What is Slim Fast | SlimFast Intermittent Fasting | SlimFast Intermittent Fasting sample meal plan | is SlimFast Intermittent Fasting healthy? | pros | cons
Intermittent Fasting has long been established as an effective way to lose weight and improve overall health. With so many benefits to Intermittent Fasting, it’s no surprise that it has become quite popular in recent years. Here at 21 Day Hero, we are clearly big fans of it (and we show you why in this Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting). We often get the question, is Slim Fast Intermittent fasting healthy?
While Intermittent Fasting gives you a framework for when to eat, the guidelines on what to eat are not as clear. A balanced, whole foods diet is encouraged when Intermittent Fasting, but some may look for more specific guidelines or a particular diet to follow as well.
But, which one to choose? In a world where the latest and greatest diet trends change constantly, it can be hard to know what to try and, more importantly, is it healthy?
Enter the new kid on the block- SlimFast. Or maybe, more accurately, the comeback kid on the block. Extremely popular in the 80s and 90s, SlimFast has created a new product and recently announced an Intermittent Fasting specific product line.
Below, we will explore what SlimFast is and how the SlimFast plan is combined with Intermittent Fasting. We’ll also outline some pros and cons and give insight into the big question- Is SlimFast Intermittent Fasting healthy?
This way, you can decide if SlimFast Intermittent Fasting is right for you.
What is Slim Fast?
When you think of SlimFast, you might remember the popular celebrity endorsements or have tried their milkshake- like drink for yourself. SlimFast has been a leader in the weight loss industry since the early 1980s. Its popularity has stemmed from the rapid weight loss results and convenience of their meal replacement shakes.
The original SlimFast plan included the use of two meal replacement shakes and one “sensible” dinner. Throughout the 80s and 90s, SlimFast dominated the dieting market making them the go-to meal replacement shake choice.
Since that time, SlimFast has created new product lines and plans. The SlimFast plan provides about 1200 calories per day for women and 1600 calories per day for men, according to their website. Users of the plan can expect between 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.
At its core, SlimFast provides its users with a low-calorie diet to achieve weight loss. The products that SlimFast offers are designed to be low-calorie and many of the products also include high protein. Research shows high protein diets do provide weight loss results in healthy individuals.
SlimFast now offers shakes, bars, and snacks that all fit into different diet plans. Plans include a Favorite Foods, Keto, High Protein/Low Calorie, Original, and now an Intermittent Fasting plan.
Each plan is catered to a specific set of needs. For example, if someone was looking for help with calorie control but still wanted flexibility and variety in their diet, SlimFast recommends the Favorite Foods Plan. Each plan still includes meal replacement bars and shakes.
Recently, Slim Fast announced an intermittent fasting specific product line, designed for those who practice intermittent fasting.
SlimFast Intermittent Fasting
So, you may be asking yourself, “How does SlimFast Intermittent Fasting work?” SlimFast’s Intermittent Fasting plan consists of products that help curb hunger, replace meals with bars, and support hydration. When Intermittent Fasting with SlimFast, you would eat one “sensible” meal, replace two meals with their meal bars, and eat three SlimFast snacks during your eating window. During your fasting window, they recommend their Energizing Hydration Supplement.
When it comes to your fasting window, it can be confusing as to what exactly you can drink. Many drink options will break a fast, so you have to choose what to drink carefully. Things like protein shakes and bone broth will technically break your fast. However, with only 5 calories and no sugar, the SlimFast Energizing Hydration supplement drink will not break your fast.
There are different flavors to choose from in each product including chocolate nut crunch and vanilla almond for their meal bars. Shakes come in chocolate or vanilla as well, while the hydration supplement options are berry lemonade or fruit punch.
SlimFast products are designed to be lower calorie options than what you would normally consume. All plans include one “sensible” meal which is recommended to be no more than 600 calories.
This is where you would want to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to ensure nutrient needs are still being met. SlimFast does provide a recipe section on their website and app. The Greek Quinoa Salad or One Sheet Baked Chicken Fajitas would make a good choice for a “sensible” meal under the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting plan.
