For anyone new to an Isagenix Weight Loss System, it’s natural to wonder whether incorporating a regular Cleanse Day schedule into your program will work long term. After all, in the case with other dietary programs, most people regain their weight within a few months.
While previously there’s been little research to support sustained weight loss benefits of weekly Cleanse Days, recent studies are providing evidence that regular, intermittent fasting is quite effective for losing and maintaining weight loss.
For example, research led by Dr. Paul Arciero at Skidmore College showed that the combination of both Cleanse Days as a form of intermittent fasting and Shake Days as a form of calorie restriction was effective in leading to weight loss followed by weight maintenance for 15 months (1,2).
The study had two phases – a 12-week weight loss phase followed by a 52-week weight maintenance phase. At the completion of the study, participants who stayed on the Isagenix System had an average of 6 percent lower body weight and significantly improved cardiovascular health.
New, Long-term Study Supports Safety
Now, scientific evidence from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) corroborates the long-term results of Dr. Arciero’s research (3). In the new study, researchers used alternate-day fasting – another form of intermittent fasting – as part of a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects between alternate-day fasting and daily calorie restriction on overall weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardiovascular risk factors.
Like with the Skidmore study, the newer research used both a weight loss and weight maintenance phase. However, the duration of each phase spanned half a year – the weight loss phase for six months, the weight maintenance for six months.
The study randomized 100 obese adults, 86 of them women, to follow one of three dietary programs: alternate-day fasting (alternating “fast” and “feast” days), calorie restriction, and eating normally (control).
During the weight loss phase, the researchers advised participants in the alternate-day fasting group to consume 25 percent of their daily caloric needs one day (roughly 500 calories), then 125 percent (2500 calories) the next day, while the calorie restriction group ate 25 percent less each day. During weight maintenance, participants increased consumption on “fast” days to 50 percent and “feast” days to 150 percent. The calorie restriction group returned to a normal eating pattern as instructed.
At the end of the year, there was no difference in the total weight loss between the alternate-day fasting group and the calorie restriction group. Both groups lost an average of 5-6 percent (10-12 pounds for a 200-pound person). There were also no differences in any cardiovascular risk factors.
Additionally, those in the alternate-day fasting group consumed more than instructed on “fast” days and less than suggested on “feast” days. The authors state that this may explain the lack of difference in overall weight loss, as alternate-day fasting participants moved toward actually following the calorie restriction protocol as the study progressed. The total weight loss included the data from the people who dropped out as well. This may mean that those who stuck with the diet actually lost more weight than the data suggest.
Better Adherence Through Convenient Isagenix Products
The latest UIC research provides an extra layer of support for the concept of intermittent fasting in general as a safe, effective tool for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. It’s also considered the first long-term look at intermittent fasting adherence for six months of weight loss followed by six months of weight maintenance. Other earlier studies have reported significant weight loss through intermittent fasting compared to control groups, but they were typically six to twelve weeks long (4-6). Data suggests that long-term adherence to this method of weight loss and maintenance may not be sustainable for everyone when used as a single approach.
However, the Skidmore College study results could lead to the conclusion that adherence might be improved among participants simply with provision of Isagenix products – for example, high-protein meal replacements and nutrient-rich drinks. In addition, combining intermittent fasting with calorie restriction – Cleanse Days and Shake Days – might be an approach that leads to more effective and sustained results for participants.
- Arciero PJ, Edmonds R, He F, Ward E, Gumpricht E, Mohr A, Ormsbee MJ, Astrup A. Protein-pacing caloric-restriction enhances body composition similarly in obese men and women during weight loss and sustains efficacy during long-term weight maintenance. 2016 Jul;8(8):476.
- Li Z, He F, Tinsley GM, Pannell BK, Ward E, and Arciero PJ. Comparison of high-protein, intermittent-fasting low-calorie diet and heart healthy diet for vascular health of the obese.Front Physiol 2016 Aug;7(350).
- Trepanowski JF, Kroeger CM, Barnosky A, Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Hoddy KK, Gabel K, Freels S, Rigdon J, Rood J, Ravussin E, and Varady KA. Effect of alternate-day fasting on weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardioprotection among metabolically healthy obese adults: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 May 1. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936. [Epub ahead of print].
- Varady KA, Bhutani S, Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Haus JM, Hoddy KK, and Calvo Y. Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2013 Nov;12(1):146-153.
- Eshghinia S and Mohammadzadeh F. The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women. J Diab Metab Disord. 2013 Jan;12(1):4-7.
- Varady KA, Bhutani S, Church EC, and Klempel MC. Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1138-1143.