For every success story you will have many failures. Results are not typical. Sounds like a disclaimer but it’s always true for products like these. There are so many factors involved in the determination of your success in weight loss that to expect an easy yes or no answer to the question, “Does Slim Fast work”, is unrealistic.
In other words, when a testimonial of the diet is posted such as, “I lost 23 pounds in 3 weeks” your inclination is likely to be excited about that claim. However since the results are not typical you are also going to ask this question.
The diet involves you replacing breakfast and lunch with Slim Fast shakes and meal bars, snacking in between meals on snack bars or fruit, and eating a 500-calorie dinner. Sounds simple and easy enough, right? Let’s take a closer look and see how the diet works:
- You get to pick 3 snacks to eat in between meals, your choice of snack bars or fruit, vegetables or nuts. The snack bars are 100 calories each, so your choice of fruit, veggies and nuts should also equal 100 calories for each snack portion.
- Choose your 2 breakfast and lunch meal replacements. It’s your choice of either a shake or meal bar, worth about 200 calories each.
- Finally, you’re allowed to eat 1 real plate of food for dinner. This 500-calorie dinner should be made up of 1/2 a plate of vegetables, 1/4 plate of protein, and 1/4 plate of starch or carbs.
Here’s an example of what a typical day on the Slim Fast diet looks like:
- Breakfast – one shake or meal replacement bar
- Snack – your choice of one small pear, one half of a banana, or a snack bar
- Lunch – one shake or meal replacement bar
- Snack – your choice of one small bunch of grapes, one medium orange, or a snack bar
- Dinner – your choice of one broiled halibut with rice and broccoli, fish tacos with bell pepper slaw, or garden vegetable lasagna
- Snack – your choice of one large plum, a 4 oz. cup of unsweetened applesauce, or a snack bar
How Does It Work?
This diet plan limits the calories you’re allowed to take in each day so you’re sure to lose weight, right? And Slim Fast makes it so easy and convenient to follow that how could you possibly fail on the plan, right?
Any diet plan that limits your daily intake of calories down to about 1,300 is a surefire way to lose weight. It involves the basic supply and demand needs of your body. Take in less food than your body requires to function each day and your body will make up for the lack of energy by stealing it from your fat reserve.
It’s a simple concept to understand how to lose weight – eat fewer calories than you burn. That’s the premise of most diets.
Well, your body also makes up for the lack of food and energy in another way other than using the energy from your fat. It’s actually easier for your body to convert muscle into energy. Unless you spend the necessary amount of time and energy to exercise every day, while you’re limiting your calorie intake to lose fat you could also be losing muscle.
Isn’t muscle good and something you what more of, not less? Muscle helps your body burn energy and fat, so the long term effects of losing muscle slows down your metabolism and make it very difficult to maintain a healthy weight after this diet program.
Exercise on this plan is encouraged. Doing a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercises most days of the week will help make sure you don’t lose muscle while on the diet. It also contributes to an overall feeling of good health and wellness.
Eating smaller portions frequently throughout the day is supposed to curb feelings of diet deprivation, although many who’ve tried the Slim Fast have said it requires a lot of willpower to follow it to a tee. Especially when dinnertime comes around and you’re limited to a 500-calorie dinner, many have reported how easy it is to cheat and eat larger portions to fulfill hunger cravings.
In researching what others have to say who have tried the Slim Fast diet already, you’ll find going through the countless posts, comments and emails there is a common theme – hunger. One post from a deprived dieter sums it up,
“Basically that means that you don’t eat all day, until dinner time!”
Does this program work for this person really? Maybe, but you would have to question for how long.
If you read the product labels, you’ll find many of the ingredients include high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and hydrogenated oils, aka. trans fats. Extremely bad for your health, trans fat raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
The sweet and tasty snack bars, which look more like candy bars, are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. The Chocolate Fudge Brownie Meal Bar includes a sugar alcohol called Maltitol. Products that use Maltitol as a sweetener are allowed by the FDA to be labeled as “sugar free”, which many feel is misleading.
Maltitol can have a laxative effect and is known to cause gas and cramping, bloating, diarrhea and more, which explains a common thread among reviewers about experiencing these symptoms after going on the diet. Words from a forum post read:
“I have been eating a lo carb diet for 25 years. I’m physically fit and healthy and never, that I can remember, had any gastro-intestinal symptoms prior to eating some chocolates with Maltitol. The cramps and bloating were unbearable. I’ve since learned that this experience is common to many people.
Some people I know withauto-immune disorders have complained of flare-ups after eating foods with Maltitol. Are they connected or merely a coincidence?
I can’t help but wonder whether something producing such powerful symptoms as Maltitol could have hidden, long term dangers to our bodies and our health.
I hope others out there are asking similar questions and doing some research.”
Even if you have the willpower to endure feeling hungry all the time, “Does this plan work” as a question is debatable since the side effects of some of the ingredients is enough to make this diet plan a nightmare for many people. Let alone the side effects, the Slim Fast recall at the end of 2009 is enough to make you second-guess the safety of your health.
Before this question, let’s answer that question with another question that should help you in making your decision…if you lose weight on this diet plan, can you keep the weight off when you go off the diet?
You can’t plan on drinking shakes and eating meal replacement bars for the rest of your life. Eventually you have to go back to eating regular food. Meal replacement diets have not demonstrated long-term weight loss success. Maintaining a healthy weight once you reach your ideal weight should be a part of the overall plan.
You must also consider the cost of the Slim Fast diet plan, which many would describe as being very pricey. But who cares because it’s a means to an end to losing weight fast and a happier and healthier you, right? That’s the price you have to pay if you want to lose weight…or is it?
What if you could stop dieting, start eating, and start living? You’re invited to learn about a diet solution program that involves eating real food and plenty of it to lose and maintain a healthy weight.