The Slim Fast Diet Reviewed: Does SlimFast Work?
The Slim Fast diet… hmmm. As I started this review, I spent some time searching for something — anything — positive to say about this diet. The only thing I could come up with is that the Slim Fast diet plan is mind-numbingly easy to follow. A healthy shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and a healthy dinner, and a couple of small snacks in between – doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
Nonetheless, the Slim Fast diet pretty much encapsulates what’s wrong with the state of mainstream dieting and weight loss today. OK, OK… I hear you asking, “What’s wrong with a healthy shake for breakfast and lunch, and a sensible dinner in the evening?”
Got a minute? Good! Let me begin with the “healthy” shakes…
Since the time of my original review, SlimFast has expanded its product line. It now offers Optima, High Protein and Low Carb variations of the shake, plus the original discussed here, of course. These have somewhat reduced sugar and a little more fiber (4 – 5 grams).
Ironically, the “low carb” shakes have more protein (20 g) than the “high protein” ones (15 g).
Healthy, in this case, is relative. If your idea of good nutrition is combining a bag of pork rinds with a couple of burgers from the local fast food joint, well then yes, these are nutritious shakes.
In reality… the Slim Fast shakes aren’t particularly nutritious, and they certainly aren’t worth the money you pay for them.
So what’s in a Slim Fast diet shake?
The 4 main ingredients are skim milk, sugar, fructose, and cocoa. In other words, milk, sugar, and sugar. Other ingredients include various vegetable oils, emulsifiers, and a dubious vitamin blend.
A 375ml (1.5 cups) shake contains 12 grams of protein — slightly less than what you’d obtain drinking the same amount of 1% low-fat milk.
This same shake contains 38 grams of carbohydrates — 20 grams more than if you drank the equivalent amount of 1% low-fat milk (with those additional carbs coming from the added sugar).
Considering that milk contains significant amounts of vitamins A and D, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium and Zinc, I’d suggest that you chuck the Slim Fast shakes (vitamin blend and all), and simply drink milk instead.
OK… that’s problem number 1 — the shakes are little more than an expensive, sugar-laden milk supplement.
What’s wrong with the Slim Fast diet?
The daily caloric limit is set so low as to be detrimental to any long term weight loss success (each shake contains 240 calories (at least the one I’m holding in my hand does).
Combine two with a normal dinner consisting of a chicken breast, baked potato and vegetable, add a snack or two a day and you’re looking at anywhere between 1000 – 1200 calories per day).
At first, it may seem logical that drastically reducing calories would be the key to successful weight loss — and it’s true, you must reduce your calories to lose weight. However when you reduce calories too much, you’ve got a problem. And it’s this problem that is the Slim Fast diet plan’s biggest drawback…