Does SlimFast work?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Gazpacho, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    5,339
    687
    113
    It's fall again, which means that the weight has fallen off the trees and onto my belly.

    Happens every year. Nothing has worked except waiting until the following spring/summer, when it naturally comes down to an acceptable level.

    I've done Weight Watchers a few times. It worked but made me miserable and hungry and food-obsessed the whole time.

    Was thinking about Nutri-System, but the food sounds unappetizing and, with all those preservatives and fillers, pretty unhealthy. Maybe it's low in calories, but it also sounds like it's low in health.

    This year I'm thinking about trying SlimFast.

    What have your experiences been?
     
  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,832
    2,551
    113
    Sure it works. But it's incredibly unhealthy, and like the majority of these things, it is not a permanent solution..

    There is no fast, easy and healthy way to lose weight.
     
  3. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    13,007
    1,802
    113
    I've enjoyed some of their energy/sweet bar type treats.

    So far as I know with SlimFast you drink the product for breakfast and lunch, then have a calorie-limited dinner. Probably you'll be miserable and hungry and food-obsessed the whole time. :(

    The whole thing about a diet is for it to really work, it has to be a way of life, not something you do for a limited period of time.

    If I had any answers, I'd give them but I don't. But I figure you need to
    find ways to eat that are both satisfying and low in calories. For example, I recently made a tomato soup with olive oil, chicken stock and loads of garlic. I pureed it in the food processor and ate it with freshly grated reggiano parmesan. It was heavenly and much lower in calories than the meals Mr. Japanfan usually makes. But it does have fat it in it - I think it is a mistake to cut fat out if you are trying to lose weight because the brain is hard-wired for it and abstaining leads to overeating.

    Basically, I'm trying to include more vegetable based meals in my diet. Today I bought fresh artichokes and will cook them for the first time.
     
  4. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    8,830
    2,337
    113
    As one British female comedian once said, 'a nutritious shake for breakfast, another for lunch and by teatime you'll be stealing chocolate from children in playgrounds!!'

    Seriously though this is one of the unhealthiest 'diets' you could possibly do. I know many who have tried it and while results can be fast, the fixation on food and permanent hunger means they are utterly miserable and eventually cave in to pigging out and end up putting twice as much back on again.

    Please don't go there!
     
  5. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    11,214
    1,039
    113
    Bleck, that doesn't sound fun at all!

    Hm, that's interesting. Do you know why that is? Is your diet and exercise regimen different in the spring/summer? Would there be any way to transfer some of what you do into the rest of the year?

    Sorry if that an obvious question. :eek:
     
  6. Sk8Kate

    Sk8Kate New Member

    167
    35
    0
    I drink Slim-Fast shakes for breakfast quite often. I've never been able to replace both breakfast AND lunch with the shakes, but find that replacing one meal a day is manageable, especially since I'm not a big breakfast eater. They have a lot of vitamins and nutrients and I feel like it's a decent way to start a day. Probably a lot better for me than a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich!
     
  7. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

    6,691
    1,150
    113
    Carnation Instant Breakfast is cheaper and, to me, tastes better. You can control the calorie count by the type of milk you use. Throw in a bowl of unsweetened steel cut oatmeal, and I can get through till dinner.
     
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    10,292
    2,220
    113
    ^ Wait, so you skip lunch?
     
  9. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,832
    2,551
    113
    Why not just drink a smoothie?
     
  10. soxxy

    soxxy Guest

    Slim Fast didn't do much for me. I drank a can....then I ate. :shuffle:
     
    Angela-Fan and (deleted member) like this.
  11. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    10,292
    2,220
    113
    So you got fries with that shake? ;)
     
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    6,486
    524
    113
    It'll get weight off until your body has time to switch into 'starvation' mode, on the assumption you're being deprived and it needs to hoard stores of fat.

    Nutri-System works by controlling calories. There's nothing special about the food except it's pre-portioned. You can accomplish the same thing by limiting your portions yourself.
     
  13. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    10,292
    2,220
    113
    The best thing to do is seriously change what you eat (if you tend to eat food that is considered pretty unhealthy) and count calories. Find out how many calories you should eat a day, and stick to it (more or less). Also, doing cardio for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week will help a lot coupled with the calorie counting. After a while, you look forward to workouts and topping yourself.

    With calorie counting, I think you should start off being meticulous in actually reporting the food you eat and adding up the calories, but if you do it for so long you become, as the OP said, "food-obsessed." I think being strict about it in the beginning gives you an idea about how many calories are in the food you usually eat and after a while, you won't need to record everything you eat anymore because you can just mentally know how much you're consuming.

    Gazpacho, it seems like you don't really have a problem with weight except in the fall/winter, is that correct? Is it because of Holiday food and/or being inside and sedentary due to the colder weather?
     
  14. soxxy

    soxxy Guest

    :rofl:
    I ate what I was going to eat anyway, but I did eat less of it because the shake is thick. Hardly the point. :slinkaway
     
  15. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

    3,883
    1,100
    113
    I sometimes have a Slim-Fast for breakfast too. I use the powder as a base for a fruit smoothie and then add the milk, a banana and maybe a handful of sliced, frozen peaches. It's quite good and is a satisfying breakfast.

