Metabolic Renewal Review: Can We ‘Renew’ Our Metabolism?
This post on Metabolic Renewal and Jade Teta is an opinion piece.
A ton of people have asked me to do a Metabolic Renewal review, and to be perfectly honest with you all, I couldn’t stomach the thought of it until now.
But today, yet another follower sent me another Instagram ad for the Metabolic Renewal Program, and I just snapped.
Because if there’s one thing that I’m getting really sick of – okay, a few things, actually – it’s the following:
- Male trainers branding themselves as women’s hormone experts
- Any sort of person branding themselves as ANYTHING that they aren’t qualified in
- Naturopaths calling themselves ‘doctor’ and ‘doctor of integrative medicine.’ I know a bunch of you will message me and tell me that you disagree, but I stand firm on this: when a non-MD is clearly using their ‘doctor’ credential to convince laypeople of their legitimacy in a certain area, and using that to sell a trash product, I’m going to oppose it.
- Brands or people who speak to aging women as though there’s something sad and shameful about their changing bodies.
Jade Teta developed the Metabolic Renewal program, and his credentials are as follows:
- Integrative ‘physician’
- Personal trainer who trains a lot of women
- Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
- Fat loss coach
How do any of these titles qualify someone to be a hormone expert?
Teta also calls himself an ‘integrative endocrinologist,’ which is NOT a thing. It’s like an appropriation of an actual medical speciality, which he does not have.
Hormone expert = endocrinologist.
Concern-trolling personal trainer calling himself an integrative endocrinologist = not an endocrinologist.
Teta even claims to be licensed as a family physician in the state of Washington, but when I looked him up, his only licensure is a ‘Naturopathic Physician License.’
That is NOT an MD, just so you know. I don’t know about in the US, but when someone in Canada says they’re a family doc, they’re actually A FAMILY DOCTOR. An MD. Anything else is really misleading and shouldn’t be legal, IMO.
Even the landing page of the Metabolic Renewal site claims the diet is ‘Doctor-Designed to Optimize Your Female Metabolism.’
It neglects to say that this ‘doctor’ is not an ‘MD.’ That’s sort of important information. At least to some of us.
When I signed up for the Metabolic Renewal program emails, I wasn’t prepared for the absolute GARBAGE my email inbox was going to be subjected to.
More on that, later.
The Metabolic Renewal program.
A friend of mine did the program and forwarded me all of the materials, so I got the entire inside scoop.
Metabolic Renewal is based on the premise that most women fall into one of seven types of female hormone groups. Teta claims that figuring out which hormone type you are is key to weight loss (and success on his program).
I spoke to Dr. Spencer Nadolsky about this program, and this is what he had to say:
Fixing hormones with diet would mean that diet was the underlying issue for the hormonal pathology. For example, I have many patients who have had a mild hypothyroidism from chronic dieting and under eating. The fix is having them eat more. Programs like these are all the same sh*t.
The Metabolic Renewal program is based on Teta’s 4-M philosophy for women’s health:
Women have more stress, and it affects them differently, so we are more susceptible to cortisol shifts. Teta focuses a lot on stress reduction (and recommends women ‘get their nails done’ as an example of a stress-relieving activity. Oh hello, patriarchy. Why am I not surprised by this?)
He claims that movement, versus intentional exercise, is the best way to burn fat. He also includes a graph that looks suspiciously like one I’ve used from Vox, but unlike him, I gave them credit. Interesting, but not surprising.
This is where we get into the actual nutrition part of Metabolic Renewal.
The Metabolic Renewal meal plans are based on a 3-2-1 gimmick – 3 meals a day, two which consist of protein and vegetables, and one which has just 1/2 cup of starch. Essentially, the diet is low-carb and low-calorie.
But most importantly, no matter what your hormone type is – and the concept of hormone types is unproven and debatable in the first place – you’ll probably lose weight on this plan, because it’s low-calorie.
Eat low-calorie, lose weight. It’s not rocket science.
