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{"id":556979388489,"title":"Calibrate Weight Loss Review: Better Than Drugs Alone?","created_at":"2022-09-21T23:38:41-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Calibrate Weight Loss Review: Better Than Drugs Alone?\",\n \"keywords\": \"calibrate, calibrate weight loss, calibrate weight loss review, calibrate weight loss reviews, calibrate.com weight loss, what is calibrate weight loss, calibrate weight loss medication, calibrate weight loss program, calibrate weight loss side effects\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team reviews the Calibrate weight loss program to give our take on whether it's likely to be more effective than medication alone. We share a real user's review of the program, and highlight some fine print about the money-back guarantee that potential customers should be aware of.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/calibrate-weight-loss-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"creator\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Auren Weinberg\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/auren-weinberg\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/aurenweinberg\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"pharmaceutical medication, medicine, OTC drugs, medical research, clinical trials, generic drugs, branded drugs, dietary supplements, chemistry, health, wellness, healthcare\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"Haverford College\",\n \"University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry\",\n \"Fox School of Business at Temple University\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Calibrate_Weight_Loss_Thumbnail.png?v=1663818278\",\n\"width\": \"3114\",\n\"height\": \"3114\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/faqs\/what-are-the-credentials-of-the-calibrate-coaches\", \n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5207339\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/medication\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3374073\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/wegovy-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7988425\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/legal\/guarantee\",\n\"https:\/\/www.bloomberg.com\/news\/articles\/2022-08-15\/how-to-get-wegovy-for-weight-loss-startup-calibrate-used-drug-company-coupons\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31174214\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25636220\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"health coach\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Saxenda\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Wegovy\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"BBB\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-09-21\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/il_Logo.png?v=1646282089\", \n \"width\": 500,\n \"height\": 500\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Calibrate_Weight_Loss_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1663817935\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to nootropics.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eC\u003c\/span\u003ealibrate is a weight loss program that combines pharmaceutical medication with health coaching and lifestyle changes. The company claims that their approach leads to “sustainable weight loss” and that users will lose 10% body weight within the first year or they get their money back.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut is health coaching actually more effective for weight loss than medication alone? Is there any fine print regarding the money back offer that consumers should be aware of? What are real users saying about Calibrate?\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll seek to answer these questions and more as we review the medical research they cite, and review the pharmaceutical drugs they prescribe for weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Weight Loss Coaching Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the core tenets of Calibrate’s program is individualized coaching. Customers get 1-on-1 video calls with a health coach in 15-minute, biweekly video sessions. It’s unclear to us if Calibrate coaches are medically-credentialed or not, and we consider this an important distinction.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOn the brand’s \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/faqs\/what-are-the-credentials-of-the-calibrate-coaches\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFAQ page\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, it’s stated that Calibrate Accountability coaches “come from a number of different backgrounds” such as public health, psychology and education.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eWe’re unsure how an individual with a public health or education background would be qualified to provide specific medical advice to an overweight individual regarding nutrition choices or exercise choices. \u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOnline coaching overall is quite effective for weight loss. An extensive \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5207339\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in 2017 examined data from 13 clinical trials on health coaching and weight loss. In the majority of the articles, health coaching led to improved patient outcomes such as weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany people respond positively to accountability, so it makes sense that health coaching may be more effective than diet and medication alone. It provides positive feedback and accountability that can make the weight loss journey more responsive and enjoyable.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhile we consider weight loss coaching overall to be likely effective, we cannot conclude that Calibrate’s weight loss coaching is necessarily effective, because their specific program doesn’t appear to have been tested in any clinical trials. Further, we would not recommend health coaching from non-medically-credentialed sources.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eAre Calibrate’s Weight Loss Medications Effective?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOn their \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/medication\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedication\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e page, Calibrate details that they primarily prescribe Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) drugs such as semaglutide and liraglutide for weight loss. We’ve reviewed this class of medications extensively on Illuminate Health and are familiar with the relevant research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSaxenda is the branded form of liraglutide, and is proven effective for weight loss. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3374073\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInternational Journal of Obesity\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e analyzed data from clinical trials on Saxenda, and documented that the drug caused weight loss of 12.79 pounds more than placebo over the course of one year.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy is the branded form of semaglutide and may be more effective than Saxenda. As we detailed in our recent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/wegovy-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWegovy review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article, a head-to-head comparison of the two drugs in a medical trial found Wegovy to be more effective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eWe consider all of the medications referenced by Calibrate to be effective for weight loss, however we disagree with their statement that GLP-1 drugs are the “safest and most effective” class of weight loss medication.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBoth Saxenda and Wegovy can cause severe side effects in some patients. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7988425\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of Wegovy documents that 7.7% of patients experienced “severe adverse events.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider prescription weight loss medications such as Plenity to be safer than GLP-1 drugs. Plenity has a physical mechanism of action (it takes up space in the stomach) and contains no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated “black box” warning on its medication label.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCalibrate Weight Loss Real User Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the reviews of Calibrate on YouTube that appears to be unsponsored is published by a channel called “Michelle Loses It!” The creator shares her experience being prescribed one of the weight loss medications by Calibrate:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/qvpA9w939Dw\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003e10% Weight Loss Guarantee Fine Print\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs may be expected, getting your money back from Calibrate isn’t as simple as failing to lose 10% body weight within the first year. There are a number of stipulations in the fine print that we’d like to highlight to prospective users of this service.