Slim-Fast, the iconic meal-in-a-can diet food company has come a long way. In addition to its classic diet shakes it has expanded its meal replacement product line to include bars, snacks, pastas and soups.
The biggest leap, however, is the Slim-Fast website - which offers a free, interactive online plan for weight loss with the Slim-Fast products. The online plan takes a common sense four step approach - portion control, sensible nutrition, regular exercise and support both from registered dietitians and the Slim-Fast community.
The plan calls for six small meals/snacks per day, with Slim-Fast products accounting for two of those meals and one snack. Slim-Fast products are nutritionally balanced and portioned controlled - the two key elements to an eating plan for weight loss - so no guesswork there. You're on your own for the other meals, but guidance and recommendations for foods and portions are offered. The online plan also emphasizes the importance of exercise, providing recommendations and fitness planning tools.
Ultimately, though, the philosophy of Slim-Fast is portion control. And portion control - as a weight loss tool - is solidly proven by research as effective. The Slim-Fast plan, if followed religiously, promises a weight loss of 10% in the first six months (1-2 pounds per week.) That's in line with what any dietitian or doctor would recommend as safe and healthy.
According to the Slim-Fast website, the plan has been shown to be effective for long-term weight management in published studies of one, two, four, and five years' duration. You must bear in mind, though, that this plan is highly structured. While that is a good thing when you get started on a weight loss regimen, it's difficult to maintain over the long term. As you lose weight by incorporating healthier eating and exercise into your life, you must also learn to adapt, and roll with life. While we totally support the Slim-Fast plan as an intro to weight loss and a healthier life, we simply cannot fathom it as a way of life. That's a problem.