The Herbalife Diet

The Herbalife Diet is an extremely restrictive diet that is based around the consumption of supplements in addition to one meal a day. Herbalife is a weight loss company that was found in 1980 that sells supplements for weight loss, digestion, skin care and meal replacements.

The Premise

The Herbalife Diet meal plan is composed of liquid meal replacements in addition to multivitamins and herbal pills. The Herbalife Diet claims that it is easy to follow because all meals are pre-made and the drinks are designed with optimal nutrients and vitamins to nourish the body. These shakes are designed to help the body feel full on few calories, which should lead to weight loss.

The Diet

When on the Herbalife Diet, individuals will adhere to the following meal plan:

  • Breakfast: 2 activator pills, a multivitamin and a Herbalife shake
  • Lunch: 2 activator pills, a multivitamin and a Herbalife shake
  • Dinner: A well balanced meal, a multivitamin and 2 activator pills

Dieters are advised to include lean proteins, such as fish or chicken, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and potatoes, in the well-balanced meal.

The activator pills include essential nutrients and botanicals, which are supposed to aid in absorption and cellular energy and stamina. The multivitamin includes daily vitamins, minerals and herbs. It is designed to promote healthy bones, hair, skin and boost the immune system. The shakes come in a variety of flavors and include 20 essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and herbs, fiber and 9 g of protein.

Dieters are advised to follow the Herbalife Diet for 11 to 15 days. During this time period, dieters can lose up to 20 pounds.

What To Get Excited About

The Herbalife Diet is a convenient way to lose weight because all meals are prepared in advance. The shakes are pre-mixed and you are only required to make one meal per day.

Things to Consider

The Herbalife Diet is not a well-balanced diet. This extremely low calorie diet focuses on the consumption of supplements. Furthermore, all of these supplements, vitamins, pills and shakes will be extremely expensive.

Certain Herbalife products contain the ingredient ephedrine alkaloids. Ephedrine has shown to cause heart problems in pregnant women and individuals under the age of 18. Furthermore, individuals with heart problems, a history of stroke, thyroid problems, headaches, diabetes, glaucoma, depression, prostate enlargement and seizures are recommended to avoid products that contain ephedrine.

The products in Herbalife supplements, drinks and pills have been shown to cause rapid and irregular heartbeats, severe headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea and loss of consciousness.


The Herbalife Diet is not recommended. This diet is based around artificial supplements that have been shown to cause a range of heart and health problems. This diet is dangerously low in calories. While dieters may experience weight loss while following the Herbalife Diet, once they resume healthy eating, it may be difficult to maintain this weight loss. Furthermore, the Herbalife Diet does not promote a maintenance plan or an exercise routine.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • Richard

    Hi, I’ve been using Herbalife products for the past three years and have not had any negative effects. In fact, quite the opposite as I’ve never felt as well in my life. I take all the supplements and shakes and have at least one good meal each day. I started taking Herbalife not to lose weight but because I didn’t feel that I was getting enough nutrition from the foods that I was buying especially from supermarkets as often these so called fresh foods are actually kept in cold storage for up to 6 months. Also you mention some of the products have ephedrine alkaloids, but don’t say which ones. If you are giving a full review of Herbalife products, why haven’t you said which ones have this substance in them. Also are these substance naturally occurring or have they been added to the Herbalife product during manufacture?

  • Joshua

    Herbalife is a company that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife does not promote any “fad diets.” They do not promote extremely low calorie diets. The personalized meal plan that you would receive from an Herbalife Distributor is based off your bodies Resting Metabolic Rate (or Basal Metabolic Rate). Herbalife does not recommend any calorie consumption under 1,200 calories. For breakfast you would have a Healthy Meal shake, Multivitamin, and the Cell Activator. Then you would have a healthy snack in between breakfast and lunch. Then for lunch same as breakfast. Then another healthy snack in between lunch and dinner. For dinner you would eat a well balanced colorful meal with a multivitamin. Depending on your RMR and lean body mass a person will get a meal plan personalized based on your body type. I agree with Richard.. Which products are you talking about. I didn’t know that good nutrition was bad for you..? How are natural herbs found on this God created earth considered artificial supplements? If you are talking about things being bad for you with side effects, you should write a review on the medications doctors prescribe. That is artificial. That would be something worth writing on my friend. Great solid nutrition that Herbalife produces has been wonderfully made for 30 years and helping people, it is the prescription medications that are killing folks. Herbalife has been known to help all of those problems you mentioned. Please don’t confuse the issues people may have while on the product because they may also be on prescribed meds at the same time that are causing the side effects. Herbalife is simply the best.

