Islets of Hope healthy living for persons with diabetes

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Information About Specific Weight Loss Center-Based

Jenny Craig
LA Weight Loss Centers
Weight Watchers

More Diet Information

National Institutes of Health (Weight Control Information Network: Diet Myths)

What Are Popular Weight-Loss Plans and How Well Do They Work? states:
Read the article

"Commercial weight-loss plans typically fall into two categories: Those that drastically reduce a person's calorie intake or restrict the dieter to certain foods and those that require a person to take dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are usually pills, but they sometimes include special food bars or drinks. "

Diet Review and Information Website

This is a for-profit information site where consumers can submit short articles rating programs and centers. Bear in mind that information submitted to this site is by persons who may be opinionated.

However, there is a long list of diets and programs discussed that if nothing else, will give you broard information about centers and programs that may help you to ask the right kinds of questions before signing contracts.


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Healthy Eating for Diabetes                                                            main Lifestyle page

Diabetes and Diets, Exchange Plans, and Weight Loss Center Information
Center-Based Weight Loss Programs

Finding a Center That is Right for Your Needs

There are no quick-and-easy fixes to either losing, or maintaing your weight.  You may benefit from the support and structure that quality weight loss groups and facilities can provide but be sure to use good sense when looking for answers for good health.

When it comes to weight loss centers, personal recommendation from friends about how happy/unhappy they are with a particular program should not be discounted.  The weight loss center experience is a very personal and subjective experience but if the complaint is about staffing problems, customer service, unclean or unsafe facilities, take note and find somewhere else to join.

Ask the center if they specifically have a program designed to meet the medical needs for your particular type of diabetes.  If the answer is no, keeping looking.  A reputable weight management program will tell you right upfront if they are not qualified to oversee the needs of persons with diabetes (or eating disorders).  If a recruiter tries to sell you with "we have lots of diabetics on our program" don't buy into it.  You need a balanced program for diabetes, not one that you are responsible for fine-tuning to your needs.  What may be safe for nondiabetic persons may very well be unsafe for you.

You should also ask if they are willing to work in tandem with your doctor to address any special considerations.

Dealing with Contracted Weight Loss Centers

We see the ads and coupons for weight-loss centers touting promises that they have the answer, it will be easy, and you will be successful this time.  But what you may not realize is that even if corporate policies are on the up and up, and the lifestyle plan they offer is a good one, individual centers and recruiters may not be so noble.  It is important that all consumers read the entire contract before signing with any program or center.

Most centers, even those offering "3-day money back" clauses will rarely refund the total amount you paid upfront just because you have had a change of heart.  There may be steep cancellation fees, or worse, some minor requirement that you failed to meet so that you are not entitled to the refund.  And almost none will refund a single penny of the cost of food or supplements (they are considered completely nonrefundable items).   Even if you do get a refund it may take several months or longer to get your money back and expect to make countless phone calls and follow-up to get the refund wheels going.

What you are told verbally by an employee to get you to join may not be what is in your written contract.  After you have negotiatied (and yes, you should negotiate with centers and ask for a better deal) make sure that it is in writing.  Anything offered to you that is not in writing is not valid.  Remember, that many center recruiters are persons who have successfully used the program -- not certified nutrition experts who understand individual medical concerns -- and get a commission off every sale they make.

While some recruiters will suggest that it pays in the long run to preorder large quantities of food and supplement items, remember these are not refundable items.  Should you have a reaction to a supplement or product, or, simply don't like the taste you are out of luck and money -- even with the note of your physician.  Some places (LA Weight Loss is one) offer "discounts" to pre-purchase up to a one-year supply of food bars or supplements.  Ask to try their product first to see if you like it.  You should also ask for written product information as well as the name and contact information of all supplements you plan to take.  Persons with diabetes need to know exactly what supplements they are taking because many ingredients -- even natural ones -- interact with medications and can cause problems with managing blood glucose levels.

Contract signing is a good time to "trust your gut."  If you have a bad feeling about a center, it may be well-founded.  If you like their program but not the particular facility, try to locate another in your area or see if they have online programs available.

Any business that uses high-pressured, "used car" sales tactics should have you on your guard.   And if a center will not allow you reasonable time to read the entire contract, walk away.


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Page Updated 02/23/2006