What Is the Purium Diet?

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Purium Health Products 10-day Cleanse (review)
Purium Health Products Celebrity Transformation

The Purium 10-Day Transformation is a cleanse that promises to increase your energy, improve sleep, reset your metabolism, and help you lose up to 11 pounds and 8 inches in just 10 days. While that certainly sounds enticing, there are considerations to keep in mind before you try this plan.

What Experts Say

"The Purium Diet is a very-low-calorie 10-day plan which promises quick weight loss. It consists of just 600 calories a day, which experts warn is not healthy or sustainable. Even over just 10 days, people may experience side effects like fatigue and irritability."
Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH

Background

Purium was founded in 1993 by David Sandoval, who is also the author of "The Green Foods Bible." It is sold by Purium Health Products and he is still with the company (his title is "Co-founder and Visionary"). This multi-level marketing company sells shakes, supplements, powders, and other products related to diet and weight loss.

How It Works

There are three different 10-day transformation programs from which to choose: Purium 10-Day Transformation - Weight Loss, the Purium 10-Day Transformation - Cleansing, and the Purium 10-Day Transformation - Athletes.

If you take on the Purium program for weight loss, you can expect to consume three shakes a day, supplements every few hours, and a tart-cherry drink at the end of the day. The plan also allows for small portions of "flex foods." You may drink up to 72 ounces of water daily, along with some other approved beverages.

What to Eat

Compliant Foods

  • Purium products

  • Certain fruits and vegetables

  • Certain flavorings

  • Certain beverages

Non-Compliant Foods

  • Caffeine and alcohol

  • Meat, eggs, dairy products

  • Grains and starches

Purium Products

Each Transformation pack contains Power Shake powder, Apothe-Cherry concentrated tart cherry juice, and Super Amino 23 amino acid supplements. The Weight Loss package also includes Daily Fiber Blend powder and Super Lytes supplements.

Fruits and Vegetables

Three servings of a "flex food" or "flex beverage" are allowed per day. Flex foods include avocado, apple, watermelon, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, kimchi, and summer squash. For most of these, the serving size is one cup.

Flavorings

Dress up your flex foods with organic tropic oil, freshly squeezed lemon, Himalayan sea salt, raw honey, or fresh herbs and spices.

Flex Beverages

These may be consumed alone or mixed with Power Shake powder, but they count toward the three daily servings of food or beverage: hemp, almond, coconut, or oat milk; kombucha; organic vegetable broth; decaffeinated herbal tea; coconut water; and Purium green drinks.

Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are not allowed on the program, and Purium recommends withdrawing from these in the days prior to starting your cleanse (three to five days prior for coffee).

Meat, Eggs, Dairy Products

The 10-Day Transformations are vegan plans and no animal products are permitted. The instructions recommend avoiding meat, dairy, and processed foods for two to three days before the 10-Day transformation period.

Grains, Starches, Other Fruits and Vegetables

Any food that isn't on the flex foods list is off limits. That includes all grains, processed foods, and fruits and vegetables including bananas, potatoes, corn, and winter squash.

Recommended Timing

The meal replacement shakes and supplements are spread out at two-hour intervals. Here's how a day would look if you rose at 7 a.m. Flex foods or beverages can be consumed at any three of these intervals.

  • 7 a.m.: Super Amino 23, Super Lytes, and water
  • 9 a.m.: Power Shake
  • 11 a.m.: Super Amino 23, Super Lytes, and water
  • 1 p.m.: Power Shake
  • 3 p.m.: Super Amino 23, Super Lytes, and water
  • 5 p.m.: Power Shake
  • 30 to 60 minutes before bed: Apothe-Cherry and Daily Fiber Blend

Resources and Tips

Fitness activities are not promoted on this program. In fact, according to instructions, exercise should be limited to light walking and yoga. The instructions also recommend getting a good night's sleep each night while on the transformation.

Purium offers inspirational tips by text, support-group style phone calls, and a Facebook group for people doing these plans. All are optional.

Modifications

The 10-Day Transformation - Athletes plan offers some different products and ingredients, as well as allowing one 300-calorie "lifestyle meal" for every 30 minutes of daily exercise. These meals can include whole grains and lean protein, along with fruits and vegetables.

The Weight Loss Transformation plan recommends adding an additional flex food serving, or a lifestyle meal, if you feel tempted to cheat or abandon the program.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Structured plan

  • Short-term weight loss

Cons

  • Cost

  • Extremely low in calories

  • Does not teach healthy habits

Pros

Structured Plan

On this eating plan, everything is prescribed and set up for you. There are few decisions to make other than what flavor of shake you want or which flex food to eat (and even in those cases, your options are quite limited).

Short-Term Weight Loss

By limiting your calories to this degree, you are almost guaranteed to lose weight. However, it may return quickly once you go back to a regular diet. (Purium also offers 40-day programs and dozens of other dietary products and supplements.)

