Slim Fast is a weight loss program that substitutes cooked meals with shakes and bars. The program is over 25 years old, and is currently a brand owned by Unilever.
Slim Fast has been a popular choice for weight loss with it’s huge range of weight loss shakes.
However in recent years, Unilever has struggled with declining sales – at first blaming the popularity of Atkins.
The original Slim-Fast shakes were criticized for being too high in sugar. This was rectified by replacing sugar with the artificial sweetener Splenda. The new range of Slim-Fast products are called Optima.
Slim Fast Products
The Slim Fast offerings comprise the following:
- Optima – Shakes (Ready-to-Drink), Bars, Smoothies, and Powders
- Original – Shakes (Ready-to-Drink), Bars, Smoothies, and Powders
- High Protein – Shakes and Meal Bars
A typical shake (Optima Cappuccino Delight) contains the following:
- 5g Fat
- 24g Carbohydrate
- 10g Protein
- 180 Calories
- 24 Vitamins and Minerals
The diet involves replacing two main meals with Slim-Fast products. Each day will also include one “Sensible Meal”, and fruit/vegetable snacks.
A sensible meal is based around a lean protein (such as skinless chicken breast, or fish), carbohydrate (potato, rice, or whole wheat bread), and a large serving of vegetables.
Sample Meal Plan
Optima Cappuccino Shake &
1 slice frozen French toast with 1 Tbsp light syrup
1 cup grapes
Slim·Fast Optima French Vanilla Shake &
1/2 roast beef sandwich
(2 oz. Roast beef, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 tbsp horseradish, lettuce, tomato)
Chicken Veggies Grill:
1 cup melon
One slice low fat pound cake OR Peanut Butter crunch Snack bar.
Are Slim Fast Users Successful?
The Slim Fast diet is a sensible and workable plan, and many people find the convenience of using meal replacements outweighs other diet plans.
However, long-term, results using Slim Fast and other meal replacement diets isn’t common.
There is one study that Slim Fast cites claiming that “People who followed The Slim·Fast Plan routinely to lose and manage their weight were, on average, 33 pounds thinner after a decade as compared to a matched group from the same community who did not participate in the study. (reference: Blackburn GL. et al. Obesity Research 2003;11:A103)”
- Noakes, M., Foster, P. R., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2004). Meal replacements are as effective as structured weight-loss diets for treating obesity in adults with features of metabolic syndrome. The Journal of nutrition, 134(8), 1894-1899. link
- Eckel, R. H. (2008). Nonsurgical management of obesity in adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(18), 1941-1950. link
- Anderson, J. W. (2004). Combination approaches to weight management. Pharmacotherapy, 4, 16. link