Teta recommends having one meal as a shake, but that’s not mandatory. He tells us that a shake for breakfast ‘primes the metabolism,’ but it’s not entirely clear how…because it probably doesn’t.
The funny thing is that in the Metabolic Renewal Hormone Guide, the meal recommendations for 4 of the 7 hormone types are exactly the same:
First, count up the average number of carbs you eat in a day.
Then, eat about half that amount first thing in the morning,
And eat the other half last thing at night.
In between, stick to low carb foods like salads and protein shakes.
The other 3 are similar.
In fact, no different, proven diet recommendations exist for the different hormonal levels that women may experience, and Dr. Nadolsky agrees:
Is there a method that is different from usual principles that addresses hormonal differences especially in menopause? How would you change the usual dietary principles of weight loss to coincide with decreases in estrogen?
How do those methods vary according to the usual principles we know already?
Difference in food type for some reason? Difference in macronutrients? What is it?
With Metabolic Renewal and every other hormone diet I’ve seen, there’s no solid answer to those question. They all end up being a low-calorie, low-carb diet.
One common myth around women’s nutrition is that you can ‘fix’ or ‘heal’ your female hormones and your metabolism with food. It’s a concept I see a lot of alternative health providers and even some dietitians, selling.
But it’s wrong. Nothing we eat can jack estrogen and progesterone, so please don’t fall for that.
As far as the Metabolic Renewal diet, I do believe that a moderate carb diet is advantageous for women who are experiencing hormonal shifts due to peri menopause and menopause.
If we eat too few carbs, it can cause a release of cortisol.
If we eat too many, we crowd out other macronutrients like protein, which not only plays a huge role in satiety, but also has a higher thermic effect. This translates into more calories burned during the metabolism of the protein food (read more about protein and how this all works, here)
The last four weeks of the program is the ‘Weight Loss Acceleration Phase.’
This means the diet dips to 100-120 grams of carbs a day, including fibre (which is typically not counted as a net carb). If followers are already eating lower carbs than this, Teta instructs them to halve the amount of carbs they’re already eating.
He also instructs followers to not replace these carbs with fat or protein – so not only are followers cutting carbs, but they’re also cutting total calories.
Metabolic Renewal is 12 weeks long. What are we supposed to do after that? Teta tells us to redo the entire 12 weeks at least three more times. Back to back, if possible.
Okay, 12 x 4 = 48. So if a person follows this recommendation, it means that 48 out of 52 weeks in a year will be spent on this diet.
So much for being a ’12 week plan.’
#4. Metabolics, aka exercise.
Jade uses a 15 minutes, 3 times a week plan. Teta is correct when he says that working out too much can cause elevated cortisol levels and overeating, but his workout tailored to hormone type-philosophy has no grounds in science whatsoever.
And 15 minutes, 3 times a week is not consistent with current activity guidelines.
Can you ‘renew’ your metabolism?
The entire premise of this diet is faulty.
First of all, you can’t renew, reset, or otherwise ‘fix’ your metabolism. Period. And going on a low-calorie diet isn’t going to make you physically, or emotionally, better off in the long term.
It certainly won’t renew your metabolism. Sorry.
But the thing I find most egregious about the Metabolic Renewal diet is that it’s led by a male trainer and naturopath who claims that he knows a lot about women’s hormones because of all of the women he’s trained. He also seems to want people to think he’s a medical doctor. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Teta even recommends Metabolic Renewal to pregnant women: “this program is going to be very beneficial for most pregnant women. Of course, you should check with your physician and discuss the suitability of doing this program in your specific circumstance.”
“Remember, your body will naturally make you hungrier to help feed your growing baby.
Follow that hunger instead of all of the nonsense advice about “eating for two” and I think you will find you are much happier and healthier throughout your pregnancy”
…says someone who has never been pregnant.
And for breastfeeding women?
“The Breast-Feeding Eating Style: After your baby is born, simply go back to The 3-2-1 Diet as outlined. After 4-8 weeks, you can start cycling the diet.”
