What Slim Fast Products can You Get and How's the Taste?

What Slim Fast Products can You Get and How's the Taste?

It has long since been a staple of science fiction to replace a complete meal with a single pill, shake or bar. It’s a concept that’s even worked its way into Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with his ‘Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum’! But how close are we to having a truly satisfying meal replacement we can believe in? 

The intrepid WLR Taste Team set out on a voyage of discovery with Slim Fast™ to bring you the low down.

Changes to the Slim Fast™ Menu

The Slim Fast™ menu has been revamped recently to include their Slim-Taki™ noodles in different flavours. These are meant for snacks and come in between 70 and 82 cals per pot, depending on the flavour. The soups don’t seem to be available anywhere now but added to the menu are 2 flavours of porridge.

They have added some more flavours to their shake menu including Cafe Latte, Mint Choc and Cookies & Cream although; the Mint Choc and Cookies & Cream are a tad elusive in the normal supermarkets so the Taste Team haven’t been able to sample these as yet.

Slim Fast™ has also produced a 7 Day Starter Kit with shakes, bars, snacks and an information booklet, all in a tidy box for £25. The booklet also has recipes for 7 evening meals to try that all come in under 600 cals. Two members of the Taste Team attempted a couple of the recipes and both really enjoyed them. More about that later. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Slim Fast™ Porridge

Our Taste Team were pleased with how easy the porridge was to make. Rip open the sachet, chuck it in a bowl and add boiling water. Voila!

Taste Team Tip: Make sure you give it a really, really good stir before and after adding the water

Nutritional Info Per Serving for Both Flavours of Porridge

Red Berry Porridge

The Red Berry flavour was quite sweet and definitely didn’t need any added sweetener or sugar according to the Taste Team. They found it was nice and creamy and looked quite appetising. They decided to add a few raspberries to it (adding just 8 calories to the overall count) for a bit of extra fruit and they said it was quite filling. In fact, one member of the team said she didn’t feel the need for the recommended mid-morning snack!

Golden Syrup Porridge

This porridge didn’t get as good a review as the Red Berry as it was found to be a little tasteless with a peculiar texture and a strange glisten when it was in the bowl. One of the team said she didn’t find at as filling as her normal breakfast. Her normal brekkie is 190 cals but she would have been happier to spend the extra calories to feel fuller for longer. She also felt like she ‘wanted to eat the world’ for the rest of the day. Whether that was to do with the porridge we don’t know but not helpful when you are trying to count calories.

  Per Sachet
Calories 99
Fat 1.3g
of which saturates 0.3g
Carbs 15.4g
of which sugars 3g
Fibre 2.3g
Protein 5g
Salt 0.07g

Meal Replacement Bars

These bars have 217 calories each and are meant to replace your normal breakfast or lunch. The Taste Team found all 3 flavours to be incredibly sweet, which might make having them for lunch a bit difficult. All of the Taste Team found the bars very chewy – would definitely give your jaw a workout!

Chocolate Crunch

The team found this sweet and chewy but quite satisfying. They did all crave something savoury by about 3pm even though they weren’t actually hungry!

Yoghurt Fruit Crunch

One of the Taste Team has this for their lunch at around 12.15pm and found she didn’t feel hungry until tea time at about 6pm. She said it was quite sweet and had a slight metallic aftertaste but had a good texture.

Nutty Salted Caramel

This bar was used to replace breakfast for one of the Taste Team and, again, our tester found it incredibly sweet. So much so, she couldn’t eat the whole thing in one go, saving some for later in the morning. That did mean she didn’t need the recommended mid-morning snack but felt she wouldn’t want it for breakfast everyday because of the sweetness. Another member of the team said that it had a nice nutty aroma but it was super sweet with a bitter, artificial chocolate aftertaste. She went on to say that she got a headache within 15 minutes of eating it and was hungry and feeling a little light headed an hour afterwards.

