Tuesday 17 November 2015

Review: Slim Fast 7 Day Starter Kit

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure in sampling Slim Fast's 7 day starter kit*. This is a box full with meal replacement shakes and bars, as well as sweet and savoury snacks to keep you going throughout the day. All you need to do is plan 7 600kcal meals and you've got it sorted for the week!

A bit of background history into my diet...

Ever since leaving university at 23, my weight has slowly crept up, and very rarely gone down. I've been on so many diets over the years, weightwatchers, slimming world (both of these I've tried twice!), the Atkins diet, fat counting diets, forever living... the list goes on. All of these have never lasted longer than a few months and before long, I slip back into my old eating habits. I'm the woman that has zero willpower when it comes to food, especially sweet and sugary foods! Every year I set the same NY resolution 'Lose 2 stone' 'Lose 3 stone', but do I ever meet that target? Hell no. I love my food and that's all there is to it. Every time I had a 'big' occasion to attend, that would be my drive; 'I'm going to lose 2 stone by the time I go to Florida' 'I want to have lost 1 stone by the time I'm bridesmaid'. Do I ever get there? No. Since returning from Florida 2 months ago, my weight yet again, has slowly started creeping up, so I of course jumped at the chance of trialling some Slim Fast products out, to hopefully get me back on track once and for all.

The package arrived and was sat in my kitchen for almost a week. I knew I had a Halloween night out coming up, and didn't want to spoil the plan so waited till that was over by the time I started. I didn't really give much thought to it up until the night before I was about to start this 7 day plan. Then something magical happened and I had this huge wave of determination about losing weight. The thing is, this wave stuck, and didn't pass like the rest do, and that's exactly what I've been waiting for. Generally, I'm a pretty determined person in most areas of life, but when it comes to food, it's very low, however this time I knew I felt different. I had a long talk to myself and weighed up all the advantages in my head of losing weight, and really imagined what I'd feel like if I lost weight. Usually, if I lose 10lbs, its a huge confidence boost for me, I hold my head just that little bit higher, and speak to people with ease. I then trebled that in my head and told myself 'Imagine losing 1.. 2.. 3 stone'. I tried hard to focus on the impact that would have on my confidence in all areas of my life, and lets just say, it was a pretty good outcome. And that outcome has given me the determination to flick that switch in my brain and try, like, really try. I don't want to feel unattractive anymore, I don't want to avoid the pretty clothes in the shops, simply because it wont suit my body shape, and I don't want to walk past people in the street and think they're 'looking at me because I'm fat' (paranoia right there!).

So I started the Slim Fast 7 day plan on 2nd November. Never tried any Slim Fast product before so I had no idea what to expect. To make life easier, I followed their 7 day meal plan (which came with the kit). However I created my own low calorie meals (I actually cheated and purchased a mixture of Weight Watchers and Slimming World meals, simply because they're all under 600kcal). I then bulked them out with vegetables.

How does it work?

You choose 3 snacks per day (usually fruit/veg, SF savoury snack and SF chocolate bar)
You choose 2 meal replacements (SF shake and SF bar)
You choose 1 low calorie meal (600kcals)

A typical day could consist of:

Breakfast - SF Strawberry shake
Mid Morning - Banana
Lunch - SF Chocolate meal bar
Mid Afternoon - SF savoury snack
Tea - 600 kcal meal
Evening - SF chocolate bar

Top L - SF Choc Bar. Top R - SF Shake. Bottom L - Chocolate Meal Bar. Bottom R - Summer Berry Meal Bar


I'll admit, the first day, I was definitely ready for my tea by the time I arrived home from work. I also remember feeling hungry before I went to bed, but I slept this off. However after this, it was all uphill. I even had to force the mid afternoon and late night snack down at times, because I simply wasn't hungry. In terms of filling you up, I found the meal replacement bars impressive. Imagine a cereal bar, but a little bigger and thicker. When I had my first one, I remember thinking 'this isn't going to be enough for my lunch' but it really was! It took me almost 5 minutes to eat a full bar because they are so substantial and filling! The shakes weren't that far behind in terms of curbing your appetite either. Taste wise, I preferred the chocolate meal bars as opposed to the summer berry ones. The summer berry had a more noticeable aftertaste to them, but it was manageable. The shakes were really tasty, and not like typical bland diet shakes. They were flavoursome, creamy and helped with that sugar craving. The chocolate bars were really good too! I preferred the caramel one, a really chewy chocolatey treat that reminded me a little of a Curly Wurly in consistency! The savoury snacks were a little blander, I preferred the sour cream pretzels over the cheese bites, but they still acted as a good little filler in between meals. Another great thing was that it satisfied my sweet tooth, which for me is a must in any diet. There was at least 1 chocolate related product that I ate every day which I think helped me not crave for other chocolate.

What I also loved about this 7 day kit was how convenient it was. For the most part, I work 9-5, so having a diet that includes hours of prepping for every meal of the day can be a real turn-off for me. However with the Slim Fast products, I loved how I could just grab a shake out of the fridge, pop a meal bar in my bag along with some fruit, and away I go. Its perfect for travel as well, its not messy and no knives and forks are needed. This diet gave me structure, which I loved. I didn't have to go through the hassle of meal planning (apart from choosing which SW meal I was eating that night!) Such convenience... what a winner!

After all that, I know what you're waiting for - to see how much I lost! I managed to lose 3 lbs which I'm very happy with (have you seen what 3 lbs looks like in fat?! Google it!). I believe I could have lost more if I exercised however that's another area of motivation I'm currently working on!

By the end of the 7 days I was sad that it was over, and in a vow to continue this positive mind-set I went and purchased 10 more shakes from the shop! Unfortunately I couldn't find the meal replacement bars but I'm still on the hunt! Another week has passed and I've still been healthy eating - I now have no chocolate/cake/crisps in the house, I barely get any cravings or any thoughts that I want to eat naughty foods, and if I do, I've almost learnt to override them. When I feel hungry I just make myself a drink (a cup of tea tends to fill me up!) - this keeps me going till the next meal. I've made low calorie meals from scratch this week and I've been enjoying experiencing new foods again. I've introduced a 'treat day' into my week, which is on a weekend. This could be either a meal out (where I don't watch the calories) or one of my favourite chocolate bars. That way I look forward to it a lot more.

Selection of shakes that I purchased..
I'm so happy that I trialled this 7 day starter kit. Slim Fast is a brand I've been aware of for many years but I've always ignored it till now. This is proof that you should always give things a chance!

Here's to a slimmer and healthier future!

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