You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen it in the commercials and you may have even tried it at one point. For four decades now, SlimFast has been one of the biggest names in the weight loss industry, but not many people know all of the details of the full diet, which is more than just some chocolate drinks. Now that it’s a new year and people are trying to lose weight, SlimFast is one of the yearly go-to diets so let’s get in depth with it.
SlimFast was originally designed by the Thompson Medical Company in 1977 before getting more popular in the late 1980’s. Back then, it was only chocolate, strawberry and vanilla shakes that you were supposed to drink twice a day, but it has expanded since then. There are more products available now and a new plan to increase weight loss. Here are all of the details about the SlimFast weight loss plan.
Structure of the SlimFast Diet
Instead of just replacing breakfast and lunch with SlimFast shakes, the company has expanded into eating six times per day. SlimFast emphasizes a plan called 3-2-1, which is easy to follow. You eat three snacks per day that are around 100 calories each, which includes mainly prepackaged SlimFast food products.
Then, you replace two of the meals that you would normally eat with the SlimFast shakes or smoothies, depending on your taste. Finally, for dinner (or another meal that you would rather have), you eat one meal that they call “sensible.” These meals are typically around the 500 calorie mark and round out your day. Let’s take a look at what the average SlimFast menu is going to look like:
Breakfast – Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie (190 Calories)
Snack – S’mores Drizzled Crisps (100 Calories)
Lunch – Caramel Latte Shake (180 Calories)
Snack – Sour Cream and Onion Baked Chips (100 Calories)
Dinner – Turkey Burgers with Lowfat Mayonnaise (430 Calories)
Snack – Peanut Butter Chocolate Snack Bites (100 Calories)
That’s a daily calorie total of just 1,100 calories. That alone can make it a hard plan to stick to as it’s recommended that most people eat at least 1,200 calories per day, even if they are trying to lose weight. Of course, you can add some more calories from healthy foods such as fruits or vegetables to make up the difference, but feeling full might be difficult. After all, drinking small smoothies and shakes as meals might not be satisfying for a lot of people.
Losing Weight with SlimFast
The claims from SlimFast say that you will lose one or two pounds each week, which is the recommended amount that doctors will tell you if you don’t have a lot of weight to lose. Following the calorie count from SlimFast products, you might end up seeing that the weight loss is a little more dramatic. This means that you should be adding food as being in too large of a calorie deficit can be detrimental to your health.
There aren’t really any phases to the SlimFast plan like there are with some other major diets, so the maintenance is up to you. A lot of people like to continue drinking one smoothie or shake instead of a meal per day and dropping the other shake for another low calorie meal that is more satisfying. It’s a good way to make sure that you aren’t overeating, but it’s best to keep it balanced throughout the day in several smaller meals.
Since SlimFast became popular all of those years ago, there have been plenty of studies to see how effective it is at helping weight loss. One study showed that the SlimFast diet was more effective than other short term weight loss plans in keeping weight off. The decade long study said that SlimFast users were an average of 33 pounds lighter than those that didn’t drink meal replacement shakes or smoothies.
What to Know About SlimFast
While SlimFast has said that long term weight loss is certainly possible with their products and some clinical trials have shown this, it’s more commonly used as a shorter plan. The average diet on SlimFast is recommended to be about 10 weeks, resulting in an expected weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds during that time. That’s a healthy pace to maintain, though you might find it hard to get back into normal eating and keeping the weight off without the SlimFast products.
If you’re worried about SlimFast costing too much, it’s actually one of the cheapest diets out there that you can find. An average day of SlimFast products is around $10 if you buy in bulk, and you just have to add whatever you eat for the one sensible meal per day. While that’s the average cost, there are seemingly more coupons around for SlimFast than any other company.
There is also some flexibility while on the SlimFast Diet, so you’re allowed to eat out once in awhile if the situation pops up. It’s just recommended that you keep it low calorie, trying to keep it between 300 and 600 calories depending on what time of the day you’re eating. That makes the plan convenient as all but one meal is prepackaged, eating out is allowed and you only have to prepare one meal per day.
Speaking of the one meal, you don’t have to buy some expensive meal plan online to get all of the meals that are suggested. Instead, you can look them up online for free through SlimFast’s official website, which is a huge benefit. Most of the recipes are also easy to prepare, so this diet may actually be among the best when it comes to those that are always on the go or don’t have to prepare meals for an entire family.
Exercise is also encouraged, which is a topic that seems to vary the most when it comes to popular diets. SlimFast says that you should be exercising, but not to the point where you’re going to be worn out all of the time. The exercise that SlimFast really promotes is walking, with three walks of 30 minutes each week. Too much exercise with the low calorie count might be too much, so walking is definitely the best way to go here.
Lastly, alcohol is discouraged while on the SlimFast plan. While some might be tempted to have a glass of wine or a beer instead of a meal, that’s not really in the spirit of the plan. You can take away from your snacks for a drink, but drinking to excess might derail the plan. Of course, figuring out what exactly you should be doing while on the SlimFast plan should be brought up with a doctor before starting.
Summing it Up
There aren’t too many extreme negatives when it comes to the SlimFast Diet, which is perhaps why it has been around for so long. Since the recommended plan is for 10 weeks, SlimFast has received its highest ratings in the short term weight loss department. The long term aspects also rank right around the average for most of the major diets, so there has been plenty of success when dropping the pounds.
SlimFast also has products for those with diabetes and lactose intolerance, meaning that it has become more inclusive over the past 10 years. The biggest negative, though, is that it can be pretty hard to follow. You will almost certainly have some cravings while on the SlimFast plan, you just have to learn how to kick them. Eating one regular meal per day is a nice way to get rid of some of the cravings, but you still have to keep it around 500 calories.
The overall feeling when it comes to SlimFast has been mixed, with some claiming that sticking to the plan is nearly impossible while others say it has been a godsend since it makes meal preparation much easier. There is certainly no guarantee that SlimFast is the right plan, but that can be said about any diet. While it doesn’t have the best overall benefits, it’s still a good solution for those that want to lose about 20 pounds over the course of a couple of months, which is exactly what a lot of people are looking for.