Tony’s Take on: Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast


Problem: Which Meal Replacement Shake Should I Use?

Ok, fair warning, this ain’tcha ordinary review…

CalvinBrain

I wouldn’t be, uhmmm, well, uhmmm, “moi” if I did a plain ordinary review!

And why should I anyway?  “Ordinary” is just so.. “Plain!”

One should always strive to be FAB-u-LUS even when reviewing meal replacement shakes.

So………  Welcome to Tony’s Brain – doing a review — Brace yourself, it’s a very strange place!

Regular readers, keep reading and enjoy the silliness that you’ve come to expect from me.

You folks who found me via a Google search and are expecting a “normal review” well dearest visitors, you have a choice…

You can do what my regular readers are doing, which is grabbing their morning coffee or a snack to tide them over for a bit while they sit back and have a few laughs reading my post…

OR

You can jump down to the BORING DATA and nuthin but the BORING DATA…  waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy down at the bottom of this post somewhere…

Now, back to the silliness that is “Tony’s Brain”

Small Steps –> “Progress! Not Perfection”

Here’s the deal…  ya gotta start somewhere!

The first steps are usually NOT perfect but they ARE steps…  So I don’t want any comments from the peanut gallery that start with You’d be better off doing… X, Y, and Z…

Does one criticize a baby’s first wobbly steps?  NOPE!  I don’t THINK so!   Instead, one goes “awwwwwww…”  and applauds! So applause is in order (hint hint)

But I digress..

Where was I?  Oh, yes…

Why am I using Slim Fast right now?

…a series of reasons and semi-rational rationale in free association stream of consciousness from Tony’s Brain presented as a bullet list — [this should be interesting…. or scary… ya never know which way the needle will tilt…  ]

  • Money is tight for me right now. VERY tight. Actually it has been very tight for quite a while but I manage, usually.
    ..
  • Good food, healthy food, and/or organic food, COSTS A FRIGGIN’ FORTUNE! Sure there are low-cost foods in the grocery store, but when you flip over the box and read the nutrition label and the ingredients, OMG!
    ..
    Hello class, the word for today is “crap.” Let’s use it in a sentence: “The corporate food producers are putting crap in the food they are selling us; we know this because when you look up the long words on the nutrition label those words translate into ‘chemical poop storm’ and since, we all know that poop is a synonym for crap we see, that indeed we are being fed crap.
    ..
    Now class, can anyone define what is a synonym?”
    ..
  • Complex meal plans well are too complex, at least right now.  I need something simple and easy  that is “better” than “what went before” which we won’t discuss.
    ..
  • I’ve used Slim Fast before so I know it works, I know it is convenient, and I know, most of all that it tastes good.
    ..
  • I need to start SOMEwhere on the whole “eating better and losing weight thing.”
    ..
  • I like chocolate – oh, my “like” is such an inadequate word.  I adore, I venerate, I lust after, I desire, I luxuriate in, I worship, well ok, maybe I’m carrying on a bit, but you get the idea.  Chocolate = good and yummy and creates warm fuzzies.
    ..
    Hey guys, I’m not kidding!  There has been scientific research on this.  Chocolate releases endorphins in the brain!  Woot!
    ..
    Or something like that.  It’s been a while since I read that article…  Urk!
    ..
    The words “too much and chocolate” shall never pass out of my lips unless preceded by the words ” there is no such thing as”  (e.g. There is no such thing as too much chocolate”)
    ..
  • I like milk – a lot actually.
    ..
  • Slim Fast in Milk ends up tasting like chocolate milk.  SCOOooooooooooooooooRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  (I knew I watched all those World Cup Games for a reason.  I lurn-ed a new wurd!)
    ..
  • Drinking a Slim Fast vs Calling Domino’s Pizza.  Hmmmmm  Yep, Slim Fast is definitely an improvement.
    ..
  • Replacing two meals a day with Slim Fast will save money and the food budget is horrifyingly small…  Urk!  (Yes, I get food stamps; The Great State of Texas in their glorious wisdom and infinite generosity bequeaths me with a grand total of $15 a month.  Yes, friends FIFTEEN dollars.  The sad part is that, in spite of how insulting that is, I am not in a position to say “no” right now.  So I fill out the forms and take the $15 and look forward to the day where I won’t need that teeny tiny bit of public assistance any more.)

