It’s over! Goodness me, I can’t believe I did it, but I managed 2 weeks on the Exante diet, and I didn’t deviate at all. I’m so proud of myself. It’s been a huge learning curve, I feel I’ve had an education on food, and it’s been a fantastic way to kick start the New Year Detox, and has totally inspired me to continue being healthy, and hopefully loose all of the weight to get to my goal weight of 9 stone. And I’m certainly on my way 🙂 If you’d asked me 2 weeks ago if I could do this, I would have said I’m sure I would lapse at least once. But it turns out my willpower is far stronger than I ever thought!
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been an easy ride, but it was so worth it. Generally, I’ve felt great on this diet, and if I was looking to loose weight quickly, it would be the perfect diet, and that is precisely why it was the right one for me to do a 2-week January detox. I’m so ready now to continue on a healthy path, I can’t wait to start cooking my own meals, and will definitely be using some of the Exante recipes. However, for me, this is a diet that I don’t think I could keep up long-term. I simply don’t have the determination, we all know I’m a foodie – I love eating out far too much! Because I’ve not been able to eat a single thing off-plan, I’ve been looking forward to a treat for 2 weeks, and can’t wait to go out for dinner on Friday. That’s not to say I’m going to eat my own weight in food, but I’m looking forward to having a little more menu choice 🙂 Here’s some of my own healthy meals I’ve had throughout the diet.
We went to Nandos on Friday, which was particularly hard as I couldn’t have any carbs and I love their mash! But I stuck to this healthy chicken and salad, and pulled off the skin. Proof of how easy it is to eat out AND healthy. I went out for dinner earlier in the week, and ordered a skinny burger. Sadly, it arrived with Salami, battered onion rings and potatoes with the mixed veg, which I happily left all of on the side, without a single bite.
The hardest part of the diet, was most certainly trying to keep on top of it whilst on the road. For my everyday job, I travel around the UK, staying in hotels and eating out, so when you have a plan to stick to, this becomes a lot more difficult. If you have been keeping up-to-date with my video diary, you will see that there were a couple of days when I couldn’t actually eat the Exante meals, and had to substitute them for healthy meal options. This was particularly hard in week 1, when I didn’t yet have any snacks, and couldn’t find anywhere to cook my Exante lunch/dinners. However, this didn’t stop me from sticking to approved foods, and this has been the biggest learning curve for me. In the past, when I have gone out for dinner, including when on business, I’ve eaten as a treat – burgers, lots of sauces, chips, pizza, desserts – and not really thought about the consequences. I’ve now learnt, that it is just as simple and enjoyable for me to eat healthy, good foods, and this is going to be a big focus for me moving forward. If I’m going out for dinner with friends or for a treat, then it is okay to treat myself. However, if I’m going out for dinner because I’m away with work, then I need to treat it just like a meal at home!
As discussed in my day 1 blog, I did this as a 5-2 diet. Something I’ve tried before, but on normal foods, and actually a plan I’m not averse to. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that shakes are simply not for me! This is the first time I’ve ever tried a professional diet plan, and I would be happy to do a meal plan again the future, but I wouldn’t go back to shakes. I struggled with both the taste and texture, be it hot or cold mixes, and had a mini-meltdown halfway through on a day when I was really struggling to get it down and feeling particularly hungry. I’m a fussy eater anyway, and I’m sure if you like everything, then shakes would be easy, but I just didn’t get along with them. They are handy for life on the road – easy to make in a hotel room, but I would rather have a healthy alternative. The one bonus I would say, is that on the days I did manage to eat all 3 shakes, they kept me full up and energized, and I even went to the gym and still felt great.
The meal plan was a totally different story. I was shocked and impressed at how flavoursome they were, tasting just like any other ready-meal that you might buy from the supermarket. I’ve never really tried any vegetarian-style foods such as quorn or soya, so this was a first for me, and I was pleasantly surprised. I even found, towards the end of the diet that I preferred the vegetarian meals to the meat ones, mainly because I felt uncomfortable that the meat wasn’t to be kept in the fridge. I would happily continue to eat these meals, even as a one-off for when I don’t have time to cook dinner, and if they were ever to come to a supermarket as weight-management meals, I would be at the front of the queue to buy some of the meals that I particularly liked. In addition, I was sent some snacks for week 2, and these were great! They kept me going whilst in the car, and were a welcome addition to my 3 meals a day, as it meant I had something to look forward to in between.
I started exercising alongside the diet, which has made me realise how unfit I was! Luckily, being away with work means I can book hotels with gyms, so I managed to have a few sessions whilst I was away, but my partner and I are going to join a local gym tonight. Then, over the next few months I will be trying out the BBG exercise plan, so I shall let you all know how it goes!
Finally, some of my favourites from the Exante meal plan:
- Vegetarian Lasagne – I’m not a big Lasagne lover, as I don’t particularly like the creamy cheese sauce as I feel its too heavy, so this was perfect for me. The soya tasted just like beef, the sauce was really tomatoey in flavour (my favourite) and the pasta was perfect. I really enjoyed eating this when the rest of the family were having a roast – so it was great to have a yummy distraction!
- Vegetarian 5 Bean Chilli – I’m not sure what the 5 beans were, but I loved this. It was rich and spicey (if a little too spicey for me!) and it went down very quickly and easily. If you like spice, this is the one for you!
- Cottage Pie – Although the potato wasn’t quite as light and fluffy as I’m used to, cottage pie is usually my favourite meal, and luckily this didn’t disappoint. It was meaty, with great texture and lovely meat, I was happy to be able to enjoy my favourite meal whilst on the diet!
- Beef Chilli – Similar to the bean chilli, except less beans and more meat, again I really enjoyed this. It came with rice, which I don’t generally like, but they went well together and I loved the flavour. This was less spicey than the bean chilli, so far easier for me to eat without water!
- Strawberry protein wafer – I love pink wafers, have done since I was a kid, so when Exante told me they were sending me this I was excited. It was amazing, quite sharp mixed with sweet, tasted just like strawberry’s and had a thin layer of dark chocolate on the outside – and having not had chocolate once in over a week this was incredibly exciting!
- Finally, the breakfast muesli protein bar. It was covered in yogurt. I usually eat breakfast bars when I’m on the road, as its quick and easy, no preparation involved. If I was to go shopping for breakfast bars, these would definitely be on my list of which ones to go for. It was small and delicious, and kept me full until lunch!
Had I continued eating my usual food after Christmas, I probably would have lost a bit of weight (as I ate anything and everything in site over December!). However, there is no way I would have lost so much weight so quickly, and retrained my mind into how to go about eating healthily. So I really do owe it all to Exante (and of course my own willpower). If I ever need to kick-start a diet again, I would be heading straight for their meal plan (knowing how hard it can be). Not only did they support me with the food, but were on hand to answer my questions when needed, and throw a note of support at times when I was ready to cheat and give in.
Thanks to this great 2-week plan, I have lost 11lbs.
Start Weight: 11 st 2
Current Weight: 10 st 5
Goal Weight: 9st
This is great news, I’ve still got a long way to go to get to my goal weight of 9 stone, but this is a great start, and motivation for me to continue.
Good luck to anyone else embarking on any kind of diet plan, and feel free to ask me any questions/advice/motivation you may need!
Thanks again Exante,
p.s. keep an eye out over the coming weeks for my next exciting blog posts, I’ve got some fab new products to try out, and some lovely restaurants to review!