By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

lindoraLindora is a weight loss program that was initiated in the 1970s by Dr Marshal Stamper. More recently they have introduced an online version (Lean for Life online), and also a phone-based version of the program.

Currently most bricks-and-mortar clinics are based in Southern California, US.

Lindora – low calorie, very low carb

The Lean for Life program is essentially a high-protein, very low carb diet based on the process of ketosis. This program is medically-supervised and includes a number of other factors such as addressing psychological issues and eating ‘triggers’.

The program is separated into different phases – this is so that your body can stay in the ketosis state. The program ends with a 2 week ‘metabolic adjustment’ phase – to get the body back out of ketosis, and back to relatively ‘normal’ eating.

The 45 day program claims that you can use ‘food you can find in any grocer store’ – yet they do have a substantial online shop section that has many items of food for sale.

The meal plans include 3 meals per day plus 3 protein-based snacks.

Is Lindora suitable for everyone?

Most weight loss programs like this are suitable only for a certain small niche of people. Maintaining a successful healthy lifestyle is more than a 10 week program, and while helping many to lose the initial weight – it does not teach you lifelong habits about nutrition, fitness, and exercise.

It is far better to understand the nutrition that will work for your body – without starving any of your muscle mass. Lindora is low on calories – perhaps too low for some.

It is expensive. The clinic-based programs generally have an upfront fee of $1000. Food and vitamin injections will be extra on top of this. The 10 week online program is $249. This includes just 10 phone conversations with someone at the clinic.

These weight loss solutions are not cheap. However some people find that making a large financial commitment helps them to “stay with the program” and keep motivated.

Look for low Calorie and low Carb recipes here.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Janet

    I went on this diet about a month ago and for sure it works. Lost 22 lbs in 6 weeks-Got the book from my sister for guidance. It was very easy for me because l snacked every two hours so never had hunger pans like in other diets.
    Now on lifetime maitenance and my only worry is, doesnt too much protein exhaust the liver in the long term?

  • diane

    Was on this years ago and it worked. Have been off and have regain weight. Older now, but have done tons of research on blood lipids and statins etc.. only to come back to what back in the 1800 (yes that long ago) the answer to good health was protein, fat and low carb. Much like the atkins diet. The CHL recommendations done in 2004 based on dr’s who are paid by the pharma. companies … no evidence of heart disease with lowered CHL levels … and especially for the elderly who should never take statins. Anyway, back to research and to a low carb.

  • Camille

    Shirin – the book is called “Lean for Life”. It’s about $10 on

  • Shirin

    What is the name of the book??? I know I can’t afford $2000 for the clinic anyone???

  • PJ

    This is a very expensive diet. $1500 dollars to walk in the door to get started and 150 a month to stay per month. I am still paying it off. I lost 20 lbs but that was it. It is very pricey and you have money to burn go here. But I do not recommend it for anyone who is on a limited income. Best thing to do is research and count the calories and exercise and you can do that on your own. It is in the mind to lost the weight. Just like alcohol and drug addiction is. Believe me I know.

  • Julie

    This diet is amazing, its the only thing that worked for me. The main reason being, they got me past several plateaus which in turn encouraged me to keep going. Anyone who blames this program for not succeeding really needs to take a look in the mirror. No program will help if you dont follow it and when it ends if you dont keep it going and stay healthy. Stop being a victim and blaming everything else for your weight issues.

  • staci

    Why in the world would you send your friend to a clinic? I call “BS” to Jack who said Lindora took his friend who was 5’6″ and weighted only 120 lbs – of course they won’t take you to lose weight. They will, however, teach you to eat healthily, and teach you healthy lifestyle habits. Pffft! It’s called Lean for Life.

  • Matthew

    I wasted thousands of dollars on this program. I was on the program for a whole year. I went into their office every morning like clockwork. I lost 100 lbs in that year. I moved and was to far away to continue but in less than 5 months I gained 120 lbs back. I tried desperately not to gain the weight but exercise and continuing to starve myself didn’t work.

    Note: The above rating is wrong. I clicked two stars and it selected 3.5.

  • SaddLLP

    I have hypo-thyroid and the program is good for me. You get a full medical workup before you start. Contrary to comments by those who have not gone on the program, this is a lifestyle change and ‘they are not out to take your money’. If you struggle with weight issues, it is HARD to stay on a diet, not matter what it is – if it were easy, you would be at your desired weight! Lindora offers fast results which makes those first few days of no carbs bearable. Quitting smoking was easier than quitting carbs – they are addicting. After the first phase, you do add carbs, but good carbs, not sugary, white flour carbs. It is a really effective program and yes, expensive, but if someone said you could be your best weight for $1000, most women would anti up. Don’t be a hater if you have not been on the program – that is just stupid.