DECISION:
Yeppers, Slim Fast is a good idea!
Make note to self to get Slim Fast on the next shopping trip…

Now, let’s take a little trip back in time…

time_machineBack in August — Ooops.  Hobbes set the controls to the wrong month!  August 2014  is too recent, we need to go back to May 2014 and briefly my revisit my “Come to Jesus moment”

(yes, I was raised in the American South and yes, we really do use that phrase down here — even the non-religious types use it.  — Moving on…  My Canadian friends are welcome to rib me without mercy the next time the see me in person.  I promise never to ask you the name of the letter “Z” ever again!)

So, where was I?  Oh, yes, my Come to Jesus Moment:  I knew I needed to do something!

May 2014:

Let’s do some more free association thread of consciousness stuff…. That was kinda FUN the first time round…

  • May 2014: I am a blob – a huge out-of-shape-barely-able-to-move, Domino’s Pizza has my address permanently encoded in the GPS of every one their drivers BLOB
    ..
  • May 2014: Walking down the stairs was a MAJOR FRIGGIN’ UNDERTAKING!
    ..
  • May 2014: Going to the store and shopping is even a bigger one.
    ..
  • May 2014: If it ain’t easy, I wasn’t gonna do it.
    ..
  • May 2014: BUT I need to do SOMETHING!  — The blob must be banished!
2014.05.03 4.50 AM -- My Come to Jesus moment

2014.05.03 4.50 AM — My Come to Jesus moment

So, the next time I go to Walgreens, back in May, to get a few things (because Walgreens is smaller than Kroger thus easier to get in and out of without having a stroke or otherwise embarrassing myself by needing to sit down and rest mid-shopping trip OR even worse, use one of those free electric carts (do they still have those at Kroger?)  It doesn’t matter… NOPE!!!! … There are just some things this boy ain’t gonna do!  Ain’t gonna use a go-cart in the grocery store!  Nope!)

So, I look for Slim Fast at Walgreens because Walgreens USED to carry Slim Fast shake mixes.  But there was narry one to be found — SIGH.

I even got the manager.  He looked.  Nope, turns out they don’t carry it any more (Note: I noticed last time I was in Walgreens earlier this week, that they have since begun carrying it again.  I must not have been the only customer who squealed to high heaven!  So the minds at Walgreens Central Command must have said…Shut these people up!  Put it back on the shelf!)

May 2014: Faced with the overwhelming challenge of going to Kroger…  I did nothing for about a month. (Yes, Really.  For a month.  At that time due to depression and excessive pounds and a severe lack of fitness–going to a large supermarket was simply too much to handle thus “overwhelming challenge” is not an exaggeration, it is a statement of simple fact.)

store stripFinally, one day, as I had just finished getting my mail from the UPS store, it dawned on me that I was sitting, parked  in front of one of those “stores for muscle-bound folks whose pinkie is bigger than my whole bicep” —

Hmmmmm…. say I.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. say I.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. say I.

So, I lumber out of my truck, mentally gird my loins…

(I’ve got to look up “gird” I think I like this phrase because I get to say “loins” but hey, whatcha gonna do)

…and I go into the muscle/health/sell you weird stuff you’ve never heard of before in powder and pill form store.

cropped-frombackWhereupon I find a very friendly and helpful clerk a.k.a. GURL-FRIEND.  Did I mention that this Muscle store and the UPS store are both on the main strip in the gay-borhood here in Dallas?  Oh, I didn’t? Well they are.

So… this very helpful clerk (he must be into Daddy Bear Types.  Either that or he is just supernaturally friendly and helpful) said “Why YES, we do have something that is a better version of Slim Fast!” 

Problem solved.  I bought this huge honkin JUG of powder that looked to be a lifetime supply of meal replacement shakes called Lean Pro 8  for $42.99 including tax.

