Everything to Know About the Popular Isagenix Weight-Loss Plan

Kaitlyn Pirie
Photo credit: Ben Davies
Photo credit: Ben Davies

From Prevention

If you’ve been on any form of social media lately, you’ve likely seen Isagenix products being touted for their ability to give you clear skin, provide lots of hydration, improve your sleep, and of course, help you shed pounds. However, some of those people are direct sales reps, so it’s hard to tell if what they’re saying is actually true. So we got the inside scoop from the company and consulted with an outside nutrition expert to figure out how Isagenix weight-loss products work and whether they actually pay off.

Does Isagenix work for weight loss?

The Isagenix weight-loss program revolves around two key strategies: calorie restriction and intermittent fasting. The company recommends replacing two of your daily meals with one of their protein shakes or bars and rounding out your day with a healthy third meal. “Good hydration, healthy snacks, and extra fruits and veggies are definitely encouraged,” says Lindsay Gnant, M.S., R.D.N., manager of scientific content at Isagenix International. Then, for up to four days a month, you would practice fasting and only drink an Isagenix beverage (along with water and a few small snacks). Fasting might sound scary, but Gnant says it’s one of the most popular features of the weight-loss program.

How do you know what Isagenix products to choose?

There are several different product lines to choose from, depending on your priorities (such as losing weight or enhancing athletic performance). The goal is to “provide targeted nutritional support to help individuals fill any gaps in their diet with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals to help individuals feel their best,” says Gnant. Unfortunately, the website can be a bit confusing to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with it, but a four-question quiz should help point you toward the best products for your goals. “Customers can also contact our Customer Care team by phone, email, or chat,” says Gnant. Once you get started, there’s also the IsaLife app. “The app helps customers connect with others to get tips or share recipes and helps them track their goals, fitness, and nutrition,” adds Gnant.

Will Isagenix help you lose weight?

Yes, if you follow the program to a T and stay active, you’ll likely lose weight. Generally, if you take in fewer calories than your body burns, you’ll shed pounds. On top of that, a review of 40 studies found that intermittent fasting typically results in a loss of 7 to 11 pounds over 10 weeks. That said, it’s important to follow a weight-loss plan that you can sustain for years down the road. “While I imagine someone could lose weight on the Isagenix program, keeping is off is more important,” says Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM, author of How Not to Diet. “Yet the program doesn’t have the tools to teach individuals how to modify the very behaviors that caused the weight gain in the first place.” The company does provide peer mentoring, guidelines for healthy meals, and a recipe book with 47 healthy dishes you can create on your own. However, 29 of those recipes call for Isagenix products and the program doesn’t include one-on-one counseling sessions with a nutritionist who can guide you every step of the way and teach you how to change your unique eating habits. That means you’ll have to learn how to modify your behaviors on your own or continue to purchase Isagenix products to maintain your weight loss.

Photo credit: Prostock-Studio - Getty Images
Photo credit: Prostock-Studio - Getty Images

OK, what does it mean to eat healthier?

“An effective weight-loss diet is an anti-inflammatory diet because inflammation can damage the appetite-regulating circuits in our brains,” says Dr. Greger. He recommends avoiding ultra-processed foods; eating lots of fiber-rich foods to help dilute and flush out calories; prioritizing prebiotics, which can cultivate a slimming microbiome; and limiting fat, sugar, meat, salt, and refined grains. “Each of these factors alone can help, but put them all together by eating more real food that grows out of the ground the pounds should come off naturally,” he adds. In fact, research shows that people who follow a plant-based diet lose more weight than people who eat meat, whether or not they cut back on calories. “The strategy is to improve the quality of food rather than restricting the quantity of food,” says Dr. Greger. “So it doesn’t leave you hungry and instead gives you a boost of energy, better digestion, and better sleep.”

The bottom line:

If you just want to kickstart your weight loss, or your schedule makes it hard to shop for and prepare healthy, plant-based meals, Isagenix could be helpful. Just remember that you’ll have to permanently change your food-related behaviors or make room in your budget to buy Isagenix products indefinitely if you want to maintain any weight-loss progress you make. Of course, whenever you plan to revamp your eating habits, it’s a good idea to give your physician a heads up—whether or not you decide to follow an Isagenix plan. “This is especially true for anyone who takes a prescription medication or has a medical condition that is affected by diet or exercise,” says Gnant. “By having a conversation with your doctor, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what choices are right for you.”

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