I got inspired by all the feed back I got from the some emails I sent out a few days ago about how so many people fail at their New Year weight loss resolution and end up right back where they were when they started, or worse fatter.
And in that same email I went on to explain the four factors why most people fail at their new year weight loss resolution.
-Your goals are probably un-realistic and so you’re already setting yourself up for failure.
-You’re unprepared. Sure you have a general idea that you want to lose weight. But you most likely do not have a game plan.
-Your goals are unclear.
-You lack support. Because the going WILL GET TOUGH and your support system is what will see you though to your goal.
And so as far as I’m concerned new year resolutions stink!
I have a ton of clients who I help lose weight and get in better shape. And one of the things I teach them from day one is that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve, whenever you want it.
You don’t need permission from anyone. And you don’t need to wait for a new year. So just dump the idea of resolutions and let me tell you about my New Year Revolution weight loss and get back into shape program.
So that’s what I’m calling it; The New Year Revolution Program!
Let me give you some details of the New Year Revolution weight loss and get back into shape program.
I’ve designed the program to overcome the four fail factors mentioned above.
It’s a six week body transformation program specifically designed to burn fat and tone muscles while you workout with me and then to give you the coveted “after burn” effect so you can burn more fat once you leave here.
“After burn” is the state of heightened metabolism that takes place after a really good workout when certain variables take place during the workout session. In fact it’s scientifically proven that you can go into after burn and torch more calories for as much as 18 hours after a workout.
Each workout session is designed to put your body into “after burn” to help get the most fat loss during the six week program.
You’ll also get a customized meal plan to follow, designed to burn even more fat without restricting calories (this is NOT a diet) it’s a fat loss eating program simple and easy.
The New Year weight loss Revolution starts on Monday, January 13th.
Here’s the best part! I want to make sure this program is within reach of anyone who wants to lose weight, burn fat, tone up, get support and reach your ideal weight.
So…I have come up with 3 options…..
*And online (distance learning) coaching option for those who don’t live close and just want the information and to start getting results from a far.
*A personal one on one option in my studio face to face with yours truly. (requirement- a meeting minimum of once per week for 6 weeks)
*A small group (in person) option (2-4 people per meeting) who want to do it together and get a discount per person (requirement-a meeting minimum of once per week for 6 weeks)
Now in addition to this being the most awesome weight loss program EVER. I’m doing one more thing for you…
I’m going to back it up with my own money.
What I mean by this is, I’m so confident that you’re going to lose weight and be totally happy with my new New Year Revolution weight loss and get back into shape transformation program….. that I’m going to give you a full refund at the end of the six week program you can honestly say you followed the program from beginning to end and didn’t feel it was worth it.
I don’t see anyone else making that promise.
This online option is almost FULL and this post is going out to hundreds of people my list.
SO Don’t DELAY!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
PS- I am NOT accepting everyone into this program. There are a few things you must do to qualify for this six week weight loss fitness program. You have to agree to be committed to following the program for the full 6 weeks (including the exercise and nutrition plan given to you) and also promise me to NEVER have a new year resolution again, okay? Because YOU can achieve anything you want, whenever you want!
I see it daily in real world and on social media sites. People are running, walking, biking, rollerblading, skipping and some even frolicking through a dewy meadow. However, there still seems to be this fear or lack interest in men and women doing weight training to improve their health. Running and aerobic exercise will always seem to take precedent over lifting weights.
First I need to you to ask yourself is why are you running ? If you’re running because you like to run and enjoy the feeling it gives you that’s great, good for you. if you’re running because you have a goal of running a 5k, 10k, or a half or full marathon to say you did it and get this sense of accomplishment then more power to you. However, if you’re strictly running because you think this is the best and most efficient way to get in shape, get back in shape, stabilize blood sugar, increase or get back your metabolism, and lose fat (not weight) and keep it off long term……..well then you just might be misinformed.
I am sure you hear these two words quite often “In Moderation”. I have never cared for these two words because I usually see people use these two words as an excuse to slack off or because they are already going over board in regards to exercise and even food. We live in a society that many believe “MORE” is almost always better.
We want to have exercise not in moderation but in “Balance” running excessively with no concern for your muscle is not a very effective approach to long term health and lasting changes in body composition.
I see far too many people running, and running and running and they have no goal in mind but to run more and farther and this will somehow eventually give them the body of their dreams or great health. Will it? Lets see some of the effects of long term running on the body.
Effects of Long Term Running:
Good Short Term Effects
Has the potential to burn fat
Can improve stamina and endurance
Can improve speed
Can Improve mood
Can strengthen heart and cardiovascular system (if done moderately)
Bad Effects (Short Term and Long Term)
Breaks Down (Burn) Muscle Tissue (if excessive)
Produces Scar Tissue around heart (long term)
Raises cortisol and accelerates aging (short and long term)
Raises inflammation and oxidation stress
Destroys ankle and knee joints (if excessive and on a hard surface over time)
Comprises immune system
Causes metabolic damage
Decrease reproductive size and function
Effects of Long Term Strength Training:
Builds and strengthens muscles
Increases Metabolism and burns fat
Strengthen Bones and Joints
Strengthens other internal organs
Strengthens immune system
Increases and improves bone mass (helping prevent osteoporosis)
Helps prevents and treats diabetes
Helps prevent Parkinson’s disease
Increases Testosterone levels
Risks of Weight training
-More supervision is required as the risk of injury is greater.
-Certain exercises, such as lunges or incline bench press, can be difficult to perform.
-There is a need for lower back support, or strong back and abdominal muscles, when performing certain free weight exercises such as squats and or any standing overhead barbell presses.
-There is a lot more to remember about how to do each exercise safely and correctly.
-Free weights can seem intimidating.
Yet, all the above risks for weight training can be reduced or completed eliminated by working with a qualified and competent trainer or coach.
