Is This Your Year
to Get Healthy, Fit, & Lean?

Finally, Support and Guidance For Your Big Change

The Big Change Program is now closed. You can sign up for the free Test Drive:

Take a Free Test Drive of the Big Change Program

This Was Exciting: Josh LaJaunie, co-creator of the Big Change Program, won Runner's World magazine's 2016 Cover Search Competition. Here's his story: 

Imagine Josh as one of your guides as you take the next step on your own epic journey! Can you think of anyone better qualified to take you by the hand and lead you step-by-step to excavate that joyful, fierce, authentic human you were meant to be?

Dear Friend,

Have you spent years meaning to get fit and healthy, but there always seems to be something standing in the way?

Have you tried dieting a hundred times, to the point where you're just about ready to give up?

Have you read the books by plant-based authors like T. Colin Campbell, Garth Davis, Joel Fuhrman, John McDougall, Neal Barnard, Rip Esselstyn, and Michael Greger – and you still find yourself “cheating” and giving in to temptation?


Are you confused about what to eat, how to shop, when to cook, and what to do at restaurants and on trips?

Or worse – do you know what to do, but can't control yourself when it comes to saying no to the temptations all around you?

Are you too overwhelmed and exhausted to think about starting an exercise program?

Do you long to say YES to yourself, your health, your values, and your life – and finally take that “Step of No Return” toward the Big Change you still (barely) dream about?

Take a Free Test Drive of the Big Change Program

Ready to get started? Click here to jump down to the “Join” buttons

What's Been Stopping You?

Before you can change the pattern, you have to understand what's been holding you back.

Based on our experiences with our own Big Changes and through helping thousands of others with theirs, we've identified 7 common High Hurdles that trip up most folks.

Hurdle #1: Believing Bullshit

We're talking bad nutritional advice, like Atkins, paleo, American Heart Association – the mainstream stuff and the carnivorous fringe.

Or the barrage of marketing from supplement makers, MLM magical potion pushers, and the co-dependent Junk Food and Pharmaceutical Industries that own most of our politicians and scientists.

Or the mystical, coconut-oil-worshipping, well-meaning and totally misled “alternative medicine” crowd.

If you get hoodwinked by bullshit, you can have the strongest will in the world, but you ain't gonna get to where you want to go.

But that's probably not your problem, if you're reading this. You probably know pretty much what you should be eating and what you should be minimizing or avoiding, right?

Which brings us to…

Hurdle #2: Drowning in the Mainstream

We don't always think about it, but the incredible abundance and comfort that we get from our civilization is not how humans have always lived.

I love my supermarket and my car and my air conditioning – don't get me wrong – but all that ease and abundance makes it really hard to be healthy.

If we were living in a natural environment (the one we've evolved in and for), we'd be hungry a lot, because food would often be scarce.

We'd have to move and sweat and exert ourselves all the time, to hunt, to build shelter, to move to greener pastures, and occasionally to avoid being eaten.

Nature realizes that we could easily take in too few and expend too many calories – an imbalance that could easily snuff us out as individuals and a species. So we're biologically programmed to eat as many calories as we can get our hands on, and rest whenever activity isn't necessary for survival or reproduction.

(For a lot more where this comes from, check out Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer's book, The Pleasure Trap.)

The problem is, in our current situation, eating as much as possible of the richest foods we can find and being a couch potato whenever we can – those are behavioral recipes for obesity, disease, disability, and premature death.

So in order to become fit and well and lean and happy, we have to break away from the mainstream and hang out – mentally and emotionally – with a totally different tribe.

How cool would it be to find your healthy and fit tribe online, and then develop the skills to create a similar tribe all around you in your regular life?

Hurdle #3: Relying on Willpower and Motivation

We're told that people are overweight because they're weak-willed, or lazy, or undisciplined, or unmotivated.

Ever heard this: “All you gotta do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more.”

Now that's a setup not just for failure, but for feeling totally shitty about yourself after that inevitable failure.

Because it says, “You're overweight because you can't force yourself to do these two simple, unpleasant things.”

The secret of motivation is that you can't depend on it.

If you're trying to tough it out through sheer grit, you'll lose. It's a biological certainty.

The secret of willpower is that you have to create an environment – inner and outer – where you need as little of it as possible.

I'll prove it to you.

Do you need willpower to keep watching an exciting movie, or to keep playing an engaging video game?

Do you need willpower to spend time on Facebook or Instagram?

Do you need willpower to stop yourself from robbing convenience stores and beating up senior citizens?

The answer to all three questions is no. (At least, I really hope so.)

So why don't you need willpower in these examples? It's because the forces that compel you to do things you enjoy and avoid things you find morally repulsive are far deeper than willpower.

And once you understand how to play that deeper game around your food and movement habits, everything gets a lot easier.

A lot easier.

Hurdle #4: Staying in the Same Growth Medium

Josh didn't get to be 420 pounds unilaterally; it took an entire community of friends and family to teach, reinforce, and reward the habits and behaviors that led to morbid obesity.

Think of the social systems you live in as your “growth medium.”

Just like a plant grows strong and healthy in good soil, or weak and diseased in poor soil, we too are products of the growth medium that we find ourselves in.

While we can't undo the past, we can choose new and better growth media to feed and reinforce our own transformations.

And if you're thinking that means abandoning your family and community and moving to Los Angeles or New York and becoming a yoga-loving hippie, just look at Josh today.

