I was today years old when I found out about the existence of the Feel Great System by Unicity. Apparently, it’s going wild on TikTok, that cesspool of bad diets and nutrition misinformation.
This Feel Great System review is going to answer all your burning questions about the Feel Great System by Unicity:
What is the Feel Great System?
Does the Feel Great System work?
What is the research behind the Feel Great System?
Let’s get started.
What is the Feel Great System by Unicity?
The Feel Great System (FGS) is a diet – yes, it’s a diet, just in case you thought it was a ‘lifestyle’ – program that combines two supplements with intermittent fasting. FGS claims to help with appetite regulation and weight loss, all while you eat your regular diet!
Except, that’s a bait and switch – I’m calling it right now. There’s a huge catch.
You can eat your regular food, but you’re only eating for 4 hours a day.
Here’s a graphic from the Feel Great System website:
With only 4 hours a day to consume food, what do you think is going to happen?
Your caloric intake will go down.
You’ll lose weight.
It isn’t rocket science.
So, does the Feel Great System work? I’m sure it does….for a while. But, it’s important to consider what we consider to be ‘success’ in weight loss.
Does your version of ‘success’ mean losing weight, only to gain it back shortly after? Most of us would agree that this isn’t a healthy way to eat or live. When you’re considering a new diet, your first question should be if it’s sustainable for LIFE. That’s how long you’re going to have to follow something like the Feel Great System, in order to keep the weight off.
Once you go off of a restrictive diet and start eating normally (face it: this is inevitable), the weight comes back, sometimes even more.
The Feel Great System site uses the words ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ to describe the program.
These are red flags that play on your emotions.
As a dietitian, I’ve seen these words used to describe diet after diet, and it’s a total game to make you feel bad about yourself when you inevitably fail on whatever program it is that you’re using.
As in, ‘this diet is easy, why couldn’t I sustain it? I’m a failure.’
Let’s say this: diets like the Feel Great System diet are created for short-term use. The vast majority of people probably don’t want to restrict their eating to 4 hours a day, and would find that extremely difficult to maintain.
The problem is that not only is eating in such a short time span miserable, it ripples out to the other areas of our lives.
What sort of example are we setting for our kids when we restrict food like this?
What do we do about social gatherings, if our meal timing is so rigid? How about when we’re travelling?
Some people don’t care about these things. I’m willing to bet that most of us do.
The Feel Great System supplements.
The Feel Great System diet doesn’t only use time-restricted eating, it also requires two supplements, Unimate and Balance.
Interestingly, the site links to buy Feel Great System supplements go to Amazon (I found a 60-pack of both supplements for $299 CAD). I find it extremely random and concerning that this program doesn’t seem to have a dedicated store from which to sell its products.
Unicity Unimate, which is taken in the morning as ‘breakfast.’ Nope. That’s not breakfast, but let’s ignore that fact for right now.
The company claims that Unimate does a whole host of things:
Unimate is basically a yerba mate supplement. Yerba mate comes from a plant and is used as a tea. It’s thought of as an appetite suppressant and fat burner, although the research isn’t so sure about that.
The research on yerba mate, according to examine.com, is fairly unremarkable for its effects on fat oxidation, blood glucose, and cholesterol. This 2014 study in 14 people found that a 1g dose of yerba mate before exercising did increase fat oxidation levels over carbohydrate usage. This is promising, but the study is old and small, and not exactly proof that Unimate is effective for weight loss.
I couldn’t find any research on the Unimate product itself.
I also couldn’t find any evidence that the other claims about Unimate – promoting feelings of well-being, promoting ketone production, helps with digestion, promotes mental clarity, and supports metabolic health (note the use of the word ‘supports’ – intentionally vague to avoid making a claim that goes against the FDA rules on health claims).
All in all, a very expensive supplement that may have limited usefulness.
Unicity Balance is a fibre supplement that – surprise! – is based on a proprietary formula of different fibre sources. Proprietary formulas are a supplement red flag. It goes without saying that when you’re putting something into your body – especially a supplement with different ingredients – you should want to know:
What’s in the supplement.
If the ingredients in the supplement are in effective doses.
