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Bank of Oklahoma helps employees keep weight-loss resolutions with Naturally Slim

Jan 17, 2018
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Just in time for New Year's resolutions, Tulsa-based BOK Financial Corp. is offering employees a second round of a free, 10-week “Naturally Slim” wellness program that last summer led to a collective 4,700-pound weight loss among participating workers and dependent spouses on its health insurance plan.

“The results were staggering; something out of an infomercial,” said Leah Harper, vice president of corporate communications.

Among the 378 participants who completed all 10 weeks of the program, the average weight loss was 9.3 pounds, Harper said. Twenty-six percent shed more than 10 pounds, and 4 percent dropped more than 20 pounds.

Nearly 600 Oklahomans have signed up for round two of the program, which began Jan. 8, Harper said.

“This time, the company also is covering the cost ($380 per person) for employees who aren't on our benefit plan,” she said. “The goal is to keep up the healthy behaviors in hopes of healthier employees, which will result in more productivity from fewer health-related absences and lower health care costs.”

Naturally Slim is a product of Dallas-based ACAP Health.

Eat your favorite foods.

Focused on mindful eating, the program isn't a diet; there's no counting calories or avoiding carbohydrates. Participants can continue to eat their favorite foods, including hamburgers and pizza, or in the case of Crystal Waltman, cookies, ice cream and cake.

The favorite foods part is what intrigued Waltman, a 40-year-old treasury analyst, of Harrah, who signed up in July, she said. Meanwhile, lending support specialist Susan Vaughan, 58, of Edmond, enrolled because her husband needed to lose weight, and she figured if she participated, they'd both benefit.

Waltman, who's 5 feet, 1 inch tall and works out on her lunch hours at the YMCA, “lost 10 pounds easy,” she said. Vaughan, at 5-foot-3, dropped 18 pounds, while her husband is down 26 so far.

“I can‘t wear half the clothes I have,” Vaughan said. "It takes me a while to find something to put on."

Naturally Slim weight-loss tips, which are emailed weekly to participants, include weigh daily; eat only when you‘re hungry; eat your favorite food first; slow down while eating, put down your fork between bites; drink 64 ounces of a one-to-seven part mixture of orange juice not from concentrate and water daily to stave off hunger and avoid overeating; and keep to a short list of hunger-saving snacks, including five strawberries, two peanut butter crackers or 15 whole peanuts.

BOK Human Resources Manager Debbie Saunders said, “Our primary goal was help our employees have happier and healthier lives, so they can be more productive at work and at home.”

Even more than weight loss, participants realized a collective 42 percent decrease in risk factors, including blood pressure, bad cholesterol, sugars and waist sizes, Saunders said.

“On our company intranet, many employees remarked that no other weight-loss program ever had worked for them and that Naturally Slim had changed their lives,” Saunders said. “Some said it was the greatest benefit the bank had ever provided,” she said.

This article was written by Paula Burkes and originally appeared here

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