Serious about losing weight? Do you seek personal attention by a team of healthcare professionals and personal counseling, possibly diet drugs? Then the Physicians Weight Loss Centers may be what you need. Take our Diet Wizard to find out whether the Physicians Weight Loss Centers program is one of the best diet plans for you. Our in-depth diet analysis examines your lifestyle, dieting preferences, and needs versus Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss, Lindora Clinics, hospitals and clinics, the Atkins diet, South Beach diet and many other diet plans. Then BestDietForMe.com gives you a group of your best diet program “matches" and unbiased reports describing each company’s program, complete with reviews of programs like Physicians Weight Loss Centers, so you can choose the right one…
(Medical Weight Loss Clinics Chain)
Type of Counseling: one-to-one, provided by MDs, nurses, weight loss counselors
Typical Cost:varies, but generally $700-1,000 for 12-week plan
Type Program:medically supervised, variety of plans using grocery store food, company meal replacements and supplements, herbal appetite suppressants
Type of Foods Used:grocery store food, low carb/high fiber
At-Home or Direct Mail Plan Available?Yes
Physicians Weight Loss Centers
395 Springside Drive
Akron, OH 44333-2496
330-666-7952 or 1-800-205-7887
The company reports, as of late December 2003, that it has approximately 60 centers in operation today. None are located outside the United States. The company has locations in 10 states: AL, FL, IN, MS, NC, OH, SC, TX, WV, WI. Management said that they could ship their diet food products and bars overseas if requested, but really hasn’t done this that much, if at all.
Physicians Weight Loss Centers was founded in 1979. The Franchise Support Center is also located in Akron, Ohio. The company claims that to date 1.5+ million clients have enrolled in its weight loss program. The firm was founded by Charles Sekeres, who felt that the credibility of a medically supervised diet, combined with daily attendance and supervision, set his centers apart from the rest.
How The Program Works
The Physicians Weight Loss Diet System consists of these basic components:
The firm introduced in May 1991 four new diet plans nationwide, based on the use of regular food, that address the consumer's demand for a specialized weight loss for individual lifestyles and budgets. In recent years, a System 5 plan was been added, which involves using the diet drug Meridia. Each system uses different calorie intake levels.
Center personnel recommend NOT using System 1 and say that most clients choose System 3 or 4.
Basically, there are daily visits for the first two weeks and then three times a week for the remainder of the program.
The weight loss program is said to be a low-fat, high-fiber, low cholesterol and rich-in-complex carbohydrates diet, as suggested by the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health. All clients must have an initial physicians' consultation and evaluation with a center physician to determine eligibility. Vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements are available. PWLC also offers the Medifast brand very low calorie fasting supplements.
The "Ideal Weight Protection Certificate" is a guarantee for all Weight Maintenance clients. It allows clients to enroll one time in the Weight Loss Program with no cost for services if they regain more than five pounds while on the Weight Maintenance Program.
These programs are based on the 5 systems the firm has been using in its licensed centers for over 21 years. They were specially adapted for use over the Internet. Your membership includes:
The Online Programs:
Note: The prescription weight loss plan is NOT available as an online option. A description of it appears on the website, but you can’t sign up there. This program requires in-person medical evaluation and supervision.
Time and money spent on the program varies, depending on the amount of weight the client needs to lose, and what kind of specials are being offered in your area. For example, a recent call to a center in Florida revealed a $99 special for System 1, losing up to 15 lbs., plus the cost of products/supplements (ranging from $30-90/week, avg. $58). Therefore, if one wanted to stay on this program for 12 weeks to get to their goal weight, it would cost about $795. For System 4 for 9 weeks, there was a $199 registration fee, plus the cost of a physical exam/EKG/blood work (amount not specified), plus $58/week for product/supplements. Consequently, this medical plan would cost about $1,045 for 9 weeks. BestDietForMe.com analysts therefore estimate $800-1,000 for a typical 12-week program.
A walking program is optional, and costs $12-15 total, as well as a maintenance program that may cost $300-400 per year.
The costs of the Online programs are as follows:
For all Online versions of the PWLC plans, you pay $96 for 3 months, and $4.99/month thereafter. For program 2, you add the cost of meal replacement bars or shakes. For Programs 1, 3, and 4, there is no extra cost, since you are using grocery store food.
Program 1: $96 for 3 months
Program 2: $96 for 3 months, plus 36 boxes of shakes or nutrition bars ($18 per box, 3 boxes per week), or $648 — Total Cost = $744.
Program 3: $96 for 3 months
Program 4: $96 for 3 months
Physicians Weight Loss Centers has been in the business a long time—25 years. It is now the largest chain of stand-alone, franchised medical weight loss centers in the United States. They used to operate more centers, but like other medical chains they have been hurt by more competition. The plan is basically a sound one, and a wide variety of weight loss products are available, from meal replacements to entrees, to obesity drugs, if needed. The body composition analysis is also a good feature.
The requirement that the client come to the center 3-5 times a week may be a burden for busy working women and others with hectic schedules. It was the old model for weight loss centers that worked in the 1980s and part of the 1990s. This is basically why so many online diet websites sprung up over the past few years—convenience and anytime access. Simply put, it costs more money to staff and operate a "bricks and mortar" center, so diet companies have to charge you for that. However, the company has added online versions of this plan to address that concern.
The cost of the program is on a par with other medical programs. To their credit, BestDietForMe.com analysts must admit that this website is one of the best you will find in the diet industry, in terms of being user friendly and being rich in features and information. An online locator service finds the center nearest to you, with a neat mapping service as well. International dieters living outside the U.S. or Canada cannot be served by this program at present.
The information on this web site is intended for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Before starting any weight loss program, it is recommended that you consult your physician or other health care professional.
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