Batesville co-workers losing weight by adding calories

Batesville co-workers losing weight by adding calories
Colleagues at Batesville's Hillebrand Global have lost 1,600 pounds.
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A group of Indiana workers are losing weight in a counter intuitive way.

Not too long ago, Todd Tekulve's coat used to be tight.

"When I put it on now, I can wrap it around and when I wore this in that photo, I couldn't even hardly button it...uncomfortable to button," he said.

Tekulve used to wear a size 40, now, he's a size 34. He's lost 55 pounds.

Nearly 260 employees at Hillenbrand in Batesville are keeping track and have collectively lost more than 3,200 pounds in the last year and a half. It's saving the company money.

"When we look at their last 12 months of claims versus their future 12 months of claims, we have a 21 percent decrease in claims activity or cost," said Hillenbrand HR Director Julie Joerger. "So right away, what does that tell you? That his program is paying off."

It seems counter intuitive, but the contracted On Target Health Wellness Program often recommends participants consume more calories to lose weight.

Todd's daily target?

"Right now, it's 2,074," he said. "When I started the program, it was 1,674 and as I progressed, they keep upping my calories and I continue to lose more weight."

The secret sauce is On Target Health's patented algorithm, which calculates daily calorie recommendations using your metabolism, measured with an indirect calorimeter oxygen test and body fat percentage, measured in a "Bod Pod."

"We can measure exactly what their metabolism is, how many calories they burn every day and from there, we decipher how many calories for their specific body...few enough to attack fat, but not so few that it causes their body to say, 'What is going on? I'm in trouble, where it wants to hang onto fat and attack muscle instead," said Beth Thompson with On Target Health.

Tekulve's body fat percent was 43.8 when he started, now it's closer to 28 percent. The target daily calorie counts are tweaked every two weeks as his body changes.

"We say, 'You need to increase your calories'," Thompson said. "We get that that is a confusing message, but when they come back every two weeks for the Bod Pod and they see their body attacking the fat, that is the confirmation that they need in their minds that, 'Oh yes, I have to eat enough in order to lose the right type of weight."

Tekulve continues to count all calories, is off his blood pressure medication and keeps his "before" picture on prominent display.

"People come in and say, 'Don't you want to take that down?' and I say, 'No. It's motivation to not go back to where I once was'," he said.

Tekulve does not - and has not - worked out, yet his results are impressive. 

Learn more about On Target Health

Learn more about Hillenbrand