Multi-level marketing gets retail front for weight loss

Jen Moore had to lose weight. Her eating habits were bad. Working as an operating room nurse, she too often ate what was available in the break room — cookies and pastries— and she gained 100 pounds.

So Moore returned to a program that she had been on before when she was in, what she called, “the best shape of my life.”

That program was Herbalife and she lost 31 pounds in three months, she said.

Moore is no longer in nursing. She’s an Herbalife distributor with a slant. Herbalife is one of many companies that use a multi-level marketing model where sellers get paid not only on what they sell, but also get a commission on what people they recruit sell. Products are usually sold in somebody’s home and the prospective buyer has to know a distributor. That has changed.

Moore and some other fellow distributors now operate out of a storefront called Nutrition Retreat in the new Summit Crossing shopping center, in the split on Route 202 in Concord Township.

It’s not a true retail store, as Moore is quick to point out. There are no shelves filled with products and no retail clerks scurrying about. Individual products can be bought, but only from the individual distributors private stock. Rather, she calls Nutrition Retreat a “private opportunity club” where people can become a member for a day.

People who are members buy, for $6, what Moore and the others call “a service.” The service includes an aloe drink, energy tea and a low fat, high protein meal-replacement shake that comes in any one of 35 different flavors and is roughly 250 calories. The shake is made with soy protein.

Moore lost her weight having two meal replacement shakes per day. Once she reaches her goal weight, she’ll shift to one per day.

For those who want to go a little deeper into what Nutrition Retreat has to offer, there is also a free body scan. The scan includes a weight check along with a check on percentage of body fat, skeletal muscle percentage and resting metabolic rate. The program can also be used for weight gain, she said.

Moore said the scan also shows the percentage of visceral fat as well as a true body age.

She admitted that she was initially embarrassed to have the body scan done on herself, but felt better for having done it.

“I knew I was in the right place and I knew those numbers were going to turn around — and they have.”

In addition to the service and body scans, Nutrition Retreat also has some group projects. Moore said there is a group weight loss challenge for adults and fit camps for youngsters, teaching them to eat better.

Nutrition Retreat is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It's closed Sunday.

Herbalife distributor Jen Moore says readers may get a free meal replacement shake at Nutrition Retreat by presenting this image. The offer is for new customers and is valid only once.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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