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Developed by the British Dietetic Association.


options for support finding the right approach for you

(Page 4 of 8)
Find the right approach
Your doctor's surgery
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Meal replacements Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCDs)
Other approaches
Medical approaches
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Meal replacements

Meal replacements

These can be an effective alternative to weight control for some people. They are designed to replace one or more meals a day, providing nutrients within a known calorie limit. UK examples include: the Slim Fast Plan, Boots Shapers and Herbalife,

Typical features

  • This approach usually provides around 1200-1600 calories per day.
  • Range includes shakes, bars and soups.
  • Users are advised to replace 1-2 meals (often breakfast and lunch) with a meal replacement and include a healthy meal in the evening (or at lunchtime).
  • Additional fresh fruit and a modest number of healthy snacks are allowed, as well as drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water or low-calorie drinks.
  • Meal replacement products are usually fortified with extra vitamins and minerals to help ensure they provide the recommended amount of nutrients for good health.
  • Many of these plans provide additional online or written support.

Would suit those who:

  • Like a simple approach to weight loss without having to think about planning and preparing individual meals.
  • Like to have the reassurance of calorie and portion control.
  • Are able to be self motivated.


  1. Some people may find they get bored of the meal replacement products o n offer
  2. Take care when moving back to a normal diet.  Continuing to choose foods wisely will help you to avoid regaining weight


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