The truth hurts, so bring a band aid for this one… Today I’ll give you my honest opinion on Juice Plus and Herbalife.
Can I close my eyes and make these not a thing??
I usually don’t write about products like these.
But after growing tired of affiliates getting in touch trying to take advantage of whatever “following” I’ve garnered in the fitness world by pitching their opportunities (one even asking if they could use a client’s before and after pictures, knowing full well that my client had not used their product), I decided to publicly publish my stance…
Hey, maybe you’ve got “that girl” at your workplace who gives her colleagues the hard sell on why they need to start using Juice Plus or Herbalife?
You’re not alone.
In this article, I’ll provide you with some facts and, at the very least, I’ll give you a laugh.
But don’t expect any punches to be pulled. Both barrels are fully loaded and this may hurt some feelings. The cold, hard truth tends to sting.
There are three things I’d like to run through, so let’s begin.
1. Overnight Experts
Anyone can sell these products.
That should be enough to put serious trainers off, right there.
It’s a home based business first, and everything else second.
I spent a good number of years putting in the work on the gym floor with clients, and going through various qualifications to earn the right to call myself a good personal trainer, so that you can trust my advice.
And just like any other career, that’s exactly the way it should be.
But with Juice Plus and Herbalife, Janet from your local kebab shop can decide she wants to make money from home and suddenly calls herself a f**king “well-being coach”…
Selling shakes does not make someone a coach.
The reason this is #1 on my list is because it’s misleading as f**k.
Giving sales reps the title of “ambassador”, “coach”, or “nutrition adviser” is a smart move by the company because people won’t feel like they’re being sold.
But it also creates a false trust with customers, because the seller is positioning themselves as an authority on proper nutrition without putting in the work to actually become one.
They just signed up and starting dishing out advice.
This dishonesty runs deep with these schemes, and Herbalife were fined almost $200 million in 2016 after being charged with “deceptive practices” by the Federal Trade Commission.
2. Awful Diet Advice
What happens when you have a large group of unqualified nutrition experts selling products?
Awful diet advice.
When a company hires reality TV celebrities to endorse health and fitness products, they usually do it in order to take advantage of their Instagram audience. But it’s only so long before said celebrity takes it upon themselves to advise their followers to eat nothing but leaves, or shove rocks up their hoo-haa.
(Looking at you, Gwyneth Paltrow!)
Now imagine a sales army of regular people who are doing it for money, and that problem multiplies tenfold.
The following was taken from a recent conversation I had with a Juice Plus
“expert” rep, trying to sell me their product:
“Yeah, Russ! Just have two shakes and one balanced meal per day. You’ll be amazed at your clients’ results!”
No s**t you’d lose weight, you’re starving!
And this person is trusted to coach people who need help with their diet?!!
Let me put my science head on and break this down…
Have you ever tried a crash diet?
You know, you suddenly go from consuming a large number of calories, to having one last blow-out, and then cut out all of your favorite foods and live like a f**king monk from now on…
Most of us have done this at one point.
And here is exactly what happens, folks…
Initially, we see a drop in body weight due to the fact we are consuming much fewer calories per day. If we are dropping carbohydrates we will also lose a bit of water weight here, too.
But then it happens.
By “it”, I mean the brick wall of reality we run head first into. Our body begins to adapt to our new hellish lifestyle, learning how to survive on this super-low calorie intake and you seemingly cannot lose any more weight no matter what you do.
Ever been there?
- Under 1000 calories per day? Check!
- None of your favourite treats? Check!
- Hours of cardio running after an imaginary donut on the treadmill (not that you’d be allowed to eat the f**king thing!) – Check!
Eventually, we crash off this diet in sheer frustration and bury our head in the chocolate room at home.
You don’t have a room?
Like I said, I’ve been here before…
But the body is smart.
Way too smart for Janet from the kebab shop and her “three foods you should never eat” malarkey.
Because you’ve adapted to this low calorie intake, the massive increase in calories from this binge leads to the immediate regaining of any weight which was lost, and in many cases we end up heavier than when we started.
Say “hello” to square one.
Then these pasty-faced motherf**kers have the nerve to convince you it was your fault, not their awful weight loss advice.
They’ll motivate you by posting a bulls**t fitness meme regarding “being all you can be & dancing in the rain” while telling you that next time you need to “want it more”.
So you begrudgingly get back on the crazy diet train, and this time you plan to go even harder.
Before you know it, you’ve been stuck in this cycle for 4-5 years and still look the damn same despite hating your life.
Argh! Rant over.
Your body responds to crazy fad diets by slowing the metabolism in order to maintain enough fat to protect your vital organs and keep you functioning.
It couldn’t care less about what you wanna look like, it wants to keep you alive and it thinks you’re attacking it.
So don’t be fooled by all this starvation diet nonsense.
This is a fast-track to an eating disorder, and is the danger of having lots of people with zero qualifications (and often zero interest in fitness) giving themselves made up titles to create an illusion of trust so they can dish out diet advice which all leads back to one thing:
“Buy. My. S**t.”
