Brigitte Essl

European MD, MA Counseling Psychology, DC


metabolic balance® is about weight loss and quality of life changes. Participants learn eating attuned to their bodies' chemistry and evolutionary blueprints. The testimonials here reflect a newly found wellness in balanced moods, deeper sleep, enhanced skin tone, reduced joint/muscle aches, and more zest for life.

August 2015 (now 10 months with the program)
Before I started the metabolic balance® program, I carried 195 lbs on a 5' 10" frame. That was nine months ago. My weight this morning is 162 lbs. I have maintained this weight steadily for six months, and I am quite confident that I will be able to maintain it indefinitely.

My confidence stems from the fact that after completing the "conversion" part of the program, I have gone back to eating in moderation those things that are not normally considered as "allowed" for people who want to keep their weight in-check. My approach is simple: I continue to eat breakfasts and lunches from my personalized metabolic balance® "relaxed-conversion" menu, but enjoy dinners that are frequently off-menu, and include things that are "forbidden" by the regular weight-control diet. Nonetheless, my weight stays at the 162-164 lb. mark. Thus, I savor my meals, I am not hungry after eating, and yet maintain a healthy weight—magic!

The program has taught me some simple yet effective rules that I follow every day, and which serve to keep my metabolism balanced and efficient. One of the skills I have acquired through the program is portion control. Portion control is usually considered hard to maintain, yet the metabolic balance® program makes lifetime portion control an attainable reality.

I'll admit, it was difficult at first. I suffered crushing headaches, I had trouble sleeping, I was irritable. However, Dr. Essl was patient and understanding through it all, keeping in close contact with me throughout this trying time, giving me helpful suggestions and lots of encouragement. She has a wonderful "bedside manner" (even though our interactions were all by phone), and is effective and facile in her chosen profession. I really think I couldn't have successfully changed my nutritional lifestyle without Dr. Essl's expert guidance.

The benefits of the metabolic balance® program extend beyond that of simple weight loss and control. Before entering the program, I struggled daily with lower-back pain—this is now a thing of the past. My blood chemistry is where it should be. My mood is also much improved; I even have better complexion! Overall, this program has changed my lifestyle for the better..

In closing, my suggestion is simple: Do yourself a favor and enroll in the metabolic balance® program. Since it works for me, it will work for anyone.

F.W., Eugene, OR

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January 2014 (now 9 months with the program)
I finally went to see Dr. Essl after being referred to her years before, and immediately thought, "Why did I wait?" She told me about the metabolic balance® program and when I looked at the website I thought, "I'm already eating those foods, what could this possibly do for me?" After many months I finally came around and started with the program. On the first day, when my lifelong, chronic, untreatable hypoglycemia went away, I was floored; I laughed, I cried, I couldn't believe it. My only regret was not finding this many years sooner and not starting first thing.

I lost 20 pounds on the program though originally I wanted to lose only ten. The best thing about the program is not even the weight loss; it's really about how great I feel. After being on the program for nine months, I am easily maintaining my weight and cannot imagine going back to snacking between meals to avoid blood sugar drops, it seems ridiculous now. If you want to take good care of yourself, look and feel great, contact Dr. Essl today to start with this program. Those who care about you will be happy you did and may soon follow you, like my Mom and husband did.

K.S., Los Gatos, CA

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April 2012 (now 9 months with the program)
Sometimes, I hate reading testimonials. People sound waaay too happy, it is just unbelievable, or I get depressed because I can't imagine ever getting to where they are. Warning: this is one of those testimonials! But since I really am "one of you," hopefully you'll consider the sincerity of my words and maybe even consider the metabolic balance® program for yourself. Menopause crept up on me, along with 15 extra pounds, less willingness to exercise, emotional roller coaster rides and eating late at night to soothe my ruffled feathers from the day. Insert Brigitte telling me to shift my 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks per day to 3 meals per day 5 hours apart. I was very skeptical. I decided to experiment before signing up for the program: I ate 3 meals per day, 5 hours apart ... and darn, if I didn't sleep better, just doing that.

