Is Everyone on the Slim Fast Diet Doomed to Fail?



  • HipsterWhovian
    HipsterWhovian Posts: 195 Member
    The first time I used Slimfast, I lost 2.5 stone with exercise 1 hour a day, 5 days a week.. Due to a painful leg injury that left me nearly unable to walk for 3 months, I put on 1.5 stone, but that was me not doing any exercise at all, and eating rubbish.
    This time, I'm using it again. I only have it for breakfast as I don't manage the time to have a proper breakfast because of early mornings and long commutes. I find it fills me up enough until lunch, and I've dropped 18lbs with that and a healthier diet. I could have a 'proper' breakfast, but it would be at least 5 hours between breakfast and lunch meaning I would be more liable to snack, and I would lose some vital sleep. Twice a week, on my days off work, I have porridge instead, as I have the time to make and eat it.
    I saw someone had said something along the lines of MFP being a place for people to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, not entertain the ideas that 'fad diets' work. I could not disagree more with that statement. As long as you're not starving yourself, and your macros are good, I can't see a problem with Slimfast at all. Use what works for you, not what others deem suitable.
  • gmstarr1
    gmstarr1 Posts: 66 Member
    I love SlimFast. French Vanilla, yum. It certainly beats the way I was eating. I don't always have a Slimfast. When I have time, I make Banana Pancakes for breakfast and soup or something for lunch, but I don't always have time. I also don't think the money you spend on Slimfast will be 'wasted.' I mean, I have to eat something, and McDonalds in the morning and for lunch was costing me more than that...

    I've never understood the 'Slimfast doesn't work' crowd because they say you're not 'learning to control your calories'. I think I'm learning to control my calories. And with something as easy to use as Myfitnesspal, even once I get to my goal weight. why should I ever stop counting my calories? And as long as I control my calories, I won't gain the weight back.

    So for me, I can't see how it's not going to work as long as I don't give up and go back to drinking coca cola by the gallon...and you can give up doing that on ANY diet, on ANY lifestyle change...but we'll see what happens.

    You have to do what works for you though.
  • kathleennf
    kathleennf Posts: 606 Member
    I did it, it worked. It fit into my lifestyle at the time. In fact, I didn't even gain most of the weight back- I just gained a little of it back when I was trying to figure out how to put on muscle. Which is how I ended up here. Do it if you want to for a while- it's OK.
  • PRMinx
    PRMinx Posts: 4,585 Member

    I've never understood the 'Slimfast doesn't work' crowd because they say you're not 'learning to control your calories'. I think I'm learning to control my calories. And with something as easy to use as Myfitnesspal, even once I get to my goal weight. why should I ever stop counting my calories? And as long as I control my calories, I won't gain the weight back.

    People say this because you aren't really learning how to control calories with real food on a regular basis. SlimFast is a crutch. It's very easy to grab a can and go. But, the reality is, it's just as easy to control calories eating a variety of foods that do not come in a can. It does, however, take time to learn what works and advance planning to ensure you have what you need on hand.

    While this may work for you, many people on a SlimFast program will eventually grow tired of the shakes and revert back to old habits. This leads to gaining the weight back and then some.
  • hararayne
    hararayne Posts: 261 Member
    People here want to see lifestyle changes rather than fad diets. So there is always bickering. Some people feel that living paleo, or atkins, or whatever is not easily done and therefore a fad. Some people think, move more, eat less. Some people subscribe to IIFYM. Some people love cardio and some people love weights, and still others think exercising SUCKS (sometimes it can)

    But my question is, why? Why are you on slim fast? Just to make weight loss faster? Is it easier to log the calories and know your macros this way for you? In my experience with slim fast, I defintely didn't lose much weight, and when I got off of it it came right back on. I couldn't stick to it easily though either, I really wanted to CHEW things, not just drink a few of my meals.

    I feel like you would be happier about eating REAL food. Not the sludge in those cans, or the weird textured snack bars. Add in veggies and fruit and whole grains, or high fiber wraps with healthy proteins like chicken, salmon, whatever. They say, eat the rainbow (especially in veggies) and I just feel like that is the BEST way to go. Not drinking over-processed slimey chocolate shakes.

