The Comme J’Aime Diet and its associated meal replacement products are among the most popular diet-related merchandise on the market today, as has remained so since its conception in 1977. Part of the key to its success may be the fact that, compared to diets like Atkins and South Beach, Slim Fast is extremely conventional, and easily endorsed by doctors and nutrition experts across the country.
Slim Fast emphasizes the four components of healthy weight loss that are most widely accepted nutrition, specifically reducing portion sizes, eating a sensible variety of foods, exercise, and readily available live support for those with flagging willpower.
In order to help with portion control and limiting calorie intake, Slim Fast introduced a proprietary line of milkshakes and meal bars. These are designed to be used twice a day to replace meals in the initial weight loss phase of the diet, and once a day after that during maintenance.
These specially formulated products contain a balance of all the required food groups, ensuring that the dieter maintains a healthy nutritional status at all times. The program is also designed to provide a caloric intake that will produce a corresponding weight loss of one to two pounds a week, exactly what most doctors recommend.
For these reasons, experts are usually able to recommend Slim Fast for long-term use without much hesitation. As an added bonus, the meal replacement products contain a special blend of ingredients that decrease hunger pangs and enable followers to get through to the next meal.
The precepts of the diet are so sound that they have not changed much over the years, though some concessions were made to the low-carb craze of the early millennium when Slim Fast introduced their Optima line of products, which contain about forty-five percent less sugar than the regular shakes and bars.
While Slim Fast is indeed one of the soundest weight loss products around, there are some caveats. To begin with, the diet adds to the weekly grocery users must drink two shakes and eat two bars per day, in addition to spending money on ingredients to make their own dinner. If you aren’t able to buy the products in bulk, these purchases can really add up over the time it takes to lose a significant amount of weight.
The convenience of not having to prepare ones own food and be careful with what to prepare also requires a tradeoff. Slim Fast has, over the years, introduced a variety of flavors and lines of products. However, for the person who is trying to lose more than fifty pounds and who expects to be on the program for twenty-five or more weeks, eating a rotation of these items four times a day every day will most likely evolve into torture.
Most people complain that even if they manage to stomach the same thing day in and day out, the tiny meal replacement bars and even the shakes are not very filling at all, despite Slim Fasts claims of their special blend of appetite reducing ingredients.
This brings us to our final points. The ingredients listed on the back of a Slim Fast Optima chocolate shake are as follows: Fat Free Milk, Water, Sugar, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Vitamins & Minerals Blend (See Product Details), Canola Oil, Fructose, Gum Arabic, Calcium Caseinate, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Phosphate, Soybean Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Monodiglycerides, Carrageenan, Maltodextrin, Artificial Flavor, Sucralose (A Nonnutritive Sweetener), Dextrose, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate.
First, it must be pointed out that Slim-Fast products contain dairy and soy, and are not at all suitable for people with sensitivities to these foods. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners are used to reduce the number of calories in the products.
The jury is still out on whether or not these substances are actually safe. And finally, who really wants to eat things like cellulose gel and sodium citrate anyway, when they can simply and cost effectively prepare sensible portions of natural foods in their own homes anyway.