NextStepMD patients. Protein shakes, drink mixes, soups, chilis, oatmeals, granola, chips and sweet protein bars are just some of the tasty options. With 15 grams of protein per serving, the daily average for dieters is 35 net carbs.
“I’ve been a coach now for seven years … Every person that follows the system, they’re going to lose weight by burning body fat,” Andrews said. “I’ve worked with hundreds of people, and if they follow the program, they will lose the weight by burning body fat.”
During all three phases, the dieters’ health and wellness coach is available on weekdays and weekends to assist with meal plans, provide encouragement and offer advice for travel and events.
“What sets us apart from other diet plans is our support level,” Andrews said.
Another key aspect to success during this phase is supplementation. Dieters will take three supplements: a multivitamin, an Omega combination of essential fatty acids and a calcium, magnesium and potassium supplement called essential minerals.
“[Supplements] are designed to give the dieter what they don’t receive from our food, and so it’s really important to their overall feeling while they’re in Phase One as well as how their body’s processing the diet itself,” Andrews said.
Phase Two: Eliminate One Product To Incorporate More Protein
Once the dieters’ personal goal is reached, Phase Two begins. During this short phase, participants start to prepare for life post-diet by eliminating one of the three daily products to incorporate more lean protein. Andrews said the most exciting part about coaching dieters is their newfound excitement for their improved quality of life.
“If somebody’s following the program, they’ve reduced their carbs by quite a bit. If they do have an indulgence, that’s when they stop and recognize, ‘Oh, my stomach didn’t feel so great. I felt a little extra sluggish. I wanted to go to sleep earlier,” Andrews said. “Most of them don’t realize it until they’ve cleaned out how they’re eating.”
Phase Three: Personalized Adjustments, Continuous Accountability & Maintenance
While Phase One and Phase Two are nearly identical for each dieter, Phase Three is extremely personalized. With the help of the NextStepMD health and wellness coaches, tweaks are made according to factors like activity level and health risks.
“We work with them weekly to develop that plan, see how their body’s responding and then make adjustments as needed. Once we see that we have figured out the perfect formula for them, they continue to come in for accountability,” Andrews said.
Education is essential throughout each phase, but during Phase Three, coaches emphasize the importance of learning about nutrition to ensure long-term results.
“We’re most proud of [Phase Three] because we really educate [dieters] about macronutrients and the importance of meal planning and incorporating whole, fresh foods,” Andrews said.
After a dieters’ perfect formula is discovered, they attend regular follow-ups for around 12 months, but can return to Texas Diabetes for accountability meetings at any point for the rest of their lives. If someone completes all of the phases and happens to fall back into old eating habits for any reason, they can start over with Phase One at no additional cost.
“The beautiful thing is when they’re following our program, they’re just paying for their food and their supplements as they need it. They’re not paying for our coaching, which I think is invaluable,” Andrews said.
The personalized treatment plans and level of camaraderie instilled in the NextStepMD Weight Loss Program is the foundation of all services at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology. Experts in diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, weight loss and hormonal conditions, their core focus is customized therapies and unwavering support.
Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology has three locations in Central Austin, Round Rock and South Austin. As one of the few endocrinology centers in the area, new patient slots are set aside to ensure that no patient is ever turned away. Learn more about Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology at texasdiabetes.com.
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