Slim4Life Review

Around for almost 40 years, Slim4Life provides nutritional advice, a diet plan and numerous required supplements and other products as part of its weight loss program. What exactly is the Slim4Life Diet and what does it claim beyond, you know, being slim for life? [1]

Besides the costly and requisite supplements and foods, what’s distinctive about this diet is it’s best done in one of the Slim4Life centers, given it’s the coaching that most users agree makes it doable. While Slim4Life corporate headquarters is in Independence, Missouri, there are 35 locations in four states, so unless you live in four US metro areas, you’re doing this diet online (which has its pros and cons.) The Slim4Life locations are in:

  • Florida (five in the Jacksonville metro area)
  • Kansas and Missouri (10 locations in the Kansas City metro area)
  • Texas (20 sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio metro areas.) [2]

Slim4Life Centers have their own Better Business Bureau ratings, which range from B-minus in Florida to A-plus in Kansas City, but there’s no information available on the customer complaints—though most of them were marked “completed” without any details. The review ratings are generally positive.

Costs for the plan vary, depending on your tailored program, but it’s pricey. Some details are below under “The Plan.”

Slim4Life Diet Claims

“It works! It’s fast! Lasting Results!” [1]

“Our weight loss programs have been designed by a team of medical doctors, nutritionists, and counseling psychologists. Slim4Life Weight Loss originated 38 years ago, in 1979. Since then, we have helped thousands of people to lose weight and achieve the body they deserve – and to create good eating and lifestyle habits to keep the weight off. Our systems have undergone many improvements since their inception, and we continually strive to better serve our clients to overcome their weight loss challenges. We are well known in our communities by the numerous doctor referrals as well as doctor participation in Slim4Life.” [1]

“Slim4Life works because our custom weight loss plans are plans worth following. Programs are tailored to meet your individual weight loss needs and lifestyle. This includes eating regular grocery store foods that you can prepare at home with your family or eat out at most restaurants. Programs include one-on-one counseling at our weight loss centers, as well as programs for those who prefer to do it all from home.” [1]

If you live near one of the Slim4Life centers, you get a free consultation so you can “learn how Slim4Life Weight Loss can help you lose weight and keep it off.” Claimed to be done without pressure, an assessment is done based on your weight loss goals and off you go…after swiping your card for a chunk of money. That, too, we’ll get to shortly. [1]

Slim4Life.com claims you’ll “lose up to 3 to 5 a week with one-on-one individual programming supports, personal counseling” and they guarantee results if you regularly visit a center and buy all the supplements. [3]

The Slim4Life Diet Plan

The process begins with a personalized consultation with an “expert” (whether this person is a qualified dietician or nutritionist is unclear) who educates clients on healthy eating and making good food choices. Okay, fair enough. But only this initial consult is free; going forward things begin to get pricey and dicey.

Because following the consult—where weight loss goals are explored and a calorie-restricted diet is planned—comes the “no pressure” sales pitch for the required supplements, which are not cheap. Quite the opposite.

Besides an eating plan and coaching, the foundation of the program is Slim4Life products; supplements, meal replacement drinks and shakes, bars, and snacks. [4]

Slim4Life supplements include: [4]

  • The $150 Metabolizer with ingredients include guarana, ginseng, and nutmeg. It’s supposed to kick-start your metabolism, burn fat and get lean muscle tone, which sounds suspicious as the program has no exercise component.
  • The $40 Slim 700 carb blocker, which is generally known to be ineffective
  • The $40 Slim EFA, essentially fish oil; fatty acids-Omega 3, 6 and 9, which in this case—based on their labeling—may come from anchovies or sardines. Honestly, you’re better off eating fresh fatty fish a few times per week.

And plenty more.

For the at-home dieter, there’s the $463 4-week pack of supplements, meal replacement drinks, and Slim4Life snacks. The 6-week package is $677. The 10-week program, $1046, comes with a phone consultation and individual calories-per-day diet plan, and phone counseling (it’s unclear how often those sessions last and their frequency), a nutrition planning booklet, and a measuring tape. And the kit comes 10 weeks’ worth of the supplements, a multi-vitamins, some energy drinks and ‘Slim Snacks.’ The at-home programs packages are not refundable and you cannot substitute anything in the packages. Shipping is free with Slim4Life if your order is more than $150. [4]

Then there are snack bars, soup mixes, salad dressings (packaged in single portions), pudding mixes, smoothies, water flavor mixes, hot chocolate mix, cracker- and chip-type snacks, and even a cappuccino drink mix. Not a one of which runs for less than $17 for seven servings. [4]

Also, if you check out the Nutrition Facts on the labels, the sodium content of most of these products is pretty high. [4]

NOTE: Slim4Life’s “guarantee” is only good if you purchase all the supplements they “recommend” for you.

