Gain By Losing
Through personalized weight-loss plans that include nutrition, activity, and lifestyle coaching, Profile By Sanford leads members on their unique journey toward a healthier, more vibrant life.
by Bill Donahue

Debra Burkhart has been “on the journey.” After spending most of her adult life overweight, she worked hard to get to a point where she is happy with how she looks and feels. Now, as a business consultant for Profile By Sanford, Burkhart works closely with entrepreneurs in the Northeast and Midwest to help others achieve similarly life-changing results. 
Profile By Sanford is on a mission to “change people’s lives, one relationship at a time.” It’s off to a remarkable start, with more than 800,000 Profile members forming new habits that have helped them not only lose weight but also maintain results. In fact, the company is so confident in its program that it guarantees each member’s success.
“We want our members to know this is a safe space to be honest and open, and to share the true reason why they are where they are,” says Burkhart. “Our job is to help them get to where they want to be. Everything we do is geared to help that member establish good habits and behaviors. We’re also helping them change their mentality. It doesn’t happen overnight; it all comes back to helping them make one good choice at a time.”
Profile’s approach to weight loss is rooted firmly in science. Created by a multidisciplinary team of medical researchers, physicians, and geneticists, Profile offers a comprehensive, evidence-based program that is backed by Sanford Health, an integrated health system based in Sioux Falls, S.D. Since its founding, Profile has grown to more than 150 corporate and franchise locations across the country, with many more in the pipeline. In the Philadelphia area, Profile presently has stores in Blue Bell, Collegeville, Exton, Horsham, Paoli, and Princeton, N.J., with more on the way.
Profile begins with “the why,” according to Burkhart, meaning the reason why a member might want to start living a healthier life. One member might be a wife and mother who wants to spend more meaningful time with her family. Another might seek more energy, deeper sleep, and a more positive outlook on life. Yet another might want to pursue a more active and adventurous lifestyle, such as hiking, biking, or taking up a sport they have always wanted to learn. 
When a member joins Profile By Sanford, he or she is essentially joining a family of people who are devoted to wellness. Each member receives a personalized program built around nutrition, activity, and lifestyle coaching, designed to help him or her lose weight and keep it off. After gaining an in-depth understanding of a member’s goals, health history, and lifestyle, Profile creates a weight-loss plan to meet the member’s specific needs, including any significant medical issues or concerns. 
Though no two Profile plans are the same, the Profile program is divided into three phases—reduce, adapt, sustain. Each member is paired with a certified Profile coach who is trained to provide education and motivation through every stage of the weight-loss journey. Along the way, the coach tracks a member’s progress, provides accountability, and works with the member to establish new targets—and, of course, shares in the celebration of every “small victory” on the road to reaching one’s goals. 
Another unique offering from Profile is the “Precise” DNA testing that will show each individual member how they metabolize carbohydrates. These results will further the customized approach to each member’s meal plan. Members also go home with a Smart Body Scale, which is a Wi-Fi based device that enables a member and coach to stay connected. Once a member steps on the scale, a signal is sent directly to the store and coach to help track their progress.
Profile’s coaches undergo extensive training to receive and maintain Profile certification. Although Profile’s coaches come from a diversity of backgrounds in the wellness industry, Burkhart says they all have at least one thing in common. 
“Our coaches want to have a bigger purpose and have an impact on the world,” she says. “Each coaching session begins in a private, soundproofed room where a member can talk about their week, including what they did well and what they still need to improve. It’s part of something we call ‘journey mapping,’ with each appointment focused on behavioral skills.” 
For many members, one of the greatest challenges involves their dietary habits. Profile has “taken the guesswork” out of figuring out which foods constitute good choices and which foods should be avoided. A personalized meal plan includes Profile’s nutrient-rich, delicious meal-replacement products, as well as healthy foods that can be purchased from any grocery store. At the same time, coaches work to educate members on portion control, provide healthy recipes, and offer instruction on reading nutrition labels. 
Profile coaches can also help members adapt and adjust to the world around them. Even after someone has reached the “sustain” phase, a range of Profile communication tools—a coaching app and Facebook chats, for example—can help members reinforce good habits.  
“For some, we may need to focus more on the social support system,” Burkhart says, “because what sometimes happens is that someone wants to cook healthier but the family is not on board.” 
Profile By Sanford is happy to lead members through each phase of their journey. Considering Profile’s continued growth, taking the first step toward a healthier life—by setting up a free consultation with Profile at a nearby store location—is easier than ever.

For more information or to see if Profile By Sanford is right for you, call a nearby Profile store to set up a free consultation or visit

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, January 2020.