Iron Health’s Magic Pill for Weight Loss

(It’s Not What You Think!)

Kristina Furlan
Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer
A woman looking the left.
June 24, 2024

Iron Health has a magic weight loss pill. People who take our magic pill lose up to three times more weight than people who don’t. Our magic pill comes with no side effects, no potential drug interactions, and no risk. Our magic pill costs next to nothing when compared to other weight loss interventions and is usually covered by health insurance. Are we excited about our magic pill? You bet we are.

Because our magic pill isn’t really a pill at all – it’s the habit of daily weighing. And by teaching our patients how to set smart goals and work toward them by forming new habits, Iron Health helps women unlock one of the most powerful tools in their weight loss arsenal.

The Power of Daily Weighing

A small habit like stepping onto the scale daily might seem too simple to be effective, but research from Duke University proves otherwise. The Duke Obesity Prevention Program demonstrated that people who weigh themselves every day lose significantly more weight than those who do it less frequently. Daily weighers lost, on average, three times as much weight as those who stepped on the scale five times a week or less. It's a straightforward and inexpensive habit with a big payoff. But why does it work? We have two hypotheses. 

First, measuring body weight is a form of self-quantification. When people have access to timely, quantifiable data related to their goal progress, they feel more empowered to achieve their goals and are more motivated to work toward them. And they can use this data to power decisions and make smart trade-offs throughout their day. Second, forming one new habit like daily weighing allows people to leverage the practice of habit stacking, where they use an existing habit as a cue for a new habit they’d like to build. 

The Iron Health Approach to Building Healthy Habits

Motivation and willpower are great for kickstarting a weight loss journey, but their impact predictably fades over time. The real key to lasting change lies in building habits. That’s why we teach our patients not just what healthy behaviors look like, but also how to systematically turn those behaviors into habits. Here’s how Iron Health patients do it:

  1. They learn the principles. Iron Health’s Registered Dieticians meet regularly with our patients over the first few months of their weight loss journeys to teach principles of human nutrition and exercise and how to translate those principles into action. For example, our RDs often teach our patients about The Plate Method, which provides a visual reference for how to assemble a balanced meal on a single plate. 
  2. They set SMART goals. We leverage the SMART (sustainable, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) framework to help patients set goals that put their learnings into practice. For example, after learning about The Plate Method, a patient might set a SMART goal to ensure that 25% of her plate is filled with vegetables at dinnertime for one month.
  3. They choose small behaviors to habituate. Once patients have a goal in mind, we help them find tiny behaviors they can link to existing habits until the new behaviors become habits, too. For example, with a goal to eat more vegetables at dinnertime, a patient might decide to add a vegetable to her online grocery shopping cart as the very first item she chooses. With a clear cue and a little repetition, shopping for vegetables first effortlessly becomes a habit.
  4. They get regular feedback. Just as tiny behaviors create sustainable change, tiny tweaks amplify impact. Iron Health providers are always available to our patients to provide feedback and coaching throughout the habit-building journey. For example, while a patient is building a habit of shopping for vegetables first, our Registered Dietician might steer her toward non-starchy vegetables to boost the results this new habit delivers.
  5. They celebrate progress. Celebration reinforces habits, especially nascent ones. Our patients and providers collaboratively create goals in the Iron Health app, and patients can track their progress as they work toward building new habits. Iron Health providers help patients celebrate wins with encouraging messages, reminders of how far they’ve come, or even just a high-five emoji.

Using this method, Iron Health patients learn how to break an impactful life change into a series of small behaviors that can be linked to their existing habits and routines. If a new behavior feels difficult to do, we make it smaller. If a new behavior is hard to remember, we pick a better cue. The Iron Health approach makes incorporating more healthy behaviors into a daily routine a whole lot easier and more sustainable for the long haul.

The Habit Supercharger: Remote Patient Monitoring

The first habit we help patients build is a simple but important one: weighing themselves daily. It’s so important, in fact, that we send our weight management patients a connected scale that automatically logs each weigh-in as soon as it happens. Daily weights are visible to Iron Health patients and providers in the Iron Health app, where they can visualize progress and make adjustments collaboratively. 

Because daily weighing is such a powerful tool for weight loss, starting it early helps patients see quick progress that fuels their motivation to keep going. It also helps our patients learn a habit-building framework (cue -> routine -> reward) that they can leverage over and over again to gradually adopt more health-promoting behaviors. But that’s not all:

  • Visibility enables accountability. Though willpower and accountability wane in effectiveness over time, they can be very helpful in motivating change early on. Using connected scales to remotely monitor both the weights and weighing behaviors of our patients allows Iron Health providers to send nudges and encouragement to support patients in building this key habit.
  • More accurate data powers better care plans. Peter Drucker said it best: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. By ensuring access to complete and accurate data, remote monitoring of daily weights via a connected scale helps Iron Health providers to develop highly personalized care plans that account for each patient’s unique needs and life circumstances.
  • Habituation helps prevent regain. We’ve never had more tools at our disposal to help patients manage their weight, but most patients who rely only on medical weight management will eventually regain most of the weight they lose. By combining nutrition education with habit-building, Iron Health patients learn an approach that can prevent the dreaded rebound effect that plagues so many who attempt to lose weight with medication alone.

A Clear Path Through the Weight Loss Jungle

Trying to lose weight in the era of TikTok Medicine can be difficult, confusing, and downright overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right information, technology, and evidence-based support from licensed healthcare providers, Iron Health patients learn how to navigate a clear and proven path through the jungle of internet marketing and weight loss pseudoscience. And it all starts with our magic pill – probably not used by your favorite influencer, definitely not a limited time offer, do try it today.