Arbonne Diet Review: Overview, Effectiveness, and More

0
3

Protein shakes, detox teas, and metabolism boosters are some of the most popular supplements on the market.

Though you can purchase these products from any supplement store, many people buy from multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.

Arbonne is one of the most popular MLM companies that sells nutritional supplements along with its diet program called 30 Days to Healthy Living. However, you may wonder whether the diet works and if it’s something you should try.

This article reviews Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program, including its benefits, downsides, and whether it aids weight loss.

diet review scorecard

  • Overall score: 2.25
  • Weight loss: 2
  • Healthy eating: 3
  • Sustainability: 1.5
  • Whole body health: 3
  • Nutrition quality: 2
  • Evidence-based: 2

BOTTOM LINE: Although Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program promotes some healthy lifestyle habits, it relies on unqualified consultants and dangerous dietary practices. Plus, its high cost, unnecessary food restrictions, and reliance on supplements make it necessary to avoid.

Arbonne is an MLM company that’s said to strive to be the best and healthiest company in the world. It sells a variety of products ranging from vegan skin care to nutritional supplements.

You can choose from dozens of products on its website, but the most popular program Arbonne offers is the 30 Days to Healthy Living diet. However, the company refers to it as a “reset” after engaging in poor lifestyle habits.

Arbonne claims that when a person experiences digestive issues, low energy levels, or other general health concerns, it’s a sign that your body is not functioning like it normally would and needs to be reset.

The diet involves removing foods to which you may be sensitive to revitalize your body from the inside out.

To follow the diet and purchase products, you must work with an independent consultant, which is a person who sells and speaks on behalf of Arbonne products to earn a profit from each sale and person recruited.

Despite selling nutritional supplements and providing diet recommendations, consultants are not required to have any formal education in any nutrition or health-related field.

According to the 30 Days to Healthy Living guide on the company’s website, there are seven steps you must follow:

Step 1: Remove trigger foods

The first step is to remove any foods that Arbonne claims are not beneficial to your well-being. Foods like alcohol, coffee, dairy, wheat, gluten, soy (except organic, non-GMO tempeh), and artificial sweeteners are to be avoided for at least 30 days.

Still, the company does not provide evidence or rationale for these claims.

Considering this practice is an elimination diet, it should only be pursued under the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Step 2: Add healthy foods

Next, Arbonne suggests incorporating healthy foods into the diet, though it doesn’t give a specific meal plan. Instead, they provide general tips, such as:

  • Eat every 4 hours to maintain energy levels.
  • Have a balanced plate, including mostly vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
  • Drink mostly water.
  • Eat when you’re hungry.
  • Replace one meal with an Arbonne shake.

The diet encourages its followers to replace at least one meal per day with an Arbonne shake “meal,” which includes:

  • Two scoops of Arbonne Essentials protein shake
  • 1.2 cups (270 mL) of water or nondairy and non-soy milk
  • 1/3 cup (around 10 grams) of leafy greens or 1 scoop (7 grams) of Arbonne Green Balance powder
  • 1/4 cup (around 40 grams) of fruit
  • 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of peanut butter

In addition to these tips and foods, Arbonne recommends 13 supplements to support your health. Keep in mind that these supplements are expensive and contain numerous suspect health claims.

  1. Digestion Plus: a supplement containing probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes
  2. Herbal tea: a caffeine-free tea with nine botanicals, though the purpose and benefits aren’t mentioned
  3. Protein Shake: a vegan protein powder that provides 20 grams of protein per two scoops (40 grams)
  4. Energy Fizz Sticks: a powder containing ginseng, guava, and green tea that claims to increase alertness and mental performance
  5. Body Cleanse: a product that claims to detoxify your body by “cleansing” your system
  6. Green Balance: a vegetable powder that provides one serving of vegetables and fiber per scoop (7 grams)
  7. Daily Fiber Boost: 12 grams of fiber per scoop (16 grams)
  8. Healthy Skin Elixir: a powder containing hyaluronic acid and vitamin C that claims to improve skin, hair, and nail health
  9. Multivitamin powder: provides over 20 vitamins and minerals
  10. Mind Health Essentials: contains various “brain-boosting” ingredients to support brain function and energy levels
  11. Omega-3 Plus: algae and flaxseed-based omega-3s
  12. Fit Chews: small chewables that are claimed to boost energy and relieve mental fatigue
  13. Protein Bars: plant-based bars that provide 10 grams of protein per bar

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:

Healthline

Step 3: Get moving

Arbonne recommends daily physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight, heart health, physical fitness, and self-confidence.

Though it doesn’t provide a detailed program, the company recommends moving more than you did the day before, joining a gym, and/or taking up a new hobby, such as tennis or dancing.