He's still incredibly close to his family (who, following Josh's lead, have lost over 900 pounds over the last five years), and socially active in his community.

He's still a loyal Louisianan, a proud Coonass (Cajun), a diehard Saints fan and season ticket holder (he claims to bleed black and gold).

He managed to stay a part of his community of origin while unplugging from the systems that made him fat and miserable.

And plugging into a new and different and much more positive growth medium (starting with the Rich Roll Podcast) that produced plant-based athletes and caring citizens of the planet.

And while he does admit to doing yoga, he still drives a pickup truck and wears a backwards Saints cap and talks like a genuine swamp dweller.

Imagine what it would be like to stay enmeshed in your community and family of origin, if you so choose, while no longer having your behavior determined by their unhealthy norms and expectations.

It's more than possible; it's likely, once you understand how to replace one growth medium with another, and how to use the inevitable pressure from family and friends to strengthen, rather than weaken, your commitment to positive change.

Hurdle #5: Getting Overwhelmed by Plate Spinning

You get the new cookbooks, start watching YouTube cooking demos, throw out the junk food, and commit to cooking healthy, plant-based meals. And it feels like you've just taken on a second (or third!) job. Who has time to make oatmeal with blueberries and flax meal from scratch every morning when a microwave waffle takes just 30 seconds (and you can eat it during your commute)?

And then, on top of the food thing, you decide to start exercising. That's another bunch of hours each week. Geez, this is getting overwhelming!

And of course, it's not just the time and effort and unfamiliarity. The big challenge is that these new behaviors — aren't YOU. It feels like you're living someone else's life. And doing a shitty job of it.

Hence the “plate spinning.”

This new healthy lifestyle is confusing and complicated and exhausting, and it takes more skill than you've currently got, AND you've got to maintain it in the face of all the forces of friction and gravity.

So you lunge from save to save, and the plates slow down and clatter to the ground left and right. Until finally the last plate stops spinning, and you've just given up, with a mixture of momentary relief and profound disappointment.

Lapsed again!

How in the world do you take this admirable, ethical, important, lifesaving lifestyle, and turn it from 24/7/365 circus act into a natural and peaceful part of your everyday life?

Hurdle #6: Cowering Before the Inner Bully

You know the voice inside your head that starts shouting as soon as you eat well for a single day? It goes, “Who are you kidding? You know you'll never stick with this! Why not just give up now and eat some junk? The longer you succeed, the more disappointed and ashamed you'll be when you fail yet again!”

The Inner Bully is an asshole. And a psychopath, trying to ruin our lives. All it wants is cheap pleasure now at the expense of long-term happiness, success, fulfillment, meaning, and purpose.

And it will say absolutely anything – stoop to the lowest of dirty tricks – to get you to give up on your goals and eat some junk, or skip your workout, or drop your meditation practice, or stay up too late so you can't wake up on time.

The problem with the Inner Bully is not that it exists, but that we listen to it. And believe it. And obey it.

Imagine if that voice belonged to another person who just followed you around all day and all night, urging you to indulge all your bad habits, and try to make you feel bad and weak and stupid and ashamed and guilty and hypocritical and pathetic.

How long would you allow this person to hang around? And why on earth would you believe what they said?

In the Big Change Program, you discover proven, powerful techniques for relegating the Inner Bully to the dustbin of your consciousness. It can scream and whine and wheedle and curse and cajole all it wants, but you no longer obey, believe, or even listen.

In fact – and I know this may be stretching my credibility, but it's 100% true and you'll see for yourself – you will start to use the Inner Bully to strengthen your commitment and your success, rather than be sabotaged and undermined by it.

And that's when growth starts to snowball in ways you can't currently imagine.

Hurdle #7: Buying the “Falling Off the Wagon” Fallacy

This hurdle comes from the 12-step world, where one drop of alcohol is supposed to set you all the way back to the rock-bottom where you started.

Just the image of falling off a wagon that goes rattling on without you – it's dispiriting, isn't it?

There you are, bruised and muddy, and the wagon you were on disappearing in the distance. And all because of one drink, or slice of cheese pizza, or skipped workout.

But wait. What wagon? Where has it gone? Who says there's a wagon at all? Maybe you're on foot, and you just tripped, and all you have to do is brush yourself off and start walking again.

Think about it:

When you change a bad habit into a good one, you feel all empowered and proud, right?

And for the first two or three days, or weeks, you're on top of the world.

Going to the gym every morning. Eating that oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. Meditating for 10 minutes. Whatever.

You look at other people who aren't doing it, and you think, “God, why don't these people just get their shit together?”

And then, one day, your shit hits the fan again. You oversleep. You have a fight with a friend or spouse. Your bank balance dips into the red.

You skip your morning workout – just this once.

You find the last pack of frozen Eggo waffles in the back of your freezer and eat the entire box for breakfast (slathered in raspberry jam and almond butter, no less).

You feel so angry and hurt that the thought of sitting down to meditate almost makes you puke.

And once those old bad habits regain a toehold in your day, they hang on like squatters with a good lawyer. Good luck trying to dislodge those fuckers!

And just like that, all the good intentions, all the successful hours of exercising, or eating healthy, or meditating – it's like they never happened. You're back on the old misery-go-round of disappointment, shame, and feeling shitty.