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eThe cost of medication and lab testing will not be refunded.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eUsers that don’t set and track weekly goals 85% of the time will not be refunded.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eUsers that were on a prescription weight loss medication within the year prior to joining Calibrate will not be refunded.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are other stipulations in the Terms to this refund agreement, which can be found \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.joincalibrate.com\/legal\/guarantee\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ehere\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. The terms do seem reasonable in our opinion, but they may add a significant amount of complexity and frustration.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBloomberg Exposé on Calibrate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn August of 2022, Bloomberg \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.bloomberg.com\/news\/articles\/2022-08-15\/how-to-get-wegovy-for-weight-loss-startup-calibrate-used-drug-company-coupons\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003epublished an exposé\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of Calibrate, highlighting how the brand had advertised low costs of prescription drugs to potential customers, but the discount rates ran out for many customers while still enrolled in Calibrate’s program.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBloomberg's piece states the following: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“For some of those patients, that deal turned out to be temporary. Calibrate told people it would work with their health insurance providers to get drugs covered. But US insurance coverage for Wegovy is sparse, and about a fifth of the startup’s customers were instead enrolled in a generous coupon program from the drug’s maker, Novo Nordisk A\/S, that ran out after six months.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDetails are unclear since this is so recent, but if Calibrate were not disclosing that these discounts may be temporary, we would consider this unethical and a red flag about the brand.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBad Customer Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCalibrate has a generally poor rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. While it’s true that many companies have unimpressive BBB ratings because consumers are more likely to write in to complain than to praise a company, Calibrate’s 1.26 out of 5 star average rating at the time of writing this article is notably poor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany customers are complaining about failing to receive their medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA user named “Hanadi S.” gives Calibrate 1 star and claims that the company did not ship their medication in time:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“I joined over 6 weeks ago, I have not received my medication nor is the company what it seems.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother user named “Anna K” echoes similar sentiments:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“They take your money and then ignore you. What a joke.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Weight Loss Supplement Recommendations\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SuperGut_Product_Shot_7a5d1704-8c3e-44bb-a972-49db1bfa81ba.png?v=1662953468\" alt=\"SuperGut product shot\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere exist several weight loss supplements with significant clinical backing in terms of both efficacy and safety. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003edietary fiber\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e as a safe and effective weight loss supplement, especially when combined with caloric restriction.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31174214\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003elandmark medical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline) combined with dietary fiber intake (a minimum of 20 grams per day) caused an average weight loss of 16.03 pounds over 6 months. That’s a pace of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003ci\u003e32 pounds per year of weight loss\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in overweight individuals simply by adding fiber to a moderately-restricted-calorie diet.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe fiber supplement we recommend is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/shareasale.com\/r.cfm?b=2011129\u0026amp;u=3153363\u0026amp;m=124607\u0026amp;urllink=www%2Esupergut%2Ecom%2Fresistant%2Dstarch%2Dfiber%2Dmix%2F%3Fsku%3D300101%2D1\u0026amp;afftrack=\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSuperGut Fiber Mix\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. It contains a clean and effective formulation: a blend of three different types of unflavored dietary fiber and zero additive ingredients. It can be mixed into liquids or foods. Interested consumers can buy SuperGut fiber \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/shareasale.com\/r.cfm?b=2011129\u0026amp;u=3153363\u0026amp;m=124607\u0026amp;urllink=www%2Esupergut%2Ecom%2Fresistant%2Dstarch%2Dfiber%2Dmix%2F%3Fsku%3D300101%2D1\u0026amp;afftrack=\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend using two fiber mixes per day, which provides 16 grams (g) of total fiber. Diet should provide the remaining fiber necessary to meet the 20 g minimum threshold.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMedium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is another dietary supplement which has been shown in clinical trials to cause weight loss.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eMCT oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is quickly absorbed by the body and increases metabolic rate, which causes fat loss. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25636220\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on MCT oil documented weight loss of 1.12 pounds over 10 weeks. This equates to a potential annualized weight loss of 5.84 pounds with MCT oil supplementation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe recommend \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/4eNQ4M\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBulletproof MCT Oil\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e as our top MCT oil product, because it has a clean and effective formulation. The only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts, and the product has no questionable additives. Interested consumers can buy Bulletproof MCT Oil \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/bulletproof.fdf2.net\/4eNQ4M\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe effective dose range of MCT oil for weight loss (based on the medical review) is 1.7 g to 10 g per day. Bulletproof's MCT oil provides 14 g in one tablespoon, so around two-thirds of one tablespoon should be a maximally-effective dosage.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do believe that Calibrate is likely to cause weight loss, because both health coaching and GLP-1 medications are proven in medical research to be effective for weight loss. We also believe that Calibrate is likely to cause more weight loss than medication alone, because health coaching is proven to do so in medical studies.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThat being said, we don’t recommend the program overall because we cannot verify the credentials of the health coaches. We would only recommend a health coaching program with credentialed medical experts such as Medical Doctors (MDs) or Registered Dietitians (RDs) providing health advice. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRegardless of company training, we do not consider it appropriate for people without relevant medical training to provide health advice to dieters.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’re also concerned about the relatively bad reviews of Calibrate online, and the information highlighted in a Bloomberg exposé about questionable pricing strategies employed by Calibrate.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAt this time, we will wait for more information to emerge about Calibrate, and if the company funds a clinical study proving that their program causes weight loss in a legitimate medical journal, we will consider recommending it. For now we will not. We’re not strongly against the use of this program by any means; we’re just neutral on it.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-09-21T23:48:32-04:00","updated_at":"2022-09-27T01:35:43-04:00","summary_html":"We review the Calibrate weight loss program to give our take on whether it's likely to be more effective than medication alone. We share a real user's review of the program, and highlight some fine print about the money-back guarantee that potential customers should be aware of.","template_suffix":"","handle":"calibrate-weight-loss-review","tags":"_related:weight-loss"}

