Friday, August 08, 2014

Slimfast

Ok, so I feel totally ridiculous writing this review.  Yes, Slimfast.  No, I did not seek out Slimfast products.  No, I am not on a diet.  But, they showed up on my doorstep, and what choice did I have but to try them?

Slimfast makes bottled protein meal shakes, in a variety of flavors: French Vanilla, Creamy Milk Chocolate, Rich Chocolate Royale, Strawberries n' Cream, Cappuccino Delight, and the interesting sounding Piña Colada, along with High Protein versions of Vanilla Creme or Creamy Chocolate.  Most flavors are also available as powders, so you can mix them at home with your favorite milk base.

Nutritionally, they seem pretty good: 1 bottle is 180 calories, 6g fat, 18g sugar, and 10g protein.  Fairly balanced.  The High Protein line is still 180 calories, but has 9g fat, only 2g sugar, and a whopping 20g protein.  And at first, the ingredient list isn't too scary: fat free milk and milk protein concentrate make up the dairy base, rounded out by water and sugar.  And ... canola oil.  But the ingredients quickly get totally unrecognizable, and the list is not short.  I can't say that these seem like they are actually good for you.

Slimfast also makes protein meal bars, that are supposed to seem decadent, like eating candy bars, but are only 200 calories, and complete with 8g protein.  They do sound good, at least in name: Chocolate Peanut Caramel, Sweet & Salty Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Cookie Dough, Chewy Chocolate Crisp,  and Have Your Cake.  And finally, they make smaller snack bars, 100 calories, but with only a single gram of protein, again in tempting sounding flavors: Double-Dutch Chocolate, Peanut Butter Crunch Time, Chocolate Mint, Greek Yogurt & Honey. 

I can't tell you about any of the bars, as I only tried the shakes.  And, I'll be honest, I expected to take a single sip, gag, and move on.  But I didn't.
Strawberries n' Cream Shake.
I tentatively took a small sip.  And then a gulp.  And then I pulled out a straw, and downed the entire thing.  Wow, it was actually good!

It was thick and creamy, like a milkshake. The strawberry flavor didn't exactly taste like ripe, fresh strawberries, but it also didn't taste like fake sweetness.  It was truly tasty.

The shakes came in a 4-pack, so a few days later, I tried another.  Now, the first time, I expected it to be awful.  But the next time I expected it to be good.  So I was more apprehensive, thinking my changed expectations might ruin it.  But ... they didn't.  It was still good, ridiculously easy to just down the entire thing in 3 seconds flat.  The 4-pack didn't stick around for long.  I found that they work for breakfast, for a post workout treat, or, even as a dessert, although, I did add whipped cream when I served it that way :)

The thing that really surprised me about these was how filling they are.  Sure, everyone says that about their diet products, but I didn't expect it.  Even by the final bottle, I was still shocked when I'd have one with my breakfast, feel beyond stuffed, and not want any other food for a few hours.  I tend to snack and munch on things all day long, and when I had the first couple bottles, I actually thought something was wrong with me and I was getting sick.  Where was my appetite?  Where was my desire to munch?  If staying full is actually something you want, these certainly do it.  I don't think it is just the protein, I think something else in the massive ingredient list is probably a appetite suppressant.

The actual Slimfast plan has you replace both your breakfast and lunch with a shake, which I honestly can't imagine doing, and I'm sure they'd get old very fast, but, uh, for random shakes, they were far tastier than I ever imagined.
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