Rush Limbaugh loses weight- should you rush to join him?


Rush Limbaugh throws his weight around the political world like a boy with a bazooka in a paintball game, but lately there's less of Rush's weight to throw; the radio talk show star has lost 90 pounds. Expect to see a stampede to Quick Weight Loss Centers, which Limbaugh credits for his loss. Unfortunately for the company, at the moment it only has 14 clinics, all in South Florida.

Limbaugh says he achieved his weight loss by following the Center's 1,500-calorie-a-day plan, along with counseling and supplements such as carb blockers and protein boosters. Unlike some weight loss programs, the Centers' customers eat regular food purchased from the grocery, not prepackaged, branded program meals.

Clients work directly with counselors who help them stay on course. This sounded swell to me, until I read the web page pitching careers with the company. Counselor candidates are told "Experience in medical, gym, dancing, school, beauty or weight loss teaching and counseling is a plus, but not required." I guess it doesn't take a trained nutritionist to counsel a radio star.

How much does it cost? Quick Weight Loss Centers has a 'special' deal on its Home Program, for those will live outside South Florida. Six weeks of the program, including Herbal Balance Gold XTRM ("with pure South African Hoodia Gordonii") and other supplements, "Quick-boost Thermogenic Beverages", 12 protein supplements, online cookbook, and counseling -- all for $449, which it claims is a savings of $680(!).

Are they serious? If you are ready to lose weight, don't start by lightening your wallet with a overpriced program like this. Look for a local program that meets face to face, allows you to eat food from the supermarket, and doesn't sell its own supplements. Weight Watchers, for example, charges around $12 a meeting, and Consumer Reports rated it the best overall program among the nine it evaluated.