You've “fallen off the wagon.” And that good habit, that you thought you had mastered and totally incorporated into your daily routine, bites the dust.

What if you could anticipate that pattern and get right back on track, easily and cheerfully, so that momentary blips no longer turn into goal killers?

The “Falling Off the Wagon” mindset can easily become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Sure, eating a “forbidden food” can awaken cravings that had subsided into the recesses of your memory. Sure, missing a day or two of movement can trigger slothful feelings and thoughts.

But nothing's really changed that you can't handle the moment you recognize that you've stumbled.

In the Big Change Program, we deal with Falling Off the Wagon by reframing it as a fight that you lost. It made you tougher, stronger, more motivated, and more capable of dealing with the next fight.

There's no wagon. There's just us and our habits, and we don't have to bow down to power-sucking metaphors that make us feel helpless in the face of the occasional and inevitable screw-up.

Big Change can occur easily and predictably once we stop going about it the wrong way. If you've never experienced this, you may find it really hard to believe.

We're not asking you to believe, not yet. Instead, try to suspend disbelief long enough to give us – and yourself – a chance.

Introducing the Big Change Program

The Big Change Program consists of all the information and support you need to take charge of your health, your body, and your fitness.

It's based on real science, not the “Bro Science” strutting across your Facebook feed. So when you do make changes, they pay off immediately and big time.

It's grounded in proven principles of Behavioral Psychology, not the “Get Thin Quick” philosophy of The Biggest Loser.

And it's based on creating goals that are not only desirable, but magnetic: the closer we get, the stronger their pull.

Take a Free Test Drive of the Big Change Program

Ready to get started? Click here to jump down to the “Join” buttons

The Basic Program

The Big Change Program is an intensive 12-week program whose sole purpose is to get you to incorporate healthy habits into your life in a powerful and sustainable way.

No matter what the world throws at you, no matter how low or agitated you may feel in the future, you'll have the tools, the skills, the awareness, and the confidence to live your values and priorities.

No more giving in to temptation. No more bingeing. No more sleeping in when you've promised yourself a workout.

The keys to the program are:

Science: all strategies are evidence-based and proven to bring about the changes you want. No “bro science” or vegan wishful thinking here.

Simplicity: if you're looking for hundreds of pages of details on macronutrient ratios, FODMAPs, and the fine details of interval training, this isn't the program for you. The fine print is fine, but only after you've starting DOing something. So we keep it ridiculously simple, so you can DO without needing a PhD in biochemistry and biomechanics.

Sustainability: you can do pretty much anything for 8 weeks. It's the weeks, months, years, and decades that follow that will determine your destiny. So everything we do in the program sets you up to build on the fundamentals, recover from setbacks, avoid “falling off the wagon,” and continually improve your habits and your results.

The Big Change Program includes

  1. Kickoff Classes (6 weeks)
  2. Weekly Implementation Huddles led by Josh and/or Howard (12 weeks)
  3. Daily Check-ins
  4. Daily Video Inspiration and Guidance
  5. Online Forums for community support and coaching from program leaders
  6. Action Library of short, actionable reports that show you how to deal with the most common pitfalls and challenges of Big Change
  7. Access to the Big Change Movement Club on Strava

Let's talk about each of the elements in turn.

1. Kickoff Classes

Six weeks of recorded classes and live Implementation Huddles. You'll listen to one 90-minute class per week, and you'll also get the slides in PDF format. Your job is to DO one thing from each class.

Topic #1: Menu (classes 1 & 2)

  • What to eat, and why, for a fit, healthy, and lean body (really brief recap)
  • Simple and inexpensive shopping lists
  • Delicious food prepared quickly
  • The easiest transition foods
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners
  • Eating while out and about
  • A strategy to prevent bingeing
  • How to stop listening to your “inner glutton”
  • Recovering from setbacks

Topic #2: Movement (classes 3 & 4)

  • Why humans need to move
  • How to get started, even if you've been a couch potato for years
  • The magic of running and walking
  • How to stay motivated when exercise starts feeling like a drag (and it will!)
  • Keeping injury free while training
  • Dealing with the inevitable soreness, aches and pains
  • How to ramp up movement if you're overweight or obese
  • Becoming an athlete, even if you've never used that word to describe yourself before
  • How to balance movement with food intake

Topic #3: Mindset (classes 5 & 6)

  • How to flip social pressure from a negative to a positive motivator
  • The secret reason CrossFit is so popular (and how to harness it for yourself without their crazy diet advice)
  • The missing nutrient: Vitamin P
  • Setting and achieving the right kinds of goals
  • How to build self-esteem through temptation
  • How to convert self-pity into self-reliance
  • How to recover from slips, setbacks, and binges

2. Implementation Huddles and Webinars

During the 55-minute Implementation Huddles (confidential and therefore not recorded) and Webinars (similar format, but not as confidential, so recorded for those who can't attend live), we'll debrief your successes and challenges, and create your plan for the following week.

The Huddles occur twice weekly: Wednesdays at 11:30am US Eastern Time, and Thursdays at 8pm US Eastern Time.

