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Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

Vegetarians and vegans: Vegetarians on the 3-2-1 Plan can have 4 to 6 ounces of a meat alternative, such as quinoa, tofu, lentils, or black beans, for their daily meal. Reduced- or low-fat dairy (yogurt, milk, cheese) is also OK. Vegans have fewer options, since most meal replacements are made with dairy or eggs, which aren't part of a vegan diet.

Gluten-free: The Slimfast products are not labeled with regards to gluten, so check the ingredients list for possible sources of gluten, and contact the company if in doubt.

Lactose-intolerant: If you have problems digesting lactose, you can combine Slimfast shake mixes with lactose-free milk or low-fat soy milk. Slimfast meal bars have 2 grams of lactose or less per serving.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: Slimfast products are sold in grocery stores and drugstores. At one online discount grocer, a 30-day supply of six boxes of meal bars, five boxes of snack bars and 32 shake mixes costs $75, plus shipping. A five-pack of meal bars runs about $4.88; a six-pack of snack bars is $3.25; an eight-pack of pre-made shakes is $9.88; and a carton of protein powder shake mix is $8.

Support: You can submit questions to Slimfast's online dietitian. Connect with other dieters on the company’s Facebook page and a Pinterest-like program called Slimfast Translator. The Slimfast web site includes meal and drink recipes, and you can sign up to get monthly emails featuring recipes, exercise and weight-loss tips, and coupons.

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