Popular Diet Review: Isagenix

As promised, this is the first in a series of popular diet analyses.  Disclaimer:  These are MY opinions, which I happen to think are rather good opinions based on my research and clinical backgrounds.  You may disagree with my opinions, and that’s okay, but you’re wrong.  JUST KIDDING!

Isagenix……

What is it?

Isagenix is an international company with direct sales associates available to sell their products and ‘coach’ their customers.  Isagenix sells shakes, snacks, supplements, coffee, even skin care products.  They have varying plans, such as the “9-day deep cleanse and fat burning program,” and the “30-day cleanse and fat burning program.”  For the purposes of this review, I’ll be looking at the 30-day program.

The 30-day program requires you to purchase 7 primary products:  shakes, cleanse powder, Ionix supreme, snack wafers, natural accelerator, Isaflush, and Replenish sports drinks.  The base of the program is the shake, which is available in a variety of flavors.  It contains 240 calories with 24 grams of protein (“Myo-Isa Lean complex, a high quality whey protein from cows raised without hormones or antibiotics).

The plan includes 5-6 days/week that are “shake days,” and 1-2 days/week that are “cleanse days.”  This goes on for 30 days.

A “shake day” includes:  2 shakes, 1 meal (400-600 calories), 1 Ionix supreme, 2 Accelerators, 2 Isagenix snacks, 1-2 Isaflush capsules, and 80 oz water. 

A “cleanse day” includes 4 cleanse servings, 1 Ionix supreme, 2 Accelerators, 4-6 Isagenix snacks, 1-2 Isaflush capsules, and 80 oz water.

The claimsdetoxification, weight loss, clear skin, balanced digestion, increased energy…. the list goes on & on.

The Pros

  1. No. Brainer.  So, there’s really no thinking in this 30-day plan.  It’s all laid out for you.  All you need to do is figure out the 1 meal/day.  They give you a few ideas for that meal, but not many.
  2. Sample Meal. The sample meal graphic provided is based on the USDA MyPlate.  Thus, it does include all food groups – protein, starch/carbs, vegetables, fruit.
  3. H2O.  The water intake is nice and high.  May be too high for a lot of people, but there’s not a lot wrong with a high water intake.
  4. ResearchThey do provide some peer-reviewed scientific journal articles based on their research (all funded by Isagenix company).  Journal articles noted on their website are from Nutrition Journal, Nutrition and Metabolism, and Nutrients.  Certainly better than lay literature type magazines.

The Cons

  1. Expense. It’s very unclear from the website how much every element of this plan costs.  
  2. Very low calorie dietOf course you lose weight on this diet.  It’s only 1200 calories/day.
  3. Little guidance for that meal/day.  It’s a great goal to have 400-600 calories per meal…. but the majority of people don’t know what that looks like in terms of foods.  The website provides 2 recipes, and some meal ideas.  There are some ‘coaches’ to help.  But, little guidance in this particular area.
  4. Little to no maintenance program.  Interestingly, the only maintenance involves continuous use of their products.  To me, this is a huge ‘red flag,’ because you shouldn’t rely on these shake/supplement products for the long haul.
  5. No emphasis on healthy, whole food eating.  I should have listed this first.  In my professional opinion, eating whole foods in a healthy well-balanced manner, is the goal.  Clients need to be able to eat ‘real’ food, not rely on supplements.  They should be able to cook and meal-plan with whole foods, as close to the source as possible.  Limit packaged, processed foods, and increase whole, fresh, recognizable foods!  There is not a lot of that happening on the Isagenix website.

Bottom Line

  • I will likely never endorse or recommend a program so heavily reliant upon supplement, pre-packaged foods/shakes/etc, or multiple supplements (flush, accelerator, cleanse….).
  • The ingredients in each Isagenix product were just too numerous to evaluate.
  • I emphasize and focus on well-balance, whole foods, with wide variety…. that is just not in the Isagenix program.
  • Expense is likely prohibitive.
  • Maintenance & life-long cooking/eating habits are not emphasized.
  • I would not recommend the Isagenix program to clients.
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Author: drjennbowersnutrition

Dr. Bowers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 25 years of experience in clinical nutrition, education and health promotion. Her down-to-earth philosophy is "All foods can fit!"

6 thoughts on “Popular Diet Review: Isagenix”

  1. So, can’t a healthy diet consisting of 1200-1500 calories consist of fresh food? Seems better, and one of the things that has radically changed my life and energy level.

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  2. Thanks Jen! My sister and her husband have seen HUGE results using Isagenix, but they had huge amounts of weight to loose! I’ve checked out every single ingredient and they all seem legit, but I just never liked the idea of being so restricted! I love your approach to a healthy diet. I love to eat real food, I think I just need to more more and eat less refined sugar.

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    1. I’m glad it’s worked well for your sister & her husband. These plans are certainly great starts for some people, because of their low calorie content & regimented system. But, when it comes to long-term maintenance, people have to learn how to eat well, and enjoy food, and live in this world without relying completely on a packaged shake. Know what I mean? My 2-cents. 😉

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  3. It bothers me when diet plans say “I would have to eat 10 lbs ( or other crazy amount) of food to get the same nutrition in one of these shakes” because doesn’t that mean (most likely) that the our bodies can’t break down all of those nutrients at once?

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