    But, that's not to say, when I was REALLY busy, that I didn't find a shake of some sort (usually atkins was what I bought) took care of breakfast. But I usually ended up eating more later to make up for it.

    Honestly, I'm just doing it for a few weeks to see what it does for me. It isn't a lifelong thing, but it's teaching me to cut my calories, feel full more often, etc. When I get tired of it, I'll go back to eating normal, healthy food, but I don't think everyone on the Slim Fast diet deserves to be treated badly for the decision.

    And I'm not one treating anyone "badly" I'm just telling you my experience with it and why it didn't work for me. I honestly ate more using them. Many people will say, don't drink your calories.

    I know what you mean about people being rude about different dieting choices. But did you just want people to agree with you? Tell you what you already know, or think you know? Do you really need our acceptance? I don't think you do.

    I do know of people that have lost weight on slimfast, but those people were buying it because it was cheap and they couldn't afford any food. They drank their shakes and had a small meal. No snacks. And they didn't feel good. It didn't sustain them.

    I'm not one to tell people what to do especially if they already have a plan. Just trying to answer what you asked.
  • Pebble321
    Pebble321 Posts: 6,554 Member
    The way I see it, SlimFast is just another food - well, almost food, it's a substance that has calories and gives you energy.

    I just had about 300 cals of chicken/lentil soup and a mandarin for lunch. You might have had Slimfast.

    If both of us are eating at a calorie deficit and we keep this up over a period of time, chances are very good that we'll both lose weight. If both of us are getting enough nutrients and vitamins and minerals and moving enough we should both be healthy.

    If you like it, drink it, but don't expect any magic outcomes from Slimfast that you won't get from eating food.

    To answer your question, I don't think going on (what I would call) fad diets means you are "doomed to fail", but I do think many people who use such products are often looking for a quick fix, a magic bullet. Often people aren't prepared to put in the sustained effort that it takes to keep up good eating/exercise habits over a long period of time.

    So, yes, it's pretty likely that people who go into any diet/lifestyle change with this expectation are pretty likely to fail.
    If you are using is as one of a number of foods that you eat (for whatever reason) then you may well succeed. Come back in 6 months and 18 months and let us know!
  • silken555
    silken555 Posts: 477 Member
    If shakes are easier for you you can always buy a really good quality protein powder. The ingredients in those tend to be better from my understanding and it's farrr less expensive per serving. There are lots of quick and easy smoothie recipes both on MFP and online.

    I tend to drink one after a work-out because I'm reallly hungry but I've had supper already. I'll either do vanilla powder with water, frozen fruit and a bit of ground flax or chocolate powder with chocolate unsweetened almond milk, peanut butter and half a banana with crushed ice. I personally use the Muscletech Performance Series powder. There are threads about different brands.

    I also repeat what others have said in making easily grabable food stashes. Nuts, protein bars, fruits, veggies, snack-sized apple sauces or fruit cups or yogurt cups, cheese sticks. All are great for on the go...:)

    Good luck!
  • eldamiano
    eldamiano Posts: 2,667 Member
    Complete expensive waste of your time to be honest.
  • Rachelc1992
    Rachelc1992 Posts: 246 Member
    I did slim fast for 3 months and lost all my excess weight! I came off and went to healthy eating, I could only do this because my stomach shrunk and how much I wanted to eat reduced thanks to slimfast! I maintained the weight loss for over a year. My relationship then broke down and I went travelling = even more weight than when I was "fat" put on. Now I'm "fat fat"?

    My point is I loved slimfast and it helped me reduce my calorie need ! Make sure your 3 snacks are healthy! And your night time meal is within calories.

    This time I am trying just the calorie counting, and it's not going as well! I dnt know why, but it's disheartening. So I say go for it, if you can do it! :) I'm considering doing it again but my finances aren't great as I'm travelling and it is soo expensive in NZ!
  • Slimfast, you lost me at hydrogenated soybean oil.

