Monday, June 10, 2013

Slim Fast: A Dietary Review- Results and opinion

I followed the Slim Fast diet plan for two weeks. Here I will discuss how i found it following the diet, and my opinions on how successful this sort of meal replacement diet could be. I basically maintained my weight (losing less than a pound) over that period of two weeks. This essentially, could be seen as a successful diet, as I am not currently overweight, and like the studies suggested, it is a successful diet for weight loss in overweight/obese people, and for weight maintenance in those within a healthy weight range.

I had a fair few issues with this diet, I must admit. Firstly, the amount of sugar in the shakes/bars are slightly concerning. Most of the shakes/bars have 12-13g of sugar in them, and a woman is recommended not to consume over 25g sugar a day. This means that with consuming two of these meal replacements a day, you will be consuming almost all of the maximum sugar recommended, and of course once adding the fruit as snacks, and the 600kcal balanced meal, that would be considered a very high sugar diet. This is why I do not understand  that in most of the studies I looked at regarding Slim Fast, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance improved in the subjects following the diet- how could they do this on quite a high sugar diet? I suppose perhaps these overweight/obese people were consuming very high amounts of sugar previously (e.g. eating lots of ice cream/ doughnuts/ fizzy drinks/ sweets etc.) and the Slim Fast diet ended up being much lower than their previous sugar intake. 

I found that it was very difficult to follow the diet. I believe that this diet would be good for busy people that don't have much time to prepare food, people who don't cook very often. In the end, i am obsessed with food, and having a meal isn't just about what's on the plate, or the end result- I love preparing food, cooking food, and planning meals for the week. I often spend a while during the day making brunch/ lunch, or in the evening with dinner/ making packed lunches for the day ahead. I felt that the meal replacements, although they were quite successful in filling me up, I missed spending so much time in the kitchen. 

I found that the diet's rules aren't stated as clearly as they could be. For instance, although it says you can snack on Slim Fast snacks/fruit, what about drinks? Coffee, tea, etc? Also is alcohol allowed? It doesn't seem to be mentioned. I think these sorts of diets should have rules properly defined a bit more. 

I feel that overall, although i think this diet would be successful for overweight or obese people, particularly those who don't have much time to cook/ tend to rely on ready meals/ takeaways. I believe that for me to lose weight, I would have to try a more radical diet plan, with stricter rules, and one that involves a bit more preparation of food/meal planning. 

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