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The Forever Living C9 Nutritional Cleansing Programme (previously known as the Clean 9) is a diet and detox plan that promises to help you lose weight quickly.

Diets that promise fast weight loss can be very popular, and the Forever Living C9 diet is no exception.

However, many people who try fad diets are unable to keep the weight off, and some of these diets are not safe to do long-term.

This article reviews the Forever Living C9 diet, including what it is, its requirements, and whether it’s worth trying.

DIET REVIEW SCORECARD
  • Overall score: 0.9
  • Weight loss: 1
  • Healthy eating: 0
  • Sustainability: 1.25
  • Whole body health: 1.25
  • Nutrition quality: 0
  • Evidence based: 2

BOTTOM LINE: The Forever Living C9 diet is a highly restrictive 9-day detox that may lead to temporary weight loss. However, it’s a very low calorie diet that relies heavily on processed supplements and cannot be sustained long-term. Overall, its lack of scientific evidence and its overly restrictive nature make it a diet you should avoid.

Previously known as the Clean 9 Diet, the Forever Living C9 Nutritional Cleansing Programme — also referred to as Forever C9 — is a 9-day detox diet for fast weight loss.

It’s a low calorie plan that focuses on the use of meal replacement drinks and weight loss supplements. It’s the first step of the Forever F.I.T. Programme, which includes three steps:

  • Forever C9 Nutritional Cleanse
  • F15 Weight Management
  • V5 Sports Performance

Proponents of the diet claim that it can help cleanse your body and make you feel lighter, look better, and lose weight in just 9 days.

To do the diet, you need to purchase a Forever C9 diet pack from the Forever company website or from one of the brand’s distributors.

Pros

  • quick and easy to follow
  • encourages physical activity

Cons

  • highly restrictive
  • expensive
  • unlikely to produce sustainable weight loss
  • does not teach sustainable healthy habits, such as food skills
  • relies on supplements not backed by research

To follow the diet, you’ll need to purchase a Forever C9 diet pack. The pack includes:

  • two 1-liter (34-ounce) bottles of Forever Aloe Vera Gel.
  • Forever Lite Ultra with Aminotein meal replacement drink powder (15 servings)
  • Forever Therm herbal supplement (18 tablets)
  • Forever Garcinia Plus herbal supplement (54 softgels)
  • Forever Fiber (9 packets)
  • shaker bottle
  • tape measure
  • information booklet, including an exercise plan

As explained in the information booklet, the Forever Living C9 diet is broken into three parts.

Part One: Days 1–2

  • Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels (then wait 30 minutes) and 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water
  • Workout: Follow breakfast with 30 minutes of low intensity exercise (yoga, a light walk, etc.).
  • Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with 1 cup (236 mL) of water
  • Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels (then wait 30 minutes), 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet, and 1 meal replacement drink made with 1 1/4 cups (285 mL) of skim milk
  • Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels (then wait 30 minutes), 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water
  • Evening: 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water

Part Two: Days 3–8

  • Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels (then wait 30 minutes), 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet, and 1 meal replacement drink made with 1 1/4 cups (285 mL) of skim milk
  • Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with 1 cup (236 mL) of water
  • Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1 Forever Therm tablet, and 1 meal replacement drink made with 1 1/4 cups (285 mL) of skim milk
  • Workout: Follow lunch with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (e.g., running, swimming).
  • Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels and a 600-calorie meal; men can have an additional 200 calories or an extra meal replacement shake
  • Evening: at least 1 cup (236 mL) of water

If you prefer to have a larger meal at lunch, you can have your 600-calorie meal at lunch instead of dinner.

Part Three: Day 9

  • Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels (then wait 30 minutes), 1/2 cup (120 mL) of aloe vera gel with 1 cup (236 mL) of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet, and 1 meal replacement drink made with 1 1/4 cups (285 mL) of skim milk
  • Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with 1 cup (236 mL) of water
  • Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1 Forever Therm tablet, and a low sugar 300-calorie meal (instead of the meal replacement shake)
  • Workout: Follow lunch with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (e.g., running, swimming).
  • Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels and a 600-calorie meal; men can have an additional 200 calories or an extra meal replacement shake
  • Evening: at least of 1 cup (236 mL) of water

Additional guidelines

Throughout the 9 days, you’ll also need to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid fizzy and carbonated drinks.
  • Avoid using salt — use herbs and spices instead.
  • Eat as many “free foods” (see next section) as you need to.
  • Weigh yourself on days 1, 3, 6, and 9.
  • Wait 30 minutes after taking the Garcinia Plus softgels before drinking the aloe vera gel.

