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The first impression you get of Slim4Life is that the company has the worst name ever! Slim4Life sounds like a gang sign you'd see on an underpass wall. Apparently S4L has been around since 1979 and whilst it does sell supplements, Slim4Life is a weight-loss program.
The first thing you should know about Slim4Life is that the company has physical locations that you are required to visit, so unless you live in Florida, Kansas, or Texas you have no realistic hope of following the program.
The first step is to book in your free 30 minute consultation with one of their ‘experts'. In this consultation you will be asked questions about your health and lifestyle before enduring a sales talk. If done correctly then this is an excellent idea that sets Slim 4 Life apart from a lot of the other weight loss companies.
You are getting individualised advice, and being treated as a unique person. Compare this to Herbalife where everyone does the exact same program, or most weight loss groups which involve a meeting with 30 other people in some dusty communal hall.
The Slim 4 Life program revolves around educating the client on healthy food choices, and teaching them how to shop for the right groceries. The idea is that the client comes in to the centre for sessions where they are taught how to improve their diet.
Whilst the initial consultation is free, the other consultations can cost quite a lot. This is not necessarily a bad thing, when it comes to value for money there is no correct amount. If somebody guaranteed you results for $2k and you got those results then that would represent good value for money.
That being said, it is very difficult to quantify how good their advice can be. Putting anyone into a calorie controlled diet with low-fat food choices will lead to weight loss . What you're really paying for is the support and motivation to continue. This is the benefit of coaching, and it is for this reason that Slim 4 Life could potentially be an improvement on most weight-loss companies.
One major red flag from the website is the sentence “Our Home Program is structured yet flexible and provides up to 1500 calories daily”. Now 1500 calories might not be that low for a female who is quite petite, but for an obese person that calorie target is ridiculously low. If you subjected someone who was on a 2,400 calorie per day diet to a sub 1500 calorie diet they would of course lose weight. But they'd also batter their metabolism and lead to muscle loss.
In reality there just is not enough available evidence to say whether the counsellors are great at their jobs or not. If they are indeed professionals (as is claimed on the site) what are they professionals in? Are they Dieticians? Or doctors? Do they have degrees in nutrition? Probably not, because if they did the company would surely advertise that fact.
Theoretically to be classed as a professional all you need to do is be employed in a job, that would be the bare minimum. It seems likely that the ‘professional' councillors could very well just be average members of the public who are now employed to sell programs.
In which case the councillors would just be parroting information that they learned in an induction course. Which is what happens at Herbalife, Juice Plus and other such companies. If this is not the case then the program could be an excellent idea – but it seems unlikely.
Another red flag is the response to one of the frequently asked questions “Do I have to exercise?”. The answer is “no, but you may want to after participating in the program”. In other words there is no instructions to exercise, or advice as to how.
You don't need to exercise to lose weight, but creating a diet program which promises 3-5lbs per week of fat loss without exercise is troubling. Most people want to lose weight so that they have a toned body and a flat stomach. Losing weight without exercise will not give you that look at all, it will lead to lost muscle mass, slowed metabolism, and the inevitable weight re-gain.
Conclusion: The high cost could be justified if the program was well run and led by professional dieticians with solid exercise advice and guidance. However there is no exercise advice and no evidence of the qualifications of the councillors. For the same money you could hire yourself an excellent personal trainer or dietician, so why risk it all on a supplement manufacturer which offers expensive in-person meetings?
Slim 4 Life sell about 30 different supplements so it would be crazy to review all of them, but one of their packages known as the “Manager Pack” seems to represent their most popular products. It costs $213.00 and contains:
The Metabolizer contains 180 capsules (2 per serving) and individually costs $150. The ingredients are Guarana, Bitter Orange, Nutmeg, Ginko, and Asian Ginseng. The product promises to increase weight loss, increase fat burning, increase your metabolism, and increase lean body mass. That last promise in particular is ridiculous.
The person taking this “Metabolizer” is supposed to be on a sub 1500 calorie diet, and is not being advised to exercise, so how on earth are they supposed to INCREASE lean muscle? What this product is, is a poor quality fat burner. The Guarana may increase metabolism, but due to the super low calorie diet that the client is already on their metabolism will have decreased anyway.
The Slim EFAs are a combination of Omega 3s, Omega 6s, and Omega 9s. Considering the diet is designed to be healthy and include lean meat and fish there is no reason why you would require a supplement of Omega 6. Also $40 for 40 servings is very high.
Slim 700 is a carbohydrate blocker which in theory sounds like an amazing idea, but in practice does not have any real evidence that it is effective. And when they have been found to be effective it was only in people who had a higher than average carb-diet. As the Slim 4 Life diet program is supposed to be low in carbs anyway, these pills will have no effect.
Vita life is just a vitamin and mineral supplement at a cost of $16. It's hard to mess up a vitamin and mineral supplement so let's assume that this one is perfectly fine. It certainly isn't going to help you lose weight, and with all the dieting coaching that a client is supposed to be getting, why would they need to supplement their diet? Odd.
Conclusion: These supplements are pretty much useless and highly overpriced. Avoid!
 Munsters MJM, Saris WHM (2012) Effects of Meal Frequency on Metabolic Profiles and Substrate Partitioning in Lean Healthy Males. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38632. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038632
 Wing, R., Phelan, S. 2005. Long-term Weight loss maintenance. American Society for Clinical Nutrition 82(1): 222-225
Matt Smith is a fitness and nutrition writer with more than 10 years experience as a personal trainer, and a degree in Sports Science from London Metropolitan University. He has written for many fitness websites, and runs his own blog and podcast at beernbiceps.com. You can contact him via the "About Us" page.