Q & A

Here you will find the most commonly asked questions about Itrim and our program.

What does Itrim have to offer?

Answer: At Itrim you can choose between becoming a weight loss member or only an exercise member. As a weight loss member you get help in losing weight and then changing your habits so you can maintain a sustainable weight loss. Itrim's weight loss program is comprised of a combination of individual conversations, group sessions and exercise.

Itrim's weight loss program is for 2 years and you sign a contract for one year at a time. The first year is comprised of the Weight loss phase and the Improvement phase. The program's second year is the "Balance phase". By continuing the Itrim program into the second year, you get support and help in continuing to maintain your new weight.

At Itrim you have a lifestyle counselor who follows your progress personally and helps you along the way. The lifestyle counselors have helped many people to lose weight. They are aware of the difficulties and challenges that can put a stop to successfully sustainable weight loss.

Several different types of membership
Different people need different levels of support and motivation. So Itrim offers several different types of membership; Gold, Silver and Bronze. We also have a 24 month membership when you want the entire program at the best price and a group card for people who apply as part of a group. You can also come to Itrim just to exercise.

The research behind Itrim's program
The research which has most influenced the content of Itrim's program is a large study from the USA, the National Weight Control Registry Study (NWCR, www.nwcr.ws). In a nutshell, NWCR is a survey of individuals who, using different methods, successfully maintained a weight loss of 14 pounds for at least five years. The habits that study participants had in common were clear: they ate a lot of fiber and limited their intake of fat and sugar. They weighed themselves regularly, had a stable meal plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks), and exercised every day.

Another important study, that has greatly influenced the design of the weight loss program, is a comprehensive Swedish overview of measures taken to treat obesity, which was conducted in 2002 by the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, (www.sbu.se). The Swedish report shows that people who exercised, lost a lot of weight in the beginning -often with a very low calorie diet (VLCD) and participated in a long term support program had the best long term weight loss.

To ensure the quality of Itrim's services, a Scientific Advisory Board exists, comprised of independent medical researchers. The Scientific Advisory Board supports the development of Itrim's programs and services and contributes to the development and analysis of Itrim's unique health database.

Sign up for an information session at your nearest Itrim center to get a detailed presentation of Itrim's concept. Come and discover which membership suits you best!

How much does it cost to become a member?

Answer: The Itrim chain is a franchise chain, which among other things means that every Itrim center (=entrepreneur) has its own prices. This means that prices may vary between different centers, temporary campaigns, local offers, etc.

You will find current prices on each center's web site, under the links "Weight and prices" and "Exercise and prices" respectively.

Call or e-mail your nearest Itrim center for more information about the prices that apply to our different programs.

Why does Itrim have meal replacements?

Answer: Most clinical studies around the world show that fast, initial weight loss, where you combine meal replacements and changes in behavior, improves the chances of achieving sustainable weight loss. Breaking old, bad habits and quickly seeing results increases your motivation. And motivation is the key to succeeding with weight loss over the long term.

Itrim's weight loss program is for two years and aims to help people adopt new, healthy food and exercise habits. During the first weeks we focus on weight loss, then on maintaining a sustainable weight loss. Within the Itrim program, you have the choice of exchanging all or some meals for meal replacements for a limited time and after having consulted with your lifestyle counselor.

Not everyone, however, can or wants to eat meal replacements. During the Health assessment, which is mandatory in the Itrim program, you decide together with your lifestyle counselor whether meal replacements are the best alternative for you.

Can I exercise while I eat meal replacements?

Answer: Yes. It is advantageous to exercise in combination with a low calorie diet because it is easier to retain muscle mass by being active while losing weight. You should, of course, adjust the amount and intensity of your workout to how familiar you are with working out. It is always important to listen to your body.

In one study, researchers looked at what you should do to retain as much muscle mass as possible while following a low calorie diet (800 calories/day). The result show that circuit training that incorporates both fitness and strength stations 3 times a week is more effective that fitness training alone in maintaining muscle mass and basal metabolism while following a 12 week low calorie diet. (Source: Bryner et al., Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1999)

Is Itrim a short term diet?

Answer: No. Itrim is for people who have decided to lose weight, once and for all. What is difficult is not losing weight, but maintaining the weight loss and achieving a change of lifestyle that lasts. Research shows that a change in behavior takes between 1 and 3 years for most people.

Itrim's weight loss program is for two years, you sign contracts for at least one year at a time. We divide the first year into two phases: The Weight loss phase and the Improvement phase. The program's second year is the "Balance phase". By continuing the Itrim program into the second year, you get support and help in continuing to maintain your new weight.

In-depth description of Itrim's program
We have prepared a document for people who are clinically active and other people interested in learning more about Itrim. The document describes the program and its different components and examines member results from a statistical perspective. Read the document here.

Why is it good to exercise?

Answer: Exercise has many health promoting effects -both physical and psychological. Exercise lowers, among other things, the risk of cardiovascular disease, overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis.

A large study of 2,400 British twins between the ages of 18 and 81 years show that people who exercise more have longer telomeres (ends of chromosomes that correspond to our "biological age"). In that way, you could say that people who exercised most were from a biological perspective physically ten years younger than those who did not exercise, even though they were of the same age chronologically. Rather moderate workouts, both in time and intensity, were enough to make the effect on the telomeres noticeable. The ability of researchers to now show that physical exercise affect aging at the cell level is something totally new. This helps us understand the reasons why exercise is so beneficial to your health. 

All exercise is good exercise. What is important is that it happens. Regular exercise generates approx. 100-150 different health benefits. Researchers thought before that people had to get changed, sweat and get out of breath for exercise to have any effect. Now people know that everyday exercise, i.e. low intensity movement where you don't get changed is a very effective complement to planned workouts.

If you have recently lost weight it is extra important that you exercise to maintain the weight loss. You also become more alert during the day and sleep better at night. What is most important is not what you do, but that some form of exercise is done. All movement counts.

What characterizes Itrim?

Answer: When you want to successfully lose weight once and for all, you need to change both your food and exercise habits. Something that is often easier said than done, at least if you are trying to do it on your own. That is why we at Itrim offer a weight loss program based on a combination of individual counseling, group sessions, and exercise. And if you don't need to lose weight but want to get started exercising, you are also welcome to join us.

Personal commitment. Individual counseling, coaching, and support from lifestyle counselors and exercise trainers. Regular sessions with a fixed weight loss group for instruction, inspiration and exchange of experience.

Fast results. Fast weight loss in the beginning keeps your motivation up and helps you break old food habits. After that new improved habits are learned.

Focus on exercise. Exercise is an important component for reaching sustainable weight loss and for feeling good both physically and mentally. The Itrim program focus is on the three parts: meals, movement and motivation

Scientific basis. The Itrim program is built on research and on recommendations from the Swedish National Food Administration. To continually develop the program, Itrim cooperates with an external medical scientific advisory board comprised of researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden.

Proven results. We have documented member results since we started in 2003 and can therefore show, in black and white, that the program really works. Several scientific studies have been made about our program.

Long term thinking. It takes a long time to adopt new habits. Losing weight is one thing – maintaining your new weight is another thing entirely. Itrim is about losing weight, once and for all. The Itrim program is for at least a year with a possibility to continue for one or more balance years.

Satisfied members. Surveys show that more than 9 out of 10 Itrim members are satisfied and that 92.5 percent have experienced an improved quality of life since they became members of Itrim. One sign of quality is that a majority of customers become members through recommendations from someone they know.

Itrim Fact no. 37

Itrim has two cookery books which contain lots of inspiring recipes and provide an introduction to Itrim's Palm Portion system.