Well my story is the same as well as the above posters. I joined April/May 2005. I paid 800 dollars up front. I couldn't afford to do the LA lites or the supplements and I got constantly pressured to buy them at every single appointment. I had some success but still not as much as what I thought since I've got a pretty high starting weight and a 1/2 a pound per week is pretty slow I think but the high pressure to buy really turned me off so I quit going and basically lost my money. I never had the same counselor when I would go in for my appointments. My plans were changed several times so I didn't lose very much or as much as I think I would have if I had better service. Then the center that I went back to in a different nearby town closed down and I didn't get my money back nor was I ever contacted about anything. My mom has about the same story though since we joined at the same time same day. She was told by her doctor after she was diagnosed with breast cancer that she didn't need to be trying to lose weight that she would need the extra 30 pounds she had on her already.. It took her forever to get her money back despite her doctor faxing letters and calling them for my mom's behalf and she in fact had to threaten them with telling her story to Channel 4 since there is a guy that does human interest stories every night about scams and etc lol. I wish I had a chance to go to a center to where there hadn't been so many problems or not so much employee turnover then I might have stayed and maybe I would be lighter than what I am now and gotten a bit of my money's worth.
I too went to LA Weight Loss. I was pressured to buy bars in bulk which I didn't. I was pressured to buy things every time that I went into the clinic. I lost weight, but didn't do the maintenance. I gained back everything and more that I lost! The positive part was that I was held accountable three times a week to weigh myself and to get my food diary looked at. It is too hard to cheat when you know your butt has to get onto a scale in front of someone!
Offering a little clarification here re: Centers closing.
LAWL is a slightly separate entity from Pure Weight Loss. LA came first, then one of the owners wanted to do things differently (LAWL is a franchise) and started to use the Pure name and had a big corporation in which he, ulitmately, owned it all.
LA is still open in some areas.
PURE (which I joined at the end of September, 2007) closed on January 4th, leaving many of us in the lurch...most with services we've paid for and will never receive and many with products they've purchased but won't ever see.
If you are one of these people, you should contact the PA Attorney General's office, who are currently suing the owner of PWL (Vahan Karian).
He (Karian) has declared bankruptcy and hasn't yet paid anyone back (as far as anything I've heard). But the Attorney General is contending that he knew the business was in trouble and continued to push his employees to sell program and product -- thereby commiting fraud.
Karian's bankruptcy hearing took place on Friday, March 14th in Phila. I had hoped to attend, but couldn't get out of work. I haven't heard yet how it went.
As to the Alli question -- if Karian is to be believed (which I find doubtful), the statement made by the company spokesperson when they closed down had something to do with how difficult it was to stay open in such a competetive market as the weight loss industry. Alli was named as one facet of the competition.
As for me -- I had a great experience with my counselors and have had great success on this plan (have lost the 40 lbs. I originally set out to lose and am trying for a few more), even after the closing of the centers.
I am not, however, happy about the money I'm out for services I will never get.
I'm actually glad I got out of LAWL when I did. I did the program for about 3 months. When I signed up I was pressured to purchase the LA Lite bars in bulk. Being a health nut, I asked to see the ingredients. They had to dig and dig through drawers to get this info, and when I looked the first ingredient was High Fructose Corn Syrup, and the second was soy. I actually confronted the woman and said "this bar isn't healthy. The first ingredient is sugar." And then she said eating two bars a day would keep my craving for sugar down. After some exchanging of words I was being pressured VERY heavily to buy them in bulk so I made up a story. "I'm partially allergic to soy. Eating these every day would make me dizzy." Well at that the girl had to get the manager to 'approve' me for following the plan without the bars. The manager then labelled me as a 'medical' client and wrote some things on my chart. It was completely rediculous.
After about $300 into the plan I cancelled and wound up paying for 6 months I didn't use. Their plan was nothing more than the typical 'eat healthy, 5 meals a day' and wasn't anything special. It seemed like the biggest money-making diet center I've ever tried. The only legitimate one I've ever tried was Weight Watchers. It didn't work for me but they seemed very honest and without a lot of commercial foods. I feel bad for all those people who will never get paid back for their investment in the LA Lites and services from LAWL.
The knowledge gained was great, everything else, not so much
I participated in LAWL from June 2007 to September 2007. The people there were very friendly and helpful, but like many other posts, I felt pressured to purchase an ungodly amount of products. At one point I had 2 cabinets in my kitchen completely filled with LA lites, and I had 5 gallons of take-off juice! I do have a hard time saying no, but it was clearly noted in my file that I had just purchesed 'x' amount of boxes and the consultants would still pressure me into buying more the next visit.
Another problem I had deals more specifically at my center. The center that I was going to had waaaaay too many clients. At one point I had to wait an hour and a half in order to see a consultant. Most visits consisted of me waiting at least 40 minutes. I saw numerous clients get up leave because of the wait. This was the ultimate reason why I quit going. I had better things to do with my time than sitting in a hot room with 17 other people just to get weighed!
