Friday, 8 May 2015

My week on the Exante Diet (review)

At the moment everything is to do with my wedding which is why I haven't been posting quite as much as I'd like to - planning is literally taking up all of my free time outside work and if I'm not chasing down the co-ordinator at my venue I'm having meetings with the photographer, furiously googling where I can buy silver heart shaped sparklers or stalking guests who haven't RSVP'd to find out if they're coming or not.

With my wedding just over two months away now (eek), I want to lose some weight.  I'd been doing really well with healthy eating and the gym but I've changed jobs and have different hours/more travelling so I'm just not exercising and that's having an impact on how I feel about the way I look!  My BMI is still slightly higher than it should be. Plus I tried on my dress again recently and...well yeah, that wasn't the plan.

As it's a short term approach and I need some results, I started looking at meal replacement diets (where you have a low amount of calories but your nutrients are balanced and included) and came across the Exante diet.  It's got really positive reviews and a lot of people have said that it's much better than other similar diets.  They even do an Exante wedding diet where you get some pampering goodies which is a nice little touch.

There are 5 different approaches, which basically varies the balance between actual food and meal replacement stuff.  I've decided to try the Total Solution plan which means no food, just meal replacements for a maximum of 3 weeks to kickstart my weightloss.

Exante kindly sent me some products to review, and included a combination of 'food' and shakes. Here's what I thought:

The majority of shakes were fine - there were a couple that I personally actively avoided (pineapple and orange and hazelnut) but all of the hot food, like the 'shepherds pie' 'spaghetti carbonara' and 'mushroom soup' left me cold (see what I did me  On the plus side the vanilla cereal was a welcome interlude - really liked that.

I'm not going to lie, you will need willpower, especially at weekends or when biscuits pop out at work.  The first few days I did feel hungry but this actually wore off which I was pleased about!  At the end of the week I'd lost 2lbs, in addition to the 9lbs I'd already lost - yay!  I didn't notice any dodgy side effects or anything shocking.

So, after a week what did I think?

  • Quick and convenient - no real preparation, no having to buy loads of specialist ingredients or spend hours in the kitchen.  Each meal takes no more than 5 minutes to prepare.  It's been quite nice to have a bit of extra time and to not have to think about what I'm cooking.
  • Cheap - if you buy in bulk it can work out from 63p per meal
  • Lots of choice in flavours, sweet/savoury and type of food
  • If you stick to the plan you will lose weight
  • Bit of an anti-social diet, especially if you're doing the total plan like me.  It's ridiculous how much of my social life revolves around eating/drinking! Skipping meals out and fun is hard when all you've got is a low calorie packet of food waiting for you at home.
  • Some of the food tastes pretty synthetic/not my cup of tea but I guess that's personal taste.  You might really like it!
  • You need willpower - having willpower isn't really how I ended up overweight, just in case you weren't sure

Would I do Exante again? Interesting question actually!  I'd be happy to have certain shake flavours as a meal replacement when I'm on the go or when I'm trying to lose a bit of weight but for me the Total Solution is quite restrictive - I don't want to be a shake-guzzling hermit for the rest of my life - so I might continue doing one of the other plans in the run up to my wedding.  It's totally do-able especially if you're focused on a goal and more varied that other similar diets.  I definitely want to try the cookies and cream bar!

More information about the Exante Diet here. 


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