Nutritional Info Per Serving for all 3 Flavours
  Per 60g Bar
Calories 217
Fat 6.8g
of which saturates 1.9g
Carbs 16.3g
of which sugars 8.1g
Fibre 11.1g
Protein 15.4g
Salt 0.76g

Meal Replacement Shakes

Slim Fast™ shakes can be bought in powder or readymade form. For the powders, all you have to do is measure out the powder (there is a scoop in each can) and add 250ml of skimmed milk then shake well. The readymade versions are even simpler, all you have to do is open the bottle and drink! Our Taste Team found the readymade versions had a smoother texture and the powdered versions were still a little powdery once mixed. The readymade versions are also lower in calories.

TASTE TEAM TOP TIP: Make sure you pop the readymade versions in the fridge before consuming for a more milk-shake like result

Summer Strawberry - Ready Made

The Taste Team had the readymade version and decided Slim Fast™ has come a long way with the shakes. One of the team had it for her lunch and, although she missed having something to chew, she enjoyed the flavour and felt quite full. Another tester had it for breakfast but said he felt hungry afterwards although, he did say he was quite thirsty when he had it and drank it quite quickly rather than drinking it mindfully.

Cafe Latte – Ready Made

The Taste Team tester who this flavour said it was the best of the lot! It kept her full until her mid-morning snack and she said it was the one flavour that tasted better without being chilled.

Chunky Chocolate – Ready Made

A member of the Taste Team had this to say about the chocolate flavour readymade shake:

‘After the Cafe Latte flavour, I was looking forward to this . . . Bitterly disappointed. It smelt artificial, tasted artificial and I struggled to drink the whole bottle. I ended up with a headache with this one.’

So not a winner with the team!

Vanilla – Ready Made

One tester said this tasted like condensed milk and really didn’t like it but another one said it was like drinking slightly thin custard and enjoyed it. Another tester said that he would have it if there was no food available! But thought it was nicer than the chocolate shake he tried. We guess it depends on your tastes as to whether you would enjoy this one!

Mocha Choca – Ready Made

Our Taste Team member said,

‘Looked palatable, smelled like a mocha ... tasted rather like the cafe latte with a little chocolate thrown in (but thankfully didn’t taste so much like the chocolate shake!). Ok, there was a bit of an artificial aftertaste in there - but it wasn't overwhelming and I found I could easily drink the whole bottle. Had mine for lunch and, as I was feeling a little under the weather, it was much enjoyed.’

Blissful Banana – Ready Made

This got mixed reviews from our Taste Team. Some said there was a nasty aftertaste and didn’t like the actual taste, whereas others thought it was yummy – although didn’t feel very full after a whole bottle and not worth spending the 204 calories on it.

Nutritional Info Per Serving for all flavours
  Powder plus
skimmed milk
Ready Made
Calories 230 240
Fat 2.9g 5.3g
of which saturates 0.6g 1.1g
Carbs 38g 21.6g
of which sugars 20.9g 12.8g
Fibre 4g 4.9g
Protein 15.2g 15g
Salt 0.49g 0.53g

Snacks

Slim Fast™ has quite a good range of snacks including chocolate-style bars, crisps and noodle pots. Ranging from 70 to 99 calories per portion, some of these might be worth investigating if you are calorie counting but not on the Slim Fast™ plan.

Heavenly Chocolate Delight Snack Bar

Our Taste Team said this was really tasty with a good chocolate kick and a satisfying ‘squishiness’. A great snack if you have a sweet tooth, it will sort out your afternoon chocolate craving for not very many calories!

Nutritional Info Per Heavenly Chocolate Delight Snack Bar
  Per 24g Bar
Calories 95
Fat 3g
of which saturates 1g
Carbs 14g
of which sugars 6g
Fibre 1.5g
Protein 1g
Salt 0.16g

Chocolate Caramel Treat Snack Bar

The Taste Team said, simply ‘Delicious!’ when they tried this snack bar. Looks like it gets the WLRTT thumbs up!

