Slimfast versus Salad [Fitness Friday]


As I’ve mentioned before, for the past year and a half or so I’ve been using the “if it fits your macros” philosophy to lose weight and build muscle. So when Influenster offered to send me some Slimfast items I figured, hey, why not? I could always use some snacks!

Photo Dec 22, 5 44 38 PM

They sent me Cinnamon Bun Swirl Drizzled Crisps, Sour Cream and Onion Baked Crisps, a Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bar, and one meal replacement drink.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that only the drink had sucralose in it. I don’t drink or eat sucralose or aspartame or other similar sweeteners so I was happy that I could at least try the other items!

And try them I did. The cinnamon crisps and the sour cream and onion crisps were snacks on two different days. I ate the bar on my way to working packet pickup for the F3 Half Marathon. All were quite tasty, to be honest.

But here’s my issue with the whole thing:

Photo Dec 22, 5 45 30 PM

Can you see that? This plan suggests you eat two meal replacement bars or shakes, both of which are under 200 calories. Then you eat one 500 calorie meal and three 100 calories snacks. When you do the math you come up with, at most, 1200 calories.

Um, what?? Even when I was first “cutting” (aka losing weight and body fat) I was eating more than that! Seriously. I may not be a registered dietitian or nutritionist but 1200 calories seems super duper low!

Especially if you’re also working out. I lift weights 4-5 days, do at least one high intensity interval cardio session, and one longer run of 5 to 10 miles each week. I need me some food!

Plus, I’ve found that a huge salad with 4-6 ounces of protein fills me up way more than anything else. For example, yesterday I had a free meal from Sprig so I ordered their Harissa Chicken with Couscous for lunch. I love that they list all the macros on their app/website so it made it simple to find something that would work. However, even though it was tasty, it didn’t fill me up the same way all those greens and veggies do in a salad. Crazy, right?

Anyway, I won’t be buying any Slimfast stuff with my own money. I don’t need it and I find the whole idea a little suspect. I guess I just prefer to eat real food. Like the Chicken Avocado Burgers I made for dinner last night. Highly recommended.


Also, for the curious, this is what my workouts looked like so far this week, plus what I have planned.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Workout with my trainer (deadlifts, bench press, front squats and pull-ups) plus an Orangetheory Fitness class.

Wednesday – Back & Biceps

Thursday – Legs

Friday – Chest, Shoulders & Triceps plus 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill (planned)

Saturday – 8 mile run (planned)

Sunday – Rest

9 replies on “Slimfast versus Salad [Fitness Friday]

  1. Anne

    My mom and I tried slim fast shakes when I was in junior high and high school, so been there, done that. I agree, 1,200 calories is pretty low, I eat about 1,600 calories a day to lose weight, and it’s just enough for me. I can’t imagine cutting out 400 calories EVERY DAY!

    I think the problem with slim fast, and other “easy” weight loss fixes, is that it’s not sustainable. At some point, you’re going to miss eating real food twice a day, and that’s when a lot of people totally fall off the wagon.

    Btw, I’ve been making those chicken avocado burgers for years – they’re so good!

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      Yeah, I remember buying the shakes when I was in high school, too, because I never had time to eat breakfast and I figured they’d fill in the gap. Not so much.

      Totally agree that the “Slimfast diet” is not sustainable and might be doing more harm than good. I know people want a quick fix but, really, you didn’t end up where you are overnight. It’s not going to change overnight, either.

      Also, I totally got that burger recipe from you 🙂 So, thanks!

  2. Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

    Oooh, you went to OrangeTheory, eh?! How’d you like it? I’ve never been (though I’ve been to plenty of places with similar concepts). I know people who are OMGOBSESSED with it and people who are kinda meh on the whole thing, so I’m curious what you thought!

    A couple years ago, I bought a one-month diet/exercise plan from a trainer (which I…never used. At all. Oops. Hahaha), and they wanted me to only eat 1200 calories most days, with maybe a max of 1400. I was LIVID. The person who put together the plan was allegedly educated in nutrition, but was still restricting me to 1200 calories/day even when I was supposed to be doing a lot of exercise! It seemed SO unhealthy and SO dangerous, and I was not at all impressed (which is part of why I didn’t follow the plan at all. After seeing that, I didn’t trust a single thing the trainer or nutritionist had to say.). From everything I’ve ever read, 1200 is the BARE MINIMUM you can eat without going into starvation mode, a la anorexia, which, like Anne said, is not at ALL sustainable in the long-term. I’m 100% with you – just eat real food instead! I think ultimately you’ll feel so much more satisfied, so much healthier, and have such a better chance of continuing those sorts of eating habits of a long period of time/forever.

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      That was actually the second time I’d done an Orangetheory class (still never paid for one, though!) If you love data and working out by heartrate and need someone to tell you exactly what to do then these are the classes for you! They’re fun and I like doing them every now and then, but I know that for me, personally, dedicating 45 minutes to weights and 30-45 minutes to cardio separately is what works best. Trying to do them together means that one of them is getting the short straw. Just something I’ve learned about myself in the past year.

  3. Erica @ Erica Finds

    I say salad any day! The Slimfast marketing (and 1200 cal recommendations) are SO unappealing to me. I think real food wins. I do eat a lot of on the go snacks, but I try to make sure I eat ones with whole food/nutritious ingredients that I can pronounce. I think your assessment is spot on.

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      Agreed on the “real” food! Being married to a chemist he gets upset when people say chemicals are bad. I don’t necessarily think they are bad, I just think I get more out of real food!

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