  • Ann

    please tell me which products contain the ephedrine, as After the first day, my heart felt strange, then again today it happen. the coach said it was detoxing, but I have High BP and family hisory of MI and don’t want myself or others exposed to a risk?

  • Lisa

    I have been on the products since September and was actually sent to Herbalife by my physician. I was overweight, had high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Within 5 months of using the products, I not only lost 45 pounds but my cholesterol has dropped by 202 points and my blood sugar has dropped 235 points. My doctor was thrilled and pleased that I did not need to go on medication. Another benefit is that my body is now craving good foods like fish and vegetables rather than simple carbs and sweets. If you are concerned, your physician can speak directly with the Herbalife’s physicians to help personalize your program. This is not a diet but a lifestyle change. Thanks to my doctor and my coach. I love Herbalife.

  • farrah


  • Valerie Rickards

    I can appreciate you wanting to give information on diets out there. That is a great thing to do. Who doesn’t want to lead a healthy happy life, right? I am not sure where you got you information on Herbalife but I can tell you what I know.
    Herbalife products are designed & manufactured to meet regulatory guidelines. They operate at the highest manufacturing and safety standards globally. They are in over 70 countries. They maintain control of their products from seed to feed. I have lost over 30+ lbs. in just over 3 months. I do exercise 3x a week. I have a busy lifestyle and I live in the midwest where access to quality vegetation is limited. I came across this product and was very skeptical myself. I am now a product of the product. I am in my mid forties and looking to push my body to new goals. Because of my weight loss and better sense of wellbeing. I am hiring a trainer and I am going to do some acrobatic training. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Herbalife has given me back what I had over 20 years ago. I am also a health nut by nature. The cost can range from around a couple of dollars to around 5 dollars a meal. Where can you get a meal for that amount of money? My website has also been endorsed by The Dr. Laura Program. I am here to help others get to a better health condition like you! The program is customized to each individual. We all have different needs. When you are on the go….you do the best you can πŸ™‚ This product rocks! and is for everyone of every age. Thank you for your blog πŸ™‚ Wishing you the best of health!!!!

  • Diana

    I am going to have to go with the rest here and let you know that Herbalife offers high quality products that follow the guild lines and requirements of each country Herbalife operates in.

    You also mentioned that Herbalife uses Ephedrine in their products they have not for many years. I think it was 2002 that the green tablets were discontinued.
    That was a couple of years before the FDA banned it in these types of products.

    Herbalife is a fantastic company. They have had their ups and downs like many companies but they strive to deliver the highest quality products and sure they cost more than the stuff you buy at the grocery store but they aren’t just churning out junk.

    I understand that Herbalife may not be for everyone but if you live each day over weight and are unhappy about it, this is a solid company that develops their products on nutrition first.

    Herbalife is by the way a success story. 30 yrs and still growing. You can read more about it here:

  • Donna Taylor

    To the lady to has high blood pressure, the only product in the Herbalife range that might affect your condition could be the Chitosan product, which takes the fat out of your diet. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure however ephedrene was excluded from products in 2002.
    I;ve tried pills, exercise, shakes, and a lapband (worst decision of my life) and I believe Herbalife is the best Ive tried and so far I’ve lost 5kilos in 4 weeks. Ive signed up to be a distributor and I get a great discount on the products which means I can get the rest of my family on the shakes and nutrition. My daughter is insulin resistant and she has just started to have a shake in the morning, My mum has all sorts of health problems due to her weight, she likes the herbal tea. I wouldn’t get my family onto the products if I didn’t believe in the products 100%. Anyone wanting more info can email me or visit my website Best of luck with the diets!

