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Throughout the year I seem to be on a constant fitness and weight loss journey rollercoaster where I’m on a mission to be as fit and healthy as I can be for our summer holiday and after that I have six months of indulgence before the spiral starts again and I long to lose weight.
Last month Slim and Save got in contact and asked if I wanted to try their weight loss plan to review it and I thought it might help me to kick start a healthier lifestyle at a time when I usually focus on carbs and hibernation. I wanted to break the cycle and so I said yes and waited for everything I needed to arrive.
What is Slim and Save?
Slim and Save is a meal replacement diet. It works on either a lifestyle plan or simplicity plan with simplicity being four meal replacements a day and the lifestyle plan being three meal replacements and a fairly strict dinner.
100g protein and 200g vegetables – although there is a whole database of Slim and Save recipes that can help with this. With the lifestyle plan you also need to take a multivitamin as you will only get your full dose of nutrients each day on the full simplicity plan.
There’s also now a Simplicity Plus Plan for people over 17 stone that adds an extra product each day. There isn’t a Lifestyle Plus plan – just lifestyle, simplicity or simplicity plus but they are all the weight loss tools you’ll need.
The basis of Slim and Save is that it’s a very low calorie diet – around 650 calories a day – with low carbohydrates, putting your body into Ketosis. I knew nothing about ketosis before starting the plan and to put it simply, it forces your body to live off its own fat reserves, burning more fat than you would on a typical diet.
As a mother I am really aware of making sure the children know about having a healthy balanced diet and I like to follow diet plans that fit well into family life. I didn’t feel that either plan really did that so I explained to the children that I was testing out a meal plan for my work and because of that I went for the full simplicity plan for the two weeks to maximise the benefit of the plan to see if it really did work.
When you start Slim and Save you’re sent a package of information to read through before you start the plan. It includes things like making sure start the plan at a convenient time – not when you’ll fall off the wagon because of a wedding or birthday or something.
There are also charts to track your weight and measurements throughout the plan and more information about what you can and can’t have whilst on the plan too. I made sure that I started the plan at a time when I could commit to being on it as I really wanted to do as well on Slim and Save as I possibly could.
What can you eat and drink on Slim and Save?
One of the most important parts of Slim and Save is having 2-3 litres of water every day. I found this really hard at first but soon got into the habit of drinking much more than I previously would.
You must also have 150ml skimmed milk a day and you can have 600ml of certain diet drinks – not Diet Coke – and some spices/seasonings. On the Simplicity Plan you can also have an optional 200g of vegetables from the Slim and Save allowed foods list with your evening meal which I did every day along with a can of Coke Zero each evening too!
The Slim and Save meals are either a shake, a soup, a meal or a bar. You can have any combination of them each day but only a maximum of one bar per day – as no-one should just be living off chocolate bars! There’s also a really handy Slim and Save meal planner that I used daily to record what I’d be eating the following day and this really helped me stay focused on the plan.
Are the Slim and Save products nice?
I am used to doing diets based around weight loss shakes so I found the Slim and Save meal replacement shakes really easy to make up in the Slim and Save shaker and great for having for breakfast or out and about. They came in a really wide range of flavours and they weren’t too sweet either – something I’ve often found with other diet shakes.
The Slim and Save bars are lovely. There weren’t any that I didn’t enjoy and you had to chew them all quite a lot which made them last longer. On a diet plan like this little things like taking time over eating really make all the difference!
The meals on the Slim and Save diet had some great variety – pancakes, porridge, a burger, bolognese, noodles, soups. There was so much choice and the majority I really enjoyed. Many of them didn’t look great but when teamed with 200g of veg they were actually quite a filling meal.
Some of the meals were nicer than others and there were a couple that I really didn’t enjoy which is obviously down to my own personal taste and it just means I wouldn’t buy those ones again next time.
Are there any negatives side effects of Slim and Save?
There are a few Slim and Save side effects. Whilst on Slim and Save I was consuming far fewer calories than I ever have previously. Because of this, at the start I felt quite weak and I also got headaches quite often. But, after about the third day, when ketosis set in, I started to feel a lot better.
I didn’t really feel hungry at any point on the plan and just really appreciated the food that I was eating. I did feel like I had much less energy than normal but I think that’s to be expected when consuming so little.
Whilst in ketosis you can’t drink alcohol which may not appeal to some people. You can also only do light exercise so if you’re heavily into exercising this may not be the plan for you.
Does Slim and Save work?
I followed the Slim and Save plan religiously for 12 days. I ended up coming off the plan two days early because I caught a virus and couldn’t seem to shift it. I felt my body needed more of an intake to get better before resuming the plan.
Over those 12 days I measured myself at the start, after a week and at the end and also weighed myself at those three intervals too. Over the course of 12 days I lost a total of 47cm across my body and 10lb in weight. It took my BMI from 26.6 and overweight back into the healthy range at 24.8. There’s a Slim and Save weight tracker and measurements tracker online which is really handy too.
So Slim and Save definitely works. But, it is one of the hardest diets I have ever tried. I found it very restrictive not being able to eat normal food with my family or to have a picnic on a day out. I also had to ration my cups of tea – because of the milk in them – and by the end of the two weeks I was really looking forward to normal food again.
Over the two weeks so much has changed positively for me though. I feel like my system has had a much needed detox. I have got into the habit of drinking much more water than I used to and now, over a week after finishing the plan, I am still having much smaller portion sizes than I used to.
When you finish the Slim and Save plan it’s normal to put on up to 4lb whilst your body adjusts to no longer being in ketosis and I only put 1lb back on which I was really surprised about. I honestly didn’t think that weight loss on meal replacement diets like this could be sustained after it’s finished but I’ve managed to sustain mine quite well.
I don’t think a meal replacement diet is something I could do long term and I much prefer traditional weight loss of eating better and exercising. But, Slim and Save would be a fantastic option if you had a lot of weight to lose and wanted something very regimented to stop you falling off track.
It would also be great if you had a wedding or holiday coming up and wanted to see results quickly. Compared to 1-2lb a week weight loss I usually see when I’m focusing on a healthier lifestyle I lost weight much quicker on Slim and Save.
The Slim and Save diet plan is also a really affordable option if you’re looking for a meal replacement diet. They have so many Slim and Save offers with meals costing as little as 99p a pack – so less than £4 a day £120 a month and with free delivery when you spend over £30. As far as value is concerned I don’t think Slim and Save can be knocked especially with the amount of online help and support there is too.
Slim & Save isn’t for me long term but I know there are so many people it would be great for. If you’d like to give it a go or read the many Slim and Save success stories then you can find out more over on their website.
I’ve seen a lot of people asking for a comparison of Slim and Save vs Cambridge Diet. I have no experience of the Cambridge Diet but found this great forum conversation here that may help. The same has been asked about Slim and Save or Exante and again, I have no experience of Exante but this may help.