Posted in Health and Fitness

My Experience on the Arbonne 28 Day Detox/Healthy Eating Diet

A friend of mine is a consultant for Arbonne and had been trying to get me to do their fancy 30 day detox/healthy eating diet for a long time. I finally caved in March and forked over my $290. I was extremely skeptical with the entire thing and it was a lot of money to spend. I asked a million questions about what was to be expected, what the benefits were and what I would feel. It began on March 6th and is now completed and I have a lot of thoughts on it to share.

To begin with, lets go over the claims the program made:

  • Weight loss of with some people losing up to 25 pounds in 4 weeks
  • Clearer skin including acne, psoriasis etc
  • Regular bowels
  • Improved hydration
  • Improved energy, no more after lunch fatigue
  • Complete loss of any cravings for sugary or high carb foods
  • Expanded palate
  • Decreased grocery bill that not only covers the cost of the program but goes in excess of it
  • No hunger

I will get into how each of those applied to me in a bit, but I want to first fill you in on what the program actually was.

For $290 I received the following:

  1. Two large bags of protein powder, one vanilla and one chocolate
  2. Two boxes of detox hot tea bags
  3. Two boxes of “fizz sticks” a non caffeinated, no sugar added powder to flavor water
  4. One box of digestion plus, a probiotic formula
  5. One bag of fiber powder
  6. Seven packets of a cleanse agent
  7. A free gift – they recommend a greens balancing powder so that is what I did
  8. Access to a closed Facebook group with pointers, education and weekly meal plans

So what exactly is the plan?

Morning: hot cup of detox tea

Breakfast: protein shake. They recommend you add the probiotic, the greens and the fiber in the morning. They provide several recipes for different shake flavors and you have freedom to make your own.

Lunch: protein shake. You can also eat real food as long as you follow the dietary restrictions.

Snacks: permitted and include choice of a handful of almonds, an apple with almond butter, a single hard boiled egg.

Beverages: use of the fizz stick once or twice a day. It has vitamins in and they claim an energy boost

Dinner: A meal from their menu. You may eat out as long as you follow the dietary restrictions

Before bed: hot cup of detox tea

The third week: add the body cleanse liquid to 32 oz of water daily for 7 days and drink slowly during the day.

Restrictions: no dairy, gluten, caffeine, coffee, tea besides theirs, sugar, alcohol.


So how did I do?

I’m a rule follower to a fault, so things like this are actually pretty easy for me to do. If it says not to eat something, I won’t. I already didn’t do alcohol, coffee or dairy besides cheese. The gluten, sugar and caffeine would be the hard part in all of this. Plus I hate cooking, so there was that. Going into it I had a few concerns: the cost, being hungry and cravings. I was assured none of those would be an issue.

I was very diligent and followed all the rules: I made my breakfast shake with the chocolate powder and added frozen strawberries, lunch was a vanilla and strawberry shake. I found early on that if I didn’t eat real food for lunch, I was weak, irritable and too starving to think clearly in the afternoon so I began to eat leftovers or a salad for lunch specifically on days I went to the gym or for a ride after work. I drank my two hot teas, my one fizz stick and avoided everything it said to avoid. Even when a drug rep brought me Jimmy Johns and when we took Wyatt out for frozen yogurt. I didn’t even taste it. I was good and didn’t cheat one single time.

Ease of use: 5/5

How did everything taste?

Honestly, I didn’t mind the taste of anything. The tea is a minty flavor and was a good wake up in the morning and let down before bed. Adding frozen strawberries and ice to the shake actually made it taste like a milkshake even though I was using unsweetened almond milk. The greens powder did taste a little like grass, but added to the chocolate and strawberries it was barely noticeable. The fizz sticks were great. The fiber and probiotic were tasteless. Even the cleansing liquid was ok. It had a weird taste almost like a powdered ice tea drink without sugar added. My biggest complaint with taste was the dinner menu. Every single recipe used garlic, cumin and chili powder. Really by the end of week two I was tired of the combination and aching for some variety. All in all the recipes were really bland too. I made a turkey chili and Wyatt took a big spoonful then asked “Mom, where is the flavor?” You know it is bland when a 4 year old is asking for it to be spiced up.

As far as taste goes, I’d say it was all pretty good and definitely doable without any gagging, suffering through or forcing myself to stay on track.

Taste: 4/5


Results:

Now for the real deal. Did the program, even when followed completely to the letter without any cheating at all, live up to its claims?