So don’t assume I am saying running is bad but is it the best and only thing to do to see great results in health and body composition? NO. Does it come with far more risks if done in excess? YES.
It’s not only my opinion but backed my science that the most efficient way to improve health, body composition (not just weight), and overall fitness is a BALANCE of resistance training, “moderate” cardiovascular exercise (i.e. 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes), and supportive nutrition. Balance is the key. If you’re running almost daily and currently not happy with your weight on the scale or more important the way your body looks and feels then you should add in some consistent resistance training and a proper nutrition plan. How much weight training? A minimum of 2 days per week full body is recommended to start but I would strongly suggest working up to 3-5 days per week.
Don’t know where to start? Need help with a properly designed resistance training program you can do at home or at the gym? I offer in person or distance (online) fitness and nutrition coaching if you dont live near me.
GET BALANCED GET RESULTS!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
This post reflects my professional opinion on The Body By Vi Challenge. I encourage you to research it for yourself and form your own opinion from other sites as well as my own.
The Body By Vi Challenge Is It All Hype?
I have been in the fitness industry for well over a decade and I see products, shakes, devices, pills, potions come and go. There is always the next great product or plan that claims to be the solution to all your problems when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape or healthy.
The latest one to come about and that I get asked about almost weekly is “The Body By Vi Challenge” created by Visalus Sciences. Visalus has created multiple products, and is recruiting and rewarding thousands of people if they promote “The 90 Day Challenge.”
What and who is Visalus?
Visalus is a Network Marketing company based out of Troy, Michigan. And although the company has just begun to attract attention, surprisingly, Visalus is a 7 year old company. Now, while they are 7 years old, it seems as though they haven’t really hit major momentum yet. The company was started by Ryan Blair, Blake Mallen and Nick Sarnicola In the past year and a half, it seems that one distributor, Kyle Pacetti (came from Mona Vie, another lousy product )has been responsible for the majority of the companies momentum and influx of new Distributors of “The Body By Vi Challenge” and is currently the top income earner in Visalus. But prior to Pacetti’s involvement I had never even heard of Visalus.
I have been researching Visalus for quite a few months and have been digging in the and researching the products trying to find out what all the hype is about and what is so special about these products especially the shake. Do you know what conclusion I came to after months of looking into these products, ingredients and challenge? I have amazingly discovered (can you sense my sarcasm) there is nothing special or magic about these products…let me repeat there is NOTHING special about the Body by Vi products or challenge. I would even go as far to say some products could be bad for you (even short term of only 90 days) and have a long term negative effect on your health.
I personally have no problem with someone wanting to get healthy, I have no problem with someone doing a legit challenge (exercise and eating right) for 90 days. However, I do have a problem with the way this Body By Vi challenge and products are being marketed and hyped. So I have been asked many times to give my opinion on all this “Body By Vi Hype” So here it is……..
Since I am a Certified Fitness and Nutrition Coach the Visalus products are my first concern so let’s dive into the ingredients of these products before anything else.
Vi-Shape- Nutritional Shake Mix.
Below is the exact label taken off the Vishape shake mix bag.
Let’s first look at the Nutrition Facts. My first concern would be the calories being so low. Two rounded scoops are only 90 calories? I know this is actually a selling point for many of the Visalus promoters. “It’s really low in calories!” Calories are so bad right? All calories make you fat! Not if you are getting the “the right calories”. My second concern would be it only contains 12 grams of protein for 2 scoops? That is in my opinion way too low for a meal replacement or nutrition shake. Having such a large serving size (2 scoops) and only getting 12 grams of protein that means this mix is 46% protein so what does that mean this mix contains “lots of fillers”. I am aware that they encourage you to add this shake to skim milk, almond milk, or soy milk for more calories and taste. Well if this shake mix is so special and is so great why do you need to add it to something else other than water to it to make it work? (not to mention something that might not be very healthy as well) To its credit the fiber content is good with 5 grams; however I am pretty sure the fiber is used to make you feel full. I have heard multiple times someone promoting the shake saying its only 90 calories and after having it “I’m not hungry for 4-5 hours or all day.” Again anything that curves someones appetite to a point where they are not eating for long periods of time I have an issue with. Not eating for long periods of time will:
1) Drop blood sugar which will prevent your body from using fat for energy,
2) Will cause your body to revert to using muscle for energy which will slow down your metabolism
3) This muscle loss in turn will cause your body to store more fat in the long term.
Good healthy fruits and vegetables can make you feel full as well and they do not have any fillers and questionable ingredients.
Back to the nutrition facts, the fat is low (1 gram) from sunflower oil which is possibly ok. But sunflower oil is omega 6 oil which most Americans’ already get plenty of. An Omega 3 oil which is lacking in the diet would be much better and make more sense.
The sugar is also low (1 gram) which is good. However, the sugar is being replaced by artificial ingredients to give it flavor. (More on this later). The Carbohydrates are only 7 grams which is not high, yet what is the source of the carbs if it has low sugar? I will touch on this when I break down the shake ingredient list next. At first glance the vitamin percentages in the shake look pretty good and balanced. However, what is the source of these vitamins and are they good for you?
So let’s break down the Vi-shake ingredient list. Those who know me know I always preach the ingredients of anything are more important that anything when it comes to long term health and body composition. The Nutrition facts only tell you the breakdown of the macronutrients but they do not tell you the whole story. The ingredient list however will (assuming it’s a legit label). The perfect example would be JIF peanut butter vs. KREMA all natural peanut butter. The nutrition facts will be identical however the ingredients list will not, JIF will contain “ sugar, salt, hydrogenated oil, peanut oils”, and the KREMA all natural peanut butter will just say “peanuts”
Alright, so here we go the first ingredient on the list is “Soy Protein Isolate” what might be wrong with Soy Protein Isolate? (MIGHT WANT TO TAKE A SEAT AND GET COMFORTABLE)
To some its great source of healthy protein…yet to me after years of quality research soy is a dangerous low quality protein source. Did you know that 91% of U.S Soy is genetically modified or engineered? A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment. Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. (Visalus claims their shake is NON GMO)
1) Raw soybeans contain a form of phytic acid that can block certain mineral absorption. (the vi shake is promoted as not being raw yet we don’t really know do we?)
