Sunday, March 31, 2013

Slim4Life

   
Slim4Life is a diet focused around not only dieting to lose weight, but a complete lifestyle change to what and how much you eat on any given day. Slim4Life follows the basic food pyramid. When going through the program, meal plans are designed on a person-by-person basis, depending on age, gender, body type and other various details. Therefore, no two people will have the exact same list.

As with most diets, though, there are a good deal of similarities because some food is just better for you than others.

What You Can Eat

 The Slim4Life diet tells you not only what you can eat, but what you have to eat every day. It stays close to the basic food pyramid on how many servings a person should eat of a specific type of food in a day. Because of this, the menu is very customizable and more about portion control than restricting certain foods.
Proteins
Two servings per day. While there are many things you can eat to fulfill your protein quota, beef is only permitted twice a week, and never two days in a row. Some sources of protein are:
  • 4 ounces ground sirloin
  • 4 ounces ground turkey
  • 5 ounces veal cutlet
  • 5 ounces lobster
  • 2 large eggs
Vegetables
Four servings per day of most any vegetable. The general serving size of 1 cup is for raw vegetables only. If you’re adding cooked vegetables to your meal, use only a half cup instead.
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup cucumbers
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 cup broccoli
Starches
Two servings per day of starches. Many diets try to cut out starches altogether. Slim4Life limits the number of starches, but doesn’t eliminate them completely. These can include foods such as:
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 of a corn tortilla
  • 1 unsalted rice cake
Fruits
Two servings per day of only fresh or frozen fruit; no canned fruit, because the syrup it’s soaked in is exceptionally high in sugar. Some fruits you can enjoy:
  • 10 green grapes
  • 1/2 small grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup watermelon
  • 3 medium apricots
Liquids
Water is absolutely essential to well-being, and keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to help boost your body’s ability to burn calories. For this reason, at least 80 ounces a day should be taken in. There is also no limit to the amount of herbal tea or decaf coffee you can drink. Some recommended drinks you’re allowed on the Slim4Life diet include:
  • 2 cups tea or coffee
  • 2 glasses of Crystal Lite (or similar product)
  • 24 ounces of diet soda
Sample Meal Plan
  • Breakfast: 1 small apple, 16 oz water, 1 slice bread with no more than 1 tablespoon light margarine.
  • Lunch: 2 cups lettuce with 1 tablespoon of fat-free dressing and 1 small orange.
  • Snack: Nutrition or granola bar.
  • Dinner: 5 ounces of turkey breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 slice of bread with no more than 1/2 tablespoon of margarine.
With this meal plan, drinking plenty of water is very essential. Avoid heavy seasonings and excess intake of salt. (The diet requires you to have less than 1/2 but no more than 1/4 teaspoon of Morton’s Lite Salt every day. This comes in handy for flavoring that chicken, turkey or beef to keep it from being overly bland.

The Food List: What You Can Eat & How Much

Below is a list of the categories of food you must eat each day. which foods fall into these categories, and how much of that food constitutes a serving.
  • Proteins: 2 Servings/day
    Beefs (only twice a week/never 2 days in a row)
    - Arm Roast... 4oz
    - Chuck Roast... 4oz
    - Rump Roast... 4oz
    - Ground Sirloin... 4oz
    - Club Steak... 4oz
    - Flank Steak... 4oz
    - Round Steak... 4oz
    - Sirloin Steak... 4oz
    - T-Bone Steak... 4oz
    - Lamb Loin... 4oz
    - Ground Turkey... 4oz

    Veal
    - Cutlet... 5oz
    - Rump... 5oz
    - Chop... 5oz

    Poultry
    - Chicken Breast... 6oz
    - Turkey Breast... 5oz
    - Ground Turkey Breast... 5oz