If the ingredients in the supplement are in doses that may interact with anything else you may be taking.
Unfortunately, proprietary formulas hide a lot of that info (except for point #1). I consider them to be a screen that companies hide behind, not only to not give up their supplement recipes, but also to theoretically (I’m not saying that this company is doing this, but you have to consider it) provide sub-clinical doses of whatever it is they’re selling.
Unicity Balance only has 3 grams of fibre per serving. That’s a tiny amount for an actual fibre supplement. The supplement also has a mixture of vitamins and minerals, which you can get from food – provided you’re eating a varied diet.
I don’t recommend vitamins and minerals for anyone, unless they have a specific reason for taking them…like, a deficiency. Even in that case, I’d recommend taking only what you’re deficient in, not a multivitamin.
The average person should be consuming at least 25 grams of fibre per day. Unless you’re taking care to get that much fibre in your diet, especially if you’re only eating for 4 hours a day, you’re probably not getting enough.
3 grams of fibre twice a day is probably not going to help all that much, and it’s questionable as to whether Unicity Balance has all of the effects that Unicity promises for it.
I highly doubt that an extra 6 grams of fibre will help ‘curb appetite between meals’ and, ‘help reduce carbohydrate absorption in the body.’
Fibre is known to help with blood glucose regulation, gut health, and cholesterol levels.
Eating adequate fibre may also help with weight management because fibre increases satiety, but – and this is an aside – just being ‘full’ isn’t the same as being ‘satisfied.’ This is what diets have always gotten wrong. Filling our stomachs with fibre-rich vegetables instead of a combination of fats, proteins, and carbs, isn’t satisfying to most people.
Satisfaction is an emotion. Satiety is a physical feeling.
If you aren’t satisfied, you’re probably going to be foraging in the kitchen shortly after your meal. Unicity Balance isn’t going to help much with that.
Also, if you really need a fibre supplement, you can buy one (or just psyllium) at a health food store for a lot cheaper.
Feel Great System research.
The science team for Unicity has no dietitians; it’s mostly scientists and, surprise! Ted Naiman, a family medicine doc who I blocked on Twitter (X) ages ago. I forget why, but he’s an often-shirtless, low-carb evangelist. Need I say more.
I always love to check the research behind weight loss products, and Unicity didn’t disappoint.
At least, they had lots of research, but it was mostly centred around a product called Bios Life.
There was one study done on the Feel Great System, though. The results look impressive!
But wait – not so fast.
Not only was the study small – with 42 participants – it was also short, lasting only 60 days.
The study wasn’t blinded, and there was no control group.
But that’s not all!
The authors of the study?
Scientists who work for Unicity.
The participants in the study?
Could the risk of bias be any higher? I think not. In terms of methodology, this is all pretty atrocious.
While the layperson may not catch any of this while looking at the ‘research’ section of the Unicity website, I certainly did. It’s a huge red flag.
Some of the other ‘research’ in this section was similarly pathetic. At least three ‘studies’ (and here) (and here) were done by a Unicity scientist, were tiny, and revealed an inadequate amount of information on the methodology used.
Some of the studies listed were on rats.
Still others were done, again, by Unicity itself, and not peer-reviewed or published in a reputable journal.
Some of the studies were not on Unicity products at all.
Garbage in, garbage out, as we say in my business.
The Feel Great System probably ‘works’ because it’s a low-calorie diet. That is all. If the thought of eating for only four hours a day is exciting to you, go ahead and try it, but as a dietitian, I don’t recommend it.
Four hours a day may not be enough to get all of the nutrients you require, and taking supplements to make up for that is not how we’re meant to get our vitamins and minerals. In fact, it’s a huge red flag.
A four-hour eating window may also have negative effects on your lifestyle and those around you.
I am not convinced of the efficacy of the Feel Great System supplements, Unimate and Balance. If fat burning herbs resulted in clinically relevant weight loss, they’d be regulated by the FDA and prescribed as first-line treatment for obesity.
If you don’t get enough fibre from your diet, go buy a cheaper fibre supplement from the health food store.
Better yet, try eating more fibre from food. Beans, lentils, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all rich sources.
Feel Great System review in short:
Thumbs down. Way down.