Everyone knows that losing weight and keeping it off is hard work. Particularly right now, since so many of us are packing around our Covid 15 bellies, the predictable result of having nothing to do for almost a year but snack and sit. And even when you decide to “get serious” about trimming and toning up, which method to choose? Keto? Low fat? Intermittent fasting? Crossfit? So many options
Isagenix is a pre-packaged weight loss program. They have a lot of pre-packaged weight loss products, everything from “cleanses” to snacks to supplements. However, their entire line seems to revolve around two concepts: not eating much, and undergoing “cleanses”
The Basic Weight Loss Package
Isagenix has a rather bewildering number of products, so we’ll just focus on taking a careful, detailed look at their Basic Weight Loss package. For $283.87, you get a 30-day weight loss program that includes:
- Isalean meal replacement shakes
- Snack bites
- An electrolyte powder
- Cleanse for Life
- Ionex Supreme
- Natural Accelerator
Meal replacement shakes
Isagenix meal replacement shakes are intended to replace up to two meals per day. They are primarily composed of whey protein that is sweetened with honey and molasses, and they have “good fats” that the company says are similar to, but oddly not derived from, those found in nuts and avocados. In short, a basic meal replacement shake. You replace a meal that may contain anywhere from 350 kcal (a stew or a salad) to up to 2000 kcal (many fast food meals) with a simple, portable shake that has only 240 kcal. Sounds like a no-brainer way to lose weight-if and only if you can keep yourself from eating an entire bag of chips and a full-size Snickers bar a half-hour after downing the shake, which many of us have discovered is a major flaw in the “meal replacement shake” diet plan.
This is clearly where the snacks that come with your Isagenix weight loss kit come into play. After drinking your meal replacement shake for lunch and becoming ravenously hungry, you can snack on their 100-kcal snack bites to keep hunger at bay. The most popular flavor, peanut butter bliss, looks pretty good: rolled oats and peanut butter.
Your kit comes with IsaFlush, which is supposed to detoxify your body and make your colon happier. It seems to mostly be bentonite clay, which was shown in one study to cause weight loss in rats being fed a very high-fat diet. I don’t know about you, but I’m not very convinced that diet studies conducted on rodents reflect what happens in humans. This clay can also bind to certain toxins and may inhibit some viruses from replicating, but on the whole, consuming clay doesn’t really sound like a very good idea.
The other major ingredient of IsaFlush is an herb called Hyssop, which stimulates your digestive tract. Basically, it’s a laxative. Laxatives do lead to weight loss because they trigger diarrhea. The proponents of these products claim they are “cleansing” your colon, but actually, they are seriously irritating your colon and triggering it to expel its contents. You lose weight only because laxatives cause a large amount of water to be flushed from your body. You can easily become seriously dehydrated while using “cleansing” products.
Not to worry, your Isagenix kit comes with a container of powdered zero-calorie electrolytes you just mix with water and drink to replace all that water you are losing through your irritated colon.
Cleanse for Life
“Cleanse for Life” is supposedly the major active part of the Isagenix program. They claim it “detoxifies” your body. Now, all educated persons know full well that the human body is self-cleansing. The skin, the liver, the colon, and the kidneys all work overtime to keep your body sparkly clean and free from toxins. Therefore, undergoing “detox” is unnecessary and rather laughable, as confirmed by the Mayo Clinic and many other experts.
When I first read the description of this product, I just assumed it was another laxative that contributed to causing water weight loss. However, a careful examination of its ingredients suggested otherwise. It is mostly alfalfa juice, which is probably fairly nutritious, plus fructose and some sugary fruit juices. And this totally surprised me. Fructose is well-known to promote weight gain. Why would you deliberately drink a sugary weight-promoting drink every single day, or even up to four times a day on “Cleanse days”, while trying to lose weight?
Another strange ingredient in Cleanse for Life is potassium citrate. Potassium citrate is given orally to people at high risk of developing kidney stones because it changes the pH of your urine. The only connection I can see between taking potassium citrate and weight loss is that occasionally, in some individuals, it can cause diarrhea. Taking oral potassium citrate can also cause a wide range of other health problems. It can interact badly with various medications, it can worsen heart and kidney conditions, and it can even cause confusion and numbness in the extremities. All in all, a very strange thing to include in your weight loss plan.
Ionex Supreme is a sugar-laden powder that is supposed to assist your weight-loss journey by supplying you with extracts of “superfoods” like goji berries and some other plant products. You are supposed to take one serving per day to “rejuvenate” your body. It might supply your body with some useful micronutrients; on the other hand, you could just eat a square of dark chocolate infused with goji berries and dark cherries and achieve better results while avoiding the sugar added to Ionex Supreme.
These capsules are supposed to be taken daily during your Isagenix weight loss journey. Their primary ingredient is green tea extract, which may indeed help you lose weight. Plus green tea is full of healthy anti-oxidants.
So how do you do this program?
Now that you’ve got your basic weight loss kit and understand its ingredients, how do you apply it to your life? The instructions supplied by Isagenix are actually quite confusing and provide several different schedules you could follow. No dieter could possibly manage to comply with this program just by looking at the instructions, but luckily Isagenix provides an app to keep you on the program! I haven’t downloaded the app, but it probably reminds you when you are supposed to down your various pills, shakes, and drinks. Overall, it is a very strict, regimented program that you need to strictly follow. It seems unlikely a normal human would be able to comply with the regimen for very long.