    If you want a quick shake on the go, buy some high quality whey protein (without artificial flavors / colors), mix with skim or almond milk, and take with a multivitamin. Same deal as slimfast without all of the garbage. Of course, if you look at the ingredients in almond milk, that's a whole other can of worms ...

    Best of luck, op.
  • stuffinmuffin
    stuffinmuffin Posts: 986 Member
    I could never do Slim Fast as I like to chew my food!! Also it's a bit retro today in terms of available diets. I remember my sister doing it in the 90's!! If it REALLY worked, everyone would do it.

    My problem is that it doesn't teach you how you should be eating. Through MFP I learned about the foods I could eat in abundance and those I could eat in moderation - and ones really just to save for borthdays and christmas. It taught me the importance of moving your butt and getting exercise. I wouldn't have been able to make the smooth transition into maintenance without going through this process.
  • I never understood people taking up Slim Fast Diet. I look for healthy ways and it's working me too. Having proper healthy food on regular intervals but just in needed amount will keep you in good shape. I am sure most have tried it and are in good shape. You just need to keep track of your food and follow it properly. You won't be starving but still will be reducing your fat down. Read this blog, might be helpful.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    You've already noted all the reasons why people don't encourage it. It doesn't teach people how to eat healthy in a sustainable, lifelong way. It doesn't teach people about caloric needs, macronutrient goals, or exercise. It's generally a quick fix diet, rather than a lifelong change. So...what is your question again?

    I'm using it as a temporary weight loss boost, not as a permanent solution. I'm already pretty savvy on healthy eating, so I don't need to be "taught" anything. My question is basically this: are there examples of those who actually SUCCEED in using this diet as a tool (note: tool, not lifelong change), and why can't anyone focus the benefits in taking part in it (don't say there aren't any, because that won't get us anywhere)?

    Sounds like you are looking for acclamation, not a discussion. The facts are: people who use VLC diets, odd diets, external supplements, pills, or other what I call "heroic" methods to lose weight have a 2 yr failure rate of over 90%. That's probably why you don't hear a lot of success stories. The odds are definitely NOT in your favor.

    From that perspective, the whole idea of a "temporary boost" just doesn't make sense. Nothing you lose during that time is really permanent or meaningful until you have developed a healthy lifestyle. That is why you won't see much support here-- most people understand that things like Slim fast are just distractions that delay real accountability.
  • cuinboston2014
    cuinboston2014 Posts: 848 Member
    I did not do the Slim-Fast diet in and of itself but i did use a ton of Slim-Fast and Special K products when I lost my initial weight of 100 pounds and I've kept it off. I knew I needed to cut calories and have portion control handed to me. I knew at that time I would not take the time to make healthy meals from various ingredients and would not have the control to stop. I also ate a ton of lean cuisines.

    In the morning I'd often have a bowl of oatmeal, followed by a banana. For lunch I'd have a protein shake or a protein bar (Special K, Cliff, Slim-fast etc) usually have a healthier (but not good for you) snack like a serving of pretzels. Dinner I'd often have a lean cuisine. I'd have yogurt or something in between but nothing that wasn't pre-packaged or preportioned.

    And it made all the difference. I would not do that again, but that's because over time I developed healthier eating habits, created more time to package my things, and, most importantly, I changed my mind set. My stomach also stopped being accustomed to eating 6 slices of pizza with french fries and got used to eating oatmeal and a banana.

    I believe if you learn from it you will benefit from it. I knew I wasn't making the best nutrition choices when I was losing but I needed to do it that way to get the weight off. Had I not gotten the weight off, my entire body would have continued to suffer from being morbidly obese. So yes, I believe that eating prepackaged, preportioned meals, shakes, diets etc can help.

    You NEED to know how to transition from them though. So when it is time to stop slim-fast what are you going to do? Are you going to begin replacing one meal at a time? Are you going to count your calories now and then? Have a plan.

    What works for you wont' work for everyone.
  • dixiewhiskey
    dixiewhiskey Posts: 3,333 Member
    Everyone on the Slim Fast Diet will die.