2) Soy contains isoflavones genistein and dadzein which can affect and inhibit thyroid peroxidase which is necessary for the
production of T3 and T4.
3) Soy can negatively affect estrogen levels in the body.
Sara Jo Poff Personal Nutrition Counselor & Wellness Educator states:
Of course, this information does not just apply to this brand of shakes. Most of the other nutrition shakes out there contain similar ingredients and pose similar risks. Shaklee, Herbalife, and Ensure are some additional shakes that contain soy protein. (Other shakes may not contain soy protein but often contain soybean oil.)
Here is a brief list of some of the additional symptoms and health problems related to soy consumption (Dr. Mercola’s site) that are common:
Immune system impairment
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
Danger during pregnancy and nursing
Sara Jo Poff Personal Nutrition Counselor & Wellness Educator states:
Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”
Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.
Soy contains hemagglutinin.
Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.
Soy contains goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.
Soy contains phytates.
Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc — all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).
Even if Visalus and other soy-based products are not from genetically-modified soybeans, they still qualify as potential dangerous foods based on criteria above. Even organic soymilk, for instance, can cause permanent thyroid problems.
Above list taken from: (http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-health/)
Sara Jo Poff Personal Nutrition Counselor states:
As my nutritional counseling friend adds:
“Most of the Vi shakes benefits seem to be from the vitamins and minerals found in the shake and little to do with the shake itself, other than the moderate protein content which is also a factor. If any product description or marketing starts talking about how many apples, pears, broccoli, etc. you have to eat to compare to what it offers and it is a supposed food replacement-type product, most likely you are being scammed. What sounds so wonderful and a no-brainer is bad for your pocketbook and bad for your health.”
Dr. Kaayla Daniel says the following (opinion):
“But the soy in some of these drinks, especially Visalus, is different, right?! I mean, they go through extra processing (great word PROCESSING) to ensure the soy protein does not contain these anti-nutrients. Why, then, are we hearing so many reports of people experiencing the same health problems from these problems that are associated with other soy products?! Certainly organic soybeans are safer than GMO soybeans, as there are serious dangers to all GMO foods, soy, corn or whatever. GMO soy contains higher and more resistant levels of protease inhibitors, among other toxins. Whole soybeans are also better than soy protein insomuch as this will minimize some harmful processing methods, particularly the use of hexane to split the bean. It is also possible that some of the other processing methods might be gentler. For example, the process might involve alkaline baths with a lower pH than is used by some commercial companies. Gentler processing methods could conceivably result in lower levels of the toxins lysinalanines and nitrosamines.”
“That said, I find it highly unlikely that this product – or the similarly hyped products — have removed the dangerous estrogenic isoflavones. Unless the companies use alcohol extraction, the isoflavones will not be removed. In fact these companies don’t want to remove the isoflavones because they all boast about their “health effects” and claim that their unique product somehow has all the benefits and none of the dangers of isoflavones. Saponins, which can bind with cholesterol and damage cell membranes will also be present in any soybean product that has not been alcohol extracted. Not surprisingly, these are marketed as healthy “all natural” cholesterol lowerers, bile acid reducers and cancer preventers and curers says Daniels”.
-I personally have seen no documentation that the isoflavones have been removed and removed effectively. Visalus says they have removed them on their site and the shake is safe and “all natural”(we already know it’s not) and youtube videos yet that doesn’t mean they have. Even if they have removed the isoflavones why would you risk eating soy with all the debate listed above? SOY IS BAD NEWS IF IT’S GMO OR EVEN GMO FREE!
Dr. Mercola states:
What Soy Products are Good For You?
“I want to be clear that I am not opposed to all soy. Soy can be incredibly healthful, but ONLY if it is organic and properly fermented.
After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system.
You may have heard that Japanese people live longer and have lower rates of cancer than Americans because they eat so much soy—but it’s primarily fermented soy that they consume, and it’s always been that way.
Fermented soy products are the only ones I recommend consuming.
These are the primary fermented soy products you’ll find:
Tempeh- a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
Miso- a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).
Natto- fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor.
Soy sauce-which is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; be wary because many
varieties on the market today are made artificially using a chemical process.
Please note that tofu is NOT on this list. Tofu is not fermented, so is not among the soy foods I recommend.
Tips for Avoiding Unwanted Soy Foods
For a simple rule of thumb, just remember that unless soy is fermented (tempeh, miso, natto, or traditionally made soy sauce), you’re better off avoiding it.
Soy foods to avoid include:
TVP (texturized vegetable protein) or soy protein isolate, which contains a large amount of msg, which you should definitely not consume
Soy cheese, soy ice cream, soy yogurt
Soy “meat” (meatless products made of TVP)
Soy infant formula
The best way to eliminate non-fermented soy from your diet is to avoid all “processed” foods and instead purchase whole foods that you prepare yourself.” (not a bag of questionable powder)
-Well if the first ingredient and all the information above doesn’t stop you from buying and drinking this shake then what will?
Yet I will go on.
Digestive Resistant Maltodextrin- I have no problem with this ingredient. Digestive resistant (DR) maltodextrin is a polysaccharide produced from brown rice. Unlike regular maltodextrin, it is not digestible by humans, thus is does not contribute calories or carbohydrates to the diet. (This will be a lot of the fiber on the nutrition facts.)
