I first tried Exante back in 2014. The first time I followed the Total Solution plan and lost 6lb in one week. Since then I have also tried the Flexi Solution and used Exante products to follow a 5:2 intermittent fasting diet. Read more
Welcome back to my Fit by 40 series. I am now only 4 months away from my 40th birthday and although I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far, I’ve still got a way to go to get to where I want to be. I mentioned in my last update that I had been loosely following a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan. Well, since the new year I have found out some more about IF and I am now fully committed to this new way of eating. Read more
Four weeks ago I started the Shake That Weight diet – I followed the Woman with Meal plan which involved having three Shake That Weight products and one 400 calorie meal a day. There are other plans depending on your weight and lifestyle and there’s a handy tool on the website to help you choose. You can also read more about Shake That Weight on my previous post.
So what did I think of Shake That Weight and how did I get on?
I ordered a selection of different products to try and there were plenty to choose from. Ordering was easy and I liked how the website tells you how many days worth of products you have in your basket. It also lets you know how many more products you need to add to take advantage of the Buy More, Save More offers. Read more
Last week I published the first two weeks of my weight loss diaries – this post covers the days since then. It’s a bit of a monster update but I wanted to bring you up to date so I can carry on from here…
24th June 2017 (Day 26)
I’ve been doing Shake That Weight for a week and a half so far and it’s going quite well. I lost 3lb the first week which isn’t quite as much as I was hoping for but I think it wasn’t as dramatic as sometimes because I was already following quite a low calorie diet. I’ve been sticking to it pretty well – a couple of bites of the kids’ food here and there but certainly not falling off the wagon standards.
I’m not feeling hungry any more either but still getting that feeling of ‘I want to eat something’. I know that’s just emotional and not real hunger but I’m finding having one of the STW snacks or even just a couple of grapes helps.
I also started doing so yoga on Tuesday – I’m just following some videos on YouTube but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve done it every evening since I started. I’ve also found some kid’s yoga on YouTube that we’ve done a couple of times – Toby and Gabe seemed to enjoy it so I’m going to try and keep that up with them as well.
On the whole I’m feeling quite positive about it all at the moment. We’ll see what Tuesday’s weigh in brings but I feel like I’m really ready to make the right changes this time…we shall see.
2nd July 2017 (Day 34)
So a small introduction first… the day after my 39th birthday I embarked on my plan to be fit by 40. The first stage is to lose the 2 and a half stone of extra weight I’m carrying. I don’t just want to be thinner though, I want to be fitter and more healthy too. When I started just over a month ago I started writing a diary for myself. Not every day and just a few notes on how I was feeling, how things were going and basically just something to encourage me to be mindful and stay on track. I wasn’t initially planning on publishing it on my blog but I’m a month in and I thought it might actually be a good idea. There’ll a couple of catch up posts first, so here are the start of my weight loss diaries, Days 0 -13…
29th May 2017 // Day 0
Finished the last of the birthday Maltesers and birthday cake, the diet/ lifestyle change starts tomorrow. Starting weight 13st 3lb. Read more
Back in 2014 I tried out the Exante Diet Total Solution for one week and wrote all about it here. Since then I’ve had another baby and moved house, and found myself in need of losing some weight again. Having two small children though means that a total meal replacement diet isn’t really what I’m looking for any more. And so that’s where the Exante Diet Flexi Solution comes in.
The Flexi Solution is a 1200 calorie flexible diet – it combines two Exante meal replacement products, one healthy recipe meal and an Exante snack every day. This kind of plan fits in really easily to my family life – I can have my meal replacements for breakfast and lunch but still eat dinner with the rest of the family. We try to eat healthy meals anyway so with a few adjustments we can still all eat the same meal in the evening. Read more
I’ve mentioned before that I have done a few different meal replacement diets and although they’re not for everyone I have always found them a relatively easy way to lose weight, and to lose weight quickly. Of course if you go back to your previous way of eating after then the weight will come back but they are good way to boost your weight loss if you are planning a lifestyle change, and they can also be very useful if you have a lot of weight to lose.
I hadn’t heard of Certaslim until they got in touch and asked if I would like to have a two week trial of their products. Certaslim has several different plans, some of which include ‘real’ food and some don’t. The plans are designed so you can switch between them, rather than coming off the plan altogether so that it is easier to make it fit in with your lifestyle.
I chose the Boost plan which is a complete meal replacement plan. The other plans are Rapid, Flex, For Life and even D2 which is for people with diabetes or who want to control their blood sugar for some other reason.
Unlike some other diets I have tried which only have three meal replacements each day, Certaslim Boost has four meal replacements and one snack. I chose a mixture of shakes, soups and meals, and I also tried some of the Certaslim snacks.
I ordered all of my Certaslim products online. It was very easy to do – you just choose which program you want to follow and for how long and the online shopping cart shows you how many products you need to choose. You can also add individual products if you like but it is cheaper to buy several weeks in one go. The products arrived quickly and were well packaged in Certaslim boxes. These were also very handy to store the products while I was following the plan.
As well as the option to order online Certaslim also has consultants who run groups where you can be weighed and get support. You can also purchase the Certaslim products directly from one of these consultants.
What were the Certaslim products like?
I tried all of the shake flavours (of which there are nine) and I liked most of them. I wasn’t keen on the hazelnut, caffé latte or chocolate orange flavours but that’s really just down to my personal taste. I found all the shakes mixed well, some seemed thicker than others but I didn’t have any problems with them. I always use a stick blender to mix my shakes and would definitely recommend it over just using a shaker.
I also tried the tomato, vegetable, chicken and mushroom soups. Again, I liked all of these but I think I the chicken was probably my favourite out of all of them. I tended to have soup at lunch times and accompany it with a small side salad which counted as my snack for the day.
