Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Slim-Fast 3,2,1 Plan | My 2 Week Slim-Fast Challenge | Does it work?


Before I begin this post I need to highlight a few things. I debated back and forth with myself and numerous people, whether I should do this or not because of everything I promote, stand for and generally believe in. I was asked to take part in the Slimfast Two Week Challenge of their 3,2,1 plan. This may make some of you potentially divert from this post completely but I’d like you to hear out my reason behind agreeing to it.
I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t ‘diet’ as it doesn’t promote a healthy and realistic life, once we stop dieting/restricting the weight has a far more likely chance to crawl back on. I’ve had friends take part in weight watchers and lighter life who lost a significant amount of weight, but due to the plans (which don’t always take into account actual life), they’ve fallen off the wagon and put it all back on.
With this all in mind I wanted to be a guinea pig. To be honest I’m a curious being and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and whether this felt good. What the nutritional content was and could it be adapted into my daily life? All eere questions buzzing around my head.
If we say that we are dieting it means we’re restricting and what we should be saying is everything in moderation. Now admittedly sometimes an eating revamp is needed if you over indulge, which I do agree completely and I do have to do this myself – I’m not always a food angel!



Alas I took on this challenge, gone were my morning oats, chicken and halluomi salads and instead my fresh eating was replaced with shakes and snacks on the 3,2,1 slimfast eating plan.  When the box arrived I had kittens about how I was going to deal with this change in eating. Surely I’d feel hungry? I also spotted there was nothing savoury as the meal replacement options – only sweet things.
The 3,2,1 Slimfast Plan
  • 2 Meal Replacements of either a shake or a bar 
  • 3 Snacks – fruit, seeds, slimfast savoury snacks or slimfast sweet bars 
  • 1 Healthy dinner (women advised 600cal, men advised 800cal) 
  • The official website provides tips and meal recipes
Shakes 
Banana, Caramel, Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla
Snacks
Caramel, nutty and dark chocolate snack bars


Start line
I was up early to do my training as always, made my green tea and mixed a slimfast shake up. I was going to be having a caramel temptation after my workout which had 2 scoops of powder and 250ml of skimmed milk. Never have I had a smoothie in the morning, always and only oats and fruit because I love the statisfying feeling after a tough workout of feeling full. The shake was tasty but I drank it so slow, even by me drinking some, putting it down to go wash up, drinking some more, folding the laundry then finishing it off. I felt I needed to drag it out in order to feel full or at least statisfied.  After my shake all I kept thinking was ‘I can have a snack at 11am’. Clearly my body was going to have a shock. 
As I do with all my food I logged my eating for the day into MyFitnessPal, but by my lunchtime meal replacement bar (summer berry) it popped up saying I’d reached my sugar limits for the day. Wow. That’s not good by lunch time.
By day 3 I was really grumpy as I was tired, craving real food and wishing the day away so I could have a decent meal in the evening. I don’t think it helped I was burning over 700cals doing one or two fitness classes a day and cycling to and from town each morning. My body was needing fuel and I clearly wasn’t giving it enough so I just kept drinking water and keeping busy to avoid my tummy rumbles.
By day 4/5 I was on a roll and started to bizzarely enjoy the routine I was in. I was feeling ridiculously hypcrytical of myself because this was starting to feel good. I clearly had been having three large meals without snacking small inbetween and therefore my body was confused by the change. The morning shakes were becoming ideal. instead of having that perplexing decision whether to eat breakfast before I go to the gym and feel uncomfortable, or risk feeling super hungry afterwards, a shake was actually a great option because it wouldn’t unsettle me like a bowl of cereal or toast would.


 
After realising I liked the routine and the control I was now having control with what I was eating... we hit a speed bump. My hen do. How the devil could I do slimfast whilst I was away? Would I drink? Should I sack it off? This then made me realise my initial concerns of if this could be adapted into daily life? I did have to let go because it was my hen do and I was only going to do this once. I tried to do my slimfast bits where I could but it was quite tricky, especially eating out and obviously drinking.
I felt a bit weird not sticking to the plan and was almost happy to get back into a routine, as found myself feeling somewhat guilty for eating ‘normal food’. Whether this is specifically the slimfast plan or just the pure fact I now had a regime that stopped nibbly fingers and eating too much – I’m not sure.
I tried to keep my evening meals as healthy as possible. Slim-Fast provide you with some ideas but I prefered to make my own things as I'm relatively healthy anyway at dinner time. 


Finish line
Did I lose weight you’re probably wanting to know and yes I did. I lost 4lbs but my bodyfat % had dropped, which considering I had my hen do inbetween it’s pretty good. However, do remember I’m a very active person so I can’t say it was purely down to slimfast but I strongly believe it gave everything a push.



In conclusion to me testing this out I can see some plus points to doing Slimfast, which I never thought I’d say. I mainly think you can take away some good ideas and eating patterns from it. I’ll no longer have such big meals but instead have smaller and regular eating times.  I may even ditch my oats at breakfast time and switch to a shame or smoothie instead.
Is it for you? My main concern is the sugar content as initially I had jitters from the sugar, which I believe is because I try not to have too much. I won’t lie it really bothered me because your sugar levels will spike all over the shop on this, so you need to really balance it out as best you can with snacks and your evening meal. Plan, plan, plan is key in this journey.
Does one size fit all? My other concern was if this works for all lifestyles? I can see it being good for someone who doesn’t do much activity but what about someone like me? I clearly needed some more calories when I’d done my back to back Body Attack and Body Combat classes on a Saturday (burning up to 700 cals per class). I also wondered how someone who ate far more than me would cope with such a drastic change… bare in mind I was ready to eat  my arm at the start.
Would I do it again? No there is a question. I like my clean eating and knowing exactly what’s in my food which is why I religiously use MyFitnessPal.  However, I do like how it made me cut back when I hadn’t realised I needed to.  It made me realise that I need to look at food as fuel, which I already knew but had forgotten to think about. Only eat when you’re hungry.  Coming away from this I’d say it does teach to graze which keeps the metabolism ticking over. It would perhaps would work for those who need to whip themselves back into a good food routine and maybe lose a few pounds, but remember that unless you stick to the same sort of calories outside the 3,2,1 plan you’ll be gaining those pounds back again… which is where many fall down.
I’ve found this challenge absolutely fascinating with how my body has felt and how I’ve felt too. It’s peaked and troughed all over the shop but it has taught me to treat my body as a temple, so that I’m watching what I’m eating more so than before. It's only fuel to keep me going when I need it and that is somethingI need to remember . I hope this has given a different insight into this multimillion brand from an active persons view, good luck if you’re looking to give the slimfast 3,2,1 plan a go and if you have any queries drop me a comment. 




What's your opinion on Slim-Fast and diet plans like this? Is it a quick fix? Is it sustaining? Have you tried it? Share with me your thoughts below.
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