What I have against “Meal Replacement” Diet Plans

                Week 1 of my diet plan is officially complete!  I did pretty well, though I caved a little this weekend.  I had two cumulative mid-terms this past Monday so while I was studying, I found myself eating more snacks and even eating some cookies my roommate baked (I wish she would stop doing that) because I would need a “study break.”   For the future, I need to find an alternative way to handle my stress when I’m studying.

                During the regular working week I did really well though.  I didn’t miss a single day of eating all five servings of fruits and vegetables.  I found that recording my diet and exercise on a daily basis helped me stay on track.  Reading my little entries helped me remember what my goals are, and thus stay determined.  For the weeks to follow, I will definitely continue recording what I eat and the amount of exercise I do every day.

                One new thing I have tried this week was Slim Fast meal replacement Shakes.  Now, keep in mind that I don’t agree with meal replacement plans one bit.  I think they are merely marketing schemes.  If people want to lose weight bad enough, they are going to do whatever companies tell them to do as long as they can convince people their product will work. 

I am not disputing that people will not see weight loss results while following the Slim Fast Diet plan.  In fact, they most likely will lose weight, but here is what I have against Slim Fast, and all other “meal replacement” diet plans:

                First and probably foremost, some of these products are not as healthy as they make you think.  I am looking at the ingredients in my Slim Fast shake now, and I’m seeing fructose, sugars and trans fats.  These are not good at all.  I’ve read a few reviews about Slim Fast as well, and though I have not personally tried their meal or snack bars, some reviews say they also contain fructose, trans fat, and even sugar as the second highest ingredient listed.

                Secondly I do not like meal replacement diets because they do not offer any nutritional advice.  By this I mean, they do not teach you how to eat healthy in the long-run.  What they do teach you (and yes it is true) is that by cutting calories, you will see those pounds dropped.  I can’t argue with that part, but really people, what are you getting from these kinds of diets?  You’re getting cut calories, fructose, and sugar.  I believe that it is important for dieters to learn how to eat healthy in order to keep the weight off, and just to stay healthy in general!  After all, you are what you eat!

                The reason I chose to incorporate Slim Fast shakes into my diet was not as a meal replacement plan.  I don’t eat their snacks or meal bars, but instead I eat fruit for my snacks, and two healthy meals.  For my meals, I have been sticking to the “half a plate of veggies” rule along with some fish, a garden burger or a small chicken breast.  For lunch I have been eating salads.  I have only used the Slim Fast shakes as my on-the-go breakfast option a few times this past week.  Aside from the fact the product has some bad ingredients in it, there are also plenty of vitamins, protein and dietary fiber on the list. 

                I don’t see much of a problem with using the shakes (or bars) as an on-the-go breakfast option.  However, I will warn that these drinks are very sweet and drinking or eating something sweet while you’re on a diet is a terrible idea as it will only make you crave more sweets.


About tonicekada

I am a junior print journalism major at West Virginia University. I have two minors in Italian and fitness.
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