The Suddenly Slim diet is a meal replacement diet that relies heavily on herbal supplements for quick weight loss. Marketed by the FirstFitness® diet supplement company, the diet requires the use of proprietary products that contain ingredients such as ephedra, chromium picolinate, green tea, hoodia, dandelion root, chitin, hydroxic acid, cayenne, and L-carnitine. The combination of ingredients used in the supplements is intended to have a thermogenic effect, which means the body temperature is elevated to stimulate the burning of calories and fat loss.
FirstFitness® markets its Suddenly Slim diet programs in packages. Each package includes a different variety of supplements and shakes, and each is tailored to different goals. Among the many packages are those for weight loss and body sculpting, accelerated weight loss, and accelerated weight loss with cleansing.
Some of the supplements are Reneu, Slim N’ UP, Slim N’ UP Xtreme, and Gone4Good. Body FX is the Suddenly Slim meal replacement shake, and the Trimbolic drink is used as an additional fat-burning stimulant to satisfy the appetite between meals. The supplements are an integral part of the diet and can be expensive. Most variations of the diet program recommend using four to six different supplements and shakes daily.
The Suddenly Slim diet offers vague guidance about which foods can be eaten. FirstFitness® claims the diet can be successful without requiring calorie tracking, fat counting, or carbohydrate counting. The Body FX meal replacement shakes are used in place of food for some meals each day.
Many people using the Suddenly Slim diet report dramatic initial weight loss — sometimes as much as 10 pounds in the first week. Some dieters, however, say that much of this is water weight. Nutritionists claim the body can build immunity to the supplements, causing the body to stop shedding weight, so using the diet to lose a large amount of weight may not be practical.
Critics of the Suddenly Slim diet claim that herbal supplements used for thermogenics typically stimulate the central nervous system and can become addictive. The supplements can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, overheating, and extreme anxiety. Many doctors say the ephedra included in some of the Suddenly Slim supplements is dangerous because it increases heart rate and blood pressure, and can exacerbate cardiac problems. Nutritionists claim that people who are following the diet don’t learn healthy eating habits since there is no portion control and the diet doesn’t require balanced, healthy meals. They say this makes it difficult for those who lose weight using the diet to keep the weight off once they stop taking the supplements.