I created the 5 RMS Keys to a Wellness, Weight Loss and Disease Prevention to help you breakdown an otherwise complex process of life saving lifestyle changes into manageable areas of focus. In my extensive professional and personal experience, achieving a truly healthy and durable lifestyle change in the modern day requires skills and knowledge in 5 key areas - all of which are interdependent:
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Mind Matters
  • Environments
  • Accountability
As Reality Meets Science's founder, my mission is the help you take control of your health. Now you can take advantage of my unique blend of expert experience, thousands of hours of formal education in metabolic nutrition, lifestyle medicine, wellness and psychology as well as a personal recovery from binge eating, prediabetes and overweight. Read my personal story here.

Add to a personal journey that I am part of a network of the world’s best experts in lifestyle as medicine as a member of the Council of Advisors and Media Response Team of the True Health Initiative (TrueHealthInitiative.org) and Regional Medical Director of Metabolic Health and Weight Management for the nationally renown Henry Ford Health System (where we use the 5 Keys in our successful clinical program as well), and I can confidently say that there is no more practical and yet effective approach to achieving and maintaining wellness, weight loss and disease prevention than the Reality Meets Science lifestyle system and our 5 Keys to Optimal Health. It's now time to unlock YOUR personal treasure chest of feeling great! Let the RMS 5 Keys show you how. Here’s a brief intro to each of them:
Understanding calorie density (since we meaning the "calories per bite" of food). CD is a measure of a food/meal weight versus and its calorie content, a critically important relationship. Also, truly understanding the importance of sodium, saturated fat as well as dietary cholesterol, protein sources and intact fiber are core concepts in your personal nutrition. Beverage calories - and their sneaky ability to add up without substantially reducing hunger versus more solid (even soft) foods is also absolutely essential. Finally, one must understand the RMS "5% fun zone"! The "5% fun zone" is not to be literally calculated (though we'd bet it would largely stand up to such). Rather, it is to imply two things: 1. zero tolerance do not work, especially in the long run. Second, it is to remind that we cannot simply vaguely claim "everything in moderation". There is a balance between "all or nothing" and one must find it to make true, long lasting lifestyle changes in food choices.
Physical Activity
Key here is to understand the difference between exercise and the critically important aspect of NON-exercise activity time! Also, accumulated chronic and continuous sitting is also significantly important, and separate issue from "exercise". While exercise is important for most, just as - arguably more - important is building a substantial amount of light physical activity into the day by breaking up chronic sitting as often and as much as practically possible.
Mind Matters
Two of important aspects to this key area are sleep and stress management. Additionally, addressing issues of self-worth, depression, anxiety, history of loss, abuse – whether physical, sexual or emotional – are all critical and frequently under appreciated areas of true long-lasting and durable lifestyle change. Also the "mind matter" of understanding that truly durable and healthy lifestyle change may require many years of maintaining the change before the odds of long-term success greatly increase. There's no "quick fix". That is something we must accept, along with acceptance of our beautiful human bodies, no matter the shape, size, color or height. Lastly, changing mindset to understanding the value to maintaining gains in health via lifestyle changes (as if it were, since it IS, a valuable piece of art!) versus placing all value on the changing process itself. We don't remember one time champions as much as those who repeatedly maintain their status of champion - whether it is Michael Phelps, Muhammad Ali or Serena Williams. Buster Douglas was a short time heavyweight boxing champion. Do you remember him? Most don't because he didn't MAINTAIN his status.
There are three major components to addressing environments including fooThere are three major components to addressing environments including:
1. Food environment (remember that "we are what we eat and we eat what surrounds us")
2. Social Environment/Network - for instance, The English Longitudinal Study of Aging found that without our closest life partner engaging in similar lifestyle changes, the odds of our lifestyle change being successful decreases significantly.
3. Physical environment - it is rather impressive how much we can modify, or take advantage of our physical environments such as by keeping walking shoes and exercise clothing close by – even sleeping in them if necessary! - taking available (but woefully insufficiently utilized) stairs and opportunities to park reasonably but meaningfully further from destinations to get in that critical "non-exercise activity time".
This key is essential in an modern environment that frequently doesn't keep us accountable for lifestyle choices that could significantly harm us both in the short and particularly the long run. When we are older we need every bit of strength that we have to maintain vitality until our final days/hours (think: Jack LaLanne and Blue Zones). This Key can be obtained by the choice of joining an evidence based lifestyle change program – such as the platinum standard intensive lifestyle intervention program I lead for the world renown Henry Ford Health System. But also, self-monitoring using technology such as food and physical activity apps that help keep records, checking our blood pressure regularly or even using that "useful idiot" - a weight scale - on a meaningfully regular basis can be accountability factors that can enhance motivation to make or maintain therapeutic lifestyle changes.
What's great about breaking down the complex process of serious, healthy and meaningful lifestyle change into the 5 RMS Key areas above is that by doing so it helps you manage the process by, if necessary, focusing on only one or two areas at a time. Then continuing to build from there with the confidence that efforts in one key area typically help improve one or more of the other key areas as well. It also makes the process “more easily digestible" by having a system to break down the essentials to "small manageable chunks" (Keys) rather than trying to "sprint a marathon" or trying to fit "10 pounds in a 2 pound bag". That being said, even for the highly motivated person ready to attack all 5 RMS Key areas at once, the it makes for a more efficient and comprehendible process as well as reducing the risk of future relapse, so to speak, by helping focus our limited energy onto the key area, or areas (but only those) that need the most focus or outside assistance.

If you live in Metro Detroit and are interested in either our basic or comprehensive RMS 5 Key TLC (therapeutic lifestyle change) programs, please feel free to call us at 248-325–1355.

If you are interested in having Dr. Rifai come speak, educate and motivate your worksite, social or other group, please feel free to contact him through the “contact” option on this page!
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