I thought I would do a bit of an update now that it’s been 8 months since I started my weight loss challenge/journey. It’s been up and down, I’m not going to lie and I have learnt an awful lot about myself and about food in general.
As most of you who follow my weight loss posts know, I have always struggled with my confidence and about 2 years ago (when Mia was 1) I had a bit of a crisis and was the heaviest I have ever been. I have never dieted before and I absolutely love my food so I knew it was going to be tricky. I had been following my own ‘eat less move more’ since the previous February and lost 11lbs using this method. I tracked my entire daily intake of food with MyFitnessPal and also tracked all of my steps on my Fitbit (both of which I still do!), walking at least 7000 steps a day. I also tried workouts on YouTube, Hey Workouts, some iPhone apps such as Couch25k and army fit but not found any that fit in with my life and any that kept my attention longer than a week or so.
My main issues were portion control and not always knowing what to cook in the first place and so my aims for the diet plan challenges were to find: the most successful diet plan for me, the most sustainable long-term diet plan, and the simplest and easiest to fit into my busy lifestyle with a toddler.
It took me a while to get going but last November the opportunity arose to try out some diet plans and so I decided to sort myself out and take on the challenge! The first diet plan I was able to try out was the Exante Meal Replacement Plan. Exante are a meal replacement diet company who offer a range of different diet plans to suit your goals and current ‘status’. The plan that best suited me was the Simple Solution (LCD) plan as I was sent one of Exante’s Starter Packs and so I could eat 3 x 200 calorie Exante packs a day and add a 600 calorie low-carb dinner or 600 calorie low-carb snacks from the snacks list, adding up to 1200 calories a day. All of the meals come in sachet’s and all you need to do is add water and you’re good to go! The good thing about the plan is that it takes away any thoughts about meal planning and the longest I had to wait for my meals was 15 minutes so they are great for someone working and needing to grab-and-go! However I struggled massively with the texture and taste of the meals as they didn’t really taste of anything and it was a bit disheartening at the end of the each day to see what you had for dinner. Over the 2 week trial I lost 4lbs and a couple of inches off my waist. I was impressed with how much my stomach looked flatter and I was not as bloated as I was before. A great diet for short-term weight loss, say for a holiday or special party.
Next up was the Jane Plan Diet Delivery Service. This has to be one of my favourites! They aim to deliver healthy, nutritious food that actually tastes good! I was really impressed with what I found. You get a pack full of information about Jane Plan; from food diaries and nutritional information, to an 81 page guide for you to fill in about your goals and reasons for starting the plan in the first place. You can also track your weight loss and fitness activity and it’s a guide I dipped into a lot during the 2 weeks I spent on the plan. The food itself looked great, packaged really well in bubble wrap and tissue paper so as not to get damaged, all clearly labelled with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so you know exactly what’s included. The packaging is great, really clear with all of the information you would expect such as calories and ingredients, as well as really nice images which go really well together. Most of the packets are clear so you can see straight away what you’re going to be eating and if I’m honest, there was nothing I didn’t fancy! The other great thing is that nothing needs refrigerating so I could store it all away in the cupboard. Every lunch or dinner is either ready as it is, can be microwaved in the packaging, heated up on the hob, or popped into an ovenproof dish in the oven. Everything is ready in minutes and even the cottage pies and lasagne’s were ready in 25 minutes so this was perfect for me. All you need to do is add vegetables to your dinner and fruit during the day as snacks, everything else is included in the plan. I lost 5lbs in total over the 2 weeks which was really good, I was so pleased! The only issue was that I love cooking and also the plan meant that we were all eating different meals which ended up not being eaten together. All in all, I loved the food and would definitely use Jane Plan again!
Then there was the Forza ‘Shake it Slim’ meal replacement plan. This diet consists of 3 different flavoured shakes which replace 2 meals a day for weight loss or 1 meal a day for weight maintenance. I decided that I would try replacing 2 meals a day with a shake so as to lose weight and I did this for 3 days, however I soon realised I couldn’t keep it up for the week as I was SO hungry! The shakes themselves are high in protein and various vitamins and so are designed to fill you up for longer, taking away the hunger. I did find them really filling after I had them but after 3 days, I decided that as I had proved it really does help you lose weight (I lost 4lbs straight away!) I would see if you could maintain your weight by having just 1 shake a day. As someone who dislikes sweet drinks such as milkshakes, I was worried about how these would taste. I was pleasantly surprised in that the shakes themselves taste like you would want them to. I found the strawberry a bit too sweet for me so I wouldn’t have that one again but its personal preference and I actually thought the other 2 flavours were really nice. You can either shake the sachet of powder into 250-300ml of water in a bottle or stir the two together in a normal mug. Each sachet contains 204 calories and all of the nutritional information is clearly stated on each sachet. I was pleasantly surprised with the Forza ‘Shake It Slim’ shakes and I would be willing to try them out for longer. A great short-term diet, getting ready for a special party or holiday diet.
I was then following the EM Fitness 12 Week Weight Loss Plan. The aim of the weight loss plan is that over 12 weeks; you will eat a set food plan supplied by Emily (a personal trainer), do 3-4 workouts a week, again set by Emily, and also complete various challenges that are personal to you. For example, mine is to up my steps from 7000 to 8000 a day. Each plan is personal to you and is tailored towards your goals and current fitness levels. The way the plan is designed means that it’s a lifestyle change in order to meet your long-term goals, not designed to be a quick, short-term fix! The food plans each week are varied and mean that I’m having combinations of foods that I wouldn’t normally have. I’m really enjoying everything being planned for me so I don’t need to think about what meals we are having, when. I’m also enjoying the workouts as they are varied and not the same old workouts that I was getting bored with! I’m currently on week 11 of 12 and on track to lose the 1lb a week I wanted to but it’s not just about that anymore. It’s about my confidence, fitness levels and general health which are all improving massively! Look out for further updates over the next fortnight! 🙂
Finally, I have just finished following the GoFigure Meal Replacement Plan. They offer shakes and snack bars with the patented Slimbiome ingredient which promotes the feeling of fullness, promotes a healthy metabolism, and also reduces food cravings. I liked the taste of the shakes however the texture wasn’t quite right for me but I absolutely loved the Nutty Peanut Snack bars and really enjoyed eating them in between the shakes and a balanced evening meal. The shakes are easy to make up, just add water to the powder and shake or stir to combine. I lost 6lbs in the 2 weeks I tried out the plan so I’m really pleased however I would suggest it be followed short term when preparing for a holiday or a special occasion. There are trial 1 week packs available to buy so you can see how you get on with them which I think is really handy!
So there it is! The last 8 months for me in diet plan form! You can find more detailed reviews by clicking on the diet plans above or leave me a comment below! Also I have been reviewing the latest wearable tech devices which are really great in supporting your weight loss goals! 🙂