Being “slim” is the recent buzzword. Pick any snack, beverage or savory – you always think how many calories are you going to consume. Subconsciously it is being drilled into our minds that nothing is better than size zero!
What is Slim-fast Diet?
We all wish to have a slim figure. A well toned body not only improves your appearance but also enhances your confidence level. Unfortunately, most of us stuck in our hectic schedules, do not have time to pay attention to our fitness regime. Thus, we all are looking for quick and easy ways to lose weight. The slim fast diet as the name suggests, has been designed to fulfill this purpose.
To most of us losing weight seems quite an uphill task. The slim fast diet is based on the premise that it is easy to lose weight by restricting your caloric intake and controlling your portion sizes. This however, does not mean that you have to survive on shakes and juices alone. In fact, a variety of slim fast products like shakes, snack bars and meal bars are available that help to ensure that you are taking the right amount of nutrients. You can use these products as your meal replacements. This diet enables you to lose around 20 pounds in about 8 to 10 weeks. You can continue using slim fast products as occasional meal replacements even after losing weight for long term maintenance. In fact, this plan has become so popular that it has its own website which provides medical guidelines, online chats, message boards and success stories to provide encouragement to dieters.
How Does this Diet Work?
Like most other diets, the slim fast diet is a low-cal diet. It advises you to consume 1200 calories in a day which mostly comes from three snacks, two slim-fast meal replacements and one 500 calorie meal that you prepare at home. Thus, this plan is also known as the 3-2-1 plan.
This enables you to have a balanced meal each day such that you get the requisite nutrients. Besides, slim fast meal replacements contain fewer calories than your regular meals. There are a variety of slim fast products like bars, shakes, soups and frozen pastas which can replace your meals. The slim-fast snack bars contain just 130 calories while the meal replacement bars pack 220 calories each. All in all, you need to eat two meals a day and snacks. Out of these, you can have one regular meal of 600 to 700 calories for either breakfast, lunch or dinner as per your choice.
Apart from making the requisite changes in your dietary pattern, you need to indulge in physical activity. You can go on a moderate walk, jog or do yard work for at least 30 minutes a day. Thus, the motto of this plan is to lose weight by eating less and moving more!
Slim- Fast Diet Plan:
If you analyze this plan in detail, you’ll find that it is not a new concept. We all are aware of the fact that one can lose weight by restricting the intake of calories, fat and carbs, by eating smaller portions and burning more calories. But what gives this plan an edge over other dietary plans is the fact that it is easier to stick to the dietary regime and the products enable you to get the exact amount of nutrients that you require. Given below is a sample menu for the slim fast diet plan.
Slim Fast Meal Plan:
|Breakfast||Slim fast shake or bar, a slice of French toast with 1 tbsp light syrup|
|Morning Snack||A cup of grapes or half a pear, low fat yogurt or vegetables, non-fat dip|
|Lunch||Slim fast replacement soup, pasta with some salad or vegetables Or Slim fast shake or bar with half roast beef sandwich containing 2 oz roast beef, horseradish, tomato, lettuce and a single slice of bread|
|Afternoon Snack||An apple or a snack bar or slim fast frozen snack|
|Dinner||4 to 6 oz poultry, fish or lean meat, a small baked potato with fat-free sour cream, a cup of steamed veggies with Parmesan cheese or fruits|
|Evening Snack||A cup of melon or any other fruit or a few handfuls of low-fat popcorn|
The slim fast products offer a wide range of choices. There are 6 flavors of 200 calorie protein meal bars and powdered protein shake mixes while the protein meal shakes come in 8 different flavors. For a 100 calorie snacks, there are 4 different flavors of slim fast snack bars such as peanut butter crunch and double-dutch chocolate. You can also try fruits like an orange, a banana, grapes, cherries or a pear. Other food items that fall in this category include carrot sticks, pretzels, pistachios, sorbet and non fat yogurt.
