There are certain fitness buzzwords I can’t stand to hear.
Superfood is one of them.
Even the idea that one food can fix your entire diet, is absurd.
Functional is another.
Not because functional strength is bad, but because it’s overused to the point where it’s meaningless.
Functional. Functional. Functional. Now it sounds weird. So stop saying it.
But the cream of the crop is toning.
Which brings me nicely to this week’s supplement review, where I’ll be looking at The Good Guru Slim & Tone Whey and running it through my deliberately harsh supplement rating system.
No product has received a 5 star review to date (although this one got 4 stars) and here’s an indication of where Slim & Tone is going..
The Good Guru Slim And Tone Whey Review
Before I proceed, allow me to explain why I have such a hearty dislike for the word “toning”.
You see, your muscles have the ability to get bigger (hypertrophy) or to shrink smaller (atrophy).
They cannot “tone”.
How “toned” you look depends on how much body fat you are carrying. That is it.
The word “toning” is a marketing phrase, invented to sell products to women who have been fed the bullshit myth that eating protein and lifting weights will turn them into an angry lumberjack.
So are we suggesting that drinking this shake is going to reduce the amount of body fat you have?
Err, no. Scratch that.
Hence the tagline:
- Good for weight loss when used as part of a calorie controlled diet.
You know what’s actually getting you the results you have been experiencing?
Your motherfucking calorie controlled diet!
From Bad To Worse
OK, so now I feel bad.
I’m a nice guy.
And yet I’ve just savaged this pretty little supplement. Maybe I should start over?
But one look at the nutrition label of this product will tell you why my feelings of sympathy quickly disappeared after popping the hood.
Per serving, you are getting:
- 22.37g protein
- 1.23g fat
- 11.98g carbohydrates
Given that the name suggests weight loss, it would make sense for The Good Guru to pack the tub with a high protein, low carbohydrate shake.
But that’s not what we get.
Instead, we get a whopping 11.98 grams of carbohydrates in every shake. If you are having a few shakes a day, this mounts up quickly.
Fair play to The Good Guru, though, they went balls-out with their decision to add a considerable amount of carbohydrates to each shake by ensuring the entire content is sugar.
To be expected, this wreaks havoc on the protein-per-serving ratio.
Because if you’re buying this as a protein shake, you are buying it because you want to get more protein into your diet, right?
I always advise you to search for a protein supplement which provides you with around 80% protein-per-serving. Unfortunately, each serving here contains just 55% protein (that’s the lowest ratio I’ve ever reviewed), meaning that 45% of the ingredients per scoop are, you know, not protein.
The flavour I am reviewing is “Natural” (ahem). Things get worse if we switch to “Chocolate”, which sees our carbohydrate count increase further still to 13.17 grams and our protein content drops (yeah, drops!) to 20.57g, leaving us with a protein-per-serving ratio of just 51%.
The whey protein formula is as simple as it gets – skimmed milk powder and whey protein concentrate.
So while you’ll be paying a price worthy of a cutting edge hydrolized whey protein isolate or a top of the range protein blend, what you are getting is basic at best. Remember the feeling of watching a Big Mac advertisement versus seeing an actual Big Mac?
It’s kinda like that.
Enter The Matrix
Alongside our protein, fat and carbohydrates we also get a few extra ingredients thrown in for good measure.
These include a handful of vitamins and fat burning elements:
This seed contains more caffeine than coffee beans, and is primarily use for boosting energy levels before training. This sounds excellent, but the average dose of guarana is far too low to allow the caffeine to become an active ingredient, and it has never been shown to boost fat loss although it is often billed as a fat burning supplement.
- Green tea extract
This very popular substance is included in almost every fat burner and wellbeing supplement on the market, but despite it’s popularity among supplement manufacturers, research does not support it’s billing as a fat burner. In fact, any slight fat burning properties require a huge dosage and depend wholly on the participant being caffeine naive. (1, 2, 3)
As described on the product, zinc can help with a whole range of issues covering healthy hair, healthier skin and nails.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C will improve your immune system. Alongside a few other key players, namely vitamins B6 and B12, supplementing is a good way provide your body with some useful health benefits.
The problem here is not the inclusion of green tea extract, guarana or the selection of vitamins which have been added to the product.
Rather, it’s the fact that they are all hidden behind a proprietary blend.
Proprietary blends are always a turn-off, because they represent the underbelly of the fitness world. A facet from days gone by, where supplement manufacturers were able to use loopholes to get away with telling you which ingredients are in the product but decline to give the dosages.
To me, this has always meant that the dosage levels are ineffective.
After all, if a company has a great formula, they are likely to shout about it with the numbers.
The Meal Replacement Myth
The final nail in the coffin, so to speak, of Slim And Tone whey is that we are encouraged to replace meals with shakes.
This is a sure-sign of a product which you should steer clear of.
Supplements are designed to be a part of a healthy diet, and can definitely help you to lose weight, support your workouts and/or curb snacking between meals.
But they are not – and should never be – designed to replace real meals.
Yet on the sales page for this very product, we are advised to use it as a meal replacement shake.
Given that whey will not suppress your appetite as much as casein or protein obtained via food (because whey is digested much faster), there is zero fiber in the product, and no slow-release carbohydrates, this meal replacement is not going to achieve the same effects of eating a meal because you will not feel full.
But the main reason I dislike the meal replacement approach so much is because this allows a supplement to take credit for the fact that you have simply created a calorie deficit and that is why you are losing weight.
For example, if you are currently consuming a breakfast which contains 450 calories and a mid-afternoon snack which contains 300 calories, and you replace both of them meals with this shake, you have effectively just created a 468 calorie deficit.
Even though the product itself contains a basic protein formula, a hefty serving of sugar, and a raft of vitamins and fat burning ingredients in dosages too small to make any notable contribution to your diet, that 468 calorie deficit will do the job for you.
So, another way to achieve the exact same results is to save yourself the £59.85 a month they want for this bullshit (£19.95 for a 1kg tub, which would last 10 days at 2 shakes per day), and simply eat less shit, or use your money to buy a protein supplement that gives you more protein – and then also eat less shit.
“Oh, but it’s gluten free!”
Yeah, so’s my dick.
The Good Guru Slim & Tone Whey – The Final Verdict
Well, this is awkward..
Now I’m left with the job of scoring this product so that you guys can rush out and buy some, right?
Look, I’m not going to beat around the bush here – I’m not a fan of this product.
It contains too much sugar, no slow-release carbohydrates, no fiber, a basic whey protein formula, a proprietary bend of vitamins and fat burning ingredients, instructions to use it as a meal replacement shake, and is over-priced, and has a very low protein-per-serving ratio.
As such, The Good Guru Slim & Tone whey protein gets 1 star. Done.
- Hursel, R., et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). (2009)
- Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S. Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiol Behav. (2010)
- Diepvens, K., et al. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. (2007)