Whey Protein Hydrolysate- is pretty good quality whey, and absorbs pretty well even if you have intestine issues with other kinds of whey like whey protein concentrate. WPH is known for being higher quality and more expensive because of that. But of recent studies claim WPH is more hype than higher quality and greatly overpriced.
Whey Protein Concentrate- whey is a liquid by-product of cheese manufacture. Removing the water results in Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Powder. WPC is the most efficient protein for the human body. Research has shown that, of all protein sources, WPC is digested and absorbed better than any other protein. I assume this not from grass fed cows but it seems to be fine. Though WPC can be an issue from someone who has a problem with lactose (milk sugar).
Dicalcium Phosphate- a synthetic calcium supplement with questionable side effects (I singled this out because its high on the ingredient list)
Sunflower Oil- this seems to be an ok oil- but is only omega 6 which already is dominant in the typical diet.
Natural and Artificial Flavors-(neither one is good)
MCT Oil- from coconut- another decent oil-but not omega 3 which is needed and lacking in this product
Soy Lectin- a soy by product
Gum Arabic- is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree
Xanthan gum- a thickening agent may be derived from a variety of source products that are themselves common allergens, such as corn, wheat, dairy or soy.
Aminogen is the patented, clinically-proven digestive enzyme system that triples the rate of protein absorption.- OK
Sucralose- artificial sweeteners (Splenda) though used in trace amounts in this shake it’s still not good.
Maltodextrin can be enzymatically derived from any starch. In the US, this starch is usually corn- this a cheap filler and can actually spike your blood sugar similar to sugar (though listed as sugar free). In fact maltodextrin is a solid 105 on the glycemic index. Where an apple for example is only 35. It maltodextrin is made from corn then there is a great chance that corn is GMO corn. Why? because 85% of corn is genetically modified. This ingredient probably makes up most of the carbohydrates in the shake.
Natural Minerals in the Vi Shake: (still not necessarily from whole foods)
chromium amino acid chelate, molybdenum amino acid chelate, selenium amino acid chelate.-all ok from what I can see.
Yet everything else…….. Other than the minerals I listed above all the other vitamins from Vitamin A to Maganese (21 of the 24) in this Vi Shake seem to be SYNTHETIC and not from whole foods.
Zinc Oxide-this shake contains this REALLY? I would not even put this on my skin let alone in my BODY. Yet it’s in the ingredient list. read about what zinc oxide here: http://www.medicinenet.com/zinc_oxide-topical/article.htm
So what is the difference between synthetic and natural whole food vitamins?
Synthetic means they are not from real food they are man made in a lab. I suggest, unless they specifically tell you the origin of each of the ingredients, they are just synthetic vitamins. Synthetic Vitamins are not vitamins; they are chemical activators that have some of the characteristics of true, natural vitamins you find in nature. However, nature does not make just one vitamin that stands alone; It always comes in a package of cofactors and other nutrients that support its functions. In fact, synthetic vitamins when photographed show very little light emissions, where as natural vitamins show huge bursts of light, indicating high energy value.
So other than taking my word from it and Dr. Daniels, and all the information I present above here is some more unbiased reviews from people who drank the shake.
For example, one person reported the following from Visalus shakes: (taken from:http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-health/)
“I signed up with Visalus in Sept. 11, as I’ve been out of work, and loved the taste of the shake. Yet when I received the product, I was sent along with the big distributor kit, huge horse pills to swallow too, which in the little picture of ordering I didn’t see. Called the company, talked to a young gentleman, and complained, since I don’t like swallowing pills. Of which he said he couldn’t do anything about.
I introduced this to one girlfriend, who was on thyroid medication, and after taking a couple bags of product, she started to feel like her medication wasn’t working. So she called me to inquire if I knew if this Visalus was ok to take with her medication. So I Googled about it, and was so alarmed about all the sites I found, which spoke of the the dangers of soy, especially with thyroid problems. I then called the company back and wanted my money back. (Which is about $900 on plastic) As I knew in my heart I couldn’t honestly sell it anymore, was refused credit, because it had been over 60 days. Without a job, I am stuck with this burden now. Wish I had realized the dangers of soy.”
I personally received these 3 messages from 3 different people who didn’t want to speak out after I posted some information of Body by Vi online.
1) “Why did I quit the shakes? The product caused me to GAIN weight and brought back previous digestive issues that had disappeared until I introduced the shakes. The customer service refused to refund for a full box of 15 serving packets because I bought TWO boxes. They say it is not reusable. If a company believes in their product, why wouldn’t they stand behind it?”
2) “A friend convinced me to try this product. My body went crazy…seemed as if I had a total hormonal breakdown. I became extremely irritable and felt like I was going through puberty all over again…I’m 38! I requested answers from the company, and they never responded. I will never eat soy again. After this experience, if I can’t eat something in its natural state, I won’t.”
3)” I tried the Vi shake for about a month. My blood sugars were all over the place the entire time I used it. They would go high to extremely too low. I finally went back to using my whey protein powder in my smoothies. Plus, I ended up putting more and more fruit in the shake mix just to cover the “cake-mix” aftertaste it had.”
these are just two of the hundreds I have received after writing this:
(2013 email after reading this post) I just saw your blog post about Body by Vi. Just thought I’d let you know. I used to be a 3 Star Ambassador for 22 months. I started to experience blurry vision and once I stopped taking the shakes I noticed significant improvements. I resigned in December and have since heard from approx 150 people on various health issues. Some quite serious and some minor. Most of these people did notice significant improvements after stopping the shakes from Visalus. So you’re doing good by writing that post. Keep up the good work.
