If you want to lose weight, chances are that you’re looking for the best diet or meal plan that will help you achieve your goal weight. The Profile Plan may be able to help you create healthy habits by focusing on a lower calorie intake and by implementing behavioral changes. Here, we discuss what you need to know about the Profile Diet to help you make an informed decision on whether it’s the right choice for your weight loss journey.
Table of Contents
What is the Profile Diet?
Originally called Profile by Sanford, the Profile Plan is a three-phase program for weight loss that puts an emphasis on low-fat, low-carb foods at the beginning. It has been marketed as a healthy diet that offers customized meals for individual needs. The program begins with a modified version of the keto diet and involves the use of packaged meals purchased from their centers or their company’s website.
After signing up for the program, you will be assigned a profile coach who will help you establish weight loss goals and long-term lifestyle changes. They will also help to develop a healthy eating plan according to your needs. The Profile Diet has around 100 locations throughout 32 states, with members in all states.
The diet was first developed by researchers and physicians at Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls. In 2017 and 2018, the Profile Diet was named one of the Top New Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine. However, the company behind this diet has experienced many layoffs since 2021 and was sold to a private wealth management firm, called Ten Oaks in early 2022.
How the Profile Diet Works
Based on the ketogenic diet, the Profile Diet incorporates the use of meal replacements in the form of bars and shakes. In this diet, however, the aim is to trigger mild ketosis and is less strict compared to the traditional keto diet, which aims to shift our metabolism into burning body fat. Because it’s not restrictive, it allows for a wider variety of foods that can lead to proper nutrition.
However, those who may have medical conditions such as heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease shouldn’t try this plan. Moreover, those who are pregnant, under 18 years of age, and people who undergo high levels of physical activity should try other weight-loss diets. Below is a breakdown of how this diet works.
Dieters will have a weekly appointment with a personal coach to discuss their weekly progress. This will include the problems and challenges they need to overcome, and learning new eating habits that will help with weight loss. These coaching sessions are called “Journey Mapping” and include a wide range of topics that may lead to a healthy lifestyle change that includes:
- Mindful eating
- Sleep hygiene
- Meal planning
- Social support
- Goal setting
- And more
DNA testing is implemented to determine the genetic makeup of every individual but is only available to members located close to their centers. Members are encouraged to provide a saliva sample at the closest Profile store which is then sent to a lab. In just a few weeks, the results will become available and will determine what kind of diet plan should be given to you based on your metabolic rate.
Next, the program will also take 360-degree imaging and measurements of your body weight, body mass index, body shape, and others. This system is called the Profile 3D Body Scan which uses a 3D camera, a rotating platform, and infrared sensors to take the necessary measurements. The Profile Plan promises that every member should lose a minimum body weight of 15% in their first year under this diet.
Profile Plan Phases
The Profile Plan comes in three phases, all of which serve a different purpose for the dieters. These three phases are listed below.
This is the most rigorous part of the diet and requires both sugars and carbohydrates to be reduced significantly. Your calories will also be slashed dramatically, and should only be between 1,000 to 1,200 per day. You will need to stay in this phase until you come within 15 pounds of the target weight.
In this phase, members are encouraged to eat more green foods, lean protein, and healthy fats.
In this second phase, you’ll be within 15 pounds of your goal weight, and you’ll be able to reintroduce good foods such as fruits and dairy products into your diet. Carbohydrate-based foods can also be added to the diet during this phase, including starches.
The final phase of the Profile Plan will allow you to add all foods removed from your diet back into the menu. This third phase also resembles USDA dietary guidelines.
Foods Allowed in the Profile Plan Diet
According to experts on the diet, there are five different protocols that dieters can follow, known as Balance, Mom, Perform, Reboot, and Coaching+. Each protocol is unique from the other and is based on your lifestyle, health, food preferences, and goals. The Mom plan was developed specifically for pregnant or nursing members to make sure they get proper nutrition and enough calories.
Those who choose the Reboot protocol will have to stick to a strict diet of poultry, meat, vegetables, eggs, and a bit of cheese, especially during the beginning of the Reduce phase. Dieters are also encouraged to add nuts, chia seeds, olive oil, and avocado as healthy fats. However, users won’t be allowed to drink much alcohol or caffeine.
Members are also expected to consume around four cups of vegetables every day, which is a lot more compared to the usual American diet. Users may also choose from a wide range of “Flex Foods” — foods that contain small amounts of carbohydrates and calories such as dressing, seasonings, sauces, and salsa. While members will typically purchase 75% of their food from the Profile Plan in the beginning, more foods from the grocery store can be added as they go on their journey.