We use Zoom video conferencing for weekly video meetings with a structured agenda. You bring to each meeting:

  1. Your successes from the past week
  2. Your challenges from the past week
  3. Your implementation commitment for the coming week

Using these three items, you receive coaching to do better each week than the one before. We'll practice five powerful techniques over and over again, so you can master and use them independently:

  1. FAST assessment for Pre- and Post-mortem
  2. Trigger Analysis and Implementation Intentions
  3. RAIN
  4. NBA Rules and Squeals
  5. Neuro-breathing

3. Daily Check-ins

The “Daily DO” is the heart of the Big Change Program. Every morning you'll receive a messge inviting (that's a gentle word for it) you to check in and let us know what you commit to DO today. If you miss more than a couple of days, we will be in touch to make sure you're OK! No Big Changer left behind!

Your check-ins appear in the group discussion board, where you can encourage, support, and celebrate each other's victories, and debrief and learn from each other's challenges.

4. Daily Email Inspiration

A short video, delivered by email, to keep you focused and motivated and inspired until you get to the point where you can generate focus, motivation, and inspiration internally. Think of these as Mindset Training Wheels.

5. Online Forum

A place to ask questions, connect with other participants and alums from previous cohorts, and share your successes and challenges. No Big Changer left behind!

6. A Complete Library of Short, Concise, Instantly Actionable “How-to” Guides

You don't need another cookbook with 200 recipes, or an in-depth discussion of the nuances of willpower. You need short and simple nuggets of useful information, filled with tips and tricks that can help you power through your next meal, your next workout, your next week.


The Big Change Action Library contains many such How-to Guides, with more added all the time (some based on your requests!). Examples include:

  • How to Read a Food Label
  • How to Build a New Habit
  • How to Crush Your Cravings
  • How to Shop for Healthy Food in Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores, and While Traveling
  • Inexpensive Summer Meal Templates
  • Josh's Famous “Spuds and Greens” Go-to Meal Template
  • Howard's Morning Muesli
  • Daily Weighings: How to Use the Scale to Lose Weight Without Driving Yourself Crazy
  • How to Stop Early-Stage Self-Sabotage

7. Big Change Movement Club on Strava

If you don't know Strava, it's a social network for athletes. I know you may be thinking, “Wait a minute! I'm not an athlete – I don't belong there.”

We'll deal with that objection in the program, I promise. We'll obliterate it, in fact.

The important thing right now is that Strava provides a place for all of us to do our “waggle dance” – you know, the one the honeybees do in front of their hive to tell their sisters where the “Good Stuff” is:

“Hey, I found some amazing pollen in this field of lavender, two miles southwest. Here's how to get there.”

As we start moving like authentic humans, we naturally want to share the good news with the other members of our tribe (remember Hurdle #2, “Drowning in the Mainstream”?) And when our fellow honeybees share their waggle dances with us, we can then go out and grab some of the good stuff for ourselves and our loved ones.

Enhanced “Gold” Level

The 12-week Big Change Program is designed to be the most powerful, motivating, and “get you DOing” experience you could possibly have outside of a 24/7 residential program. But we understand that while three whole months is a great timeframe to initiate Big Changes, you may not undo years or even decades of suboptimal Menu and Movement habits in 90 days.

So if it feels like a push to overachieve in the 12 weeks of the program, you can select the Gold program to give yourself a full year to make Big Changes to your inputs (habits and choices), and to see Big Changes in your outcomes (weight, fitness, health, happiness).

Gold Element #1:  9 Additional Months of Support via Weekly Video Meetings, Forum Access, and Video Touchpoints

When you join the Big Change Program, you get a full year of support and accountability via group coaching calls, on-demand videos answering your questions, inspiring emails, daily text check-ins, and an active support forum.

The ongoing coaching and homework assignments are designed to take the knowledge you gain during the kickoff phase and turn it into unshakeable capability.

The Big Change Forum Lighthouse is where we come together for that kind of support. It's where you post your questions and challenges, as well as your ongoing homework assignments, and your instructors (Josh, Howard, and select alumni from past programs) and fellow participants offer advice, support, and coaching via forum posts and comments.

Big Change Program members also share experiences and connect with accountability partners from around the world.

This is where we gang up on the Doubt-Bully and make it cry Uncle.

Let's face it: most of us developed our dysfunctional behaviors under the influence of a community, and most of us need a strong, supportive, functional community to help us create and maintain and master positive healthy habits.

Gold Element #2 : 36 Healthy Habit Huddles (value $600/year)

In the Huddles, we explore the nitty-gritty of behavior change based on the best evidence-based approaches to bettering ourselves and our families.

You can download and listen to recorded Huddles any time.

You also get my notes from each Huddle, usually in colorful and easy to read Mind Map format.


Themes for the Huddles have included:

  • Procrastination and action
  • Energy and exhaustion
  • Radical healing (from “incurable” cancer)
  • Lessons from the science of habit formation
  • How to create and deploy social support
  • How to break your addiction to your smartphone

Future themes include:

  • Health lessons from behavioral economics
  • How to argue with your doctor (and when it's necessary)
  • How to start meditating so you don't give up
  • Using our negative emotions to build positive habits

Platinum Option: Upgrade to a full year of 1-on-1 coaching with Howard (limited to 8 participants)

If you want a year's worth of 1-on-1 support, upgrade to an entire year of unlimited laser coaching with me.

We meet for extremely focused 15-minute sessions, and we agree upon your homework. Once it's complete, you're free to schedule your next appointment. You'll be amazed at the power, speed, and momentum of laser coaching.

