Isagenix: Diet Fad or Healthy way of Life?

Over the past few years, I have had friends/family/clients, approach me about the Isagenix 30 day weight loss program. As an RD I think it is important to educate others about different diet fads so that they are properly informed. I can only provide what the research supports to date, but as this diet has picked up in popularity, I only find it necessary to break it down for you and in my opinion I have mixed reviews on it.

The Isagenix products contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals which your body needs to function properly. The system is equipped with bars, snacks, supplements, and protein powders for their shakes. It may help you lose weight yes. It may be a great way jumpstart weight loss but is a quick fix. It does not teach you anything about nutrition! I do like the isalean shake as it has protein and is just a protein powder supplement and we know how great protein is at sparing muscles and keeping our metabolism revved. New research suggests that we should shoot for at least 20g of protein at each meal for satiety and weight management (Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp- Plantenga M).

On the contrary these products lack natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables and you also get no fiber unless you opt for their fiber snacks (but of course you have to pay extra for that). Most Isagenix packs cost between $250-500 for 30 days, when you could be spending those dollars on real food (http://www.ewg.org/goodfood/index.php). In terms of fiber though, You need 25-30 grams of fiber a day at least, so you may find yourself severely lacking in fiber with these products. I also worry about the high vitamin and mineral content of these products. The Ionix that comes in the 30-day pack has 2000% of your b12! Yes b12 is water soluble but if you continually take megadoses of vitamins you can end up with some serious side effects that you should be aware of. If you’re routinely taking megadoses, for instance, too much Vitamins C or zinc could cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Too much selenium could lead to problems including hair loss, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and mild nerve damage. The biggest and first side effects though will be brain fog, nausea, and diarrhea so be aware of these if you do decide to purchase isagenix.

Additionally, looking at their snacks I noticed that their IsaLEAN bars are somehow supposed to make you lean with 16 grams of added sugars! There’s a solid body of evidence that links excessive sugar consumption to heart disease and other ailments, such as type 2 diabetes. A study recently published in Jama Internal Medicine found that excessive added sugar, more than 20-25grams for females or 6 teaspoons, and 35-40 grams for males (9 teaspoons), led to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Please understand we are not talking about naturally occurring sugar we find in dairy and fruit, but sugar that has been added to foods and beverages, like it has in this Isalean product.

And if that’s not enough bad news already, you will also be severely lacking in Omega 3’s, which are omitted from their shakes as well or at least lacking sufficiently. If you want to obtain these, you will have to purchase ,for an additional cost, their IsaCrunch product or be sure to consume plenty of nuts, avocados, olive oil, salmon, etc that contain heart healthy fats.

So basically, if you want a well-rounded diet you will have to purchase most, if not all of their products (that contain a plethora of ingredients I never want to put into my body), for a hefty price, so I really hope you have a thick wallet if you decide to jump on the Isagenix bandwagon.

Positives: You dont have to schedule meals or plan, you can simply drink the shakes. Super easy and convenient.
Downside: No guarentee on taste, may get sick of this real quick, doesn’t teach the knowledge behind making healthy choices when cooking and eating out, is essentially a processed product, may not fill you up.

Great to jumpstart- but I always recommend real food and obtaining the knowledge necessary to make a lifestyle change.

Resources:

Quanhe, Yang et al. “Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults”. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 03, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563

Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp- Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87: 558S-61S.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Isagenix: Diet Fad or Healthy way of Life?

  1. Thanks for the information. It is always great to see others opinions and analysis on all the products out there. I am on Isagenix and I just want to make it clear that it is a lifestyle change. It is about understanding and becoming aware of what goes into your body. During the 30 day program you take 2 shakes a day, one well balanced meal, two healthy snacks in between the meals and plenty of water. Everything is optional, you don’t have to buy all other products to supplement the omega 3, etc. Buy whole foods for that for your meal. After the 30 days, it is up to you on how you want to maintain your weight, but the hope is that during your 30 days you have grown accustomed to a healthier way of living and eating that it will remain with you to help you maintain your weight loss.

    • Thanks for posting this info. I just began my 30 days and was a little put off about the statement regarding not eating any food while on the Isagenix program. My coaches are wonderful and have given plenty of things that I can eat; most importantly getting rid of alcohol, excessive sugars, unnecessary starches, heavy meats and focusing on leans meats and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I think it IS a great weight loss kick start and after 30 days, you will want to continue your new way of life.

  2. You fail to point out that the vitamins in these supplements are chemically created synthetic materials, not the actual vitamins we get from REAL foods. And you are a RD? Wouldn’t you see that on the labels??

    • Hi Angela! Thanks for the comment! Please understand I am looking at this from a weight loss perspective. If I wished to go into WHAT the products are made of, I would have, but part of being an RD is keeping things focused and using laymen’s terms. I don’t believe discussing what the supplements are created of really pertains to the topic of this article, but thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the comments. Very informative. I am currently on the 30 day plan and have had good results. Because I was totally addicted to coffee and sugar, my first week was the toughest. But I stuck it out and I’m glad I did. I’ve lost 7.5 pounds in two weeks but most importantly, I feel healthier. My good meal of the day is tasty, well balanced and doesn’t make me feel bloated, or too full. I have a new appreciation for nutrition. I add fruit to my vanilla shakes, and I always have a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. So, I do not “go hungry”. I’m just making better choices about what I put in my body. I am 52, female and grateful for the outlined plan IsAgenix provides. I can work this plan because it’s simple and the food taster good. My husband is on it too. He’s type 2 diabetic. His glucose levels have steadily declined ove the past 10 days. Averaging around 140 in the mornings now as opposed to 220-260. Can’t wait to see his A1C in 2 weeks. If you need a jump start on weight loss give IsAgenix a try. Yes, it’s a little pricy, but anything “good” usually is.

  4. I have lost 17 pounds in 11 weeks by simply eating well, staying within 1600 calories per day, and exercising 4 times per week. No gimmicks necessary and this lifestyle change doesn’t cost $300 – $500 for 30 days. I am not a fan of gimmicks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s