Thursday, May 23, 2013

Diet: Slim Fast- a Dietary Review.

Hey guys! So due to being very overworked over the last two months, with numerous essays, revising, and rather traumatic exams! Over that time, I definitely did not have time to exercize, and i've got to admit i was fairly lazy when it came to healthy eating. I drank a bit too much booze, to combat the stress, ate a fair amount of junk food, and to help work/study, I drank a hell of a lot of energy drinks. So, in order to lose a certain amount of weight, I thought i would try a diet- but be a professional nutritionist about it (as i am), and write a report of my experiences. I have decided to do a diet trail on the Slimfast Diet plan. Like any nutritional report, it is important to look at the previous medical success of these sorts of diets. Here are 5 medical journal reports regarding the success of Slim-Fast and other similar "Meal Replacement" based diets:

Truby et al (2006) "Randomised controlled trial of four commercial weight loss programmes in the UK: initial findings from the BBC "diet trials""- This was a six month trial studying the effect of Slim-fast, Weight watchers, Atkins, and Rosemary Conley diet plans. The conclusion of this study that was that successful weight/fat loss can be achieved in adults following commercial diet plans for a substantial period. Average weight loss was 13 pounds over 6 months, which doesnt seem a lot-but on average 9,7 of those pounds were fat, which shows these diets seem to be quite successfull in improving fat/muscle ratio.

Ditschuneit et al (1999) "Metabolic and weight-loss effects of a long-term dietary intervention in obese patients"- This was a 3 month and 24 month study based on those following the Slimfast program. After 3 months, 7.1% of total body weight+ 7.7 pounds was the average weight loss. (If i based this on myself, in 3 months I would lose 16.9 pounds in three months). After the three month study, up until the 24 months patients lost a further 0.07% body weight every month. Over the study, the obese patients also had also improved their blood pressure and insulin response.

Heber et al (1994) "Clinical evaluation of a minimal intervention meal replacement regimen for weight reduction"- Around 250 participants were involved in a 12 week weight loss study, wherein the average weight loss was about 10% of total body weight, (with an average 13.8 pound loss over the study period). This study also showed an improvement in hypertension (high blood pressure) and insulin response. It was noted that meal replacement diets advantages include low cost and minimal professional dietary intervention.

Rothacker et al (2001) "Liquid meal replacement vs traditional food: A potential model for women who cannot maintain eating habit change"- In a study of 64 women, the group on the slimfast diet lost much more weight than the control group, and there was a decrease in total fat mass. Over 12 weeks, there was a loss of 6.3% of total body weight + 1.5 pounds.

Ditschuneit et al (2001) "Value of Structured Ready Meals for weight management: Risk Factors and Long Term Weight Maintainance" A 3 month, and 4 year weight loss study, using Slimfast. Very much a long term study, people following the diet lost weight over the three month period (about 17.2 pounds and 0.5% of total body weight). Cholesterol was also reduced, and the conclusion of the study was that meal replacement diets had a postitive long-term effect on dietary disease risks.

So there you go! Rather a lot of studies claiming that Slimfast, or "meal replacement" diets, are quite successful in weight loss, as well as long-term health effects. I intend to be on this diet (replacing two of my meals with Slimfast shakes or bars, snacking only on fruit, veg, or "slimfast" snacks, and eating a well balanced under 600kcal meal) for 2 weeks, or more, depending on how successful the diet is. I have about 11/12 pounds to lose to my goal weight, and would like to achieve this around 5 weeks. In the meantime, i will review information regarding this diet, and post up healthy "under 600kcal" meals that i consume whilst on the diet.

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