Okay, I gingerly signed up for the program, with guarded optimism. The first 2-1/2 weeks were harder on me than most other people in my coaching circle. This is the time of very important metabolic re-balancing, which includes eating less oil. Well, fortunately it only lasts 2-1/2 weeks! For those of you not yet aware of this, oils are our friends—especially for those of us with a tendency towards depression. Re-introducing the essential fatty acids and other healthy oils, I was back to "me" again, and within about 8 more weeks, I'd lost my excess menopause-middle, and what's even more miraculous: I started enjoying cooking for myself. Please re-read that last sentence! I had been a fast-but-health-food expert. None of this slow-food stuff was for me. Make smoothies, cook up a huge amount of veggies to last for the week, and other strategies for not putting a lot of attention on my food. Of course, I would then also overeat a lot of these "health foods."

Today, I sat down to write this testimonial, because I just finished a lunch that had me giggle at times, it was so delicious. I have not only made peace with the fact that fresh, whole foods are tastier and contribute to my needing less medicine, feeling more vitality and sleeping better, I'm actually excited by this new chapter in my life: learning new tastes, new foods, new ways of being with myself through this process.

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August 2011 (after completing the first 4 weeks of the program)
I was a compulsive overeater for decades, gaining some healing and recovery through Overeaters Anonymous (OA), homeopathy, and therapy. When I heard about the metabolic balance® program, I chose it to lose the extra 15 pounds I'd gained during menopause (around my waist and hips), and to see if the promise of improved sleep and mood could actually be true for me.

What I received included so much more than this! In OA, we weighed and measured our food from a place of deprivation and fear: "I can't be trusted so I have to weigh my food." I thought I'd fully recovered from my compulsive eating days, yet with metabolic balance® I found an even deeper healing: I discovered a freedom and joy in preparing meals for myself that I'd never experienced before. Meals have become a practice of self-nurturing and presence in a new way. I experienced true "sufficiency," even as I was losing weight. It's as if I was losing a different kind of weight—the imbalance of a fast-paced culture and eating just for fuel rather than enjoyment (not that I didn't enjoy food before, it is now just exponentially more).

Yes, my sleep is improved and I've lost these extra 15 pounds. I also am more joyful, resilient to stress, and aware of gratitude than I was prior to this program. I did hear that there is freedom within discipline but I hadn't fully experienced this before starting with metabolic balance®. I truly feel free.

H.S., Oakland, CA

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April 2012 (after completing all 12 weeks of the program)
When I first heard about the metabolic balance® program I was incredibly skeptical. I couldn’t conceive of waiting 5 hours between meals, eating fruit with my meals, disliked Wasa crackers, and felt overconfident since I was already eating organic foods. However, my health was greatly compromised; my blood tests showed that I was pre-diabetic, I was struggling with severe menopausal hormonal challenges, I suffered from leaky gut for most of my life with many food sensitivities, and I was overweight more than 20 pounds.

The program has far surpassed any expectations I could have ever imagined. After the second week, I began to notice how my body was being nourished on a cellular level and was beginning to recalibrate. Now, after 3 months I feel like a completely different person; my leaky gut has been healed, my energy level has increased dramatically, I’ve lost over 20 pounds, (the fat around my stomach and waist has disappeared), and my mood swings have stabilized. The food is delicious and healthy, the 5 hours in between meals have become almost effortless, and I feel as if given a second chance at life.

I can't thank Dr. Brigitte Essl enough for sharing the metabolic balance® program with me. I’ve suffered from chronic illnesses for years, tried WeightWatchers®, FA, LA Weight Loss, and others, and this is the first program to really address my health issues on a core level. I strongly recommend this program, it has been a game changer for me and I am forever grateful for it.

R.R., Santa Rosa, CA

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March 2012 (after 18 weeks with the program)
Since joining the metabolic balance® program in October, I have lost over 50 pounds. I am thrilled! I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life. My weight reached a very dangerous level and I was desperate to find a program that would work best for me. Metabolic balance® clicked for me in so many ways. I love that it is geared around whole, organic (as much as possible) foods and not a frozen or pre-prepared food with additives. It was my first time joining a program with the help of a professional and a support group, and I found it helped tremendously. I am happy to report that my blood pressure is now in the normal range, my knee joint pain is becoming less and less, and my energy levels are where they should be. I am thankful I will not have to go on blood pressure medicine, and I am especially grateful for the sense of getting my life back! I still have ways to go, but from all the weight loss programs I have tried, this is the first one that feels like a way of life for me rather than a gimmick.