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  • gmstarr1
    gmstarr1 Posts: 66 Member
    Everyone on the Slim Fast Diet will die.

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Everyone will die....unless you're Duncan Macleod ( boyfriend has been on a Highlander marathon for the last week. While I really enjoy looking at Adrian Paul without a shirt, I'm really tired of Highlander right now...we're just now starting season 3)

    Back on topic:

    Any diet can fail. In 2006, I lost 50lbs and was 10lbs from my goal counting calories, portion control, giving up Coca-Cola, fad diets, no diet products at all, just less food and more exercise. (I was a college student, I had a lot more time than I do now). It should have been sustainable. But sometime after that I gained it all back. I know what my problem has nothing to do with how I lose weight, and I might need to start a new topic asking for advice on that, but I don't want to hijack this thread...

    I am really not on the Slimfast Diet...I don't do their suggested 3-2-1 plan. I just use the products as a tool. Sometimes I have time to make me something 'real', and sometimes I don't. I know some people want to chew their food, but for me, this really wasn't a big change. For the last 5 years, I usually skipped breakfast and lunch and had a gallon of Coca-Cola. I know Slimfast is not a miracle weight loss...I'm not looking for a miracle weight loss. I'm just looking for a way to stay within my calorie goals...and sometimes I wouldn't be able to do that without a Slimfast drink...

    I still think I'm learning portion control. I still have to plan dinner and the snacks in between, and if I have time, I make me something 'real' for breakfast. Still learning things. Last Friday we learned that my boyfriend and I don't need to order two entrees and an appetizer at Texas Roadhouse...getting one and splitting it would have been enough. I've also learned to get off my *kitten* and fix my own plate for boyfriend gives me way too much, and apparently some left over advice from childhood 'you have to make a happy plate' compels me to eat it.

    NOTE: For those of you who don't know what Highlander is, it's a 90s show where the main character Duncan couldn't die unless his head was cut off.

  • angiemotto
    angiemotto Posts: 31 Member
    Hey! Just wanted to add my feedback on slim fast. I started last year back in April. I lost about 50 pounds by this and doing Zumba workouts mostly from home and jogging. I didn't follow it exactly because thats just not enough calories. I snack in between the shakes. A lot of people say it doesn't feel them up but I didn't have that problem. When I got hungry I ate a salad or apple and was fine.

    After I lost the weight I started switching the shakes for other light meals instead. I didn't gain my weight back. I think a lot of people lose the weight then go back to eating whatever fatty foods they were eating before and of course you will gain your weight back. Now I'm going back on it full time because I'm starting a new exercise program and wanting to drop a little more. It really helps take the guesswork out of counting calories and helps a busy lifestyle. I've also been thinking of making my own shakes to replace these. I'd like to go with the green shakes.

    But I guess it's all in how you look at it. If you treat it like a diet and try to starve yourself and just have these shakes, then it's going to be a bad idea. But to replace a meal a day or two, add healthy raw foods in the mix, and exercise, you can get positive results. Hope this helps!
  • Hey there! I too have been eating super healthy and exercising regularly for a number of years but I haven't been able to reach my final weight loss goal. I remember I use to work with a girl (prob 10 years ago) who did the slim fast diet plan and she lost a ton weight. I still notice her facebook pics and it looks to me like she kept the weight off. I have decided to give it a try since I am struggling to get the pounds off. It does worry me with regards to the amount of sugar and ingredients that I cannot pronounce...but like you I am looking at this as a temporary solution. I find it's harder to get the weight off then keep it off. I wish us both GOOD LUCK!! =D
  • maidentl
    maidentl Posts: 3,203 Member
    once again, I got suckered in by a zombie post. *sigh* :angry:
  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,830 Member
    Nothing wrong with trying shakes as meal replacements but do you really want to spend money on something with this list of ingredients (copied from the Slimfast site -- excuse the all-caps)?


    A cup of whole milk and a cup of frozen blueberries whirred in the blender is about the same calories. Change to skim milk and non-fat yogurt and add a protein powder and you've got a better shake for the same calories.