    I'm not a breakfast eater at all - I'm rarely hungry before 10 a.m. - so I figure it's a good way to get some vitamins and nutrients first thing in the morning.
     
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  16. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    7,485
    825
    113
    There are many low calorie frozen meals that also supply "automatic portion control". I used them frequently when losing weight after a heart attack.
     
  17. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

    1,956
    218
    63
    I know a few who have tried Slim Fast and while they did lose about 10 lbs rather quickly they always gained it back once they stop.

    The best thing is to really commit yourself to a lifestyle change. Eat healthier and work out. Also, don't deprive yourself of yummy stuff. I've lost 30 lbs so far without using any "diet" food. M-F I prepare nutritious meals ie, grilled lean steaks, seasoned veggies, baked chicken and fish, whole grain carbs, all tasty food, I just limit my portions. Saturday or Sunday hubby and I hit up Outback Steakhouse or whatever restaurant we want. That'll be your "cheat" day. The calories of the meal may be higher but if you stayed clean all week, a yummy restaurant meal will not make a dent in your weight loss goal.

    Exercise is also big. Even just 20 minutes of high intensity interval training 3-4 days a week will work wonders! Don't be afraid of lifting weights too. Muscle burns more calories even while you're just sitting down!

    I had my 1st kid over 12 years ago and it took me that long to get back into pre-baby weight because I always thought it was so hard to lose weight. I was miserable yo-yoing weight and the diets were straight BLECH! Now that I've committed myself to this new healthier lifestyle I find that losing 1 lb. a week really isn't nearly as difficult as I made it out to be.

    Oh, and 1-2 lbs per week should be your goal. This gives your body time to adjust and help insure that you're keeping a healthy lifestyle vs those diets that claim loss of 5 even more lbs per week.

    Good luck, it's tough but the end result of great health is worth it!!

    Ooops... forgot to add.... if you're really looking for more of a "shake" meal, I suggest in buying a can of whey protein like this instead of Slim Fast. It gives you protein, some carbs, and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals. Mix it up with milk or water and you're good to go! I ♥ the cookies and cream flavor. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  18. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    1,169
    81
    48
    I agree with everyone about calorie counting and exercise. There are several free online calorie counting programs that make it easy. My favorite is Calorie Count: http://caloriecount.about.com/. The also have an app for iPhone and Android, although I haven't tried them.

    I find that if I eliminate between meal snacks that I am able to maintain a healthy weight. If I'm feeling hungry in the afternoon (3pm is the time that I start looking forward to dinner), I just drink a cup of green tea or a low-fat/low-cal hot chocolate.

    Also, I've found that if I can keep my mind active in the afternoon that I'm not as likely to want a snack. Unfortunately, sometimes work can be quite the snoozer, so it can be difficult.
     
  19. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

    1,261
    95
    0
    I think the best thing to do is just eat when your hungry, drink lots of water, have mostly healthy food in your house, eat salads, chicken, fruit, and exercise 4-6 days a week.
     
  20. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

    3,729
    627
    113
    Um, read these two phrases in sequence again.
    Yes, I'm a naturally thin person, but this has been the way I've eaten all my life. Eat small meals frequently (I call it 'grazing'), eat only when you're hungry AND STOP WHEN THE HUNGER IS GONE. We don't have to follow our mom's "clean your plate" rule anymore. ;) Sure, there's the occasion when I go out to eat and partake of more than I should, but that's the exception, not the norm. I also make sure I move my body in some way every day--thankfully my job requires that. I like to find small ways to get some physical movement, like getting off the train a stop or two early, parking farther out in the parking lot, and ALWAYS stairs over escalator.

    Whatever you choose though, good luck and good health! :)
     
  21. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    9,977
    753
    113
    The majority of smoothie has more calories per serving than people think. The typical 16 oz of smoothie that are sold in the supermarked has about 160 calories per 8 oz serving, but who drinks only half a bottle at one sitting?

    I find that eating protein doesn't curb my appetite either. Snacking on almonds sometimes help, but they are high in fat, even if it's the good type of fat.

    The best way for me to lose weight is to go on vacation :). I always lose weight on vacations since I spend most of my time trekking from one place to another and barely eat.
     
  22. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

    5,039
    1,218
    113
    The only time I think Slim-fast shakes are worth it is when you are in a rush and have no time for breakfast. I would keep a few cans in the fridge to grab on my way out the door any drink it on my way to wherever. It's better than starving all day and better for you than the drive-thru.
     
  23. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    30,765
    5,027
    113
    I think that it is important to determine if you really do gain weight once the summer months leave or if it is a perception. I know that my weight bounces up and down around 5 pounds every few months or so. And if it really is a difference or I think that I see my tummy pouch out more.

    Then I look at my physical activity - have I cut down on activity because it is cooler or because of allergies or because there are more TV or on-line activities that I do.

    Then I look at my eating patterns. It is sometimes easier to go out and get those healthy salads during the spring and summer when I don't have to bundle up or walk in cold winds. During the fall and winter it is easier to grab those more heavy calorie laden meals.

