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 myfitnesspal.com 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.