In just two years since its launch, Juniper’s Weight Reset Program has helped hundreds of thousands of women worldwide achieve weight loss results exceeding the outcomes of clinical trials. The treatments available today have unlocked life-changing weight loss for patients. However, weight management is a complex issue that ultimately requires a multidisciplinary approach. Emerging research demonstrates that using GLP-1 medications can result in muscle loss and weight regain after ceasing the medication. To focus solely on weight loss does a disservice to patients who are striving to live healthier, happier lives.
Juniper has always believed that medication is a powerful kickstarter for weight loss, but that long-term results require long-term action — so we’ve designed a program to fill this gap. Juniper’s new Strength Program is the first to make the critical distinction between fat loss and muscle loss. Lean muscle maintenance is crucial for long-term weight management, disease and injury prevention and longevity. This new program asks patients to move beyond weight loss and focus on reshaping their body composition, by losing fat and building strength.
The three pillars of the program: Fuel, burn and build
Our product, engineering, clinical and design teams have all collaborated to build a program with personalised capability. Juniper’s new Strength Program is designed around three core pillars for effectiveness, ease and suitability for patients adhering to their treatment.
- Fuel – The nutrition philosophy of Juniper’s program is centred around eating a high-protein diet. Patients are equipped with the tools and simple calculations they need to make informed nutrition choices for their evolving needs, throughout all stages of life.
- Burn – Movement is designed to target two heart rate zones, chosen for their effectiveness and efficiency at burning fat. By layering low-impact walking (Zone 2) with easy and accessible anaerobic exercise (Zone 4), patients plan movement that is achievable and effective by fitting in with their lifestyle.
- Build – Starting from just ten minutes a day, this pillar introduces low-impact strength exercises designed to build lean muscle mass and create a more efficient metabolism. While beneficial for long-term weight maintenance, patients will also see improvements in mobility, stability and muscle tone.
Delivered directly to patients via Juniper’s award-winning app, the Strength Program is based on a simple levels-based framework, with 10 levels across each pillar. This approach ensures patients can achieve their goal weight and body composition, at a sustainable and healthy pace.
Levels, goals and actions: Small steps for big change
Each level of the program introduces new goals with a set of daily or weekly actions that build upon the philosophy of strength. These actions individually ladder up to form sustainable habits that patients keep for life, allowing for long-term weight management.
Patient’s levels are determined after a self-evaluation and in collaboration with a health coach, allowing for high levels of personalisation. Once our Care Team has a better understanding of a patient’s capabilities and history, their levels are used to personalise the content, products and services we recommend. Patients are placed at a specific level for each 3 pillars of the program, based on their historical data and the outcome of their initial consultations.
Then, based on these levels, patients are assigned goals. These goals are made up of actions that patients are required to complete several times to ultimately complete the goal. In designing these goals, our multidisciplinary team is able to take every patient’s health profile and abilities into account. This creates hyper-specific and targeted goals, making it easier for patients to adhere to the program.
Our ultimate goal is for patients to be learning, evolving and making progress towards their goals. Lifestyle change is not measured in their weight loss but in their capabilities. Juniper patient, Kim Grogan, (58, Woori Yallock, VIC) said: “I’m loving the new program. It’s loaded with awesome information. I’m definitely learning a lot and reinforcing things I’ve already adopted. I’m extremely keen to continue to work through the program and to progress through the pillars and goals.”
One of the keys to successful weight loss intervention, general health and longevity is understanding one’s overall body composition. When we lose weight, between 20-40% of this is muscle mass. As muscle is more metabolically active than fat, losing weight without maintaining muscle results in your body burning less energy overall. In turn, this increases the likelihood of weight regain when weight loss interventions are stopped.
However, muscle wastage while losing weight is entirely avoidable. The key lies in approaching nutrition and movement in ways that are conducive to muscle building, not simply fat loss. To date, all GLP-1 programs have focused on weight loss alone, but this is where Juniper differs. Juniper’s Strength Program shifts the focus from weight loss in the short term, to fat loss and muscle maintenance for life.
The value of lean muscle
Lean muscle mass is highly important for long-term weight management, disease prevention and general quality of life. Importantly, the higher the proportion of lean muscle to fat mass, the higher one’s basal metabolic rate becomes, meaning the higher the rate at which the body burns calories (even while resting). A lot of us are aware of overweight and obesity's association with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Again, the ratio of lean muscle to fat mass is important here, as it impacts the body’s insulin resistance. If there is too much fat relative to lean muscle, the body’s fat cells absorb more insulin than the pancreas can produce – a key driver of T2D. Once a person has T2D, the task of losing weight becomes more difficult, as their insulin resistance limits their body’s ability to convert blood sugar into energy.
Juniper patient Tasha Wilson (46, Riverside, TAS) said: “I’ve been messing around for years with complicated programs and intense exercise programs. I didn’t realise the biological side of it and just how much my body was defending my higher weight.”
Strength training for weight loss
Resistance training in isolation has been shown to have a minimal effect on weight loss, while steady-state cardio tends to induce both fat loss and a significant reduction of fat-free mass. However, a combination of the two has proven to be very effective at generating fat loss without compromising vital muscle and bone strength.
This knowledge has guided the movement component of the Juniper Strength Program. Patients are typically encouraged to follow a progressive overload strength routine, in conjunction with at least two hours of Zone 2 cardio training per week, where the patient's heart rate sits at 60-70% of their maximum heart rate range.
High protein nutrition for muscle building
Resistance training, however, only represents half the equation in building and maintaining fat-free mass. Eating a protein-rich diet is essential to protein synthesis, the process required to build muscle fibres. Findings from a recent meta-analysis suggest that resistance training performed without adequate protein consumption results in insignificant gains in lean muscle mass. Eucalyptus’ health coaches and dieticians encourage their patients to eat 1.2g to 1.6g of protein per kilo of body weight, per day. This is intended to give their bodies adequate protein to maintain fat-free mass while losing weight.
Building a program for our patients
Since its launch:
- Over 10,000 patients have enrolled in the Program across Australia and the UK
- 70% of new patients opt-in to receive their structured Strength Program within their first week of joining Juniper
- 40% of new patients complete their first action within the same week
- As the weeks go by, we’re seeing more and more patients engage with the Program, completing more actions in the months following their onboarding
The team at Juniper is extremely proud and excited about this new development in our offerings. As always, we’re continuing to learn so much from our patients and are keen to develop this program further to provide life-changing support to more patients.