(April 2013) Are you the David who wrote the incredible article and opinion on the Body By Vi Shakes? I wish I did more research and saw you article before I started the shakes. I am laying in the hospital with damage to my liver. The doctors think the damage is from the shakes. I’ve had every test under the sun, poked and proded, may be having a liver biopsy on Monday and if my bilirubin does not go down, headed to Phila for liver transplant. I only heard the good, wish I did more research. Obviously, stopped the shakes and my numbers are SLOWLY going down. When I came into the ER, my liver #s were in the 3,000 when normal is between 7- 40. Anyway, let me know if this is you. Sorry to ramble if its not. Thanks for your insight, wish I saw it sooner . Sincerely, (name withheld for her privacy)
****I know there are also many positive reviews on the net for VI-shake. The majority of those however I have read seem to be from someone who also sells the product or from someone who doesn’t know any better. Also, I have not met anyone selling the shake that actually knows (other than what they have been told by the company or fellow promoter) what is in the shake and they seem to just measure progress by seeing temporary changes in their clothes and the scale. They also do not seem to promote exercise as an important part of the transformation.
I know friends who have taken it and lost weight (not necessarily fat) , I know people whose parents have taken and it lost weight and it kick started their fitness journey. These all “seem” positive things short term. However, what if the weight lost is “muscle”? I agree doing something is usually better than doing nothing. However, almost anyone can take any meal replacement powder with some protein and synthetic vitamins and lose weight/fat if they take this shake instead of their previous poor diet choices. By replacing their high calorie foods with a low calorie shake bingo they are getting lower calories (why wouldn’t they lose weight short term?) But can they sustain this long term? One should always strive to lose fat and not just weight (muscle, water and fat). The ingredients in this shake are not anything special that will help you lose weight or build muscle faster than any other shake on the market. Though a shake is convenient and a easier to get in than real food, this shake will never replace the nutrition you will get from real whole foods. There are many ways to lose weight……but as I always say there is a “A Better Way” and to me “One Only Right Way.” That would be real exercise and real food.
So is this shake better for you than fast food and lot of other junk foods? Sure, most likely. But is it any better than a low cost slim fast powder? In my opinion not by much. I know the shake tastes good to most ( I have tasted it) Maybe has less sugar and more protein……but that’s not saying much. I have seen better nutritional powders (as far as healthy ingredients)and shakes at Meijer without soy protein, fillers and no synthetic vitamins. What’s a Visalus promoter’s problem with the stuff at Meijer? They can’t add you to their pyramid and make money off you if you buy it there! If you want a shake for convenience I suggest finding a cheaper more effective one with better ingredients than the Vi- Shape Shake.
To me the Vi Shake will always be an inferior shake at a superior price. (yes, you can get it free you you promote and get your 3 people on your pyramid) This shake is being marketed as something almost magical that will help you reach all your fitness goals (by usually someone who has no real knowledge or qualifications to help you lose weight safely and effectively). Also, many who are promoting it are not even lean, fit or healthy themselves, and if they are it’s usually not from Body by Vi (many who sell it don’t even drink it). One should be focusing on not some special shake for a quick fix… but instead they should focus on getting real foods and exercise for a long term lifestyle change. This lifestyle change will allow you to lose fat and maintain/build muscle long term and not just lose ‘weight” short term.
I am aware of multiple people (chiropractors, gym owners, trainers, dieticians, beauty salons) selling (promoting) this shake (and challenge) not because they think the shake is special but because it’s filling their wallet and helping them get a car. (a few have told me this to my face) They seem to know people will buy anything that promises weight loss. Some think the shake is special but they really don’t know any better because they have not done the research, and are taken in by the slick marketing and promises to make money and win prizes for helping people. (a lot of people are being educated about nutrition by people who sell the product, yet these people who sell the product are being brain washed to believe this shake is healthy without researching it themselves) I really have not talked to anyone involved in this business that I personally feel that their main motivator is helping people get on a road to a better health. Instead “Money” is the main motivator. It’s always about the business, the money, the car and how they can help you get it all too. (if you get it all too, they get richer)
Yes, there might be some benefit in getting “weight loss support” from a group for 90 days, I know NOT getting support can be a factor for many people not succeeding. However, I would strongly recommend getting support from someone who is qualified to do so and has your long term health in mind and not a quick fix that will fill their pocket. You need someone who will give you a clear map to reach your goals and not a temporary detour.
DAVID, WHAT SHAKE AND POWDERS DO YOU TAKE YOURSELF AND RECOMMEND? This is a question I get asked sometimes 5-10 times per day since writing on this shake. I decided to add this in so I do not have to feel bad when I do not respond to the hundreds emails I get asking this very question. I do NOT promote a brand of shake per say….However, these are powders I use on weekly basis for convenience only and when I can not get in a solid meal. (there is nothing magical here and you do NOT need them) Yet, I like to make homemade “soy free” protein smoothies with spinach and homemade almond milk and my favorite powder. I use and recommend the following if you so choose to use protein powder:
Want to save 5% on your order? use my personal discount code on checkout: DDMM1208 (no I don’t work for this company)
I always sweeten with Stevia only. and if I do a flavor it’s natural vanilla.
UPDATE-unless you have proven scientific literature and documentation (other than what you have been told by someone selling the product, or video on the Visalus website/youtube) that this shake is all natural, isoflavone free, uses whole food vitamins, and is more than just hype…then please don’t bother contacting me to debate. This post is the opinion and conclusions I have come to after months of researching these products. I personally eat green fed meat… Yet the only way I know its green fed is to actually see the cows eating the grass myself until then all we know is what we “have been told”.
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Do You Eat Enough Fruits and Veggies?
One of the biggest nutritional mistakes people make outside the gym is focusing on getting lots of protein for muscle recovery and starches for energy but then not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
I’m sure when you were a child your mother always told you to eat your fruits and vegetables! Why was this so important? This was so important because she new and was taught that fruits and vegetables were so important for you to grow up healthy and strong.