Step 4: Be mindful and manage stress

Arbonne strongly recommends stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, hiking, or reaching out to friends and family. By lowering your stress levels, they suggest you’re less likely to overeat high calorie and high fat foods, which can lead to excess weight gain.

Step 5: Get enough sleep

Arbonne recommends resting more often and sleeping at least 7–9 hours per night to prevent weight gain, improve your immune system, and lower your risk of chronic disease.

The company provides general recommendations, such as using essential oils, putting electronics away before bedtime, and practicing a bedtime ritual.

Step 6: Track your goals

Arbonne generally recommends tracking your goals and progress to help you notice changes in your body, things that you could improve on, and foods that are bothersome to you.

Step 7: Prepare for life after the 30 days

After completing the 30 days, Arbonne recommends that you continue using all Arbonne products, meaning the protein shake, Green Balance, digestive support, and so forth.

Further, you should work closely with your independent consultant, the person you buy your products and program from, to help you identify foods you should reintroduce or exclude from your diet.

Summary

Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living recommends avoiding certain foods to aid digestive health along with other healthy lifestyle practices. It also recommends 13 supplements that claim to promote health in various ways.

Arbonne specifically states that the 30 Days to Healthy Living program is not a weight loss program, though you will likely lose weight on the diet.

The diet focuses on eating mostly vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, and it encourages other healthy lifestyle practices, such as daily exercise, mindfulness, and good sleep. All of these are linked to better health and weight management (1, 2, 3, 4).

Though the diet emphasizes eliminating large groups of food, such as dairy, wheat, gluten, and soy, there’s little research to support doing so for weight loss. In fact, consuming foods like dairy, soy, and whole grains may support weight loss (1, 5, 6, 7).

Additionally, despite the diet recommending 13 supplements, there’s no evidence that any of the company’s products lead to weight loss or increase your metabolism. Though, certain products that are high in fiber and protein may help manage your hunger levels.

What’s more, replacing a meal with an Arbonne shake is likely to slash your calorie intake. The shake Arbonne recommends only provides 323 calories, assuming frozen blackberries, spinach, almond milk, peanut butter, and vanilla protein powder are used (8, 9, 10, 11, 12).

Replacing a meal with this shake does not provide enough calories for most people and would likely put them at a calorie deficit — especially when paired with increased physical activity — and ultimately lead to weight loss.

Summary

Arbonne recommends replacing one meal per day with a low calorie protein shake. Along with this, it recommends eating whole, minimally processed food and exercising daily, which will likely contribute to a calorie deficit and weight loss.

There are a number of potential benefits to Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program.

Focuses on lifestyle changes

Unlike many diets, Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living program encourages numerous lifestyle changes to achieve better health.

Along with eating a diet of whole, minimally processed food, Arbonne encourages its followers to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, manage stress, and practice mindfulness.

Incorporating a variety of healthy lifestyle practices are linked to better health and weight management (1, 3, 4, 13).

Mindful eating

Arbonne recommends focusing on the nutrient quality of food and mindful eating rather than counting calories.

Most foods and supplements on the diet are high in protein and fiber, which can help you control your hunger and food intake since they take longer to digest (14, 15, 16).

Furthermore, the program encourages followers to listen to their hunger cues and eat approved foods whenever they want.

Still, many argue that this diet goes against mindful eating, as it encourages a lengthy list of food restrictions. Restricting foods can increase anxiety surrounding food choices and goes against the premise of listening to your body’s needs (17, 18).

Whole, unprocessed food

The diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods and discourages highly processed foods, which most health experts agree is a beneficial eating style (19, 20).

Numerous studies have shown positive benefits of limiting highly processed foods high in calories, fat, and sugar, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and premature death (21, 22, 23, 24).

As such, any diet that encourages eating whole, minimally processed food will likely benefit your health. However, the high use of processed supplements contradicts Arbonne’s “unprocessed” philosophy.

Summary

Arbonne embraces whole, minimally processed foods and overall lifestyle changes that are linked to better health and weight management.

Despite Arbonne claiming to encourage a long-term, healthy lifestyle, it has been widely criticized for its long list of restrictions and claims that lack scientific merit.

Unnecessary restrictions

Arbonne claims alcohol, coffee, dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, and artificial sweeteners are foods that are “not beneficial for overall wellbeing.”

While those with allergies, intolerances, and autoimmune and gastrointestinal conditions may need to eliminate certain foods — and excessive alcohol intake is harmful — little evidence shows eliminating these foods is essential to improving overall health in all people (25, 26, 27).

The diet also performs an improper elimination diet by unqualified consultants to determine which foods you may be sensitive to. Eliminating large groups of food all at once makes it difficult to know which food — if any — are truly causing issues for you.