I had some extra money back in May.  Don’t no more!  LOL!

Hobbes!  Set the controls to Jump to August 2014 and the beginning of “Tony’s Do-over”

time_machineNOTE TO SELF: I’ve GOT to find a snappy phrase to describe this “undertaking” that I’ve embarked on… (Dear readers… any suggestions?  Feel free to use the comment form down below…)

So… After several months of use, the huge supply of Lean Pro 8 is almost gone.  Need more.  Check the food budget: Do I have $42.99 to buy another jug o’ muscle powder?  NOPE!

So.. Slim Fast it is! which is MUCH cheaper per canister.  Tah-dah!

I face the inevitable.  I have to go to Kroger.

So, I gird my loins and I face the beast, venture into the store and hunt down the elusive Slim Fast and find it tucked waaaaaaaaaayyyyy back in the corner on the bottom shelf near the pharmacy next to the Ensure and the Depends.  What message is Kroger trying to send here?  Hmmmmm?

First Walgreens, then Kroger… Whatsup?!

There has GOT to be a story here folks!  Slim Fast used to be EASY to find!  And featured PROMINENTLY in the “diet” section. WTF happened?

But I digress…

Hobbes!  Set the controls to Jump “Back to the Future!”

(yeh, I know… I just had to go there!  LOL)

So, here we are, present day, and my current can of Slim Fast is running out.

I decide that “now is the time” for me to do a little research and compare “Lean Pro 8” (the muscle shop powder) and Slim Fast. What I discover is that they are something of “apples vs oranges”  Sure, they are both meal replacements but they don’t compare very well…

…presenting another journey through the scary place that is Tony’s brain… in bullet form:

  • Hey, doing a review on my blog comparing these two powders is an AWESOME idea!  Woot!  My readers will like that and I can be silly and I’ll get lots of Google search hits.  YeeeeeeeHaw!
    ..
  • Uh-oh!  Ugh… long list of stuff on the labels… but hey I can put it in a spreadsheet and compare side by side
    ..
  • But what’s up with this… Lean Pro 8 doesn’t have all the vitamin info that is listed on the label of Slim Fast
    ..
  • Let’s visit the site of Lean Pro 8 and see if they put the vitamin info on their website.
  • Eeeeeeeekkkkk….   INFO OVERLOAD!!!!  LOTS OF BULGING MUSCLES — Clearly they are not marketing this stuff to people like me… And I can’t find the vita-veeta-vegimin info anywhere on the site for the Lean Pro 8!
  • IMG_0486Hmmmm what is this “Lean Body” mix they have? (good marketing on their part… they got me to clicky-click on the product!)  Hmmmm…Look, they have vitamin info for the “Lean Body” product but not the Lean Pro 8….  I wonder if “Lean Body” is a better match for comparing to Slim Fast?
  • Ok, I’ll compare all three.
    ..
  • Hmmm… that’s a lot of typing, I’ll need to cut and past from the websites.
  • Lean pro stuff done.
    ..
  • Hop over to Slim Fast website
    ..
  • Oh!  Look!  They have a high protein version! (more good marketing..  SIGH)
    ..
  • OH CRAP — now I have FOUR products to compare.  Aaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh
    ..
  • My readers are NEVER stand for a post that long reviewing FOUR products.  After all I’m known for doing short posts… *WINK*
    ..
  • Wipe the orange juice off the computer screen from where I spit it because I burst out laughing at the thought of me doing a short post!  I crack myself up sometimes.
    ..
  • Ok… naaaaaarrrrrrrrooooooowwwwwww it down: Compare only the two slim fast products:

ta-dah

Folks, this really is the way my brain works.  I get scared of it sometimes.  And sometimes we have a PARTY!

So, presenting for your edification…

Regular Slim Fast vs High-Protein Slim Fast

CONCLUSION: The High Protein Version is the better choice

Here is the side – by – side comparison of the basic Nutrition Facts

I’d like to take a moment to welcome the folks who arrived here from the Inter-webz as the result of a Google Search and who decided to skip all the entertaining silliness that is otherwise known as “a short post from Tony’s Brain”

Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protien Nutrition Facts

Regular Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protein Nutrition Facts

Not much of a difference so far.

