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The Slim-Fast Plan

What It Is

Slim-Fast is more than a line of diet shakes. In recent years, the company has developed soups, pasta, meal-in-one bars, and snacks -- all based on the premise that meal replacement products help people lose weight.

On its web site, Slim-Fast outlines a four-step approach to weight loss that is similar to most others -- emphasizing portion control, sensible eating, regular physical activity, and support.

Stick to the plan, and you will lose 10% of your body weight in the first six months -- at a rate of one to two pounds a week, says the web site.

It's certainly true that Slim-Fast's approach is backed by research. Controlling portions -- and using meal replacement products to do it -- has been shown to help with weight loss.

What You Can Eat

The plan involves six small meals/snacks every day. You are advised to use Slim-Fast products for two meals and one snack daily.

The rest of the day, you're on your own -- to choose healthy meals when eating out or cooking at home. No calorie counting is necessary, says Slim-Fast. No foods are forbidden; you can still eat your favorites. However, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables are emphasized.

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