Half of your meal plate should comprise of veggies like carrots, green beans, eggplant, broccoli or spinach and a quarter of it should contain lean proteins like poultry, fish, tofu or beef. The remaining quarter should contain starchy foods like brown rice, whole wheat pasta or bread, potatoes or corn.
Benefits of Slim Fast Diet:
Like most other diets, the question might arise regarding the effectiveness of this diet and thankfully, the answer is in affirmative. The slim fast diet has turned out to be one of the most effective ways of losing weight and keeping it off too. The various benefits of this diet have been highlighted below.
1. Convenient and Easy to Follow:
Most of the diet plans have a great start but it’s difficult to stick to them in the long run because of the limited food choice. However, the slim fast diet offers you a variety of choices in meals and snacks which are both tasty and convenient. You can have tasty treats in the course of your dietary regime as nothing is prohibited. Alcohol is discouraged but not prohibited. In other words, you can enjoy all your favorite foods but in moderation.
The slim fast diet does not believe in starvation for the purpose of weight loss. It emphasizes the importance of satiety so the meals are quite filling. The high fibre and protein content of a slim fast meal replacement can keep hunger at bay for up to 4 hours.
3. Provides Adequate Nutrition:
The slim fast diet products have been designed in norms with the national and European standards. Thus, they have a high and consistent nutritional quality. Being nutrient-dense fortified foods, the slim fast shakes, powders and bars help to lower your calorie intake without depriving your body of vital nutrients.
4. Helps to Lose Weight and Keep it off:
The slim fast diet has been scientifically proven to cause weight loss and maintain the target weight. The program has fixed the recommended daily calorie intake of 1400 and 1600 calories for women and men respectively. This results is a weekly calorie shortfall causing one to loose one to two pounds in a week. The weight loss goals are in conformity with the safe weight loss guidelines of 10% of the body weight in the first six months at a rate of 1 kg per week.
5. Healthy Diet Plan:
This is quiet a healthy diet plan as it urges you to have a balanced diet and snack on fruits, veggies and other nutritious foods. Besides, it emphasizes the minimum consumption of at least 1200 calories a day to cause a healthy weight loss of two pounds in a week.
6. Helps Prevent or Control Diabetes:
Certain studies have proven that slim fast diet has a positive effect on insulin and blood sugar. The weight loss caused by it helps prevent and control diabetes.
7. No Health Risks:
No serious health risks or side effects have been reported so far, while following the slim fast diet.
8. Conforms to Nutritional Guidelines:
The slim fast diet shakes and meal bars contribute 20% or more of the vital vitamins and minerals and provide 5 grams of fibre in a serving. Thus, this diet is within the nutritional guidelines.
Drawbacks of Slim Fast Diet:
We have seen that slim fast diet can be beneficial for health in various ways. However it is not without its drawbacks:
1. Not Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans:
Vegetarians and vegans have very few options in this plan. As an alternative to four to six ounces of meat, vegetarians can have quinoa, lentils, tofu or black beans in their daily meal as well as reduced or low fat dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk. Vegans, on the other hand, have fewer options as most of the meal options comprise of dairy or eggs which are not a part of their diet.
2. No information on Gluten:
The slim fast products do not contain adequate information regarding gluten which often puts gluten intolerant individuals at risk. It is advisable to check the ingredients list for possible sources of gluten and contact the company in case of doubt.
3. Contains Lactose:
Slim fast shakes are high in lactose. So lactose intolerant individuals are advised to combine the shake mixes with lactose-free milk or low fat soy milk. Slim fast meal bars are comparatively lower in lactose containing two grams or less.
Any diet you follow, it’s important to know what and how the diet works. Apart from knowing about any diet, it is also essential to be cautious at the early stages of the diet, to understand how your body reacts to certain foods. We hope that this was fairly an easy to follow diet and that it will help you in the long run. Do share your thoughts with us and we will be glad to help you with any queries you might have.