SlimFast is known worldwide as a weight loss brand. Founded in 1977, this Florida-based company helps people control their weight by substituting two meals a day with meal replacement shakes. Over the years, the company has added to its product lineup by creating meal bars, dietary supplements, snacks and packaged meals.

Most people remember the SlimFast motto used to be “two shakes a day and a sensible meal at night.” Currently, the company has replaced this idea with something simpler, called the “3-2-1.” “3” refers to the number of 100-calorie snacks a day that people following the plan should have. The “2” references the two different SlimFast meal replacement shakes or bars. Finally, “1” stands for the larger meal of the day, which should be about 500 calories.

Overall Rating of SlimFast

Many people have found success using this product to help reduce their weight. Consequently, this can be a good option for those who need a simple, calorie-specific weight loss product.

It loses a half star due to the main ingredient, which is sugar. While the product currently contains much less sugar than prior versions of the meal replacement shake, it can still be a concern to those who have to watch their sugar intake or want to cut back.

How Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?

Meal replacement shakes like SlimFast work by limiting the number of calories consumed during the day. When people stick to the plan, they consume about 1200 calories in the course of a day. A typical person burns 1800 calories a day just in normal daily activities, depending on the individual’s body. This means that on the SlimFast plan, you consume about 500 calories a day less than you potentially burn. To lose one pound, a person needs a 3500-calorie deficit. By dropping 500 calories a day, that means the loss of one pound a week.

The Benefits of the SlimFast Meal Plan

SlimFast meets the vitamin, mineral and calorie needs for two of three meals a day. The company also has a line of snacks for the required three 100-calorie snacks. All that needs to be added to the day is one 500-calorie meal. This could be breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on the person’s needs for the day. For instance, meeting friends for Sunday brunch or mid-week lunch could be your big meal of the day. The plan is simple and flexible to allow it to easily fit into almost any routine.

Why Should Elderly People Take SlimFast?

One of the benefits of using the SlimFast plan is the ease of use. The shakes come in powder form or as premade drinks. This means less work for the elderly person, if he or she has to make the food alone, or for the caregiver. The only meal that needs to be prepared is the larger calorie meal. This can also be easy for any elderly individual who has someone to prepare meals. There are also many healthy frozen dinners available on the market.

Since many seniors have limited mobility, their caloric needs are generally less than an active adult. Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess weight is important to lessen any age-related health problems brought on by being overweight. Another benefit of the system is that it’s easy to track calorie intake if the elderly person is using the meal replacements and line of snacks. Caregivers don’t have to guess what the person ate that day.

Pros and Cons of SlimFast


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    Easy to use
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    Tasty flavors
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    Variety of products
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    High protein


  • Higher sugar content
  • Artificial sweeteners (maltodextrin and aspartame)

The SlimFast meal replacement powder is mixed with eight ounces of milk to give the necessary vitamins, minerals and protein. In addition, the company makes ready-to-drink version of the shakes.

The shakes come in three basic flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. The shakes boast 10 grams of protein per drink when made with eight ounces of milk. 

Other easy-to-use choices in the product line are snack bars, vitamin supplements, and 100-calorie snacks.

Sugar is the most dominant ingredient of the powder. To get the listed amount of protein, the shakes must be made with milk; any substitution alters the nutritional information provided on the packaging.

Ingredients of SlimFast Meal Replacement Shakes

  • Sugar is the first ingredient, which accounts for the high sugar content.
  • Maltodextrin is a type of artificial sweetener that can have side effects, such as causing upset stomach and loose bowel movements, in those that are sensitive to it.
  • Aspartame is another artificial sweetener with some controversy. Many health organizations, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association, have approved the use of this ingredient in food. Yet other researchers, such as from Harvard University, have found problems with the sweetener. It is also an allergen for people with phenylketonuria (PKU).

Vitamins and Minerals

Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin E Acetate, Ferric Orthophosphate, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Panthothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Chromium Chloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Copper Gluconate, Folic Acid, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phytonadione (Vitamin K1), Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), And Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12). Sweetened with Nutritive Sweeteners and a Nonnutritive Sweetener.

Allergen Warnings

​​​​May Contain Wheat. Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.

  • Those with wheat sensitivities, such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance, should not use this product.
  • Phenyketonuric and phenylalanine are found in aspartame. Most people are not bothered by this chemical. However, anyone with sensitivities or certain diseases, such as phenylketonuria or PKU, need to avoid this product.

Other Meal Replacement Options

SlimFast isn’t the only option in town, though they have been around the longest. Some newcomers to the meal-replacement-shake family can be found in health food or grocery stores. Many do the same thing but have taste, cost and ingredient differences. If SlimFast doesn’t work for your needs, here are a few other ideas for meal replacement shakes:

Soylent Meal Replacement Powder

Soylent - touted as complete nutrition for the body without the use of any other food source

GNC Total Lean Shake 25

GNC Lean Shake – many flavors and also suggests replacing two meals a day with the shake

IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake

IdealShake – suggests replacing one meal a day with the shake

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal – for those that prefer organic meal replacement ingredients


SlimFast Meal Replacement Powder is a good choice for people who want to control their calories and lose weight in one simple and efficient product. Whether this choice is right for elderly patients or family members depends on their particular health situation. If sugar control is not a problem and there are no other health issues that prevent the use of this product, then it can be an effective way to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Have you used this meal replacement for yourself or with an elderly patient or family member? What were your experiences? Is there any additional information this review missed? Feel free to leave comments in the section below.


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