Putting the SENSE Lifestyle Program to the Test
How do I know that the SENSE Lifestyle Program will work for you? Because it has been studied, and it has been proven to work in groups of the toughest cases we could find. These tough cases were people who had tried every popular diet and exercise craze and yet still found themselves with extra weight to lose. They were people who had counted the calories, and the fat grams, and the carb grams—but the weight remained. They were people who had been exercising religiously all along, some of them even partnering with a personal trainer in an effort to “force” those pounds away with extremes of exercise—but again, to no avail. The pounds stayed put. Not until these people followed the SENSE program did they find the solution—and the success—they had been looking for.
As a scientist, I find that theories and ideas are nice, but cold hard evidence is where the rubber meets the road. In the words of many of my colleagues, I want to “see the data” about a particular program before I will believe it works. Based on the data, other professionals can recommend a given program with a certain degree of confidence that it will actually work for their clients and patients. So over the last handful of years I have felt very strongly about continuing to put the SENSE Lifestyle Program to the test to see if these ideas would really stand up to the harsh reality of losing weight in the real world. It all makes “sense” on paper from a biochemical and physiological perspective, but there have been lots of great ideas on paper that never made a lick of difference to anyone in the real world.
With the general plan for SENSE developed, and with the invaluable assistance of AnneMarie Christopulos and Wayne Larsen at the Treehouse Athletic Club in Draper, Utah, we have followed group after group of participants (more than a thousand satisfied customers at last count) over the last five years. SENSE has been offered in six-week, eight-week, and twelve-week versions—and we always set out to recruit as many “hard cases” as we can find. By “hard cases,” I mean people who in the past had tried and tried and tried to lose weight with other programs and who just could not seem to succeed. Why would we recruit the toughest cases and seemingly set ourselves up for failure? Simply because based on my experience conducting weight-loss trials over the past decade or so, it is generally easy to recruit a group of extremely overweight subjects and get them to lose large amounts of weight in a short period of time; almost any simplified program of diet or exercise will do it. With SENSE, I’m trying to help the millions of Americans who struggle day in and day out with that ten or twenty or thirty pounds of weight that simply won’t respond to simplified diets and exercise regimens. It’s these folks who need help cracking their weight-loss code—and SENSE has been repeatedly put to the test to help them.
As part of following the SENSE program, our participants would meet periodically to talk about how cortisol, testosterone, diet, exercise, and supplements could have an impact on mood, energy, appetite, and weight-loss success. We measured body weight, body fat, waist circumference, cortisol and testosterone levels, cholesterol values, and stress/anxiety levels.
The results were nothing short of dramatic. Not only did virtually every person in the program lose body weight, body fat, and inches around their midsection, but the majority of people also reported increased feelings of energy, reduced stress/anxiety, control of appetite and cravings, and no feelings of deprivation. The most common comment about SENSE (and it’s one we hear a lot) is that nobody feels like they are on a “diet,” and yet they continue to lose weight, fat, and inches. Plus, they feel great doing it.
Of particular interest with SENSE is the fact that taking a dietary supplement for controlling stress, cortisol, testosterone, and HSD (in addition to following the diet and exercise prescriptions) seemed to help participants to lose more weight/fat and more inches from their waist compared to when they had tried their own versions of diet and exercise alone. In no way does this mean that the supplement was a substitute for diet and exercise, but it suggests strongly that by adding the supplement to their diet and exercise regimen, they were able to reap some additional metabolic control and thus enjoy a greater degree of weight loss. In many ways, the results make perfect “sense,” because taking a supplement means that you have additional factors driving you toward weight loss (compared to relying on diet and exercise alone). The bottom-line effects of SENSE show us that it helps people lose more of those stubborn “last few pounds”—even if these people have been struggling with those pounds for a long time.