On a similar note, I had a recent conversation with a Juice Plus rep singing the praises of their latest product by saying things like “You see, this is just a part of my healthy diet.”
They explained that they used to have terrible eating habits, going drinking every weekend, and then they started working out, eating much healthier, and using Juice Plus shakes.
Hey, Presto! They lost weight!
We’ll go deeper on this in a second, as we’re about to look at the products, but what’s happened here is the healthy part of your new diet is covering up for the fact that these supplements are the s**t part of your new diet.
The results you achieved are from your hard work and dedication.
Then these people wrongly credit something like Juice Plus with all the results and totally sell themselves short!
The only good aspect of Juice Plus and Herbalife is that they get people to begin thinking about leading a healthier lifestyle.
Beyond that, it’s all bad news.
3. The Products
Finally, let’s focus on the products of both Juice Plus and Herbalife in this section.
Juice Plus affiliates love to say things like:
“This isn’t some processed supplement, it’s real natural food.”
Sorry, but no.
Every supplement is processed, and this is a supplement.
That’s marketing hype and nothing more.
Take a look at the ingredient list:
“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).”
Every time I hear someone say “Juice Plus has not been designed to replace real food, because it is real food!”, I want to eat a dumbbell.
How can they compare fresh fruit and vegetables to this powder?
And hey, try not to fall off your seat at that mighty 1% real strawberries…
Here’s a thought…
Surely I could save some of the £125 per month they want for this bulls**t and go buy some real motherf**king fruit and veg?!
In theory, I’d be paying three figures a month for what is essentially a soy protein supplement which has been fairy dusted with a multivitamin tablet, both of which you could pick up in superior form for cheaper elsewhere, jam-packed with a bunch of extra bulls**t my body just doesn’t need.
Now let’s look at the Herbalife Formula 1 protein shake.
Herbalife reps will tell you that this represents a healthy, balanced meal.
They encourage us to consume two of these shakes per day, alongside one balanced meal.
The first red flag arrives when they tell you to replace real food with a shake. Shakes are designed to supplement your diet, not replace it.
The second red flag goes up when we look at the nutritional values of the shake itself.
- 9g protein
- 13g carbohydrates
- 1g fat
If this represents a healthy, balanced meal then I must be pie eating champion of the world!
But let’s say I go “all in” and I follow their recommendations, consuming two shakes per day alongside a lunch of, say, a large baked potato with tuna and green vegetables.
I’d be eating under 800 calories per day!
That’s just 64g protein, 90g carbs, and 3g fat, so not only would I be starving, I’d also be falling short of the required level of protein to build and retain lean muscle tissue, and the required level of fat to regulate hormones.
If I’m also following a workout program (and you know I am, because at this point my rage needs an outlet), then I’m just asking for problems.
Let’s take a look at the Formula 1 ingredients:
“Soy protein isolate, fructose, wheat flour, cellulose powder, corn bran, sugar, canola oil, guar gum, natural chocolate mint flavor, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, calcium caseinate, casein, rice fiber, soy lecithin, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), carrageenan, medium chain triglycerides, dl-methionine, inulin, magnesium oxide, silicon dioxide, psyllium husk powder, ginger root powder, citrus pectin, honey powder, proteases derived from aspergillus niger and aspergillus oryzae (from aminogen) dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, ascorbic acid, sucralose, salt, baking soda, papaya fruit powder, pomegranate powder, blueberry powder, biotin, niacinamide, beta carotene, ferrous fumarate, zinc oxide, copper gluconate, calcium d-pantothenate, bromelain, yellow 5, cyanocobalamin, cholecalciferol, folic acid, blue 1, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, chromium chloride, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite.”
That’s about as “natural” as the bloated-faced guy from your gym who’s constantly trying to sell you his steroid stack.
Juice Plus And Herbalife – The Bottom Line
Hopefully I’ve made my point.
If not, here it is in simpler terms:
“F**k you. F**k you. F**k you.”
No reputable supplement outlet stocks these things, and their popularity hinges on the fact that their own sales reps (sorry, well-being coaches) earn a commission from spreading the word.
If you want to buy real, natural food and lead a healthier lifestyle I recommend you start at your local greengrocers.
It is cheaper, and as you can see from the catalog of chemicals above, it’s far better for you.
Of course, today I have focused only on Juice Plus and Herbalife.
That’s because they’re probably the two most well-known brands in this niche, but there are many others selling similar nonsense that should also be avoided and given a good slap (from body sculpting cling film wrap, to so-called detox drinks).
These things have existed within the fitness industry for many years, and it’s something I usually ignore, as I generally don’t have a problem with people who say it works for them as long as they leave me the hell out of it.
But if a sales rep is going to try telling me that my clients “need” this in order to lose weight, then I’m happy to give my honest God-damn opinion on why they don’t need them at all.
Any salesperson who wants to say their magic pill is superior to eating real food and vegetables deserves to have my gym door closed on them!
Next time you are presented with this nonsense, I suggest you do the same.