    Liver
    - Beef Liver... 4oz
    - Calf Liver... 4oz
    - Chicken Liver... 3oz

    Fish
    - Striped Bass... 5oz
    - Cod... 6oz
    - Flounder... 6oz
    - Haddock... 6oz
    - Halibut (steamed)... 5oz
    - Lake Perch... 5oz
    - Fresh Tuna... 5oz
    - Mahi-mahi... 5oz
    - Lobster... 5oz
    - Shrimp (fresh)... 5oz
    - Sole... 5oz
    - Whitefish... 5oz
    - Orange Roughy... 6oz
    - Scrod... 6oz
    - Red Snapper... 5oz
    - Grouper... 5oz
    - Yellow Tail... 5oz
    - Bluefish... 6oz
    - 2 x wk *Swordfish... 5oz
    - 2 x wk *Crab (steamed)... 5oz
    - 2 x wk *Salmon Steak... 4oz
    - 2 x wk *Scallops... 4oz
    - 1 x wk *Tuna (water packed)... 4oz

    Dairy and Eggs
    - 3 x wk Cottage Cheese 1 % Fat... 5oz
    - 1 Lg Egg & Cottage Cheese... 4oz
    - Eggs... 2 Lg.
  • Liquids:
    Fresh Water... 10 8oz/day (required)
    Tea of Coffee... 2 cups daily
    Diet Pop (no colas)... 2 12oz cans
    or
    Crystal Light... 2 glasses
    Herb Tea... no limit
    Parsley Tea... as needed
    Decaffeinated Coffee... no limit
    Thermoboost... 2 8oz glasses per day
  • Vegetables: 4 servings/day (1 cup raw - 1/2 cup cooked)
    Asparagus... 1 cup
    Bean Sprouts... 1 cup
    Broccoli... 1 cup
    Cabbage... 1 cup
    Cauliflower... 1 cup
    Celery... 1 cup
    Chard... 1 cup
    Cucumbers... 1/2 med
    Egg Plant... 1 cup
    Green Onions... 5 small
    Lettuce or Endive... 1 cup
    Mushrooms... 1 cup
    Mustard Greens... 1 cup
    Okra... 1 cup
    Peppers (green, red)... 1/2 med
    Radishes... 10 med
    Rhubarb... 1 stalk
    Spinach or Kale... 1 cup
    Squash (summer)... 1 cup
    String Beans (was, green or yellow)... 1 cup
    Tomatoes... 1 small
    Turnip Sprouts/Greens... 1 cup
    Zucchini... 1 cup
  • Fruits: 2 servings/day (do not eat after 6 pm/fresh or frozen fruit, not canned)
    Grapes (green)... 10 reg
    Apple... 1 small
    Apricot... 3 med
    Blueberries... 1/4 cup
    Cantaloupe... 1/8 lg
    Cherries... 9 med
    Grapefruit... 1/2 small
    Lemon... 1 small
    Orange... 1 small
    Peach... 1 small
    Pineapple... 3/4 cup
    Prunes... 2 med
    Raspberries... 1/4 cup
    Strawberries... 12 small
    Tangerine... 1 small
    Watermelon... 1 cup diced
  • Starches: 2 servings/day
    Diet Bread 940 calories)... 1 slice
    Melba Toast (unseasoned)... 2 slices
    Bread Stick (Diet Stella D 'Oro)... 1 lg stick
    Akmak Cracker... 1/2 sheet
    Rice Cake (unsalted)... 1 cake per day
    Millers Bran... 2 tbsp
    Kavli Crispy Bread, thin... 1 wafer
    Corn Tortillas (6" dia.)... 1/2 tortilla
    Ryvta Cracker... 1/2 of 1 pack (3 x per week combined)
    Baked Potato... 1/2 small (3 x per week combined)
    Brown Rice... 1/4 cup cooked (3 x per week combined)
  • Fats: 1 serving per day (apply after cooking)
    Diet Margarine... 1 tsp
    Promise Lite... 1 tsp
    Promise Ultra... 1 tsp
    Fleishman's Lite or diet mayonnaise... 1 tsp
Portions listed a raw weights unless stated.

