By Dr. Gillian McKeith
Reviewed by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD
Slim for Life claims to be more than a diet book and will take the reader to new heights of wellness and new degrees of health on all levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. Outcomes from following the plan can include weight loss, improved natural energy and healthier habits.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan
There are four parts to the plan:
- 2-Day Detox
This component claims to help the colon remove waste and is recommended once every few months. It consists of fruit smoothies, vegetable juices, broth, salad, nut pate, water and herbal teas.
- 1-Day Fat Flush
This component claims to be especially for readers who need to lose weight and should be done before the 28-day plan. Breakfast is grapefruit, lunch is beans and brown rice and dinner is cucumber soup and coleslaw. Water and herbal teas are encouraged throughout the day.
- 28-Day Eating Plan
Each day of the plan there are three meals and two snacks with an emphasis on fruit smoothies, vegetable juices and recipes focused on raw and cooked produce with small portions of whole grains and primarily vegetarian proteins. There is a one-page list of foods to eliminate and a six-page list of nourishing foods to eat.
- 3-Day SOS Emergency Plan
This component claims to be for the reader who needs a jump start and has fallen off the wagon. Extra easy meal choices are recommended such as a fruit smoothie, miso soup, grilled vegetables and snacks of vegetable juices.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
Slim for Life offers good advice about keeping food logs, reading food labels, dining out, eating on a set schedule and enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods. The plan offers reasonable exercise recommendations of at least 30 minutes of activity daily and gives specific tips on how to be more active. Emotional issues are also addressed such as motivation, goal-setting, visualization and ways to treat oneself without food. The book provides reasonable exercise advice and creative, nutrient-rich and easy-to-prepare recipes.
However, the meal plans are not nutritionally balanced. They are low in whole grains and dairy/dairy alternatives for calcium and vitamin D. Recommendations throughout are not based in science, such as claims specific foods help rid the body of toxins or special food combining practices should be followed like eating fruit before other foods and never for dessert, don't eat chicken and rice together, or don't eat fish and potatoes together. Other misinformation can be found, such as dehydration causes weight gain, alcohol causes cellulite, raw foods enzymes help with weight loss and wheat and spicy foods should be eliminated.
The book contains misinformation and the recommendations are not entirely based on science. The unbalanced meal plan tends to be low in whole grains and calcium sources and is too drastic for most people to adopt for lifelong healthy habits.