After each session, you receive a recording of the call to listen to as many times as you like, and an email listing the homework you've committed to and a link to schedule your next session.

You can choose the Platinum option at the bottom of this page when you register for the Big Change Program.

Take a Free Test Drive of the Big Change Program

Ready to get started? Click here to jump down to the “Join” buttons

Who are We and Why Should You Listen to Us?

That's a fair question.

After all, any idiot can write a diet or fitness book. (And many have.)

Anyone can claim to have the answer – and because weight loss is so hard to achieve in this society, people desperate to lose weight are favorite targets of con artists and self-deluded bullshitters.

Josh LaJaunie

Your guides, Josh LaJaunie and Howard Jacobson, are not only teachers and coaches, but do-ers. If there's a mistake to be made, one of them (at least!) has made it.

Josh LaJaunie is a plant-based ultra-runner from Thibodaux, Louisiana. He recently placed second in the Gamelands 50k Ultra in North Carolina (that's him on the right, makin' a muscle, in the photo below), and came in third in his first “hundo” (that's ultra-runner slang for a hundred mile race) in October 2016. He's preparing to Boston Qualify (achieve a 3 hour and 10 minute marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon) and is also training for the famously grueling Leadville 100 mile race in August 2018.

That would be cool all by itself. But there's way more to Josh's story. As in, check out this photo of Josh taken in 2009 (Josh is the one on the left, holding a cup):

Josh knows a thing or two about Big Change. About transforming his menu, his movement, and his mindset.

And doing it all while working a couple of full time blue collar wake-before-dawn jobs and dealing with a series of family- and business-related shit-storms that would have served as perfectly good excuses for most people.

Josh is famous for his “tough love” – the hundreds of people who reach out to him for inspiration and advice on Facebook and Instagram know that he calls bullshit on their excuses as readily as he does on his own.

When you meet Josh, you will be absolutely blown away by how much he cares about you – hell, about everyone.

When we're on the phone, he gets so passionate that he literally cries when talking about people he's helped, and people who are just now reaching out to him.

He wants so badly to show people that it's possible to get out of the pit that he found himself in – or even better, to avoid that pit in the first place.

If you aren't familiar with Josh, check out his story on Forks Over Knives (it will open in a new window).

He's also a two-time guest on the amazing Rich Roll Podcast:

Rich Roll Podcast #63 (December 2, 2013)
Rich Roll Podcast #152 (June 14, 2015)

And, as you saw from the video above, Josh won the Runner's World 2016 Cover Search Competition:

Also, Josh is increasingly in demand as a speaker, media guest, and coach. Here he is on Good Morning America:

And on the Today Show:

And in People magazine:

Howard Jacobson (that's me)

I'm a plant-based author, coach, and podcaster from rural Pittsboro, North Carolina, as well as the host of the popular Plant Yourself Podcast.

I've co-authored books with two of the biggest stars in the plant-based world: T. Colin Campbell, and Garth Davis.


I'm also a professional marketer and performance coach. I'm the author of Google AdWords For Dummies, and I've helped businesses sell their products, services, and ideas for over 15 years. I know how unscrupulous companies prey on our weaknesses, and how we can “tempt-proof” ourselves by using their tricks against them.

As a coach, I have helped hundreds of people, from startup entrepreneurs to Fortune 1000 executives, get massive traction toward their most important goals. I'm on the Board of Advisors of the International Coach Certification Academy, am a certified Bregman Leadership Coach.

I know how to help you make rapid progress toward your wellness and weight goals.

When Josh  and I met earlier this year and began talking about collaborating, we were struck by how well our personalities, experiences, and skill sets complement each other.

And Josh inspired me to reclaim my own inner badass athlete. Since we met in person, I've dropped 25 pounds, run two 50k races, three marathons, a half marathon, a 10 mile race, two 10ks, and a 5k, and am now training to quality for the Boston Marathon (in my age group, that's a 3 hour and 30 minute marathon).

Together we make a powerful team to guide you to your weight, health, and fitness goals.

What Others are Saying

“This Program Saved My Life”

“My First Time Losing Weight Without Any Type of Product”

“There Were No Actual Human Beings in My Life Who Thought This Was a Good Idea”

Josh and I recently received this letter from Sue Boyles, one of our first Big Change members:

Dear Howard and Josh,

I’d like to take some time to thank you both for the new beginnings you have given me.

Before the Big Change Program, I was on a 8 year plateau. Yes, 8 years! I had always been able to lose weight with Weight Watchers and had gained and lost for my entire adult life. At my peak, I was just shy of 200 pounds. I once again went to weight watchers to (finally, this time it’s going to work) lose the weight once and for all. This was now 9 years ago.

Except the weight wouldn’t come off. I lost 10 pounds but then it stopped. For 4 months, the weight didn’t come off. None. I gave up, then went back a year later and the same thing happened. WW even sent my tracker to headquarters and no one could explain the problem. I was doing everything to the letter.

I stopped paying them, and switched to My Fitness Pal. The same thing happened there. Eating 1200 calories a day, and I still wasn’t losing. I even trained for and ran a sprint triathlon and a few 5ks, still with no weight loss.

I figured out that it was my metabolism, and through testing, determined that it was so low that in order for me to lose weight, I’d have to eat less than 700 calories a day. Impossible for me.

So, I switched my focus from weight loss to health. I figured if I were going to be obese, I was going to be the healthiest obese person out there!