Now that you are older and full grown many of you have abandoned the fact that you still NEED your fruits and vegetables every day!
Why are fruits and vegetables so important? Lets take a look at some of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables:
-Fruits and vegetables are LOADED with fiber, vitamins and minerals that are crucial for tissue growth, repair and many other important body functions. The fiber, vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables are also shown to help treat, and prevent many chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stroke!
- Fruits and vegetables are full of many phytochemicals that are important for optimal mental function. Do you suffer from depression, or attention disorders? Eat your fruits and veggies!
-Fruits and vegetables provide an alkaline load to the blood. Since proteins and grains present acids loads to the blood. Eating fruits and vegetables every meal will help prevent an acid/alkaline imbalance. Too much acid and not enough alkaline means loss of bone strength, and muscle mass, which means more body fat!
- Fruits and vegetables will help fill you up and control your appetite and blood sugar which in turn will help with maintaining energy and fat burning.
Make sure to get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and white onions. For more variety, try new fruits and vegetables regularly.
You can not go wrong with eating fruits and veggies every meal! I recommend 2-3 servings (1/2 cup) of fruits and vegetables at each and every meal. This would be around 10-15 servings if you eat frequent supportive meals.
How do you get that many servings? Email me and I will talk to you about getting a quality green supplement or whole food vitamin.
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
2) Cutting Out Carbs with no strategy in place.
The low carb diet craze has been in effect for over decade. Some of the more popular diets like Atkins and South Beach were two of the better known diets where you eliminate the majority of starchy carbohydrates in your diet and some things like fruit as well. This is a major mistake as an effective solution to long term fat loss. Why are carbs so important?
Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred source of energy. Meaning for you to have steady energy and blood sugar throughout the day you need to have carbohydrates in our diet. Why have the low carb diets worked so well for people to lose weight in the short term?
When you eat carbohydrates your body will use them for immediate energy/fuel and also store them as glycogen in your muscle in your liver for reserved energy. Most people are not aware that glycogen holds and attracts water. For every gram of glycogen your muscle holds it attracts 2.4 grams of water.
So when you eat carbohydrates your body will instantly hold more water. When you suddenly just stop eating carbs your body will hold less water. Make sense? So people who weigh themselves daily after cutting out carbs will see a 5-10 pound weight loss in just a few days. So in your mind Carbs =make you fat. However, you’re not losing fat your losing water. Water is temporary and meaningless in regards to weight loss. Your goal is to lose that ugly fat around your waist and behind and not just weight correct? Then you need to stop just cutting out carbs and have a real strategy to lose fat and keep it off.
The first strategy of carbs is to make sure you are getting the right ones. There are some carbs that are very healthy for you and needed and some that are very bad for you. You want to get all natural non processed carbs which are high in fiber and low in sugar
Good sources of carbs are foods like: sweet potatoes, apples, old fashioned steel cut oatmeal, and broccoli. (almost all fruits and veggies)
Bad sources: candy, potato chips, donuts (pretty much any food with simple sugar and white flour)
What if I told you carbs are essential for long term fat loss? There is no magic to just cutting out carbs. Just cutting out carbs with no strategy in place can really backfire.
A few things will happen on a very low carb diet:
1) Lose water weight (which is temporary and meaningless)
2) Mess up metabolism and lose lean muscle mass which will lead to more fat storage
3) Slow production of thyroid hormone
I educate my clients on how to eat the RIGHT carbs the RIGHT way to reach whatever goal they have whether it is to lose lots of fat or gain lots of muscle. Eating carbohydrates to see the best results and reach your goals requires proper knowledge and strategy. Do you know eating the right carbs at the right times during the day on a fat loss plan can accelerates fat loss by 50%? You need to learn not how to cut carbs but HOW to strategically manipulate/cycle them for the best results.
Contact me now to learn how to cycle and manipulate carbs to increase fat loss by 50%!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
Mistake 5#- Not Using Proper Form and Resting Too Much.
One of the biggest mistakes I see and have seen in the gym is people working out and not using proper form when they lift weights. These mistakes are usually made using free weights but I see them made on cable machines, and stationary weight machines as well.
Proper exercise execution and form is crucial for not only safety but seeing the best possible results from your workout.
The biggest form mistakes I see are:
1) Swinging and using momentum during the lifting and lowering of the weight. Though this will allow you to handle more weight but this type of form will get you no where as far as the results go.
2) The tempo of the movement is too fast and momentum takes over. Lifting too fast again prevents you from focusing on the muscle and only the movement. The muscle is always more important than the movement.
3) Using your lower back and lower body to help you through the movement. When someone struggles to lift a weight or to get a few extra reps they tend to use their lower back to help them. This is a recipe for disaster. You need to drop the weight and use proper form.
4) Bouncing the weight off your chest. This is very common when I see someone doing barbell chest press. If you have to bounce the weight then you are using too much weight. Bouncing the weight prevents you from really using all the muscle fibers in your chest and allows momentum to help you.
5) Not fully extending at the top of the lift and not coming far enough down to get the most efficient range of motion. Proper range of motion allows you to work all the muscle fibers in that muscle efficiently. Partial reps are not recommended for most people.
6) Locking the joints out on every lift. Locking your legs out at the top of the squat or locking your arms out at the bottom of a bicep curl. The problem with locking the joint out is one it puts more stress on the joint and two you lose the tension on the muscle and this makes the exercise less effective.
7) Not keeping core tight and looking down while doing standing exercises. During a squat its very common for someone to use their lower back and knees by looking down and leading with their knees and shoulders. This will put stress on their back and knees. Keeping core tight, looking straight forward, and sitting away from your knees (leading with glutes) will allow you to the squat safely and effectively and put stress on the muscle and not the spine, lower back, knees and joints. (see photo above)
I always tell my clients “You need to focus on the Muscle not the motion” You should always know what muscle you’re working and focus on the muscle while lifting and lowering the weight. If you’re not feeling it in that muscle while you’re lifting and lowering the weight then you’re probably not working it very efficiently. Any one can do the motion and movement of lifting the weight but if you are not focusing on the muscle you’re really not doing much.