  • Alloryn

    You know, it’s funny. I read your review out of curiosity because I started Herbalife 9 weeks ago. It was a very difficult decision to start. Why? Because I remembered all the negativity that surrounded Herbalife when it first opened for business. Back then, it hit the market at the same time everything ‘new age’ did. Because Herbalife used all natural products based on 1) the same herbs & botanicals used by the human race since the beginning of time, and 2) the science of the day, it was branded as one of “those” things–lumped in with new age spirituality, the pseudo hippie revival, and holistic medicine. In other words, it was not mainstream and, therefore, suspicious.

    As for the ephedrine, well, when Herbalife opened for business, it was a very popular and much-used ingredient in all sorts of things. I especially miss it in the occasional decongestant when I need one. The “safe” ones simply do not work as well. As soon as the issues with ephedrine became widely known, Herbalife discontinued use of this product. Even so, it is a naturally occurring substance directly derived from a plant. There is nothing artificial about it (although I know there was a synthetic version at one time–not used by Herbalife, to the best of my knowledge).

    Anyway, when I was approached about Herbalife 2 months ago, I was dubious. Frankly, I was surprised they were still in business. I hadn’t heard anything about them for probably a decade. But I read the updated material and did the research and found everything my fellow commenters have said true. Herbalife is an excellent company producing high-quality, natural products which work. They do not advocate an extremely low calorie, unbalanced diet. Quite the opposite. First, you are not limited to a shake in the morning & a shake at lunch. If you are on the weight loss plan and doing 2 shakes a day in place of 2 meals, you may pick and choose which meals. For me, some days that’s breakfast & lunch, and others it’s lunch and dinner because someone got up and cooked a delicious breakfast. In addition, I was instructed to have 2 protein-based snacks a day in between my meals. That is eating 5 times a day. Frankly, I have a hard time with that because I am simply not hungry. The shakes can be mixed straight from the packet or can, but I like to make mine into fruit smoothies by adding fresh, low-calorie, in-season fruit. DELISH. And as for the cost, consider this: you are replacing food for shakes. Even with a couple of supplements, it is actually less expensive.

    Herbalife is about NUTRITION. Thanks to their awesome products, I am FINALLY losing weight. I need to lose over 100 pounds. I started 9 weeks ago. I’ve lost 38 pounds total, 5.5″ from my waist, and 7.25″ from my hips. Am I deprived? Not at all!

    I live in a multi-generational household ranging from seniors set in their ways to picky, picky toddlers. I am the primary cook of the evening meals during the week. Because of the situation, I cook the SAME OLD REGULAR MEALS I’ve always cooked–including southern fried chicken. I eat what I cook. The big difference? I am unable to eat the amount of food I used to be able to eat. Oh, I’ve tried! The first couple of weeks, I piled food on my plate as always but I was unable to get through it all. I got tired of throwing away food and learned to put smaller amounts on my plate. I am eating pretty much what I want for my 1 meal and I am losing weight like crazy. Not only that, but I have indulged in an adult beverage or 2 on more than 1 occasion. Still losing weight.

    Herbalife is a great company with an outstanding weight loss plan. I feel better, I look better, my cholesterol has dropped, my blood pressure is normal, and my blood sugars are normal. And yes, I take the supplements. Why not? I was taking vitamins, etc., before Herbalife. Now, I take the same thing but better quality. For the first time in my life I KNOW I will lose AND KEEP OFF the weight. It’s a blessing.

    Like I said, I’m only 38 pounds down. I am blogging about my weight loss journey at Please join me in my journey from giant economy size to normal.

    As for your review, please consider updating it. It is clear you based your review on outdated information and did not bother to do any current research. I highly recommend you do so. It will be an eye-opening experience!

