by Amanda Rose, Ph.D., Founder, September 1, 2023
The Eat Like a Bear community has had unexpected success in weight loss, among the most unlikely demographic: older women who have struggled for decades with their weight.
Common stories here at Eat Like a Bear include women (and even some men) 60+ years old decreasing their diabetes and blood pressure medications, leaving their walkers and canes behind and walking unassisted, and maybe even taking to the trail on a hike or by horseback.
What is the secret to our unexpected and high rates of success?
Our secret is really very simple: If our entire community is navigating paths to wellness, the secret of any one member lies in the stories on the path in front of her (or him).
At Eat Like a Bear, our core mission is to facilitate this powerful story-telling in our community to drive life change.
In the process, we shine light on the “what to eat” and “when to eat” messages in an abundance of free educational materials, teaching a way of eating that can be done on a SNAP/food stamps budget. (Find our free Three-Day Challenge – CLICK, the primary starting point.)
Our eating model itself is financially accessible to everyone. In fact, most people save money adopting our core way of eating.
What we do is really very effective. We have thousands of success cases and have a special coveted club of “Century Bears” — community members who have lost at least 100 pounds since finding us.
Yes, we do serve an older demographic
It takes about one minute in our community to know that the core Eat Like a Bear demographic is mostly older, 60+ in the main. I am 54 years old and on the younger end of our community.
To be sure, we have younger community members.
Also to be sure, this way of eating is helpful across demographic categories.
Younger people spend far more money on weight loss and I have been advised that if I am to stay financially solvent, I ought to focus on 20-year-olds.
And yet here we are as a deliberate granfluencer community.
Most people assume the Eat Like a Bear older demographic is accidental.
It is not.
Our older demographic is strategic and it forms a core part of our mission.
I ask this: How can the Eat Like a Bear community and all of its “stories along the paths” drive a sea change in America and across the globe?
Think about core models that have sought to improve obesity rates among our children and grandchildren: The best example is the USDA which spends over $200M a year on its Fresh Fruits and Vegetable program, all the while obesity rates climb.
Schools offer better foods than they did when most of us were in school.
School nutrition curricula are really very good. (I know because I spent two decades as a data analyst studying government programs.)
The USDA adopts a philosophy with these programs that is very common in marketing: Start with young people and grow those vegetable-eating people up. Educate them young and grow them into a fresh food-embracing adult.
(Remember when cigarette brands used to market to us kids? Same idea. “Build a life-long customer by starting early.”)
HOWEVER, the “start them when they are young” strategy has not worked at curbing obesity in American families.
Why is that?
Do our schools need better nutrition classes?
Have we been thinking about the obesity problem all wrong???
Here’s the core problem: Weight gain and weight loss is highly complex with many factors, factors which vary greatly especially across families.
Top-down, one-size-fits-all government approaches are largely ineffective when there is such diversity across family units.
What if instead families could find their own solutions?
If a family were seeking a solution, who would be the best leader in that family unit to drive change? Would it be the 12-year old in the school’s nutrition program? (Apparently not…)
What if instead we could do something so bold that no one ever thought was possible?
What if we could impact the person in the family who has struggled the most with weight over the longest period?
What if America’s moms and grandmas and great grandmas started losing weight, pounds that they’ve been carrying since 1978?
Could such a person — the family’s matriarch — affect change in her entire family’s social structure?
We are all about to find out because that, in fact, is the core mission of Eat Like a Bear.
Can we actually achieve something no one else has ever dared to try?
In May 2017 at 280 pounds, my nutritionist told me I could never lose weight without bariatric surgery
By August 2018, I weighed 140 pounds without the surgery.
In April 2018, after losing over 100 pounds, my primary care doctor told me that no one else would EVER implement what I did.
Three months later, I founded the Eat Like a Bear community. By May 2021, we celebrated our 100th “Century Bear” –the 100th member to lose at least 100 pounds since finding us.
I suspect we all spend far too much time wondering whether something is possible.
Thank you for your support in our mission.
Yes, You Can Support Eat Like a Bear Directly. Here’s How:
Community Members Can Purchase Products
Lifestyle Brands Can Become Marketing Partners
Produce-Oriented Brands Can Become Marketing Partners
To all my former work colleagues in those government trenches spending hundreds of millions of dollars, I’m waving to you from the field with about a buck in my pocket…