Is losing weight one of your goals this year?

HSHS Medical Group and the Ideal Protein Protocol are here to help new patients meet weight-loss goals and save money!

December 19 through February 3, new patients receive $205 off start up fees and a free consultation.


Work one-on-one in person or virtually with Weight-Loss Coach Natalie Feriozzi, MS.

For more information on this special, call Natalie at 217-321-7281. 

What to Expect 

There are three phases to the Ideal Protein Protocol:

Phase 1: Weight Loss
Reset your body to burn fat and lose the weight.

You and your coach will set weight-loss and lifestyle goals, focus on your "why" and make individualized changes to help you reach those goals. Your coach will assist you in following our structured, evidence-based protocol for weight loss. This phase will include mostly Ideal Protein partial meal replacements and grocery store food items.

Phase 2: Stabilization
Reset your mind to maintain a healthy weight and build healthy habits.

Once your weight-loss goal is achieved, we enter Phase 2: Stabilization. This phase was designed to help stabilize the body's "new" weight and combat weight gain through the adjustment of macronutrients. Your coach will reintroduce carbohydrates at a slow and steady rate. You and your coach will focus on managing hunger and promoting greater satiety during this time. Phase 2 will include some Ideal Protein partial meal replacements and mostly grocery store food items.

Phase 3: Maintenance
Reset possible and live your fullest, healthiest, best life yet!

When your "new" weight has been stabilized and you and your coach have developed a realistic eating plan for the future, we enter Phase 3: Maintenance. During this phase, you will continue to receive one-on-one coaching support and guidance as you navigate the real-world food environment. Your coach will provide counseling and education on lifestyle-related topics, such as emotional eating, management of stress, home-food environment, self-compassion and more. Clients are encouraged to meet with the coach monthly in person or virtually to be held accountable and minimize the need for tune-ups later. This phase can include Ideal Protein partial meal replacements and all grocery store food items.


What to Expect: First Appointment

Before your first in-person or virtual appointment, our medical team and weight-loss coach have reviewed your Health Profile.

  • You and your coach will discuss health history considerations, current/goal weight, BMI, measurements, lifestyle goals and an overview of the Ideal Protein Protocol.
  • You will create an account and download the Ideal Protein app to stay in contact with your coach and monitor your weight-loss progress.
  • You will take your "before" photo and upload it to the Ideal Protein app. 
  • Finally, you will pick out your first week of Ideal Protein partial meal replacements and supplements and develop a meal plan with your coach.

Ideal Protein Open Houses

At this time, our Ideal Protein open houses are available at our Decatur office. Learn about the Ideal Protein weight-loss program and get to know our weight-loss coach! 

Click here to register for an upcoming open house.


Is the HSHS Medical Group Weight Loss program safe?

Our protocol is safe for everyone, except those with a dysfunctional liver or kidneys.  Type 1 Diabetics should only do the Alternative protocol and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should only use the program’s protein foods to supplement their diet.

Why do I have to meet with the health coach weekly?

During this time we will obtain your weight, measurements, and perform the BCA (Body Composition Analyzer).  You can also purchase your food/supplements at this time.  Plus, research has shown that meeting with your coach weekly greatly improves your success in reaching your goal weight and also keeping the weight off after you have completed the program.  This meeting usually lasts between 10-20 minutes.

What is the BCA (Body Composition Analyzer)?

The Body Composition Analyzer uses bio-impedance technology, a state-of-the art, very accurate method of determining body mass.  The device sends a mild electrical current through the body, measuring both the strength and speed of the return current.  From these readings, the software calculates your body mass.  The device is safe, but dieters should not use it if they are pregnant or have an implanted electrical medical device such as a pacemaker.

Does this diet provide too much protein?

This is not a “high protein diet.” The amount is not dangerous, because the amount of protein is not excessive (1/2 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass is the minimum amount required). We give only the minimum and we do this to spare the muscle.  The protein is only a tool; it’s the METHOD that enables you to lose weight.

Should I exercise?

Of course! Exercise is important not only to aid weight loss, but in weight maintenance as well. 

During Phase 1 we ask that you keep your activity light so that your heart rate does not become too high during exercise because you risk burning muscle mass.  We recommend activities such as walking, yoga, Pilates, and light strength training at an intensity that you can still carry on a conversation. Maintaining your lean muscle mass will help you keep the weight off once you reach maintenance.

Can I drink alcohol on this program?

No.  The process of burning ketones takes place in your liver.  When there is alcohol in your system the liver will process that first and stop processing ketones until the alcohol is removed from your system.  Alcohol also causes your blood sugar to drop.  Since you already have low amounts of sugar in your system this could cause dizziness or you may even faint.


Is there Aspartame in your products?

No, there is no aspartame in our products.  Many of the products do contain Sucralose which is an artificial sweetener that sweetens our puddings, shakes and some of the restricted snacks.  You may do the program without consuming Sucralose containing products. 

Does the program have any gluten free/soy free products?

We have over thirty gluten free options available and several soy free products as well.

Do I have to take your supplements?

Yes, it is best if you take the supplements as we suggest with your meals and with food.  Not taking the required supplements could lead to electrolyte abnormalities.  If you have trouble taking the supplements in the morning, you can move them to another meal of the day or take them before bedtime.  If you are not tolerating the supplements, please discuss this with your coach one on one.  There are some medications, such as diuretics, which can interact with some of the supplements, and therefore it is imperative that you disclose all medications (prescription and non-prescription) that you are taking on a regular basis when you complete your health history form.

What should a dieter know before starting the Benefi weight loss program?

Although many people do not experience any discomfort and feel utterly satisfied throughout the protocol, some may experience “withdrawal” symptoms during the first few days of the diet.  This is absolutely normal and should even be anticipated, especially by those who are used to consuming a lot of processed foods, sweets, and salty foods.

Do I have to have any lab work done prior to starting the Benefi weight loss program?

Not necessarily.  If you are healthy overall and not taking any other medications you may not need any labs.  Depending on your health history, some labs may be required before you can begin the program or will need to be monitored during the first two phases of the program.  If you have had any labs done through your primary care physician’s office or employee wellness program in the last six months, we would like to have a copy of those results. 

Many people who have chronic health conditions, such as cholesterol and/or diabetes, may like to have their labs checked to help determine if they can decrease or stop any of their medications.  This can be done through our lab or the lab of your choice.  All results will be forwarded to your primary care provider if so desired.  We do offer two lab panels through our office specifically designed for our weight loss clients.

Clinic Details

Click here to view location details for HSHS Medical Group Health and Medical Spa. We also have appointments available before and after hours as needed. 

Call 217-321-7281 or email to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation or learn more about the Ideal Protein Protocol.