Ally M., Sausalito, CA

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December 2011 (after completing all 12 weeks of the program)
I expected to lose weight on the metabolic balance® program and I did lose about 30 pounds. It’s been a great experience and it was pretty easy once I got through the first 2-3 weeks. I like the food I am eating, and get into new combinations and fresh spices. Big things happened that I hadn’t expected, like being more calm and centered. Once I got my planning and shopping organized, cooking was more peaceful than it had been before.

Before, I was kind of checked out while I was eating. Reading at the same time distracted me from really tasting and enjoying my food. I’m working on changing that. It is a sensual experience to just eat, nothing else. I’m calm when I’m cooking (usually), and calm when I’m eating, and a lot of the day is more peaceful. I like how I look and how I feel. I have more energy and am lighter in a way that’s more than just about the lost pounds. It’s been fun to play with my appearance. I had my hair cut short, like I haven’t worn it in years, and bought new clothes.

It’s getting easier to figure out how to cook for two people, and get exactly how much I need. That has been a challenge. Luckily my husband, who’s not doing the plan, likes the food. Sometime he adds a frozen pizza.

Metabolic balance® is very structured, and yet I get to choose from a wide variety of foods. I have a rebellious side, and was surprised that it was satisfying (after those challenging first weeks) to have a pattern to follow. No more voices in my head saying, "Should I eat this?" "I shouldn’t eat it," and "I want to eat something, even though it’s too late at night." Yadda yadda yadda. My mind is quieter and happier without that mental chatter. Brigitte is a wonderful coach, and a wonderful person. She is living this way of life and makes it attractive. She suggested specific homeopathic remedies for me. Her background in Western and complementary medicine really helps. So does her encouragement and support at many levels.

L.B., San Francisco, CA

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September 2011 (after more than 12 weeks with the program)
With health issues, one doesn't really know when it all started, but I suspect after having a child my sleep patterns never returned to normal. Interrupted sleep for years on end eventually caused weight gain and high blood pressure. When Dr. Essl told my about metabolic balance®, I just knew I had to get my blood pressure down and that was my buy-in. Losing weight wasn't the first thing on my mind, being healthy again was. I wanted to be back in a range that was stable, sustainable and healthy.

One of the benefits of eating foods on my plan that stabilized me, meant I lost 16 lbs within the first 2 weeks. Wow. The extra weight just fell off and in the right places: the middle, legs, butt, and arms. I have loads of energy and develop new habits. Since I wasn't snacking in between clients, I was clearing my desk. Everything started to shape up in my environment, in relationships, and my sleep. My sleep pattern shifted already after the first few days.

I don't do the diet perfectly all the time, but that is the beauty of being better balanced. Everything does not go by the wayside just because I indulge here or there. I am better informed what to eat in general, how much and definitely when to eat and when to restrain. I am just more conscious period about what I am putting in my body.

Now I love to consciously shop and prepare my food. It is all so loving. Food isn't taking care of myself is love. I also found that buying food consciously is economical as well. I eat the best organic food and have little to no waste. I recommend this program to anyone ready to be fed and loved by the person who loves you more than anyone, YOU.

June 2011 (after completing the first 4 weeks of the program)
I have experienced severe food limitations due to being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Additionally I gained weight and was diagnosed with high blood pressure—to avoid medications, I signed up for the metabolic balance® program.

So far I can say that the individual food plan that was tailored for me gives me the freedom to experiment with different vegetable and protein choices, and I feel safe in my choices. I have confidence that the foods on my food plan stabilize me, and each time I have a meal, I am nourished. My stress over whether a food will cause increased inflammation has ceased. During the first 2 weeks, I have lost 16 pounds, my blood pressure is normalizing, my sleep quality improved greatly, and I feel so balanced emotionally. I have finally found a way of eating that nourishes me. The increased and predictable feeling of well-being reinforces adapting this diet as my life diet to build on.

