Drinking your meals: Healthy trend or yet another fitness fad?
Liquid meals are in vogue amongst the fitness warriors across the planet.The world is moving towards holistic meals which can match its pace. People are opting for meal replacement diets which are easy to prepare and power-packed with nutrients.
In addition to providing nourishment, these meal replacement systems help in cleansing and detoxifying the system as well. But why are people so keen on shifting to liquid diets? What benefits do these meal-replacements have that are lacking in our usual diets? And why are weight-loss and fitness enthusiasts gradually inclining more and more towards liquid meals?
Well firstly because they help people lose pounds in a jiffy.
Liquid diets tend to create a calorie and nutrient deficit that results in a sudden and significant weight loss.
Secondly, it looks much simpler to adopt than running on the treadmill for hours.(Who amongst us wants to actively wake up at the crack of the dawn and go running till one is out of breath?) And thirdly, because liquid meal replacements are so much suited to the busy, 10-minutes-lunch-break- a- day, kind of lifestyle that people naturally gravitate towards such ideas. Hence, it should hardly come as a surprise that MRBs or Meal Replacement Beverages have become a booming $ 3 billion industry in the USA.
But is this so-called fitness trend here to stay? Are liquid meals truly the future where our collective global nutrition is headed?Let us try to answer all these questions by closely examining one of the most popular meal replacement diets on the block, the Isagenix diet.
What is Isagenix Diet?
Isagenix diet is a meal replacement plan formulated by Isagenix International which is a multi-level marketing company based in Arizona. The diet comprises of a meal replacement shake and dietary supplements consumed in order to eliminate excess fat and detoxify the body.
The company has formulated weight loss programs such as the 9-days and the 30-days fat flush and cleanse programs. There are “shake” days and “cleanse” days where the diet is formulated accordingly. Now before going into the depths of how an Isagenix diet works, let us first understand what “detoxification” actually means
Detox your body – but why?
Detoxification is a process of neutralizing and eliminating the toxins which accumulate in the human body.There are a number of toxins which enter the human body through various means.
These toxins can be industrial chemicals, cigarette smoke, pollution, pesticides applied to fruits and vegetables, and chemicals in adulterated food, preservatives, and additives. Accumulation of toxins in the body can cause cell death and hamper the process of cell regeneration.
It also interferes with several other functions of the body and is linked to a number of chronic illnesses and bodily inflammations.
The human body is naturally bestowed with an organ which serves the purpose of detoxification – the liver. The liver is responsible for neutralizing the toxins. Once done, the harmless toxins are excreted through the kidney (in the form of urine), skin (by means of perspiration), and bowel (in the form of feces).
However, our unhealthy dietary habits (high carb and sugar intake), faulty lifestyle habits (smoking and drinking) , and surging pollution levels have resulted in a situation where the liver is pushed beyond it limits. This can be considered one of the key reasons why our diets are gradually becoming devoid of nutrition and obesity rates are at an all-time high. To counter these toxic dietary practices, liquid meal replacements were introduced.Detoxification and cleansing is a vital component of these diets, as we shall see next.
Meal Replacement Diets
The meal replacement diets come with a combination of pills and lip-smacking flavored shakes. The primary claim to fame of these meal replacement diets is that you can get rid of osteoporosis, xerophthalmia, goiter, and anemia (and other deficiency diseases) just by popping a pill!
There are a number of players in the market like Isagenix, Herbalife formula 1, 18shake, Yoli YES etc. which are promoting this swanky meal replacement diets. Let us see what an Isagenix diet constitutes of.
Components of the Isagenix Diet Plan
- This meal replacement protein shake renders 240 calories per serving.
- The protein is composed of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine and valine. The BCAAs help to upkeep the muscle mass in spite of low-calorie consumption.
- The source of protein is milk or whey.
- It also contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins.
- Each serving of the shake furnishes 8 grams of fiber, 24 grams of protein, and 11grams of sugar.
- It comes in several variants such as creamy Dutch chocolate, creamy French vanilla, strawberry cream, chocolate mint, rich chocolate, vanilla chai, natural chocolate, natural vanilla, French vanilla, strawberry cream, and kosher shake, and nut creamy vanilla.
- Ionix Supreme is a tonic enriched with nutrients.
- It comes in a natural fruit flavor.
- It has plant adaptogens that help to strike a balance in the body functions.
- It aids in quicker post-exercise recuperation by energizing the cells.
- It has vitamin B complex which supports the cognitive functioning of the brain, focus, and mental clarity.
- The supplement also aids in the adequate functioning of the heart and formation of red blood cells.
- It helps to maintain the health of skin, hair, and nails.
- It comes in different forms like liquid, powder sticks and powder canisters.
Cleanse For Life
- It comes in two variants- powder and liquid.
- It is a harmonious blend of natural botanicals which elicit cleansing and antioxidant properties.
- Some of the potent ingredients are extracts of blueberry fruit, Siberian ginseng root, roseroot, and sweet fennel seeds.
- It helps in getting rid of stubborn fat.
- It supports metabolism.
- Nourishes and protects the body.
- Supports and nourishes the body’s innate detoxification system.
- It is devised to be consumed on the “cleanse” days.
- It renders approximately 30 to 100 calories.
- There a number of variants with different calorie specifications such as fiber snacks, whey thins, harvest thins, slim cakes, IsaLean dairy-free bar etc.
- The snacks are protein packed and meant to satisfy cravings.
- They contain prebiotics which acts as a fertilizer for the healthy intestinal flora.
- They contain nutrients to supplement the dietary requirements.
- The fiber snacks are gluten-free and devoid of any artificial colors or flavors.
- They have variants such as honey almond crisp and peanut chocolate chew.
