Before I start. This isn’t an article for sensitive people, or people who can’t handle the truth. So if that’s you – don’t bother reading any further. If you want to learn something cool and take away some new information, keep reading. Okay here we go then!
Take a look at the healthy meals in the photo above. On the left is a Herbalife healthy meal and on the right is my own healthy meal. Now, I’m not sure about you but I sure as hell would choose the food over the powder. Here’s the thing – yes, I have very strong opinions on meal replacement diets (of which you are going to read in this article) but I’m not writing this to rant and rave, but rather to lay down the bare facts about what meal replacement diets actually do to your body and your mind when it comes to weight loss. I will be addressing two of the most prevalent in the industry just now – Herbalife and Juice Plus.
This past week alone I have received 4 training enquiries from women who are at their wits end with dieting. They’ve tried EVERYTHING – but what concerned me the most was their words about Herbalife. One said – “Recently I decided to try the Herbalife diet which has made me quite ill” and another “I’ve been on Herbalife but I haven’t lost any weight – I just feel sick and starving all the time.” Just so you know the basics – Herbalife’s guidance for weight loss is to replace two meals per day with their Formula 1 Healthy Meal replacement and eat one nutritionally balanced meal. That’s all it says. Now – if you’re like I was (before I became a trainer) – I would be sitting there thinking what the fuck is a nutritionally balanced meal?
So – what’s wrong with replacing meals with Herbalife Healthy Meal replacement powder? Well – firstly let’s take a look at the ingredients. I have selected their “French Vanilla” flavour for the purpose of this article. On the label it says “Formula 1 is a delicious healthy meal that provides a balance of protein and nutrition” – let’s get one thing straight here. Is it fuck a “healthy meal”!! It’s not a meal at all! So – French Vanilla flavour – here are the ingredients with some information about them.
Soy Protein – Denatured GMO (Genetically modified organisms) protein. Numerous artificial flavourings, particularly MSG (mono sodium glutamate – a flavour enhancer), are added to soy protein isolate.
Soy Lecithin – comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. (Source: http://preventdisease.com/news/09/073009_soy_lecithin.shtml)
Corn Bran – another genetically modified organism
Carrageenan – is a toxic emulsifier – All Carrageenan is typically extracted using powerful alkaline solvents. Even at low doses, it has been found to destroy human cells and is linked to various human cancers and digestive disorders. It has also been found to impair human cell repair.
Artificial French Vanilla Flavouring – WOW – they even actually admit in the name – artificial. Enough said!
The above is just one of many Herbalife products littered with fructose, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours and plenty of genetically modified organisms. Any company that uses ANY of the ingredients listed above doesn’t care about your health. They care about their bottom line and that’s why they use these ingredients. The ingredients are cheap and easy to make into a sweet tasting drink that is addictive to the palate. There is no doubt about it that these ingredients are toxic to the human body.
In my opinion – there are two main reasons that you are tempted to buy products from companies such as Herbalife and Juice Plus.
- They promise to deliver you quick and measurable results – and they do!
- The distributers (or sales people) are often people of a trustworthy position. Your group fitness instructor, your local personal trainer or even your best friend or family member. Surely someone that you trust wouldn’t be selling you poison? Well I hate to break it to you darling, but you have just been what I like to call – bullshitted!
Oh and before I end this section – don’t give me your shite about Ronaldo taking Herbalife. Does he fuck! He gets paid bazillions to hold a shake and smile at a camera. Do you honestly think an elite athlete is going to create a toxic body? Nah – didn’t think so!
I would say don’t get me started on Juice Plus but then, that’s what this article is for! So who decided to package up your “five a day” in a little capsule? Before all you distributers hurl at me – but this is the easy way for the population to get their five a day, let me explain. For a start – our population should be getting 7 or 8 a day, but that’s for another article. Secondly, a company who wishes to blend, dehydrate and force your five a day into a PILL instead of EDUCATING people on how to actually EAT their five a day – should in my honest opinion – be closed down. “Juice Plus+ has not been designed to replace real food because it is real food.” COME ON PEOPLE – let’s get REAL here! *Steam coming out ears*
Juice Plus also have a weight loss range (although this is cleverly marketed as their “Shape” range). If I were choosing a shake flavour, I would most likely opt for Chocolate – so here are the ingredients of the chocolate flavoured “Shape” meal replacement shakes:
Soy protein, fructose, inulin, rapeseed oil powder (rapeseed oil, maltodextrin), ﬂavours, algae oil powder (glucose syrup, algae oil, modiﬁed starch, sodium ascorbate, sodium polyphosphate, sunﬂower oil, tri-calcium phosphate, emulsiﬁers: sunﬂower lecithin and mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids; natural ﬂavouring, antioxidants: tocopherol-rich extracts and ascorbyl palmitate), soybean oil powder (soybean oil, maltodextrin), pea protein, lupin protein, thickener: guar gum; strawberry pieces (1%), beta-glucan yeast concentrate, mineral blend (calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, ferric pyrophosphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, manganese chloride, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), anticaking agent: silicon dioxide; beetroot juice powder (beetroot juice concentrate, maltodextrin, acidity regulator: citric acid), acidity regulator: citric acid; glucose syrup, vitamin mix (vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin A, vitamin B2, biotin, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12).
Holy actual shitballs on fire – 1% Strawberry pieces. That’s it. I’m SOLD! People – I give you – the most toxic meal on the planet. No wonder you’re losing weight – your body is literally crying out for food! How many of those ingredients do you recognise or can pronounce? This makes me so angry that I could go on forever but I think I have made my point.
The meal replacement diet cycle (let’s see how many of you can resonate with this).
Replace meals —> Feel hungry —> Over Eat —> Feel Guilty —> Start diet again —> feel hungry —> over eat —> Feel Guilty…
There is the word that makes me feel really sad. “GUILT”. Losing weight and getting your health back should be GUILT FREE. Long term dieting creates a negative mindset and this is NOT WHAT I STAND FOR.
Meal replacement shakes are NOT a LONG TERM solution to your wellbeing, your health OR your weight. They are attractive because they offer a quick fix. Their marketing is clever and sucks you in. They are sold by people you know and trust (who will eventually try to get you to sell for them in order for them to make money off your sales). Don’t get sucked in. Have the confidence (and now the knowledge, hopefully!) to say NO to quick fixes, and know that there are genuine people out there (like me) who really are interested in YOU and YOUR HEALTH. If your personal trainer, group fitness instructor or friend are trying to sell you these products – you have GOT to walk away. They are not interested in your health – they are interested in your money. You can fight this point all you like but the bottom line is that this is true. I have invested THOUSANDS of pounds into my nutrition education in order to bring you a trust worthy service that leaves you feeling awesome for LIFE.
My name is Rachael Watson and I am an advanced nutrition specialist, personal trainer, business owner and writer. I believe in educating people that you are more than just the food on your plate, the number on the scales, and what other people think about you. I will always be completely open and honest with you and will never ever bullshit you. Everything I tell you has a proven researched background which I am always more than happy to share with you. I work with dedicated, motivated women who want to feel empowered to make small changes that will have a big impact on their health and their weight. I am not interested in working with people who constantly make excuses for the way they feel and for that reason, I have an application process to work with me.
If you want to work with me to feel empowered to change the way you feel, and become more than just a number on the scales then shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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I work with women all over the world both in person and online – so logistics are not an issue. If you’re ready to take control over your health and your weight and want to know more – email me. Take the step. Walk the talk.