The Herbalife diet reviews well as a convenient, shake-based weight loss program…but is it a healthy, effective way to lose weight and keep it off?
It seems that pretty much everyone who has tried to lose weight has at some time used Herbalife weight loss products or knows someone who has.
Type in Herbalife to any search engine and you get positive and negative opinions in equal measure.
Herbalife is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company.
I’m not going to comment on the Herbalife business opportunity or the MLM business model, used to distribute everything from nutrition and skincare products to utilities and broadband services.
For the purposes of this review we’re interested in the company’s diet, marketed as the “ShapeWorks” program.
Herbalife Diet Reviews – How Does it Work…?
Herbalife has been established for over 25 years and is probably one of the biggest weight loss companies around.
Quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, the company is currently worth over $2.1b.
Herbalife distributes its weight loss, nutrition and skin care products through independent distributors in over 50 countries.
As such, you can’t buy the products in the shops, although Herbalife has in recent years begun to invest heavily in increasing its brand awareness through various sponsorship deals.
Sporting events, such as triathlons and beach volleyball bear the Herbalife logo.
However, weight loss is still its core business.
The ShapeWorks program consists of:
There are a range of shake-mix flavours, which can be mixed with milk, soya milk, fruit juice or a combination of milk and juice.
You can also add fresh fruit and 1-3 scoops of soy protein powder.
Each shake will have between 15-35g of protein, and around 200-350 calories depending on how you make it.
Herbalife make a range of snacks, or you can choose from a range of healthy, low fat, protein-rich snacks suggested in the literature supplied with the program.
There are also a range of main meal suggestions.
The company promotes ShapeWorks as a personalised weight loss program. The distributor you buy the products from will work out your calorie and protein requirements for you and is then supposed to support you on a regular basis until you reach your target weight.
There’s then a maintenance program to help your body get used to its new weight.
You also get a 3 times a day multivitamin and mineral supplement in the pack and can choose from a range of “targeted nutrition” products and “enhancers” to supplement the program.
The Herbalife Diet reviews quite well for cost. The ShapeWorks program works out to a couple of bucks a shake.
Add in a few of the additional supplements and snack products and it can get pretty expensive, though!
Herbalife Diet to Lose Weight
Herbalife has a Scientific Advisory Board chaired by Dr David Heber, a leading obesity expert.
Dr Heber has published plenty of research papers on the efficacy of meal replacements for weight loss.
He’s also published a book called the “LA Shape Diet”, that is effectively the ShapeWorks program in all but name. He quotes plenty of research in his book to support meal replacement programs like Herbalife’s.
Given Dr Heber’s association with Herbalife you can make your own mind up as to whether this constitutes reliably independent evidence.
We like the fact that you can personalise your protein intake on this diet. 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight is recommended and your distributor works that out for you.
Herbalife claim that by eating the right amount of protein for your specific needs you won’t feel hungry and will protect your muscle mass whilst losing weight.
You also eat a main meal of lean protein, wholegrains, veg and salad. This should help to engender new eating habits.
This is essentially a low carb, low fat, high protein diet of around 1,200-1,500 calories a day on average. Although, larger people can eat more.
Again, your calorie intake is personalised for you, which we also like.
Ultimately, though, your success on this diet will be determined by whether you like the shakes as you’ll be having two a day for some time!
Some people will inevitably get bored of drinking them, although you can customise your shakes. You’re provided with a wide array of shake recipes to try.
Whilst you may well lose weight using ShapeWorks, we would suggest that there will always be doubts over whether you’ll keep it off in the long term.
Many of our clients have used shake based diets and lost weight successfully, some have maintained their new weight using them. Conversely, some have hated them!
Follow the plan and you’re likely to lose weight. Herbalife advise 1-2lbs a week on average.
We’d suggest you ignore the more outrageous weight loss claims made by some distributors advertising Herbalife products!
Herbalife also recommend regular exercise, plenty of fruit and veg and eight or more glasses of water. Good advice to follow whatever diet you’re on.
Herbalife Diet Reviews – The Bottom Line…
If you like shakes and smoothies this may turn out to be a good diet for you.
The Herbalife diet reviews well for convenience. If you tend to skip breakfast and other meals, mixing up and drinking a shake is pretty easy to remember.
If you prefer to chew real food, then you may struggle to stick with it.
It’s not the cheapest way to lose weight, although given the nutrient-dense nature of the products it would seem to offer pretty good value for money.
We would suggest the Herbalife diet reviews well for busy people and those with little time to shop and prepare meals.
Views on meal replacement programs are normally pretty polarised. Some people dismiss them as fads, others swear by them.
We would suggest that they’ve been around long enough to have escaped the fad label!
They’re a good choice for people who want a simple, hassle free diet that requires little thought, preparation or cooking.
Generally, we prefer weight loss programs based on real food that instil the new eating habits essential to long term weight loss.
However, this is one of the better shake-based weight loss programs on the market and seems pretty nutritionally sound.
Our Herbalife diet reviews verdict? If you like the shakes, you may lose weight with this diet!