Isagenix Review: Science-Based or Expensive Scam?
- Welcome to my updated 2020 Isagenix review! Let’s talk about if Isagenix is worth the money, if Isagenix helps you lose weight, and what Isagenix products are!
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2020: Some Isagenix Isalean products have been recalled in Canada for ‘overfortification of vitamins.’ Do not buy these (well, don’t buy them but not only for this particular reason…read on for more) and don’t let Isagenix salespeople convince you that they’re safe. Recall info here: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/food-recall-warnings-and-allergy-alerts/2020-11-07/eng/1604813228634/1604813234973
How Does Isagenix Work?
Isagenix claims that their 30 day program will help you lose weight and satisfy your craving through their products and a diet plan.
As soon as I went on the Isagenix site to start my research, I was asked to take a quiz to ‘find my nutritional soul mate.’ I figured I’d play into the ‘eager Isagenix customer who wants to lose weight and buy into the scheme’ part and see what the company recommends by taking their quiz.
I mean it. Wow. My jaw basically hit the floor when I saw the number of products, and the cost, of both the 30 Day Weight Loss Basic Pack ($378 USD) and the Weight Loss Value Pack ($844.00 USD). It’s important to note that both packs have a significant price reduction if you’re buying them on auto-ship, meaning that you have a contract to get a shipment every month.
But is that price reduction with Isagenix’s auto-ship worth it? No!
- You’ll end up spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars anyhow. When you customize your system, the upsells are unreal. An extra $3 here for shake packs vs a canister, another $8 for individual cleanse bottles vs one large one.
- You’re buying products that are completely unnecessary and unproven. At least, in terms of weight loss.
Weight loss with Isagenix
Isagenix has several weight loss ‘systems,’ but most of them involve some combination of the same products.
The 9-Day Cleansing System is like one big, sad, cleanse.
The $1500 Ultimate Pak is the most expensive, with multiple samplers to share with your unsuspecting family and friends.
The Bedtime Belly Buster Bundle has this claim to promote its protein shake-based system: “Did you know that consuming protein before bedtime can help you feel fuller and boost your metabolic rate?” *This is total BS, BTW*
Isagenix is so intent on selling you every possible product, they even claim that their essential oils help with weight loss. “Don’t go into your weight loss journey without every possible advantage! Maintain momentum with your results by using targeted Essence by Isagenix Essential Oil products that support your weight loss goals.”
What are Cleanse Days and Shake Days with Isagenix?
Losing weight with Isagenix involves ‘Cleanse Days’ and ‘Shake Days.’
On Cleanse Days, you take a ‘cleanse’ product (more on that below) and basically don’t eat. You get 10 ‘Cleanse Credits’ to ‘spend’ on Cleanse Days – there are little Isagenix snacks that are 2 and 3 Credits that you can eat to help stave off your hunger.
Cleanse Days can be once a week, or up to four times in nine days. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
On Shake Days, you replace one or two meals with Isalean shakes, and then have a 400-600 calorie dinner. Sounds like SlimFast.
There are a TON of products that weight loss system followers take between those shakes and cleanses and all day long.
One thing that I keep wondering when I research Isagenix weight loss systems is how a person would ever keep this up, all the cleanses, all the products, etc – for the long-term. Not only would it be incredibly expensive, but also joyless and regimented and horrible.
Of course, no Isagenix review would be complete without a peek at the research behind the products.
Isagenix likes to say that ‘clinical research’ supports the claims they make about their products. Claims like, ‘toxin release from fat stores,’ ‘long-term weight maintenance,’ and ‘weight loss.’ But does the research prove that Isagenix products specifically work over and above simple caloric restriction?
I took the time to look up each and every research study that Isagenix uses as ‘proof’ of their products’ efficacy for weight loss.
Study 1: A 2012 10 week study on 54 obese women using intermittent fasting PLUS calorie restriction and liquid meals. The results were that all the women lost weight when they fasted, restricted calories, and drank their meals. WHAT A SHOCK! Plus, this weight loss study was funded by Isagenix.
Study 2: Same study above, with same results, but also finding that heart disease risk is lowered with the fasting, calorie-restricted, liquid meal diet. Again, SHOCKER.
Study 3: A 2016 study funded by Isagenix looked at a ‘high protein,’ calorie restricted diet (basically an Isagenix weight loss system) versus a ‘heart healthy’ diet. Participants lost weight, but of course they did: the ‘control’ diet wasn’t even calorie-restricted. The study methodology had fatal flaws, but this is what happens when a company funds a study and expects the results to come out in their favor.
Study 4: Same study as study 3.
Study 5: Same study as study 3.
So really, they took two horrible studies, and tried to pass them off as 5 separate ones.
Not convincing, and extremely misleading. Not okay.
What Are Isagenix Products?
In this Isagenix review, we’re going to explore the Weight Loss Value Pack, product by product. Isagenix’s Weight Loss Value Pack costs $844 USD as a one time purchase.
