If you’ve been following my blog for the past 3 months or so, you’ll know that I embarked on a weight loss journey the first of the year. I am using Metabolic Research Center as my weight loss program.
MRC is not in all 50 states, in fact they are only in 18 states as of now. They are hoping to open up in more areas in the future. They have about a dozen locations here in Colorado.
The program itself is fairly simple. You eat regular food, but you are restricted as to what those foods are. There are many lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, with a variety of carbs as well. The diet itself is made up of 60% protein, 20% fat and 20% carbs. You might wonder how you can get THAT much protein in one meal, and that is where the “HNS’s” come in. HNS stands for High Nutritional Supplement, which is essentially a protein drink. There are many varieties of these drinks available, and some aren’t even drinks at all. They also have puddings, chocolate snacks, and soups. The drink mixes come in powders and concentrates and are mixed with 8oz of water. Pricing on the HSNs runs $12 for a box of 7, or you can buy 5 boxes for $50. Those 5 boxes last me about a week and a half. I have 4 HNS’s a day (you can have 3 or 4, or if you are over 200lbs you may have up to 5)
There are different menus based on how much you weigh. The biggest difference between menus is the amount of protein you can have at each meal. When you first start on Metabolic Research Center, you are on a menu for either 5 or 10 days. At the 5th day, depending on your weight, you may change to a more restrictive menu for the next 5 days, or stay on the same one until day 10. At day 10, you begin your menu that you stick with either for the duration, or until you are under 200 pounds.
When you are over 200lbs, you can eat 6 oz of protein with each meal in the form of eggs, cheese, cottage cheese or lean meats including chicken breast, turkey breast, elk, bison and few different fish. Twice a week you can have a little fattier form of protein, such as salmon, scallops, sirloin, or crab meat.
You have carbs at two meals a day – breakfast and dinner. This may be half a flour tortilla, a slice of 40 cal bread, 1/4 cup of various beans, or 1/4 cup oatmeal. At lunch and dinner you have either 8 oz fresh veggies or 4 oz cooked veggies. You are slightly limited with your veggie choice, i.e. no corn. At lunch you have fruit. Again there are some fruits that are not permitted, like bananas.
Seasonings are limited. Nothing with sodium is allowed. You can have mustard, but no ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc with increased sugar.
There are a handful of vitamins and herbs that are optional to take. Remember, if you go in to sign up, the only thing that is mandatory are the HNS’s. Here is what I take: MRC-6 – a product sold by MRC. A prenatal vitamin (you can take a multi-vitamin), a fish oil capsule with each meal, and Vitamin D. I also take Vitamin B-6 when it’s “that” time of the month to help with bloating. Of all of those, the only one that you need to buy at MRC is the MRC-6. It is $60 for a 2 month supply. The rest you can all buy for much less at Target, Costco, etc. The Fish Oil is recommended due to not getting a lot of oil in your diet (you can have up to 2 Tsp a day with your cooked veggies)
You’re probably also wondering about the price. When all is said and done for ME, I will likely have spent $300 on the program (not including the HNS’s or MRC-6). This price includes twice weekly weigh-in’s (which are private) and a private consult with your counselor. This also includes unlimited classes in exercise, food prep, lifestyle, and twice-monthly sessions with a licensed counselor who deals with weight-related issues. I once considered going to a therapist about my food issues, so considering the counselor is available twice monthly, I think this is a pretty good price (for me it will be up to 13 sessions over 6+ months).
Here’s a sample of what I eat in a day:
2 fried eggs with pepper
1 slice 40 cal bread
1 HNS (usually peach mango, I’m stuck in my ways)
2oz Pepperjack cheese
8oz cucumber (one whole, pretty much)
3/4 c fresh strawberries
1 HNS (usually wildberry)
HNS hot chocolate
4oz chicken breast
1 slice 40 cal bread
sauteed mushrooms in EVOO
HNS (usually peach mango)
The basis of this program is that the increased amount of protein will help burn the fats and carbs. This is called ketosis. Ketosis is the principle behind MRC’s plan. I average 3.5lbs lost per week. It is very important to not eat foods not on program as it will kick you out of ketosis. It can take 3 or more days to get your body back into ketosis and continue with the weight loss. Since starting on January 2nd, I have only eaten off program three times, and all three were planned occurrences. And yes, your weight loss does slow that week.
As you hit your goal weight, additional foods including dairy and carbs are reintroduced back into the diet. It is important to remember there is no caffeine or alcohol on this program, as well as dairy.
Hopefully this gives you an oversight of what the Metabolic Research Center program is about. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!