Isagenix products include protein shakes, bars, cleanses, and supplements.
This diet may help a person lose weight because it tends to reduce calorie intake. However, it can also cause side effects.
In addition, because Isagenix products are processed and high in sugar, the diet is not a healthful way to lose weight.
This article explores the Isagenix guidelines and describes the safety and effectiveness of the diet. We also look into more healthful alternatives.
What is the Isagenix diet?
The Isagenix weight loss system promises dramatic weight loss in as few as 30 days.
The goal is to help people lose weight via portion control, caloric restriction, and intermittent fasting.
The makers are Isagenix International, a multilevel marketing company that provides meal replacement products as part of the program.
People should note that none of the company’s claims have been verified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How to follow the Isagenix diet
The program consists of shake days and cleanse days:
- On shake days, people replace two meals with Isagenix shakes. For the third, they eat a healthful meal that contains 400–600 calories.
- On cleanse days, people consume 4 servings of the Isagenix Cleanse for Life liquid and up to 6 Isagenix snacks. These take the place of meals.
People can take Isagenix supplements during shake and cleanse days. Some include:
- IsaFlush, which are daily capsules containing a variety of herbs and minerals intended to aid in digestion, regularity, and overall health. The primary ingredient is magnesium, which can act as a laxative.
- Natural Accelerator, a dietary supplement that contains cayenne, green tea, cocoa seed, and apple cider vinegar. It aims to boost metabolism and burn fat.
- Ionix Supreme, a drink that supposedly promotes clarity and focus while increasing energy levels.
After completing the 30-day plan, dieters are encouraged to either restart it or try a different Isagenix program. The company offers several weight loss packs and systems.
Although the Isagenix system can help some people lose weight quickly, there are negative aspects. For example:
- Meal replacement products are high in sugar. Specifically, they are rich in a simple sugar called fructose that is associated with adverse health outcomes, such as obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance.
- The Isagenix system is expensive. The most popular plan is the 30 Day System, which costs $378.50 per month.
- The Isagenix diet is not sustainable. The company does not teach people to maintain their weight loss. Instead, they recommend starting the same program again or choosing a different Isagenix plan. This is an extremely expensive and unrealistic approach to long-term weight loss.
- The health claims are not supported by the FDA. Isagenix International claims that their products provide the body with the nutrition it needs to promote overall health. However, Isagenix acknowledges that the FDA have not verified any of the company’s health-related claims.
Isagenix has funded its own research, published in 2016 and 2017. It worked with several universities to show that study participants who followed the Isagenix program lost more weight and kept it off more successfully than those who followed a heart-healthful diet.
The studies had very low sample sizes and conflicts of interest. Also, the participants were permitted to choose their diet, which may have introduced bias and affected the results.
While meal replacement diets such as Isagenix can help people lose weight, they can also cause side effects, including:
- constipation or diarrhea
- abdominal pain or cramping
Alternatives to the Isagenix diet
Although people can lose weight with the Isagenix system, they may not be able to maintain it in the long term, and this diet is not the most healthful way to lose weight.
The Isagenix system is expensive, and the company asks people to cyclically reorder new systems. This simply is not feasible for many people.
A simple alternative is to eat nutritious food, get more physical activity, and incorporate fasting as a regular practice. While some may find this approach difficult, starting to lose weight can be as straightforward as making a few daily lifestyle changes.
If cost is a concern, people can buy inexpensive fresh produce if they purchase items that are in season. Also, frozen vegetables, for example, can be easy to add to many meals.
People who want to achieve sustainable weight loss can consider making small changes to their diet and activity levels over time. This encourages a person to adopt healthful habits.
Some methods of promoting and maintaining weight loss include:
- keeping a food journal, which can reveal unhealthful eating patterns triggered by moods and situations
- removing trigger foods from the house
- reducing the intake of refined and added sugars
- staying hydrated
- exercising regularly
- establishing a support system
- fasting on a regular basis
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend setting attainable, short-term weight loss goals. For example, a person might try reducing their carb intake from 55 percent to 45 percent of their daily calories.
People who do not know where to begin may benefit from discussing goals, questions, and concerns with a doctor or dietitian. A doctor may help establish a sustainable weight loss program or refer the person to a dietitian, who can work with the person to develop a comprehensive, individualized plan.
The Isagenix weight loss diet is a meal replacement program that involves a variety of products, such as shakes, cleanses, and snacks. All of these products are manufactured by Isagenix International, a multilevel marketing company.
Isagenix claims that its products are backed by science, but their research is self-funded, and the results are vulnerable to bias. The FDA have not evaluated any Isagenix products, and no external validation supports the company’s claims.
The diet plan is expensive, and the company does not provide information about maintaining weight loss.
While a person can use the program to lose weight, the same can be said for other approaches, including ketogenic diets, engaging in more exercise, reducing the number of calories consumed, and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables.
A more sustainable alternative to the Isagenix program involves incorporating small dietary and behavioral changes over time.
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