Calibrate Weight Loss Review: Better Than Drugs Alone?

Calibrate Weight Loss Review: Better Than Drugs Alone?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to nootropics.

Calibrate is a weight loss program that combines pharmaceutical medication with health coaching and lifestyle changes. The company claims that their approach leads to “sustainable weight loss” and that users will lose 10% body weight within the first year or they get their money back.

But is health coaching actually more effective for weight loss than medication alone? Is there any fine print regarding the money back offer that consumers should be aware of? What are real users saying about Calibrate?

In this article we’ll seek to answer these questions and more as we review the medical research they cite, and review the pharmaceutical drugs they prescribe for weight loss.

Does Weight Loss Coaching Work?

One of the core tenets of Calibrate’s program is individualized coaching. Customers get 1-on-1 video calls with a health coach in 15-minute, biweekly video sessions. It’s unclear to us if Calibrate coaches are medically-credentialed or not, and we consider this an important distinction.

On the brand’s FAQ page, it’s stated that Calibrate Accountability coaches “come from a number of different backgrounds” such as public health, psychology and education.

We’re unsure how an individual with a public health or education background would be qualified to provide specific medical advice to an overweight individual regarding nutrition choices or exercise choices. 

Online coaching overall is quite effective for weight loss. An extensive medical review published in 2017 examined data from 13 clinical trials on health coaching and weight loss. In the majority of the articles, health coaching led to improved patient outcomes such as weight loss.

Many people respond positively to accountability, so it makes sense that health coaching may be more effective than diet and medication alone. It provides positive feedback and accountability that can make the weight loss journey more responsive and enjoyable.

While we consider weight loss coaching overall to be likely effective, we cannot conclude that Calibrate’s weight loss coaching is necessarily effective, because their specific program doesn’t appear to have been tested in any clinical trials. Further, we would not recommend health coaching from non-medically-credentialed sources.

Are Calibrate’s Weight Loss Medications Effective?

On their medication page, Calibrate details that they primarily prescribe Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) drugs such as semaglutide and liraglutide for weight loss. We’ve reviewed this class of medications extensively on Illuminate Health and are familiar with the relevant research.

Saxenda is the branded form of liraglutide, and is proven effective for weight loss. A meta-study published in the International Journal of Obesity analyzed data from clinical trials on Saxenda, and documented that the drug caused weight loss of 12.79 pounds more than placebo over the course of one year.

Wegovy is the branded form of semaglutide and may be more effective than Saxenda. As we detailed in our recent Wegovy review article, a head-to-head comparison of the two drugs in a medical trial found Wegovy to be more effective.

We consider all of the medications referenced by Calibrate to be effective for weight loss, however we disagree with their statement that GLP-1 drugs are the “safest and most effective” class of weight loss medication.

Both Saxenda and Wegovy can cause severe side effects in some patients. A medical review of Wegovy documents that 7.7% of patients experienced “severe adverse events.”

We consider prescription weight loss medications such as Plenity to be safer than GLP-1 drugs. Plenity has a physical mechanism of action (it takes up space in the stomach) and contains no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated “black box” warning on its medication label.