Resting Too Much.
Another mistake I see in the gym is people resting way too much between sets of an exercise and between exercises. If your number one goal is strength and size resting will allow you to lift more weight. However, it will also affect your endurance and you keeping your heart rate up. So if you want to increase your strength more rest is needed yet I wouldn’t recommend resting more than 90 seconds maximum. If your goal is not strength and size there is no reason to rest so much. Ninety percent of the people that come to see me want to get in better shape, improve their stamina, lose fat, or get ripped. Yet I see so many people at the gym with these goals doing a set and resting for a minute or more. I recommend making your time and workout more efficient by doing super sets, or circuits. This will allow you to go from exercise to exercise and rest a muscle group with out resting your heart. This will also allow you to get a great intense workout and not to mention you will burn more calories, challenge your heart, and get your workout in a much quicker period of time .(30 minutes or less)
This concludes “The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make In the Gym.” If you were making some of these mistakes I hope you will apply the new information you have learned and make your workout routine more efficient and effective!
Now let’s go get it!
Look for the next series “The 5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes People Make In and Out Of the Kitchen” coming soon!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Mistake #4 -Doing only ab exercises and thinking the crunch machines will burn fat.
In Mistake #1 – I discussed how doing only cardio and no weight training is not an effective strategy to see results no matter your goals. Resistance training is a must. Yet, some think just doing abdominal and stomach exercises are all the resistance training they need to do. The thought process is “I want to lose my stomach so that’s all I need to work.”
It’s impossible to go to a busy gym and not see someone doing stomach exercises. When I used to work at the big box gym I was amazed by how many people I would see just doing ab exercises and cardio and then come to me because they were not seeing results. I still to this day see people using all the different ab machines and doing hundreds of crunches forward and to the side, and back and forth, twisting, and crunching. In their mind they are targeting areas and crunching that fat away.
The spot reduction method has been around for decades and will probably never die. It seems everyone wants to reduce their waistline and marketers know this is by giving us fat wraps, fat burning creams, ab belts, and hundreds of ab devices you can buy off TV. People will always ask me one burning question about all these products do they work? Do they burn fat off your stomach? “NO!” There is not a cream, ab device. or wrap that will burn fat off your stomach. So is doing hundreds of crunches a waste of time? No, because you can definitely strengthen your stomach muscles especially if you are doing the right exercises but these exercises will not burn fat. Even though we are told and people still believe I am here to tell you cannot pick the one spot you want to burn fat and do one exercise to target that area and lose fat in the area alone. Fat is burned by your muscles proportionally throughout your body. How do you lose fat off your stomach then? You can lose fat by following a structured full body (not just stomach) resistance training, moderate aerobic exercise, and solid nutrition.
So if you want to abdominal/stomach exercises to strengthen your stomach and core and not necessarily burn fat what are the best and the worst?
Let’s start with the worst. If you want to strengthen your stomach and core (your lower back, oblique’s, abs, and pelvis muscles) then get off the ab/crunch machines.
The crunch machines you see at commercial gyms are probably the most over used and most ineffective machines for strengthening your core and seeing results at your waistline. Not mention most of the time when I see people using this machine they’re using lots of weight and their momentum to propel themselves forward rather than using muscular control. Secondly, the abs hardly even contract during this exercise, and when they do it is a very brief period. The sad thing is many trainers or gym employees at the gym actually give this machine to their clients or members as an effective way to strengthen their core and burn fat off their stomach. Also, if this employee was educated they would know these machines target only the anterior (front) muscles of the abdominal wall and will do little for their client. I see a lot of people who use this machine religiously everyday and they are actually creating an imbalance because they are strengthening the front muscles and not the stabilizers, back and sides. This will create an imbalance because a crunch machine is a stable hunk of metal and it will only isolate the front muscles, the side, lower back and stomach stabilizers muscle will not be activated this will lead to a weak back and strong front.
The most effective and efficient way to work your stomach muscles and core is to do exercises that work all your stomach muscles in harmony. The best way to do this is to train your core and abs in an unstable environment by using a stability ball, bosu ball and using body weight on the floor or ab board. Doing exercises like squats, and dead lifts are great for your core as well as isolation stomach exercises like stability ball crunches, planks, and bosu ball jackknifes in an unstable environment with proper form will allow you to strengthen your entire core safely and effectively.
1) Ab exercises are not effective for burning fat off your stomach. Focusing on eating the right foods, do full body resistance training, and moderate aerobic exercise will be much more effective.
2) If you want to train your core effectively get off the machines and focus on doing full body exercises like squats, dead lifts, and isolation exercises like stability ball crunches and planks.
Look for Mistake #5 Coming soon!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
Those who know me and have trained with me over the last 12 years know one thing for sure I am all about efficiency and balance with the workouts and nutrition plans I give my clients.
Clients come to me because they want to:
1) Lose Fat
2) Build or Tone (maintain) lean muscle
The exercise question I have seen debated over the years is the order you should perform your cardio/aerobic exercise and resistance training if your goal is fat loss.
I have heard the argument you should do your cardio before using the weights because it will warm up your body. I have also heard the debate that if your goal is to increase endurance and stamina you should do cardio before your weights. These are both reasonable debates.
I agree with the first debate you should warm up your body before doing weights. However, that doesn’t mean long or intense aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to warm up your body and prepare it for weight training. I do however recommend a very light 2-5 minute cardio warm-up followed by some dynamic (moving stretches) stretches before doing weight training. This will get your body’s blood flowing and muscle warmed up to prepare it for using resistance and lifting weight.