Enter the WFPB world! I went vegetarian first, then vegan (still eating processed transition foods and junk), but no weight came off.

I started receiving information about the Big Change Program through my love of the book Proteinaholic.

Of course I was extremely skeptical. I had been though this stuff for 8 years. Nothing had worked. And I didn’t want to pour more money into something that I didn’t think could be fixed.

That said, with all the years of trying to lose the weight, I still had the cycle of not losing, giving up, saying screw it, if I’m going to be fat, I might as well eat all of these cookies anyway and enjoy them, to the deep seated disgust at myself for doing it, to the punishing myself by extreme dieting.

Something about the program literature spoke to me. Perhaps it was the no-nonsense approach. But mostly, it was the way it came across like the people doing it KNEW my struggles. They understood it was more mental then anything and that they promised to dig deep.

I was on the fence until the last day of the sign ups, and my neighbor posted a picture on Facebook. I was walking across the street in the background, and I didn’t recognize it as me. I was shocked at how I looked un-posed! I signed up on the spot.

I tuned in to the first phone call and was met by two voices – one practical, step by step, “this is how this is going to work” voice – and the other passionate, emotional, fierce, no-nonsense, “get out there and do this shit” voice.

And what a combination!!

Howard, you have a way of just know what to say and how to say it that makes me think so much deeper than I though possible. You ask the questions that lead me to the answers that have alluded me for years.

Josh, your ability to cut through the crap and relate to my journey because of your own personal struggles is amazing. You are our Yoda – “either you do it or you don’t – how bad do you want it? – then do it!”

Between the two of you, you cover all bases when it comes down to the challenges of regaining health!

During the year, I’ve learned so much about myself. To be honest, at first, I was just going through the motions. I was doing the homework, but I was approaching it like I did everything in my life – half assed. I did what I needed to do to check the box.

But about 1/3 of the way in, I realized I had been given an opportunity to work with two great people who were willing to help me achieve my ultimate goal and I would be so disappointed if I blew this chance. From then on, I dug deep and really worked on the self exploration that was being offered.

In the end, I’ve lost 45 pounds! I’m now in the middle of the “normal” weigh range for my height at 133 lbs. I feel really good!

Some unexpected changes are that I no longer look at food the same way. When I walk through the grocery store, it’s not with longing, but with disgust of all the crap they are trying to sell us. I love the flavor of real food now! It’s really amazing!

Then, to top it off, I went clothes shopping last weekend, and in the two stores I shopped at, I bought jeans in the SMALLEST size they sold!! I just can’t believe it!

If anyone else is out there who has just resigned themselves to the body they have, yet aren’t happy with it, this is the way to change that!

This is not a diet plan. You will not be given a list of what you can and can not eat. You will not be giving a prescription of how much exercise is required.

You will be taught the method of creating your own food plan and exercise plan and it won’t be something you “have to do” because those are the rules. It will be something you will love to do because it is what makes you complete as a human being!

Thank you again for allowing me to live the second half of my life the way I envisioned it should be!


Sue Boyles

One of my health coaching clients, Joan Schutt, kindly sent me this testimonial after working with me for four months:

“I can’t say enough of how I’ve benefited from knowing Howard Jacobson as my Wellness Consultant. Howard is amazing.  He’s a great listener and is very perceptive. He asks the right questions, and he is dedicated to targeting the right solutions for the problems.

“His tips and encouragement keep me motivated to reach my goal of transitioning to a Whole Food/Plant Based lifestyle.

“He has a wealth of resources that he shares and always has a reference for me to check out, or something to read or watch to keep me going.  He utilizes his own network for the benefit of his clients’ wellness and success.  Becoming a Tribe of Well member and tapping into all the services Howard offers got me out of a rut and has me on the path to genuine wellness.

And a few days later, Joan wrote again to share some hard numbers:

Cholesterol went from 225 to 150
A1C went from 5.9 to 5.5
Stage 3a Chronic Kidney Disease reversed (aGfr from 57 to 72)
Blood glucose went from 120 to 74
And lost 30 pounds in four months!

Big Change Program participant Sheryl Hayton of Chicago IL reports:

“The Big Change Program has become more than just weight loss and eating healthy. To me, this program pushes me to be a better person in all areas of my life. It is helping me see things in a whole new way. I'm learning things about myself that I thought were not possible to change, but thanks to Howard and Josh, I have been given the knowledge on how to better myself in all areas of my life. I love the program and I'm so happy to be a part of it.”

Big Change Program participant Robin O'Donnell of Hannibal NY shares:

I have been plant based for 2 years and have had success on my journey. I know what to eat and why but am not where I want to be. I have lost 60 pounds but am still not at a “normal” weight.

There are so many programs out there, some very expensive. It is hard to decide on one. I am very skeptical about the many so called experts offering programs. I think most have a gimmick they are selling and want to get rich quick.

I did not feel this way about the Big Change Program. I have heard Howard speak; on his own podcast, as a guest on other people’s pod cast and on the Healthy Habits Huddle program. I had confidence in his knowledge, abilities and intentions.

Also, the price is very reasonable. He offers a money back guarantee so I had nothing to lose by trying it.

I have found the program to be very helpful. I am very happy with my progress and success so far. I feel confident I will reach my goals by years’ end. Howard and Josh are true professionals offering a top-notch program. There is nothing else like it available.

