Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Exante Diet

The Exante Diet*

Exante Diet Plans are something I have heard a little about through the grapevine. I have heard that using these diet plans can bring fantastic results. I am hoping that this year will be the year I lose a little weight and become more healthy and confident in my body, so when I was offered to take part in trialing the diet, I jumped at the chance.

Please Note: I am no expert at diets or healthy living. I highly recommend that you do your research beforehand to starting a diet plan like this one to ensure you are eligible to partake in a low calorie diet. I would also suggest contacting your GP beforehand to see if this kind of diet is suitable for you. You can find lots of information on Exante's website to see how it works and who it is suitable for. The website also includes a forum, recipe page and blog which are great to have a read through to gain more information. This blog post is simply a review of my own personal experience of using the Exante products and following one of their diet plans for one week. 

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How The Exante Diet Plans Work

To briefly introduce you to the diet, Exante VLCD Diet Plans are a very low calorie meal replacement diet where you replace three meals a day with their snacks, shakes or meals. The Exante VLCD Diet Plans are called VLCD (this means they are Very Low Calorie Diets), and by consuming three of their products a day, that they will give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. Exante explain that the Diet Plans work well because your body will consume less calories than your body usually requires on a daily basis, which causes a calorie deficit. After a few days of following the diet, your body will enter a normal metabolic state called Ketosis where your body will use its fat stores to produce energy.

There are four different diet plans available with Exante. The Total Solution Plan allows you to eat only three Exante meals per day. If you partake in the Total Solution Diet Plan you must take a break after at least three weeks by adding atleast 201 calories to your diet per day. The Total Plus Solution Plan requires you to eat three Exante products per day, and also allows up to 100 calories of low carbohydrate foods from a restricted list (the list is mostly vegetables). This plan can be used up to 12 weeks before having to take a break from the plan for at least a week. The Working Solution Plan requires you to eat three Exante products a day, plus a 400 calorie meal or snack. The Simple Solution Plan also requires you to eat three Exante products per day, as well as a 600 calorie meal or snack.
All four diet plans require you to drink at-least 2 Litres of water per day; which is the recommended amount of water to drink daily anyway.

The Exante Diet Products

All of the four different diet plans require you to consume three of their products per day. I was kindly sent 21 products which ensured I could take part in the diet for a whole 7 days. 
The Exante Diet products range from shakes, soups, ready meals and bars. I received a few different flavours of their shakes, soups and ready meals, which I will go into a little more depth below.

There is a wide variety of shakes to choose from. I was provided with a few of their flavours.
I wasn't keen on the Banana shake, it just wasn't to my taste. The Chocolate shake was probably my favourite as it tastes really thick and filling, I was glad I had two of these! The Chocolate Mint shake was also delicious and really reminded me of a cold mint hot chocolate! This one is very thick and filling. 
Vanilla is quite refreshing. It tastes quite plain with not a lot of flavour, which I like about vanilla products anyway. The Toffee Caramel shake is sweet and tastes very nice, and the 
Strawberry is very thick and creamy and tastes just like a milkshake.

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There are five different soups to choose from, I was provided with three of them. 
The Thai Chicken Soup was tasty and filling. and The Mushroom Soup was edible and filling. 
I was also provided with two of the Tomato and Basil Soups. The taste reminded me a little of the pasta sauce sachets you can buy from super markets. It wasn't as thick as soups I usually eat, but it was again, very filling.  

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Ready Meals
Exante have a large variety of different flavoured ready meals. I will give a small description of each meal that I tried, and what I thought of each one.
The Spaghetti Bolognaise tasted a little like spicy noodles. There was quite a lot of flavour in the meal, so it was edible. The Porridge Oats were delicious and I would definitely recommend them. It tasted exactly like the normal porridge oats I eat. Curry was the one meal I least wanted to try. I personally didn't like the taste of it - I am not a huge fan of vegetable curry anyway, but it did the job and filled me up. 
The Apple and Cinnamon Porridge meal was full of flavour and tasted absolutely delicious. I definitely recommend this and would give it 5 stars if I had to rate it by taste. The cinnamon is so strong and smells lovely too.  I received two packets of Shephards Pie Meals, it tasted just like beef and I could taste vegetables, it was very thick and quite filling. Red Bean Chilli was the one meal I was most excited to try. I found that it was really enjoyable to eat. It had the aroma of chilli con carne as soon as I took it out of packaging. It tasted pleasant and was full of flavour. I would recommend this to anyone that likes their food simple but with a little spice. The Mushroom Risotto was probably my least favourite meal. The texture and the sight of the meal put me off instantly, and, being a person that detests mushroom flavoured food I knew I wasn't going to enjoy the meal. Pasta Carbonara was edible. I am not the biggest fan of cheese (I am quite fussy with food!) but the pasta was nice and it filled me up for a good few hours. 

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What I thought of the Diet Plan

I have to admit I did struggle. Even after the first day of the plan, I felt completely exhausted and fell asleep at 8 PM! I wasn't really sure which plan to follow. The first two days of my diet I stuck to the Total Solution Plan; which is where you only consume three Exante products and nothing else. On the third and fourth day I did eat home cooked meals (400 calories) as I wasn't at home, but the rest of my diet I followed the Total Solution Plan again. I would suggest the Working Solution Plan or the Simple Solution Plan if you work a lot or are on the go all of the time, as it is challenging to stick to the Total Solution Plan when you are out.
I think I stayed committed to the diet and I am pleased I didn't break the diet to eat junk food or fizzy drinks.

The meals were edible and most of them were quite tasty with a lot of flavour to them, my personal favourite was the porridge oats. I found all of the products very filling - which left me feeling satisfied, not bloated. They are very easy to prepare as you only have to add water and use a microwave, so they are suitable if you don't have the time to make a low calorie meal from scratch.


Previous to me starting the Exante Diet, my Diet consisted of  lots of junk food, missing out on meals and boredom eating late at night. I was also drinking a lot of coffee and fizzy drinks.
I think that because I had such an unhealthy diet before starting Exante, that it has really helped me to get back on track with eating better. I no longer want to eat junk food, I really fancy eating a lot more fresh vegetables in my meals. I really hope I keep up my progress with my weight loss. I am going to purchase my favourite meals from Exante online to help me stay on track.
I weighed myself the Monday I started Exante (9th March) and weighed myself the following Monday (16th  March).
In one week I lost 4lbs. 
Regrettably I didn't measure myself before starting the diet plan, but I can tell I have lost an inch or so on my waist and hips as I can fit back into some of my old clothes that haven't fitted in a few Months.

Would I recommend?

Simply - yes! It works well and the majority of the food is tasty. It requires good will power, but once you get into the routine of the plan it is quite straight - forward and very easy to follow. I would personally recommend The Working Solution Plan or The Simple Solution Plan as I found it quite difficult to live off just the three Exante products a day with nothing else, and also found it hard to fit in eating these meals around my schedule.

To find out more check out the Exante Website. Prices start from £3.87 per day.

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