Since I became a fan of meal replacement shakes, I am always on the lookout for new options and new taste sensations.
Sometimes, these taste sensations are not that great and when you look at the ingredients, they are not always the healthiest.
Chatting to a friend recently, she said that she was thinking of buying the Herbalife Meal Replacement or the Slimfast Meal Replacement Shake. She wasn’t sure which one to go for.
I decided to do an in-depth analysis on both products for her and for you.
In summary, if you are pressed for time and don’t want to read through my whole article – let’s get to the result … they are both OK shakes, but not really the healthiest.
I think you could do better when looking for a quick alternative to a home-cooked meal. I would rather find a shake that has great well-balanced ingredients and claims to be 100% natural.
Let’s look a little deeper into these two products and the companies that make them.
Who is Herbalife?
Herbalife is a global company that operates in over 90 countries. They operate through distributors who are trained and given in-depth knowledge of their products.
You are probably buying your product from a distributor who has a small or medium-sized business and does direct-selling. For some people this may be a negative.
I find that smaller distributors want to get to know you personally and then tend to contact you for sales. I would rather buy anonymously off a website.
The website offers some impressive info about partnerships with famous sporting celebrities like soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Indian cricket star Virat Kohli.
I was impressed by the depth of info they give when it comes to manufacturing their products.
They claim to have “state-of-the-art manufacturing centers with working laboratories where quality assurance, quality control, research and development, microbiological, product stability and sensory testing occur”. That does sound impressive!
Who is Slimfast?
Slimfast started in 1977 as a weight loss program with related products including powders, shakes, bars, and snacks. The company went through many acquisitions and today operates from its headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida. (1)
The website is packed full of smiling people who claim to have lost pounds of weight. I could not easily find any info on manufacturing standards and the like. Maybe I just got caught up in the hard-sell approach of the website.
Slimfast claims an easy 1-2-3 approach to weight loss which allows you to eat anything (pasta, pizza, tacos) for one meal and then replace two meals a day with their shakes. Sounds a bit too good to be true, but time will tell.
Overall, I prefer the more professional approach of the Herbalife website.
What is the Slimfast Meal Replacement Shake?
Slimfast is a weight loss program that includes using their meal replacement shake for 2 meals every day. It claims to burn fat rapidly, but they do recommend doing exercise to speed up the results.
The shake comes in a powdered form and can be mixed with water or skimmed milk. It offers a mix of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This shake does have a high sugar content which is not something I like.
Slimfast also offers a range of snack products that you can eat throughout the day when you get peckish. I do like the idea of a meal replacement bar, which I can use in place of a shake if I am really in a hurry.
Once again, we have the 1-2-3 selling point. This program suggests 1 regular meal a day, 2 meal replacement shake meals per day, and 3 Slimfast snacks, or your own choice of fruit or veggies.
What is Herbalife Meal Replacement Shake?
Herbalife is also a powdered shake that they suggest mixing with semi-skimmed milk. It offers protein in the form of soy and milk proteins. They also have dairy-free options.
This shake also contains a high amount of sugar. This does put a dampener on my thoughts of using the product long-term. I would prefer a product with little or no sugar.
Herbalife also offers shakes that are suitable for vegan diets and contain pea, quinoa, and rice.
Herbalife Meal Replacement Shake comes in a large choice of flavors.
I tried the Mint Chocolate and the Cafe Latte and they were quite delicious. As you can see, I am a chocolate and coffee fan.
How are these 2 products different?
Both products are powders that are mixed with water or skim milk. They both claim to offer a comprehensive range of nutritional ingredients and claim to help reduce weight.
At a closer look, there are some differences
When it comes to fats, Slimfast contains 4g in total. Herbalife only has 1g which is minimal. So although both are low in fats, Herbalife does come out on top with this.
Drinking meal replacement drinks can get very boring if you do it for a long time. Having a choice of flavors is always a bonus.
Herbalife definitely wins when it comes to flavors.
They have a great choice that sounds enticing. Here is the list – Vanilla Cream, Strawberry Delight, Mint Chocolate, Banana Cream, Cookie Crunch, Smooth Chocolate, Spiced Apple, Cafe Latte, Summer Berries. You certainly won’t get bored with this selection.
Slimfast offers a choice of chocolate and vanilla. These are your standard options, but not as exciting as the Herbalife range.
Reading the reviews, it seems that people are generally happy with the taste of the different flavors of both products.
One of the first things I look for is information on the website about the company, the products, and people who use or endorse the product.
Herbalife certainly comes out tops in this area. The website is professional and full of meaningful info. The product has endorsements from sports celebrities like soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Indian cricket star Virat Kohli.
Slimfast has many stories from private people who claim to have lost large amounts of weight and look smiley and happy. Somehow, it looks a little overdone to me.
The Slimfast website offers loads of help and guidance when it comes to diet plans. That is probably because the product has been created from the ground up as part of a diet plan. In this way, it is very helpful for people who need a clear direction on how to start a diet.
Herbalife is less helpful and it seems that it left up to you to decide on how to plan your eating habits, diet and exercise.
I did enjoy the taste of the Herbalife powder. The Slimfast may get boring as their flavor range is limited.
Reading reviews on the internet, it seems that more people prefer the Slimfast taste. They claim that it has a better texture than Herbalife. I will let you decide!
How are these 2 products similar?
Calories determine the amount of energy that the drink gives you. Both products offer a similar amount of calories per serving. Slimfast offers slightly more at 110. Herbalife offers less at 90.