If your goal is endurance and stamina doing cardio before weights will give you more energy for that cardio session. However, doing weights after long or intense cardio is not an effective way to build strength or lose fat and in my opinion it’s counterproductive and a mistake.
If you’re running marathons or training for endurance races then weight training can help you with endurance and performance. However, I wouldn’t recommend even doing weights and cardio back to back. I would recommend either doing them on separate days or doing those 6 hours apart. This will allow you to get the full benefits of both without risking energy/strength crashes or risk of muscle loss.
Getting back to why most people are doing resistance training and cardio in the first place is to build muscle and burn fat.
If fat loss and building muscle is your goal then the order you do weight training and cardio is crucial for seeing the best and most efficient results.
Let’s look at the science of what happens and what fuels sources your body uses during weight and cardio sessions.
During aerobic exercise there is a lot of oxygen present and you can use two things as a fuel source stored sugar (glycogen) or fat.
During strength training even though oxygen is present your body doesn’t need it to perform this activity because your blood vessels are constricted and oxygen is not being used very much if at all. Therefore during strength training you can NOT use fat as a fuel source it is not an option so you can only use glycogen.
If you are doing aerobic/cardio exercise first you will burn mostly glycogen as its your body’s preferred source of fuel. Follow with weight training and there is much less glycogen to burn therefore muscle will become a source of fuel once the workout becomes intense.
However, if you flip that and you do your resistance training first you will use your stored glycogen for energy (which is your only option) follow it with cardio now your body’s only remaining option is fat.
In simple your body will use much more fat for a fuel source doing cardio after weight training than doing it before.
Does this mean people can’t lose fat or see results doing cardio before weights? No, it just means it’s not the most efficient way and your workouts have a much greater chance of being more effective and productive by doing resistance training first. I always tell my clients it’s not always about training harder or longer but training smarter. Making things more difficult when you don’t need to and doing something that can be less effective in regards to someone seeing the best results will always be a mistake in my opinion.
So I would recommend the following in regards to doing weights and cardio:
1) Do weight training and cardio on completely separate days
2) If your goal is fat loss and building/maintaining lean muscle mass and you want to do them back to back always do your resistance training
before cardio. Also, try to keep your cardio to a maximum of 30 minutes after weights.
3) Separate your weight training and cardio sessions 6 hours apart. This will allow some muscle recovering and allow you to refuel your body.
4) Have a proper supportive meal a 60-90 minutes before exercise and proper meal/recovery shake within 30 minutes after exercise. This will allow energy for your body and will assure you have plenty of fuel for your workouts and not risk using muscle for energy over time.
Look for Mistake #4 coming soon!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,
As stated in mistake number one resistance training is crucial to your success no matter what your fitness or weight loss goal might be. Any form of resistance training like free weights, bodyweight, resistance bands, and weight machines can help you a great deal. Unfortunately, when people join a gym they are usually always set up on the weight machines. Now don’t get me wrong, someone who is just beginning resistance training using the machines might actually be good for them to get them comfortable isolating certain muscle groups and learning the movements safely and effectively to start. However, I see way too many people depending machines as their only source of resistance training for months and even years.
The benefits of weight machines are:
1) They are great for isolating muscle groups
2) They are usually safe and stable for beginners to learn the movements
3) They can help you increase strength at first
The Major disadvantages of weight machines:
1) They use the same path of motion over and over and can lead to connective tissue damage because they are putting stress on a single joint.
2) They don’t usually activate the stomach and core muscles, and stabilizer muscles you use in the real world correctly or efficiently because they are too supportive and stable.
3) Only work one muscle at a time
Even though using weight machines have their benefits and disadvantages in simple they are still not the most effective or most efficient way to see the best results. When using weight machines most seem to focus on just the movements and not the actual muscles they are working. I always find it humorous when I ask someone the routine they are doing and the can show the movement they do but cannot tell me the muscle they are working. (ie. I do this one, and this one) Ninety five percent of the clients I work I will start them out using their bodyweight, dumbbells, resistance bands, cables, and the stability ball.
Why do I feel it’s crucial for people to get off the machines? If you think how you move in the real world you walk, run, get out of bed, squat to pick something or a small child off the ground, push a lawn mower, pull on a car door, shovel snow, put something on a shelf over your head. Most sit in a chair or desk all day at work and never use their core muscles (your stomach, lower back, pelvis muscles). Why would you go to the gym and sit down again and train your body the same way? If you want to see the best possible results in how your body looks and feels, and performs every day then you need to get off the weight machines and challenge your body with more free motion natural movements.
The advantages of body/free weight training are the following:
1) If used properly will strengthen your entire body as a whole. Free weights and bodyweight training will strengthen your core (your body’s center of gravity) and work all the stabilizers muscles in your body because these muscles must stabilize the free motion of the weight and body. This will allow your body to move naturally through every plain of motion, like squatting, pushing, pulling, and rotating.
2) They will be easier and safer on your connective tissue and joints. While most weight machines are single joint exercises because you are using a stabilized piece of metal. Free motion exercises work multiple joints to help stabilize the weight there for will put less stress on connective tissue.
3) Will make you work harder and help you burn more calories. Studies show your body burns more calories in a standing and unstable environment.
4) Are more versatile and will allow you to have more variety because you will be able to do unlimited amounts of exercises with very little equipment.
In summary any resistance training is beneficial however if you get dependent on only using weight machines you are doing your body a disservice and you will probably never reach your full potential in regards to fat loss, strength, and positive changes in body composition.
GET OFF THE MACHINES AND TRAIN YOUR BODY THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TRAINED!
Look For Mistake #3 “Doing Resistance Training and Cardio in the Wrong Order” coming soon!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,