Weighing in on success of shedding pounds
By Carrie Napoleon For Sun-Times Media
Irene Smith before losing 72 pounds on the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Program. | Supplied photo
Ask participants in the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Program at Physicians For Women in Valparaiso, a program which is marking its one year anniversary, what they think about the program and the phrase pops up again and again.
“It’s the last diet you will ever need,” said Irene Smith, of Lake Station. The 30-year-old said when she first heard about the success of other clients in the plan she was leery.
As someone who has battled weight issues her entire life, it was not her first time trying to whittle away pounds with a plan. Over the years she had tried various diets, pills and plans with limited success.
“I was skeptical. Boy was I wrong. This is an absolute lifestyle change. It’s the most effective and rewarding diet I’ve ever done. I’ve tried so many,” Smith said.
Smith is 17 weeks into the program and has lost 72 pounds on the low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein weight-loss plan. She is just three pounds away from her halfway goal and Smith said she has never felt better.
“For the first time, I feel different. The way I think about food is changing. It’s absolutely a life change,” Smith said.
Support is huge
She is not alone. Susan Biggs, of Portage, recently completed the weight-loss phase of the program and is now in maintenance. The 40-year-old shed more than 80 pounds since she began June 21.
“It was exactly what I needed,” Biggs said.
Prior to participating, Biggs said she was swimming an hour a day and watching what she ate, but the weight would just not go away. She attributes her success to the simplicity of the program and the support available for those who participate.
“If I wasn’t going to see Ashley (Manczunski) every week I don’t think I would stay on track. The support was huge,” Biggs said.
Manczunski is the program director for Ideal Protein Weight Loss at Physicians For Women in Valparaiso. Ideal Protein itself has been around for 20 years and is a long-proven method for quick and significant weight loss.
“We are at our one-year mark,” Manczunski said of the Valparaiso program.
Ninety-eight patients have participated in the program and 12 of those patients, including Biggs, are now on maintenance. The success of the program has been nothing less than phenomenal.
“I have a large handful of people who have lost 80 pounds. Our biggest loser lost 94 pounds,” Manczunski said.
How it works
The program helps facilitate weight loss that is basically caused from too much consumption of sugar and processed food, which has contributed to obesity. The method includes the Ideal Protein Products in addition to vegetables and lean meats. There are 250 ways to enjoy meals with Ideal Protein Products that include drinks, breakfasts, entrees, desserts, puddings, jelly, soy snacks, bars and ready-to-serve items.
While clients do experience weight loss, Manczunski said it is the health benefits of the program that are truly significant for those who participate. Clients see lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol, the reduction or elimination of Type 2 diabetes and an overall improvement in their quality of life.
“There are a lot of changes, more than just numbers on a scale,” she said. “When people lose a good amount of weight they start doing more to take better care of themselves.”
Getting the word out
Manczunski, who lost a significant amount of weight herself through the program before it came to Valparaiso, agreed that support is an important part of clients’ success. Recently that support has turned to social media at PFW for Weight Loss on Facebook.
There Manczunski offers recipes and supportive messages for clients working their way through the program. It also is a forum for participants to share their successes and find support during the challenges from a network of other people in the same position.
Smith said the Facebook page has been a welcome resource that has helped to keep her on track.
“I like our page. They are always posting little motivational things. Sometimes they come right when you need them,” Smith said.
It is also nice to have a community of fellow dieters with whom to share.
“It’s a really positive community of fellow dieters. It’s so encouraging,” Smith said. “It’s easy to sound cheesy but I never felt so positive about anything. I can see the finish line for the first time in my life.”
More information is at www.physicians4women.net or at (219) 464-0409.