The Basics: One of the newest diet centers (it was founded in 1989), L.A. Weight Loss Centers helps customers lose weight through one-on-one counseling and a personally designed meal plan for each dieter.
How It Works: When a dieter signs up, she is matched with a counselor who creates a specific, customized plan. The dieter is given a daily allowance of food, grouped into categories like starches, fats and proteins. There are three phases of the diet: The Weight Loss phase (the most restrictive, with dieters meeting with their personal counselor for motivation and support as many as three times a week); the Stabilization phase (with two weekly meetings at the center); and Maintenance, which is the eating plan dieters follow to maintain their weight loss.
What You Can Eat: It depends on your personalized program, but generally dieters eat leaner cuts of protein and vegetables.
What You Can't Eat: Again, it depends on your program. But, according to Jennifer Simmons, MS, RD, LDN, director of nutrition for L.A. Weight Loss: "There's always foods that we recommend to stay away from, the more high-fat, high-sugar foods."
When You Can Expect Results: The weight loss is gradual, not dramatic. "The average weight loss we look for is 2 lbs. a week," says Simmons.
Pros: The system teaches how to eat a balanced meal. "We really focus our education on portion control and behavior modification," adds Simmons.
Cons: It's expensive, and many dieters complain about feeling "forced" to buy their optional pre-packaged snack bars.
Who Did It: Lake Horn, Miss., native Campbell, 30, went from 371 lbs. to 164 lbs. "Unlike most places, it was a very medical setting. They asked medical questions, interests, allergies, everything about me," she says. "There was someone there to teach me about the program and how to work it step by step." See her amazing transformation here.
For More Information: Go to the L.A. Weight Loss website.
L.A. Weight Loss
12/20/2006 AT 12:00 PM EST