There are also some meal options, although perhaps not so many as with some other diet programs. I tried the Apple and Cinnamon porridge which was OK but more like porridge soup than actual porridge! I also tried the Savoury Cottage Pie which wasn’t too bad – a bit like instant mash with a few bits of soya protein in it. Lastly from the meals I had the Italian Style Carbonara Twist – despite containing real pasta which was reasonably palatable I really wasn’t a fan of the sauce and again the soya pieces. I suppose it is a matter of taste and I guess some people like these product or they wouldn’t make them but whenever I do this kind of diet I always find the meals disappointing and wish I had just stuck to shakes and soups.
For the snacks I tried the Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion Incredi-crisps which were…odd, is the only way I can describe them. They weren’t unpleasant but they just tasted a bit weird as they are made from some sort or soya protein rather than potatoes. To be honest I think if I can’t have actual crisps I’d rather not have something that is pretending to be crisps either!
I did have a couple of the snack bars too – Chocolate, and Lemon Crunch and they were both quite pleasant. However, there is also a list of ‘real’ foods that you can have as snacks (fruit and veg, small portions of meat, eggs, low fat cheese etc) and I think if I were continuing the Certaslim program long term I would stick to snacks from this list.
Did it work?
Of course the big question – did I lose any weight? I did! In the first week I lost 6 lb and then another 2 lb in the second week. It is common with these sort of meal replacement diets to have a big loss in the first week and then for weight loss to slow down. If I were continuing the program I would probably expect to lose 2-4 lbs per week after the initial loss.
Was it hard to stick to the plan?
Not really. Of course I knew I was only going to be following the Certaslim program for two weeks but I think it would be relatively easy to sustain long term. Having four meal replacements and a snack every day means you don’t have time to get hungry. You also have a daily milk allowance and can have one tablespoon of oil and some condiments (handy for making salad dressings). If anything the only problem I had was finding enough time in the day to fit in everything I was supposed to be eating! Since finishing my two week Certaslim trial three weeks ago I have kept this weight off and managed to lose a bit more too. People often think that the weight will go straight back on once you stop this kind of diet but that isn’t necessarily the case.
Would I recommend it?
If you are looking for a meal replacement diet then Certaslim is definitely easy to follow and there are good selection of products available. There also seems to be a good amount of support available, either through the website or one of the local consultants. The Rapid and Boost programs cost around £8 per day depending on how many products you order in one go. This isn’t particularly cheap but I think it is a similar price to most meal replacement diets out there. If you want a pretty much guaranteed way of losing weight without worrying about counting calories or planning meals then Certaslim could be for you.
**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.
It’s that time of year when lots of us are thinking about getting healthier and perhaps losing some weight in the new year. Maybe you just want to shed a few of those festive pounds that seem to creep on over the holidays or perhaps you’ve got a lot of weight to lose. Whichever of these it might be then a meal replacement diet could help you on your way. Now I know this kind of diet isn’t for everyone, and there are some that argue it’s just a quick fix and doesn’t help you improve your diet in the long run. However, there is no doubting that this kind of diet does work (and I speak from experience here). It can be beneficial to choose a meal replacement diet if you find it difficult to make healthy choices as all the decisions about what to eat are taken away from you.
There are lots of different meal replacement diets on the market, some, like Lighter Life where you have to attend weekly group meetings, or others like the Cambridge diet where you have a personal consultant. If you would prefer to buy your meal replacement products online then there are a few options available too; The New You Plan is one of these options.
The New You Plan is a very low calorie diet (VLCD) which offers soups, shakes, hot meals, bars and snacks. They also provide 24 hour online support to their customers, along with an active Facebook community. There are a few things to consider before starting a VLCD and you should always check with your doctor that it is safe for you to use this kind of diet. If you are unsure if this is the diet for you there are some FAQs here.
If you would like to try The New You Plan then you can win a one week ‘Get Started’ bundle by completing the Rafflecopter below. The bundle contains 30 products and is currently retailing at a sale price of £41.99. The winner will be contacted by a member of The New You Plan customer services team who will help you choose the right products for you.
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 8th February.
UK entrants aged 18 or over only
**Disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve not published a weight loss update since the last one back in February! I have to confess that what with a minor breakdown, Spanish coursework, a holiday, and just, well, life, I fell off the healthy eating wagon a bit! I put a few pounds back on but nothing too drastic (which is surprising given the amount of chocolate, takeaways and wine that have made it past my lips in the last few months).
Anyway, we’re going on holiday in a few weeks so we’re having a healthy month in the hope of shifting a few pounds before then. And then after our holidays I’ve got a few months before I’ll be back on stage for the first time in two years! I’m dancing in a production of Aida (The Musical) and I definitely need to be a bit thinner, and a lot fitter, if I’m not going to collapse on stage every night! I’m getting plenty of exercise at rehearsals at least so that should help.
There is another reason to get back to my pre-baby weight (or rather pre-honeymoon weight!) and that is by the winter we’ll probably be thinking about trying for another baby and I don’t want to start another pregnancy still carrying weight from the last one.
So anyway, here are the all important stats – I’ve included my starting stats but also those from my last update.
Weight: 12st 12lb (Feb: 12st 11lb) (Dec: 13st 8lb) – lost 10lb
Waist: 33.5 inches (Feb:33.5 inches) (Dec:37 inches) – lost 3.5 inches
Hips: 43 inches (Feb:43 inches) (Dec:45.5 inches) – lost 2.5 inches
Bust: 40 inches (Feb:40 inches) (Dec:42 inches) – lost 2 inch
I’m still not going ‘on a diet’ – just being mindful of what I eat (and drink) and of my portion sizes, and making sure I get plenty of exercise too. I’ll be back with another update before we go on holiday – all positive thoughts and encouragement welcome!