Dr. Tom Rifai is the architect of the highly successful Flex5 Lifestyle system which has proven itself in the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan as well as in Harvard’s online Lifestyle Medicine program for professionals. He was the Medical & Well-being Director for Magna International in the USA, North America’s largest auto supplier, providing elite level executive health coaching to the C-suite as well as developing programming to the manufacturing sites. Dr. Tom currently serves as Chair of the Employer Subcommittee for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Clinical Practice and Quality Committee.
Rifai is a diplomate of both American Boards of Internal and Lifestyle Medicine and past president of the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists and serves on the True Health Initiative Board of Directors.
As referred above, Dr. Rifai was the co-course director for Harvard University’s most popular online Lifestyle Medicine continuing medical education program for over a decade – Nutrition and the Metabolic Syndrome – which integrated his 5 Keys to Optimal Wellness system and which was taken by approximately 4000 healthcare professionals, mostly physicians and nurses, worldwide.
Dr. Rifai’s 5 Keys – now referred to as The Flex5 Lifestyle is comprised of all the critical skills and knowledge needed in five keys areas to, like a mixed martial artist, achieve successful, long term transformational, longevity lifestyle change.
The Flex5 are: psychology (“mind matters”), nutrition, activity, (food, social and physical) environments and accountability.
The Flex5 is rooted in an advanced understanding of Flexitarianism and inspired by Dr. Tom’s unique combination of medical and lifestyle modification training, blended with his binge eating disorder experiences, a disorder to which he lost his youngest brother, Basil. Rifai’s upcoming book, The Flex5: Your 5 Keys to Get Lean, Reverse Disease and Forever Health, will be dedicated to Basil.
The Flex5 inspired the central theme for the 2019 Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine International Conference. The Flex5, previously known as “The 5 Keys,” was chosen in 2021 by Henry Ford Health System’s Metabolic Health program leaders as their unifying patient education curriculum of choice for all of Henry Ford’s metabolic health programs throughout Metro Detroit.
Dr. Rifai’s personal journey was a central theme in his premier article as Editor in Chief for THI’s NOTeD (News Of The Day) platform. NOTeD was originally only focused on debunking nutrition and lifestyle misinformation in the media with written articles. In late 2020, Dr. Rifai led NOTeD’s evolution into a video interview-based format, providing THI audiences with access to world luminaries in nutrition and exercise science, lifestyle medicine, innovation and anthropology.
NOTeD’s success gave birth to a full blown podcast: True Health Revealed (THR). THR launched in 2022 and is co-hosted by Dr. Tom and another THI Board of Directors member, award-winning dietitian Kathleen Zelman MPH, RDN, LD.
Dr. Rifai served as Associate Medical Director of the renown Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, and spent over a decade on Pritikin’s science advisory committee. He continues to serve as lead educator on dietary fats and weight control for the Medicare-approved Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which is now running in over 100 hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs throughout the USA.
Dr. Tom is happily married to Angela. They have two beautiful young children, whom – especially being in his mid 50’s – Rifai considers his primary answers to “WHY” he is so passionate about staying healthy via lifestyle as medicine.