Making changes to hard-set eating habits to lose weight can be a daunting prospect – especially if you don’t know where to begin. The Metabolic Research Center aims to assist you in making the decision to live a healthier lifestyle and help you stick to it.
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Metabolic Research Center (MRC) has a very different angle on helping consumers lose weight compared to most of their industry competitors. The MRCs approach to weight loss is multifaceted and includes nutrition plans, weight loss coaching, supplements and personalization through DNA testing.
At first glance, this seems promising. The key to facilitating people to make long-term changes to their lifestyle is to empower and educate them, not just throw a few diet pills at the problem. MRC seems to realize this and have made their approach very client-centric.
However, there are good reasons to remain skeptical. What does their nutritional plan look like? How are their coaches qualified to give this nutritional advice? And what do their supplements contain?
A weight loss program.
This one just has good branding.
Claiming to have put “over 30 years” worth of research into their program. This might be a much more impressive statement if we were able to locate any of this research when searching through archives of published data.
The diet does attempt to follow some basic, tired and tested, nutritional principles that are proven effective. The menus include whole, fresh foods which you will cook from scratch, ditching pre-prepared fodder packed with extra calories, salts and sugars.
The plan has a “do it yourself” approach, however, this might be poorly suited to some. Recipes are provided by the Center but for someone who might have grown up eating takeaway and microwave meals (and has never learned how to cook), this could still present a challenge.
Another concern is the MRCs claims that no calorie-counting is necessary on their plan. Weight loss relies entirely on burning more calories than are consumed on a consistent basis, this is more difficult to do if you aren’t keeping track of how much is going in to start with.
Something that makes MCR stand out from competing weight loss programs is their promise of complete programme personalization; something that you would usually have to pay a private nutritionist for.
MRC states that their DNA genetic testing panel will get to the core of each client's individualized struggle with weight . What it does fail to tell us is what the DNA testing entails, and this could even be beside the point.
There’s very little a DNA test could tell you about why you’re not losing weight. Obesity is seldom a consequence of genetics, but a consequence of lifestyle and environment. If any medical condition is having an impact on your ability to lose weight, it’s likely to be an endocrine issue.
This could be identified through blood testing for hormones, not non-invasive DNA tests. Even if an endocrine disorder  was identified, it’s still most likely that the reason you’ve gained weight or are struggling to lose it is entirely lifestyle-based.
Metabolic Weight Loss Center provides each customer with a ‘Weight Loss Consultant’ who is meant to meet with the consumer on a regular basis. During these meetings, the consumer's diet is discussed and an attempt to gain an overview of their general wellbeing is also undertaken. This includes special personal circumstances and emotional triggers.
Whilst regular meetings with a nutrition coach is a great way to hold individuals accountable and maintain their motivation , it’s always best to make sure the person you are paying to talk to has some qualifications behind their words. This is especially important considering that only registered dietitians and nutritionists are legally allowed to provide meal plans and advice.
After performing an extensive search, there’s a serious lack of evidence that MRCs Weight Loss Consultants hold any official notations qualifying them to give nutritional, lifestyle, and wellbeing advice.
It might be that the staff qualifications are simply not listed in an easily accessible-location, but it seems an odd decision to not back up your services validity and brag about professionalism where it exists, therefore, we are left skeptical.
MRC combines their coaching with a variety of supplements and other resources that are aimed at improving health and wellbeing. At this point, our skepticism has become cautious: a well-balanced diet requires very few supplements and bundling the two together seems dubious.
We’ve worked closely with nutritional coaches and specialists in the past and, generally-speaking, any nutrition coach that aims to sell you a diet plan bundled with their supplement is out to make a quick buck.
We’re going to take a quick inventory of these products, their claims, and whether they’re going to work for prospective customers.
MRC sells a variety of supplements attached to their diet programs that are aimed at providing users with increased results in their health and weight loss alike. These take the form of “high nutrient drinks” and “very high protein” drinks, as well as a slew of vitamin and mineral supplements.
While not ostensibly unhealthy or disastrous for health, MRC’s vitamin and mineral supplements are hilariously innocuous. Take their weight loss range, including a variety of utterly-idiotic products from garcinia cambogia  (we really don’t like this compound) to ‘corti-trim’ and ‘enhancer’ which contain low-efficacy herbal extracts.
These products come off as laughable more than sinister. While they’re unlikely to cause you any harm, they’re also unlikely to cause you to see serious benefits. The NET result of buying and using these tablets is going to be evident in your bank balance – not your health.
One excellent example of this is MRC-6, named after the brand itself. This compound is primarily B6, but also contains kelp powder  (a key player in recent cases of Iodine toxicity), soy lecithin, apple cider vinegar (as a powder), algae powder (also linked to iodine toxicity) and bromelain. This product may induce weight-loss, but only via iodine toxicity-induced diarrhea.
Additionally, MRC sells food and meal replacements. This strikes us as inherently strange for a company that offers nutritional coaching. Coaching that, we believe, ought to preclude the need for meal replacements.
As a dietary consulting company offering nutritional programs, it is surely MRC’s job to provide customers with a diet plan that consists of whole foods. This is even in the diet plan’s description. We think it’s profoundly odd that a company dedicated to this mission would include a section on their website flogging over-priced protein shakes and sub-par meal replacement bars/snacks.
With MRC marketing itself as a consulting company that provides you with coaching and structure, it is worth noting that this requires a 24/7, 365 approach to coaching and Q&A. The problem with this approach is that it never teaches you ‘why’ and requires month-on-month billing.
Quick math demonstrates that a year of MRC coaching would cost around $2700. To put this into perspective, we know of well-renowned coaches that provide individualized nutrition plans for world champion bodybuilders for less than this!
The cost of MRC’s consultation is exorbitant, especially if it requires the purchase of their snacks, meal replacements, and high nutrient drinks. Regular consultations with a registered dietitian are likely to be far cheaper and more effective.
We could go on and on about how MRC is lacking: the FAQ section answers all but the relevant questions, there’s a general lack of specificity, they’re repackaging old knowledge as a new product, and the ‘correct amount of ingredients’ is a poor selling point for their lofty claims.
We support the coaching approach to nutrition and diet: it makes sense, in a world where registered dietitians can help countless individuals online. However, the cost and bolt-ons associated with this product are dubious at best and the inclusion of a DNA test strikes us as a poor gimmick in a straight-forward diagnostic process.
You’re probably going to lose weight with MRC, but there are many industry and coaching alternatives that are going to work better, and cost less than $7/day.
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In principle, there’s a lot to like here: a diet-based approach stressing wholefoods and structure, as well as vitamins and other key nutrients. However, the products are overpriced and under-impressive, with the whole company feeling like a cash-grab rather than a legitimate service.
 Taylor, Benjamin A., and Sandra J. Phillips. “Detection of obesity QTLs on mouse chromosomes 1 and 7 by selective DNA pooling.” Genomics 34.3 (1996): 389-398.
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children.