Herbalife Diet Plan

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
fitness shake

Herbalife is a diet, nutrition, and supplement company created by Mark Hughes in 1980 as a way to provide nutrition and weight management products to consumers and to offer opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking ways to make a few extra bucks. The diet plans incorporate healthy eating practices with Herbalife products (such as protein, fiber, and multivitamin supplements) and one-on-one health coaching services from independent Herbalife distributors. The diet doesn't focus on calorie counting, but rather structured meal plans with meal replacement shakes.

Diet Structure

The diet is touted as a well-balanced, low-calorie eating plan when you're using it for weight loss. However, you can also reap benefits of Herbalife to manage a healthy weight or even gain muscle mass. Dietary supplements are encouraged as a way to boost nutrition and fiber intake to optimize health. Additionally, protein shakes and fiber supplements can help boost satiety, which is beneficial during weight loss. Herbalife's diet structure includes the following.

Weight Loss

When striving to lose weight, Herbalife recommends:

  • 1 regular healthy meal (for dinner)
  • 2 meal replacements shakes (breakfast and lunch)
  • 2 small snacks
  • 3 multivitamin and 2 fiber supplements daily

Healthy Weight Management

If you wish to maintain a healthy weight, these are Herbalife's recommendations.

  • 2 regular healthy meals
  • 1 meal replacements shake
  • 2 small snacks
  • 3 multivitamin and 2 fiber supplements daily

Weight Gain

If weight gain is your issue, Herbalife recommends the following:

  • 3 regular healthy meals
  • 3 meal replacements shake (with meals)
  • 4 small snacks
  • 3 multivitamin and 2 fiber supplements daily
Herbalife independent distributor

Coaching

When choosing Herbalife for your weight loss (or other weight management) needs, you'll have access to your distributor's nutrition and fitness expertise anytime you need it. Independent distributors have been trained by Herbalife regarding weight management plans and products but aren't required to have professional nutrition or fitness credentials.

Sample Meal Plan

Below is a sample of what an Herbalife daily weight loss meal plan looks like.

When You Wake Up

1 cup of a Herbalife drink

Breakfast

Herbalife shake made with soy milk and yogurt, or your favorite Herbalife shake recipe

Snack

One fruit and one protein

Lunch

Herbalife shake made with soy milk and fat-free yogurt, and an herbal drink

Snack

One fruit and one protein, plus an herbal drink

Dinner

Protein food (such as tuna, salmon, chicken breast, ostrich steak, or an egg-white omelet) with cooked vegetables or salad, or one of Herbalife's tasty dinner recipes

Fruit and Protein Snack Lists

When it comes to snacking, choose one fruit and one protein food from the following list to help stabilize blood sugar.

  • Fruit (one medium piece): Pears, apples, plums, peaches, or oranges
  • Protein: One container of yogurt, ½ tin of tuna, 20 almonds, two egg whites, one Herbalife protein bar, 1 cup of Herbalife tomato soup, or 2 tablespoons of baked beans

Tips

Herbalife recommends the following diet tips when following Herbalife weight loss plans:

  • Eat one to two grams of protein for each kilogram of your body weight daily
  • Drink two glasses of water before meals, and drink 2 liters of water daily
  • Cut out added sugars
  • Keep snack sizes small
  • Limit fruit juice
  • Avoid chicken skin
  • Exercise daily
  • Avoid white sauces and salad dressings; instead, choose lemon or oil and vinegar

Counting Calories

You can count calories when using the diet plan, but you don't have to. The company provides you with the nutrition tools you need to make smart decisions about healthy eating by simply following nutrition tips and recommended meal plans. However, counting calories may make the diet more effective for you. Herbalife recommends you don't drop below 1,200 calories daily during weight loss.

Cost

You may pay $100 per month (or more) to follow Herbalife's weight loss diet because you'll be buying the plan plus Herbalife shakes and other supplements. However, the exact monthly cost to you will vary based on the plan and products you choose.

Effectiveness

Herbalife can help you shed pounds if you're sticking to the plan, which is a reduced-calorie balanced diet focusing on protein-rich meal replacement shakes and other dietary supplements. Registered Dietitian Abby Langer says that while the diet can help you shed pounds, it isn't necessarily sustainable long term and expensive supplements aren't needed for effective weight loss. Customers on Consumeraffairs.com gives the Herbalife plan a 3 out of 5 star rating; while some were highly satisfied, others complained of upset stomach, lack of energy, headaches, and dizziness. More research is needed to determine how effective the plan really is and if it's safe for long term use.

Pros and Cons

As with any type of fad weight loss diet, the Herbalife plan comes with pros and cons. It can help you lose weight, it provides a structured easy-to-follow meal plan with health coaching, and meal replacement shakes are convenient when you're always in a hurry or on the go. However, you may feel hungry when following the plan, get bored with drinking shakes, or experience unpleasant side effects. Additionally, Herbalife products can be costly.

Safety Concerns

One study shows you may be putting your liver at risk when taking Herbalife supplements. The study, published in 2010 in the World Journal of Hepatology found that two patients who took Herbalife weight loss products had liver injuries induced by the supplements. Therefore, it's always best to chat with your doctor before following this diet plan.

Talk to Your Doctor

You don't need expensive diet supplements to safely and effectively lose weight. However, if your doctor gives you the okay, structured meal plans and shakes are appealing to you, and you don't mind forking over some dough, it might be worthwhile to give Herbalife a try.

Herbalife Diet Plan