by Ina Nozek, DC, MS, CCN
Looking for a one-stop shop for answers to the most frequently asked questions about Isagenix products?
Over the last two years, I’ve answered hundreds if not thousands of questions about Isagenix products on the IsaProduct Coaching Call. The 30-minute call available twice daily during the week (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. PT and Monday to Thursday at 6:30 p.m. PT) continues to be popular as a “go-to” resource for helpful advice. Now, based on my experience, I’ve compiled the top 25 most frequently asked questions and answers for you. Here they are:
Q. I take a prescription medication. Do I need to check with my doctor before starting Isagenix? After all, it’s just food and supplements!
A. Anyone taking medication and/or under the care of a medical doctor for any medical condition should check with his/her doctor before starting Isagenix or any other nutritional program. Just bring the ingredients of all the products you plan to take to your doctor. Tell the doctor you are about to start a low-calorie healthy eating program and that it involves periodic fasting and incorporates some nutritional supplements. Ask him or her to make sure all the ingredients are okay for your health situation. And then state that you would like him or her to monitor your results. The reason this is important is that sometimes medications need to be adjusted as a result of your increasing health, and only your doctor can do that. (To learn more about the most frequently asked questions from health professionals, listen to this podcast.)
Q. I have diabetes. Can I still use your shakes and can I still perform Deep Cleansing days in my Isagenix program?
A. We have many people with diabetes who are very successful at improving their health with our various systems. It is very important that you have your doctor monitor your blood sugar levels and medication. For some people with diabetes, daily cleansing is more appropriate than deep cleansing, and for some, half an IsaLean Shake at a time may work better than a whole shake at once. However, many people with diabetes have had great results with deep cleansing programs, and most do fine with full shakes or half shakes with added IsaPro.
Q. I am pregnant or breast feeding. Can I use Isagenix for weight loss?
A. Pregnancy and/or lactation are not the time to focus on weight loss. You’ll need calories to gain healthy amounts of weight for your baby, so it is not the time to cut down. You may incorporate IsaLean Shake, Bars, Soups, FiberSnacks!, and SlimCakes; however, these should not be used to replace meals. The IsaFruits, IsaPro, IsaCrunch, FiberPro, and Want More Energy? can also be great additions to your diet. At the same time, you should of course be “cleaning up” what you eat—avoiding excess sugar, fatty foods, etc. Cleanse for Life is not appropriate for pregnant or lactating women, nor are the following products: Ionix Supreme, Natural Accelerator, or IsaFlush!. What you ingest goes right to your baby, and some of the botanicals used in these products have just not been studied well enough in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Finally, you should be aware that our Essentials for Women is not a substitute for a prenatal multivitamin. Once you have weaned your baby, it will be a perfect time to begin an Isagenix program. (For more information, click here.)
Q. I am vegetarian. How do I know which of your products are suitable for me?
A. Isagenix has a table listing what products are suitable for strict vegetarians and lacto-vegetarians. The lists are actually part of the Isagenix Allergens Table.
Q. I am gluten-intolerant. Which Isagenix products do I need to avoid?
A. The most important product to avoid is the SlimCakes. Isagenix Greens also contains wheat grass and barley grass; if you have a strong gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, you should avoid Isagenix Greens, but many people with less gluten sensitivity have no trouble with Isagenix Greens. All of the other Isagenix products are completely gluten free.
Q. Can children or teenagers use the Isagenix products?
A. Yes; many, but not all, of the Isagenix products are appropriate for children and teenagers. Isagenix has a table showing which products are appropriate for which age groups. You can find out which products are appropriate for what age group here.
Q. I have a food allergy. How do I know which of your products are safe for me?
A. Many of the common allergens are found on the Isagenix Allergens Table. For allergens not listed, we suggest you go to the Isagenix Product Catalog; all product ingredients are listed in an appendix at the back of the catalog.
