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Isagenix Diet Review: Pros, Cons, Effectiveness, and Safety

Written by Sharon Lehman, RDN

Published on January 29, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

2.3

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Evidence-Based:2.0
  • Easy to Follow:3.0
  • Customization:2.0
  • Sustainability:2.0
  • Safety:3.0
  • Value for the Price:2.0
  • Accountability:2.0

Isagenix is an extremely restrictive program that revolves around branded products and will likely not result in sustainable weight loss.

Isagenix Diet Review: Pros, Cons, Effectiveness, and Safety

Pros

  • Products delivered to your home are convenient
  • Minimal meal prep required

Cons

  • Expensive, extremely restrictive and unsustainable
  • Cites only self-funded studies as scientific evidence
  • Products are highly processed and not a replacement for whole foods
  • MLM business model raises questions around who is providing weight loss education

How Isagenix Diet Works

Isagenix is a multi-level marketing company, meaning independent consultants sell their catalog of supplements and personal care products.

I’m skeptical of multi-level marketing companies selling nutrition products because the “coaches” are incentivized and most have no nutrition qualification. Plus, the products are grossly inflated in price to pay upline commissions.

Isagenix has several 30-day weight loss packages, differentiated by the number of products you receive. They claim “every product works together to give you optimal results.”

The basic weight loss pack includes meal replacement shakes, 100-calorie snack packs, and the following supplements:

  • Cleanse for LifeA “detox tonic” that contains B vitamins and a proprietary blend of plant extracts, adaptogens, flavoring, fructose, and stevia.
  • Ionix Supreme – Also contains B vitamins, plant extracts, and adaptogens to improve focus and stress levels.
  • Amped Hydrate – Contains vitamins, minerals, and powdered fruits to improve hydration.
  • Natural Accelerator – Contains a blend of green tea, cayenne, and cocoa to increase metabolism, burn more fat, and energize.
  • IsaFlush – Contains magnesium and an herb blend to act as a laxative “without harsh laxative ingredients.”

The gist of the diet is to take all the above supplements, replace two meals a day with their shakes, and “cleanse” one day a week.

Users can also cleanse two back-to-back days a week, not exceeding four days a month. If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is.

The cleanse days are basically fasting days with no solid food and no shakes. Some approved snacks are allowed, like Isagenix snack bites and flavored tablets.

The Isagenix site says “Research shows that people who lose weight with the products in this pack, and keep using them, are more likely to maintain their weight loss wins than those who stop.”

They’re not entirely wrong: if you deprive and restrict yourself, you’ll lose weight. When you stop, you’ll regain it. This is why dietitians continue to advise people to find diets that are sustainable long-term.

Isagenix Diet’s Scorecard

The Isagenix diet program was objectively evaluated by a dietitian based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence-Based: 2/5
  • Easy to Follow: 3/5
  • Customization: 2/5
  • Sustainability: 2/5
  • Safety: 3/5
  • Value for the Price: 2/5
  • Accountability: 2/5
  • Overall Rating: 2.3/5

Foods to Eat and Avoid

Most of what you eat on this program are Isagenix products. The plan is divided into “Shake Days” and “Cleanse Days.”

On Shake Days you consume two of the brand’s protein shakes, two optional snacks, supplements, and one 400–600 calorie meal that you prepare.

The meal is the only source of non-branded whole food on the plan and should include lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.

The protein shakes are available in several flavors and snacks include 100-calorie packs of crackers, peanut butter bites, or chocolate squares.

On Cleanse Days you consume supplements only, with no protein shakes or meals.

Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Isagenix says it’s scientifically proven to work, but this is misleading since they cite only self-funded research which concluded participants who used intermittent fasting, restricted calories, and consumed liquid meal replacements lost more weight and had improved heart health compared to a control group.

It’s important to know the control group didn’t follow a control diet. Had both groups consumed the same number of calories regardless of the food source, similar weight loss would result.

Any plan that decreases calorie intake results in weight loss whether you’re getting those calories from food, shakes, or other products.

Weight loss typically results in improved heart health, no matter what diet is followed.

While there’s evidence to support that restricting calories and intermittent fasting are about equally effective for weight loss, these principles are not unique to Isagenix and can be adopted without their products.

Sustainability

Isagenix is not a sustainable solution for weight loss or maintenance. It’s restrictive, regimented, expensive, and deprives people of the joy of eating both healthy, balanced meals and indulgent foods.

As a registered dietitian, I have witnessed people lose weight with diet products and programs only to regain it when they stop the program. Diets that center around products instead of food don’t work.

Lasting weight loss comes from eating a balanced, varied diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, plant and animal protein sources, and healthy fats.

When you eat this way the majority of the time, there’s even room for comfort foods—yes, really.

Accountability

Isagenix acknowledges accountability is an integral part of successful weight loss and markets its plan as having built-in accountability.

Isagenix offers users an app and “IsaBody Challenge” for support and motivation. Both are optional but encouraged.

There is no individualized support with a qualified coach, counselor, or dietitian.

Safety

As a registered dietitian, I don’t think Isagenix is an effective plan for anyone since it provides so little nutrition and is full of processed products. The calorie range falls well below the healthy range for most people.

This plan does not encourage a healthy relationship with food. It should be avoided by anyone with a history of disordered eating or yo-yo dieting. For that reason, it is also unacceptable for children or teens.

The plan is not safe for anyone with food allergies or sensitivities, type 2 diabetes, pregnant or nursing women, or any other serious health diagnosis.

Value for the Price

Isagenix will cost you hundreds of dollars each month. The retail price for a one-month basic weight loss package is $378.49.

The premium weight loss package, which includes a blender, blender cup, energy shots, and additional snacks, retails for $588.93 per month.

Customers save 25% off the retail price if they sign up for auto-ship and receive a package each month. I didn’t find any information about a money-back guarantee or return policy.

On top of the plan pricing, users still need to purchase some groceries to prepare one healthy meal on each “Shake Day.”

Considering you don’t receive any actual food, I think this pricing is exorbitant.

The supplements you receive are highly processed and provide little nutrition. I’d rather see you spend on fresh foods and try new grocery items each month.

How It Compares

The diet market is saturated with meal replacement shakes, such as SlimFast, Shakeology, and other protein drinks.

There is nothing special about any of these shakes. If you think replacing a meal with a shake would work for you, any high-quality protein powder can be used. You can add extra nutrition to your shakes with fruit, vegetables, nuts, or seeds.

You can reduce calories, practice portion control, and try intermittent fasting to lose weight without using Isagenix products. Contact a registered dietitian to help you learn how.

The Bottom Line

Isagenix may help people lose weight, but the results come from severe calorie restriction and intermittent fasting and have nothing to do with the actual products.

The program is expensive, will leave most people feeling deprived, and is not sustainable for the long term.

If you’re considering trying Isagenix, I urge you to check in with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian for healthier alternatives that center around actual food.

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