Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Half way through diet #3, slimfast week

At lunchtime today, a friend's three year old daughter pointed at my chocolate crunch bar (aka "lunch") and asked me what it was. I told her it was a "nutriotionally balanced meal replacement bar designed to help me lose weight", and she looked at me like I was mad. In essence, it took her seconds to assess what it's taken me days to realise.

So now I'm sitting on the couch watching Friends and munching my way through my third chocolate bar ( "snack") of the day, reflecting on this diet. goes against everything I believe about dieting - making good choices, understanding healthy eating, portion control, willpower and exercise. I also hate the thought of Sadie watching me munch my way through this disfunctional diet, and believing that this is good or healthy. By evening, I feel like my teeth are ready to fall out, and I'm craving fresh fruit and water.

I'm sure that someone was paid a small fortune to come up with names for the flavours of shakes - things like rich chocolate, blissful banana, summer strawberry, rasberry crush and simply vanilla, and all of them are unbelievably sweet. The meal replacement bars are big and filling, but again, so sweet - raisin and cinammon flapjacks, chocolate peanut, summer berry and chocolate crunch. The chocolate snacks (nutty nougat, heavenly chocolate delight) are sweeter still. Even the main flavourings on the savory bbq tortilla snacks are sugar and then honey. Plus, the packaging is unappealing to me - it looks more clinical than edible - although I guess that's what they were going for. It's also relatively expensive - the shakes are £1.30 each, and the bars are £4.99 for four. Although, to be fair, I would have spent £5 on a sandwich and a packet of crisps at lunch today, so it's still saved me money. 

But (believe it or not), I can see that this also has plus sides:
  • It's really easy to stick to. If you were slimming for a specific occasion (let's say, to drop half a stone before a wedding at the weekend), it would be relatively straightforward to follow.
  • There's no need to avoid sweet foods - in fact, with, that's almost all you can eat.
  • The snacks are actually really good .
  • It completely takes the pressure off of food. When you're dieting, it's easy to get obsessed with what you can eat - with the 3.2.1 plan, you don't have to think about food at all, no cooking, no preparation - just pop a bar in your bag and eat wherever you are.
  • I'm hungry all the time - but when you get used to being hungry, you understand when to eat, so you're not just eating out of habit.

It's fairly obvious that you could just eat two light meals for breakfast and lunch each day, and a couple of healthy snacks inbetween, and lose weight just as easily at a fraction of the cost. But, by providing you with a very specific menu, which is carefully calorie controlled, it's much easier to stay on the wagon for longer.

This is definitely not for the long-term, but in the short term, the proof is going to be in the pudding. Check back on Sunday to see how much weight I've lost...

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