In addition to the supplements included in each Forever C9 pack, the Forever Living C9 diet allows you to eat some foods freely or 1–2 times per day.

One-serving foods

You’re allowed to have one serving of these vegetables or fruits each day:

  • apricots (3 total)
  • apple (1 medium)
  • artichoke (1 medium)
  • blackberries (1 cup)
  • blueberries (3/4 cup)
  • boysenberries (3/4 cup)
  • cherries (1/2 cup)
  • figs (2 small)
  • grapes (3/4 cup)
  • grapefruit (1/2 medium)
  • kiwi (1 medium)
  • orange (1 small)
  • peach (1 medium)
  • pear (1 small)
  • plum (1 medium)
  • prunes (2 medium)
  • raspberries (1 cup)
  • edamame (1/4 cup shelled)
  • strawberries (8 medium)

Two-serving foods

You’re allowed to have two servings of these vegetables or fruits each day:

  • asparagus (8 spears)
  • cauliflower (1/6 head)
  • bell pepper (1 medium)
  • snow or snap peas (3/4 cup)
  • tomato (1 medium)

Free foods

You can eat unlimited amounts of these foods:

  • arugula
  • celery
  • green onion
  • lettuce (all types)
  • endive
  • broccoli
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • kale
  • leeks
  • spinach
  • string beans

Vegetables (except artichokes and soybeans) should be eaten raw or lightly steamed and without oil or dressing. Other foods should be consumed only as part of your one-meal-a-day allowance and should follow the recipes provided by the company.

The Forever Living C9 diet includes three supplements that the company claims can help you detox and lose weight. Here is a closer look at each one.

Aloe vera gel

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The main supplement in the Forever Living C9 diet is aloe vera gel.

Aloe vera gel is made up of the inner gel and pulp of the aloe leaf. The rind and outer leaf are removed during processing.

The inner part of the leaf is more than 96% water. The remaining part contains some soluble fiber and sugars (1).

It also contains small amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements; some organic acids; and anthraquinone, a known laxative (1).

Aloe vera gel has been linked to potential benefits, such as improved digestion, when taken orally. It’s also thought to have antidiabetic, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticancer properties (1, 2, 3).

However, there are very few quality studies in humans to confirm these benefits. Instead, most of the evidence to support these effects comes from anecdotal reports or animal studies (1, 2, 3).

In one older study of 136 people with obesity and untreated type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, those who took aloe vera capsules daily for 8 weeks lost 1% of their body fat, while the placebo group experienced no change (4).

While this may sound promising, the benefits of aloe vera supplements were minimal.

The study also had several limitations, including reliance on a 24-hour diet recall rather than a more extensive food journal, a lack of monitoring of physical activity, and the use of a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) machine to measure body fat (4).

BIA devices use electrical currents to measure body composition. While they’re quick and easy to use, they’re not the most accurate method, and a person’s food and fluid intake can affect the measurements.

Overall, more research is needed to investigate the benefits of aloe vera supplements for weight loss in humans.

Garcinia Plus

Garcinia Plus capsules contain garcinia cambogia extract, a weight loss supplement that is produced from a fruit of the same name.

Garcinia cambogia contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid, which is its main active ingredient (5).

Some claim that garcinia cambogia supplements help you burn more fat when taken as part of a diet and exercise program and that they help keep hunger at bay by reducing your appetite. However, the research on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia is limited.

One older review found that people who took garcinia cambogia lost 2 pounds (0.88 kg) more than those taking a placebo. However, there was no difference in weight loss when the researchers looked at only the high quality studies (6).

A more recent review also questioned the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia for promoting weight loss, suggesting that most research does not provide strong evidence to support taking this dietary supplement (7).

Other studies investigating these claims have found mixed results (8, 9, 10, 11).

The authors of a 2021 review expressed concerns over the safety of garcinia cambogia supplements.

