You might recall I mentioned that I was taking part in the #slimfastchallenge.
I finished the two week challenge on Thursday and I thought I’d share how I had got on. I mentioned in my initial post that I am quite skeptical about things like this. I believe that eating the right foods and having a reasonable level of exercise are the best route to losing weight. However despite doing these things I am still carrying a little more weight than I want to, so I decided to accept the slim fast challenge.
The 3, 2, 1 plan is basically three snack, two meal replacements and one healthy 600 calorie meal. How did I find it?
I was sent two weeks worth of milkshakes, meal replacement bars and items from the snack range. The milkshakes come in two forms; a ready made bottle and a powder that is mixed with milk. There are a good range of flavours including mocha, Latte, banana, vanilla and strawberry. I liked the vanilla and strawberry ones the best. I found the pre made bottles tasted the same as the ones you make up from the powder, although a little thicker. To make up from the powder I just whisked in a jug with skimmed milk, although it does suggest to blend with ice but I found that made them too frothy to enjoy.
The meal replacement bars come in three flavours, Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Peanut and Summer Berry. These are fine and are surprisingly filling. I tended to have the shakes as a replacement for breakfast and the bars as a lunch replacement (although did do them for my evening meal instead of lunch one or two times).
In addition to these there are three snacks ‘allowed’ within the plan. The slimfast ones are bars of chocolate or crisps (the crisps are really nice although have to say the tortillas didn’t do much for me at all but the sour cream pretzels were really tasty). The bars are tasty too, with the chocolate caramel treat tasting very much like a mars bar – good I guess for those who like a sweet treat. I found that I didn’t really need the three snacks every day – only on those days I had been particularly active (more of which later).
I didn’t really calorie count my evening meals, just ate a sensible portion of pasta, baked potato, or whatever it was we were having that evening.
I stuck to the plan everyday bar two. One was the day I ran the 10k run I was signed up to. I had cereal for breakfast and ate a larger evening meal that I would have otherwise following the slim fast plan. Another day was the Tuesday after the 10km run when I was super hungry and ended up just eating like a horse all day – not great but I needed the extra energy.
So…. did it work? I guess it did. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose but I lost around 3lbs. More importantly I lost inches from my waist and hips (2 inches from my waist and 1.25 inches from my hips). I have noticeably lost weight from my tummy area and some of my trousers are sitting a little looser.
Is it all down to Slim Fast? I don’t know. I have significantly increased the amount of running I am doing and across the two weeks have run in excess of 30 miles. I don’t think the plan is designed for someone using that much energy as there were days when I really did need to eat more than the 600 calorie evening meal. That said being on the plan gave me a discipline and cut out some of the snacking that I am prone to do. I think I will continue with Slim Fast in a looser sense, for example having a tub of the milkshakes in to use once of twice a week, possibly those days when I know I am likely to be less active with walking and running. I can’t deny that I have lost weight so I think the combination of slim fast and my increased exercise have jointly contributed to this.
The plan is really easy to follow and it left me feeling full, apart from on the days mentioned which was due to me being particularly active. I think it would be effective in helping people get used to eating smaller portion sizes and I think if you have a lot of weight to lose then this would be good at giving you a quick weight loss in a short period of time. What I don’t think it does is teach you about healthier eating and what low calorie foods look like and what appropriate portion sizes are (which I think is a big issue given the huge portion sizes often served up in restaurants etc).
My other comment would be that it did feel like I was eating an awful lot of chocolate. The shakes are sweet, but not over powering, but the meal replacement bars and snacks are chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I wouldn’t eat a chocolate bar every day yet I was doing so on the Slim Fast plan. I felt like I was eating too much sweet stuff and I suspect my sugar intake increased massively over the 14 day challenge.
Would I do it again in the future? Yes, I think I would. I think if/when we have another baby I would look to slimfast when I had lost the bulk of the baby weight as I think it has certainly kick started the weight loss for me.
You can read more about the Slim.Fast 3,2,1 plan here and the products are available to buy online or in a range of high street shops such as SuperDrug or Boots.
The pre-made shakes retail at £1.55 with the powder (which makes up 12 portions) retailing at £5.95.
The meal replacement bars retail at £4.99 for four.
The crisp snacks are priced at 59p and the chocolate snacks at 49p
I was provided with 14 days worth of Slim Fast products in exchange for sharing my experience. All words, opinions and weight lost are my own.