Profile Diet Sample Menu
Below is a sample menu of what can be eaten during the Reduce phase of this program which equates to 1,371 calories.
- Breakfast: Chocolate brownie shake from Profile Plan
- Mid-morning snack: A raspberry lemonade energy drink and a 10-gram lemon bar from Profile Plan
- Lunch: 2 ½ cups of chopped veggies including carrots, bell peppers, celery, and broccoli, along with chili cheese dip
- Midday snack: Mixed fruit fiber drink and 15-gram caramel cocoa bar from Profile Plan
- Dinner: BBQ chicken burrito bowl
- Evening snack: Mint chip shake from Profile Plan
Pros and Cons of the Profile Diet
Much like with any diet, the Profile diet comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which are listed below.
- Vegetables are encouraged in this diet, which is a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Behavioral techniques like portion control are implemented
- All protocols have a low sodium content, minimizing the risk of high blood pressure
- Some members may need help to continue their weight-loss journey as they progress further and will no longer have guidance on what to eat or stop buying pre-packaged foods.
- If you’re unable to consume a lot of vegetables, you may find that you aren’t getting enough potassium or fiber in your diet
- The calorie intake may be too low for users, especially those who are physically active
Apart from these problems, the keto diet may not be the best option for people with liver conditions, pancreatic disease, thyroid problems, or an eating disorder. Because some phases of the Profile Diet are similar to the keto diet, it’s best to consult a registered dietician first before starting this diet.
How Much Does it Cost?
This nutrition plan starts at $19 per day, including the coaching and the meals — some people may be able to use their health savings account to cover these costs. Members may also choose the Premium Plan, which comes with a two-week trial offer for $49. This includes the Profile health app, one-on-one coaching, exclusive food pricing, and a personalized plan.
Moreover, dieters on this plan may purchase fiber drinks, bars, and shakes for $21.99 for a box of seven. Plant-based shakes are also available for $23.99 for a box of seven, while ready-to-drink shakes are available for $14.99 for four bottles. You may also purchase 10 H2 energy drinks that contain supplementary minerals and vitamins for $13.99.
Furthermore, 20% off discounts for subscriptions are available online when you order products every 14 or 30 days. There are also discounts for in-store food bundles which vary from one location to another. If you’re not a big fan of meal planning, you may also opt for Profile Fresh, a service that delivers ready-to-eat meals straight to your door.
Each meal costs around $9 to $10, and you can choose from over 15 breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. These meals offer great convenience for consumers who simply don’t have the time to make healthy meals but want to stick to their Profile Plan. Finally, new members are also given a kit that includes a smart scale that will transmit their current body weight to their health coach, along with a shaker bottle, cookbook, resistance bands, and a journal.
Is the Profile Plan Healthy?
A typical day on the Profile Plan will provide you with a low daily calorie budget of around 1,350 depending on your chosen protocol. While you could easily lose weight using this system, experts are concerned about the 15% weight loss guarantee provided to users. Experts agree that each body is different and despite the rigorous efforts someone might do to lose weight, it may not always be physically possible to reach this number.
Moreover, the daily calorie allotment of 1,000 to 1,200 during the Reduce phase could be too low for some people and very low for those who are active. As a result, this diet may not be a sustainable weight loss option, and meeting basic nutrient needs could be extremely difficult. Even so, the saturated fat content of the sample menu provided above is actually higher than what many nutritional experts would recommend.
The carbohydrate content of this diet is also low, and delivers only 33% of calories, compared to the general recommendation of around 45% to 50%. Sodium in this diet is also low, which can help to reduce blood pressure levels, but potassium, which keeps our blood pressure in a healthy range, is lower than it should be. While the diet itself isn’t unique, it is relatively healthy compared to some of the most popular diet programs and provides a new way to lose a lot of weight.
Exercising on the Profile Plan
Those on the Profile Diet should do at least 90 minutes of light activities per week, which may include light aerobics or walking, depending on your energy level. On the contrary, the government actually suggests doing no less than 150 minutes of exercise every week to reap the most benefits out of being physically active.
Will the Profile Plan Help You Lose Weight?
The short answer is yes, it will help you lose some weight, but the real question is, can it help you maintain that lost weight? Once you achieve your goal and continue with your journey without someone holding you accountable, you may fall back into old habits. With or without the Profile Diet, you will need to own up to your own weight loss journey. There’s nothing wrong with getting started on this specific diet as long as you don’t become overly dependent to get the results you want.
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