What are the Isalean Shakes?
Isalean Shakes come in delicious-sounding flavors, although I highly doubt they’re as yummy as they sound.
These meal-replacement shakes average around 240 calories, with 6g fat, 12g sugar (7g for the plant-based version), 8g fiber, and 24g protein.
Just for your information, a meal should be around 400-500 calories for most healthy people. Not only for satiety, but also to ensure that you get the nutrients you need. Isalean shakes have vitamins and minerals, but they are far too low in calories to be a meal.
Replacing one or two meals a day with these shakes, then limiting calories for the remainder of the day, will result in weight loss, but it can also result in hunger, dissatisfaction, rebound eating, and the inability to sustain such a regimen – leading to gaining the weight back.
What is Cleanse for Life?
Cleanse for Life is just what it sounds like: a cleanse. That’s secret nutrition MLM language for, ‘makes you pee and poo to make you believe that you’re eliminating ‘toxins’ and losing weight.’
Isagenix prefers to describe the product as “A Life-Changing Beverage To Nourish and Cleanse,” and says it “offers support on Cleanse Days to help eliminate stubborn fat and boost metabolism.” The company claims that ‘cleanse days are awesome’ because they ‘burn fat,’ ‘detoxify’ your body, and cause ‘cellular renewal.’
The science behind the cellular renewal claim is only in animals, and although fasting (which has nothing to do with ‘cleansing,’ FYI) promotes cellular renewal, we have no research proving that the effects on humans are significant. Your body doesn’t need to be ‘detoxified,’ and I challenge anyone who thinks it does to tell me one ‘toxin’ that our bodies can’t rid themselves of without a ‘cleanse.’
Let’s get real. NO product, including this one, eliminates fat and boosts metabolism. If such a product existed, it would end the weight loss industry forever.
None of the ingredients in Cleanse for Life have ever been proven to cleanse your body or do anything that Isagenix claims they do. Your body doesn’t need ‘support’ on Cleanse Days, it needs FOOD.
As an aside, I’m just going to leave this here: I find it rather embarrassing that Isagenix has an actual dietitian working for them, when they make claims like these.
Is the Complete Essentials an essential?
The Complete Essentials is a basic multivitamin that’s nothing special.
What is the Ionix Supreme?
The Ionix Supreme is an adaptogen supplement to ‘combat stress, energize cells, balance the body’s systems, and support clarity and focus.’
Adaptogens are certainly popular, but there’s very little research on them at this point. There’s even less research on Ionix Supreme (aka none) and the claims that Isagenix makes about it.
But for $46 a month, it might be better to work on the core sources of your stress instead of taking an Isagenix supplement for it.
What is e+?
The e+ supplement is nothing more than an expensive caffeine shot. Get a coffee.
What is Isagenix’s Natural Accelerator?
Of course, there’s a fat burner in your system: Natural Accelerator. I’m not sure why nutrition MLM companies like Isagenix still sell these, because there’s nothing that boosts metabolism high enough or long enough to cause fat loss and significant calorie burn. It just. doesn’t. happen.
These supplements always have some sort of cayenne pepper, green tea, and other stimulants, but these do not work for fat loss. I’m going to say it once again: if fat burners worked, nobody would be overweight.
What is the Isaflush?
Isaflush sounds like a laxative, because it is. Made mostly of magnesium and bentonite clay,
Isagenix says Isaflush is NOT a laxative, but that it helps with digestive regularity and, amazingly, gut health! I’m shocked that they managed to insert such a buzzword into the description of a laxative, but here we are.
Also: Isaflush doesn’t contain anything that helps with gut health.
Lastly, Isagenix Chewables and other Isagenix snacks like the delicious sounding Whey Thins.
All I’m going to say is this: If your weight loss diet starves you so much that you have to rely on 24 gram packs of processed snacks to get you through the day, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING!!!???
Is Isagenix Worth The Money? Will You Lose Weight with Isagenix?
Weight loss shouldn’t be about starving yourself and counting out supplements every morning. It shouldn’t be about using ‘Cleanse Credits’ to eat tiny 100 calorie packs of whey crackers so your stomach doesn’t rumble.
It shouldn’t be about laxative supplements that can cause dehydration and a false sense of progress because you’re pooing and peeing out your body’s water.
It shouldn’t be about joyless meal replacement shakes and fat burners that do nothing.
Your relationship with food shouldn’t include words like, ‘fat burning,’ ‘detoxification,’ ‘superfoods,’ and ‘results.’
This is all so utterly wrong. wrong. wrong. And the money you spend on Isagenix will be immense. Why not spend the money on seeing a dietitian if you’re so interested in losing weight and eating for health, versus an Isagenix ‘coach’ who has zero nutrition education and is trained only to sell sell sell.
Like this diet review? Check out my review of the Modere Lean Body System.