Q. My friend won’t use Isagenix because he/she says the shakes are too high in sugar. What do I tell him/her?
A. First, the sugars contained in IsaLean Shake and Bars are all from natural sources. There are no artificial sweeteners. They are designed to be low glycemic, which means they shouldn’t spike blood sugar. A sufficient amount of healthy carbohydrates is a good thing in a complete meal replacement. IsaLean Shake is scientifically formulated to have an ideal ratio of low-glycemic carbohydrates, quality proteins, and healthy fats to create balance in the body. This is a meal replacement, and your body needs these healthy carbohydrates for energy (especially the brain). For the large majority of people, IsaLean Shakes are definitely not “too high” in sugar.
Q. Why do I need to take my measurements? What’s wrong with weighing myself every day?
A. Since many changes are taking place in your body as you cleanse and replenish, ones that are not reflected on the scale, the scale will often show fluctuations that might make you feel frustrated if that’s all you look at. Remember, the scale only measures net weight, not the amount of fat lost or the amount of muscle you may have gained. The quality of the whey protein in our shakes supports the growth of lean muscle mass while you are burning off fat. This is one reason people who have lost weight on Isagenix don’t tend to have sagging skin. (For instance, look at the “success stories” photos under the “People” tab of Isagenix.com website.) For all these reasons, we recommend that you weigh yourself only once a week, preferably first thing in the morning, after you use the bathroom, on the same scale each time. But you will often see and feel a difference in your clothes. And by taking your measurements, you will be able to see that your body is releasing fat, even if the scale is not showing weight loss.
Q. Why do I need to drink so much water? How do I know how much water is enough? Can I put anything into my water to give it flavor?
A. The products do a great job of supporting the body at releasing impurities, and it’s our job to flush them out of the body by drinking plenty of pure, plain water. We recommend drinking approximately half of your body weight in ounces of pure, plain water whether you are on a cleansing program or not. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, it is suggested that you drink 75 ounces of water each day. We don’t recommend that you add anything to flavor your water. You can use as much herbal or green tea as you want, or put flavored stevia in your water.
Q. I’ve hit a plateau (or my weight loss is slower than expected). What should I do?
A. If you have hit a weight-loss plateau, make sure you are continuing to drink enough water each day, and that you are moving your bowels well every single day. In addition, make sure that you are eating enough calories and that your meal is healthy and balanced. For some people, it is better that they split their one meal into two smaller meals. Often, adding IsaPro to your shake can help break a plateau. We recommend that you add 1 scoop of IsaPro to 1 1/2 scoops of IsaLean Shake. Or for an easier and more convenient option, use IsaLean Pro to get that same ratio already combined for you. The additional protein can help boost metabolism, fat burning, and satiety. In addition, getting enough fiber in your diet can help lead to better results. If none of this seems to help, you may need to increase your activity level and/or do something to reduce your level of stress.
Q. What should I avoid while on the Isagenix system? Is there anything I can substitute?
A. Before starting on an Isagenix system, we recommend people eliminate all “junk foods” from their refrigerators and cupboards.That should include any processed, empty-calorie foods (e.g. potato chips) and sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages (e.g. sodas, coffees, etc.). These can potentially interfere with the goals of weight loss and detoxification on an Isagenix program. They should be avoided as much as possible. To substitute typical sweet-tasting beverages, we recommend consuming plain green or herbal tea, IsaFruits, Greens, Ionix Supreme (diluted), and Want More Energy? (during and after exercise). To substitute typical commercial snacks, we recommend FiberSnacks, SlimCakes, and IsaDelights.
Q. Why shouldn’t I have diet soda on the Isagenix program? Is there anything I can substitute?
A. Diet soda is not recommended as it contains artificial sweeteners. Regular soda is no better because it still contains lots of chemicals and refined sugars. Plain, pure water is really your best bet or Want More Energy? for during or after exercise.
