Slim Fast Review 2018: Does It Really Work?
The Slim-Fast Plan
The Slim-Fast Plan is based on using meal replacements as diet aids. Can cutting back on calories with such products help you lose weight? Find out.
By Katherine Lee
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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The premise of the Slim-Fast Plan is that meal replacement products will help you lose weight, explains Keri Gans, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. The latest version of the Slim-Fast Plan is called the “3-2-1 Plan.” The plan calls for three snacks, two Slim-Fast shakes or meal bars, and one “sensible meal” — meaning you’ll eat six times a day. But considering that one of those three snacks is another Slim-Fast product (the other two are fruit), you might be wondering if replacement foods are such a good idea.
The Slim-Fast Plan: How Does It Work?
“The Slim-Fast Plan works as a basic low-calorie diet,” says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of theFlexitarian Diet.
The Slim-Fast Plan is a meal-replacement system, meaning that breakfast and lunch are replaced with a shake or a bar, and that’s one way your daily calories are reduced. “Now they also have snack bars that are similar to energy or sports bars,” notes Lona Sandon, RD, also a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
The Slim-Fast Plan: Sample Diet
Here is an example of what you’ll eat on the 3-2-1 Slim-Fast Plan:
Slim-Fast meal bar or shake
Half of a banana
Slim-Fast meal bar or shake
Asian beef salad
Slim-Fast snack bar
The Slim-Fast Plan: Pros
The advantages of the Slim-Fast Plan include:
It’s convenient.The 3-2-1 Slim-Fast Plan helps people track their meals and snacks and makes it easy to reduce calories and lose weight. There are no portion restrictions or choices on a menu. It’s all done for you. “You’re grabbing a product,” says Blatner. “It’s catchy, clever, and easy to remember.
It removes the guesswork.“All people have to do is choose the flavor of their shake or meal bar,” says Sandon. “When you take variety away, people have an easier time controlling calorie intake.”
There is a good support system.People who are on the Slim-Fast Plan can find meal plans, including recipes and ideas for snacks, tips for fitness, and on an online community for support at the Slim-Fast Plan Web site. There’s even a dietitian on staff who can answer questions.
The Slim-Fast Plan: Cons
There are some negatives:
The plan doesn’t have enough real food.With the Slim-Fast Plan, you are not getting the benefit of having whole, natural foods. “You miss out on vital nutrients found in whole foods,” says Blatner.
Some people may not feel full after eating.Not everyone can be satisfied with the Slim-Fast Plan. “Some people may eat multiple Slim-Fast bars and gain weight,” says Blatner.
Boredom is possible.“As with any meal-replacement product, it could get tiresome,” says Gans.
It can get expensive.The Slim-Fast Plan calls for multiple daily servings of their shakes and bars. “They are more expensive than produce,” says Blatner.
Slim-Fast Plan: Short- and Long-Term Effect
In the short term, being on the Slim-Fast Plan will lead to weight loss. “You’ll lose weight because you eat fewer calories,” says Sandon.
The likelihood of staying on the Slim-Fast Plan for the long term is more doubtful, however. “You will likely have problems maintaining weight loss in the long term,” says Sandon. “And the plan doesn’t help people learn to eat a balanced meal.
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