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Health is hard. Losing weight is hard. So you don’t want to think about it too much and make it even harder. And when you’re trying to lose weight, food can be pretty frustrating; having to count calories and spend time preparing meals is no one’s idea of a good time!
Can the Isagenix diet help you lose weight?
The Isagenix diet is a 30-day program that involves eating Isagenix products and low-calorie meals. People also follow a plan of shake days and cleanse days. The aim is to lose weight quickly.
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.
Does the Isagenix diet work?
The Isagenix system can help people lose weight quickly. This is because it restricts caloric intake by controlling when, what, and how much a person eats.
The Isagenix system is designed to be convenient. Some people may find calorie-counting and portion control difficult or confusing. The Isagenix system removes this work by delivering pre-portioned meal replacements to customers’ doors.
The Isagenix system also encourages weight loss with a form of intermittent fasting, which involves alternating between periods of severely restricted caloric intake (on cleanse days) and eating three times a day (on shake days).
Research indicates that both caloric restriction and intermittent fastingTrusted Source can promote weight loss, and this explains why some people find the Isagenix diet to be effective.
Downsides of the Isagenix diet
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 2016Trusted Source and 2017Trusted Source. 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.
What Is the Isagenix Diet?
At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and take the whole person into consideration. Prior to starting a new diet plan, consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.
The Isagenix diet is a meal replacement program that promotes weight loss. The plan includes supplements, shakes, bars, and pills that claim to naturally “detoxify” the body and help burn fat. The creators of the company state that Isagenix offers effective, science-backed supplements, but not all of the health claims are substantiated.
Founded in 2002, Isagenix is a multi-level marketing company. This means the company offers money to consumers to sell their products, and once you become a distributor you can recruit additional salespeople to make a profit. You also make money through direct sales to customers.
Not everyone may find these products accessible since they come at a high monthly cost. While Isagenix uses caloric restriction and intermittent fasting—which have been shown to promote weight loss1—its methods and products remain questionable.
What Experts Say
“Individuals on the Isagenix diet predominately eat highly processed meal replacement shakes and cleanses. These can contribute to excessive added sugar intake, and don’t teach long-term meal planning skills. Experts agree this is not the path to sustainable weight loss.”
What Can You Eat?
The Isagenix 30-Day System is one of the company’s primary products. It’s marketed as a program that can be used long-term, and includes meal-replacement shakes and supplements. These supplements include a fat burner capsule and a laxative capsule. The “cleanse days” on the plan are meant to flush your body of toxins as a form of intermittent fasting.
The system consists of five shake days and two cleanse days per week. On shake days, those who follow this plan replace two meals with an Isagenix shake (240–280 calories). The third meal should consist of 400 to 600 calories.
On cleanse days, instead of using shakes or eating a meal, you will consume four small servings of the Isagenix Cleanse for Life drink, along with a very small amount of suggested fruits and Isagenix-approved snacks.
What You Need to Know
The following products are included in the Isagenix 30-Day System bundle, which contains shakes, cleanses, snacks, fat burners, and other items that claim to help achieve and maintain weight loss.
- Isalean Shake: A meal replacement drink containing a blend of whey and casein (milk) protein, plus vitamins, minerals, sugar, and other additives. Each shake is approximately 240 calories per serving, 23 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat, and 11 grams sugar.
- Cleanse For Life Drink: A blend of aloe vera, herbs, some B vitamins, and sugar promoted as a fundamental component during cleanse days. The drink claims to support detoxification, metabolism, and immune systems.
- Ionix Supreme: A liquid blend of herbs, vitamins, and sugars marketed as a tonic with adaptogens for improved energy, stamina, and mental performance.
- Isagenix Snacks: Small chewable wafers that contain sugar, a protein blend, electrolytes, and other ingredients.
- IsaFlush: Capsules containing magnesium as a laxative and primary active ingredient along with an herbal and mineral blend. The product claims to balance your digestive system and improve nutrient absorption.
- Natural Accelerator: Fat burning capsules containing green tea as the primary active ingredient. The blend of vitamins and herbs claims to boost metabolism for improved fat burning.
- AMPED Hydrate Sticks: Vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and sugar in powder form ready to mix in water. It’s advertised as a sports drink.
Any restrictive diet will cause weight loss because you’re creating a caloric deficit. It doesn’t matter if the calories are coming from whole foods or meal replacement shakes.
Pros and Cons
- Limits calories and provides portion control
- Pre-packaged foods offer convenience
- Saves time and accommodates busy lifestyles
- Variety of supplement programs
- Highly processed, containing lots of sugar and additives
- Not a replacement for nutrients from whole foods
- Doesn’t teach how to eat real food as a healthy lifestyle
- Very expensive
- Unsubstantiated research
Some aspects of the Isagenix plan are appealing, especially for people who need convenience in their eating plan.
Isagenix offers a structured program that limits calories and provides portion control. This could be considered a plus for those who tend to overeat and need to learn the right portion sizes.
The convenience of pre-packaged food products delivered to your doorstep can be a draw for some people.
