Apparently Forever Living has been around for years, but I've only known about it when Mark's client, Donia, from Forever Living Middle East asked me if I'm willing to try the C9 Cleansing Program for review. I tried to search online about the program and since Forever Living is one of those multi-level marketing companies, it seemed hard to find unbiased reviews of their products.
I've tried products before which promised quick weight loss and although I'm aware that there's no such quick way for it and that I won't get back to my old 52-kg self in just 9 days, I still decided to give C9 a go. Who wouldn’t want to lose a few pounds, right? And besides, I'm really after it's cleansing benefits.
I hope you will find this post helpful, although please note that this is merely based on my personal experiences and I would urge you not to try anything without carefully thinking things through especially if you have underlying health conditions.
What is C9?C9 stands for Clean 9, a cleansing program that is done for 9 days. Forever Living describes Clean 9 as an “expertly-devised cleansing plan” designed to “cleanse your body and adjust your mindset” as the first step in transforming your diet and fitness habits.
The plan is based around Forever Aloe Vera Gel drink and supplements, as well as daily exercise and calorie-controlled eating. For the first two days of the program, you are not allowed to have meals. You only have to drink the aloe vera gel and take a number of tablets three times a day, along with one fiber powder which can be mixed with water or juice for snack, and a 300-calorie lean protein shake at lunchtime. For the remaining seven days, there's still the aloe vera drink, fiber powder, and tablets; plus you get to have two shakes a day along with a 600-calorie meal.
Within the duration of the program, you are allowed to snack on a number of “free foods” which are mainly fruits and vegetables which low glycemic index (all listed in the accompanying booklet). You can mix these free foods into your shakes or eat them on their own if you need to get rid of hunger pangs.
What's in the box?For 500 AED, the C9 Cleansing Program kit includes: two 1-liter bottles of Forever Aloe Vera Gel, a 15-serving pouch of Forever Lite Ultra shake powder (in either vanilla or chocolate flavor), a box containing two types of supplements (Forever Therm and Forever Garcinia Plus) and Forever Fiber sachets, a shaker, a measuring tape, and a booklet with details about the program where you can also track your daily progress.
The program came to me by surprise, I just received Mark's call and after that, he already brought home the kit the following day; so there's not much preparation for me aside from doing portion control in my food intake even before. If you're planning to do the program, I suggest you cut back on carbs and over-indulging at least a couple of days before starting, to at least prep your body up for the actual cleansing.
The first day turned out pretty well, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I didn't feel hungry at all probably because of the water intake, though I wasn't able to complete the recommended 8 glasses; I think I only had 6. I did a few stretching but didn't complete a 30-minute workout. I walked to and from the grocery store, though, and used the stairs instead of the lift, so I think that can count. :p
I had no issues with taking the tablets, fiber, and protein shake, but it's a totally different story with the aloe vera gel. I just found the aloe gel a bit hard to take. It kind of smelled and tasted sour, with a slightly gooey texture and some aloe bits, it always makes me cringe literally after drinking. 4oz of it should be taken, but I only have 20ml measuring cups (from my cough syrups), so I had to take at least 6 shots. It was somehow a blessing in disguise though since I don't think I can gulp all 4oz down at once! Make sure to have it chilled too.
Surprisingly experienced no hunger pangs today. Yay! I also lost 2kg at the end of this day, so double yay!
This day went well, too. There were mild cravings especially when I checked my Instagram feeds where food is everywhere. I still cringe with every shot of the aloe gel, but they were more tolerable than before.
Didn't get to track my water intake in terms of number of glasses, but I gulped down up to 3 refills of my 1L tumbler at work. I also walked to and from the grocery, did some stretching, and a couple of ab workout, leg raise, and squats.
There were mild hunger pangs and a little nausea, but nothing that I can't handle. Lost 1k at the end of this day.
I was very excited for this day because I can finally eat! There was a boo-boo, though. Just when I thought that I can already eat lunch, it turns out that I cannot have it until dinner, when I logged my progress for breakfast.
Come dinner time, every bite felt magical! I can't remember how many "aaaahhh"s I uttered while munching on almonds (15pcs), ground chicken with mixed veggies, and tabbouleh. It felt like the best dinner I ever had. Hahaha!
No hunger pangs and nausea for this day. Lost another 1k at the end of this day.
These days were all fairly similar–there were cravings especially when it's lunch time at the office–but an extra dose of chocolate whey protein always came in handy. But most of the time, I would just eat an extra mandarin orange at work and I'm all set for the day. My typical dinner would be 1/4 roasted chicken plus boiled broccoli or carrots or cucumber. Water also became my best armor in fighting the hunger pangs which happened roughly by night time on Day 4.
Weight remained the same by the end of Day 4, so I stopped checking my weight on the following days, to add up to the thrill. The booklet also points out that it is best to check the weight at the start and end of the program, since the middle parts would sometimes show weight gain or no changes at all.
I still continued taking the stairs instead of the lift. I also did an hour of boxing session on Days 5 and 6.
I stopped taking notes during these last two days but still kept on the daily routine of water intake, 600-calorie dinner, and exercise. These last two days were also when I felt energized the most, probably because I knew that I won't have to dread the aloe gel anymore. Haha!
How have you been after the cleanse?I feel good! I lost 4kg and a total of 5 inches in 9 days. Still far from my target weight, but it's a surprising achievement for me especially because I seem to have been stuck at a certain weight for a a long time.
I think it also did well for my hormonal imbalance. I've never had regular periods since I was diagnosed with PCOS since 2012. I don't get monthly visits from Aunt Flow, but for the first time in a long time, I had my period on the dot on July, completely 28 days after I had the last on June. I really think the cleansing part worked pretty well for me, so yay!
Though I really didn't notice, Mark also keeps on saying that my skin looks a lot better and glowing now. I have a problem with acne on my face because of hormonal imbalance, and I think C9 did well in eliminating the toxins from my body. I'm sure the water intake helped a lot, too.
I also need to mention that out of all the weight loss and cleansing programs that I've tried, C9 is the only one that didn't give me a hard time when it comes to my GERD. I had zero episodes of acid reflux during the 9-day cleanse, mild hunger pangs, mild nausea, and no fatigue; so another yay!
Would you recommend Clean 9?For somebody with a decent disposable income and very little willpower or an even greater laziness, the program is a good jumpstart. I know my weight loss journey will take a lot longer than 9 days, but I really feel that C9 has given me a good foundation to work from. So yes, if you're looking for a good motivation for looking and feeling better, C9 can really help.
But no, I didn’t finish my leftover aloe vera gel. I still have it in my fridge. Some say you can get used to it, but it's just the case not for me. :p
Honestly though, I think shelling out a sum of money can be prevented just by practicing portion control, being physically active, and cutting out caffeine and sugar intake. And again, I would urge you not to try anything without carefully thinking things through especially if you have underlying health conditions.
If you’re interested in the program I’d definitely recommend chatting with Donia Khoudja so she can provide more information about it. You can reach her at: +971 (0)52 955 7755.
Love it? Pin it!
Forever Living Middle East sent the C9 Cleansing Program kit for us to try, but this post is in no way influenced or paid for. As always, this is sincerely written and all opinions are my own.