I was in my final year of college when I joined, and I joined in order to loose a little weight (25 lbs). I felt like I was always pushed aside so that 'favorite' clients could be catered to. Just because I wasn't in to lose 200 lbs or I wasn't in a maintenance stage doesn't make me any less of a person. I don't know if it was because I was young or not intending to lose lots of weight but I definately felt like just a number.
Considering how much money I put into the program (over $1200), I don't really feel that I got anywhere near my money's worth. I did lose a little weight on the program (12lbs). The knowledge on how to eat was great. I still use the receipes and portion cards; however, I wouldn't recommend the program to others.
I joined LA almost 2 years ago. I did not stay with the program because every time I walked in the door they were pressuring me to buy, buy, and buy some more. I can honestly say that I did not follow the program to the letter so I can't give say if it would work or not. I quit mainly because it was just so expensive. There was a lot of money needed up front and then each visit they tried to sell me more. I couldn't afford to keep going. Jan
Jan - I have a friend like you, she had joined and got discouraged with the high pressure sales, so quit the program. I told her she should give it another try and explained that the only thing that I have purchased was a few lites here and there, I take them all home with me so that it is harder for them to track how many I have and then each time they try to sell, I tell them I still have some... Anyway, my friend was able to take advantage of her weight loss weeks that she purchased a couple of years ago and has lost 11lbs in one month!
You may want to give it another try - they don't treat me any differently for saying no to their sales pitch... just my .02
It's not about enjoying every single meal, it's about enjoying every single day!
My story is short, but true. I joined LA Weight Loss in Jan '08. I was 8 weeks into my program, only lost about 5 lbs with this "program", when I went for my weigh in I noticed that the place looked packed up. Now I was going in 2-3 times a week. I asked the girl helping me if they were moving. She said yes, didn't you see the signs we had on the door? Never saw any signs and again I have been in 2-3 time this week and before and yet nobody bother to verbally mention this! I live in Canton, GA, I asked her where are you moving to? She said Acworth, GA. So I said to her, that's kinda further than I wanted to drive and not very convenient. She said that most women were going to go only once a week instead of two. Again I said that's a bit far for me (30-45 mins one way). I was told that if I wanted to continue this was the closest location I could go to. I came home and immediately contacted the corporate office. I was told someone would get back in touch with me. I have contacted and emailed numerous times asking for a refund of the unused weeks I have already paid for, plus the food purchases I have made that they were "holding" for me. Here it is June and I haven't heard from them yet. I can't say that I was getting much results with this program. Since this I have signed up with a personal trainer and been put on a low calorie diet with much more improvement. I can not and would not recommend this program simple because of the way they handled this situation, or should I say lack of.
Last edited by mrsd2u2008 : 06-23-2008 at 03:32 PM.
I started on LA Weight Loss a long time ago and it worked really well for me. This was back in 2001 I lost 80 pounds on it. And never really felt pressure to buy anything. The girls were all really nice. But then slowly there started to be new people that didn't really help me out much. And then I started not to go as much till I pretty much stopped. I gained alot of the weight back because I went back to my old ways. Then later on I tried it again in 2006 and lost 40 pounds but this time around they constantly wanted me to buy something. It got really annoying every time even tho i would tell them each time that I don't have the extra money. Eventually again I stopped going again. All in all you can do any type of eating right thing if you are motivated to do so. You just have to really stick to it. NO matter what you do. Its hard, they just want to make more and more money on people who are desperate to lose weight.
I posted in this thread earlier and wanted to update and add another .02 cents *lol*
Ok, so i did my whole year that I had paid for, and was POP most of the time...I admit to a few cheats here and there, but not very many. I was supposed to be getting married and was trying very hard to lose weight. I signed up with LAWL to lose 95 lbs. I struggled to lose 35 lbs.
I had tried to explain to the counsellors that the food plans they had me on was too much food. When I stalled they put me on a plan with more food. I gained weight. I again tried to explain to them it was too much food, especially carbs.
They would tell me they talked to the dietician, but nothing changed. So for $800+ I lost 35 lbs. Near the end of the program I put weight back on because they brought out the numbered plans and I was eating too much.
A few weeks ago I got a firm diagnosis of PCOS. I am insulin resistant/pre-diabetic. I explained to the doctor that I have been struggling to lose weight. He told me to cut down how much I eat and cut carbs out almost completely. I have taken his advice and have lost 10 lbs. in two weeks. I am now counting my calories and watching what I eat.
I do think LAWL is a good program for some, but we are not all the same. If you are stalling on weight loss and not getting any resolution, trust your instincts and what your body is telling you. I knew I had to drastically cut my calories and food intake, but couldn't stand the thought of losing the money I paid to LAWL. In the end, I lost my money because I didn't get the results I paid for and am still quite overweight.
