Based in Richmond, Va, Catherine is a freelance writer specializing in stories about the arts, parenting, health and wellness, aging, and fascinating people.

Mother/Daughter Team Lose Over 200 Pounds

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Since June of 2017, mother and daughter Marci Hughes and Shelby Grace have lost a combined 215 pounds. They have undergone an amazing transformation thanks to the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method administered by Jeffrey Widmeyer, MD,

According to Dr. Widmeyer, “Ideal Protein is a physician-supervised weight loss program that utilizes good-tasting, specially formulated meal replacement products as well as coaching.” of Widmeyer Vein Center in Lynchburg. Though Dr. Widmeyer describes the mother/daughter duo as “star dieters,” he says that “they are the rule rather than the exception” because of the program’s effectiveness. In fact, the patients he has worked with have lost over 20,000 pounds in total.

According to Dr. Widmeyer, “Ideal Protein is a physician-supervised weight loss program that utilizes good-tasting, specially formulated meal replacement products as well as coaching.”

Prior to working with Dr. Widmeyer, 43-year-old Marci weighed over 300 pounds, was pre-diabetic, and took two different medicines for high blood pressure. Although she’d always been active, she repeatedly had trouble losing weight.

“I’ve done every diet plan under the sun,” Marci says. “I would always be successful for a few weeks, and then I would gain weight again. Nothing worked.”

Likewise, 16-year-old Shelby struggled with her weight despite being active. She weighed about 290 pounds, was pre-diabetic and was sometimes bullied at school. A theater kid, Shelby also often felt frustrated when she couldn’t find costumes in her school’s collection that fit her. In addition, the stress of being bullied contributed to her weight gain.

Both Marci and Shelby are thrilled to have lost weight successfully with the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method, which Dr. Widmeyer describes as an aggressive weight loss program.

“Women typically lose two to four pounds per week,” Dr. Widmeyer says, “and men lose about three to five pounds per week.”

By measuring patients weekly through the body composition analyzer, Dr. Widmeyer can ensure that the weight loss happens safely and that patients are losing fat rather than muscle.

The rapid weight loss has helped Marci and Shelby to stay motivated throughout the program. “Motivation hasn’t really even been an issue because the weight comes off so fast,” Marci says. “Also, we have more energy, and because we are drinking more water and not eating sugar, our skin looks better and we feel better overall.” They also enjoy buying smaller clothes each time they lose a size.

Being able to lose weight with her mom as a partner has helped Shelby stay focused, but the coaching at Dr. Widmeyer’s office also plays a role. “I really like that there are coaches keeping us accountable and weighing us each week,” she says. “I’m less likely to cheat.”

Both Marci and Shelby also appreciate their coaches’ accessibility and willingness to help them make challenging decisions. “Lori [the coach] is always available,” says Marci. “We can text her if we’re going to a restaurant, and she can look at the menu and tell us what we can eat. That way, we’re prepared when we get there and aren’t tempted by less healthy foods.”

For the first phase of the diet, which lasts until they get within a few pounds of their ideal weight, patients eat foods sold through the doctors’ office for breakfast, lunch and snacks, along with vegetables they prepare. For dinner, patients prepare their own meat and vegetables.

“Once we figured out the plan, which wasn’t hard, there was no desire to cheat because we were always satisfied,” says Marci. “We weren’t hungry.”

According to Dr. Widmeyer, “Patients don’t feel hungry because their bodies are burning their own fat as fuel.”

Once they get close to their idea weight, explains Dr. Widmeyer, patients engage in Phase 2, a two-week period in which they prepare their own lunch foods. Then, they move into Phase 3, which lasts for another two weeks; in this phase, patients also prepare their own breakfast foods. Finally, Phase 4 is the maintenance phase. “Each transition between phases involves a lengthy sit-down discussion, videos and very specific instructions so patients get good results,” Dr. Widmeyer says.

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