Plenty of companies claim to have products that will help you lose weight while staying healthy and full, but not all of them actually meet this goal.
Isagenix, a multilevel marketing company, offers a variety of shakes, including IsaLean bars, snacks and supplements packed with protein and other nutrients, in an effort to aid in weight loss. It also features 30- and nine-day cleanses. However, reviews of Isagenix products are mixed.
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Isagenix manufacturers a wide variety of products, including bars, shakes, snacks, supplements and powders, that are designed for specific purposes, such as weight loss or energy. Many of these products are offered in bundles called "paks" or "systems," most notably a 30-day system and a nine-day system.
IsaLean shakes come in standard, kosher and dairy-free varieties as well as in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla chai and strawberry cream. The shakes contain 24 to 36 grams of protein and a balance of carbohydrates, fat and fiber.
Isagenix's beverages come in both liquid and powder form, depending on the product. Some of the company's most popular include:
- Cleanse for Life
- Natural Accelerator
- Isagenix Supreme
- e+ Energy Shot
- Isagenix Coffee
- AMPED Hydrate
Bars and Snacks
Offerings from Isagenix's include meal-replacement bars, snacks and sweet treats that are fortified with nutrients.
- IsaLean Bar: a meal replacement bar with 18 to 19 grams of protein, depending on the flavor
- IsaDelight: chocolate that's been fortified with antioxidants and green tea extract
- Harvest Thins: vegetarian snacks with 11 grams of pea protein and 100 calories per serving
- IsaOmega Supreme: mostly omega-3 fatty acids designed to promote heart, joint and brain health
- Complete Essentials: a daily multivitamin that is taken in both the morning and evening
- IsaPro: whey protein powder that contains 18 grams protein per serving
- CytoActives: a supplement that contains the antioxidant resveratrol, CoQ10 and tocotrienols
- Boosters: Heart Booster and Immune Booster powders can be added to shakes for extra nutrients
Does Isagenix Work?
Isagenix sponsored a study of its products carried out by the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012 and found that individuals using Isagenix products successfully lost weight and body fat, according to the clinical summary.
However, Harriet Hall, M.D., on Science-Based Medicine wrote that the products hadn't been subject to clinical testing and the study methodology was not sound.
While there are no other peer-reviewed studies of Isagenix specifically, a number of researchers have studied the impact of meal-replacement diets on weight loss and other health indicators.
In 2017, the British Journal of Nutrition published a study that looked at the effect of high-protein meal replacements on weight and metabolic, lipid and inflammatory panels, finding that using HPMRs can lead to both significant weight loss and improvement in all three parameters. However, other studies have found that evidence linking meal replacements to weight loss is inconclusive.
All in all, weight loss comes down to eating less and moving more. Nothing is a magic potion for losing weight, but if meal replacements can help you eat fewer calories, they could be an aid in shedding pounds — with the caveat that you should still be eating nutritious foods, such as fresh produce and lean protein, at other meals.
Isagenix Side Effects
A significant drawback to using meal-replacement products like Isagenix is that you don't learn how to eat properly and in moderation. Therefore, there's a risk that you'll regain the weight lost when you return to your regular eating plan.
Additionally, a low-calorie diet — which often occurs on a meal-replacement diet — can lead to decreased nutrient intake, long-term metabolic depression and health risks like gallstones, constipation and fatigue, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Reviews on Isagenix products are mixed, with a number of them leaning toward the negative. A review published on HESCA.org gave Isagenix products a 3.8 out of 5, noting they're fairly high in fiber and protein, which can help a person feel full longer, but they're also high in sugar, which is detrimental to weight loss and some health conditions.
Other reviews noted the cost of Isagenix, including one from Diets in Review that determined the price of IsaLean shakes are significantly higher than the average meal-replacement shake. The same review said the lower quality of ingredients in IsaLean means that it may not be worth the cost.
Despite the reviews, health website Diet Insight gives Isagenix a 4 out of 5 for safety. Unless you have sugar problems or other chronic health disorders, it says, the products are safe for short-term use.
Best Weight-Loss Shakes
When it comes down to it, the best weight-loss shake will depend on a person's preference as well as how well someone adheres to their proper use. When looking for a weight-loss shake, Wendy Bazilian, Ph.D., RD, told Prevention magazine that the product should have between 325 and 400 calories, 15 to 25 grams of protein, at least five grams of fiber and around 10 to 13 grams of healthy fats.
Two scoops of Vega One All-in-One Shake — which Diets in Review named as one of its top weight-loss shake for 2018 — fits that bill. Although Premier Protein shakes don't quite meet Bazilian's requirements, they're one of the top sellers on Amazon and contain 30 grams of protein and just one gram of sugar per shake.
Rather than purchase a commercial weight-loss shake, you can make your own at home. This option is often cheaper and healthier because it uses whole, nutritious foods that you can purchase at local stores.
- Blueberry and Orange Creamsicle Smoothie: This shake uses nut butter, cottage cheese and yogurt for a healthy dose of protein.
- Build-Your-Own Smoothie: Pick one or two ingredients from each category to create a favorite protein shake.
- Low-Carb Protein Shake: If you're cutting back on carbs, blend up a shake that won't put you over your macronutrient goal.
Read more: 11 Low-Carb Breakfast Shakes
What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever used Isagenix or a similar product to lose weight or feel healthier? What is your favorite brand? Do you think-meal replacement shakes or other products are a healthy way to shed pounds? Share your thoughts in the comments.