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Wellness Information

Health at SMU

Naturally Slim® Program

We’ve all heard that healthy eating, healthy weight management, and physical activity can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, many cancers, and other unpleasant health problems. But the precursors to these problems – collectively known as “metabolic syndrome” – are a silent epidemic that affects an estimated one in four adult Americans. Through our continued offering of the program Naturally Slim® you have the opportunity to lose weight, feel better, and decrease your risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

What is “Metabolic Syndrome?”

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors that dramatically increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, depression, stroke, cancer, and a number of other unpleasant medical conditions. According to a national health survey, one out of every three working adults has metabolic syndrome.

These five questions can tell you if you are at risk:

  1. Blood pressure: Is yours 130/85 or higher?
  2. HDL (good) cholesterol: Is your level less than 40 mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter) for men; less than 50 mg/dl for women?
  3. Fasting blood glucose: Is your glucose level 100 mg/dl or higher?
  4. Triglycerides: Is your triglyceride level 150 mg/dl or higher?
  5. Waistline: Does yours measure 40” or more for men; 35” or more for women (when measured across the belly button)?

If you answered “yes” three or more times, you may have metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome have a significantly higher chance of developing a medical condition in the next several years.

A Note About Confidentiality…

The information that you provide to any program professional who is representing SMU will be considered confidential and will be available only to you and those professionals. SMU will have no access to the personal health information that you include in the online application. Furthermore, each of our program partners cannot sell or otherwise divulge any participant information to any unauthorized party.


We are excited about offering this program to our faculty and staff and hope that you will consider participating if you are serious about taking steps to improve your health. If you have questions about this program, you may email us at


How the Program Works

Naturally Slim® is a 10-week behavior based program proven to deliver sustainable weight loss and reverse obesity, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Naturally Slim's curriculum shares the latest research on mindful eating skills as the key to maintaining a healthy weight -- focusing on how learned the behaviors of True ThinTM individuals (not dieting) is the best for lasting weight loss and risk reduction.

More specifically, it:  
  1. Fights metabolic syndrome by focusing on weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Enables you to develop a lifestyle of eating your favorite foods while still improving health and losing weight.
  3. Teaches you to identify personal eating habits, recognize the difference between true hunger and psychological hunger, understand how hydration habits influence hunger, and practice ways to minimize fat storage.
  4. Addresses how exercise, stress, and your environment affect weight loss.
  5. Each session will be available on the Naturally Slim Foundations classroom website. The videos can be accessed at any time during the 10-day access period, started and stopped during a single session to allow you to participate at the time most convenient for you.

In 2015, Naturally Slim® is launching Version 3.0 -- a new learning platform and curriculum -- the most significant changes to the program since 2007.  In addition to Marcia Upson, R.N., leading the program, a physician, exercise expert and psychologist will also participate in the weekly videos to provide a more holistic approach to eating better and living a healthier lifestyle.  The new platform also includes patient specific tailoring options, device integration with smart phones and fit bits, and utilizes and optimized mobile app.

As a result of these changes, SMU Naturally Slim® alumni are also invited to re-apply to the program.

  This has been very powerful for me. I now feel like I have these tools that really work- that I can use the rest of my life. The huge “diet” machine in the media did NOT give me any of this excellent information."
Naturally Slim®

Participation Basics 

The program is open to current SMU benefit-eligible staff and faculty only. Spouses and dependents are not eligible at this time.
All applicants should have recent biometric screenings results and enter their results using the online application. Results from onsite screenings in Spring 2015 may be used. Biometric screening results from completing a full physical dated August 1 - March 27, 2015 are acceptable. 
To participate, you must create an account and complete your online application between March 4, 2015 and March 27, 2015 at 5:00 p.m, at Be sure to have your biometric screening results on hand, provide complete information, and agree to the program requirements.
If you apply, you will be notified via e-mail whether you are accepted into the program by April 3, 2015. 
The program is paid in full by SMU. Staff and faculty on SMU's medical plan may see an explanation of benefits (EOB) for each session completed. However, the charged amount will be paid at 100% by SMU. Those not on our plan will not be billed for participation. Be sure to complete all 10 core sessions to remain eligible for any future advanced programs.
The program begins on Monday, April 13, 2015 and by this date you will receive a welcome packet in the mail at the address provided in your application. 

Visit for more information on how you could benefit as a participant in the program.

Relevant Dates

March 4, 2015 - March 17, 2015 On-campus screenings available on main campus and Plano campus.
March 4, 2015 - March 27, 2015 Naturally Slim® online application available.
March 27, 2015 Deadline to complete the online application at www.naturallyslim/SMU.
The Week of March 30, 2015 By April 3, 2015 all applicants will be notified regarding their acceptance status.
April 13, 2015 Online program begins for accepted applicants.

If you are accepted into the class, you will receive more details regarding the kickoff meeting in your acceptance letter. Please be aware that these dates may change slightly.

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