  • Weight loss
    • My initial weigh in was 134.4 lbs. I’m 5’4″, so that puts me at a normal BMI. To be fair, I didn’t have a ton to lose, but I wanted to get back to 130 lbs by the end.
    • I weighed myself at the same time and on the same scale wearing the same clothes each week. Its easy to do when you wear scrubs and weigh in at work.
    • Week 2 – 134.2
    • Week 3 -134.0
    • Week 4 – 132.8 (after a week of colon cleansing)
  • Clearer skin
    • I saw no difference in any aspect at all. Again, I wasn’t fighting much of anything major. I do have rough pathes on my arms which a lot of people claim is secondary to gluten, but after a month on this diet, I saw no change for better or worse
  • Regular bowels
    • Got worse. I tend towards slower than normal and was looking forward to more regularity. Even with the added fiber, probiotic and drinking a ton of water each day, my bowels were slower and worse at the end of the month
  • Improved hydration
    • This did occur. I was happy with the forced water intake as I am bad at this on my own.
  • Improved energy, no more after lunch fatigue
    • I will say that I never had a crash after lunch, but by 4:30 pm I was done. I was hungry, weak and tired. It made working out really difficult because I was just too energy depleted to do it.
  • Complete loss of any cravings for sugary or high carb foods
    • I missed bread the entire time. Sugar and caffeine not so much, but I missed eating sandwiches and never found myself happy to not indulge.
  • Expanded palate
    • 50/50 on this one. Eating out became a challenge on finding what fit the rules, so it did expand my palate in that I ate things I typically wouldn’t have otherwise. I didn’t enjoy them any more at the end versus the beginning and I certainly wouldn’t go around claiming they were my favorite foods.
  • Decreased grocery bill that not only covers the cost of the program but goes in excess of it
    • Big fat NO. In fact, not even including the initial $290 out lay for the program, my grocery bill went up for the month nearly double. I was buying foods I wouldn’t typically buy, produce is always more expensive than not and I couldn’t sale shop and plan my menu around what was on sale. Instead I had to buy what was on the list. While I didn’t buy any junk foods, lunch meat, bread or pop, the offset was not enough.
  • You won’t be hungry
    • I was starving. The entire month. No addition of different fats, fruits or veggies to my shakes made a difference. I was even hungry after eating dinner. Healthy foods just don’t stick with you, or at least not the ones in this program, and I was so hungry on many days I felt nauseous.

In addition, the dinner menu was not varied. As I mentioned above, the same spices were used in every single dish. Quinoa was used in almost every dish as well. It just got a little old eating the same flavors and most things were under spiced. I learned quickly to double the recipe in terms of amounts of spices called for and it improved.

Claims met: 1.5/9


Concluding thoughts:

So, I’m torn.

I didn’t lose weight real weight as I don’t consider the 1lb 4 oz during the cleanse weight loss since it was all water loss and pretty much found every claim to be false, for me anyway. Why? I think part of it is that I already ate pretty well to begin with. The only restricted items I had to eliminate were cheese and gluten. I’m sure someone who had to radically change their diet would see a much more radical change in body form and function. I also think that I ended up consuming more calories on a daily basis than before although they were healthier and more nutrient dense calories.

Beyond that, what I missed the most was convenience. I had to cook pretty much every night since the food did not allow much for left overs and eating out was expensive and took longer since I couldn’t go to a fast food place. No breakfast for dinner or throwing in a frozen pizza. Healthier? Probably although that depends on how you determine that since I weighed and felt the exact same at the end as in the beginning, but more stressed for sure.

But….

I enjoyed the products quite a bit. Everything tasted really good and helped solve some of my diet issues: what to drink that isn’t sugar loaded but better tasting than water, what to eat for breakfast that isn’t loaded in carbs or sugar.

I had the ability to get a refund of all but shipping costs – somewhere around $270. All you have to do is ship back all part used and empty containers of the product. I could have, but I chose not to. I want to continue drinking the fizz drink, tea and shakes until they are all gone.

Would I recommend it? It depends. I do believe it opens your eyes to your own eating habits and where you can improve. If your current diet includes everything on the elimination diet and you can stick to the plan, I believe you could see some fantastic results with it. I was really disappointed at the end when I looked, felt and weighed no different than had I ate pizza and sandwiches instead, but I did enjoy eating everything and the most surprising thing….I learned to like cooking by the end. I even researched and made my own honey mustard dressing to replace the extremely fattening ranch I typically use with my frozen chicken nuggets (which I found gluten free ones I like better than the regular ones too).

