As most of you may know, I can be pretty opinionated. I have wanted to write about this particular blog topic for over a year but I have tried sooooo hard to keep my opinions to myself because I am TRYING not to offend anyone. However, it's clear these multi level marketing health companies are not going away. And since people are always asking me 1) to try the products or 2) what my problem with the products/companies are, I feel compelled to finally give my opinion. For any of my friends out there who might take these products or be involved with any of these companies - this is by no means a personal attack!
Here are the biggest issues I have with Herbalife, Isagenix, Advocare, Shakeology, etc.
Everyone has skin in the game - Hear me loud and clear when I say this - Your friends and family are making money off of you. A lot of people will say "so and so didn't try to sell me anything, really. I just saw all of their posts on Facebook about how great they felt with these new products, and I reached out to them to find out more". HELLO?? Sorry, but why do you think they are constantly posting about how great they feel? Did you know that, at least for Advocare, there are actually Facebook groups for advisors where they can literally copy and paste "success story" examples as their own statuses for their friends and family to see? Sounds sincere. Let's look at it from another angle. The people that claim their posts have nothing to do with money are also the people who turn around and post statuses about how "XYZ company has allowed me to grow my business and has provided me so much wealth and I can't even believe I used to spend 70+ hours a week working for the man", etc... Yet you think they don't really care about making a profit off you? Come on.
You don't need to go on a "cleanse". That is literally the purpose of your liver. You want to flush toxins from your body? Eat more fruits and vegetables. Drink WATER. Enough said.
You have to drink your meals??? For me, this is a big one. I have watched people go on these 21, 24, 30 (whatever your poison) day "challenges" and they are DREADING their shakes. Life is too short to hope the day passes quickly so it can be supper time and you can actually eat REAL FOOD. It just isn't sustainable long term, which kind of leads me to my next point.
It's not actually fixing anything. These companies, these challenges...they aren't solutions. What do you think is going to happen after your 30 days are up? Here's how this usually works:
- You go on a challenge and you drop X amount of pounds pretty quickly. Usually because these challenges ask you to cut out soda, fast food, anything fried, processed foods (all of which I agree with) but also things you need, like carbs, fats (like cheese), and FRUITS (this is all truly asinine). So yes, you are losing weight; however, most of the weight you are dropping is water weight, and you are actually damaging your metabolism
- So now, you're pumped about losing the weight, but you get to a point where you plateau and you're kind of stuck in this skinny-fat stage. You can't make adjustments to your diet because you've already cut EVERYTHING out.
- You decide you'd rather LIVE YOUR LIFE AND EAT FOOD - so you start eating food again. And in doing so, you gain weight back. In many circumstances, you end up weighing more when all is said and done than you did in the beginning.
- OR you keep taking the products and you're forever stuck in the vicious product dependency cycle.
Your "coach" will say - this doesn't end after the 21/24/30 day challenge. You need to continue taking products for maintenance (in doing so, your coach now has a forever paycheck from you). Say what? I have to continue paying buckoo bucks to maintain?? How does this make you think you are healthier? Our bodies can do this on their own by eating healthy and exercising.
Unqualified people are "coaching" you. This is something that really drives me nuts, because I've actually seen people post shit like "You don't need to be educated to do this, anyone can do this! Join our team today!" I'm not saying everyone needs to go to college, by any means. But our bodies are pretty complex, and there is a lot of science behind how our bodies work and process food. So yeah, you should know a little bit about that before you just take people's lives and health into your own hands. You're taking advantage of people who don't know to ask better questions. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think people who sell these products are bad people. It's just the appeal of "get rich quick" meets "get skinny quick". In reality there are no easy solutions. It takes work.
People's arguments lack science. Every time someone wants to have a conversation with me about one of these companies, they start throwing out these blanket statements like "our soil is depleted of nutrients", "your body needs to flush out toxins", "you get vitamins and stuff (also known as micronutrients) through these products that you wouldn't be able to get in a regular diet!". When you ask for proof, they can't prove it. And if they try, they're quoting some bogus self funded study the company has paid for. SKETCHY. That's like Coke paying for studies that claim coke is good for you. It's like the NFL paying for studies that say football doesn't cause brain trauma. It's like big tobacco back in the day trying to cite their own studies in their attempts to convince the public that cigarettes aren't bad for you. You're smarter than that.
People have bad reactions to this stuff. And it's just fluffed off. "You must not be following the program", "that's your body letting go of toxins", "give it more time", etc. No. Listen to your body.
Endorsements. One of these particular companies likes to rely heavily on celebrity endorsements. Who cares? Celebrities will endorse ANYTHING. It doesn't mean they actually use it. How about all those gorgeous girls who endorse SkinnyTea. Do you think that shit actually works? NO. IT'S LITERALLY JUST TEA. The other companies who don't rely on celebrity endorsements like to say "wouldn't you rather take your friends advice than rely on celebrity endorsements?" Nope, sorry friends. I choose neither.
Long story short, you don't need a magic pill or shake to lose weight. Believing in that stuff is just selling your body short of so many things it is capable of. Your body is AMAZING. Your body can do all of these amazing things for you. But unfortunately there are no shortcuts. You have to eat healthy and exercise. Do yourself a favor - save yourself the money you were about to spend on this stuff and put it towards healthy food instead. For those of you who say "why do you care? If it works for them, let them do it". Part of me sees your point. But the other part of me is so fed up with this wasteful diet industry, I unfortunately couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore.