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Ashy Bines: Fit or Fraud?

Recently the Ashy Bines “diet plan” was named as one of the worst diets in the country by the Dietitians Association of Australia, yet her popularity continues. Chynna Wilson investigates.

If you’re female, live in Australia, and are one of the many people who have Facebook, then you’ve probably heard of Ashy Bines. For those of you who haven’t, how could you not? She is Australia’s leading body transformation specialist after all. Or so she claims.

In less than a year, Ashy Bines has become a brand name. The 23 year old Gold Coaster made her start as a fitness model before deciding to put her fitness tips and tricks to paper and sell it as a ‘diet plan’ to girls around Australia. For roughly $75 ($69 +GST), you are told you’ll receive not only the ‘diet plan’ but access to a members only forum which claims to give you 24/7 support and guidance from qualified nutritionists, something Ashy is not. Many however have complained that the forum doesn’t provide the support they have paid for, with Ashy often telling people to Google things they want to know. The lack of customer support however, is not the only room of complaint when it comes to the ‘diet plan’. Once you pay that $75, you may be surprised to find that your new diet plan is a mere PDF sent to your email. There are many reviews of Ashy’s ‘diet plan’ on the web, such as the over 200 reviews on www.productreview.com.au, where many of the reviews are negative, though some are positive. One reviewer recently said, “Charging a ridiculous amount of money and getting a PDF of guidelines and access to a forum which quite frankly doesn’t offer much as Ashy is barely ever there to answer her clients questions.”  So if that money you are paying isn’t going towards production, material, or shipping costs, this must be the greatest, most detailed, diet plan ever, right?

You will notice that I put ‘diet plan’ in quotations, because it really isn’t a diet plan at all. It is quite possible to read through all 29 poorly written pages in about 10 minutes. For $75, you don’t even get a document that’s grammatically correct. The amount of grammar mistakes, or lack of spaces between words, at least proves that Ashy probably wrote and edited it herself. Grammatical mistakes aside, the document should not be advertised as a plan, as it is only guidelines.

This is where the Facebook groups Clean Eating Diet Plan Waste of Money and  ‘Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge = Waste of $’  which has over 11,000 members comes in.  Many feel deceived by this ‘diet plan’, thinking they would be getting a plan, but really only getting basic guidelines. These Facebook groups were set up to to increase awareness and share experiences with the Ashy Bines product. An administrator for one of the  groups, Anne O’Louglin, says that this group is not a hate page towards Ashy herself, but simply that Ashy “…has used deception to make sales”, and they are there to try and remedy that. However, if you read closely the description of her diet plan on Ashy’s clean eating website, you will see where she says, “…with my Clean Eating Diet Plan, I’ve put together all of my personal bikini eating guidelines to help you get an amazing body”.  As with anything, you have to read the fine print to know exactly what you are getting. It does however sound contradicting to call your product a ‘diet plan’ but then describe it as guidelines. And not just any guidelines, but “very basic guidelines”, said Ashy herself in her interview on TodayTonight.

It is also important to point out that Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge and her diet plan are two different things. You can join the challenge and receive the diet plan plus you’ll get at minimum of three training sessions per week with trainers for twelve weeks. You can choose between three different challenges depending on what you want to achieve, for three different prices ranging from $37.50 + GST to $150 + GST per week, including a one off registration fee of $49.

If you break down Ashy’s diet plan into one sentence, it could be easily described as a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Eat as much lean protein as you can and limit your carbohydrate intake to the morning. So how many of you spent $75 to gain that great piece of advice? Since Ashy isn’t a qualified dietician, I decided to seek one out to discuss this clean eating trend. I went to dietician Juliet Wiseman to discuss this ‘diet plan’, and whether there is really any scientific proof behind what Ashy is claiming and I found out something interesting. Ms. Wiseman says that, “High protein diets are unnecessary,” and that much of what Ashy claims in her plan, there is no scientific evidence behind. She says people should simply focus on eating as much fruit and vegetables as possible and exercising. Perhaps Ashy should have done her research before compiling her guidelines. So why has Ashy been so successful?

At only 23 years of age, she says she is close to her first million. But then again, she also says, “I’m not money driven”, yet helping girls for free just wasn’t an option I guess. The diet plan has sold over 20,000 copies, and ‘Ashy Bines’ seems to be a brand name, all by her doing of course. After creating this diet plan, and devising a 12 week challenge, she dived right into Ashy Bines products. You can now purchase your very own Ashy Bines protein powder called ‘Tone’, which will set you back roughly $80 for one kilo. You can also buy protein shakers, tank tops, and bracelets. Let’s get this straight; diet plan: check; 12-week challenge: check; protein powder: check; products: check; thousands of devoted Ashy followers that want to look just like her: check. Still wondering how this blonde beauty will soon be able to call herself a millionaire?

Any diet plan has the potential to be successful, because as Ms. Wiseman says, if you start cutting out the bad things, add the good, and start exercising, the pounds will inevitably begin to fall off. If one takes a look at the Ashy Bines Facebook page, which has over 293,000 likes, it is bombarded with before and after pictures which Ashy and her team have posted. A couple months ago when I first decided to “like” the Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge Facebook page, other “likers” could post comments and questions on the Facebook wall. When many of these comments became negative, the wall was shut down to anyone but Ashy and her team.

The administrators of the Waste of $ Facebook page, as well as all their followers, believe that Ashy and her diet plan are breaching Australian Consumer Law (ACL) due to misleading and deceptive conduct. The description of misleading and deceptive conduct in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is,

No matter how a business communicates with you – whether it is through packaging, advertising, logos, endorsements, or sales pitches – you have the right to receive accurate and truthful messages about the goods and services that you buy.

The Facebook group has petitioned to the Commission. Ms. O’Louglin says that Ashy is breaching ACL because, “1. You cannot guarantee weight-loss, [and] 2. You cannot offer 24/7 supervised forums and not provide them.” She also goes onto say that you cannot advertise qualifications which you do not have, and then give advice when you are not qualified to do so. As mentioned before, Ashy claims to Australia’s number one body transformation specialist. Now, you may be wondering who named her as such. Or you may notice that on her Facebook page it says that her program has won the Best Female Health and Fitness Program in Australia award. I was unable to find any information on this award, as has Ms. O’Louglin and Ms. Wiseman. Therefore, such grandeur and prestige may just all be self proclaimed. This is yet another question I asked Ashy, but she refused to answer.

The supervised forum is often a big area of complaint from girls, saying Ashy either takes too long to get to their questions, or does not give sufficient answers, all leading to poor customer service. One product reviewer has said that there is, “No customer support, rude staff, information easily gained elsewhere for free, no refund for dissatisfaction, expensive. In essence, a total scam.” So why is it that girls swear by the plan?

I sought out an actual customer who is more than satisfied with Ashy’s plan. I interviewed Tara Morgan, who says she’s been working out and eating right for a long time and never got the results that she did with Ashy’s diet plan and challenge. The girls that successfully follow Ashy’s plan are very loyal to her and rarely say anything negative about the plan, with many reviewers who are against the plan calling these girls ‘Ashybots’. These girls believe that the only reason that there are negative responses to Ashy’s product is because they are “not following it properly”, and aren’t seeing results. Tara is not far from being an ‘Ashybot’, saying that the lies that end up in the media about Ashy are contrived by girls who only tried the plan for a week and failed, “lazy girls basically.” Tara first joined the plan after a friend of hers had successfully lost weight and regained her confidence after two of Ashy’s challenges. With Ashy’s plan and challenge, Tara lost 7% body fat and created 5kgs of muscle, and she couldn’t be happier with the results. She doesn’t think you can put a price tag on changing your life (which is, ironically, something Ashy often says). Of Ashy’s plan, Tara says, “It is not a scam and the evidence is not only me and the results I have gotten, but the thousands of before and after photos of many girls whose lives are now much happier and healthier because of it, and you have no sense if you think otherwise.”

Of these thousands of before and after photos of girls, the administrators of the Waste of $ Facebook page say that they have found some of those pictures on other weight-loss websites. With the amount of testimonials Ashy posts on her Facebook page each day, this claim is easy to believe. As of recently, Ms. O’Louglin says that the ACCC has contacted Ashy Bines and her team and has given them a deadline to make specific changes to her product. We will just have to wait and see what the future holds for Ashy Bines.

Whether you are looking to lose weight, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, clean eating is undoubtedly a way to do it. However, does it have to come at a hefty price tag? Do your research and odds are you will find other similar plans for free that will also give you the motivation to get your rear end in gear and get the body you want. In the end, Ashy Bines may just be another serious case of blonde ambition. You be the judge.

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43 thoughts on “Ashy Bines: Fit or Fraud? by Chynna Wilson

      • hahaha brilliant. and you’re right, that probably was ashy commenting. and also for ‘ashleigh’, how is the poster ‘jealous’? she’s highlighted both the good and the bad of your scam. and even if you reply to my post saying i’m jealous – i’m perfectly happy with my body and don’t need to pay $70+ to make myself feel that 😉

  1. I am in my 2nd round of her boot camps, and Im sorry, but the program she has put together on the group exercise side is great. She only picks fantastic, highly qualified trainers from around Australia (mine are master trainers with the Fitness Institute – they are actually in the Michelle Bridges ads) and I have seen huge results on it. Her message is very simple, eat clean. I dont claim to know everything, but I have researched a lot on different programs, and the reason hers works is because its easily accessible. If you dont want to pay the money for it, you dont have to, its all over the internet anyway. I do agree that gramatically it is pretty shocking, but if you are going to call her a fraud, you should be calling others out there frauds also as they have the same program, just written differently.
    The support my group of 100 girls (all shapes and sizes and varying results) has is wonderful.
    What I do know is that if you dont follow the eating “Plan”, if you do cheat you wont get the results you want.
    Good on her for making $$$ I reckon.

    • Master trainers from the Australian institute of Fitness, are the worst trainers mostly. They only do a 7 week course.. I am a trainer myself and seen the product of these courses. I did my course at tafe to get my Cert IV in fitness and that took 15 months. They are good at marketing themselves but aren’t very good trainers. 7 weeks there is no way you can learn every about being a trainer.

      • And 15 months helped you get that extra expert-status? Please buddy. Do a masters in physiotherapy after a bachelor in physiology and anatomy. With a post-graduate diploma in nutrition, and then come back on the forum with some credentials.

      • @Robert – John is not pretending to be any more than he is. He’s just comparing the extent of study that he went through to become a PT (not an Exercise Physiologist, Scientist or what have you). Pull your head in and stop being a jerk for the sake of it.

    • I completely agree with you! I’m doing my first challenge in Perth right now and it is hands down the best overall training program I’ve been a part of. The support from the others girls and our amazing trainers is what makes the ABBBC work so well. I personally think getting six training sessions a week for $50 is cheap. Paying out right for the diet plan is no different than a joining fee at a gym, the free support you get from everyone involved in your local group or priceless!

    • I think the point that they were trying to make is that over consumption of carbohydrates such as wheats and other grains can cause weight gain, as for high protein diets can also leave you malnutritioned unless you are actually eating the right balance for your body. Certain fruits can cause weight gain and certain foods can have negative effects on your immune system. All of which you can find out for free. It’s good that the group sessions are working for you and the others, if she was just selling that then I’d say “Fantastic “. It’s just the information side that is troubling. It would be better if she didn’t charge for the information and only solid products such as group sessions and her merchandise. The rest just sounds kind of fraudulent (claiming qualifications that she doesn’t have and awards that she gave herself), but she is a good business woman atleast. But if you’re happy that’s great.

  2. There is proof, google ‘stanford a to z study’, which shows the high-protein, low-carb Atkins diet causes the greatest weight loss AND reduction of risk factors.

  3. Ashy Bines is a down right fraud! I got a copy of her eating plan off a friend who had done one of her challenges. After reading through it, boy was I glad I didn’t waste all that money on it. As said in this article it is diet guidelines, and 90% of the stuff written in it is common sense anyway.

    As for Ashy Bines herself. She openly admits to having had a few rounds of cosmetic surgery, but yet still turns around and tells clients that if they follow her advice they can have a body like hers.

    Ashy is neither a qualified dietician or nutritionist, nor is she a certified personal trainer.
    Anyone that wastes money on her ‘diet plan’ or her bikini body challenges has absolute rocks in their head!

    • It’s pretty clear when you read her plan that she doesn’t have much knowledge on nutrition… Talking about fatigue caused by “toxins” leaving the body (the word “toxins” should be an alarm bell for anyone when talking about nutrition… There’s no science behind the idea of toxins), talking about how to avoid putting your body into starvation mode – there’s no such thing – in fact recent studies have show when you eat and how much at each meal has no impact on weight gain/loss provided you burn more cals than you eat, this applies as well to the notion of increasing metabolism. Its incredibly hard to increase metabolism, basically what your metabolism is is what you’re stuck with with only a slight change here or there with concerted effort and of course changes that occur naturally with age.

      That being said, the recommended foods are all sensible and will definitely help one to become healthier and see positive changes if you are to follow it.

  4. I found the article highly informative, providing a good analysis. I am puzzled by the general responses it generated. I think it’s fair that whenever a product is placed on the market, that everyone be free to review it. Furthermore, the above article simply brings to light to a number of points which seem fair and in line with the concerns which everyone one of us should have. Make no mistake, this article does not look to insult or discredit Ashy Bine as a person or her incredible motivational skills as a trainer, but it does highlight a number of things which IF Ashy Bines were as professional as she claims to be, she would address to the people that believed enough in her to buy her meal plans in the first place.

    The fact that she may have sloppily put together a poorly written “meal plan” is forgivable, if she apologized and took the steps to correct her mistakes.

    All in all the reactions this article has generated feel immature, petty and plain stupid.

    Ashy, why don’t you simply address the concerns in this article directly? If you are after all mature enough to have and run your own company, you should be mature enough to deal with the problems which have rise and may arise in the future. Make this YOUR challenge.

    x Ing

  5. John, I obviously cant comment for all of the trainers in the other ABBBC programs around the country, however the ones that take the program Im involved in have degrees & phds in sport science, nutrition and have gone on to complete other training programs including strength & conditioning, cross fit, boxing, group fitness and a number of others. Compared to other “professionals” in the past I have paid money to, my trainers are highly educated and live & breathe their work. Couldn’t be happier to be involved in it.

  6. The reason that the photos can be found on other weight loss websites is that the training component of the plan is outsourced to trainers all over the country, who also run businesses, gyms, weight-loss programs, and so girls who sign up for the Ashy-Bines program at their gym (say) will lose weight under that program but with that gym, and so the before and after shots will be used as marketing by both companies. It doesn’t mean that the person who lost the weight isn’t real.

    My girlfriend pays $20 or $30 a week for the program at our local gym, and she loves it. We both get up at 5am 3 days a week and 6am on Saturdays to be at the gym and she works HARD in the program. The other day she said they did several hundred squats and burpees, push-ups etc.. So it’s not like the program is using an unproven or experimental method. It is about eating sensible, healthy food in sensible portions, cooked in a sensible way (I’m sorry but your nutritionist would never say “just eat lots of fruit and vegetables” without adding the qualification of fresh. You could deep-fry potatoes all day and eat them and let’s see where that will get you).

    I think the value of a women’s-only group where there is a sense of community and support for becoming healthier and happier is awesome and I know my partner is so much happier for it and has really committed to it much more than if just seeing a personal trainer or going to the gym solo.

    At the end of the day, there’s no magic pills and I think people expect to be able to pay their way into looking good without the personal discipline element.

  7. My sister in law has been on the program for 3 rounds now and has lost over 25kg. She looks absolutely amazing! I don’t need to believe in before and after photos, I have her as my inspiration. I joined this round, and I can honestly say I love it. Ashy’s diet plan is a good place to start – it is pretty general knowledge and I can find most clean eating recipes online anyway. The trainers are also there to monitor our food diaries and thanks to the facebook support network we share tips and tricks and keep each other motivated. At the end of the day haters gonna hate but if you want to get fit and healthy and lack motivation/self-drive I would recommend the ABBBC program. Plus personal training sessions for roughly $13 a session is ridiculously cheap! I will pay that over 1x $50 personal training session at the gym any day!

  8. You people complain so much… Stop whining for Christsake! If you follow the plan and exercise, YOU WILL lose weight – Guaranteed –
    Yes, it’s $75… Yes, some recipes and information can be found easily on the internet… Yes, it’s no rocket science: Fewer calories + Eating nutritious wholefoods + exercise = weight loss
    But if it takes this little money for some people to realize it… Then it’s amazing!
    My point is, there’s loads of people that are following this plan (or guidelines… whatever you want to call it) and are getting results.
    So instead of criticising the work of people like Ashy Bines, appreciate the fact that this has been a way for people to transform their bodies and their lives in a very positive way, and be supportive of these kinds of initiatives.

  9. 0 I don’t think Ashy Bines is even her real name, making it harder to sue her. I’m not an expert but check out the video that is online at http://vimeo.com/31424270 (or go to vimeo.com and type in ‘ Yasmin Allen Steve Evans’). The bride in the video looks a whole lit like ‘Ashy Bines’ (just add spray tan & fake breasts which is do-able these days) except her name is Yasmin Allen. The grooms name is Steve Evans (tick) & looks like ‘the’ Steve Evans who is the ‘fianc\’e9’ of “Ashy Bines”. The date is 2011, at Currumbin Gold Coast (tick). See for yourself to see if you think I’m right….. If so, makes their ‘scam’ even broader….}

  10. I find it quite desperate and sad how people are making articles/blogs against her.. Picking an easy target to bully to gain publicity for themselves. She is actually really good and has helped myself and so many others to loose weight and feel stronger and healthier then ever. You should really try her 12 week challenge yourself before attacking someone just for attention

  11. Well I’m glad I got it of groupon for $23 then, $23 that I would’ve otherwise wasted on something else completely unnecessary. Soon as you redeem your voucher it redirects you to a page with 5 other add on products, which I didn’t buy into, but the protein powder looks good. I have been struggling to find a good tasting protein powder, has anyone tried TONED?

  12. I would worry more about a dietician telling us to eat as much fruit as possible is this the same fruit that contain sugar even if it is natural that would be terrible advice fruit should be eaten in moderation just like any other food

  13. I have the plan. Everything you have written basically sums it up! Thankfully all the Ashy Bine ‘haters’ that were mislead and ripped off, were sharing them out for free. It was a very short and a poorly written guide – felt a waste of time just reading it!

    Ps. You write so well!

    ,S

  14. Ashy bines diet plan: scam
    Bikini body challenge: scam
    Ashy bines: scam
    (Remove her extensions, veneers, makeup, boob job, nose job, tan, lashes…….
    Yet she tells ladies to be themsleves and she’s not money driven?
    Sure.

  15. It does not matter if ashy is qualified or not if she achieved weight loss and to get fit and healthy, then she can offer her story and how she did it. It might work for some. Not everyone is the same different ways suit different people. She is just trying to make a living like any one of use. How about in stead of telling her how bad u think she is or what she has done wrong, tell her how to fix it so she is in the guide lines.

  16. I was offered a trial for the clean eating plan. I was then charged $92.09 for the plan, I emailed them and they basically said its your own fault for not reading the t&cs first of all a trial does not mean I will be signing up but after telling them I no longer wish to have anything to do with this program they then removed a further $93.24 from my bank account. I do not recommended anyone to use this joke of a program.

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