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Retrofit Data Driven Weight Loss Program

Retrofit Diet Program and Why It Works

I ran into my old boss the other day. Not in real life — he lives in Chicago and I live near Boston — but on social media. I noticed that he had started another new company, a weight loss company, called Retrofit: Data Driven Weight Loss. My college roommate has a new weight loss company too which I posted on and did a giveaway. Was this a coincidence? Were they similar concepts? I was intrigued and determined to get another great giveaway for my readers!

And I prevailed. I got hooked up with his marketing person who said, “Even with pretty great food and fitness habits, I gained just a little progressively with each of my 3 kids and working in marketing at Kraft (which had a wonderful selection of food as part of my various job descriptions over the 9+ years I was there).  I was between 15-20 lbs over when I joined eDiets.  eDiets was a great experience met a bunch of wonderful woman who changed their lives, but unfortunately also watch a fair percentage of them slide backwards too.  I lost about half of the kid weight I was holding at eDiets just from sheer stress of the job and the remaining weight with the tracker and my skinny husband returning from war.  There was a lot of positive to working at eDiets, many, many amazing people, but overall I came away a little jaded about commercial weight loss as a category.  At the end of the day, it was more a business than the mission that I wanted it to be.

So I asked her what is different about Retrofit:

  • You have incredible access to experts.  Directly you have your own registered dietitian, exercise physiologist and behavior coach, who you meet with 1:1 via online video conference.  In directly you benefit from a program design created by 3 of the leading researchers in the field of obesity (Dr. Robert Kushner, Dr. Holly Wyatt, and James Hill PhD), and 3 clinicians who helped operationalize it for the wellness teams (Brad Saks, PsyD, Dawn Jackson Blatner RD, and Melissa Paolino ACSM-CES
  • The program design requires that the intensive weight loss period, is followed by at least 6 months of weight stability training so what you learned in the weight loss phase actually sticks with you for life.
  • We use wireless monitoring.  You just clip on the little activity tracker or step on the scale and the technology takes care of transferring your data to your dashboard holding you and your weight loss team accountable for your results.
Still the skeptic, I asked for a Day in the Life of the Retrofit Program:
  • Get up, take off your PJ’s, wireless activity tracker and step on the WIFI scale.  You have to be barefoot or the scale won’t be able to get your fat/lean mass reading.  Being in the buff and having the same routine everyday makes the best baseline in terms of weight.
  • Shower without the activity tracker (water would ruin it).
  • As soon as you are dry and have a place to securely attach it (bra, underwear work great, but it’s kind of cute so I usually put mine on my jeans pocket).
  • Have breakfast.  That is a critical habit that the National Weight Control Registry and all serious experts agree on.  You can choose from the Retrofit Recipe book or pick something on your own.  If you pick something on your own from a restaurant or your own cabinet note it because you will need to report on it later.
  • Start an email to your registered dietitian and write in what you had for breakfast, keep it in your drafts folder you’ll send end of day.
  • Look at your day while you’re at the computer and plan your steps (you are going to have to get to 10,000 somehow).  Check where you are already, probably about 300 so you’re going to need to plan in some concentrated exercise.  Can you make an appointment with a co-worker a walking meeting?  Can you walk an errand with the kids later?  Take the dog for a much needed walk?  Plan to avoid elevators if they are in your day and park far away and allow the time to walk. Is shopping on your list?  The grocery is worth over 1000, I totally look at the aisles differently now.  If your regular day is not looking active enough, plan in a block of an hour of time before going to sleep.  (Marching during an hour show in the evening though dorky will typically get you there).
  • Plan your lunch.  Again, this is a common trait you will have to take on to be successful if you are going out get yourself psyched up to special order.  Most restaurants can bring you a whole grain something, chicken breast and lettuce if all else fails, or a broth soup or vegetarian chili are other great options.  Plan the time you are going to eat and set an appt. with yourself to do it.
  • Go about your day actively, you will have two snacks a day.  I skip the morning and use mine for late afternoon and evening, but your dietitian will work with you on what you need.  Again use the recipe book if you need help or choose with the help of your dietitian.  Share with her what you usually eat. Whole fruit is a great option and super easy, I now keep a fully stocked fruit bowl on the counter and my kids fruit consumption has changed dramatically for the better.  Note whatever you eat, b/c you’ll need it for your email.  Take a picture of it, if that is easier.
  • Eat lunch as planned.  If ambushed and something else happened off plan note what you actually ate and why the plan didn’t work.  Again just jot a note or take a picture.  Plan your next snack and dinner if you haven’t already.  Same drill as the earlier meals taking just a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself for success so you are not vulnerable to what happens naturally, as what happens is likely what has been driving your weight up.  Check your tracker, how many steps have you got in, you should be halfway there (pace while you are checking, any little step helps).
  • Try to get in that activity look for any chance in your schedule to make it a little more active, can you walk over and talk in person?  This may be your time before the kids get home from school, if so move NOW.  Make sure you take it because it’s much harder once they are home.  Walk outside until you hit at least 9000 steps, the rest will come with your daily day activities.  Weather too bad hit a mall or just walk the stairs in the house or march in front of the TV.  Jump rope with a real or imagined rope, turn on music and dance, whatever you can do to move.
  • If your dinner plan was to cook, take the meat from the freezer and pop it on the counter, make sure you have what you need to be successful.  Going out, think about what makes sense on the menu.  Be good to your body, it needs the nutrients so think about what foods are best for it.  Plan for as many natural colors as possible dark green veggies, dark red veggies or fruit, grains that aren’t all white, lean meats.  About half of your plate should be fruits and veggies.  ¼ lean meat, ¼ a smart starch.  Use your hands as your guide for serving size.  Your stomach is roughly the size of your fist, putting more in it than your two open hands with fingers together is a little mean.
  • Eat dinner as planned, as close to the time you have set as possible.  Take a picture or note what you actually had.  Pat yourself on the back, you are doing so well just being mindful you are going to be making a huge difference for you and your kids and frankly probably even their kids, as good habits become entrenched.
  • Check your activity tracker, now it’s hammer time if you don’t have your steps, get them in.  Do whatever to make those steps add up.  Walk around the block until you hit it.  Drag the kids out and play soccer, beat them getting to the ball or die trying that is the only way to get your steps.  Play tag offer to be it.  Run like the dickens trying to catch them.  Keep checking that tracker until it is over 9000.
  • Have the last snack to celebrate.  Again pick from the book or make something fun just don’t over do it and keep it small.  Take a picture or note it, you did great today.
  • Send the email to your dietitian, change into your jammies or put on the little black activity cuff if you sleep without clothes on (you have kids so I applaud you if you can pull off the naked thing) and keep your activity tracker close so it can track your sleep tonight.  Note your bedtime and sleep well.

