Did you indulge in a little too many backyard barbecues this summer? Do you have a weight problem that you’d like to do something about? Then you should check out LA Weight Loss Center!
Located at 2834 Ryan Street, LA Weight Loss is an “all natural weight loss center” that offers counseling and personalized weight loss planning for those who’d like to lead a healthy lifestyle. Centers can be found throughout the United States (in every state except Alaska) and in Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. They provide one-on-one counseling and work with dieters to develop personalized meal plans and to encourage them to lead active lifestyles.
“Louisiana has the reputation of being one of the unhealthiest states in the country,” said Karla Russell-Whiteman, director of operations for the Lake Charles center. With this in mind, the Lake Charles office opened its doors in December 2000, with the goal of providing the needed tools and knowledge for area residents to embark on a journey towards a healthy lifestyle.
Russell-Whiteman had been involved in the weight-loss business years ago. “After being approached by LA Weight Loss, and upon learning that it is an all-natural plan, I joined the team in opening the Lake Charles center,” she said.
As director of operations, Russell-Whiteman is responsible for counseling, marketing, and making her staff the best they can be. “I have also been an area manager, marketing director, and health fair coordinator,” she added. She also mentioned that she lost 20 pounds years ago. “That helps in this job, because you have to have empathy for your clients.”
The LA Weight Loss Program helps dieters learn to use regular foods, available in local grocery stores, to create healthy meals.
“Dieters also have the option of purchasing special LA Weight Loss foods, but this is not a necessary part of the program,” Russell-Whiteman said.
Counselors at the LA Weight Loss educate their clients about nutrition and how to eat a balanced diet. They encourage dieters to exercise regularly and they teach them how to eat healthy, nutritious foods, even when eating at their favorite restaurants.
“Our program is all natural,” Russell-Whiteman stated emphatically. “This means we do not use pills, surgeries, shots, or any kind of medication.”
The first phase of the LA Weight Loss plan is weight loss, and the first step of this phase is an individual meeting with one of the center’s counselors.
LA Weight Loss offers a complimentary one-hour initial consultation. During that meeting, you determine your current health status and weight loss goals. Together with the counselor, you then build a plan for attaining your goals.
“We educate our dieters about proper portions, the need to consume the recommended daily portions of proteins, starches, fruits, veggies, dairy and fat, and encourage them to exercise regularly,” Russell-Whiteman said.
Once you lose the pounds you want to lose, the second phase, stabilization, begins. “We slowly start adding food back in the dieter’s plan to maintain the dieter’s ideal body weight,” Russell-Whitman said. “This is generally a three-to-four week phase. “
The final phase is maintenance, which generally takes 26 weeks to a year. During this phase, you visit the center weekly to weigh in and meet with your counselor to make sure your weight is stable and fluctuating properly. This phase ensures that the you’re following the plan.
“Most people can lose weight with any program,” Russell-Whiteman said. “But problems arise when old habits come back, and they get off-track with their plan.” This is where one-on-one counseling helps. “Counselors provide emotional and motivational support for dieters to stick to their new lifestyle,” she added.
LA Weight Loss makes sure that you have all the support you need during your journey to lose weight. You can call the office anytime you need encouragement, or whenever you want to set up a follow-up meeting to review your progress.
The Lake Charles center currently has five counselors with over 75 years combined experience in the field that work one-on-one with clients to achieve their goals.
“Our counselors receive extensive and continuous training,” said Russell-Whiteman. “We work closely with our clients, but they are accountable for their own diet plan. If they eat something they are not supposed to eat, then it’s our responsibility to get them back on track and fuss at them, with love, if need be.”
The benefits to losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle are significant, and have been known to reduce the symptoms of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure—diseases which are often associated with being obese.
Weight loss, if achieved at a moderate pace through a healthy diet and regular exercise, can reduce the risk of these and other obesity-related diseases. Increased exercise can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and can improve overall health.
And of course, knowing that you look good automatically makes you feel better about yourself. They day you finally go shopping for new clothes to fit your trimmed-down figure is one that you’ll never forget—and makes all the effort worthwhile.
“The most rewarding aspect of this job is the look on the face of a client when he or she reaches their goal, stabilizes, and successfully completes the maintenance phase of the program,” Russell-Whiteman said proudly.
For more information about the LA Weight Loss Program, call Karla Russell-Whiteman at (337) 439-9653.