For example, one plan consists of doing “shake days” where I guess you drink your meal substitute for two meals per day, and then one day per week you do a “cleanse” where you don’t eat at all and instead consume multiple servings of the rather mystifying “Cleanse for Life” drink discussed above. This sounds suspiciously like a combination of a low-calorie diet (the shake days) plus a day of fasting (intermittent fasting).
If you followed this plan diligently for a week, and average your calorie content across the week per day, I estimate it comes out to around 1000 kcal per day. This would be considered to be a low to a very low calorie diet. Many studies have shown that low calorie diets can indeed cause very rapid weight loss-but the weight doesn’t stay off. The dieters cannot follow these types of diets for more than a few weeks before “falling off the wagon”, and these types of diets tend to slow down your metabolism. Namely, after embarking on such a diet, you need fewer calories to maintain your body weight. The predictable result is you rapidly lose some weight, then you fall off the diet plan and gain back more weight than you lost in the first place.
It is possible you could use Isagenix’s products to assist you in performing intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a scientifically proven method of achieving weight loss. One systematic review of 27 studies found that people who engaged in intermittent fasting lost up to 13% of their body weight with no adverse effects and improvements in their diabetes control and blood lipids. Most people who try intermittent fasting end up fasting or only eating a few calories for two days a week. You could use Isagenix’s replacement shakes and other products to seriously cut back your calories on the fasting days while eating a sensible diet on the other days. Or you could just fast on your fasting days, which is much cheaper than any of Isagenix’s products.
Isagenix’s own studies
Isagenix lists several studies of their products that they claim prove their system works. Let’s take a look at them.
This was a randomized trial of 60 obese women. Half consumed two Isolean shakes and then a 500 kcal dinner every day for 8 weeks, while the other half ate real food of around 1000 kcal a day, six days a week, followed by a complete fast on the 7th day. The study continued for 8 weeks. Two major flaws in this study were that the participants were not provided with the food for the meals and were expected to cook their own, and that their compliance with the protocols was self-reported. We all know every single one of them cheated. Another major flaw is the study was funded by Isagenix.
Anyway, all of the women lost some weight, and the group using the shakes lost about twice the amount as the group eating real food (fewer opportunities for cheating?). There was no long-term follow-up to see if they kept the weight off. Also note this study only used the meal replacement shakes and none of the other Isagenix products.
This study actually appears to be the same study as the one described above, except instead of reporting weight loss, they reported metabolic parameters. It has the same design, the same number of subjects, and so forth. Not surprisingly, the subjects’ metabolic parameters, such as blood lipids and waist circumference, improved in response to the weight loss.
This study assigned obese/overweight participants to a 6-day-a-week plan of two Isolean shakes per day plus a 500 kcal meal and two snacks, and one day a week of fasting. After 12 weeks, they could choose to continue with the meal replacement program with only one fasting day per month, or they could choose to switch to a “heart healthy” diet plan.
The study found that the participants who stuck with the Isolean shake plan lost more weight than the participants who switched to the “heart healthy” diet. This is a rather odd trial design, and it’s not clear what it could possibly prove about anything. In addition, the study only continued for a total of 52 weeks, and it was funded by Isagenix.
Study #4 and #5
Like Study #2, these two studies are not actually new studies. Study #4 and #5 are just reports of the participants’ metabolic parameters. Not surprisingly, if you lose weight, your metabolic parameters improve.
Note that none of these studies actually studied the entire Isagenix system. They only studied the meal replacement shakes over the short term.
Where Can You Buy Isagenix?
One of the best places to buy Isagenix is directly from their website, or from a reputable supplier of their products, it is available in many countries, via amazon also.
All deliveries can be made to a personal or commercial address; allowing those with a hectic lifestyle to have their system brought directly to them with minimal fuss.
It’s this convenient process that has led so many to try out the plan for themselves, and once the results are witnessed first-hand, plenty find that they don’t want to try other fad solutions out there in favour of one that actually works.
As the brand take delicate care to correctly package and control the portion sizes provided with each system, anyone dieting won’t have to spend time organizing their kitchen or taking their own measurements.
And with a host of nutrients and vitamin-rich supplements to enjoy throughout the course; a person’s body can reap the rewards of a healthy diet, whilst shedding pounds from their frame on a weekly basis once the plan kicks in to full gear.
The Isagenix system for weight loss is very complicated and very pricey. It will, however, almost certainly allow you to rapidly lose weight. It probably will not allow you to lose weight and keep it off; in fact, odds are, you’ll regain more weight than you lose. In addition, some of the products, in particular the IsaFlush and Cleanse for Life, should probably not be consumed during your weight loss journey or at any other time.
Update: Emergency Food Supply, is Isa an option?
With all thats happening in the world currently having a ready supply of Emergency Food rations that will last you more than a few days is highly recommended, we have created a detailed review on how to get your own 30 day emergency food supply so you can use handy at home foods, like Isa and also what to buy and what to do, believe it or not there are some 25 year emergency food kits on the market, crazy I know!
Additional references (besides info taken from the Isagenix website) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/detox-diets/faq-20058040 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325241#weight-loss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyssopus_officinalis#cite_note-18 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724064824.htm https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/potassium-citrate-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20074773 https://www.cfp.ca/content/66/2/117.long https://www.isagenixhealth.net/research/