Earlier this week one of my clients bought an iFit rowing machine, (YES girl! Get that activity while leading a busy life! Invest in yourself!) and was asking me about the iFit Nutrition program that advertises “a personalized meal replacement.”
I LOVE a quiz so, of course, I had them personalize a mix for me.
The form asked me questions like how often I worked out and what kind of exercise I did, what my goals were, and how much sunlight I was exposed to in a day, among other things. So the first time I filled it out as though I were actually going to buy the product with accurate information about myself. I put that I do cardio three days a week and weight lift three days a week and that I get around 15 minutes of sunlight per day. I also put that my goals were to maintain my weight and to tone/sculpt. I expected they’d give me a pretty balanced formula with a decent dose of vitamin D.
Boy was I wrong.
First of all, this drink that’s intended to be a meal replacement, “Drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner” provided me with 130 calories. UMMM, EXCUSE ME??? That is not a meal. That is barely a snack. I was seriously upset that, despite inputting that I wanted to maintain my weight, they suggested I consume so little for a meal. Then I played around with the quiz a little more and told it I was a 160 pound man and it only gave me…him?… 160 calories per meal. Again, not liveable as a meal replacement.
Secondly, the whole question about the amount of sun in a day apparently doesn’t change the amount of vitamin D they’ll give you. It’s always 25% of the daily value. The same is true for the rest of the vitamins too; it’s a pre-made mix no matter whether you say that you eat zero vegetables or 7+ servings of vegetables a day.
It was really fun to answer a bunch of questions to make it feel like this protein powder was made for me, but in reality that’s just not the case. And that makes sense, right? This company would spend loads of time custom-creating formulas for every customer. But for my people who have a hard enough time knowing what to eat and how many calories they should have in a meal, this tool could be pretty damaging. If I knew nothing about nutrition, I could’ve assumed that 130 calories is what I should eat for a meal because I put in all this information about myself and this formula was made based on my answers. Yikes.
If you want customized nutrition for real, let us know and we’ll create a plan that’s sustainable, nourishing, and satisfying.
-Jen Lyman, RDN, LD, CLT
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