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Does Herbalife Weight Loss Work?

By Josie Myers
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Herbalife is a health and weight loss plan that uses vitamin and protein based meal replacement shakes. The product is purchased through multi-level marketing, also known as direct sales which means it is distributed through independent retailers much like a home party plan. There are numerous reports that Herbalife weight loss can be quite successful when the product is used as directed. Just as with any diet plan, there are a number of factors that should be considered before using the product.

The Herbalife products are formulated with the goal to achieve good bodily health, not just weight loss. The makers claim that weight loss is a positive byproduct of the overall health achieved through using the product. Claims have been made by users that Herbalife helped them with ailments ranging from acid reflux to chronic fatigue syndrome.

Herbalife weight loss works by substituting regular meals with various flavored protein shakes. The three meals of the day are made up of one regular healthy meal a day and two shakes. There are protein-based snacks and vitamin supplements that are used in combination with the shakes to supposedly raise metabolism and control hunger.

The price of the plan can be a turnoff for many. The average price for a month supply of the Herbalife weight loss plan ranges from approximately $150 US Dollars (USD) and up. For those seeking a cheap way to lose weight, this price tag can appear staggering. It should be taken into consideration that this product will substitute for two thirds or more of the regular food products that an individual consumes, so the cost may not be as severe as it appears at first glance.

Reports of how well Herbalife weight loss works are varied. Many users claim huge successes, while others throw around terms like "scam." The greater majority of reports from those who continued with the program indefinitely are positive, claiming that the overall health of users was improved and healthy weight loss was achieved and maintained.

As with any weight loss program, users encourage those on an Herbalife weight loss plan to look at the change in eating habits as a lifestyle change. The weight loss only seems to be completely maintainable when continuing the use of the product past the point of achieving the loss. Once the body has adjusted to consuming shakes as the primary form of nutrition, it is difficult for most to transition into eating standard food without gaining the weight back. Many find it difficult to continue purchasing and drinking shakes for the remainder of their weight loss maintenance phase, which is certainly a consideration to make before beginning the plan.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon964190 — On Aug 03, 2014

Herbalife's diet shakes contain as much fructose as protein, as well as being poor quality soy. Pretty much any whey protein shake you would buy at a GNC or similar place is a better supplement and costs much less money.

Learn to read labels and it's very obvious that it is not something that is that beneficial to you. The weight loss that can happen with it is due to replacing two normal meals, for a shake that is about 150-300 calories depending on how you make it. There's nothing magical about it and there are much better products out there if that is how you want to drop the weight.

Most of their other products may have some decent ingredients, but are seriously under dosed and over priced. Do research on the supplement ingredients that will be beneficial to you and shop around. Anyone telling you to buy from only one brand/company is a liar.

By anon954664 — On Jun 03, 2014

I have doubt about whether these products will work or not. I wanted to know what the mechanism is for losing the weight. I mean, how do these products get results?

By anon932255 — On Feb 11, 2014

Can you mix up your herbalife shake in the morning and take it prepared to work and leave in fridge ready made for lunch? I would like to have shakes for breakfast and lunch but can't take a blender to work!

By anon352744 — On Oct 25, 2013

Herbalife rocks. I lost 15 kgs in three months two years back. Now I'm eating a proper diet and still look handsome. I am very thankful to Herbalife for changing my life.

By anon351420 — On Oct 14, 2013

@latte31: I don't see how I will grow tired of HL product. For breakfast it is most practical solution for my busy schedule. I mix it up in 30 seconds, and leave it be while preparing for work, then drink it before leaving. It takes less time and less thinking than normal breakfast meal.

By anon345383 — On Aug 19, 2013

if you are not satisfied with the herbalife diet plan, consult a dietitian.

By anon344129 — On Aug 06, 2013

For the ones who feel they are stuck with Herbalife or any other dieting plan, there are two things you need to keep in mind.

The first is that you must focus on the right objective. I guess your objective is to lose fat, not weight. Fat is much less dense than muscle. A person who was normally not taking enough protein would have muscles with poor muscle fibers (which are mainly made up of protein). When you start taking protein drinks, your muscle fibers build up while the body consumes the energy from the fat. This you can determine by if you are losing cm but not losing weight. If this is your case, you are on the right track. Keep on doing what you are doing and focus on losing body fat instead of pure weight. The idea is to fit better in those jeans!

