Slim Fast, a dietary supplement that's been around for years, offers dieters a drinkable meal replacement once or twice a day, each containing about 240 calories. The drink replaces food and cuts down on calories, offering a simple and fast method for calorie intake while dieting or on the go. However, at the same time, it comes with a variety of disadvantages. Understanding the pros and cons of any dietary supplement will help consumers make wiser choices when it comes to dieting, weight loss and, ultimately, achieving long-term results.
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Slim Fast is not cheap -- 12.83-ounce canisters of Slim Fast powder shake mix sell for an average of between $7.44 and $28.63. Canisters of powder make an average of 14 servings and need to be mixed with milk (low-fat or skim milk is recommended according to mixing instructions).
A serving of premixed Slim Fast may amount to approximately 240 calories, while a glass mixed with the power and using fat-free milk offers about 190 calories. Not much, but 40 calories of that come from fat, according to the nutritional facts on the Chocolate Royale flavor canister. Total fat grams come to nearly 7% while carbohydrates may range around 17 grams, which is a lot of carbs for someone on a low-carb or carb-free diet. To top it off, each serving made with the Chocolate Royale powder contains 9 grams of sugar, which is approximately equal to 35 calories from sugar alone. These calories add up, creating a not-so-healthy drink for those wishing to cut back on sugar and carbs.
While Slim Fast drinks are designed as a meal replacement, they're really not designed to help consumers learn better or nutritious eating habits. As a quick fix, Slim Fast may offer dieters a jump start on a diet, but fail to teach people how to choose healthy, low-calorie and low-fat foods that offer a balanced and nutritious diet for long-term weight loss and management.
Low Nutritional Value
At about 240 calories from a premixed and ready-to-drink can, and just about 200 calories when mixed with powder, Slim Fast drinks don't offer much nutritional value for dieters. Slim Fast is recommended to replace breakfast and lunch, with the dieter eating a nutritious dinner. However, doing so places the dieter on a 1,000-calorie-or-less diet, which may be less than he or she needs for daily function, depending on exercise level and physical condition.