Move over Ozempic, this new weight loss program takes a mental-health focused approach

Move over Ozempic, this new weight loss program takes a mental-health focused approach


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Ozempy’ craze.

So, I wondered whether a new telehealth weight loss startup targeting trauma, stress, and mental health would tip the scale in my favor? 

Relish (, which is available to the public in the United States in the Beta phase (with a new app launching in the next few weeks), joins the $76 Billion diet industry at an interesting crossroads, with a sort of “more is more” approach. 

maybe ever – such as Ozempic or Wegovy. 

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What it’s like to use Relish

It all starts with an initial assessment. You fill out an online questionnaire and enter a credit card number, though the first 30 days are free. After the first month, you’ll have to sign up for either $199 for a basic membership or $399 a month for a “premium” membership. Relish works with several insurance providers.) 

hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis) such as Wellbutrin or ones that deal with the digestive and endocrine systems, like Ozempic. 

If they recommend a prescription, they’ll ask permission to connect with your primary care physician and, if applicable, your mental health therapist to create an inclusive “care team” approach. 

They also find out if the medication’s covered by your existing insurance and say they will work with you to find an affordable alternative if you’re paying cash. (The cost of prescriptions is not included in Relish membership prices, and some medications can run more than $1,000 out-of-pocket.) Any prescriptions are mailed to your house. 

Noom Clinical” last fall, and WeightWatchers recently bought Sequence, a telehealth company that prescribes Ozempic, for $132 million. 

Weight Watchers hasn’t rolled out its program, but you can sign up for a waitlist on its website. There aren’t any mentions of Noom Clinical on Noom’s main site yet, but according to Insider, members can get evaluated by a clinician for a possible GLP-1 prescription. 

How do you recover from trauma to lose weight?

Not everyone gets prescribed medication though. Like me. 

On this point, 61-year-old Relish founder Liz Dickinson wants to be very clear, “a ❨prescription medication❩ is neither the beginning nor the end of ❨our❩ weight loss journey,” Dickinson told me over Zoom. “It’s one tool that, used under medical supervision and in the right ways, can help someone regain control of their relationship with food. But our primary treatment protocols, both medically and psychologically, are to deal with the emotional aspects and help you understand the root causes of your weight gain and create sustainable habits.” 

Shannon Shearn, Relish co-founder, and COO, tells me during a video call. Shearn is a former elite gymnast, circus acrobat, personal trainer, and weight loss coach who says she reached a “really scary place,” struggling to lose weight after the birth of her second child. 

“What was going to kill me was not calories in and calories out; it was my mental health and the way I spoke to myself, just constantly berating myself,” Shearn said. “I felt so lost and had really intense depression and thought it was because I couldn’t lose weight.” 

But Shearn says when she found the right mental help and support, her weight “just melted off.” 

“What’s been missing all these years ❨with diet culture) is the holistic healing of chronic stress to treat the root cause ❨of our) struggle with weight and food,” she said.

15th-wealthiest person on the planet − and Vincent Felitti, the founder of Kaiser’s Positive Choice Weight Loss Clinics and pioneer in the study of adverse childhood experiences in relation to obesity. Relish co-founder Brian Alman explores the impacts of stress and trauma on people and their relationship with food. 

Zuckerberg told me he too has struggled with weight, also yo-yoing throughout his adult life, “between 180 and 240 pounds,” and “feeling lousy about myself in pictures where my pants don’t fit,” he admits. 

“Relish offers the best blend that I’ve seen of a combination of using pharmaceutics as a supplement to complement a program that really focuses on the source of the problem,” he said.

Is there a diet that really works?

Now, nearly a month into Relish’s 12-week “Lighten Up in 90 Days” base program myself, it does feel like they take the best aspects of established diet programs like WeightWatchers and Noom, then offer significantly more mental health care than I’ve seen before.

4 in 10 Americans fit the medical definition for having obesity” and “1 in 5 adults are living with a mental health disorder,” it will be interesting to see if new tech tools will connect the dots and tip the scales toward more lasting health … for good.

Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech columnist. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.


Kerri Waldron

My name is Kerri Waldron and I am an avid healthy lifestyle participant who lives by proper nutrition and keeping active. One of the things I love best is to get to where I am going by walking every chance I get. If you want to feel great with renewed energy, you have to practice good nutrition and stay active.

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