How to Follow the LA Weight Loss Program Without Joining

a young couple sitting back to back on a exercise mat
A man and woman sitting on an exercise mat. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

LA Weight Loss was once a store-front weight-loss plan, but is now available only online after the company went out of business in 2008 just prior to being named one of the Better Business Bureau's 2009 Dirty Dozen -- the 12 worst-rated businesses of the year. The weight-loss plan consisted of key elements that can be reproduced without joining LA Weight Loss in order to achieve your weight loss goals.

Customize

Step 1

Customize your plan by first estimating how active you are. For instance, if you rarely exercise and have a job where you spend most of your time sitting, your activity level is considered inactive. Exercising moderately two or three times per week means you are somewhat active; 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days is considered active, while very active would mean you exercise vigorously every day.

Step 2

Factor your gender and age into your customized plan. If you are between 40 and 59, reduce your servings of starch, such as one piece of reduced-calorie bread or 1/3 cup rice, by one-half serving. If you are 60 or over, reduce your starch by one full serving. Men, on the other hand, are allowed one extra starch and one extra protein serving per day.

Step 3

Add up your daily allowances. The basic plan allows two servings of protein, three servings of vegetables, three servings of fruit, two starches, one dairy, one fat, two "LA Lites" -- LA Weight Loss' brand of packaged snack foods -- and up to three condiments each day. If you are active, add one-half serving of protein. If you are very active add an extra serving of starch. If you are inactive, subtract one-half serving of starch.

Menu Options

Step 1

Choose only from plan-approved proteins in measured quantities, such as 6 ounces of lean beef, 7 ounces of fish or seafood, 8 ounces of white meat poultry, three eggs, 2 cups of beans, 3 tablespoons reduced-fat peanut butter or 5 tablespoons unsalted nuts. Ham, sausage, bacon, dark meat poultry and other high-fat meats are not permitted.

Step 2

Choose an assortment of vegetables each day. One-half cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw equals one serving. Starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes and peas are not counted as vegetables, but as starches.

Step 3

Consume a variety of fruits such as one small apple, one-half small banana, 1 cup cranberries, one-half mango, 1 cup melon, one small peach or 12 small strawberries.

Step 4

Measure your starches, as serving sizes may be smaller than you would assume. For instance, one serving of pasta on the LA Weight Loss plan equals one-third cup. Other starches to choose from include one-half small bagel, 1/3 cup bulgur, 1/2 cup corn, one slice of light bread, one-half small baked potato, one-half small corn tortilla or four fat-free saltine crackers.

Step 5

Restrict your fat intake to one serving per day by using non-stick spray to cook your food. Choose from seven unsalted almonds, 1 teaspoon butter, nine black olives, 15 pistachios, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise or 1 tablespoon cream cheese.

Step 6

Choose between 2 ounces reduced-fat cheese, 8 ounces skim or light soy milk and 8 ounces light yogurt for your dairy.

Step 7

Have up to three condiments each day, such as 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon hot sauce or five sprays of fat-free butter spray.

Step 8

Supplement your diet with LA Lites sold online or choose other pre-measured reduced-calorie snacks. For instance, LA Lites protein bars are 170 calories with 8 grams of protein and are made with whey and soy. Similar bars are sold in grocery stores, usually for a much lower price.

Phase 1 -- Weight Loss

Step 1

Track everything you eat and drink in a journal. A study by Kaiser Permanente in 2008 showed that dieters who kept regular journals lost twice as much weight as those who did not. Include feelings and events to establish your eating patterns, also.

Step 2

Weigh yourself three times per week.

Step 3

Meet with a counselor, weight-loss group or friend to review your progress and discuss your journal entries. LA Weight Loss recommends meeting three times per week with a weight-loss counselor each time you weigh in.

Step 4

Consume all recommended requirements each day in addition to drinking eight glasses of water.

Step 5

Track your progress. Write down your goal and your achievements at each weigh in.

Phase 2 -- Stabilize

Step 1

Stabilize your weight loss once you have reached your goal by slowly adding in foods that were not on plan or additional servings of foods.

Step 2

Continue tracking your food in a journal and weighing in three times per week.

Step 3

Reduce your portion sizes or limit additional servings when you begin to gain weight.

Step 4

Review your journal to calculate the amount of food you need to consume in order to maintain your weight.

Step 5

Continue meeting with your counselor, group or friend to establish what is working and what might be better left out of your diet.

Phase 3 -- Maintenance

Step 1

Continue writing down everything you eat, meeting with your support and weighing in weekly for one year.

Step 2

Make adjustments anytime you see more than 3 pounds creep back on by returning to your journal and eating more closely to how you ate during phase 1 or 2.

Step 3

Continue to eat a low-fat, well-balanced diet.

Things You'll Need

  • Journal

  • LA Lites, protein bars or similar packaged snacks

  • Scale

Tip

LA Weight Loss offers a large line of supplements, foods and diet aids, but talk to your doctor to see if supplements are necessary, helpful or appropriate for you.

Warning

Talk to your doctor about your weight loss plans before you begin a new diet.

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