    Spinner is right, the spreading out of meals to a 6 meal a day plan is good. In the US, we think we need the extra large serving because it is the "most cost" savings thing, i.e. a small or medium might be 1.50 but a large or extra large might be 1.75.

    We also tend to over estimate a serving. Have you ever squeezed oranges for orange juice and looked at the amount of juice that is generated by one orange? yet most people think they need the 8 oz serving of oj, which is probably equivalent to 6 or 8 large oranges.

    I did use the Slim fast shakes when they had the soy ones (orange and raspberry), but only for lunch. I ate chicken or fish for dinner with veggies/rice. But also did not totally deprive myself of a favorite snack or two a week.
     
  24. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    11,214
    1,039
    113
    I'm a naturally thin person and I actually feel SICK when I eat too much too fast. That certainly gets a person to eat small meals regularly! Although with the popularity of heartburn medications, I don't think it really stops some people. :lol:

    If I go out to eat and it's too much, I save half for later. Saves money too. :)

    I hate hate hate cardio but I love lifting weights. Unless you're lifting ridiculously heavy weights and are eating like, 5000 calories of mostly lean protein a day (yes, guys who bodybuild have to do this), you won't get big and muscular.

    Erm, I'm a skinny ninny and I can't even see a 5 lb gain on myself. (Obviously it would be a larger total percentage difference for me than most people.) It's really not that much.
     
  25. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

    22,472
    5,146
    113
    I am thin as well, but five pounds can mean the difference between my favorite jeans fitting or not fitting. Not really visible to me or others, but noticeable in the respect that my pants are uncomfortable.
     
  26. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    901
    108
    43
    I struggle with my weight all the time. Well, actually I don't struggle too much; that's the problem. :) I just love food and I love to eat. I've never stuck with a real "diet" but I did drop 40 pounds eating low fat. It took a year, but it was pretty painless. You can eat a lot of different things, including many things I really do love. I would usually eat cereal for breakfast with 1% milk, have yogurt for lunch and eat a good dinner--lots of vegetables, salads, pasta--that didn't leave me feeling deprived. Of course, I did get hungry during the day, but I get hungry during the day no matter what I eat. Everyone's different, but this worked for me, and it doesn't take much effort except reading labels.
     
    Jodi and (deleted member) like this.
  27. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    17,092
    3,578
    113
    That's why you make your own with protein powder, water and ice and maybe some sugar free syrups for variety. My favorite protein powder makes a 190 calorie shake and it's a lot healthier than Slim Fast.

    To the OP, Slim Fast is a lot less healthy than Nutri/system. Read the ingredients on the labels. The other aspect is that you are really limiting the variety of foods you are consuming so you risk coming up short in certain micronutrients.

    However, any diet that restrict your calories works.... to lose weight. The question is: can you keep it off? For that, I actually think WW is the best plan. It's the most like real life so you are learning habits you will use forever. If you are hungry all the time, I would say that you just need to give yourself more points and to accept that doing so will make the weight come off slower.

    I think the best advice for anyone who has 25 pounds or less to lose is to eat your maintenance calories anyway. This way you are eating how you will eat for the rest of your life. The weight comes off pretty slowly that way, but it's more realistic and less hard on the body and there is less chance of triggering the famine effect which can lead to gaining weight in the long run.

    If you need a program for the structure it provides, you can definitely use something like WW to do it. It's a lot harder to do with programs that give you pre-allocated food.

    OTOH, if you go up every winter and come down in the spring without doing anything, why torture yourself with some sort of diet that makes you miserable? I go through the same thing myself every winter because the weather makes it harder to workout (most of my workout routines involve being outdoors).

    I used to have great angst over it and torture myself over every pound but eventually I came to trust that the weight would come off. So now my focus is on limiting the damage and not using the winter as an excuse to go crazy eating. I also use this time to do a lot of weight lifting because I just don't have time to do it in the summer when I'm out biking all day on Sat. and doing a lot of swimming that I don't do in the winter. It's really hard to build muscle when eating at a calorie deficit so I take advantage of the fact that I'm eating at a surplus in the winter to build muscle and then I concentrate on losing fat in the Spring.
     
  28. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    7,909
    1,370
    113
    That sounds really bland... :blah:
     
  29. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    7,666
    1,258
    113
    I did WW, but I hated having to journal, which lead to obsessing over food. It did work, but it isn't sustainable in the long run for me. If everything had a calorie label and portion measure, then sure.

    In August, I tried low-carb, and I dropped almost 10 pounds in three weeks. Once I got past a few days with no pasta or bread, it wasn't that hard to maintain. I do miss cereal, though. Not having to count calories is wonderful. I've only lost another 3 pounds since that initial drop (water weight, mostly) but I haven't been very strict with the diet. At least the first 10 is staying off!
     
  30. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    1,589
    134
    0
    I have no dieting advice, but there is a hypothesis that people are more inclined to gain weight this time of year in preparation for the long winter. Something about our ancestors and limited availibility of food during colder months.

    I'm another one who drinks Instant Breakfast. It's not for calorie/weightloss reasons. I'm not a big breakfast person at all and it's something rather than nothing at all. I do have to eat lunch though.