They noted that many fat loss aids containing garcinia cambogia have had serious side effects, including pancreatitis and liver damage. Though more research is needed, the authors suggested avoiding long-term use of products containing garcinia cambogia (12).

Forever Therm

According to the company, the Forever Therm herbal supplement is designed to boost energy levels and increase your metabolism.

The main active ingredients in this supplement are raspberry ketones and green tea extract, both of which have been studied for their potential role in weight loss.

Drinking green tea and taking green tea extract supplements have been linked with modest weight loss, potentially as a result of a minor increase in metabolism and suppression of hunger (13, 14, 15, 16).

However, green tea’s effect on fat burning is thought to be minor and may not apply to all people, especially those who regularly drink beverages with caffeine.

Raspberry ketones are natural compounds found in red raspberries that have been investigated as a weight loss agent.

To date, nearly all the studies on raspberry ketones have been carried out in animals or in test tubes.

In some of these studies, raspberry ketones have been linked with fat burning and weight loss, but only at very high doses. Other studies have found that raspberry ketones have no effect on weight loss beyond a calorie deficit (17, 18, 19, 20, 21).

Notably, weight loss occurred only with exceedingly high doses that would likely be unsafe for human consumption.

Only one clinical trial has investigated the effects of raspberry ketones in humans, and it found that they did lead to significant weight loss (22).

However, the supplement studied also contained other ingredients, such as caffeine, capsaicin, ginger, garlic, and bitter orange, so it’s unknown whether raspberry ketones played any role. Also, dietary supplement companies funded the study, and this may bias the results (22).

Ultimately, the ingredients found in Forever Therm have little scientific backing and are unlikely to promote meaningful weight loss.

At the time of publishing, Forever Living C9 Nutritional Cleanse costs $143.05, or approximately $15.89 per day.

After completing the 9-day cleanse, you’re meant to start the next phase of the program, known as F15, which costs $156.59 for a 15-day supply of supplements.

After you complete the F15 plan, the company recommends taking some of its supplements indefinitely.

Like all commercial diet programs, the Forever Living C9 diet has many anecdotal reports of both success and failure.

Currently, there’s no research to support the effectiveness or safety of the Forever Living C9 diet.

Still, while the diet hasn’t been formally studied, the plan is very low in calories and encourages daily physical activity, so it’s likely that you will initially lose weight simply by creating a calorie deficit (23, 24, 25).

However, some of the weight lost is likely to be due to a loss of water weight and stored carbs rather than a loss of body fat.

Unless you make long-term changes to your diet, you will likely regain any weight you’ve lost as soon as you return to eating a more typical diet (26, 27).

Also, because the diet does not teach sustainable food skills — such as preparing healthy meals, meal planning, and reading nutrition labels — you’re more likely to return to your previous eating habits (28, 29).

As for the detox aspect of this diet, many people report an energy boost and say they feel better after a period of detoxing. However, this is most likely due to the elimination of alcohol and other unhealthy foods from your diet, rather than from any special “detox” effects.

Ultimately, if you want to make lasting changes in your weight, you’ll need to follow a more sustainable eating style that promotes a modest calorie deficit through regular physical activity and eating mostly whole, minimally processed foods.

There are a few side effects and safety concerns to be aware of if you decide to try the Forever Living C9 diet.

People who go on very low calorie diets may experience tiredness, irritability, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

Although aloe vera is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it can cause a few unwanted side effects in some people. Side effects reported to the Food and Drug Administration include (30):

  • stomach problems
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • allergic reactions
  • liver toxicity, with sustained use

Additionally, aloe vera can act as a laxative, especially when taken in large amounts. Considering that the diet encourages drinking aloe vera throughout the day, this is something to keep in mind (30).

The Forever Living C9 diet is not recommended for people who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, or dementia.

Those who are pregnant or nursing should also avoid this diet since it’s very low in calories and promotes many supplements that have not been well studied.

If you do decide to try this diet, you should follow it for only 9 days. After that, you may run the risk of serious nutrient deficiencies.

At the time of publishing, the Forever Living C9 program has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars on the company’s website based on 21 reviews, but this is likely biased.

On Amazon, the program’s product package has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews say that the diet promotes fast weight loss and is easy to follow.

