How It Works continued...
Phase two is a six-week stabilization period that clients advance to after they have met their weight loss goals. Calories are slowly increased during phase two in accordance with client progress as noted during the twice weekly counselor visits.
The last phase is maintenance. Clients are encouraged to check in with counselors once a week during maintenance and remain in the program for at least a year to help keep the lost weight from returning.
Counseling occurs only at the centers. There are no email or phone consultations nor are there any group meetings, online communities, or chat rooms. Some centers have walking clubs and occasionally offer group programs.
Exercise is encouraged although there are no specific exercises or individualized plans. "Most of our clients are not very physically active so our aim is to meet them where they are and build upon it to get them to be more active," says Boyer.
What the Experts Say
The foundation of the LA Weight Loss plan to eat a calorie- and portion-controlled diet with more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, as well as less fat, sugar, and salt is a healthful one overall and consistent with the recommendations of other health care organizations. You can lose weight if you follow the calorie-controlled plan and get regular exercise just like many of the company's clients who have been featured in magazine spreads, but you can do it without any special products or supplements.
American Dietetic Association spokesman Milton Stokes says buyer beware of pushy counselors trying to sell their products. "Anytime a company pushes products, a red flag goes up because there is no such thing as a magic pill or potion to help you lose weight. It is all about changing your lifestyle and behaviors, not about bars or supplements" he says. "There is very little clinical evidence that these supplements work," he adds.
Edee Hogan, a nutrition and culinary consultant in Washington, D.C., agrees. "You don't need to succumb to the hard sell, commission-driven sales of LA Weight Loss Centers brand products for effective and long-lasting weight loss," she says.