Isagenix offers a variety of supplement programs based on specific goals. Some of their plans include supplements for performance, healthy aging, and personal care.
While the convenience factor of Isagenix seems appealing and you may lose weight, nutrition experts caution against this restrictive eating plan since you’re likely to regain the weight once normal eating habits are resumed. The Isagenix diet also has other drawbacks.
The Isagenix diet is not real food. The products are highly processed, containing lots of sugar and additives.
The Isagenix diet may load its products with herbal blends, vitamins, and minerals, but it lacks real food nutrients. Isagenix also uses a multi-level marketing strategy where distributors not only sell the products but provide nutritional counseling. Most of these distributors lack proper nutrition and/or medical education.
The 30-Day System does not teach you how to eat real food as a healthy lifestyle. Once you have completed the diet, you are left without nutrition education for sustainable weight loss in the future.
The 30-Day Diet System is very expensive, clocking in at over $400 for all the monthly supplies.
Unsubstantiated Health Claims
Isagenix states that its program is a science-backed, healthy and effective way to lose weight. The program claims to flush out toxins, support whole body cleansing, and eliminate fat. But the website also includes a disclaimer stating these claims are not evaluated or supported by the FDA. Additionally, the company does not disclose that it has funded some of the research or that some of its affiliates are part of the research panel.2
The Isagenix 30-Day System falls below the average daily recommended calories for healthy weight loss. Shake days can range between 1,160 to 1,500 calories and cleanse days provide only a few hundred calories.
Restrictive diets like the Isagenix program are not realistic because you’re not eating real food. Instead, you are consuming diet shakes and supplements as your main nutrition, which is not sustainable for the long term.
Isagenix incorporates intermittent fasting and calorie restriction as part of its weight loss plan, but the program lacks sufficient research to support the company’s claims.
Is the Isagenix Diet a Healthy Choice for You?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods including fruits, vegetables, protein, low-fat dairy products, and grains for a healthy, balanced diet.3 Those on the Isagenix system only eat one meal a day (and none on cleanse days), so it is nearly impossible to consume enough nutrients sourced from real food.
Your body requires a certain amount of calories each day for a healthy rate of weight loss. The USDA recommends a reduction of 500 calories a day for weight loss. On a 2,000 calorie a day diet, that’s roughly 1,500 calories per day. But this number can vary depending on an individual’s sex, age, weight, height, and level of physical activity.3 Those who follow the Isagenix diet will have difficulty reaching the 1,500-calorie mark on shake days and will consume far fewer than that on cleanse days. To learn your individual calorie needs, use this calculator.
Set Your Calorie Goal and Get a Free Meal Plan
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The Isagenix diet restricts healthy food groups and does not provide enough calories on shake-only days, and cleanse days eliminate almost all healthy foods entirely. It does not adhere to federal guidelines and is neither a balanced diet nor a sustainable weight loss plan.
Replacing meals with Isagenix products will likely lead to weight loss due to the low-calorie intake. However, any weight lost on the plan will likely be regained once normal eating patterns are resumed.
Though the Isagenix diet appears to have science-backed health claims, sufficient evidence is lacking. While research has explored the positive outcomes of both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting,1 Isagenix makes reference only to select studies that support its products and weight loss philosophy.
Cleanses, in general, do not effectively promote weight management. Health experts caution against most diets that make “detox” claims. Research shows there is insufficient evidence to prove that detoxification programs actually remove toxins from the body.4
According to nutrition experts, there is no replacement for the nutrients that come from consuming whole foods. Restricting too many calories can work against you, since your body needs enough calories to run efficiently.
Without sufficient calories, the body shifts into survival mode. This can slow metabolism, which preserves fat stores to be used as energy in the future, leading a frustrating inability to lose weight. The Isagenix diet will likely cause weight cycling, also known as yo-yo dieting, which happens when weight loss is followed by weight regain.
A Word From Verywell
Diet products such as meal replacement shakes and bars are a tempting option for quick weight-loss results. But studies show that restrictive diets like Isagenix are neither an effective nor healthy weight loss plan.
Isagenix products can’t replace the nutrients found in real, whole foods. While quick weight loss is possible on the diet, it is not a strategy for long-term weight management. If you want to lose weight, talk to your healthcare team before starting a restrictive or low-calorie diet like Isagenix.
Remember, following a long-term or short-term diet may not be necessary for you and many diets out there simply don’t work, especially long-term. While we do not endorse fad diet trends or unsustainable weight loss methods, we present the facts so you can make an informed decision that works best for your nutritional needs, genetic blueprint, budget, and goals.
If your goal is weight loss, remember that losing weight isn’t necessarily the same as being your healthiest self, and there are many other ways to pursue health. Exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle factors also play a major role in your overall health. The best diet is always the one that is balanced and fits your lifestyle.
The Isagenix Diet Plan
The Isagenix diet plan focuses on supplements, but don’t forget to drink water throughout the day.
Starting a new diet can be intimidating, unless it’s all laid out for you like the Isagenix plan. Creating your own diet means taking the time to research proper nutrition, but if someone hands you a diet plan, there’s less thought involved. Learning more about the Isagenix diet plan will help you decide if it or diets like it are right for you.