  • Chakara

    I started the herbalife 12, week challenge 2.5 months ago smh lost only 5 pounds. I lost about a total of 15 inches off my body. I have to say this product did not do what I expected. I followed the diet exactly but only worked out 2 or 3 times a week. I also did the cleanse n some reason I didn’t get a period in sept. I took 5 pregnancy test all negative and I have a doc appt in the morning. I am not impressed with these products and will not be buying any other products. I have never missed a period before. And only one person in my weight loss challenge has lost more than 5 pounds.

  • Rupesh

    I started using herbalife weight loss programme, I was doing well and about 15 days later suddenly, I developed some left-sided neck pain and lower extremity twitching and mild chest pain, these are side effects of this product. Please help in this regard, wheather I should stop this prodcut or to continue.

  • Nicole

    HI! I recently started on the Herbalife diet and have had some struggles, but also starting to see some awesome results. The diet really isn’t as restrictive as this review makes it out to be, but it could also be the wellness coach you had. My plan is as followed:

    Breakfast: 1 Multivitamine, 1 Cell Activator (both recommended but not required) One shake with 2 scoops Formula 1 + 2 scoops Protein Drive mix (about 220 calories and 22 grams of protein)

    Morning SNACK: healthy snack, usually focused on adding protein, but not necessary, 2 cheese sticks, eggs, cottage cheese, turkey slices, whatever.

    Lunch: 1 Multivitamine (usually doesnt happen) plus the shake (same as lunch, sometimes I will add fruit for a new flavor)

    Mid day snack: again usually focused on protein, but can be whatever healthy snack you want! They do give you a snack sheet with some options.

    Dinner: Healthy, nutritious meal

    I track all my calories (even on this diet) with my fitbit app and based on the amount of weight I want to lose, I actually hit my health range of calorie intake.

    Again, this diet isn’t for everyone and most of the time I only do one shake a day for breakfast and two health meals, or I will eat my healthy meal for lunch and do a shake for dinner. I find it fits my lifestyle fairly well. Weeks I do only choose to do one shake a day, I still see results! I think it is about finding a coach who is a realist and understands that life happens. My coach is all about the 80/20 rule of nutritious eating and understands my lack of pill taking.

    Just throwing a different perspective out there! πŸ™‚

  • Tarah

    I would have to disagree, you must eat still!! everything is based on your personal resting metabolic rate to ensure you have appropriate weight loss. Never should you eat less than a minimum of 1200 calories a day considering this is what the body needs to function on a daily basis. what YOUR intake is, depends on what your rate is at!!!
    As for supplements, there are 8 tablets per day, 6 multivitamins that break your carbs, fat and protein down, and only 2 cell activator pills, which clean, feed and protect your cells. You have a personal coach, that holds you accountable and weighs you in on a weekly basis and evaluates your muscle and fat %. we want to increase muscle and decrease fat!
    Your coach will advise on proper eating habits, the good, the bad and the ugly, alot of food is marketed as good for you, but really has lots of fillers and can contribute to weight gain when you are actually trying to lose. A fully balanced diet, with lean complete proteins and good carbs are suggested. the change in the body composition is a big thing and supporting lean muscle growth is imperative as it burns the fat. Products are very affordable considering 2.50 a meal is far less expensive than eating even 1 meal out! Many options are available to members to decrease the cost as well. Personally, i was pre diabetic, with hormone imbalances and no energy. My entire life has changed since using these products. I feel amazing, i have energy and i have completely reversed my pre diabetic state, my hormone imbalance and all my other issues!!! My doctors are astounded, because they all wanted me on medication. I have a complete bill of health now, my body was deprived of the needed vitamins and minerals and nutrition on a daily basis due to the type of food we eat, everything is nutrient deprived, processed and manufactured. Herbalife is NOT a weight loss company, it is a nutrition company, and ingesting the needed nutrition on a daily basis is very important, your shake provides you the same nutrition as a couple plate fulls of food. without the thousands of calories, allowing you to lose weight effectively and for long term!!!