  • Finally losing

    I’ve lost almost 60 pounds this year through Lindora. I hit my goal in March and have kept off all but the last few pounds but now I am back in “boot camp” mode to keep that off again. I am very short so I just cannot eat all that much. I disagree with the one who said that the diet doesn’t adjust for your size… depends on your counselor. Mine will suggest a carb range or various food suggestions depending on the rate of my weight loss. You get what you pay for. I like the personalized counseling. They spend as much (or as little) time as you need and you don’t have to sit through a meeting at a scheduled time. I think the key (besides the “buy-in”) is weighing in 5 days a week during weight loss mode; continued help with maintaining weight; using mainly your own food and cooking (though the product does help with the snacks, I always cook my own breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I know how to order out. By the way, most of the products taste really good; my 12 year old likes them too.) I can easily cook for my family while modifying my own meal (sauces on the side and I don’t eat the starch). Also as many have said, they mix it up by having you diet hard for several weeks and then eat more for 2-3 weeks to help your body adjust. It’s strict but when I eat right, I am not hungry and I know what to do when cravings strike. They ask DAILY about my exercise. They help me with challenges and they encourage me to KEEP GOING even through plateaus. Sure, they aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know, but sometimes you need to be accountable to someone else on a daily / weekly basis.

  • Mardi Rodriguez

    There was a question earlier about Lindora Program and thyroid sufferers. Will this be good for them too? Pls send me a response. Thanks.

  • giovanny reyes

    i dont this is true they just are out for the money thats all they want

  • la chick

    i don’t get the comment that Lindora program doesn’t teach lifestyle habits like nutrition and fitness! it is all about just that = and it’s easy to follow it , even if you are away from home a lot, like i am.
    in 4 weeks i’ve lost 18lbs, just by counting my carbs, walking 1 hour every day and flushing my body with lots of water.
    of course, weight will come back if the person gets back to the habits that made them gain weight in the first place…
    if i watch my weight, i will stay slim, if i start to eat erratically, drink alchohol and fattening foods of course i can expect to get back where i was last year.
    the decision about staying healthy and fit is internal and lindora provides more than enough tools. first ten weeks are rapid but medically supervised weight loss, it’s restrictive but wouldn’t you rather safely lose faster than slower? instead of spending money on liposuction, i paid lindora a fraction of what the plastic surgeon will ask! i recommend this program to any serious dieter.

  • Dianne

    I give Lean for Life 5 stars. I went on the program several years ago by buying the book and tapes. Everything I needed to fix meals I could buy in the local grocery store. I liked the protein days as they seemed to energize me. I need to go back and lose 20 pounds because of my bad choices and I know with Lean for Life…I can do it!!! Read the book and make sure you fill in the pages each day. It keeps you accountable and you will be pleased at the successful results you see on each page as you go along with the program.

  • quinn Caldwell

    I’m in the program as of now. I have only lost 6lbs and its been 2 weeks. I have a hard time following the program because I’m not at home as I would like to be. I’m trying my best to stay with the program. Yes it is costly but I figured if I spend that amount of money then I should stick with it.

  • Matt

    I first did LFL about 10 years ago by just using the book as a guide. I lost 25lb in 6 weeks. I was lean and defined. I had more energy and felt less stressed. I have since read articles that inform you that the diets where weight is lost at that speed is also quickly regained. Well.. It was at least 3 years before I started to regain weight. This was only due to a slow drift back into old eating habits.. The metabolic adjustment is the most important phase. The only con I believe is that there is no food quantity adjustment from a 5’0″ female to 6’8″ male. There are definitely different food requirements for different people. Also there needs to be calorie adjustment for people who regularly exercise at intensity so you don’t starve – A difficult one to gauge I suppose..

  • Blanca

    I lost 38lbs in 3 month and kept it off for over 6 months…… would have been for a life time but I went back to my old habits and as a result gained 15lbs,but again after 6 months of “pigging out”.I’m back on Lindora just started on my 3rd day and lost 3 lbs…..YES Lindora works!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kim

    I lost 85 pounds in 6 months on this program back in 1998. I gained back all the weight. However I am not blaming the program I am blaming myself. The program worked great I just got depressed from an unrelated incident and went off the program. I have to tell you the most important thing about this program is not the weight lose phase it is the metabolic and maintenance phases. You have to adjust your metabolism every 8 weeks (the book says every 4 but the clinic says its ok to do 8 if you have a lot of weight to lose). If you don’t adjust your metabolism during the diet your weight loss will stall. If you don’t do the metabolic adjustment and maintenance after your last weight loss phase you will gain the weight back. You have to allow time for metabolism to adjust to your new life. You have to learn to change the way you eat forever this is a lifetime commitment that is why it is called Lean for Life not Lean for a Year!