The Isagenix diet plan lasts 30 days and relies heavily on Isagenix products. The basic setup of the diet is that you have two separate types of days: shake days and cleanse days. In total there are 26 shake days and 4 cleanse days. Ideally your cleanse day will be every seven days, according to the Isagenix diet guide.
Isagenix Shake Day Diet
On the normal day, two of your meals are replaced by either an Isagenix shake or bar, according to the guide. Your third meal can be a 400 to 600 calorie meal, which should have balanced portions of good fats, vegetables, protein and complex carbs.
On shake days, start off your morning with the Natural Accelerator product. According to the guide, it’s a natural combination of traditionally used herbs. It contains cayenne, green tea, ginseng and cinnamon. It also has antioxidants like niacin and chromium.
The caffeine in the tea extract gives you an energizing boost and can help you lose weight. According to a July 2018 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, which reviewed 13 studies, caffeine can promote fat loss and total weight loss.
After you have the natural accelerator, you can opt for an Isagenix shake or bar. The nutrition facts from the Isagenix site show that one serving of the shake contains:
- 240 calories
- 6 grams of fat
- 24 grams of carbs
- 24 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fiber
According to the nutrition facts from the Isagenix site, one Isagenix bar contains:
- 250 calories
- 6 grams of fat
- 32 grams of carbs
- 18 grams of protein
- 3 grams of fiber
After your morning meal, you can have a midmorning snack. The first part is another supplement, called IsaFlush. It contains 210 milligrams of magnesium to support digestion, according to the guide. As an added benefit, magnesium supplements can help control your blood sugar levels, according to a September 2016 study published in Pharmacological Research.
With the flush, you can have an optional snack of 100 to 150 calories. The guide recommends six almonds, a hard-boiled egg, or a piece of fruit or vegetable as a snack. You can also opt for Isagenix products like the IsaDelight, e+, Slim Cakes, Fibre Snacks, Whey Thins, Harvest Thins or AMPED Hydrate if you’re exercising.
After your midmorning snack comes lunch, which should be your only meal of the day, composed of whole foods. Your meal should contain a balance of fat, carbs, protein and veggies. The Isagenix guide lists the following foods as examples for each category:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Other cooking oil
- Cooked colored veggies (not potatoes)
- Veggie soup
- Fresh fruit
- Whole-grain bread
- Sweet potatoes
Following your lunch, you can have a midafternoon snack, which has the same options as the midmorning snack. Your next meal is dinner, which can be your choice of Isagenix shake or bar. Before bed, you can have a serving of the Natural Accelerator and IsaFlush, neither of which have any calories.
In total, if you follow the diet correctly, one of your shake days can have a maximum of 1,400 calories. The minimum calorie intake is 880.
Isagenix Cleanse Day Diet
On your cleanse day, calories are cut, and your supplements change somewhat. All three meals are replaced by the Cleanse for Life product made by Isagenix. Meals are more frequent on the cleanse day but much less substantive. Calorie consumption is lower than on the shake day.
Your cleanse day starts with the Natural Accelerator. You also have the option to add the Ionix Supreme, which has 20 calories. It’s a booster drink that has B-vitamins, fruit and herb extracts and 5 grams of sugar, according to the nutrition facts on the Isagenix website.
After your morning supplements, you’ll have the Cleanse for Life drink for breakfast. It has 20 calories per serving, according to the nutrition facts on the Isagenix website. The drink is meant to cleanse your body, but don’t worry, it doesn’t contain laxatives.
There are B-vitamins, as well as a cleansing complex, antioxidant berry complex and a synergy complex. The minerals, antioxidants and aloe vera in the drink are supposed to flush your system of toxins. However, an article from the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health explains that there’s no convincing evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from your body.
For a midmorning snack you can have the IsaFlush, one of the Isagenix snacks or the Cleanse Day Support Option. The Cleanse Day Support Options include the IsaDelight, e+, Whey Thins, Harvest Thins or AMPED Hydrate. You can also have a quarter of an apple or pear.
The IsaDelight is a small snack square, which has 170 calories per serving according to the nutrition facts from the Isagenix website. There’s 11 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs and 4 grams or protein per serving. It also contains green tea extract, amino acids and antioxidants.
The e+ supplement gives you a caffeine boost from green tea and yerba mate extract, according to the Isagenix site. It’s a fruity drink with 35 calories per serving.
Whey Thins and Harvest Thins are a more substantial snack with 100 calories per serving. They both have 10 grams of protein, according to the guide. The Whey Thins are made with whey protein, but the Harvest Thins are made with plant protein in case you’re trying to avoid dairy.
For lunch, you’ll repeat the Cleanse for Life drink. In the early afternoon, you can have an Isagenix snack or Cleanse Day Support Option. Later in the afternoon, you’ll have another Cleanse for Life drink.
At dinnertime, you’ll repeat the same pattern. For early dinner, you have a Cleanse for Life drink, followed by an Isagenix snack or Cleanse Day Support Option for late dinner. Before bed, you’ll have another IsaFlush and Natural Accelerator.