If you landed here, you must be looking for some honest feedback on the Profile by Sanford diet. I am happy to share more with you about my journey with the Profile lifestyle. It has literally changed my life, so I am always willing to share what it did for me! I can give you all of the ins and outs, even the good and the bad. Truth is, there isn’t much bad. So if you are looking for a negative review, you won’t find it here. The Profile lifestyle was and continues to be the perfect fit for me. Let’s dive in and find out if it is the perfect fit for you, too! Disclaimer: this is long (I have the gift of gab, my friends), but thorough.
So what is Profile by Sanford? It is a weight management company created by the physicians & researchers at Sanford Health, one of the largest hospital systems in the US. They utilize 1-on-1 health coaching that focuses on 3 areas: nutrition, activity, & lifestyle to ensure that you can lose weight and keep it off. They provide smart technology to track your progress and keep you on track, plus DNA testing to tell you exactly how you metabolize carbohydrates. Lastly but most importantly, it is an easy-to-follow meal plan that guarantees you results if you follow the plan!
I found Profile in May of 2018 through some mutual friends who had had great luck with the program. As a woman who was always looking to shed some pounds, I was intrigued! I have always been naturally on the thinner side, but I am also an emotional eater. Hats off to all of you out there who are in that club with me, because it is not an easy obstacle to overcome! The normal stressors of life were happening to me, plus I hit the big 4-0. My body changed almost instantly, it seemed, and I could no longer eat the way I had in my 20’s and 30’s. I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was stressed, I ate when I was mad. I drank Coca-Cola like it was going out of style. And that was my lifestyle…..until I found Profile.
Forty pounds. That was my number. I was stunned. And at the time, I was in tears. Looking back, I am now grateful for that moment because it was my turning point. The idea of losing forty pounds through diet and exercise alone seemed overwhelming, especially since the weight just wasn’t coming off like it used to. But I knew I had to do something. I had set my New Year’s resolution to lose weight like the rest of America. And then all of a sudden, it was May, and I hadn’t lost any weight. I had actually packed on a couple more pounds. My son was set to get married later that year, and I was determined to not be chubby in the wedding photos that I would see for the rest of my life. Everyone has a turning point, and it is different for each person. I had finally found mine.
So I booked my appointment with a coach at Profile to see if it was for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I never really thought of myself as a shakes and bars kind of person. To be honest, I have tried lots of different shakes and bars in the past and found most of them to be straight up nasty. People always say they love shakes and bars, and I would think, “yeah, right.” So I didn’t know if this would really be any different. But at my appointment, I saw how shakes and bars are just a piece of this lifestyle. It is largely based on grocery food and teaching you to retrain your brain when it comes to food.
I signed up on the spot. They were having a sign-up special, and I truly was desperate for something to help set me on the right path. I got my customized meal plan, bought some shakes and bars (members get 20% off, which is awesome!), and collected my smart scale (a cool feature that communicates your progress with your coach and measures some other indicators). On a side note, my personal opinion is that weighing at home is better than a scheduled “weigh-in” in a public setting. The smart scale is the best of both worlds. You can weigh in the privacy of your own home, but your weight is recorded on your account so that you and your coach can keep track.
I went home ready to start the next day. And then something awesome happened. My hubby decided to join, too! Spouses can join at a much-discounted rate. I will talk more about this later and what a blessing it turned out to be. I got my initial starting weight and BMI. That is where I saw the word “overweight” on my chart. Again, I was stunned. I never saw myself that way, but there it was. I could no longer ignore it. It was a sobering moment, but it turned out to be a motivator to get that word off of my profile.
So let’s talk details about this plan. Now, it is tailored to each person’s individual needs (men vs women, working out vs not working out, medical needs and even a maternity option!), but the base program is largely the same. There are different stages of the plan. Reboot/Reduce is for the initial and more rapid weight loss. When you get within 5-10 pounds of your goal weight, you switch to Reboot/Adapt where more starches and carbs are worked into your plan. And lastly, there is Reboot/Sustain, the stage you enter for maintenance to ensure that the weight stays off. The end goal is to be eating all grocery foods! Ninety minutes per week of light exercise (such as walking) is recommended. If you work out or lift more intensely, your caloric intake will need to be adjusted. Again, it is 100% tailored to fit your lifestyle!
The Profile plan involves eating approximately every 3 hours. Don’t panic, that is actually easy and turns out to be a great thing. No one likes to feel hungry, so knowing that you actually need to eat something every three hours helps you get through. I always look forward to my next shake because they are so dang good! You have scheduled shakes and bars, along with a long list of foods divided up into categories that you can choose how to divide up into your day with your meals and snacks.