  • Don

    I’m finishing up my second 10 week program with Lindora and I have lost 107 pounds! The support and information has been a huge benefit for me. I highly recommend this program especially for men. Theres no group discussions and such. You go in privately with your counselor and they tell you what you need to do. The cost IS NEGOTIABLE, they have discounts and different programs to suit your budget and weekly payment plans. Just go talk to them ITS WORTH IT! I’m now training for a marathon next April and feel better than I have in over 10 years! THANKS LINDORA!

  • KB

    I would agree that the company is profit motivated, although I have to say, the program works, within limits. The first time, I did well and lost about 40 pounds. Some years later, I went back to lose more and was again going well. Then, strangely, about three weeks into the program, they told me I had to stop because my blood sugar readings were off. I had paid over $1,800 for the program, etc., and they did not give me a refund for the remaining weeks, etc. I can understand if I quit, but they asked me to stop and then they kept all of my money without providing any further services. That’s just not right…

  • veni

    Hi i am a thyroid sufferer and recently have dramatically put on weight, feel very depressed about it. Please tell me more about the diet, and how much in South African Rands. is it a product or a specific eating programme?

  • Jean

    I LOVE this diet…although to me it is no longer a diet, a way of life. Although the first few weeks I didn’t get creative I soon realized I didn’t have to stick to the ‘basics’. Instead of just one veggie I had three just portion sized each to equal one. Same with fruit. What a concept. I liked the encouragement, the daily check-in is a good accountability. I have already lost 25lbs (176 down to 151) and have another 15 to go. Although it is costly, it works. You don’t need to use their food, but it is a quick meal and really doesn’t taste too bad.

  • Anita

    I wnet to Lindora back in 1992 I lost 30lbs. in 30 days. so I know it works. I am going back again now. I had to have my thyroid removed. and I have gained 70 lbs. so it is back to Lindora.

  • Lizzy

    I meant to give it 5 stars but my comp was acting dumb. N e way. This really worked for me and someone said that lindora is only out there to take peoples money because one of their friends went and they were rude well that wasn’t the case with me they were super nice and helpful. I told them I was a full time student and only worked 2 days a week and they arranged something very reasonable with me. I was satisfied and am going back I went from 230 to 190 in one ten week program but couldve lost more I just wasn’t following it the way I should have I want to lose 40 more pounds and I know I will do it with their help.

  • Caral

    Lindora is a serious weight-loss program. You don’t have fun. You don’t get to eat a wide variety of scrumptious silly frozen food. You don’t get pampered. You DO get encouraged, you DO feel better within a week (more energy, more sound sleep, more alert), and you DO lose the weight if you do exactly what they say.

    That said, it is frighteningly expensive to go in, which is of course the best way. I did online – & read the book, ready the book, read the book!!

  • boxerfamily

    lol It came out as 4 after all. I am such a goof.

  • boxerfamily

    This program really worked for me a few years back. I am going back again.The first time I was able to discontinue my diabetes medicine because my sugars went too low. Now a few years later my diabetes has worsened and I need to do something beyond medicine. I think Lindora will be just what I need to be successful. The only drawback is the cost. That is why I rated it a 4 and not a 5. And yes…I am worth it! ;)Hmmm I voted for 4 stars but now it appears as 3. I don’t know what happened.

  • Lizzieb

    Hi everyone, my doctor is a barriatric (weight) doc. He also has used this program. I am on by 4th week. I am down 17 lbs as of today. What helps me is to read and re-read the workbook. Read the stories from the people who are successful. You are right this may not be right for everyone. We all know we must follow the maintenance program after the 28 days. This will probably be the struggle because so used to losing a bit of weight each day. But I know it is a must. Remember to exercise even if it just walking 1/2 hour each day will help you continue. Keep up the good work everyone. Remember today to the first day of the rest of your life…

  • Sherri

    I have been on the program for 10 weeks and I am starting another plan with them. I definately think it works I need to lose about 80lbs. and I have already lost 33lbs. You need to follow what they say to do and EXERCISE, they ask you everyday what type of exercise you are doing. They keep a close eye on everything that you are doing and all of the women there have been great and they all very informative. I think if you have a lot of weight to lose this program could help. Yes it is expensive but aren’t you worth it!

  • Peter

    I am doing the program now and it works. I am down 27 pounds in 6 weeks. I am feeling better and still loosing. If you want to loose weight this is the best way to do it. I have done many diets and have never been able to loose this much this fast. The cost is worth every penny. Working out on a regular basis and following the program is a must!

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