CLEVELAND - A new diet program is spreading in social media circles and gyms across the country, but it doesn't come cheap. It's called Body by Vi Challenge , or ViSalus. It's a 90-day challenge to change your body.
Dave Andras began promoting the meal replacement program after researching it. He said you can't beat the benefits of the shakes that help you reach health goals.
"It's less than about $2 per meal, so if you're spending $4, $5, $6 on average $8 a meal so you're saving a huge amount of money," Andras explained.
"We have a kit designed for weight loss. A kit designed for muscle building," Andras explained.
Will Riddick said he's tried all kinds of weight loss products. He likes the taste of "Vi."
"I've lost over 50 pounds myself," Riddick explained.
University Hospitals Dietician Lisa Cimperman said when you're spending money you might be more willing to invest the time to lose the weight. A 90-day challenge also help motivate people short term. However, she wouldn't buy the shake.
"It's low in calories. It's about 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and then a laundry list of additional vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that are included in this powder. Honestly, you would be better off taking a multivitamin and drinking a glass of milk which has about 90 calories, about 8 grams of protein.
Cimperman worries about a program that relies heavily on a supplement rather than food, and one that promises dramatic results in a short period of time.
"I worry that people see this and they see a very low calorie supplement, and they may look at it as a meal replacement. Really what people do is they restrict their calories so much that their body then goes into starvation mode. So our body hangs onto every last calorie you're giving it and that can hamper people's weight loss effort," Cimperman said.
Riddick said he is learning healthier eating habits with the challenge.
"You do want to eat clean. I started cleaning up my diet. Stopped putting fast food and things like that. Along with that the weight started to fall off," Riddick said.
Cimperman said a balanced and healthy diet, and exercise are essential. Your body needs both. That way you will have short- and long-term results, not just short-term weight loss.
"I'm not afraid that if I stop taking it I'll gain weight back because through this program it also teaches you better ways to eat. This is just a supplement to probably what you've already been doing," Riddick said.
Riddick said the financial incentives also make this program attractive. If you encourage others to join, you get rewarded.
"All I had to do was bring 3 people with me to sign up for the program," Riddick explained. "I don't even pay for my product. What's cooler than losing weight, having a great product and it's actually free?"
Do your homework and read the fine print before you sign up for any new program.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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