In the late 1970s, meal replacement shakes hit the diet market in a swarm. Slim Fast--then a division of Thompson Medical, Inc.--launched its chocolatey mainstay in 1977. The Ultra Slim Fast diet plan promotes weight loss by means of its meal replacement shakes combined with one healthy meal each day. It is built on a 1,200 calorie model, so healthy snacks between shakes are fine as long as you don't blow it at dinner time.
Skip the Bars
You need some real food. While the Ultra Slim Fast diet plan does call for at least one "sensible" meal per day, the company also encourages the use of branded snack bars and frozen entrees that ultimately fail to teach dieters good eating habits.
Measure portions of nuts, fruit and whole grains to use as snacks between shakes. Get used to eating healthy foods, and cook a balanced dinner in the evening rather than relying on frozen entrees. Otherwise, according to a Colorado State University Extension analysis, the Ultra Slim Fast diet plan can lead to poor weight maintenance in dieters who reach their goals and discontinue the shakes.
Use Fruit in the Shakes
Not everybody likes the flavor offerings of the Ultra Slim Fast shake products. If you use the powders to mix your own shake, try adding some fruit to the vanilla variety. Choose fruits with a low glycemic index, or GI. Carbohydrates that break down quickly, releasing high levels of glucose into the bloodstream, have a high GI, while more complex sugars that are broken down more slowly have a low GI. Low GI foods keep energy levels balanced. Some low GI options are berries, peaches or apricots. Moderate choices are mango, banana and papaya. Fruits to avoid are watermelon and pineapple.
Plan Your Slip Ups
With the Ultra Slim Fast diet plan, slip ups are actually exacerbated by the shakes themselves. Sometimes you just know you're going to ditch the diet for the day because it's a holiday, or your best friend is in town or you are just tired of it and need a break. Try to make the decision to skip a day before you go off the rails. If you decide mid-day that you are going to eat, drink and be merry with your friends the rest of the day, you will have already packed in 25 percent of your recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates and 440 calories from your morning and afternoon shake. It's better to just confine your diet "freak out" to one day, and pick up where you left off with the shakes the next morning.