I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t tell someone to absolutely not as long as they didn’t buy into the claims so much and did it more for education than anything else. I don’t plan to add gluten back to my diet either, well at least not when able to substitute it out. Cheese, though. Cheese is right back on the menu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “My Experience on the Arbonne 28 Day Detox/Healthy Eating Diet

  1. These things are always FAR more expensive than they need to be. You can get protein powder/detox tea/meal plans for a fraction of that price. These days I always hear ‘clean the toxic sludge from your system!’ and yada yada yada when all they are doing is selling you probiotics under another label. At our weight (I’m close to you), the only thing that aids in weight loss is muscle building (to raise daily calorie burn) and calorie restriction (1200 kcals/day) or preferrably good food (I go paleo). Even then it takes months and months to see results.

    I could potentially see this working for a morbidly obese person as long as they follow the directions to a T, since it seems like it drops calorie consumption by quite a lot, but it isn’t going to work for the average person. And even then, still, way too freaking expensive for what you get.

    But thanks for the very in-depth review. You don’t get to see many of these – usually reviews of these diet fad companies are done by the company themselves and passed off as actual reviews. I have several friends who are all over the spectrum with these (21 day fix, the pink drink or w/e) and none of them have ever lost weight or anything on them, but they preach and preach because they have to make sales or they’ve just essentially wasted their money 😦

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    1. I priced each product individually as if I bought them outside the program and it surprisingly was more expensive. Still $290 was way too much and really not worth it.

      I was happy that it broke my bad eating habits and made me think more about what food I put in my body. Now I’m more aware of what I’m eating and I’m making more conscious decisions instead of just grabbing whatever. My goal is to get to my target weight (126 is ideal for my body type and structure) by this time next year through healthier choices and continued work outs at the Y. We will see if I get there or not!

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  2. Wow, what an in-depth review. Honestly, in your place, I wouldn’t have caved even for a friend. I do not trust/believe any of the “fad” diets. I think it comes from my mom. Growing up, she was an aerobics instructor and was really keen on our nutritional intake. Losing weight is a combination of eating healthy and working out. But it was really interesting to hear a good analysis of the diet by someone who followed all the rules to a T.

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    1. I never faltered! I was really proud of that. You are right though. Healthy choices and exercise is the only way to get the body I want. I was a little upset with her at the end because she basically lied and she is a friend but she is in the business of selling her product. Live and learn.

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      1. Definitely. I get trying to sell stuff but those pyramid scheme sales plans are complete bunk. Some of the stuff is nice but trying to oversell and push it that hard is just annoying.

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      2. Yes! She tried to get me to be a consultant last year and I laughed at her. This scheme has been around for forever. If they worked, nobody would be pulling a 9-5. Trust me 🙂

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      3. Exactly. Omg I can take home 20,000 dollars a month and work flexible hours? *eye roll* it is interesting to watch how these schemes change products, i.e. Tupperware to jewelry to makeup to health products etc.

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  3. Super awesome that you stuck with it and followed all the rules. I know I wouldn’t do that. As I read the diet though, I kept thinking to myself how I could do that easily on my own…for a lot less! I think the sheer cost of this diet would prevent me from ever trying it; diets to me shouldn’t cost that much more!

    The only “diet” I’ve ever dabbled with for any length of time was being a vegan. I was only 85% vegan (really didn’t worry about the trace amounts of things in dressings, condiments, or breads and occasionally put a little cheese on my salads) and only really did it to prove a point to myself and to expand my recipe base. I did both and the surprising side effect was also leaning up a TON. Good to know my body will respond that way on a diet like that. Still though, I love animal proteins and don’t want to permanently cut them out. But I do enjoy a lot more vegan fair now than I once did!

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    1. I love meat way too much to go vegan. My ideal diet would be very paleo like and I adore eating real food. Not processed or full of who knows what. Locally grown and raised although I’m not really an organic person. It’s too expensive for us right now but we are looking at getting a freezer so we can eat a cow and a pig from a local farm/butcher then eventually get all our produce local too. Someday I may eat the way I want.

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  4. Yeah I can never buy into these programs since they always cost so much money compared to me just buying groceries (I spent 20-40 a week depending). But thanks for trying something out like this so the rest of us don’t have to!

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