Slim4Life is a weight loss program that has been in business since 1979, and they offer their program in two forms: one-on-one clinic consultations (if you live in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, or Florida) and at-home via telephone consultations. They claim on their website:
Our Weight Loss programs are designed to help you maintain optimal nutritional balance while you lose between three and five pounds per week, and to develop healthy eating habits that you can adhere to long after you reach your goal weight.
The company is headquartered in McKinney, Texas, with 35 clinics in the above-mentioned states. The company as a whole is not rated on the Better Business Bureau site, though some individual clinics are. Some have A-plus ratings (which simply means they’ve responded to all complaints) and some have no rating (one assumes because there are no complaints on the profile).
How Does The Slim4Life Diet Work?
Does Slim 4 Life force you to eat frozen and pre-packaged food? The company says no.
The great news about Slim4Life® is that you will be eating regular grocery store foods. We want you to learn to eat in all the food categories: proteins, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, fats, and dairy. At Slim4Life® Weight Loss, our programs also accommodate clients with special conditions related to food intolerances and we also have a great vegetarian plan. When you are finished losing your weight, your transition to maintenance will be easy and smooth and the education you receive will help you be Slim for Life!
The company believes in teaching dieters healthy eating habits start with healthy food from the grocery store. They also believe that if you learn to eat healthy with foods that are easy to access, your whole family will benefit too.
The calorie limit per day really depends on your situation, but the maximum is 1500 calories per day.
Along with the food plan, the dieter signing up for a 4-week program will receive a starter supply of supplements, anti-oxidant energy drinks, Slim Snacks, a tape measure, and four weeks of phone consultations. There are also 6- and 10-week programs if you feel the longer period of time will suit your situation better.
How Much Does Slim4Life Cost?
The at-home program costs $299 for four weeks, $399 for six weeks, and $599 for ten weeks. The in-clinic is even more expensive, costing over $600 for just the in-person meetings over the course of eight weeks; that price doesn’t include the supplements, vitamins, and snacks. The costs are non-refundable, a big up-front risk.
The company claims the diet is low in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, and high in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fruits, and veggies. Each nutritional plan is individualized to hit your target needs as a dieter, and it can change over time. Exercise is strongly encouraged on the program, increasing activity level as part of a healthier lifestyle. Slim 4 Life claims an average loss of 3-5 pounds per week. (Most health professionals agree 1-2 pounds a week is ideally safe)
Is The Slim4Life Diet Safe?
There is nothing inherently dangerous about fresh vegetables and fruits, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins. And unless you have a soy or MSG allergy, the snacks won’t hurt you, though they are highly processed (ironic from a diet plan touting “regular grocery store foods”). The cost is very high, with no money back guarantee. Actual reviews from people on this program were generally positive.
What Can You Eat On Slim4Life?
One reviewer gave a sample of one day on the Slim4Life program:
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.
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 user quoted didn’t give their calorie count for the day, but that does seem to be within a reasonable amount to rack up 1500 calories. Slim 4 Life claims its plans are safe for teens and children as young as 8.
Pros and Cons of Slim4Life
Long-term healthy eating is always a great goal for any program to have, especially when it encourages regular grocery foods. And the two-option basis is good as well.
But four hundred dollars for one month of supplements and phone calls, six hundred dollars for eight consults without the supplements and snacks…none of it refundable if it doesn’t work…that’s an awful lot of money for a personalized grocery list! The science isn’t exactly groundbreaking, either. There are enough sources of the same basic information for free on the Web that Slim 4 Life is basically there to get you to buy their supplements, snacks, and drink mixes.
The Bottom Line
In short, Slim 4 Life has the right message—fresh whole foods, accountability, and physical activity. But their program packaging leaves much to be desired. Some users complained to the BBB website that consultants either did not listen to specified allergy statements, or ignored them in favor of pushing S4L products—which can be injurious or even fatal to allergy sufferers. Their snacks are highly processed soy. They push large amounts of supplements, which should be covered by the fresh foods in the meal plans. And it costs a lot for information already widely available.
That said, if you need the accountability factor and can afford it, Slim 4 Life is probably not the worst choice out there.