Fit by 40 // The weight loss diaries (Day 47-59)

Fit by 40 weight loss diaries

It’s time for another update in my weight loss and fitness story – you can read my last up date here. I’m still plodding on – a total of 16lb lost now (and 3 inches off my waist) and although it’s coming off quite slowly I have lost weight every single week. I can only call that a success I reckon.

15th July 2017 (Day 47)

Cake. I ate all the cake. Well not quite all the cake but a lot of it anyway. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it but it’s hard not to. And we’ll see what effect it has on the scales on Tuesday. I’ve been back at my yoga the last couple of days though and that’s a start. So I’m just treating this as a bit of a break week and I’ll properly get back on it from now. Today was pretty good actually so I’m going to be positive and take it from there. The trouble I always find with losing weight is that I lose a stone or so and then think ‘oh, I look/ feel so much better than before, that’ll do’ when really I need to keep on going if I’m ever going to get to my pre-baby (and pre-3 week honeymoon in America) weight. Onwards and upwards (or should that be downwards?)

18th July 2017 (Day 50)

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Fit by 40 // The weight loss diaries (Day 0-13)

Fit by 40 weight loss diaries

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

Exante Diet Flexi Solution

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.

Exante Diet Flexi Solution Giveaway

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

Review: Certaslim meal replacement diet

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.

Certaslim boxes

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.

Getting started

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.

A selection of Certaslim products

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.

Certaslim tomato soup and side salad

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.

Italian Style Carbonara Twist

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!

Salt and vinegar Incredi-Crisps

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.

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Review: Exante Diet // The Complete 5:2 Diet Plan

Just over two years ago I trialled the Exante Diet Total Solution for a week. You can read all about how I got on with it here. Since then I’ve been pregnant again and had another baby so when Exante got in touch before Christmas and asked if I would like to try their Complete 5:2 Diet Plan I was very happy to give it a go.

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of 5:2 diets – basically you fast for 2 (non-consecutive) days in the week and eat normally for the other 5 days. You do actually eat on the fasting days but you should reduce your intake to 500-600 calories. You can do this by eating conventional food or by using meal replacements like those from Exante Diet.

Exante Complete 5 2

The Exante Complete 5:2 Diet Plan makes the whole thing super easy. On the two fasting days you choose 3 products from the Exante VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) range; this includes shakes, bars, meals, soups and even pancakes! On the other five days you can eat some or all of your meals from the Exante Weight Management range.

I was sent a selection of products to try, although I didn’t have Exante products for every meal on the non-fasting days. On the fasting days I had shakes, hot chocolate, pancakes, sausages, scones, cookies, soups and even gooey summer pudding! I’m not going to go into huge detail about every single product – there were definitely some I liked more than others but I think this is really down to individual taste. If you are going to do a diet like this for any length of time then I would suggest you try a variety of different products and you can find your favourites amongst them.

Exante 5 2

From the Weight Management range I tried the porridge and maple syrup pancakes for breakfasts. I wasn’t a huge fan of the porridge (but then I don’t really like porridge anyway) but I thought the pancakes were delicious. On the other non-fasting days I mostly just had fruit and yoghurt for breakfast. For lunches I had some of the soups – the tomato and mascarpone was my favourite. I usually had salads on the days I didn’t have an Exante lunch.

Finally for my dinners I had a selection of ready meals from the Weight Management range. Again, there were some I liked more than others; the tuna pasta was a particular favourite but I also enjoyed the cottage pie and beef stew. There were some meals I didn’t particularly enjoy but as I already mentioned this is really down to your own personal tastes. I served all the meals with either salad or vegetables – I liked that there were suggestions of what you could serve with the meals on the back of the pack, along with the calorie count too.

Exante 5 2 Complete Diet

All the meals very easy to prepare – they can nearly all be cooked or heated in the microwave. The only exceptions were the sausages from the VLCD range (they come as a powder which has to be mixed, shaped and fried) and the cheese and bacon scones (also from the VLCD range) which are mixed and then baked in the oven.

So as you can see I tried quite a selection of products from Exante, although there are lots of others. But now for the important part…

Did I lose any weight?

Yes I did. I followed the Complete 5:2 Diet Plan for two weeks and lost 3lb the first week and 2lb the second week. I found the plan easy to follow and even the fasting days aren’t difficult as you still get three ‘meals’ and you know you’ll be eating normally again the next day.

Would I do it again?

I would definitely do a 5:2 diet again and I think it is probably easier to use meal replacements for the fasting days. I would probably mostly make my own food of the other days – I prefer to eat something the whole family can have rather than having different meals, but I think it would be good to have some Exante Weight Management meals in the cupboard (they have quite a long shelf life) for those occasions where I need something quick and might otherwise be tempted by a takeaway or something. I like the variety of products available from Exante and how easy it is to order on line too.

Would I recommend the Exante Complete 5:2 Diet Plan?

Yes I would. If you really want to take the guess work out of your diet then following the Complete 5:2 Plan could be for you. You can get all your meals from the Exante range (even snacks too) and you wouldn’t need to worry about what you should or shouldn’t be eating. It could work out to be quite expensive if you were to follow the plan long term  – at the moment you can buy a four week bundle for £135 which works out at £5.19 per day. There is also an active Facebook group where you can speak to people from the Exante customer service team, and also get support from other people who are doing the Exante Diet. I think if you don’t have a huge amount of weight to lose and are happy to lose it at a fairly slow but steady rate then a 5:2 diet might be the solution you are looking for.


**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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