LA Weight Loss is a center-based weight-loss program that promises to teach people how to lose weight quickly and keep it off. Dieters following the LA Weight Loss program receive a customized plan and support designed to address their individual needs.
LA Weight Loss: How the Program Works
As part of the LA Weight Loss program, you will be assigned a weight-loss counselor whose job it is to support and encourage you throughout your weight-loss efforts. Your counselor will help design a personalized diet that emphasizes portion control and physical activity.
“They try to tailor [the weight-loss program] to each person,” says dietitian Andrea Giancoli, MPH, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
While you are on the LA Weight Loss program, you will attend weekly meetings with your counselor, who can give you advice and encouragement for getting to your weight-loss goals. Your counselor will be available in addition to those scheduled meetings. And enrollees can speak to the center’s registered dietitians when they wish.
LA Weight Loss: The Food Plan
Giancoli says that a typical day on the LA Weight Loss program might include:
- Cereal with skim milk and fruit for breakfast
- A sandwich made with lean protein for lunch
- A lean protein with a salad for dinner
- Perhaps a small dessert after dinner
The LA Weight Loss program also offers a line of foods and supplements designed to help dieters meet their daily nutrient requirements and avoid cravings and weight gain.
LA Weight Loss foods include:
- Snack bars
- Cheese snacks
- Other pre-portioned treats
LA Weight Loss: Pros
Giancoli says that center-based programs like LA Weight Loss can be helpful for many people who are trying to lose weight, since they provide ongoing support and teach dieters about healthful eating principles like portion control.
“Portion control is something that we all need to practice,” Giancoli says, adding that the fact that counselors teach dieters tips for doing grocery shopping and eating out is a benefit of the LA Weight Loss program. “You can live in the real world on this kind of diet.”
Audrey Young, MS, RD, a registered dietitian in Newton, Mass., says that a personalized program can be a big help to people who are trying to lose weight. “Not everyone is going to have the same nutritional issues,” Young says. Addressing people’s individualized needs, as is the goal of the LA Weight Loss program, is often the first step toward successful weight loss.
LA Weight Loss: Cons
The strongest criticism of the LA Weight Loss Program is the hard-sell pushing of their foods and supplements, which can be expensive, according to Giancoli.
“The money-maker [of the LA Weight Loss program] is selling product,” Giancoli says. “And you don’t need to spend that money on all the supplements if you are eating a balanced diet.”
Another issue, according to Giancoli, is that the counselors are not registered dietitians. “They are people who are trained to do this counseling and sell these products,” Giancoli says.
“I think [people who want to lose weight] should see a registered dietitian to focus on their individual issues,” says Young, who believes that the most successful dieters are usually those who make small behavioral changes in their lifestyles one at a time.
LA Weight Loss: Short- and Long-Term Effects
What can you expect over the short and long term? Often, the hardest thing is not losing the weight, but keeping it off, and plans like LA Weight Loss can teach you the lessons you need to sustain your weight loss over the long term, even when you are no longer a paid participant in the program. But you will still need to work at it.
“Once a person reaches the maintenance phase, he or she must always be conscious of continuing healthy habits,” says Giancoli. It will help, she says, if the dieter regularly gets on a scale, “so he or she can catch the pounds before they start creeping up. It’s a lifelong commitment.”