At the time of enrollment, your Slim4Life Weight Loss Service Guarantee is calculated based upon your medical history and goal weight. Your Slim4Life Weight Loss Service Guarantee is valid as long as you visit the center regularly, take treatment weeks consecutively, and follow all the guidelines as instructed. If, abiding by these conditions, you do not reach your goal weight in the amount of time specified in your Slim4Life Weight Loss Service Guarantee, Slim4Life Weight Loss will continue your program until you have lost the amount of weight specified without any additional charge for our services. Please note that the cost of nutritional supplements and other weight loss products are not included in this guarantee. [5]

So they won’t reimburse you for anything. They just won’t charge you any more consultation fees until you reach your goal. And you’ll still be buying the supplements and foodstuffs.

The Science Behind the Slim4Life Diet

WebMD.com makes no bones about it: diets that include myriad dietary supplements are suspect and should be avoided.

Dieters are always searching for the food, pill, or potion that will help them lose weight, but unfortunately, there are no such miracle ingredients. Be leery of any plan that recommends a shelf full of supplements enzymes, or potions, especially if you purchase them from the diet book author or company. [5]

“You don’t need expensive supplements” says Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RD (Registered Dietician), a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). “If you want to take a once daily multivitamin for nutritional insurance, that is fine, but otherwise, we recommend you get your nutrients from food.” [5]

Word on the Street About the Slim4Life Diet

Since Slim4Life has a pretty active Facebook page with several thousand followers, going there for Slim4Life reviews and commentary made sense. There’s lots of information and they post regularly. The page also features reviews. I’m often dubious of these, because anything can be removed or deleted. Of the 100 reviews, 84 are 5-star, which makes you go, “Hmmm.” But there are a handful of critical reviews, and those are particularly pointed and detailed. [6]

Like “Monica,” who said she felt abandoned by the program she attended in Texas. “I lost 40 lbs. and never reached my goal by 1 lbs., so I never was given instructions to maintain and keep weight off. I felt I paid a lot of money and they gave up on me. Very disappointed.” [7]

“Brian” was also displeased:

Very disappointed. Very expensive. Well short of the guaranteed loss, consistently hungry, no energy, and crabby. 6 weeks 15 lbs but gaining now even on 1000-1200 calories. The counsellors are great people, very kind. Don’t expect them to understand metabolism and what a very low calorie does to it. They are led to believe that the supplements prevent the drop in metabolic rate. Sorry but how else do you explain gaining weight on 1200 calories a day? [7]

“Teresa” was candid and her experience was perhaps a cautionary tale. She said she spent $1,700 and “regret it every day.” Her review is detailed, long and very critical and accusatory. Because the guaranteed weight loss is only guaranteed if you make all the supplement purchases she admits “… fell for it. So I’m out $1700 …I feel stupid and very disappointed.” [7]

Quite a few people commented on her post commiserating and agreeing.

“Sara” said Slim4Life is “a total bait and switch scam! They should just be honest about the cost upfront and it really costing at least around $4,000…” [7]

Many people, even fans of the program, complain about the cost—which seems to run anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

“Donna” said,

Not sure how to rate the company but as far as advertising I would rate that poor because I was misled to believe that $40 included the entire weight loss service. But after the consultation and again stating $40 for everything the price drastically went up, $366 the low end and. $546 the high. I just wish they would cater to folks that are on a budget. And then the lady told me once I leave out the door the price will go up to $1,200. SMH. [7]

But others praised both Slim4Life products and the diet, like “Bob,” who encouraged dieters to stick with it.

Lowering your intake of food is only part of what you will learn. Don’t forget it’s a total lifestyle change, you will gain it back if you don’t change your habits. That is why I recommend you try and stick with it for at least 6 months. Old habits are hard to change. Good habits will last you a lifetime. [7]

Bob is a fan. As are many others. In fact, the vast majority of reviewers loved the diet. But, of the forty or so reviews  read, most people agreed that actually going to a Slim4Life site for coaching and encouragement was the reason they’d stuck with it. Not unlike Weight Watchers, which has been consistently ranked as one of the all-time best diets, it’s the real-life support of real people in a real location that seems to make a big difference.

Slim4Life Texas locations have quite a few fans that have even posted photos with their reviews on Yelp. [8]

Like “Julie C.” After seeing her pictures, you’ll be a believer. “Julie C.” documented her stunning 120-pound weight loss and swears by Slim4Life—but in particular, her weight loss coach at the Mesquite, Texas, center. She started the program in December of 2015 and as of her last update in March of 2017, she said her previously very high blood pressure is normal, she no longer has back pain and gives all praise to a particular person. “I feel and look great! Thanks to all my Slim4Life counselor in the Mesquite office for helping me change my lifestyle.” [9]

The Bottom Line: Is the Slim4Life Diet Worth a Try?

Risky. Stay away unless you live in one of the regions where there’s a center and you find an awesome coach. Or you have a lot of disposable income. Otherwise, eat healthy food and exercise. With the thousands you’ll potentially save by not doing this diet, you could hire a personal trainer.

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*Individual results will vary.

 

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