It has been exactly one year since I was introduced to the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge. (For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, where have you been hiding?? Here is the link to check it out... http://surefirefitness.myvi.net/index.html).
At first, I ignored my friend when she was sharing with me how great it was. I often get approached by people who want to sell me the latest fitness gadget, supplements, energy bars, and other 'nutritional' products and normally I don't pay much attention to any of it. I'm not really a supplements person - I've always just thought people should get what they need from eating real food (like fruits and veggies). And while I still believe that is true, I am surrounded by people who just can't seem to get it together with regards to their nutrition. Perhaps this product could help them? I wasn't convinced, but I thought if it had the potential to help my clients with their dietary issues, that I should at least take a look at the product.
After doing a lot of research on the company (ViSalus) and what they were offering with the Body By Vi protein shakes, I decided to try them myself. Since then, many of my clients have completed the 90 Day Challenge and many continue to use the shakes as a meal replacement (myself included!).
Here are the things I both like and dislike about the Body By Vi shakes and the 90 Day Challenge.
1) Convenience - It takes about 2 minutes to make shake. For an on-the-go person (such a myself) that is awesome.
2) Taste & variety - The shakes truly are delicious and I can mix in whatever I want so I never really get sick of them. In the mornings, I like to make a berry/banana shake and during the day, I'll sometimes have a chocolate peanut butter or mocha coconut shake. There are over 100 recipes but it's fun to be creative and make my own concoctions as well.
3) Nutrition/protein - I do not make time to cook a lot of meals and therefore was not getting enough protein in my diet. The shakes are high in protein (but low in sugar and contain tons of essential vitamins and minerals). I definitely recover better from my training if I have a post-workout shake. It's also an easy way to make sure I am eating plenty of fruit each day.
4) Non-restrictive - I do not believe in crash diets or super restrictive menus. While the product is meant to be a meal replacement, it is still necessary to eat regular meals and healthy snacks as well. Some people choose to have one shake per day while others prefer two - both options are fine.
5) Versatility - The shakes are good for a variety of people: those who want to lose weight, athletes who want to increase their protein intake, people on the go who do not have time to make breakfast, people who just want to grab a quick and nutritious meal, etc, etc, etc... no one eats perfectly all the time and the shakes are just one way of helping people satisfy their energy needs in a healthy way.
6) Cost - The shakes cost much less than many similar products on the market (less than $2 each) and the 3 for FREE program is hard to beat. Anyone (regardless of whether or not they are a promoter) who enrols 3 people to do the Challenge receives their product for free.
7) Company vision - Despite all the fanfare, ViSalus is just a company that wants to help people get healthier. The have realized that the obesity rate has reached epic proportions here in North America and are trying to do something to help solve that crisis.
1) Fanfare - ViSalus gives away cash prizes and vacations to people who lose weight and BMW bonuses to top promoters. While these incentives are all interesting, I believe that people are better off when motivated intrinsically rather than embarking on the 90 day challenge in the hopes to win fancy prizes.
2) Weight loss focus - While it is evident that many people need to lose weight in order to be healthier, I think as a society, we focus too much on the weight issue instead of the health issue. If people made a decision to increase their activity levels and eat more nutritiously, they would lose weight if necessary. Instead, we do the reverse and focus way too much on actual weight loss which is heavily promoted by the Body By Vi program which encourages daily weigh-ins and measurements. Instead, I think we should all focus on feeling healthier and throw our scales away!
3) Promoting the Quick Fix - The concept of the 90 Day Challenge insinuates that after 3 months, your health problems will be solved. While they do encourage you to continue using the product after your 90 Days, they are selling to that 'quick fix' mentality that consumers tend to crave. Eating well and staying active is something you need to do forever, not just for 3 months!
There you have it! Overall, the pluses far out weigh the minuses of the 90 Day Challenge. I have chosen to ignore the parts of their promotions that don't fall in line with my philosophy as a trainer but I do believe the product is a good one and has helped many of my clients get and stay on track with their nutritional needs. Click here for more info - http://surefirefitness.myvi.net/index.html