In many cases, simply adopting healthier eating patterns can lead to improved energy and health, which can be misconstrued as evidence of a food sensitivity or intolerance that may not exist.

Proper elimination diets remove one food at a time based on your specific condition and involve weeks to months of trial and error. In all cases, this should be done under medical supervision (25, 26, 27).

Expensive and inaccessible

Arbonne is an MLM company that requires customers to pay a membership fee for discounted products or higher prices without a membership. However, even with the discounted prices, Arbonne’s products are quite expensive.

A package deal including 9 of the 13 recommended products costs $435, or $544 without discounts.

Considering that most items only last 30 or fewer days and you’re expected to buy the products beyond the 30-day diet, this program’s cost makes it inaccessible for those with lower incomes.

Given that none of these products are necessary to be healthy, you’re better off spending your money on whole, nutrient-dense foods and other healthy lifestyle practices.

Faulty science claims

Though the general basis of the program is sound in that it encourages healthy habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising, and sleeping more, Arbonne uses bold claims on its products that lack scientific evidence.

For example, its Body Cleanse product claims to detoxify the body by “cleansing your system” using ingredients like aloe, ginger, and choline. However, there’s no evidence that any of these ingredients detox the body beyond what your body does naturally (28, 29, 30, 31).

Moreover, its Metabolism Support supplement claims to “rev” your metabolism. Though Arbonne claims a clinical study supported the use of one of its ingredients — green coffee bean extract — in weight management, it fails to directly identify the study.

Even then, claiming its supplement will increase your metabolism without scientific research on the product in question is misleading. Though some people may claim the products help, most improvements are likely from an overall healthier lifestyle.

Ethical concerns

Multi-level marketing (MLM) companies like Arbonne have fallen under tremendous scrutiny for ethical concerns regarding how they compensate independent consultants, their lack of qualifications, and incentivization to sell products.

Independent consultants are not required to have any formal education in nutrition or health. In fact, the only requirement is that they’re 18 years of age and pay the initial $79.00 registration fee.

Furthermore, because profits are tethered directly to sales, along with recruiting new consultants to join the brand, independent consultants are constantly incentivized to push products onto consumers.

According to the company’s 2019 income disclosure statement, 66% of consultants made an average annual income of $830, while 97% of sellers made less than $17,848 — not including the cost of products, hosting parties, and membership fees (32).

Though sellers have the potential to earn more based on sales, many experts argue the design of MLM companies oversaturates the market, making it nearly impossible for independent consultants to make a livable income, and ultimately, an unethical practice (33).

As a result, you may wish to purchase your nutritional supplements from non-MLM companies that are required to pay their employees a guaranteed wage.

Summary

The 30 Days to Healthy Living diet is very restrictive, expensive, and inaccessible for many. Also, most of its health claims aren’t backed by reliable research, and most benefits are the result of healthier lifestyle changes — not the program’s products.

Though Arbonne does not give a specific meal plan, it provides a general outline of what to eat:

  • Pre-breakfast: Digestion Plus supplement (15–30 minutes before eating)
  • Breakfast: a vegetable omelet, gluten-free oatmeal with berries, or a protein shake
  • Lunch: ground beef chili with kidney beans and vegetables (no cheese) or a protein shake
  • Snack: an Arbonne protein bar
  • Dinner: a lean protein source (palm-sized), non-starchy vegetables (half of your plate), brown rice (one-fourth of your plate), and a small serving of healthy fat (e.g., avocado, peanut butter, olive oil) or a protein shake

It’s expected that you replace at least one meal per day with an Arbonne protein shake that includes a small amount of nondairy, non-soy milk, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fat. Additionally, all supplements should be taken as directed on the package.

Summary

Arbonne recommends eating minimally processed meals with adequate protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. It also recommends replacing at least one meal per day with its protein shake and take a long list of supplements.

Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living diet has grown in popularity as a lifestyle diet to help you improve your health. However, it has also received tremendous scrutiny for its faulty claims and unethical practices.

The diet promotes many food restrictions and supplements that are unnecessary, not backed by science, and expensive.

What’s more, the company relies on unqualified consultants to provide nutritional and health guidance and fails to pay them fair compensation, which raises numerous ethical concerns.

Some redeeming qualities of the diet are that it promotes eating nutrient-dense foods, exercising daily, and many other healthy behaviors. Together, these behaviors may help you lose weight, especially if you’re new to this type of lifestyle.

Although the diet has some positive qualities, most of the benefits are the result of adopting healthier lifestyle changes — not the diet itself or the products required. If you’re looking to improve your health, you’re better off avoiding this program.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here