Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Herbalife: The Verdict

You can read the backstory to this post by clicking on Herbalife. Basically I'd lost 1 stone (14lbs/6kg) in 4 weeks (through eating less and partly through being sick with a kidney infection for 10 days), stayed the same for the next 2 weeks, and was looking for something to kick start the weight loss momentum.

With Herbalife it's not just the weight loss but also a whole load of other numbers and measurements which, being a numbers person, sent me into numbers heaven. 

I paid 550nis (about 90GBP) for three weeks worth of weight loss shakes and tea. However, I couldn't do the shakes twice a day with only a small low-carb meal once a day and an additional high protein snack. This is what is required for proper weight loss but I just couldn't do it - I needed to chew more than once a day. So, I did the shakes only once a day and had two small meals. Apparently I was doing the maintenance programme. 

On the accidental maintenance programme I had enough tea and shakes for six weeks. So six weeks after starting Herbalife I went back to Debi Zylbermann for the verdict. Considering it was the maintenance programme I did very well:

All body measurements (bust, hips, upper arm) went down 2cm each, I lost 1kg (2lbs), body fat was down 2%, water content up 1% (still 6% off a healthy 45%), muscle mass up 1kg, physique rating up from 2 to 3 (this means still fat but with more muscle - the ideal is 6), visceral (internal) fat down from 12 to 11 (1-5 is good, 6-12 is ok, 13+ is excess), basal metabolic rate up by 19 calories to 1488 (I so want to get to 1500), and metabolic age down from 90 to 84 (I'm 52 so need a bit of work there). Bone mass still a healthy 2.4. 

I actually have enough shake powder left for another 5 days or so so I'm going to continue with that until it's gone. The raspberry tea is finished but I've discovered that hot apple juice (made with 100% apple juice concentrate and hot water) is delicious or lemon tea is also good. 

Its not over as Debi has invited me back in a month or so to do the numbers again. Whilst I won't be doing Herbalife I will be continuing what I've learnt from it and practices I've adopted. It will be interesting to see if I can lose weight quicker whilst satisfying my need to chew though. 

Here's what changed:

Each 500ml shake was preceded by a 500ml glass of tea, That's 1L of water once a day and I always had at least two more glasses or tea during the day. I hardly use my mugs anymore - only the 500ml (= to 2 mugs) glasses. I'll continue to use the double sized glasses and precede each meal with a cup of tea or hot apple. 

I eat far less bread and instead snack on cottage cheese or tuna on rice crackers. I do have some bread but not like I used to and it's not out of control. I seem to have been weaned from a long suffered carb addiction. Even when I make pasta or couscous for supper, I make enough for DD and a tiny bit extra for me as I know I will be finishing hers off as well. 

I was already eating healthily and in moderation when I started Herbalife but with more carbs and less protein, and less liquid intake. It seems that the changes are desirable. 

Now lets see what happens over the next month. I almost cancelled on Debi (again) this morning as I couldn't see the point of going to record a 1kg weight loss, but now I'm re-motivated to continue the challenge. 

Bottom lines: 

I lost weight on the maintenance programme because it's a healthy and moderate way to eat and I'm still overweight so it was there to lose. 

I am certain the weight loss programme works if you do it. I couldn't do it because I needed the chew factor. However, I am reminded of a quote from Wendy Shenkar's book: The Fat Girl's Guide To Life, "the weight loss industry is the only industry where if the product doesn't work you blame yourself rather than blaming the product." LOL, so true! Was it the product's fault that I couldn't do it or mine? Who knows, who cares, if you can manage it it will work. But then so will any other diet. 

If you're a numbers person this is the programme for you. Or you can buy your own digital analyzer scales for the price of about 8 months of shakes and teas from Herbalife and follow your own high-protein/low carb diet. 

Had I not done Herbalife I may or may not have kept off the 14lbs I lost in the first month and if I had kept it off I may or may not have lost more weight doing it my way. That's like saying if I'd not moved to Israel I may have married a millionaire in London and had 6 children before I was 40 or I may not. I'm happy with what I got on both accounts.

I am still motivated to continue losing weight and I don't feel I wasted my time doing Herbalife. I could have done with not spending the 550nis but it gave me an education in factors other than pounds or kg and the motivation to get all those numbers into the healthy zone. The education was expensive but the motivation is priceless and for that it was definitely worth it. 

See you here next month for the follow up. 

Jerusalem people, if you want to contact Debi Zylbermann she is on facebook. 


  1. still laughing at the double entendre of the final section "bottom lines" LOL

  2. I didn't even notice and certainly not worth having a bust up over. :)

  3. Well done you! I would find it difficult to to lose weight on a shake-type diet. I think the answer is adapting things to suit yourself, so that you don't feel you're losing out and that you stay motivated?
    I'm already planning my 'getting my body back' plan for the new Year. It simply has to be done.

    meanwhile there are Mince Pies to be eaten and wine to be drank..... ;-)

    Merry Christmas to you my friend and to your gorgeous little one :-) xxx

  4. well done on the fabulous weight loss - I love that quote thanks for sharing it! And for the visceral fat as I didn't know what the levels were etc x