I was in LAWL for awhile earlier this year. I had some success, but then I got stuck. They didn't offer to change my plan. There was really only one counselor there that I really related to, although most of them were nice. Then they got a new manager who managed to offend me with all of her LAWL stuff. I quit. I had maintained my loss until my Bday a few weeks ago. I've been overeating like there's no tomorrow since then. So, I've decided to go back on the LAWL plan. I just won't go in and have the "counselors" looking over my stuff. Somehow, I need to get that same motivation. Hey... maybe I can learn to be accountable to myself. Wouldn't that be something.
I went to LA weight Loss last summer I think around May 2007. I stayed with it for about 4 months and lost almost 20 pounds. I did not feel comfortable going into the weight center for weigh in and my dietary questions were NEVER answered. Since I am allergic to soy I could not take the bars or other products they sold and was rushed through every weigh in barely being able to ask any questions I might of had...and when I did have them I was told they would "check on it and get back to me" but never got any answers. I pretty much lost the weight with the book and planner they gave me. A big part of the program that I was drawn to was having someone help me out along the way and to let me know what I was doing or not doing correctly...but I did not receive this portion of the program that i paid for. It felt like more of a sales store then a weight loss center.
Last edited by truangel : 09-16-2008 at 08:57 PM.
Reason: editing date in context
My experience with LAWL has been pretty much the same as everyone else. I did lose 50 pounds on the program, but have gained some of it back. I lost the first 40 pounds quickly on their plan, but the last 10 was a huge struggle. Then I just quit losing, and couldn't get motivated--and nothing that the counselors tried would work. I do believe it is a good basic program if you can stick with it. But it is just not realistic for the long haul.
I took a short break from them but I am getting ready to go back. I too caved into the pressure and bought the bulk lites. I will go as long as the lites hold out and will quit then -- if it is still open here. From reading the other posts, I can see the handwriting on the wall. The store hours when I started were Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Then the hours changed "for the summer", and they were still open 6 days a week, but they closed at 7 on two days and the other three days they closed at either 5 or 6 p.m. They are now closed on Tuesdays and Thursday altogether and open until 7 on Monday and 6 on Wednesday and Friday. Which means that I can't get there 3 times a week. I imagine that one day I will go and the doors will be locked -- and they will have closed.
I agree with everyone else -- the emphasis is on selling us stuff and having us refer potential new clients. They give incentives for everyone we refer. I did refer someone, but have yet to collect the incentive -- $50 of in store credit. Actually, in the store here, there is more emphasis in us referring new clients to them than us buying stuff -- although they do push that hard, too.
The staff when I started had no idea of what was going on. They seemed to have no training at all. And waiting to see a counselor some days was awful -- not because there were so many clients, but because a counselor or two would just not show up for work. The counselors contradict each other with their "nutritional" information. One of the reasons I tried this rather than WW was LA advertises no meetings. Just quick check ins. My check in is generally very quick -- however, the wait for the check in may be anything but.
The lite bars -- I wish I had thought to ask about the nutrition information for the bars before I prepaid for them. I didn't think to look at what I was eating for several months, and then I was totally appalled at the ingredients -- high fructose corn syrup! To think I was dumb enough to trust this company with nutrition -- they touted nutrition! I spent WAY too much money for this program and even though I have lost weight with them, I wouldn't do it again.
I did LAWL and lost 30 lbs, but I have since gained it all back. I had good and bad experiences. I lost the weight, I liked the 3 days a week initially to ensure I followed the program, I liked eating regular foods, and The cost was similar to WW but had more support. The starting cost does include the scale, the recipe book (the recipes are good), some samples...enough to get you started off in the right direction.
I did not mind eating the bars, they were good to put in my purse. However, I did not learn to maintain my weight without the bars... it was like I was set up to keep buying the bars for life.
I could never get the same girl and I would have to explain the same issue over and over again - I dont' eat meat. I lost all the weight eating chicken and milk (as protein). When I finished the program I stopped with the chicken and milk and the weight started to come back, because I was taught no suitable replacement for the meat or la bars.
Then I moved across the country and fell off the diet completely (a month eating-out will do it). I went into a LAWL out here to start up again and the program had changed...more protein and starches, less fruit, Arghhh. I joined up again without the bars this time. I lasted 2 weeks.
The ladies could not get it through their heads that I did not eat meat and while could tolerate a little chicken, it could not be every meal. I was told 'chicken would be my friend. I had a lady suggest Turkey sausage instead of meat!?? Each time it was another meat fight. I gave up due to lack of support and understanding.
I have found the program is not good for people who eat little meat, the vegetarian recipes are mostly starches, fruits and veggies. I feel the staff should be better educated on nutrition and other options, and less pushy on the pills, bars and snacks - in the real world we cannot always have these things.