Howard is very knowledgeable in behavior and habit change. He teaches the how and why.

Josh is very inspirational and original in his tone and point of view. They both love what they are doing and truly want to help people improve their health with their experience and knowledge.

Since starting the class I've been compliant with my food plan because I have discovered the PIG. I have increased my physical activity; I am jogging because I learned about the concept of vitamin P. I'm down a couple pounds. I have more focused goals. I am less stressed about my journey.

Howard and Josh are inspiring me and motivating me to do and be better. I highly recommend the program too anybody who wants to be more successful on their health journey.

Rachel Behrens was already fit and healthy when she heard about the Big Change Program, and so wasn't sure if it would be a good match for her. She took advantage of the refund policy and gave it a chance. And she's glad she did:

I've learned a lot. One of my ‘aha' moments was that there are other experiences besides food to be had. There is so much focus on food in this country, especially at each gathering and holiday. I've learned that it is only one facet of experience.

Since participating in BCP, when I go to an event, the number one thing I do is listen to people. I do not focus on food first and this has allowed me so many rich experiences that I would not otherwise have had. Mind you, I didn't realize I had such a focus on food until I became aware of this.

Josh and Howard are extremely knowledgeable, encouraging, kind and I'm comfortable around them. But ….they will tell it like it is and I love that!

I'm more committed to exercise than ever before. I now see this as something we're meant to do. And I'm not afraid to push myself.

If you're thinking of joining the Big Change Program, listen to Howard's podcasts, listen to a few videos of Josh's. If you like their style, then go for it and you'll be on a great journey!

And Big Change Program Tracie Rheel kindly provided feedback by answering some questions that I emailed her:

tracie-rheel-picWhat were you hoping to get from the BCP?

I was hoping to get motivation and tools to lose the last 20 pounds I'd like to lose but that I have struggled with, even on a WFPB diet. (I've lost about 100 pounds so far). I hoped to create and an eating plan and an exercise program that I could stick to.

Was there one “aha” moment or breakthrough you've had on this journey so far? Can you describe it for others?

My aha moment was when I really understood the concept that we aren't creating a new, better version ourselves. Rather, we're just trying to unload all of the crap and baggage that keeps us weighed down and from being our true, authentic, human selves. We can learn to excavate all of that garbage so our true selves can shine forth in the world. It's a beautiful concept that is so simple at its core but really encompasses so much.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining the BCP?

Just do it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Howard and Josh are a wonderful team — they complement each other so well.

On the surface you would say that Josh has the infectious passion and energy that will motivate you and Howard has the knowledge, the coaching skills, and the ability to break it all down into action steps.

That is all true, but when you look further you realize that Josh is smart and knowledgeable too — he is a great combination of a regular, street smart guy who also happens to know lots about nutrition. He keeps it real and boils it all down into stuff that just makes common sense. Like eat plants and run (or walk)!

And Howard has energy and passion for the subject and for the overall, life-changing mission of helping us unearth our authentic selves.

The price would be great even if all you got was access to the Healthy Habit Huddles. But in addition you get the coaching calls which are packed with great information and inspiration.

Plus you have online interaction with the other participants in the group along with Howard & Josh. And then there's the specific, directed homework that will help you determine and reach your own specific goals.

This isn't a one size fits all program — we are all working together as a group, helping each other along the way, but we all have different individual goals. It really is a wonderful combination of group and personal coaching.

Josh has a pretty big fan club of folks that he’s been coaching and supporting over the past couple of years. In between running his businesses, running up to 90 miles a week, and taking care of his family, Josh finds time to connect with people via IM, Facebook, and Instagram. And while we can’t publish these confidential exchanges, I’ve seen them, and the level of gratitude and success is so moving.

There’s a network of athletes who, while they owe their success to their own hard work, give some of the credit to Josh for helping them get off their asses and start eating and moving right.

Look for him on Facebook and Instagram and you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about. 

How Much Does It Cost?

The 12-week Basic Big Change Program costs $497 in a single payment, or three payments of $179.

You can upgrade to the Gold Program and add 9 more months of support, including video meetings, daily text check-ins, daily emails, and access to the support Forum and the Healthy Habit Huddles, for just $50 more: $547, or three payments of $191.

Once you've chosen between Basic and Gold, you'll have an opportunity (if you're one of the first 8 people) to sign up for an entire year of Unlimited 1-on-1 Laser Coaching with Howard for an additional $1947. That's exactly $550 off the regular price, which means that you essentially get the Gold program for free.

Is There a Guarantee?

Yes. Here's why:

My 16 year old son saved his money for a couple of years, and last month bought his first car. A 2003 Mazda Protege LX with over 200,000 miles on it. From a guy who seemed trustworthy.

My son had it for two days when the check engine light came on. Understand, he spent all his savings on this car. The day after he borrowed $400 from me for repairs, the check engine light came on again. Finally it stopped running entirely, and was hauled away for junk two months after he bought it.

It’s horrible to spend money and have no guarantee that you’re getting what you paid for. So I want to say very clearly, that’s not what we’re about.

Our Zero-Risk Guarantee

Josh and I assume all the risk here. When you join the Big Change Program, you obligate us, not yourself. 

So here’s the guarantee: 

Join the Big Change Program. Listen to all six calls. Show up for at least three of the group coaching meetings. Do the homework. If, after the 90 days, you don't think we've given you what we promised, just let us know and we’ll refund your payment in full. 

