The Ideal Shape diet plan includes meal replacement shakes, bars, and dietary supplements. There are several plan options and many products to choose from, but make no mistake: consuming their products several times a day is required. We’ll see ahead if it works or not, but clearly it’s an investment.
Ideal Shape is headquartered in Lindon, Utah. It started in 2003 and has had a Better Business Bureau profile since 2012. The A-minus is a bit misleading; while Ideal Shape may have responded to almost all of the customer complaints lodged against them, it doesn’t appear they did much but given in to requests for refunds after people spent months trying to get them. That it should take a BBB issuance to get it done isn’t really confidence-inspiring. There are only six actual reviews on the BBB profile, but the negatives outweigh 2 to 1. 
Ideal Shape Claims
The IdealPlan weight loss system incorporates shakes, bars, and supplements along with a fat-loss nutrition meal plan “tailored to your specific weight and gender,” which tells folks what to eat and when to eat it—meaning their products. 
A typical Ideal Shape day would have you
- drink an IdealShape smoothie for breakfast
- an IdealBar as a mid-morning snack
- an IdealShake for lunch
- an IdealBar as an afternoon snack with an IdealBoost drink
- and then a dinner you prepare from its meal plan list.
Ideal Shape says that while some people could just follow their “principles” without their Shakes, Bars, Boost drinks, and supplements, the results won’t be nearly as effective (because of course they wouldn’t—we’re talking retail sales here).
IdealShape products work because they’re convenient, require minimal calorie counting and prep, and make it possible to reduce calories without ever feeling hungry. 
People ask, is Ideal Shape sold in stores? The company says no, except for its Utah-based retail store. Though many of the products are available on Amazon.com.
Ideal Shape’s secret sauce is “Slendesta.” The company says that other meal replacement shakes on the market fill you up with fiber, which, they claim, “is rarely enough to get you to your next meal.” Ideal Shape says its proprietary blend of protein, fiber and its “hunger-blocker Slendesta” keeps you feeling full longer. 
Ideal Shape’s Slendesta contains the protein found in good old white potatoes (new one on me), which Ideal Shape claims keeps you from feeling hungry for up to three hours. The protein triggers the release of the “I’m full” hormone, CCK. Registered ‘Slendesta’ can only be found in IdealShakes, so that’s the magical elixir—apparently.
Speaking of the shakes, IdealShape says besides curbing hunger, providing fiber without too many calories and without tons of sugar, it’s also convenient.
It takes the thinking out of meal planning and preparation, giving you a healthy on-the-go alternative to fast food. It’s also delicious, provides you with a number of daily vitamins and more. 
So maybe that’s the secret: convenience.
The Ideal Shape Challenge will have you “finally feeling better about your body.” It also claims you’ll feel more confident, have a better sex life, lots more energy, improved concentration, lower anxiety, better “deeper, more restful sleep,” plus, weight loss. 
This is a lot of claim.
The Ideal Shape product line includes the 30-, 60-, and 90-day IdealPlans, IdealSnacks, IdealShakes, IdealBars, IdealBoost weight loss drinks, and its supplements, including IdealTrim and IdealBurn. The Ideal Shape shake is the star of the line, though, and if online reviews are any indication, it tastes better than most meal replacement shakes. Lots of people look for an Ideal Shape coupon code like a current one: BURN gets folks a buy-one, get-one deal on its IdealBurn supplement. (Offer may not still be current as of this publishing.)
Ideal Shape Ingredients
Given the many products an ingredient list would be voluminous; however, there are some ingredients that may not be familiar, and even a couple that might raise eyebrows. 
Let’s start with the unfamiliar. Found in the IdealBurn supplement, huperzia serrata, or club moss, was used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat bruises, colds and poor blood circulation. Today it’s approved in China to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States it’s regulated as an herbal supplement. 
Now to the eyebrow-raising. Tyrosine is something we have seen in a number of other weight loss products and it still raises eyebrows, since it’s generally used by elite military in extreme stress situations or by sleep-deprived space scientists. Not exactly your average Joes and Janes.
WebMD.com lists several other uses, though exactly one of them has to do with weight loss and I’m not sure I’d want all the rest in my weight-loss products anyway.
People take tyrosine for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy), and improving alertness following sleep deprivation. It is also used for stress, premenstrual syndrome(PMS), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), alcohol and cocaine withdrawal, heart disease and stroke, ED (erectile dysfunction), loss of interest in sex, schizophrenia, and as a suntan agent and appetite suppressant. 
Let’s talk about Slendesta. Manufactured by Kemin,  Slendesta’s main ingredient is the extracted potato protein Proteinase Inhibitor II (PI2). A protease is an enzyme whose primary mission is to break apart proteins; thus a protease inhibitor should by definition stop the proteins from being broken apart, thus slowing the digestive process and keeping you satiated.
A study published in 2011 in the International Journal of Obesity (London) explored this process:
To investigate the mechanisms underlying the satiety-promoting effects of a novel protease inhibitors concentrate derived from potato (PPIC). … Repeated oral ingestion of PPIC reduced weight gain in male rats and significantly elevated the plasma CCK levels. … The 14-day ascending dose range study…showed no adverse side effects associated with PPIC administration. … These findings provided evidence that PPIC is effective in reducing food intake and body weight gain in healthy rats when administered orally by increasing circulating CCK levels through a trypsin-dependent mechanism.  (emphasis added)
IdealBoost drinks are a combination of filler-up Slendesta and weight loss and energy boosters like green coffee beans (caffeine) and green tea extract.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Ideal Shape
Sticking with Slendesta, it does appear that the PI2 compound from white potatoes works to keep you feeling full longer, which may help with weight loss. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this completely plausible: after a big serving of mashed potatoes, I feel stuffed (and often nap.) So if the extract is used in a shake, I can see it working. 