Calibrate Weight Loss Real User Review

One of the reviews of Calibrate on YouTube that appears to be unsponsored is published by a channel called “Michelle Loses It!” The creator shares her experience being prescribed one of the weight loss medications by Calibrate:

10% Weight Loss Guarantee Fine Print

As may be expected, getting your money back from Calibrate isn’t as simple as failing to lose 10% body weight within the first year. There are a number of stipulations in the fine print that we’d like to highlight to prospective users of this service.

The cost of medication and lab testing will not be refunded.

Users that don’t set and track weekly goals 85% of the time will not be refunded.

Users that were on a prescription weight loss medication within the year prior to joining Calibrate will not be refunded.

There are other stipulations in the Terms to this refund agreement, which can be found here. The terms do seem reasonable in our opinion, but they may add a significant amount of complexity and frustration.

Bloomberg Exposé on Calibrate

In August of 2022, Bloomberg published an exposé of Calibrate, highlighting how the brand had advertised low costs of prescription drugs to potential customers, but the discount rates ran out for many customers while still enrolled in Calibrate’s program.

Bloomberg's piece states the following: 

“For some of those patients, that deal turned out to be temporary. Calibrate told people it would work with their health insurance providers to get drugs covered. But US insurance coverage for Wegovy is sparse, and about a fifth of the startup’s customers were instead enrolled in a generous coupon program from the drug’s maker, Novo Nordisk A/S, that ran out after six months.”

Details are unclear since this is so recent, but if Calibrate were not disclosing that these discounts may be temporary, we would consider this unethical and a red flag about the brand.

Bad Customer Reviews

Calibrate has a generally poor rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. While it’s true that many companies have unimpressive BBB ratings because consumers are more likely to write in to complain than to praise a company, Calibrate’s 1.26 out of 5 star average rating at the time of writing this article is notably poor.

Many customers are complaining about failing to receive their medication.

A user named “Hanadi S.” gives Calibrate 1 star and claims that the company did not ship their medication in time:

“I joined over 6 weeks ago, I have not received my medication nor is the company what it seems.”

Another user named “Anna K” echoes similar sentiments:

“They take your money and then ignore you. What a joke.”

Our Weight Loss Supplement Recommendations

SuperGut product shot

There exist several weight loss supplements with significant clinical backing in terms of both efficacy and safety. 

We recommend dietary fiber as a safe and effective weight loss supplement, especially when combined with caloric restriction.

A landmark medical study found that moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline) combined with dietary fiber intake (a minimum of 20 grams per day) caused an average weight loss of 16.03 pounds over 6 months. That’s a pace of 32 pounds per year of weight loss in overweight individuals simply by adding fiber to a moderately-restricted-calorie diet.

The fiber supplement we recommend is SuperGut Fiber Mix. It contains a clean and effective formulation: a blend of three different types of unflavored dietary fiber and zero additive ingredients. It can be mixed into liquids or foods. Interested consumers can buy SuperGut fiber at this link.

We recommend using two fiber mixes per day, which provides 16 grams (g) of total fiber. Diet should provide the remaining fiber necessary to meet the 20 g minimum threshold.

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is another dietary supplement which has been shown in clinical trials to cause weight loss.

MCT oil is quickly absorbed by the body and increases metabolic rate, which causes fat loss. A meta-study on MCT oil documented weight loss of 1.12 pounds over 10 weeks. This equates to a potential annualized weight loss of 5.84 pounds with MCT oil supplementation.

We recommend Bulletproof MCT Oil as our top MCT oil product, because it has a clean and effective formulation. The only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts, and the product has no questionable additives. Interested consumers can buy Bulletproof MCT Oil at this link.

The effective dose range of MCT oil for weight loss (based on the medical review) is 1.7 g to 10 g per day. Bulletproof's MCT oil provides 14 g in one tablespoon, so around two-thirds of one tablespoon should be a maximally-effective dosage.

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Conclusion

We do believe that Calibrate is likely to cause weight loss, because both health coaching and GLP-1 medications are proven in medical research to be effective for weight loss. We also believe that Calibrate is likely to cause more weight loss than medication alone, because health coaching is proven to do so in medical studies.

That being said, we don’t recommend the program overall because we cannot verify the credentials of the health coaches. We would only recommend a health coaching program with credentialed medical experts such as Medical Doctors (MDs) or Registered Dietitians (RDs) providing health advice. 

Regardless of company training, we do not consider it appropriate for people without relevant medical training to provide health advice to dieters.

We’re also concerned about the relatively bad reviews of Calibrate online, and the information highlighted in a Bloomberg exposé about questionable pricing strategies employed by Calibrate.

At this time, we will wait for more information to emerge about Calibrate, and if the company funds a clinical study proving that their program causes weight loss in a legitimate medical journal, we will consider recommending it. For now we will not. We’re not strongly against the use of this program by any means; we’re just neutral on it.





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