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Old 12-09-2004, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default Slim Fast?

Has anyone ever had any lasting success from Slim Fast? I'm thinking about trying it. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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Bad idea.

Bad bad bad.

There's nothing wrong with using commercial portion-controlled products for weight loss & maintenance if that's the direction you choose. However, using something like SlimFast is (a) hard on your body and (b) really hard to sustain. Can you really see yourself drinking little cans of chocolate milk for most of your meals for the length of your weight loss program? And if so, what happens when you have to transition to maintenance? Do you really want most of your carbohydrate intake to be from sugar? (I'm not a low-carber by any means, but the amt of sugar in these things gives even me pause.) Do you really want to miss out on all the potential nutrients from real food? Not to mention the satisfaction?

The key to weight loss is retraining yourself so that you internalize what healthy amounts of healthy foods look like, and you learn to be satisfied with them. Using SlimFast not only DOESN'T do that for you, it sets you up for a rebound effect.

I understand the pull of "easy" solutions like this. You feel that if you could just make it simple enough, sticking to a program wouldn't be a problem. This gives you that feeling of simplicity, it's very cut-and-dried. But it's not going to help you identify why you overeat, and it's not going to teach you anything that carries you into the rest of your life.

The best advice on picking a weight loss plan I've ever heard is to pick something you could stick with the rest of your life, because that is what you have to do if you want true success.

If you are looking for a program that makes some decisions for you while you retrain and get on your feet, look into Jenny Craig. Again, it only works long-term if you use the tools to reshape your attitudes about food, but it does offer convenience and off-the-shelf portion control until you are ready to transition to more food decisions on your own. I highly recommend it -- I've lost 155 pounds so far, and am on my last 10 or 20.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:26 PM   #3
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I agree with what most of funniegrrl says above, but I do think SlimFast and similar products have their place. Let me explain.

I did use SlimFast for about a month when I started my 100 lb weight loss. And I did it for this reason: I wanted a clean break from my old, terrible eating habits. It was radical departure from the past. Ripping the band-aid off, or diving head first into cold water. I followed the 'SlimFast Plan' and it did work. But I didn't find it very pleasant. After about a month, I constructed new, good eating habits pretty much from scratch. I think it was a lot easier to eat a small sandwich for lunch after doing the shake thing than it would have been in comparison to 'before'. I did not then and do not now view SlimFast as a long term or even particularly quick solution, just a tool I used to make a break from the past.

If you don't need a radical break, I'd just eat portion-controlled, lower calorie food. You can have similar calorie intake with real food, and it is much more satisfying.

Having said all that, if I was doing it over, I would probably look for a product with less sugar and perhaps more protein. It's possible some of the new low-carb SlimFast products fit this bill; I haven't kept up--read the labels. These days I use SlimFast once in a while as an easily-digestible energy drink before a long run. Not exactly the optimal weight loss potion.

And a final note: I think all of these weight loss programs and approaches are just tools. Some may work better for you than others, and what works for someone else may not work for you, but in the end, it is up to each of us to make the decisions about what to eat and how to move. Remember that any of this stuff is just a tool and not a solution; the real solution is within you.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:44 PM   #4
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I had a roommate who would go on the Slim Fast diet once in a while when she was feeling fat. She was a slim little thing already (size 6, I'd say) and used it to take off 5 pounds-ish when her jeans were feeling tight. It worked well for her, but as the previous posters said: it's probably not a liveable year long weight loss tool. My roommate only did it for a few weeks at a time, infrequently, and in conjunction with her buns of steel videos!
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