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Slim-Fast In The Spotlight

The Washington Nationals celebrate after a 7-4 win over the the New York Mets in a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, in Washington. Nationals' Justin Maxwell hit a grand slam in the ninth inning. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
For a little over two decades, Slim-Fast has been helping clients lose weight using, the company says, a strategy to help people learn how to eat healthy and control calorie intake.

According to the company, it has helped thousands of individuals attain a healthful body weight. Dr. Harry Greene, vice president and medical director of Slim-Fast, visited The Early Show Tuesday to talk about the program.

Greene says Slim-Fast provides the client with 100 percent nutrition in spite of losing the calories. He says the Slim-Fast diet teaches what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. It's a structured plan that allows people to have three regular meals and three snacks to avoid the problem of hunger; two of the regular meals are replaced with a Slim-Fast shake or bar. The shake and bar can be supplemented with fruit and no-calorie drinks.

Slim-Fast doesn't require its members to go to meetings. Greene explains that the support mechanism is the Web site. People can join the Web club and get a partner to support each other. He claims Slim-Fast has over a million members and says the chat rooms work for people who might not have the time to attend meetings.

Greene says Slim-Fast promotes an average weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of a person's body weight to help improve health, diabetes, glucose, blood pressure and insulin.

Slim-Fast says not everyone has the same healthy calorie intake. However, it does try to restrict 500 or 1,000 less calories than a person is currently eating a day. With that amount of restriction, a person would lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. A pound of fat is 3,500 calories. If you restrict the amount of calories you eat by 500 you would lose a pound a week.

Dr. Greene says Slim-Fast recommends its clients to go online and join the club. Then, they should call the company's toll-free phone number to help them decide what food to eat, what meals to eat and how much to eat.

The Slim-Fast client base is about 80 percent female, and usually they are about 30 to 40 pounds overweight. Dr. Greene say many are not overweight, but they use Slim-Fast as a way to eat but not overeat.

Slim-Fast's plan is a structured plan that allows its members to have three meals a day and three snacks a day, according to Greene. He also says Slim-Fast can be used with another popular diet, Weight Watchers.