I'm a girl that loves her food (and as a consequence could really do to lose some weight) so when I was offered the opportunity to try products from the Exante Diet, a total meal replacement company, I was intrigued, but approached this one with no small amount of trepidation.
|A selection of the meal replacement products I received from the Exante Diet|
What is the Exante Diet?
After having a good read of the Exante Diet website it quickly became obvious that this was not a catch all meal replacement and that there were several options available to suit different lifestyles. From VLCD (very low calorie diet) plans at 600 calories a day, to LCD (low calorie diet) options with up to 1200 calories a day, each plan on the Exante Diet is designed to put your body into ketosis, essentially encouraging your body to burn its fat reserves when it gets fewer calories than it requires.
My Exante Diet Plan
For my personal circumstances, and taking into account the fact I have epilepsy, I quickly discovered the the only viable option for me (based on the advice on the Exante Diet website) was the Simple Solution plan. This version of the plan allows the highest number of calories in a day (1200) and consists of the three meal replacement products amounting to a total of 600 calories and one low carb meal amounting to 600 calories.
The meal replacement products I received as part of my plan included lots of shakes (the flavours were toffee caramel, banana, blueberry, vanilla and strawberry), two packs of porridge and four hot meals (a mushroom soup, two curries and a spaghetti bolognaise).
The shakes were on the whole very pleasant, I really enjoyed the vanilla, strawberry and blueberry flavours, but the toffee caramel and banana weren't my favourites. The porridge was also quite nice, it reminded me very much of the consistency of those instant porridge packs I used to eat as a kid, not bad at all!
The hot meals unfortunately were all a bit of a miss for me; the spaghetti bolognaise didn't taste bad but I just really didn't like the texture of the soy mince and the sauce. I had similar experiences with both the curry and the soup I was sent too, they just weren't to my taste at all.
How I got on with the plan
My first admission here has to be that I didn't manage a full week on the plan, instead I managed three days. When it quickly became obvious that I didn't like the hot meals I realised I wouldn't have enough meal replacements for an entire week and so I did the best I could with the variety that I had.
Day one was perhaps the most challenging on the plan, I woke up feeling instantly hungry, I was definitely dwelling on the idea that I wasn't having any solid food but once I got to work and was busy I didn't feel hungry at all until lunchtime and my next meal replacement. One further meal replacement later (and admittedly some more hunger pangs when I got bored and distracted), followed by a lovely 600 calorie dinner of lean roast pork with some vegetables and a salad left me feeling completely satisfied. Thinking about how my day had gone later that evening it really hit home how a lot of my hunger didn't feel genuine, it was really my habit of eating lots of food, and then occasionally being bored that made me want to eat something. After this days two and three were far more successful, I had my meal replacements and didn't feel genuinely hungry until my evening meal and again felt completely satisfied after that.
I both weighed and measured myself before starting the plan, and at the end of three days my measurements hadn't changed but I had lost 2lbs. Granted, this wasn't as much as the losses I'd read some people had, but I was pretty happy with that to say the least. I would have liked to continue the plan for a bit longer, but I didn't have much of a variety of products left and knew I would get bored with it.
If I decide to try this plan longer term, I will definitely get a much wider range of products, there are lots to choose from on the Exante Diet website, and from as little as £3.87 per day for meal replacements, I don't think the cost is too prohibitive for me.
You can read all about the Exante Diet on their website, here.
Have you tried any meal replacement diets before? I'd love to hear how you got on with them, leave me a comment to let me know.