Q. I find myself getting very hungry on Shake Days. What am I doing wrong?
A. Make sure that you are drinking enough water. Sometimes we think we are hungry but we are actually thirsty, and drinking more water can satisfy our hunger. Also, it is important to have your IsaLean Shake within one hour of waking in the morning. Don’t let too much time go by during the day without having your meal or shake. The Isagenix Snacks, or other suitable snacks, are very important to consume between meals and shakes, to balance your blood sugar, and ward off hunger. For some people, splitting the one meal into two smaller meals can be very helpful for warding off hunger too. Another great product that will make a huge difference in warding off hunger on Cleanse Days is our e+ Natural Energy Shot. Have one or two on a Cleanse Day to help with mental and physical energy as well as to suppress hunger.
Q. I find myself getting very hungry on Cleanse Days. Why can’t I eat an egg, a salad, or some nuts?
A. The ideal way to do a Cleanse Day is to not consume anything other than the Cleanse for Life, Natural Accelerator, and Isagenix Snacks spread throughout the day and maybe a couple of IsaDelights. This will produce the most effective cleansing and fat-burning results. Cleansing involves giving the body (especially the liver) a break from digestion. When we eat food on Cleanse days such as an egg or some nuts, it will slow down or stop the cleansing process so the digestive system can break down those foods. Optimally, if you can avoid snacking on anything other than the Isagenix Snacks and IsaDelights, you will have better results. Again, make sure to be hydrating enough, distract yourself from food as much as possible, and if absolutely necessary or to manage blood sugar, eat some apple slices (preferably organic).
Q. Can I use Isagenix if I’m lactose intolerant? What about if I have an actual milk allergy?
A. There is an extremely small amount of lactose in the IsaLean Shake. As a result, most lactose intolerant people do very well with our shakes. A dairy allergy is different. Depending on the severity of your allergy, the shake and other dairy containing products may or may not be appropriate for you. However, we find that most people are surprised at how well they can tolerate our products. If extremely intolerant, you may wish to consider just trying half a shake with added IsaPro—this limits the lactose and adds more of the enzyme lactase for easier digestion. Another excellent option is our new Dairy-Free Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean Shake!
Q. Are the Isagenix products considered organic, or not?
A. Our products are considered all-natural using only non-GMO ingredients. They also contain organic ingredients wherever possible, and some ingredients that even exceed USDA organic standards. However, some of our ingredients are sourced from parts of the world that do not have organic certification systems.
Q. I’ve been getting terrible headaches during the first few days of my program. Should I quit?
A. It is not unusual to feel some “cleansing symptoms” during the first few days of the program. Your body is starting to withdraw from certain substances such as caffeine, sugar, etc., and the detoxification process has begun. The headaches can also be caused from lack of hydration, so make sure to be drinking enough water. Low blood sugar can also cause headaches. Don’t quit! Make sure to keep your blood sugar stabilized by using the Isagenix Snack wafers and IsaDelight chocolates throughout the day. Usually within a few days, the headaches are gone. You will start to feel better with each passing day, and before you know it, you’re going to feel fantastic.
Q. Should I stop taking my other supplements and medications while I’m doing Isagenix?
A. Anything that has been recommended by your medical doctor or health professional should be continued while you are doing Isagenix. As for any other supplements you may be taking, you might want to give yourself a break during the initial phase of the program. See what the Isagenix products can do for your body. After your initial program, you may wish to consider switching over to our Ageless Essentials Daily Pak or some of our other superior supplements. The formulas, ingredient quality, and bioavailability of these supplements are extremely hard to beat.
Q. Is Isagenix a good product line for people who have had gastric bypass surgery?
A. Yes. Many people who have had bariatric surgery find themselves becoming malnourished, since it is very challenging to eat enough nutritious food and absorb the nutrients contained in them. The IsaLean Shake for example, is extremely nutrient dense, and is a fantastic way to nourish your body with the right protein and other nutrients for a strong and healthy body. Depending on how soon it is after your surgery and how much volume you can accommodate, you may need to start with only half a shake at a time. For more information, see this article.