However, negative reviews mention that while you will lose weight quickly, you’ll regain the weight just as quickly. Other negative comments mention that the plan is expensive, features ineffective and bad-tasting products, and causes unwanted side effects such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and rapid heart rate.

Notably, Forever Living failed Healthline’s rigorous vetting process due to unethical business practices.

Forever Living relies on multilevel marketing (MLM) to sell its products. Though MLM models are not illegal, they’re predatory and often make false and extravagant claims about participants’ profit-making capability.

Because MLMs are historically predatory and unprofitable for downline sellers, they’re considered unethical, and Healthline cannot recommend them.

Finally, Forever Living has been involved in numerous lawsuits related to its business and financial practices and false health claims.

Forever Living C9 detox is highly restrictive and expensive. It also relies on supplements that are not backed by scientific research and are unlikely to result in meaningful and sustainable weight loss.

Further, Forever Living operates using an MLM structure, which is often considered predatory and unethical.

For these reasons, it’s best to avoid the Forever Living C9 diet.

Heads up

Trying to “do it right” when it comes to nutrition may feel tempting, but it can backfire.

If you are preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.

Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, body size, socioeconomic status, or other identities.

They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.

Feel empowered to talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re struggling.

You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.

If you’re looking to manage your weight in a more enjoyable and sustainable way, it’s best to focus on a well-rounded lifestyle that includes eating a nutritious diet, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.

While there are many diet programs out there, one of the best things you can do is work with a trained professional such as a registered dietitian, who can help design a personalized eating plan for you.

If this is not an option, trying out another weight loss program, such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers) or Noom, can be a starting point.

You may want to try using one of the many meal planning and delivery companies that provide nutritious prepared or partially prepared meals based on your desired eating style and preferences. Here are some great examples:

  • PlateJoy: This dietitian-created meal planning app provides a personalized meal plan to fit your health goals, cooking preferences, and budget.
  • Daily Harvest: Featuring mostly organic ingredients, Daily Harvest provides prepared and preportioned meals and snacks to make mealtime a breeze.
  • Factor: Factor’s meals are made with fresh, high quality ingredients and designed by registered dietitians and trained chefs. In fact, Healthline Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, declared it the best prepared meal delivery service.
  • Purple Carrot: One of the few fully plant-based meal kit delivery services, Purple Carrot is ideal for individuals, couples, or families who are looking to eat healthier while following a vegan diet.
  • HelloFresh: HelloFresh provides family-friendly meal kits that are more affordable than those of many similar services on the market. The service offers a Fit & Wholesome menu plan designed for people who are trying to lose or maintain their weight.
  • Sunbasket: Sunbasket is Healthline’s pick for the best overall meal delivery service. It offers several plans to support your weight loss efforts, including Mediterranean, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly, Vegetarian, and Carb-Conscious.

Ultimately, it’s important to find what works best for you and your lifestyle, which may require a little trial and error.

How many times can you do the Clean 9?

The Forever Living C9 diet (previously known as the Clean 9) is meant to be followed for only 9 days. After that, you’re supposed to increase your calorie intake and follow the F15 diet for 15 days. Finally, you’ll continue with a maintenance program known as V5 (Sports Performance).

Considering how restrictive it is, you should not follow the Forever Living C9 diet for more than 9 days. If you wish to try it again, it’s best to wait a few weeks to make sure you’ve provided your body with enough nutrients and calories.

Who shouldn’t try the Clean 9 diet?

The company behind the diet, Forever Living, provides a list of people who should not try the Forever Living C9 diet. This list includes people with the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • dementia
  • epilepsy
  • pregnancy or nursing

Though the company does not mention this, no one with a history of disordered eating or a current eating disorder should try the diet.

Considering how strict the diet is and how little quality evidence is available to support it, most people are better off avoiding it.

If you stick to them, very low calorie diets can help you lose weight in the short term.

The Forever Living C9 diet is no different. Its structured plan and rules may help some people lose weight initially. However, you’re likely to regain any weight you lose unless you transition to a more sustainable regimen.

Plus, the plan is expensive, and there is little evidence to support the use of its supplement package.

Overall, because it’s not a solution for long-term health and may promote an unhealthy relationship with food and your body, we recommend skipping the Forever Living C9 diet and opting for a more sustainable option instead.