The LA Weight Loss Diet Plan is based on losing weight through sensible portions of healthy food. Dieters follow prescribed food plans based on food categories.
LA Weight Loss started in 1989 and grew to over 650 diet centers in 49 states, Canada, and Europe. At that time the program was center based, with counselors who figured out personalized food plans with calorie levels based on individuals’ medical history, lifestyle, height, weight, age, and activity level. Dieters participated in private, one-to-one counseling sessions and weigh-ins at the centers. Diet counselors were not nutrition professionals, but could refer to the company’s certified nutritionist for assistance.
In addition, participants received menu plans, tips, recipes, and newsletters.
In LA Weight Loss Plan Diet, 45-55 percent of the calories comes from carbohydrates, 25-40 percent from protein, and 15-25 percent from fat–a basic, healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and a minimum of fat.
The diet was fairly strict but no foods were banned outright. Counselors encouraged participants to exercise, but there was no specific exercise component to the plan. The company claimed dieters could lose two pounds per week using its program.
While dieters could follow the plan eating regular supermarket food, counselors strongly encouraged dieters to buy the company’s own brand of nutritional supplements and snack bars. In fact, counselors received commissions on their sales of company products.
The diet consisted of three phases:
1. Weight loss, typically based on 1,100-1,800 calories per day.
2. Six-week stabilization program starts after the dieter reaches his or her weight loss goal. More foods are introduced at this time.
3. The maintenance program includes counselling to help with weight maintenance. Sweets and other indulgences may be added back into the diet in this phase.
LA Weight Loss Diet Plan Today
The company split up a few years ago and most of the centers have since closed. The company is in transition from a center-based program to an online program.
The current program, called the LA Weight Loss Rapid Results Diet, has five steps.
1. The 2-Day KickStart Plan is a type of detoxification. Dieters do it at the start and then every 14 days they are on the diet.
2. The LA Rapid Results Diet System, which dieters use until the lose 20 pounds or reach their weight loss goals. The system includes a food guide, lifestyle guide, flexible meal combos, instructions, the “LA Right Portions Plate,” and online weight loss tools and support. Dieters eat a specific number of servings of proteins, vegetables, fruits, starches, dairy, fats, beverages, and LA Lites Bars, plus 200 calories worth of you-name-it extras.
3. Transitional phase. Dieters transition into eating a wider variety of foods.
4. Dieters use two LA Lites Bars per day throughout the program.
5. Dieters use the LA SmartTrim Nutritionals dietary supplements along with the diet program daily.
The new program recommends that dieters exercise three times a week while they participate in the Rapid Results Diet Plan.
The LA Rapid Results Diet Plan uses the LA Weight Loss Menu Plan Diary, which the company website calls “Your most valuable weight loss tool.” Dieters decide which specific menu plan and menu plan diary to use based on gender, current height and weight, age, and general activity level. The Menu Plan Diary has structured pages for recording food consumed, including the LA food bars.
The entire program costs about $289.99 a month with automatic rebilling, or $419.99 per month without automatic rebilling. If purchased separately, monthly shipments of the required LA Lites Bars cost $109.99 for 56 bars, which is enough for 28 days. LA SmartTrim Nutritional Meals, which are also required, sell for $89.99 for a one-month supply using the auto-ship monthly option. Meal replacement shakes, called LA SlimDown Meal Replacements, cost $79.99 for 24 cans with the auto-ship monthly billing option. The website does not include complete nutritional information on the products.
(Please be aware that the prices noted in this article may change.)
Meal Plan for a Day
Like the old program, the new LA Diet Plan is flexible and no foods are outlawed. A typical meal plan for a 1,500-calorie per day diet may include:
- Breakfast: Three-quarters of a cup of corn flakes with eight ounces of skim milk topped with three-quarters of a cup of blueberries.
- Lunch: Four ounces of tuna canned in water mixed with one tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise served on one slice of whole grain bread. One and one-quarter cup of watermelon for dessert.
- Snack: One LA Lites Bar, one small banana, and eight ounces of light yogurt.
- Dinner: Four ounces of shrimp or fish, one cup of cooked green vegetables, and one tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise.
- Snack: One LA Lites Bar and one-half cup of reduced-fat cottage cheese.
The Critics Say
The LA Weight Loss Diet Plan is a sensible and easy-to-follow program of weight loss that has worked for many people. It is based on a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fruits, and vegetables. However, the required bars and nutritional supplements cost hundreds of dollars a month. Critics of the program say that because the program relies so heavily on pre-packaged foods, participants do not learn how to cook with and get the nutrients they need from fresh foods. They say that individuals can achieve the same weight loss results by changing to a healthier diet and exercising regularly, without paying for unnecessary products or relying so heavily on processed foods.