I promise I won't bore you guys with diet stuff very often, but I did tell you that I would share my thoughts on the Slim4Life system. And since I went for my three-week weigh-in yesterday and had lost 16.6 pounds, I figured now was as good a time as any.
I decided on Slim4Life because I had heard ads on the radio that talked about (1) quick weight loss and (2) the ability to eat grocery store food and eat out. When I did some research, I thought that it seemed like a happy medium between Weight Watchers (which is super flexible and loosey goosey) and Jenny Craig/NutriSystem (which require you to buy their food). So I went in for the initial consultation, and here's what I learned.
1) It is $6/week, but...
... they tell you that, for you to lose maximum weight, you've got to buy their "supplements." The supplements are (1) fatty acids/fish oil (to keep your skin tight when you lose the weight), (2) vitamins, (3) "metabolizer" (just natural ingredients to help curb your appetite and cravings), (4) protein bars, and (5) various other protein-rich snacks. They really push the supplements, and after I bought six weeks' worth, I was out around $350-ish (and I didn't buy the vitamin or the fatty acids - when I run out of the initial sample supply they gave me, I'm just going to get them at GNC). Plus I had to pay around $300 to join for twelve weeks. So it's not cheap.
2) There's a lot of food you can't eat...
The program is based on an approximately 1500 calorie per day diet. They give you a food list with the foods you're allowed to eat. Essentially, you get two proteins (meat/seafood), two
fruts fruits (thanks, Mom!), four vegetables, two starches, and one fat per day (plus two supplement snacks). They limit portion size, as well as the foods you're allowed to eat. Notably, there's almost no cheese (except cottage cheese, which I don't eat), salt (to keep off water weight), processed sugar, or caffeine. And no Diet Coke, which was REALLY hard at first.
3) ... But it works.
After a three-day "prep" period, during which I ate 2-3 pounds of meat a day and unlimited raw green veggies, I had lost about 5 pounds. From then on, I've continued to lose it. It's hard at times because I really just want some pasta or a cookie. And on Weight Watchers, I could have that. But then I couldn't eat anything else for the rest of the day. For me, the structure is better. It teaches you to make good choices, and I've started to crave the things that are good for me - fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables, fresh fish and scallops. And yes, some of the "rules" are dumb. No carrots? Or corn? As one friend put it, you don't get fat eating carrots. And the no salt thing is killing me.
But I can't argue with results. It's working. And doable for me. I just adapt where I need to to stay sane (i.e. I occasionally have full-fat balsamic vinegarette dressing instead of fat free... I'm such a cheater! ;)). And I like that someone's checking up on me. If I don't come in to meet with someone when I say I'm going to, someone calls me to see when I'm coming in next. I try to go in twice a week. Which can be sort of a pain, but I honestly think that's part of the magic. It's good to talk about what's working and what isn't, and it's really nice to have the support.
Bottom line - expensive but worth it. At least for me. :)