By Health Editors
For a very controlled weight-loss program, some people turn to Slim-Fast.
The Slim-Fast diet is characterized by a low calorie plan, facilitated by substituting certain meals with prepackaged Slim-Fast products, and then eating healthy self-prepared food options the rest of the time.
When the diet is followed explicitly, you can expect to lose about one to two pounds each week, simply because the program severely limits your caloric intake and provides a structure to adhere to throughout the duration of the diet.
For breakfast, lunch and snacks you are limited to eating Slim-Fast products, and then will choose your own dinner worth 500 calories.
The Slim-Fast products include shakes and bars. Snacks can also be something like an apple instead of a Slim-Fast product, but not both. All of this will total up to 1,200 calories — which for most people trying to lose weight — will be a significant drop in food intake.
In general, the Slim-Fast diet is suggested for people with at least 20 pounds to lose, and generally doesn’t last longer than 10 weeks at a time. Any longer than that can get tiresome to follow since it is so limiting and doesn’t leave much room for improvising. People who enjoy the structure of the plan however, may choose to incorporate Slim-Fast products into their day-to-day diet over the long term.
Slim-Fast is thought to be an option for weight loss because it restricts calories. There is no data to back up Slim-Fast being good for cardiovascular health, but it may help control diabetes in the sense that it can aid in stabilizing blood sugar through weight loss.
The Slim-Fast plan falls under the government-approved dietary guidelines for fat, carbohydrates and protein that should be consumed each day. When following the plan, it is important to get the right mix of food for your chosen meal. Something like fish or lean chicken with vegetables is going to give you a mix of carbohydrates and protein which will ideally keep you feeling full and still provide you with the nutrients that you need. The diet plan will not be as successful if you go with something like pizza for your one meal of the day.
While following the Slim-Fast plan, you will not need to take any extra vitamin supplements, because the prepackaged Slim-Fast products contain added vitamins and minerals that should be sufficient. Some studies have been done to compare following the Slim-Fast plan to eating a normal diet within the same calorie range. It was found that those eating the Slim-Fast foods can actually get more vitamins than those following a normal low-calorie diet. Slim-Fast foods are low in fiber however, and fiber in necessary for both feeling full and to keep the digestive system working properly.