Nutritional Info Per Chocolate Caramel Treat Snack Bar
  Per 26g Bar
Calories 95
Fat 2.5g
of which saturates 1.5g
Carbs 16g
of which sugars 12g
Fibre 0.4g
Protein 0.9g
Salt 0.15g

Chocolate Nutty Nougat Snack Bar

This bar had a satisfying, sweet, nutty taste and, judging by how quiet the Taste Team were when trying it, quite chewy. They loved it!

Nutritional Info Per Chocolate Nutty Nougat Snack Bar
  Per 25g Bar
Calories 95
Fat 3g
of which saturates 1.5g
Carbs 16g
of which sugars 12g
Fibre 0.4g
Protein 1g
Salt 0.04g

Noodle Snack Pots

These are microwaveable snack pots with Slim-Taki™ noodles and they’re really easy to cook. Not so easy to eat though. The Taste Team gave them all the thumbs down because of the look and texture of the noodles, even though the flavour of the sauces was good on the whole. They noodles are kind of grey looking. Such a shame as these would have been fab otherwise.

Taste Team Top Tip: Be REALLY careful not to burn yourself on the steam when you take these out of the microwave! Our chef had a little steam burn on her thumb afterwards.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Nutritional Info Per Pot

  Per 250g Pot
Calories 76
Fat 1.7g
of which saturates 0.7g
Carbs 7g
of which sugars 4.7g
Fibre 6.8g
Protein 4.9g
Salt 1.35g

This one smelt awful once it had been cooked and looked very unappetising in the pot. The Taste Team decided to pop it onto a plate to see if that made it look better. It didn’t. The sauce tasted okay, if a little chemical-like. However, the Taste Team only managed a forkful each as they decided the texture of the noodles was what they thought eating worms would be like!

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Nutritional Info Per Pot

  Per 250g Pot
Calories 88
Fat 0.8g
of which saturates 0.3g
Carbs 11.8g
of which sugars 7.3g
Fibre 4.8g
Protein 6g
Salt 1.4g

Again, the noodles let this one down but the sauce tasted okay. The chicken was a little strange but the sweet corn was nice and crunchy. The Taste Team unanimously voted they wouldn’t buy this because of the noodles.

Spicy Thai Noodles

Nutritional Info Per Pot

  Per 250g Pot
Calories 70
Fat 3.1g
of which saturates 2.6g
Carbs 5.8g
of which sugars 3.1g
Fibre 5.8g
Protein 2.2g
Salt 1.40g

Still the same issue with the noodles but the team thought this one was also bland! One tester said,

‘Awful – people actually buy this to eat?’

Chicken Tikka Masala

Nutritional Info Per Pot

  Per 250g Pot
Calories 81
Fat 2.2g
of which saturates 1.3g
Carbs 6.7g
of which sugars 2.7g
Fibre 6.3g
Protein 5.7g
Salt 1.48g

The sauce on this one tasted nice and a few comments were made on the chicken being quite tasty. Do we need to mention the issue with the noodles again?

Savoury Snack Packs

These are crisp-like snacks that come in between 92 and 99 cals. With all the sweet stuff and the failure of the noodle pots, the snacks are a welcome change. The Taste Team felt they were much needed to ‘stop their teeth from feeling furry’ after all the sweet things!

Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels

Nutritional Info Per Pack

  Per 23g Pack
Calories 99
Fat 2.2g
of which saturates 0.2g
Carbs 17.2g
of which sugars 1.5g
Fibre 0.9g
Protein 2.2g
Salt 0.32g

This is a very full bag of little pretzels with a sour cream and chive flavour. The Taste Team found they had a very satisfying crunch and, on the whole, enjoyed them. One tester said she couldn’t eat the whole bag in one go for her afternoon snack as they were quite filling. The team did think they were quite salty tasting.

Cheddar Flavour Bites

Nutritional Info Per Pack

  Per 22g Pack
Calories 92
Fat 2g
of which saturates 0.2g
Carbs 16g
of which sugars 2.1g
Fibre 0.6g
Protein 2.1g
Salt 0.22g

This was another good, full bag and thoroughly enjoyed by the Taste Team as a mid-morning snack. Comments like ‘good and crunchy’ and ‘nice cheese taste’ were bandied around. As well as ‘Yay, something savoury’!

