My ‘Before’ photos after 2 months of clean eating and hard training.
The program in a nutshell
The Nutritional cleansing weight-loss program involves:
- 6 capsules in the AM
- 2 meal replacement shakes
- 6 capsules in the PM
- 1 meal of protein and vegetables
- No alcohol, no caffeine (Or as little as possible).
Hearing this outline I immediately thought ‘Who wouldn’t lose weight on this?… If they actually follow through with it’. Like many fads they usually work (short-term) if you have the unwavering willpower to follow them, which most people (including myself) do not.
Not surprisingly, around 10 members at my studio signed up straight away. What was surprising… jaw-dropping I-can’t-believe-my-eyes surprising, was that every single person stuck to it – 100%!
Despite my years of begging, pleading and even bribing clients to at least cut back on booze, coffee and/or sugar, for some reason clients seemed to follow the protocols of this line of supplements with 100% compliance, again – Shock horror!
Although not hugely overweight, the clients lost between 4-8kgs and 40-55cm over the 4 weeks. This prompted me to take a closer look.
What I signed up for
I signed up for the ‘Performance’ version of the program. This involves eating 2-3 meals with 1-2 Meal replacement shakes/day, as well as the 6 capsules AM & PM. Despite being a big eater, I only needed the 2 meals and 1 shake.
I did it for 3 reasons:
- To experience what my clients were going through.
- To see if I could train and function even better than I do with my already healthy diet and lifestyle.
- I’m always keen to learn the latest and greatest with all things health-related, including supplements, detoxes and nutritional cleanses.
To make this experiment as accurate as possible, for the 2 months before starting the cleanse I ate ultra-clean, trained as hard as I possibly could, both on the track (400m intervals and 100m sprints) and lifted as heavy as I could in the weight room. This resulted in me being the pretty-much the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been.
Training at this intensity was good for my (I’m not getting older) ego, however I was mentally and physically exhausted, and although I restrict myself to 2 coffees/week, I was dreaming day & night of cappuccino baths and shots of espresso. I also had a layer of body-fat I couldn’t quite shake, I attributed this to getting older (I’m 38).
I started the 30-day performance cleanse with an open mind and by day 2, I could tell why my previously defiant clients had such success with this program.
- After taking the morning supplements and shake you don’t have to use the unreliable will-power, you just don’t feel like having that caffeine pick-me-up, that piece of mid-morning cake and even a lunch such as steak sandwich seemed way too heavy to handle. I only felt like a salad (with some protein) and a light salad or soup at night.
- The combination of the enzymes, herbal capsules and the 1 meal replacement shake do everything a good diet should: They provide so much nutrition you don’t feel like eating or drinking any CRAP (Caffeine, Refined Carbs/Sugar, Alcohol, Processed foods).
- By saturating my cells with so many nutrients I found new habits developing such as: Drinking more water, eating less, eating slower (breaking a 30-year old bad habit), not staring at everyone that walked by with a coffee with awkward envy.
Results: My ‘After’ photos – (Day 30)
Unfortunately it didn’t add 20kgs to my bench press or squat, nor did my running times get significantly faster, but hey, these are herbs, not steroids.
Being very body aware and in tune with my gut and body, there were some undeniable changes I noticed:
- Without intending to, I lost 2.2kgs and 5% body-fat, making me the leanest and most energetic I’ve been in around 15 years. I had this tested and I found out my body was holding onto ‘Environmental pollutants’ in my fat cells, this explains why I couldn’t shake that last bit of fat off with exercise and diet alone. I needed assistance to fully flush and detoxify my body in order for the layer of body-fat to come off safely.
- The energy during my training sessions was good, but it was the other 23 hours where I REALLY felt the difference. I stopped craving and consuming coffee, my attention span was better at work, my tolerance level for the kids was much higher when I got home and for the first time in about 20 years I was beating my 5am alarm clock! All signs my cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones are at healthy levels.
- Although I never usually do more than 20 minutes cardio training, by week 3 I felt I had an extra lung and my cardio system and was recovering faster between laps, especially if I had an ‘E-shot’ which is the pre-workout drink.
Here’s what I learnt:
- Even though my diet is 90-95% fresh organic produce, with the current pace of my lifestyle, I function significantly better when using this supplement range.
- You’ve got to have a life: It is always ideal to stick to a cleanse 100%, however, the end of big work project and a birthday fell within the 30 days, which meant I had a couple of beers and couple of pieces of birthday cake. For long-term compliance, you can’t resent or hate what you’re doing, so I enjoyed my indulgences without guilt and kept up the supplements.
- I was reminded of the wise words of Paul Chek ‘Never Judge anything until you’ve tried it’.
Who I would recommend it to:
- Anyone that wants to lose weight or drop body-fat that is not getting their desired result from a wholefoods diet.
- Anyone wanting a kick-start a weight loss program.
- Cross-Fit and endurance athletes. I found it provided more energy during endurance sessions rather than strength sessions.
- Busy people – Regardless of whether you’re training or not I’d recommend it to anyone that has physically or mentally demanding lifestlyes.
The shakes are very convenient and can mean an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning, this is especially handy when you start your days at 5am.
Who I wouldn’t recommend it to:
- People that can’t stand drinking shakes or taking pills. As compliance with pill taking and shake drinking is vital to both programs (weight loss and performance) you’ve got to be ok with this, otherwise you just won’t stick with it.
The bottom line:
While nothing will ever replace good quality food and water, you can complement these healthy habits with the appropriate amount of nutritional supplements that suit you and your lifestyle demands.
I will not continue with the Isagenix bars or snacks, however the shakes make a convenient breakfast and the herbs, elixirs and enzymes are things that my diet (as pure and amazing as it is) does not provide me with.
Ideally, my lifestyle will slow down enough so that I will not need to take any supplements and hopefully no medications. But, while I have 3 jobs, 2 young kids and like to train relatively hard, I function better with these supplements and understand there is a long-term benefit to integrating these into anyone’s lifestyle, not just a quick fix diet.
That’s my Isagenix experience, thanks for listening. Here’s my token happy flex shot.