WHAT!!! Please don’t. Your job after pregnancy isn’t to lose weight as fast as possible. Don’t fall in to that disgusting, diet culture ‘body after baby’ trap.
The entire thing feels predatory and sleazy, especially the emails that Metabolic Renewal sends me on a daily basis.
Every day, I get a new Metabolic Renewal message. And every day, it’s a sales pitch for the most disgusting, spammy trash I’ve ever seen, all endorsed by Metabolic Renewal.
The images below are from one of the emails I got from Metabolic Renewal. It tells the story of an elderly woman who is apparently ‘saved’ by buying the ridiculous product below. Clearly, a total scam:
Of course, Karen and her ‘death fat’ were miraculously saved…by this ‘tiny seed’ – aka LeanBelly 3X! WOW!!
Although the products sold through the links in the Metabolic Renewal emails aren’t branded as ‘Metabolic Renewal’ products, they’re affiliates, which means that Teta makes money on them.
Do you really want to take health advice from a person who, in addition to everything we’ve talked about, also promotes and sells stuff like this?
I’ll answer that for you: No. No, you don’t.
The following is another example of a Metabolic Renewal email I got:
How is this supposed to make women feel? I think you know. And I think you know why Teta seems to want to make women feel inadequate…because he wants to sell them the ‘cure!’
He seems to target postmenopausal and postpartum women, because he probably knows that we’re more vulnerable at these times.
Vulnerable and desperate = more likely to buy into pseudoscience.
Teta could sell the Metabolic Renewal program as what it is: a low-calorie, low-carb plan. But he chooses to go heavy on the grift as some sort of saviour for women. But here’s the thing:
WOMEN DO NOT NEED TO BE ‘FIXED.’
Teta has claimed that he’s ahead of the science, and that doctors just don’t know what he knows about weight loss and hormones.
Nadolsky challenges that assertion. “why would it be a secret to only some quacks but not the medical establishment working on obesity? If this is true, then present the data that will show a clinically meaningful difference in weight loss doing one method versus the other.”
But there is no research at all that shows that the Metabolic Renewal program is a more effective plan than just a normal restrictive diet.
That is, a diet that helps you lose weight, but not for the long-term.
When I put a post about Teta up on my Instagram Stories, my DMs were flooded by women telling me how much they hate him and his ads. That he seems disingenuous. That he’s unqualified. That he’s a scammer. That they’re tired of seeing his stuff everywhere.
But Teta is all about marketing and he has a ton of supporters. Judging by the comments on Karl Nadolsky’s recent Instagram post on Teta, there’s a dangerous disconnect between women and the conventional medical community.
So many women came to Teta’s defence, saying that what drove them to him is that they didn’t feel heard by their own doctors. That their doctors tried to stuff them full of drugs to resolve their issues, instead of really listening to them.
This is a problem. It’s always a problem when someone mistakes ‘grift’ for ‘caring.’
When they believe that they’re taking down the patriarchy by rejecting conventional medicine, but at the same time, buying into a company that uses fear and shame-based advertising against women, to line its creator’s pockets.
Sounds patriarchal to me. Teta defends his marketing by saying that it gets women to ‘take action.’ Gross. Does him making money off of peoples’ insecurities count as a defence? Not in my world it doesn’t.
I think it’s safe to say that for years, women have been underserved by conventional medicine – especially women who are in peri menopause and menopause. These events are becoming more recognized and understood, but I do think that too many women aren’t ‘heard’ in their concerns around hormonal changes and their symptoms.
Jade Teta might not be conventionally qualified to do what he’s doing, but he has stepped in to fill a void that has frustratingly existed for far too long. Just like the Medical Medium, it looks like Teta saw an opportunity and jumped into it.
But a low-calorie, low-carb diet that’s based on imaginary ‘hormone types’ isn’t what women really need. We need better care from people who are qualified, and who actually HEAR us.
Doctors like Jen Gunter, whose upcoming book The Menopause Manifesto is going to be amazing, are hopefully becoming the new normal in women’s health.
The Metabolic Renewal program is devoid of science, and heavy on the grift.
We deserve so much better.