Barbeque Tortillas

Nutritional Info Per Pack

  Per 22g Pack
Calories 96
Fat 2.6g
of which saturates 0.2g
Carbs 16.3g
of which sugars 1.4g
Fibre 0.8g
Protein 1.4g
Salt 0.22g

These definitely got the thumbs up from the Taste Team. They said the pack was a perfect size for a snack and they were filling. They loved the taste and, unlike some of the other snacks, they weren’t too salty.

The 24 Hour Challenge

One of the Taste Team was chosen to follow the Slim Fast™ plan for 24 hours and give us her comments. She had to follow the plan to the letter and try out one of the evening meal recipes in the information booklet. Check out what she had to say below.

9:30am Breakfast - Cafe Latte Shake

Smells wonderful, forgot to chill mine so was a bit apprehensive.... but was VERY palatable. Having left it until I was proper hungry, felt a bit strange not actually chewing anything and was worried I'd still be hungry... but soon felt satisfied.

11:00am Snack - Chocolate Crispie Bar

Ok, was starting to feel a little hungry already - but I did ‘eat’ breakfast late (and I'd been for 30 minute walk).

Bar looks delicious when unwrapped - totally surprised by that! Smells great... mmm, chocolatey aroma... like a dark chocolate brownie inside. Extremely sweet, nice chewy texture...mmm! Rather enjoyed that too.

(Curious to see, after a few days, how I'd feel about all this super sweet food...)

12:30 Lunch - Yoghurt Fruit Crunch Meal Bar

This is so not lunch. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE sweet stuff - but by midday I'm already craving something savoury. Watching the kids eat real food whilst chewing on my sickly sweet ‘meal bar’ was quite depressing. Not to mention, my jaw aches from chewing it. My teeth feel furry and my tummy is cramping with what feels like hunger. Maybe I should've tried the noodles...?

2:00 Snack - Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels

Looking forward to these - savoury, crunchy and like real food... After the first few though, they're a bit sickly and artificial tasting and not what I wanted at all. Teeth even more furry, tummy craving real food 

(Oops, by the way, I cracked at this point and ate what I fed the kids for lunch too! Sorry, folks...)

4:00 Would you believe I then went on to eat a real chocolate bar - I know it's sweet, but not artificial!

8:00 Dinner - Lamb Kebabs, Greek Salad and Pitta

Yes, we eat late in our house - I'm not sure I'd have made it this far with just the Slim Fast shakes, bars and snacks... (even with my little sneaky additions) I was starving by the time I started cooking this.

Thankfully, this was quick and easy to make. Lamb is possibly my favourite meat and I was surprised to see it as part of the plan, being so fatty. 

The lamb ‘kebabs’ looked delicious even before I cooked them. Had a bit of a drama in the kitchen when I set the baking tray AND grill alight from the spitting fat burning - fortunately, the kebabs survived (next time, I'll dry fry them) and were moist, tasty and absolutely lovely. With one slightly fussy kid, I halved the cumin, but wasn't necessary.

The Greek salad was a doddle to make - just a bit of chopping and mixing together (oh, I did soak the red onions in red wine vinegar to soften their harshness)... This salad was a big hit, with the kids fighting over the leftovers!

Wouldn't previously have bought wholemeal pitta nor 0% fat Greek style yoghurt - but I would get both again now.  

All in all, I was really pleased with the evening meal recipe. Fed myself, hubbie and two medium sized kids - we all thoroughly enjoyed it, and not a scrap was left! (In my house that's a big WIN!) Would definitely make it again.

OVERALL

Pros

  • Loved not having to think about what to eat or worry if it was too much.
  • Evening meal recipe was delicious, quick and easy to make.
  • Shake and snack bar were both surprisingly nice

Cons

  • Missed chewing real food - particularly midday
  • Soon found it all too sickly sweet and artificial tasting
  • Found it depressing eating ‘meal bar’ whilst others eating real food
  • Can't see this being something I could do at weekends, as enjoy eating all meals together as a family.

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