You must also have 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Morton's Lite Salt per day. You may also use 1 tbsp of mustard as a condiment per day.
You may prepare all foods by steaming, boiling, roasting, broiling, baking, pan frying, microwaving, or grilling. Do not use fat, lard, etc. Pam original, no butter, is allowed.
Limit artificial sweeteners (Equal, Sweet N' Low, Splenda) to 2 to 3 packs per day.

Allowed seasonings: Morton's Light Salt (1/4 to 1/2 tsp), pepper, garlic, fresh herbs and spices, apple cider vinegar and tarragon vinegar, Mrs. Dash, juice of one lemon per day. No regular salt or condiments.

Salad Dressings: 2 tbsp daily of Fat Free salad dressing. 

 
So how much does Slim4Life Cost

It appears to cost over $600 to start the Slim4Life program, although if you don’t meet your goal as initially expected, there are further costs in order to continue. Also, the programmed supplements, vitamins, snacks, etc are an additional cost to you.

These are some of the reactions of Slim4Life participants

  • My personal Slim4Life plan tells me what to eat and when, which helps tremendously with meal planning. For example, I eat 3 meals a day plus 2 ‘nutrients’ (a shake and a candy bar). Each meal includes a protein, a starch and fruit. For breakfast add milk, and for lunch/dinner add 2 vegetables. The plan is easy but also requires me to prepare the ‘limited food’ items which I’m allowed.
  • 5th day on Slim4Life, and now off the ‘preparation’ stage. Today’s menu: breakfast 2 eggs and an orange, lunch a cup of raw cauliflower (dipped in fat free ranch dressing) and an orange, supper 4oz grilled chicken, shredded, in a 6″ corn tortilla with ½ cup lettuce and some fat free ranch dressing – actually pretty good.
  • Finally at the end (11 weeks on) and am very excited. My Slim4Life diet consists of a strict food regime, only eating a certain amount of vegetables, lean proteins, fruit, and 80oz of water a day, combined with vitamins, herb supplements and essential fatty acid pills. I was not allowed to drink alcohol, eat sugar, dairy, oils, or preservatives. I’ve officially lost the 20lbs I set out to (I lost 11¾in. in my waist alone!), and have now begun the ‘stabilization’ phase. Slowly, over a 6 week period, they begin to reintroduce food into my diet. My weight will be monitored for one full year.
  • I signed up for Slim4Life, and paid $800 for personal counseling 3 times a week for 34 weeks. It’s really a very restrictive, prescribed diet, designed for fast weight loss. I still don’t know if fast weight loss is really the healthiest solution, but considering that I have yo-yo’d the same 50 lbs 5 times in eight years, I think it’s the only thing that’s going to keep me going.
  • This is what my diet consists of each day:
    a TON of supplements: vitamins, metabolizing herbs, essential fatty acids, carb blockers
    I can eat 2 servings of protein a day: lean meat (limited red), chicken, turkey, fish, limited eggs
    2 servings of starch a day: diet bread, brown rice, or 2 tbsp bran flakes
    2 small fruits
    basically unlimited green veggies, ½ raw, ½ cooked
    2 tbsp of fat free salad dressing
    1 serving of “lite” fat: mayo or margarine
    herbal tea
    diet seven up
    80 oz of water per day
    2 specials made from the program supplement foods: one is sweet, the other a soup or juice
    2 cups coffee, with just skim milk and nutrasweet (only 2 pkts of that per day)
    ½ tsp low sodium salt (nothing else can have salt in it)
    unlimited apple cider vinegar (salad dressing)
    the juice of 1 lemon

Is Slim4Life Successful?

The Slim4Life diet program appears to be a sensible plan with plenty of personal support and encouragement, and has brought successful weight loss for many overweight people, although the cost needs to be evaluated before enrolling.
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