Here is the side – by – side comparison of the basic Nutrition Facts – Part 2

Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protein Nutrition Facts

Regular Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protein Nutrition Facts

Ok, we finally have a difference between the two worth discussing.  Take a look at the sodium levels.

In the High-Protein version it DOUBLES.  So, if sodium is an issue for you in your diet, you might want to take note of that.

Percentage wise that is a jump from 5% to 10% of the Daily Recommended Value (as set by the Food and Drug Administration in the US)  You folks up in Canada have your own agency.  In fact it is worth pointing out at this point that these nutrition labels are the ones used by Slim Fast in the US.  I don’t exactly have access to the international labels, so, uhmmm, foreign readers, well, just be aware of it.  Ok? Good.

And [drum roll please] the BIG difference is in the Protein levels.  The “High-Protein” version, uhmmm is uhmmmm.. “HIGH” protein.  Well DUH!

As an aside, why does “protein” violate the “i” before “e” rule and get away with it?  Hmmm… there ain’t no “c” in Protein!  “their” gets away with it too!  NAWT FAYRE!

Here is the side – by – side comparison of the Vitamins and Minerals:

Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protein Vitamins and Minerals Comparison

Regular Slim Fast vs Slim Fast High-Protein Vitamins and Minerals Comparison

One of the stray tid-bits of “nutrition info” that has stuck in my head is that getting your vitamins and minerals through FOOD as opposed to daily supplements is the better way to go.  THEREFORE, since the High-Protein version has more of the stuff that is good fer ya, I’m gonna say that the High-Protein version wins in this category.

If anybody begs to differ with this bit of info, well the comment form awaits you down below…

Which is a good place for a disclaimer…

Read what I put here on my blog, but verify it…PLEASE!  I ain’t a doctor and I ain’t a nutritionist..  I’m just a guy on his own personal fitness journey, making the best decisions he can at any given moment, and sharing my journey.

When you make your decisions about your body, well don’t rely solely on what you get from me, not that I think you would or anything but in this sue-happy world we live in I feel a disclaimer is in order…  Movin’ on….

Here is the side – by – side comparison of the Ingredients

Comparing ingredients is difficult.

Because there are no measurement information included.  Which is understandable, because with measurement information, that would, uhhmmm, make it a recipe and since these big corporate food producers don’t want their competitors to know exactly how they make their product and since they don’t want YOU the customer to make the stuff at home, assuming you could actually pick up a package of MALTODEXTRIN and the other weird chemicals they have listed in the ingredient list.

So.. here in this first chart I’ve simply listed them side by side in the order in which they appear on the label.  The higher up the list, the more if it there is in the product.  (Click on the image for the full size version)

Well, I don’t know about you fine folks but… I don’t recognize a lot of those words.  And this is not a “science blog”  So.. if you’re curious about what MALTODEXTRIN and the other bits in the canister are well, Google it or check on Wikipedia.org

My purpose in doing this comparison was to decide “which of the two was the BETTER choice” between those two and just those two.

Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast - Ingredients side by side comparison

Regular Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast – Ingredients side by side comparison

Here is the side – by – side comparison of the Ingredients — Part Two

So, that was an exercise in futility because it didn’t really tell me that much.  Upon looking at the list for a while and having some fun trying to pronounce some of the chemicals that are on the list….

…I decided that I wanted to know if there was anything in one of the versions of Slim Fast that wasn’t in the other AND I wanted to know how much the ratios of the ingredients changed between the two so I sorted the list alphabetically and this is what I ended up with.

What it means, well, who knows really.  But it is interesting.  After looking at this, my conclusion remains the same.  The High-Protein version is better.  Again, click on the image to view a larger version.

Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast - Ingredients side by side comparison -- Sorted alphabetically & analyzed

Slim Fast vs High Protein Slim Fast – Ingredients side by side comparison — Sorted alphabetically & analyzed

Sunflower Oil

I am not a nutritionist.  Did you hear that?  Read it again.  I am not a nutritionist.  I Google for information this stuff just like the rest of you.  And there are some real “horror story” articles out there on the Inter-webz.  There are also websites that tout the awesomeness of Sunflower oil.

As is usual, with this sort of thing, I figure the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Then I found one article / blog post, that had this to say in answer to the question: “Is Sunflower Oil Bad for You?”

sunfloweroilThe short answer? Avoid the sunflower oil in packaged foods – even the “organic” and “natural” and “healthy” options.

Why? Well, that takes a little more explanation. Here is the bigger picture.

There is no naturally-occurring fat (as in: not artificially and chemically altered, or over-processed) that is “good” or “bad” for you in and of itself. All fats, no matter their origin (animal or vegetable) or structure (saturated or unsaturated), have important roles in the human body.

The key considerations for fats are two-fold:
(1) how was it processed? and
(2) how does it fit in the broader context of the diet?

excerpt from “Eat Naked Now — Is Sunflower Oil Bad for You?” (http://www.eatnakednow.com/is-sunflower-oil-bad-for-you/)

I don’t know about you but what this dude wrote, MAKES SENSE TO ME!    Friends, neighbors, dearest readers, and the odd cousin or two who reads this blog, and my Mom, well, everything is relative.

IS THE SUNFLOWER OIL IN SLIM FAST A GOOD THING?

Well, maybe not, probably not; it depends on who you believe.  HOWEVER, when you compare the bit of oil from sunflower oil in two Slim Fast shakes against the entire, yes I said ENTIRE pizza from Domino’s that those two Slim Fast Shakes are replacing, well you do the math.

Me:  “Sister Jenny C. hear my confession… I did partake of an entire large pizza from Domino’s during a single 24 hour period.  I know that I should have not let my despair and depression lead me to this sinful indulgence but I was weak.”

Sister Jenny C.:  “GURL! are you out of your mind!  Get your butt down to our weight loss center STAT!”

Uhmmm… where was I?

I think the scales clearly weighs (pun intended) in favor of Slim Fast with its sunflower oil.  What do you think?  Hmmm????  After all I’m not planning on doing “Slim Fast” for the rest of my life.  It is an initial step in a very long process.

There will be BETTER WAYS in LATER DAYS — but for now… hey  PROGRESS not perfection!  Remember?

Environmental Concerns:

mafia catOK, I admit it.  I care about the planet I live on.  And where I can, I do what I can.  And that means at least giving a passing thought to the containers in which the products I buy come in.  And IF I have a choice, all things being otherwise equal, I’ll go for the “greener” package every time.

So…  I have some issues with the package.  There are some good things and SOME BAD THINGS!  Hey!  Youse guys at Slim Fast!  You readin’ this?  Don’t make me send my couzin Guido to pay ya a visit!

Things I like:

  • The canister is easy to get into
  • It comes with a scoop – one scoop = one serving (which can be recycled)
  • The canister is made of paper on the sides — Paper can be recycled.  Paper is biodegradable.
  • The canister has a metal bottom and a metal rim around the top.
  • The canister has a plastic lid which seals the canister tight between uses. (which can be recycled)
  • The label is 100% paper.  Yay!

Concerns / Things I don’t like:

  • There are too many chemical names in the make up of the product.  Right now that’s cool because the benefits outweigh that, but eventually…  I wonder if they could make an “organic” version or at the very least an “all natural” version?
  • Uhmmm, the cardboard paper walls of the canister are covered with this silvery material which may or may not be recyclable.
  • The metal bottom and the metal ring around the top of the can do NOT have a recycle symbol which makes wonder whether the metal bits are recyclable.
  • About that plastic scoop….  Yes, I know, in theory it can be recycled and yes, I know it is convenient to have a scoop that measures out the exact amount in every single can, but hey Slim Fast!  Us consumers, your customers, do have measuring spoons and measuring cups in our kitchens!  There is no real need to give us a fresh scoop in EVERY SINGLE CAN OF YOUR PRODUCT!   And you have to wonder, just how many of your customers actually RECYCLE???!!!!!   Think of the cost savings if you left that out!  Cost savings which of course would be passed along to us?  I don’t know how much that scoop costs you per can but let’s say it is 15 cents.  That’s 15 cents savings you could pass along to us, your customers.  Right?  Hey Guido… I donna thinka dey understand!
  • Why a can? Why not a re-closable bag (with NO SCOOP) and make the bag out of the new bio-degradable plastics created with corn starch?  Or paper(?), like bags of flour or sugar.  Hey, THAT’S an idea!  Both the customer and the planet “getting fit and healthy together!”  You could even MARKET it as an improvement!

Tony’s Take on the High-Protein Slim Fast Shake Mix:

4 stars from TxCowboyDancerI give it four stars.

  • It is easy!
  • It is convenient.
  • It is simple.
  • It is relatively inexpensive and can go a long way toward stretching a food budget which right now is VERY important to me.  You can even get coupons every once in a while from the manufacturer.
  • It has oodles of vitamins and minerals packed into it.
  • It goes with milk (which I really like) and it comes in Chocolate which I like even more.  Note: other flavors are available but in my humble opinion, the chocolate flavor is the best.  Yes, I’ve tried the others.
  • It mixes pretty well with the milk — only a tiny bit of powder doesn’t dissolve all the way.
  • And it beats a pizza hands down as a meal option.
  • The packaging actually bothers me quite a bit.  I’m surprised by how much it bothers me — especially when I throw away that scoop with every empty can.  I REALLY wish they would make the packaging  more “earth friendly”
  • The questions about Sunflower Oil bug me — I need to do more research.

So, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed the review and had a few laughs along the way.

Cost and where to get it

I wasn’t kidding when I said that I had some trouble locating Slim Fast in the stores.  Slim Fast apparently does not have the market share it once had.  After doing a little leg work, both in person, and online, I have decided that I’m going to get my Slim Fast online from Amazon.  It is the best choice for me because:

  • The cost per serving works out best that way.  I get the most for my money  (works out to be 57 cents per shake)
  • I have free shipping right now on Amazon because back when I did have extra cash I bought a year’s membership in Amazon Prime, which I think is well worth what I paid for it.  I’ve more than earned the annual fee back on the free shipping by itself, BUT, I’ve also earned the money back by all the downloads of movies and TV shows I’ve watched online.
  • Slim Fast and one or two other things are literally, yes, with no exaggeration, the only things I get at Kroger.  I get most of my groceries at Braums right now (this post is already too long to explain in detail, just accept it as a fact)  so the hassle of going to Kroger or some other “supermarket” for only one item is well, uhmmm a real hassle.   The convenience of just getting Slim Fast and Stevia (the other item I get online from Amazon) mailed to me is well awesome.  This will probably change for me in the future but for now, it works.

If you want to get it through Amazon, then cool.  If you do, then click on the image to be taken to Amazon.  (if you do buy from Amazon, I get a referral credit — Thank you!)

Buy Slim Fast on Amazon.com

If not then check your local supermarket in the “diet foods” section or over in the pharmacy area.  Sometimes they hide it there next to the Ensure.

If you’ve enjoyed this review, and want to toss a thank you gift in my direction,  that would be awesome.  I won’t lie to you, I could really use it right now.  So, here is a handy dandy link to PayPal where you can donate if you like.  No amount is too small.  🙂

Help Tony Succeed on his Journey to Health & Fitness by donating via PayPal

See ya on the dance floor!

( NOT with my slim fast shake — there are no drinks allowed on a dance floor!  )
Advertisements

About TxCowboyDancer

Eight time Country Dance World Champion. I love to dance. In the middle of a journey, transforming myself from "unemployed and out-of-shape" to "in-shape and full time dance instructor, writer and graphic artist."

Posted on Sun, Sep 21, 2014, in Product Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Join the discussion or just say "Howdy"

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: