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Isagenix can be an effective weight loss tool, but there are other options that are a lot less expensive, and it is not the best option for long-term weight management.

How would you react if someone told you that you could lose 15 pounds (about 7 kilos) in just nine days? Chances are that you would be skeptical. That is the claim made by the manufacturers of the Isagenix Cleanse Diet, but whether it really works depends on whom you ask.

A female spokesperson for Isagenix states that before she tried the product, she had failed on Atkins, South Beach, Nutrisystems, and Weight Watchers. The cabbage soup diet, the volumetric soup diet, and exercise programs. Her weight topped out at 300 pounds (about 135 kilos), but on Isagenix she was able to lose about half of her body weight, 147 pounds (66 kilos).

Detoxification As Weight Loss Magic

Makers of the Isagenix Cleanse claim that their products rid of the body of toxins that accumulate in fat cells, that dilute them with water. Losing weight without onerous calorie restriction is possible because their products “detoxify” fat cells, which can then shed excess fluid along with fat.

As you might imagine, most mainstream weight loss experts disagree, especially about the company's “nutritional cleansing” products. The problem with the acceptance of detoxification in the scientific community is the lack of a definition of what the toxins being detoxified really are. However, there is a relatively easy way to explain how most detoxifying cleanses help their users lose at least a little weight fast: Used as directed, detoxifying diets rid the body of stored water and fecal matter.

Getting Rid Of Fluid And Feces

Every healthy adult carries around about 3-4 pounds (a little over 1 to a little under 2 kilos) of water weight. This extra weight is water that has been chemically combined with glucose to make the energy storage molecule glycogen. One molecule of glucose sugar is combined with four molecules of water to make a more stable storage form of the otherwise easily oxidized sugar, which could generate free radicals that could damage the cell.

The liver stores glycogen that it can convert back into glucose when other parts of the body need it. Muscle cells store glycogen for their own use, and cannot send their energy supply to other parts of the body.

When we don't consume enough carbohydrate for our body's normal needs, glycogen in the liver is broken down into glucose and burned elsewhere in the body. The process of “unzipping” glucose from glycogen releases water that is quickly removed from the body by kidneys into the urine. Usually, it is only necessary to avoid about 1200 calories of food to lose that first three or four pounds of water weight, sometimes in just 24 hours. Of course, as soon as dieters eat 1200 carbohydrate calories more than their bodies need, they gain back not just the weight of the food but also the weight of water that is chemically combined with it. However, most dieters can stick to their plans for a week or two, keeping those three or four pounds of water weight from coming back.

Detoxifying diets also usually contain ingredients that are mildly laxative. Accumulated fecal matter is removed by bowel movement, and even more weight is lost, at least temporarily. It is not impossible to lose 15 pounds (about seven kilos) of weight this way in just nine days.
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  • Kroeger CM, Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Tangney CC, Varady KA. Improvement in coronary heart disease risk factors during an intermittent fasting/calorie restriction regimen: Relationship to adipokine modulations. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Oct 31. 9(1):98. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-98.PMID: 23113919.
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