The second is that you must watch what you eat at those meals that are not replaced. Make sure you are having a sensible meal, and especially avoid trying to eat a day's worth of food in a single meal. That is not the point. The point is to achieve a calorie deficiency that promotes body weight. Another thing that you may try is to incorporate some light exercise, like walking for half an hour around your neighborhood or going for a swim during the weekend.

Do not try to starve yourself fit. That cannot happen and that is what can seriously damage your metabolism.

By anon344125 — On Aug 06, 2013

In my particular case, I can say it does work 100 percent. It is true you need to make changes in your lifestyle if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Otherwise, you would slowly get back to where you were before and continue gaining weight just as you were before.

I have lost 50 pounds once using Herbalife in about six months kept it off for over two years (I did the maintenance plan for another three months). Then I went back to my old habits and slowly gained back 34 pounds in two years. I eventually decided to get healthy again and went back on Herbalife and lost the extra pounds again in four months. This time I have added exercise to my daily routine and I am feeling much better. This time I intend to hold on to the maintenance plan and keep the added exercise for the rest of my life.

I feel much better now and I am surprised that I can see my abs when I see myself in the mirror! The point is to replace bad habits with good habits. Replacing one meal with a protein shake is a good habit. Doing exercise is much better than just sitting around doing nothing.

By anon337116 — On Jun 03, 2013

I was on a liquid diet a few years ago and lost 45 pounds, and have gained most back due to overeating. I have been at goal with Weight Watchers three times and gained it all back also. It has to be a lifestyle change forever and unfortunately, I can't seem to do that for whatever reason.

I started with herbalife three weeks ago and lost three pounds. I am disappointed yes, but at least I am under the 180 pound mark, hoping to get below 150 and this old gal will be happy! No matter what plan you go on, it's a never ending battle. The shakes taste great.

By anon334872 — On May 16, 2013

Can anyone help me? I have been on herbalife and on my fifth week. I lost six pounds during the first ten days and have lost nothing since. I am starting to feel very disheartened. My sister had lost well over a stone at this stage. Can anyone give me any tips? I'm ready to throw it up, but I'm afraid.

By anon331074 — On Apr 20, 2013

Herbalife is the best product out there for not only weight loss and gain, but all around good nutrition! It has literally changed my life along with so many others. I have lost 34 pounds in just three months and I feel absolutely amazing. I am still losing pounds and inches every day with the Ultimate package and protein drink mix. Because the shakes are delicious, it's so much easier than other diets. It tastes like ice cream, otherwise I probably would have failed like the rest of my diets.

By anon330372 — On Apr 16, 2013

I have used the products for 13 weeks and lost 22 pounds successfully. I have finished my challenge and am below goal. I have learned so much about nutrition and healthy lifestyle to maintain it. Yes, the products are expensive but they will kick start you and maybe you can continue with one or two of them for maintenance.

By anon324420 — On Mar 10, 2013

I've been doing HerbaLife for about three months. It's excellent, gives me tons of energy, and makes me feel good. After I drink a shake, I don't feel bloated, or just want to snuggle up on the couch and rest. I'd rather go for a run. As opposed to eating a huge fattening meal and wanting to sleep. I've lost a total of 27 pounds, and that's in three months. Can't wait to see where this will take me.

By anon318312 — On Feb 07, 2013

I have been using Herballife for two months. I was 82kg when i started and now I am 78kg. I can't lose more than that. Even during my previous diet, I couldn't lose less than 75kg. What should I do? I am drinking two meals shakes (two spoons of F1 and one spoon F3). I eat one normal meal.

I am a person who eats a lot. My meals are always big in quantity but I tend to take more vegetables than rice. What should I do to go down from 75 kg?

By anon295680 — On Oct 07, 2012

For any weight loss program to work, a person must first make up their mind to lose weight. Then you have to change the way you eat, what you eat, and increase your exercise. Sorry, but there is no magic pill. Herbalife has worked for me. I started using the products two years ago. My goal was 30-35 pounds. I lost 32 pounds and have kept it off. I will continue to use Herbalife as long as it works for me. I find that when I do eat out, I get full on less food.

I don't deprive myself of foods I love, but limit amount and frequency. If I cut out those snacks, I could lose those other three pounds. I am very happy on Herbalife. I am not a distributor, just a consumer.

By anon268667 — On May 15, 2012

It doesn't work on me. I've been taking herbalife for one year. What I lost is just my money.