So, what would your day look like if you want to try SlimFast Intermittent Fasting? For our example, let’s use a 16/8 Intermittent Fasting schedule while also following the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting plan. Here is what this could look like:
SlimFast Intermittent Fasting sample meal plan:
- 12PM: Vanilla Almond Crunch Complete Meal bar
- 1PM: ½ Avocado with Everything Bagel seasoning
- 2PM: Double Chocolate Cake Snack Shake Mix
- 4PM: Chicken Vegetable Teriyaki Bowl
- 6PM: Vanilla Cupcake Snack Shake Mix
- 8PM: Chocolate Nut Crunch Complete Meal Bar
- 8-12PM (fasting window): water or Energizing Hydration Supplement
One of the most important things you can do when evaluating a new food product is to look at the Nutrition Label and ingredient list.
The Nutrition Facts label will give information such as amount of calories per serving, total fat, protein, and carbohydrates as well as any vitamins and minerals. Let’s take a look at what is in the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting shake mix.
This drink contains 100 calories per serving, 15 grams of protein, 25 vitamins and minerals, 6 grams of fiber and no added sugar, but does contain artificial sweetener and other preservatives. Almost all of the SlimFast snack options are around 100 calories in order to fit within the 1200 or 1600 calorie range.
SlimFast Plans are considered low calorie diet plans. By keeping snacks around 100 calories and meal replacement bars around 200 calories, you will achieve a total calorie deficit which will burn stored fat. Low calorie diets combined with Intermittent Fasting have been shown to result in weight loss and improved metabolism, but research studies looking at meal replacement shakes (like SlimFast) used with Intermittent Fasting are limited.
While keeping calories low, the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting plan aims to curb hunger through high protein food products. Protein can reduce feelings of hunger by keeping you fuller for a longer period of time. Both the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting bars and shakes each have 15 grams of protein per serving.
For reference, here are other foods that contain roughly 15 grams of protein as well:
- ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
- Tuna packet
- 1 cup black beans
- ½ cup almonds
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
For more snack ideas, check out the best snacks for intermittent fasting.
Is SlimFast Intermittent Fasting Healthy?
Now that we have an idea what the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting plan is, let’s tackle the big question- is SlimFast Intermittent Fasting healthy?
First, it’s important to remember the basics of what is healthy. While there are many definitions of healthy, it is generally accepted (with evidence to support) that a healthy diet is a balanced diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods. This includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. It’s best to avoid highly processed foods including those with large amounts of sugar. With this in mind, here are some pros and cons of SlimFast Intermittent Fasting:
Slim Fast Intermittent Fasting Pros
- Products provide protein and many vitamins and minerals
- Shakes and bars are a convenient grab and go option
- Easy to follow the plan and know what to eat
- Program encourages exercise and tracking to aid in weight loss
Slim Fast Intermittent Fasting Cons
- Shakes and bars are extremely processed and contain added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors/colors
- Calorie needs differ among individuals and not everyone would need a 1200 or 1600 calorie plan
- Products can be expensive and may not be sustainable for certain budgets
- Lack of flavor variety
Before starting any diet plan, it’s important to know the facts and make sure that your new eating pattern aligns with your health goals and lifestyle. In order to set yourself up for success with any new diet, it is beneficial to figure out why you want to change.
Things like overall health, weight loss, and more energy are all good starting points but you will have to find your personal reasons to move your health journey forward. Your journey may look different than your friends or family members’ wellness journey and that’s okay.
Do you have to follow the SlimFast Intermittent Fasting Plan to lose weight? Simply put, no.
There is a variety of other diet and eating pattern options that have been shown to effectively result in weight loss. However, SlimFast Intermittent Fasting may be a good option for those who want the convenience of meal replacement bars and shakes while trying to lose weight. Now that you have the facts, it’s time for you to decide if SlimFast Intermittent Fasting is right for you.
Also need help fasting? Check out these Top 6 Fasting Mobile Apps we recommend to help you on your journey.
Want to go on a Fasting or Health retreat with likeminded others? Check out our Fasting Retreats review page Here.