Both products offer 0% cholesterol. This increases when you add it into skim milk, but will only give you up to 2%. I am always happy to know that any meal replacement I choose is low in cholesterol.
Although your body does need cholesterol to build healthy cells, too much cholesterol causes fatty deposits to line the blood vessels. This can lead to heart problems.
Both products offer a range of essential vitamins that are vital for a healthy diet. They are fairly similar with one performing better than the other on specific vitamins.
Vitamin C is vital to boost your immune system and help to ward off disease. Slimfast offers 30% of your DV or Daily Value. Herbalife offers 25% which is less.
Vitamin E is a nutrient used by the body to help to regenerate healthy cells and support the immune system. It also offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (2). Slimfast comes out on top with a rating of 90% while Herbalife only offers 25%.
Vitamin D is needed to keep teeth, bones, and muscles healthy. It can be obtained naturally by sitting in the sun. But, if you don’t have time for suntanning, getting your daily dose from a meal replacement is a bonus.
Slimfast offers 25% of your daily requirement. Herbalife does better with a 50% rating.
The next vital Vitamin that I check out is Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps to keep the nervous system healthy.
Slimfast offers a large 40% while Herbalife only comes in at 25%.
The problem I have with both these products is the high amount of sugar that they contain. Being a product that is used for weight loss or as part of a weight control program, the less sugar I take in, the happier I feel.
Both products have 9g of sugar per serving which will equate to 18g if you replace 2 meals per day. I prefer to look for products on the market that have 1g or even 0g of sugar. I also check that the sweetener is natural and not derived from chemicals.
Although these powders do not claim to be high in protein, they both offer only a small Daily Value percentage. Herbalife has 9g per serving while Slimfast offers only 2g per serving. If you are taking these drinks, I would advise having a healthy home-cooked meal once a day that offers protein like fish, meat, or chicken. If not, you certainly won’t be getting enough protein in your daily diet.
Vegan, dairy-free gluten-free
Both websites claim that some of their products are suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Herbalife offers a kosher and soy-free shake powder.
Slimfast has a range of products for Keto diets. Both websites claim that some of the products are non-dairy and gluten-free. Because this is not clearly defined, one would have to take a good look at the ingredients list.
If you are happy to mix and shake powders, both products are convenient to use. They just require scooping and mixing. I do find that if I get organized with pre-scooped amounts in a shaker bottle, I can mix it at the office or on-the-go.
If you are not organized, then scooping and mixing can become a bind, especially if you are in a rush. You end up with powder all over the kitchen counter and all over your going-out outfit!
Slimfast does offer a ready-made shake that you can drink directly out of the bottle. That means no scooping or mixing. This is certainly a plus for me on those really hectic days.
When it comes to planning your diet, the Slimfast offering is very helpful. You can order a pre-packed 7-day started pack. This includes the ready-made shakes, meal bars to eat in place of the shakes, and snack bars to keep you happy in between meals.
It does require a lot less planning and you are set to get started in one easy step.
Reading many customer reviews, it does seem that both products can aid in fairly fast weight loss. The problem with fast weight loss is an age-old one. How do you keep your weight down and not just put it all back on when you stop using the meal replacements?
Some reviews claim that people have lost up to several pounds per week. Unfortunately, they don’t follow up months later to give the good or bad news.
With any quick weight loss program, one has to look at the nutritional value of the products you are using. Losing weight is great, but you don’t want to do that at the expense of getting fewer vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
With both of these products, using them for two of your daily meals means that you have to be very sure that your third meal gives you all the goodness you need.
Given that high protein content is not the focus of these products, you will have to boost your diet with protein. You will also have to add loads of fresh fruits and veggies into your meal, or eat them as snacks throughout the day.
For me, the high sugar content in both Slimfast and Herbalife is a concern. I would prefer to choose a product that contains less than 1g or even 0g of sugar.
These are processed products and are a far cry from others that claim to be 100% natural. With added emulsifiers and caking agents, you are going to be feeding your body a lot of unnatural ingredients.
Here are some key comparison points
|Choice of flavors||Few||Many|
|Vegan||Some products||Some products|
|Dairy, Gluten-free||Some products||Some products|
What’s better about Herbalife?
Overall, I enjoy the look and feel of the website. It appears to be far more professional. Herbalife has a better choice of flavors, a bonus if you are planning on using the product for a long time. Boredom will be a sure way to stop your diet in its tracks.
What’s better about Slimfast?
When it comes to the meal replacement powder, both products are similar.
Slimfast offers a quick and no-stress option to start dieting if you choose their pre-pack options. With their pre-packs and snacks, you can get going in a jiffy without too much planning. They also have a ready-made shake that you can take on the go.
Who should get Herbalife?
There is very little between these two products. Herbalife is a great way to start a quick-loss diet. You have a choice of flavors which is a bonus for people who get bored fast.
Who should get Slimfast?
Slimfast gives a comprehensive diet pre-pack. This is a plus for people who are not sure how to plan a week or two-week diet. Everything you need is in the pack. It includes ready-made shakes, meal bars, and snacks.
If you prefer to go the scoop-and-mix powder route, then either product will suit you.
After my investigation, I am not a great fan of either of these products.
If I had to make a choice, I would go with Herbalife for its selection of flavors and professional website.
Overall, I would rather choose a meal replacement product that is geared towards being 100% natural.
I would then combine it with a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and doing exercise.
Is Herbalife Healthy? My Top Alternative