Visalus – Body by Vi
Visalus has become a very popular meal replacement program that is also marketed as a lifestyle choice. Very popular is an understatement with people becoming passionate about the product and the sellers of the product bringing in lots of celebrity sponsors to help promote.
So what is Visalus exactly?
Visalus at it’s core is a powder that is used as a meal replacement that is used to replace your breakfast and lunch or on maintenance just one meal. There are several different plans depending on your goals including a Visalus Balance Kit, Visalus Shape Kit, Visalus Core Kit, Visalus Transformation Kit, and Visalus Fit Kit.
All of these kits have the core 2 lbs bags of the shake mix and flavorings but as you go up in price and program you get more bags of the mix plus more vitamins, minerals, and even energy drinks.
I want to just focus on the Visalus Shape Kit as this was the one that my wife has tried out.
Visalus Shape Kit info
Here is where the real info starts. My wife heard about the Visalus program a few times and finally took the plunge buying the Shape kit which is basically two 2 pound bags of the shake mix along with some flavoring packets. This package costs $99 for about a months supply of breakfast and lunch replacement (actually it last longer than a month which is kinda nice) so the cost per serving is about $1.50 each.
The drink itself tasted pretty good, I tried sips of my wifes drinks a couple of times and yes it does taste good depending on what you add to it. The flavoring at the core of the shakes is just vanilla and you mix it with milk or almond milk as well as whatever you would want (everything you add is a calorie though, remember). There is a great support system that gives lots of people lots of ideas as well.
The Protein to Carbohydrate to Fat mix is high on the protein side which I personally like at a ratio of 12-9-2.5 grams per serving and since you will be likely adding fruit to it you will have a higher amount of carbs as fruit is mostly water and carbs.
Visalus 90 Day Challenge
To be really clear this Visalus system is not just about the shake, there is a 90 Day Challenge where you take a before picture, an after picture, and chart your loss and body size changes and your goal is to make great changes in 90 days. I really love this as everyone may want to lose but they really don’t have any clear goals or timelines 90 days is a nice long enough time to change your habits and life and see results with any changes that you make.
The company tends to be a bit heavy handed with this and I can imagine that since people lose and change at different rates that it can be very discouraging if you are not losing as quickly as other people are, again the loss industry is full of the “look at me, I won” kind of mentality that a lot of people will just cringe at.
Along the same lines as this there is a few support forums where people will help each other out and share their favorite shake recipes (My wife was addicted to finding new ones all the time) and that support system really helps anyone that gets involved and interacts.
The Dark Side of Visalus
Nutritionally Visalus is always pushing the fact that the nutrition in their drinks is ridiculously high in nutrients but really the a couple of great posts seem to tell us a different story. Sheleana at Young and Raw who I really like does not like the obviously processed and not natural part of this product. On the nutritional side Graeme from Graeme Thomas Online did not at all like the nutrients in comparison even to cheap multivitamins.
Anyone that has seen or been involved with Amway or any other multilevel marketing system will recognize the business side of Visalus. I am not a bit fan of multilevel marketing but it is highly ingrained as part of the Visalus system. As a user of the product you can opt into being a promoter and the more that you sell and the more product that people you recruit sell the more money you make. The rewards can be very very high and because of this you will always find people that are really aggressive in promoting and selling the dram of the product sales.
This is just a marketing system where the money that would go into marketing the product on TV or other media is replaced by putting that money into the hands of the distributors. Trouble is this always comes across to me as greedy and opportunistic even if this is not the way the person selling the product to you is really like.
One other problem that we have found with Visalus is that if you do not make it very very clear that you want to cancel you will be charged every month and get a new months stock sent to you. We accidently didn’t cancel and after trying and trying the company finally found room on our credit card and charged and shipped another months supply, guess it is our own fault but it had been a few months since my wife had tried the product the first time. She doesn’t mind doing another month though anyway.
Should You Try Visalus?
I am not sure if this is the product for everyone but there are a few things that I really like about this product.
First the idea of serving sizes is foreign to almost everyone, we all end to eat too much per meal unless we are careful. The other great thing about this product is the fact that it seems to be filling, tastes good, and will boost your energy and cut sugar cravings, at least that is what my wife found.
On the bad side is that nutrition. I have found at least a couple of reports that show the nutrition may not be all that great but please don’t look for yourself as Google seems to be ranking only the pro-visalus side in the rankings lately and it took me pages of results before I could find not biased info.
So balance this as you would like. I think if you are looking to jump start a loss plan then this may be a great start but in the end I always like to make sure that people are eating as many whole foods as they can to stay in shape or get in shape and more importantly stay healthy.