The LA Weight Loss Diet, founded in 1989, is a program that utilizes specially designed business centers to support a counselor driven weight-loss program, where dietary plans are created and managed in-person. The program has typically found popularity with weight-loss clients who are seeking the kind of one-on-one contact and counseling made popular by many celebrities and entertainers.
The Premise: LA Weight Loss uses a center-based counseling concept to help participants loss weight and control it long-term. Clients sign up for one-on-one counseling from a weight loss program specialist who questions them about their lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise routine. Then the counselor uses the information to detail a weight-loss and management plan, centered on portion control, long-term results, and maintenance.
The Diet: Dieters sign up for the program, pay a “set-up” fee each month, and typically meet with an LA Weight Loss counselor approximately three times each week. You are encouraged to keep a food journal to discuss your eating patterns with the counselor during your sessions. The counselor uses the LA Weight Loss program’s 3-Phase plan to create a personal weight-loss program customized for you.
- Phase 1 is the weight-loss program itself that gives you the portion control tools needed to lose weight.
- Phase 2 only comes after all of the desired weight-loss is achieved. It is a 6-week stabilization period to take you from weight-loss mode to maintenance mode gradually.
- Phase 3 is the maintenance stage that ideally lasts a lifetime.
The program restricts sodium intake and excludes most sweets during the weight-loss phase of the plan. However, the sweets are moderately added back during the maintenance phase.
What to get excited about: The program gives you a high level of personal contact and accountability. Counseling sessions are mandatory, only conducted at the centers, and are designed to use the personal contact to keep you on plan and to modify that plan whenever necessary. The program is very flexible, allowing you to eat out or cook for yourself within the designed menu plans. Alcohol and caffeine are allowed, and no foods are completely banned. LA Weight-Loss meets national nutrition recommendations that include a diet of 50-55% carbohydrates, 25-30% proteins, and 20-25% fats. Exercise and healthy eating are both encouraged.
Things to consider: Over the past few years, the diet program has been scrutinized and criticized for false claims and advertising false fees. In addition, the program pays its counselors commission on the LA Weight Loss exclusive supplements that are only sold at the weight-loss centers. Some critics argue the commissions perpetuate a hard-sell environment. Others suggest the program can become pricey with the weekly fees and the added supplement charges. And finally, the counselors at the weight-loss centers do have access to certified dietitians when working with clients, but are not typically dietitians themselves.
The Verdict: If you’re a dieter that needs accountability to succeed, the LA Weight Loss program may be worth considering. To make the plan truly work for you, you need to be cautious during counseling sessions so you don’t feel pressure to make unnecessary supplement purchases. You should also be very candid with your food journal entries. With the limited information provided on nutrition and exercise, it’s important to insist that your counselor make recommendations with the approval of one of their center dietitians.
Remember, regardless of what diet program your interested in, it is always important that you consult your personal physician before beginning a new diet program.