- The slim cakes are cookies made out of whole oats, flaxseeds, and inulin.
- They have approximately 100 calories and 5 grams of fiber.
- IsaLean bars are dairy-free and composed of plant proteins.
- They help in the maintenance of muscle mass.
Whey thins and Harvest thins
- Whey thins and Harvest thins are protein-packed and gluten-free snacks.
- They come in variants such as barbeque, sour cream and chive, white cheddar, and Thai sweet chili.
- These are capsules composed of natural ingredients like green tea, cocoa seed, and cayenne.
- It induces thermogenesis or revs the metabolic processes which aid in the burning of fat.
- The chief nutrients in the capsules are chromium and niacin.
- The capsules are devised to be consumed on “cleanse” days.
- It helps in keeping jitters at bay as it has no stimulants.
- It is a sports drink prepared to be consumed during and after workouts.
- It is a blend of nutrients and electrolytes required for supplementing the needs of the body during workouts and recovery periods.
- The nutrients and electrolytes make up for the fluid loss during workouts and help in keeping you hydrated.
- It has glycogen complex- a specialized amalgamation of carbs which get absorbed quickly. It helps in augmenting performance during a workout.
- It comes in variants such as lemon-lime, orange, and grape.
- It is devoid of any artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.
- The drink is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free and can be consumed by vegetarians.
- Keeping convenience in mind, it is supplied in a powder as well as stick form. The packing is apt for mixing with around 16-ounce of water.
- Isa Flush is a capsule having magnesium as the chief ingredient.
- It also contains certain naturally cleansing herbal extracts.
- It improves and supports digestion.
- It improves regularity in bowel movement without the use of any harsh laxative or stimulant.
- The capsules are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free and can be consumed by vegetarians.
Isagenix Diet- How does it really work?
The Isagenix system of weight loss is based on a meal replacement system.
The system is prominently based on natural and herbal ingredients and does not have any artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
The regular meals are replaced by protein shakes which help in reducing your calorie intake per day and simultaneously look after your nutritional needs.
There are capsules for additional supplements and making up for the nutritional deficiencies of the body. These also help in replenishing and rejuvenating the body and promoting healing.
Sports drink takes care of you during intense workouts which are an intimate part of your weight loss plans. They compensate for the loss of fluid and electrolytes and thereby increase your stamina and strength.
There are magnesium supplements which aid in digestion and improve the bowel movement which keeps your gut healthy and happy.
An assortment of healthy snacks that pop up when you experience hunger pangs or cravings.
In a nutshell, it is a diet which is formulated for taking care of your complete nutritional needs. It works dynamically yet gently to help you fit into your older clothes.
How Much to Shell Out
Isagenix International has come with a 9-day and a 30-day plan.
- The 30-day (30-day system dairy free) weight loss value pack costs US$ 834.81
- The 30-day system(30-day premium pack)costs US$ 378.50
- The 9-day system (bedtime belly buster bundle) costs US$ 207.94
The cost of the individual products is as follows:
- IsaLeanshake- US$ 53.27 for 14 meals.
- Ionix Supreme- US$ 42.67 for 32 servings.
- Cleanse for life- US$ 42.67 16 servings.
- Isagenix bar- US$ 39.93 for 1 pack.
- Whey thins and harvest thins- US$ 29.33 for 1 pack.
- Fiber snacks- US$ 31.93 for 1 pack.
- Isagenix snacks- US$ 28.00 for 1 pack.
- Slim Cakes- US$ 24.00 for 1 pack.
Healthy alternatives for the diet components
As per eminent nutritionists, there is a variety of products which offer an analogous nutrition naturally and without drilling a hole in your pocket. Some of them are:
- Branched-chain amino acids in the IsaLean shake can be found in dairy products (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk kefir etc.), legumes and meat.
- The nutrients and minerals in the IsaLean shake can be found in whole grains, lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- The vitamin B complex supplement in Ionix Supreme can be obtained by consuming fish, poultry, meat, legumes, whole grains, potatoes, green leafy vegetables etc.
- The Isagenix snacks options can be replaced by grabbing a handful of nuts, fresh fruits, Greek yogurt etc.
- The number of nutrients and electrolytes supplied in the Amped hydrate sports drink can be obtained by eating fresh and juicy fruits or Greek yogurt during or after the workout.
- Fresh fruit juices without the addition of any sweetening agent can do the trick.
What does this mean? A balanced diet comprising of a blend of all the required nutrients can be obtained by consuming whole food without depending on additional food supplements.
Things You Should Know Before You Decide on Isagenix Diet
- The human body can absorb approximately 10 grams of protein per hour. A protein overload might cause a gastrointestinal stress leading to issues like diarrhea.
- Excessive protein consumption by individuals having an underlying kidney disease might cause stress on the kidneys and deteriorate their functioning.
- Individuals having milk sensitivity or lactose allergy should be careful while the selection of the shakes. The regular shakes have milk extracts which might aggravate the issue.
- The dairy-free shakes have almonds as their constituent. Thus, it should be avoided by individuals having a tree nut allergy.
- Exercising your masticatory muscles (muscles involved in chewing) is very essential for the smooth functioning of the temporomandibular joint or the jaw joint. Consumption of shakes, tonics, and pills in the long-term might cause issues with the joint as chewing of whole food becomes negligible in meal replacement diet.
- Isagenix products have not yet been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). These are two regulatory bodies that regulate the manufacturing and marketing of dietary supplements.
In a few words, any meal replacement diet should be opted for only after the evaluation of the functioning of the various systems of the body. A registered nutritionist or dietician is the best person to seek advice from regarding the best diet options for you.
Help Others Be Fit