The quick weight loss and all-inclusive packaging of the Purium 10-Day Transformation might be appealing. But be aware of the drawbacks to this program.

Cons

Cost

Each package retails for about $249, although you can sign up for a rewards program to get discounts and earn points.

Very Restrictive

The Purium 10-day cleanse for weight loss claims to activate the hormone adiponectin, burn fat, build muscle, and aid the body in detoxifying and cleansing the digestive tract.

According to Purium, its shakes and supplements flood the body with nutrient-dense, low-calorie superfoods, helping to break addictions to foods containing sugar, salt, carbohydrates, and chemicals. On a 10-Day Transformation, you'll consume about 600 calories a day.

"Diets that are less than 1200 calories per day do not provide enough energy or nutrition for the necessary, basic biological functions of an adult human,” says preventive cardiologist Yasmine Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP. “Plus, severe calorie restriction sends the body into starvation mode, which makes humans hold on to weight rather than continue to lose it. These diets usually backfire for that reason, as well as for the fact that they are simply unsustainable." 

Does Not Teach Healthy Habits

When you drink meal-replacement shakes and take supplements for the majority of your daily food intake, there is no opportunity to learn healthy eating habits, smart cooking skills, or portion control. All of these are all important to maintaining weight loss.

How It Compares

The Purium 10-Day Transformation bears a resemblance to some other meal-replacement and low-calorie plans. Although it may claim to offer complete nutrition, it does not meet expert advice for healthy eating.

USDA Recommendations

Nutrition

US dietary guidelines suggest eating a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products each day. Experts also note that it's better to get nutrients from foods vs. supplements. On the Purium diet, most of the protein you consume is from powdered shake mix, and the only other solid foods you eat are fruits and vegetables.

Calories

The Purium plan is much lower in calories than the USDA's recommendation of about 1600 to 2000 calories per day for weight loss. Since daily calorie needs vary significantly depending on your age, weight, sex, and activity level, use this calculator to determine a goal that's right for you.

Similar Diets

These diets all rely, at least to some extent, on meal replacements to promote rapid weight loss.

Purium Diet

  • Nutrition: Meal replacement shakes, supplements, and minimal fruits and vegetables make up the 10-Day Transformation - Weight Loss diet.
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Practicality: Everything is organized and planned, but you'll pay about $20 a day.
  • Sustainability: The diet is only meant to last 10 days, but it isn't likely to promote lasting weight loss or teach habits that users could benefit from after the 10-day period.

Isagenix

  • Nutrition: Much like the Purium plan, the Isagenix diet consists mostly of meal-replacement shakes and supplements. Many different products and programs are available.
  • Duration: The timeline varies, but Isagenix's 30-Day System is one of the company's most popular plans.
  • Practicality: Similar to Purium, Isagenix offers a structured plan that takes much of the guesswork and decision-making out of a user's hands (in exchange for a cost of about $10 per day).
  • Sustainability: It's not safe or healthy to restrict calories or nutrients in this way for any significant period of time.

Medi-Weightloss Diet

  • Nutrition: On the Medi-Weightloss Diet, users eat a very low-calorie, high-protein diet during the first, or "acute weight loss," phase. They also consume dietary supplements. In subsequent phases, they add in more calories and carbohydrate servings.
  • Duration: Varies
  • Practicality: This diet requires weekly visits to a Medi-Weightloss center, which could be time-consuming and costly. Little to no food is provided, so users need to plan, measure, and prepare their own meals in keeping with their Medi-Weightloss instructions.
  • Sustainability: This diet does have a maintenance phase which is similar to other low-carb diets. While the acute phase is not sustainable (due to its restrictiveness and impracticality), the maintenance phase may be.

Very Low-Calorie Diet

  • Nutrition: A very low-calorie diet (800 calories per day, or fewer), this also relies on meal replacements. But they are specially formulated to provide proper nutrition and are available only by prescription.
  • Duration: Varies, but could be as long as 12 weeks
  • Practicality: This diet is simple to understand because most patients consume only the prescribed meal replacements and nothing else. It can be expensive, but some costs may be covered by health insurance.
  • Sustainability: This diet is meant to help people who are dangerously overweight lose weight quickly. It is followed by a maintenance phase during which patients learn how to change their lifestyle to support weight loss.

A Word From Verywell

Most health experts agree that "detox" programs for weight loss that eliminate entire food groups or severely restrict your calorie intake are generally not successful for long-term health or weight loss. In addition, these programs are generally best followed while under the care of a health care provider.

If your goal is weight loss, consider making an appointment with a registered dietitian to put together a plan for sustained, healthy weight loss. Both your body and your budget are likely to benefit from a more conservative approach.

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Article Sources

  • Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.