T.C., San Francisco, CA

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July 2011 (after 8 weeks with the program)
I wish I had known about metabolic balance® before I went into the throes of the menopausal roller coaster! I believe I would have fared better, felt better and gained less weight. But… better late than never, and now that I am two years post-menopause I relate my experiences to other women, so that they can benefit from metabolic balance® at the right time.

Here's what I found happened to my body in the course of doing metabolic balance®: I feel energetic, am almost back at the weight I had 3 years before menopause began, have gotten rid of joint pain and general inflammation pain, can sleep without supplements, have only very occasional and mild "warm waves," feel my hormones balanced themselves out without supplements or medication, have more energy than ever before, have better and (according to others) "glowing" skin, can exercise without fear of getting sore or feeling overworked and—last but not least—feel so good about my body that my libido and sensuality have come back in a totally new and wonderful way.

Sounds too enthusiastic? Well, the beginning was difficult for me—the first two weeks without oils got my nerves on edge, made me incredibly grumpy and impatient, and found me hungry all the time. As soon as I could add oil to the diet my nerves calmed down, I felt a lot more nourished and realized that my body had been going through a time of profound detoxification. Which is precisely why I felt that it would have been much more efficient if I had started metabolic balance® earlier (it was unavailable in my area at that time).

Before I started metabolic balance® I had been eating organic and fresh food—generally vegetarian—and taken plenty of supplements (against joint pain, for better lipid absorption, for better sleep, to encourage my adrenals, to calm the edginess, to fight depression, and so on). If I had gone on this nutrition plan—tailor made to me, based on my blood panel and requiring the important initial detox phase—I probably could have brought my body to a state of relative balance, from where it would have been much easier to see what supplements I actually needed. In hindsight, I recommend beginning with metabolic balance® at peri-menopause at the latest. From what I know now, it will most likely make the ride through menopause easier, cheaper and less bumpy.

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June 2011 (after completing the first 4 weeks of the program)
I have eaten organic food for years, but since going through menopause I felt I needed to get on a healthier eating rhythm, lose some weight and wean myself off refined sugar. I am amazed at my detox reaction, which must be from the sugar withdrawal. But it also shows me how—even with eating healthy food—I have accumulated toxins that hampered my health. Shifting my eating rhythms is challenging and I do need support from my coach Brigitte, as well as the group.

After 4 weeks, my goal to lose 15 pounds (5 pounds to go) keeps me going, but what really motivates me is the way I feel and that I have finally found the kind of food that is good for me. My joint pain has improved 70%, my hot flashes are almost gone, I get compliments and my sleep is deeper with lucid dreams. I feel more connected to myself and to the food.

When I wonder what to have for my weekly "cheat-meal," I get picky; because the food I was told to eat feels so good, clean and sustaining that restaurant food no longer seems "good enough." I am now eating the food that is most natural to me.

J.T., Richmond, CA

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June 2011 (after completing the first 4 weeks of the program)
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I am on hormone therapy (Lupron) since several months. After my diagnosis I have changed my life and eating habits. I was curious how individualized my metabolic balance® plan will be and if it can help me lose or at least maintain my weight while on this medication. After 4 weeks I have lost 5 pounds, can run up and down the stairs with much more ease—my body feels more flexible and less sore. I also lost some inches around my waistline. The food feels really good, and my metabolic balance is loaded with cancer protective phytonutrients.

D.C, Dublin, CA

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June 2011 (after completing the first 3 weeks of the program)
Over a couple of years I developed many symptoms typical to perimenopause, such as hot flashes and joint/muscle aches with low energy and a weight gain of nearly 20 pounds. I decided to start with the metabolic balance® program to shed the extra pounds and feel better. After three weeks I have lost 12 pounds and 2 inches in my legs and waist. My sleep and overall energy improved and the hot flashes decreased. Most importantly I gained back my zest for life.

During the Strict Conversion Phase I worked more than full time plus raising my pre-teen boy. It is actually much easier than I thought. The change to the five-hour rhythm was a bit challenging at first, but quickly became my routine.

T.R., Corte Madera, CA

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