Lighten Up Review - Does This Weight Loss System Work?
Over 50 percent of diet programs just don’t work, so what about Lighten Up? Is it part of the 50 percent that doesn’t work? To find out, our research team took an in-depth look at the Lighten Up program and read comments and reviews from actual participants to find out if this product is a healthful and effective way to lose weight.
What You Need to Know
Lighten Up is a weight loss system that teaches participants to have a healthy relationship with food. Rather than tackling stress eating, it tackles stress itself, and it aims to promote an understanding of why you’re eating what you’re eating to help make better decisions about your diet.
Lighten Up has been around since 2004, so it does have some longevity as a diet program. It comes with a recommended caloric intake, ideas for increased activity, and some tips for dropping extra weight. We like that it is a very affordable program with very little or no cost at all and that there are some positive results in reviews online, but read on…
Lack of Results–“Only for Dieters that Are All In”
The first disappointment with Lighten Up came as we started to realize that weight loss was slow and minimal. “The program saw its first boost in participation in Iowa where over 12,000 users participated for several months,” said our research editor. “Unfortunately, without any supplements or additional support, dieters lost an average of just less than 4 pounds.”
“I was doing all I could to follow the program, but the lack of a support network made weight loss slow and disappointing,” said one user.
“This is only for dieters that are all in and have time to exercise every single day. I’d rather take a supplement that allows me to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising a few days a week,” said another.
Health Concerns–Dangerously Low Calorie Counts
Those that did follow the system to the letter and lost weight often did so at the expense of their overall health. “I lost 8 pounds over 2 months, but I was eating 500 calories per day and my immune system tanked,” said one dieter. Lighten Up promotes healthy eating, but it is often taken to an extreme with dieters eating well under 1000 calories per day.
“I had constant stomach pain and depression issues after being on a low calorie diet for 2 months,” said another. Many customers agree that the program encouraged unsafe diet practices, like this customer who participated in Lighten Up Maine: “Healthy living is one thing, but eating a 500-700 calorie diet is unsafe and unsustainable.”
Our research has shown that whenever a diet program has a difficult or troublesome aspect (difficult workouts, high cost, health concerns, etc.), it can be difficult to follow through and meet weight loss goals. If Lighten Up really does have some long-term health concerns, it could make it difficult for those looking for a healthy way to lose weight.
If you are dead set on trying a diet program like Lighten Up, we recommend that you continue to eat a normal diet, but start substituting healthier options. Rather than starving your body on a 500 calorie diet, continue with a 1500 calorie diet but substitute fresh fruit for dessert or vegetables for high carb starches.
The Science–Good or Bad?
We were able to find plenty of scientific support for a low calorie diet and increased exercise contributing to weight loss, but we also found significant research against dangerously low calorie diets. Most scientific studies recommend a combination of lower caloric intake and increased aerobic activity to help dieters lose weight, but when it’s taken to an extreme, it can be unhealthy and dangerous. Clinical studies have proven that it is unsafe and potentially dangerous to maintain a diet below 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men. The low calorie numbers recommended by Lighten Up are often below these thresholds, which studies have shown can lead to long-term internal organ problems, weight management struggles, and more.
The Bottom Line–Does Lighten Up Work?
Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for: our decision on Lighten Up. There was a lot to like about Lighten Up. The easy to follow instructions, the affordability of the product, and the idea to lose weight by simply making better choices were all encouraging. We do have several reservations about this product, primarily the lack of research proving that Lighten Up is a safe way to lose weight. Weight loss is key for us, but overall health is more important, so a product that sacrifices overall health for a few pounds raises red flags. We’re also concerned about the lack of results that some people have seen and the lack of a support network with Lighten Up.
If you’d like to lose weight without sacrificing long-term health, we recommend supplementing your active lifestyle with a weight loss product that is proven to increase the results of your healthy choices by boosting your metabolism and helping you burn fat.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. It contains four ingredients that have scientific research backing up the product’s claims. The proprietary formula has been compared to a placebo in double-blind studies, and it has been proven to be a safe way to boost your metabolism and increase fat loss. We’ve found hundreds of reviews online boasting great results with this product, and there are no known health concerns when taking Leptigen.
Right now, the makers of Leptigen are making their product available as part of a special trial offer, which is a good sign that they’re confident you’ll see great results with their product.
Previous Lighten Up Review (Updated March 9, 2010):
What You Should Know
Lighten Up!: The Authentic Way to Lose Your Weight and Your Worries is a book written by well known stress coach, Loretta LaRoche. Her book is a lighthearted, fun, approach to weight loss, where she provides her eight secrets to shedding the pounds.
List of Ingredients
According to LaRoche, the majority of people have forgotten how to eat, and how to enjoy their food. Too many people feel that food is the sworn enemy, and still too many others feel food is their saving grace. The key is finding a balance in the way you feel about food, and to start regarding it as the positive life force it is meant to be. Avoid falling into the typical dieting frame of mind. Continue to eat food that you think tastes good. Remember what you love about the food you eat every day, and journal the experiences so you can keep track of them. She says you should follow the way the French eat, with three small meals every day, and a little bit of wine. She also says you should eat with your family as much as possible because research indicates this can help you live a longer, fuller, life. No meal plans or specific dietary guidelines are provided in the book because she wants people to focus on getting a better self esteem and more positive outlook. She says exercise should not be used as an excuse to overeat because it takes more activity than we realize to burn off those extra calories. Never exercise under stress or obligation, and only do something you enjoy.
- This program promotes stress management.
- This program advocates keeping a food diary.
- This program promotes having a healthy relationship with your food.
- No dietary guidelines are provided in this book.
- Little guidance about how to make healthy eating choices.
- Some people may not understand the way LaRoche approaches things.
Lighten Up!: The Authentic Way to Lose Your Weight and Your Worries does a good job on getting people to change the way they think and feel about food, but it does not really help with weight loss. There are no dietary guidelines, meal plans, recipes, or real exercise recommendations to help you. This may be a good thing to use alongside another weight loss program to help keep you with a motivated positive attitude, but beyond that we don't really recommend it. Instead, follow a reduced calorie, nutritionally balanced diet, with increased water intake. Find and take a proven weight loss supplement, either as a fat burner or appetite suppressant to help you increase your efforts for best results.