Monday, 24 September 2012

Slimfast 3-2-1 Review

So as most of you know, a few weeks back I decided to shake things up a bit and try the Slimfast 3-2-1 plan as a bit of a kickstart to get both my head and body back in the game. I didn't find the plan nearly as difficult as I was expecting to and had a great result at the of the week with a 4.5lb loss. After tweeting about one of the products I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely Lucy, who handles some of Slimfast's PR, and offered another week's worth of products to write an official review.

As I mentioned in Friday's post, things have been manically busy and losing weight has not been high on my list of priorities over the past couple of weeks. Things settled down after my birthday last Saturday, so I decided that this was the week to give Slimfast another go.

For those of you who don't know already, I will give you a brief rundown of how the plan actually works. You choose three snacks (either three Slimfast snacks or two Slimfast snacks and some fruit), two Slimfast meal replacements, and one balanced 600 calorie meal. 3-2-1. Get it?? ;)

Firstly, I will admit to finding the first couple of days of the plan more difficult this time around - simply because the first time I did it I wasn't at work until the Thursday. Those three days off work were spent running around like a headless chicken so I didn't really have time to think about the fact that I was consuming fewer calories. This time I went from an over-indulgent birthday weekend straight into sitting at a desk all day surrounded by other people eating. It wasn't that I was hungry, it was simply that I missed food. Part of my problem is that I graze - so when I couldn't do that it was a bit of a struggle. After the first couple of days though that soon wore off, and by the end of the week I wasn't even thinking about it. If anyone out there is thinking of giving Slimfast a try, I would advise them to be prepared for the first couple of days to be the toughest - after you've found your stride and settled into a routine it all becomes much easier.

As for the products themselves, for the most part I really enjoyed them. I don't like Vanilla milkshakes anyway so that was a no-no for me, and I didn't like the Summer Fruits meal replacement bar, but other than that I really enjoyed them all. I absolutely love the Raspberry Crush shake and my favourite is definitely the Cafe Latte - particularly when shaken with ice as it feels like a real Iced Latte from Starbucks. Both the Chocolate Peanut and the Chocolate Crunch meal replacement bars are tasty and filling and I can't fault a single one of the snacks - in fact the pretzels and the nougat bar are now firm favourites even though I am no longer following the plan!

As for the evening meal - 600 calories really does go a long way if you choose your meals wisely. I'm an absolutely veggie fiend anyway and I always load my plate with vegetables or salad which are obviously low in calories. Counting the calories for vegetables was a bit weird at first after almost three years of Weight Watchers and them being 0 Points/ProPoints, but I used to figure out the calorie values of my meal and it was really easy to create a decent sized portion for 600 calories or less. Unfortunately I haven't been as creative as Sarah in her review of the plan, but head over to her post on Where Are My Knees? to see some examples of main meals for 600 calories or less.

My main criticism of the plan is probably the overload of sweet stuff. I have a killer sweet tooth but even I was starting to feel a bit queasy after a super sweet milkshake for breakfast and a chocolatey meal bar for lunch every day. I really think the plan could benefit from introducing some savoury meal replacement options.

Overall I found the plan simple to follow and easy to stick to - having your days food laid out in front of you reduces the temptation to just nip down to the vending machine and means that you know where you are throughout the day. I'd definitely recommend using some sort of calorie counting site such as MyFitnessPal to calculate your evening meals - not only is there the potential to go over calories if you don't have an accurate method of calculation, you could also go under and do yourself out of some of your allowance.

At the end of the week on Slimfast I had lost 3.5lbs - almost all of what I had put on during two weeks of partying and celebrating my birthday! For those looking for a quick, easy, and cost effective way to drop a few lbs I would definitely recommend this plan.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Checking In

Hey guys!

I was never gone...I was here the whole time!

I know, I know...I went AWOL...again. The last week or so of August and all of September (so far) has been...hectic. There really is no other word for it. My best friend came home to visit after leaving to go traveling back in November, so a lot of time was spent with her catching up on all her wonderful adventures (and my not-quite-so-riveting tales of finals, graduation, unemployment and then starting work). There has been engagement parties, school reunions, dates (!!), family birthday occasions, various nights out with uni and school friends, my birthday (officially an OAP), and lord knows what else. Its been exhausting, expensive and the best few weeks I've had in a really long time. And it isn't over yet! This weekend I'm partying in Canterbury (because despite working a 9-to-5 and having my degree and Graduation photo on the wall, I refuse to accept that uni is over), before heading to Brighton tomorrow to see my Dad finish the London-Brighton off-road bike ride for The British Heart Foundation. Then on Sunday I'm off to the Cake and Bake Show 2012, on Monday I'm representing WAMK at the launch of two new NAKD bars, on Tuesday I'm off to a Flying Fantastic Fitness class (again, on behalf of WAMK) and Wednesday is work drinks. Thursday and Friday offer a short reprieve, but then on Saturday I'm off to the Leamington Blogger Meet (who else will be there!?).

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Needless to say with everything going on weight loss hasn't been top of the agenda. In fact, I won't lie, it hasn't been on the agenda at all. I didn't worry about it, didn't even think about it, for the first half of September with the result that weighing myself on Monday was a bit of an unpleasant experience. Admittedly weighing myself after four straight days of birthday celebrations probably wasn't the wisest thing I'd ever done, but I thought it'd be best to nip it in the bud before things got really bad and I was pulling out the old faithfuls again (size 20 leggings and hoodies and an entire tub of B+J in one sitting. No thanks. I've become quite attached to the 12s. Even if they are a little bit tight at the moment). I'm doing another week on SlimFast as a bit of a kick-start and will be writing an official review (as previously promised) over the weekend. Then next week its back to Weight Watchers and the crummy local meeting. I miss my Canterbury meeting and my leader and all my Cants Fat Club fwends. (Excuse me while I sulk a little bit more about not being a student anymore. Hmph.)

Anywaaaaay, thats about all for now! I just wanted to check in with you all and send my love! I promise there are some exciting (!) posts coming your way soon! Once I have time to breathe that is....

Love to you all - and thanks so much for sticking around!!
Lauren xxx