Q. Do I have to stay on Isagenix forever if I want to maintain my results?
A. We suggest that once you reach your health and /or weight loss goals, you stay on a maintenance program for long-term health and wellness. Although there are no “have to’s”, it’s hard to imagine why anybody wouldn’t want to continue feeling fabulous. We are constantly being bombarded by toxins in our environment, and our food supply continues to be depleted of the nutrients our bodies need. So it makes sense to continue to stay on some sort of continual cleansing and nutritional supplementation. This can include daily and/or deep cleansing, IsaLean Shakes, Ionix Supreme, Ageless Essentials Daily Pak, and Product B.
Q. My face, chest and arms are blotchy red. My skin feels hot and itchy, almost like a sunburn. Am I having an allergic reaction? What should I do?
A. More than likely, what you are experiencing is known as a niacin flush. Since the Cleanse for Life, Ionix Supreme, and Natural Accelerator all contain niacin (vitamin B3), it is possible to have a niacin flush after consuming these products. Niacin acts as a vasodilator and will dilate the blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface. This can cause a “flush,” which looks and feels like a sunburn. The skin can become hot, itchy, and red. It typically won’t last more than a half hour or so, and the most important thing to realize is that there is nothing unsafe about it. It’s a completely natural reaction to niacin. If this happens, drink plenty of water and know that it’s nothing to be afraid of. If you are not sure whether you are experiencing a niacin flush as opposed to an actual allergic reaction (which may include symptoms such as hives, skin redness, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, nausea, or palpitations), be sure to check with your doctor. If you experience an allergic reaction to any Isagenix product, please discontinue the product.
Q. I don’t need to lose weight, but I still want to take advantage of the benefits of Cleanse Days. How do I adapt the program so I don’t end up losing weight?
A. Although not everybody is overweight, every single one of us is toxic. Since Cleanse Days have the side benefit of safe yet dramatic weight/fat loss, those who do not want to lose weight will need to make some minor modifications. Cleanse Days should be the same no matter what. However, your Shake Days should be different: Instead of enjoying two shakes and one meal consisting of 400 to 600 calories, add more calories into your day. For example, you could have two shakes, two meals, plus lots of healthy, nutrient-dense snacks in between. Each shake can include fresh or frozen fruit, natural nut butters, etc., to add extra nutrient-dense (not empty) calories. The meals should include lean protein, lots of fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and a generous amount of low-glycemic carbohydrates such as from brown rice, baked sweet potatoes, or whole-grain pasta.
Q. I am experiencing constipation. What should I do?
A. First of all, make sure that you are drinking enough water. Remember to drink half of your body weight in ounces of pure, plain water each and every day. Also, make sure that you are taking enough IsaFlush! You can safely take up to six IsaFlush! capsules per day. If you do increase your dose to four or more, you may want to split the quantity into morning and evening doses. In addition, include more fiber in your diet. FiberPro can be added to one or both of your shakes (one scoop per shake). You can also take advantage of FiberSnacks! and SlimCakes. If constipation persists, try having one or two servings of Isagenix Greens each day on an empty stomach. (For more information on common gastrointestinal problems, see this article by Dr. Nicole Kafka.)
Q. How do I know if I should add IsaPro to my program?
A. There are a number of reasons a person might want to add additional protein to their shakes. For example, for those who have a challenged metabolism, adding IsaPro to your shake could help to optimize your weight-loss results. In addition, if after a few days on the program, you are still feeling tired and/or hungry, we suggest adding 1 scoop of IsaPro to 1 ½ scoops of the IsaLean Shake. Also, if you are an athlete who consumes large amounts of protein to support your fitness regime, I suggest adding 1 scoop of IsaPro to 2 scoops of IsaLean Shake for each shake you consume. And again, for an easier and more convenient option, IsaLean Pro will provide 36 grams of our superior protein.
About the Author
Dr. Ina S. Nozek is a clinical nutritionist; was in private practice from 1987 until 2009; specializing in stubborn weight loss and detoxification. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Sherman College. She and her husband, Dr. Glenn Nozek owned and directed the Lifeline Center for Holistic Health. They were also the co-hosts of a cable TV series entitled, Lifeline; and a radio show entitled, Listen for your health. She and her husband live in Toms River, New Jersey, with their three children, Max, Arielle, and Jake.