(The fine print exception: Platinum coaching with Howard is not refundable after the first session.)

Sound fair?

Your Next Step

If you’re ready to make a Big Change to your health, your fitness, your physique – click one of the buttons below to join the Big Change Program.

  • If you're tired of bad, self-serving health and fitness advice that keeps you stuck…
  • If you’re tired of knowing what to do and still not implementing…
  • If you’re tired of approaching and then avoiding your ideal weight…
  • If you’d had enough of mediocre habits and mediocre health…
  • If you’re truly ready for your Big Change, and willing to back up your desire with action…
  • If you’re open to loving support and honest accountability from two guys who’ve been there, in one form or another…

Then click one of the buttons below and take a stand. 

Join the Big Change Program and choose a different path. A new destiny. 

You know that thing they say when advertising stock funds: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” 

That’s what we’re all about. 

Rewriting our life stories from this day forward.

Becoming our best selves.

Making the Big Changes that most people don't even dare to dream about.

Won’t you join us?

Josh and Howard

If you don't see the sign-up buttons, then the Big Change Program is not open at this time. Register for the test drive and you'll get an email when we're ready to accept new members.

PS Remember the 90-day no-questions-asked happiness guarantee! When you join the Big Change Program, that obligates us, not you. You have nothing to lose. And if we're right, you have your whole life to regain.

Get a head start on 2018 by taking action now! Join here…

Take a Free Test Drive of the Big Change Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to become a vegan to do the Big Change Program?

No, absolutely not. We don't promote any sort of dietary dogma; instead, we follow the science.

That said, we absolutely promote a diet centered around fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and roots. For the fiber, for the micronutrients, and for the caloric diluteness that allows ex-fat people like Josh to eat large quantities of food without putting the pounds back on.

Also, one of the main things you'll discover in the Big Change Program is a simple rule of thumb that allows you to determine for yourself what foods are appropriate for you, and in what quantities. We call it NAQ (how's that for a teaser?)

Seriously, to get more info on NAQ, you can listen to me and Josh talk about it during a long truck-ride:

Josh and Howard on NAQ

2. Do I have to be really overweight to join the program? I'm about 20 pounds overweight, and I'd like to become more active, and I don't always eat right, but I'm not really heavy or anything like that.

The Big Change Program is about you deciding on your own Big Change. A lot of members are looking to lose weight – a lot of it. That makes sense, since Josh's big change involved losing over 200 pounds.

But if you ask him what was the heart of his Big Change, it wasn't the weight loss. His journey was about so much more than the scale. It was about self-respect. Self-identity. Rising up to meet the real and present challenges in his life like a mature human being. Pushing himself out of his comfort zone into the hairy, frantic unknown. The weight was a symptom, albeit a visible and very welcome one, of the Big Change.

If you're totally in love with your life and with yourself, and you're 20 pounds above the Metropolitan Life Insurance Ideal Weight Table, then maybe there's no Big Change tugging at your heart and soul. But maybe you're thinking, “I could be so much more. I could do so much more. There are goals and destinies awaiting me, and I need a nudge to get off my butt and say Yes to those callings.”
If so, the Big Change Program might be the catalyst you've been waiting for.

Get a fresh start on 2018 by taking action now! Join here…

3. Everybody is offering some online course on plant-based eating. I'm tired of reading about them. Is everyone just trying to make a buck?

I can't speak for everybody else (or anybody else, for that matter). For myself, making a buck is a pretty high priority right now. Unless I make some bucks, I can't continue to share my knowledge, time, and passion for plant-based living with the world. I have to go back to digital marketing, or strategic consulting, or some of the other activities that used to put the roof over my head and food in my family's bellies.

There's a weird idea out there that “good” people should just give away their health-promoting information, and that trying to sell it is somehow “selling out.” To me, that's freaking nuts. The world is in the shape it's in because the financial incentives have all favored bad advice: more drugs, more surgeries, more crappy foods. Our economy doesn't reward health care providers to sell fewer pills and procedures by making people healthy. If you want a better world, you should be rooting for the “good guys” to get paid as well as the bad guys.

Most of my work is freely available online, including hundreds of articles, dozens of reports, and over 200 (and counting) episodes of the Plant Yourself Podcast.

Josh and I have formed a non-profit, Bayouville, dedicated to sharing a healthy, plant-based lifestyle with indigent rural communities along the bayous of south Louisiana. Fees from the Big Change Program are currently funding all these other efforts.

So I hope you can feel good, not just about the value you'll get from the program, but also the hearts and motives of the guys running it.

In terms of online courses, it's true there are a lot of plant-based “competitors” out there. Boot camps; coaching programs; 6-week challenges. Most of those people are my friends. I've signed up for some of their courses and have gotten a lot out of them.

The reason there are so many options is that a robust marketplace can and should support all these options. We're all different, and we're all attracted to different approaches and types of energy.

The Big Change Program isn't right for everybody. But if you've been resonating with my free public offerings (250+ podcasts, 32 hour-long TV shows, dozens of “debunking bad science” videos, hundreds of articles, public appearances, etc.), then you may find my online program a good fit.

If you've been inspired by Josh's amazing story of heart and grit and transformation, then you may want him in your corner, guiding and encouraging and challenging you.

Get a head start on 2018 by taking action now! Join here…