By anon242253 — On Jan 22, 2012

I have been reading all the posts about how Herbalife causes your metabolism to mess up, how you lose water weight etc. Herbalife coaches stress the importance of water intake, proper protein intake and how to maintain the weight loss once you have achieved your weight loss goals.

How do I know this? I have used Herbalife products for over a year now, and will continue to use them for the rest of my life. I know that I am getting the very best nutrition I can get with the products without all the chemicals that are in foods found in the grocery store. Herbalife is sustainable as it is not a diet per se, but a way of life. Please educate yourself before you start talking about products you really have no idea about.

By bevo60 — On Aug 28, 2011

@latte31: If you do a little research on the Herbalife thing, you'll see that you don't have to drink two shakes and a meal a day forever. Once you reach your target weight, you can have a shake for breakfast, and then a normal lunch and dinner to maintain your weight. Of course, normal means you eat portions equal to the palm of your hand, and a protein snack mid morning and mid afternoon.

Once a person gets accustomed to eating portions that are sufficient, their stomach shrinks, and those portion sizes are all a person needs. It's as simple as learning to eat to live, and not live to eat!

By Sunny27 — On Nov 17, 2010

Mutsy-I agree 100%. Most people know what they need to eat and how much they need to exercise in order to lose weight. As a matter of fact, a deficiency of 3,500 calories a week is what is needed in order to lose one pound.

If this was all that you needed to lose weight, there would be no diet programs out there.

The problem is that many people will drink the Herbal life shakes and try the plan in order to lose weight, but then suffer set backs and then give up. They want to lose all of their weight as quickly as possible which makes people resort to ridiculous diets that are unhealthy.

It is better to go with a program that allows you to get a variety of food in moderation so that you learn about portion control.

In addition creating a network of people that support your efforts is crucial. Sometimes it is members of your family, or members of a support group pertaining to overeating like Overeaters Anonymous or Weight Watchers.

By mutsy — On Nov 17, 2010

Icecream17- I remember when she lugged the fat on to the stage in a cart so that everyone could see. I was surprised that someone as savvy as Oprah would resort to such a diet.

Whether it is Herbal life or Optifast, diets don’t work because you have to change your behavior towards food as well as your lifestyle.

You really have to determine what is keeping you from your ideal weight. Often times, our weight problems really mask other voids in our life that we have to address in order to be successful in weight loss.

Products like Herbal life will not do this for you. Losing weight requires a holistic approach that involves counseling, making modifications in your diet and increasing exercise for your entire life.

Once you get off of the diet mentality and look towards improving the quality of your life because you deserve more you will make the changes that you need to lose the weight properly.

Attending a Weight Watchers meeting is very helpful because it does offer a holistic approach to weight loss that is necessary in order to maintain your results.

By icecream17 — On Nov 17, 2010

Latte31-Wow that was so sad. I think that you have to take the time to assimilate changes in your lifestyle in order to be successful in losing weight permanently.

There is no fix to this problem. Only small changes over time produce great results.

The problem with programs like Herbal Life is that it produces large weight losses initially which is usually water weight, but it also damages your metabolism which is why when people go off of it they gain weight really fast because it damaged the mechanism for burning calories.

In addition, because your body gets used to the system, when you start to get off of it the pounds creep up. This is what happened to Oprah Winfrey when she went on the Optifast liquid diet.

She lost 65 pounds in a few months, but only maintained her weight for a single day and then continued to gain her weight back almost twice as fast as she gained it. Plus, the Herballife weight loss program seems a bit expensive. You could go to Weight Watchers for three months with the money that it costs you to for one month on the Herbal life weight loss program.

By latte31 — On Nov 17, 2010

The problem with the Herbal Life weight loss diet is that is unsustainable to continue drinking two shakes a day and one meal.

People grow tired of the Herbal Life products and that is where the danger lies.

They start sabotaging their Herbal Life diet efforts and eating foods outside of the program.

This creates rapid weight gain and a sense of frustration among the users of Herbal Life. Weight loss has to be a lifestyle modification process that should not eliminate foods from your diet.

Healthy weight loss of one to two pounds is suggested for more weight loss programs because rapid weight loss can actually cause damage to the organs especially the heart.

A man that used to work with my husband lost 150 pounds in a year from gastric by pass surgery and he died two years later at age 42.

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