The “neuro energy blend” in its supplement includes huperzia serrata. Also known as club moss, it has been studied—though not extensively and conclusively—in the United States for
treatment of bruises, strains, swelling, rheumatism, and colds, to relax muscles and tendons, and to improve blood circulation. Because of its anticholinesterase activity, huperzine A, a constituent of the whole plant, has been studied for potential use in treating Alzheimer’s disease and other [central nervous system] disorders; however, there is still insufficient evidence to support its routine use. 
And there are side effects:
including hyperactivity, nasal obstruction, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, thirst, and constipation. One trial reported abnormalities in electrocardiogram (ECG) patterns (cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia). 
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, there’s the problem with lead. Lead. As in Flint, Michigan, water supply lead, paint chips lead, lead-poisoning lead.
Ideal Shape says it has a lead warning sticker on some of its products (shakes and bars) because California law requires it. That isn’t quite the full story.
In 2013, a lawsuit against Ideal Shape alleged the company knew for years that its products contained lead and did not tell consumers. 
Lead as is well-known and -documented carcinogen, can lead to birth defects, and is toxic to male and female reproductive organs, as well as the neurological system. The daily allowable limit is 0.5 micrograms. 
From the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. 
Lead can cross the placental barrier, which means pregnant women who are exposed to lead also expose their unborn child. Lead can damage a developing baby’s nervous system. Even low-level lead exposures in developing babies have been found to affect behavior and intelligence. Lead exposure can cause miscarriage, stillbirths, and infertility (in both men and women). 
The company began putting warnings on its products following the legal action brought in California state superior court; this may be seen as an admission. But Ideal Shape maintains the lead is trace and found naturally occurring; they do not “add lead.” That said, you’ll see that some users and reviewers have understandably taken issue with the company for the lead contained in shakes, bars and supplements.
Word on the Street on Ideal Shape
You won’t be shocked to learn Ideal Shape reviews on its site are all positive. So I looked elsewhere.
Even though Ideal Shape says its products are not available in stores, they certainly are available online. On Amazon.com, the IdealShake has a whopping 1,700 reviews and an overall score of 4.4 stars. Fans say the shakes taste great and help control hunger for a few hours. (So does oatmeal. Just saying.) Reviewers rave.
“CC Sullivan2005” (2017, 5-stars) says,
This is the best meal replacement shake I have ever tried….and I have tried a lot. It tastes great (I mix mine with almond milk). I drink one in the morning, according to the directions. For lunch, I add more milk and a little more mix, keeps my appetite curbed until dinner.
After most one week, I am down a dress size. Great product. Will not purchase another brand of meal replacement shake.” 
Literally reviewer after reviewer say the shakes are delicious: the best meal replacement shake out there. Virtually all of the very critical, one-star reviews (80 out of 1,721) had nothing to do with whether it works or not. Rather, the issue was also taste; too sweet, people complained.
WAY TO SWEET. COULDNT DRINK MORE THAN THREE SIPS. I understand they are trying to make the shake more enjoyable but they went overboard. its that artificial sweetened flavor x100. (“Amazon Customer,” 2016, 1 star) 
One review, though, had me puzzled. Slendesta is supposed to make you feel full; I bought that. Yet this reviewer, “Chris L.” (2016, 5 stars), who lost a lot of weight and seriously praised IdealShakes, still noted that you’ll be hungry. This is a head-scratcher.
I went from 190 lb to 176 in less than a month. I was really surprised to say the least. However, you have to use willpower—it is a “MEAL REPLACEMENT. Stick to it. You’re going to get hungry. But it works! 
“Ashley Compton” (2017, 1 star) critiqued the taste, but for her what was far worse were the ill effects on her body.
…after drinking for a few weeks, I stopped having bowel movements. I was always bloated and my stomach felt terrible every day. After doing some research, the sugar substitute that they use can kill all of the healthy bacteria in your stomach, and it did. It took me several weeks after stopping drinking it to get my digestive system back on track. 
Back to the lead question. Reviewer “Terri Switzer” (2016, 1 star) had a concern about the lead labeling (you think?):
LEAD? I have previously purchased chocolate and vanilla and loved them, but this one had the “contains lead” sticker on the lid. What?? I tried one serving and the flavor was not good wither. Lose-lose. 
The Bottom Line: Is Ideal Shape Worth a Try?
Definitely Not. I have two problems with IdealShape. Big problems. First, they say “many of our happy customers are new mothers who have successfully used our shake while pregnant or nursing” . I find this shocking, frankly. Pregnant and nursing women should eat food—good, healthy food—not weight loss meal replacement shakes, and especially not anything with even trace amounts of lead. Oh, and the club moss? Not a fan; far too little study to definitively say it’s safe. Second, the money. It’s almost always the money. The 30-day plan retails for $250. No. Way. Just buy more fruits, veggies, and maybe a set of hand weights.
Top 5 Diets in 2018*
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*Individual results will vary.
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