Typically, the price is $2995 to lose 10% of your weight. I am able to give away one scholarship to a YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO THIS PROGRAM! If you have read this far and are interested, please leave a comment. I will draw a random winner on January 15th.
Congrats to Alma! She won the giveaway!

p.s. I used the Wordpress Widget Pick Giveaway Winner to select the winner.



By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Kim

    Thanks for sharing our story. All good changes, husband running Ragnar today and I’m wearing my daughter’s jeans how good is that?

  2. Deborah Knuckey

    I would love to be entered for this – I’m a champion of a one week diet but staying focused has been the challenge. I recently saw some candid pictures and I really do need to love about 30 lbs.

  3. Whitney

    I love that you are sharing this! Seeing the program through the eyes of an actual day is a cool way to focus on the actual behaviors that go into it…I like it.

  4. vanita

    oh this sounds awesome. Sign me up! sign me up!

  5. vanita

    i’m kinda sorry i tweeted and stumbled this, lessens my chance of winning LOL

  6. thoughts4foods

    Cultivating awareness is such an important part of taking control of what and how much you eat… I also like to observe how I eat – e.g. under what circumstances and emotional state – to avoid mindless munching while on the go or out of boredom; or emotional eating out of stress or being upset.

    • To Thoughts4Foods,
      Mindfulness while eating is a habit worth pursuing! My yoga teacher is really into mindfulness in everything we do. Thank you for entering. I hope you win!

  7. Ann

    Wow, what an amazing prize!!! Good luck everyone!

  8. Alma

    Wow, this would be very nice.

  9. I really want to give this a try. I want the year I turn 40 to be the year I get healthy!

    • To Amy,
      I used a WordPress plugin called Pick Giveaway Winner and it selected Alma. Thank you for entering! My friend is willing to give away more winners to bloggers whose blogs fit his criteria. If you want, I can introduce you. I know Vanita was disappointed not to win also and is also a blogger so maybe you both can blog on their product if they let you try it out. worth a shot!

    • To Amy,
      Alma won the giveaway. Sorry, I installed a widget that picks the winner — I think it was actually called Pick A Winner. BUT … I emailed the marketing person who works for my ex-boss and said that two of my readers left comments and really wanted to win AND they have great blogs so would you consider giving them a scholarship and they might blog on it on their blogs. She is just getting sign off but it sounds like they are very interested.

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