A key element of the Profile plan that really sets this lifestyle apart from other programs is the 1-on-1 coaching. I clicked with my coach, Sydney, from day one! She is fantastic and has been an amazing part of my journey. Let me give you my insight on the coaching aspect of the program. I think it is vitally important that you connect with your coach. That is why they are there! And Profile has a lot of amazing coaches! Of course, any coach can tell you, “eat this, don’t eat that”. But for me, it was instrumental in my success to figure out WHY I made the food choices that I did. Sydney helped me do that.
Like I said before, I am an emotional eater. My coach never made me feel guilty or ashamed if I ever had a slip up. She just helped me see what my thought process was, and we worked through that together. I used her as my accountability partner, and still do to this day. Some weeks, in a moment of weakness, I would actually say to myself, “I meet with Sydney tomorrow, I better not eat that!” With that being said, you should NEVER blame your coach for any failures you may encounter. In the end, you are accountable to yourself. I have had friends join who didn’t feel enough connection with a specific coach, and I suggested that they switch coaches to see if they could connect with someone else better. Weight loss is a very personal journey, and you need the right person in your corner. I have met many coaches when I had my weekly appointments at Profile, and I believe they are all amazing and well-trained! But we are all individuals, and different personalities are just naturally going to click with some better than others. That’s life! The staff at Profile want you to succeed, so find the coach you work best with. You will not offend them. But again, coaches are not to be used as an excuse, more like an advocate and partner in your new lifestyle! Here is my sweet friend and coach, Sydney!
Profile is not a true keto diet, for several reasons. It is a mild state of ketosis, which reaps the same benefits but without such an emphasis on fats. It is still low carb/high protein in the beginning but gradually works toward a balanced plan as you get closer to your goal.
There are two ways to look at what is included on the list of approved foods, and it’s all in your mindset. In the Reduce phase, you skip the breads and starches, but you CAN have all the veggies you want. Doesn’t sound glamorous, but trust me, those veggies will fill you up. So you have your shakes, your bars (both have lots of yummy options to choose from). You can have steak, you can have cheese, you can still have lots of tasty foods. That is great news! There are many “flex” foods you can pick from to fill in your day and help avoid that hunger. You just need to pay attention to the portions. You will eat approximately 1000-1200 calories a day (again, this is tailored to each person). That doesn’t sound like much, does it? Stay with me here, I have good news for you. Your body WILL adjust. But the key is to stay focused on what you can have vs. what you can’t have. If you are always thinking about what you are giving up, that very likely will get in the way of your ability to hit your goal.
How did it go for me? Day one, I was on top of the world. I LOVED the shakes, devoured the bars and felt so motivated eating whole grocery foods. Day two, I was still in “woo hoo” mode. I was enjoying choosing different foods from my list. I was ready to conquer the world. Day three…..hold up just a second. You mean to tell me that I CAN’T eat this, I CAN’T have that, even on the upcoming weekend and road trip? I was feeling a bit hungry. My whole life had revolved around carbs, and now they were being limited. Carb withdrawal is a real thing, you guys, and I felt like I could have murdered someone with my bare hands. I felt deprived and was still overweight (hello, it was only day three). My focus had shifted back to what I COULDN’T have instead of what I COULD have. Truth is, I cheated a little. I finally caved and ate an Egg McMuffin, one of my favorite things in the world. Even though the Egg McMuffin is one of the better options at McDonalds, it still isn’t on the Reduce plan. But that Egg McMuffin may have saved someone’s life, lol. I was still super motivated to lose weight, even though I had a moment of weakness. Here is the good thing. The next day, I hopped right back on the plan and never looked back. That is what I love about this plan. You get as many redo’s as you want!
I pushed through week one. I still lost 5.5 pounds. I was ecstatic and more motivated than ever. But here is the best part. My hunger was subsiding. I wasn’t thinking about food as much as I had before. I was already sleeping better. I felt 1000 times better and had a lot more energy. The water I was drinking every day (a MUST) was making my skin look so much better. Food was starting to become more of a nuisance, if you can believe that. I found my taste buds dulling just a bit. Say what?? I wasn’t craving pop anymore. The truth is, I had been very worried about my ability to give up soda cold turkey. I had been downing 3-4 cans a day! But I did, and it remains one of the things I am most proud of with my new lifestyle.
