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'You are starving yourself': Critics of Teddi Mellencamp's program speak out

Former clients are alleging they were only allowed 1,000 calories per day.

“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Teddi Mellencamp is defending her All In by Teddi health and wellness empire.

Mellencamp’s accountability program came under fire earlier this week, after social media fashion influencer Emily Gellis Lande shared anonymous messages from former All In by Teddi clients alleging the program allows for up to 1,000 calories a day. (For the average sedentary adult, 1,600 calories is the lowest calorie level at which it may still be possible to meet most of your nutrient needs through food, according to the dietary guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.)

Many also claimed that Mellencamp's accountability coaches demand 60 minutes of cardio daily.

“One day I added carrots to one of my Meals and was told that in the future it needed to be a green vegetable because carrots have too much sugar,” one person alleged, sharing an anonymous account with Lande on Instagram.

Lande, 34, said several women told her they were only allowed a cup of soup for dinner.

Lande, who recently made headlines for sharing allegations against Tanya Zuckerbrot's F-Factor diet, believes Mellencamp's plan promotes disordered eating.

“Teddi’s diet is starvation with cardio,” Lande told TODAY. “I want to prevent other people from falling for this scam."

One thing is for certain about All In by Teddi: It isn't cheap. The total cost of the initial two-week "Jumpstart" program is $599. After that, a monthly membership is $399.

Stephanie Langlitz, a single mom who joined the program for three weeks in October 2017, carries emotional scars from the experience, which she says promotes disordered eating.

Langlitz, who lives in Los Angeles, was eating 749 calories a day and burning about 320 calories. The 32-year-old quit shortly after her accountability coach began "bullying" her to get in her 60 minutes of cardio despite suffering from dehydration and kidney pain.

“I had to go to a psychiatrist after I quit because my self-worth was so shot,” Langlitz told TODAY. “I doubted everything I did, questioned everything I ate. The program ‘works,’ because you are literally starving yourself.”

Today, Mellencamp is standing by her brand. The reality star has replied to Instagram comments stressing that her staff are "accountability coaches that hold clients accountable to their personal goals and coaches are not trainers and nutritionists." Mellencamp also wrote that she is an AFPA-certified nutrition and wellness consultant and personal trainer. On Tuesday, Mellencamp, the daughter of musician John Mellencamp, took to Instagram to address the drama surrounding All In by Teddi:

“I am so incredibly proud of the over 15,000 lives we have helped change,” she began. "I 100% feel confident in the fact that we let you know before signing up, exactly what the program entails. If it’s something that you want to do … we are there to do that for you. If it’s not something you want to sign up for, you don’t."

In a comment shared with TODAY, Mellencamp addressed these claims and shared additional details about the All In by Teddi meal plan.

“Our meal plan has evolved and our focus has always been clean whole foods. There are a variety of nutritional food options on our menu. Nowhere in our suggested meal plan does it mention a specific calorie count," Mellencamp explained.

And regarding the soup comments, Mellencamp noted that "... We have found soup to be easy to digest in the evenings, which is why a lighter meal such as soup, salads or veggie-prominent dinners are encouraged while on the program."

Though Lande said she has been inundated with horror stories, the All In by Teddi website boasts many grateful devotees who credit the program with transforming their bodies.

As one person wrote on Mellencamp's website, "To say that ALL In has changed my life is an understatement. I am a new person who enacts a growth mindset, gives myself grace and prioritizes myself. Daily activity and clean eating is the new recipe of my life, and I can't be more grateful!"

For those interested in following a low-calorie plan, Lisa Hayim, a registered dietician in New York, says to proceed with caution. Hayim noted that the Academy of Dietetics recommends between 1,600 to 2,400 calories a per day for women, and 2,000 to 3,000 for men.

Hayim also urges those who are looking to lose weight, to enlist the help of a registered dietician rather than an accountability coach.

"We go through clinical training," Hayim explained. "The body is a chemistry project so you need to have awareness of the chemical process before you add or take something out of someone's diet. That's the real danger in giving everyone the same plan. It doesn't consider the individual and what they need."

TODAY has reached out Bravo to address the comments made about the brand, which has appeared on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," and did not immediately hear back.

Bravo is part of TODAY's parent company NBCUniversal. This story was updated on September 18, 2020 to include comments from a woman who participated in Mellencamp's program.