I won’t bore you with the drawn out details, but suffice it to say that I continued on the plan, alongside my husband. We were still able to eat out at places that offered options on our plan. No way would I have given up eating out completely because I love it too much! We actually had fun going to the grocery store together and getting creative with our meal planning. We were in this together, and my honest opinion is that this lifestyle is easier when you have that support. Not all of you are going to have that, but you are doing this plan for YOU. When your family keeps the carbs and other temptations around, it can be harder. But if you remain focused on WHY you are doing this and don’t get caught up in the “I can’t have that” mentality, you can stay on plan even with a pan of brownies in front of your face. Here is my partner in crime at our 25th anniversary dinner, well into our journey on Profile together.
I was 99% perfect in following my plan. You couldn’t get me to eat a crouton! As the weight started to literally melt off (I was averaging a loss of 2-2.5 pounds per week), I remained motivated to stay on plan. Now let me say this. A cheat is not the end of the world. Life happens. Birthday parties happen. Holidays and BBQ’s happen. Is a cheat going to kill you? Absolutely not. It might mean you don’t lose as much in a week as you normally would. But in the big picture, that is OK. What matters is the direction you are headed. You know what your goal is. Your choices will determine how quickly you get there, but you can’t beat yourself up if you eat something off your plan. I am telling you right now that if you eat that piece of bread or sugary dessert you used to crave, you will enjoy it at the time. But it will make you feel like CRAP later. Trust me on that. Once you get used to not eating that stuff, you won’t feel good if you indulge. Only you can decide if that is worth it or not. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.
Just over four months into the diet, I hit my goal of losing 40 pounds. I felt the best I ever had. Getting dressed in the morning was actually FUN because everything fit and I looked so much better in my clothes. As a fashion blogger, that is actually important to me! I had people telling me that I was getting too thin. That is fairly irritating, honestly. And you may even have people project the fact that they are not losing weight onto you and share negative opinions about your choices. You have to ignore that. Only you know what feels right for your body.
Here are my final thoughts. Did Profile work for me? 100% YES!! Will everyone who tries it be successful with it and love it? No. I had several friends join Profile and not have success with it, but so many others who joined and had great success! Only they can say why they did or did not find success. There are a lot of diets out there that work for some and not for others. You just have to find what works for you, and the timing has to be right. There is learning and education at every stage of the plan. When I entered the Sustain phase, I actually gained a few pounds back. You have to learn how to eat differently than you did before, and I had a few too many rationalizations. “I am at my goal weight, I can have more of this” or “that little cheat won’t hurt”. There is actually truth in both of those statements. The key is how often you do it. You CAN eat ice cream again, or a little birthday cake if you want to. You can add some alcohol back in eventually. My favorite thing in life is queso, and I DO have it from time to time. Life is too short to never enjoy those things sometimes. It’s all about moderation and balance. I don’t crave that stuff like I used to. But the cool thing is this. When I saw that scale creep up just a little, Profile was still there for me. I hopped right back into my new Profile lifestyle, met with my coach, and the weight came right back off again. That is the beauty of Profile. You have a lifelong partner in your corner to help you. Not many diets can say that!
I will never say that any diet is “easy”. Changing lifelong habits of eating the wrong things is never easy. But you know what else isn’t easy? Not fitting into any of your clothes….that always left me in tears. Feeling depressed when I saw myself in pictures…that made me want to eat even more to drown my feelings. Feeling like crap and having no energy…can’t even tell you how exhausting that was. Those things are HARD. Giving up a lot of the foods you love is hard. YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR HARD! So when you decide which one is harder, this lifestyle is worth a shot. It changed my life. It changed my husband’s life, and lots of lives around me. I promise it can change your life, too.
If you ever need advice or suggestions on some of the super yummy things I eat now (hello, egg roll in a bowl, zoodle chicken parmesan, fajitas, and so much more!), I am happy to help! Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be sharing more recipes of the foods that have become a staple for me, so be sure to subscribe to my blog. If you want to follow along on my journey as a fashion blogger, you can find me here on Instagram and here on Pinterest.
If you are ready to give the Profile lifestyle a try, know that you already have a cheerleader in your corner…..ME! In fact, use code TRACY to get $100 of your enrollment. Spouses get a BIG discount to join with you, too.
If you don’t have a location near you, don’t worry! Profile can be done in the exact same way remotely, as well. You have no more excuses! I would love to hear about your progress and see your amazing before and after pictures, too! Best of luck to you. You CAN do this!