Exante: Week One Update

Today marks the end of my first week on the VLCD diet by Exante. If you missed my intro post you can catch up here - but in short I am trialing Exante for two weeks, as part of my ongoing venture to lose weight and get healthy. If you want to hear how much I lost, please read on!

Firstly - the arrival of the box of goodies. My supplies arrived quicker than expected and as I was creeping into bad habits I decided to start Exante straight away, so got straight to opening my parcel. I had no idea what meals to expect so I was really excited to get stuck in.

I have tried a similar programme before, so I did know what to expect in terms of packet based foods and portions, but what really struck me was the variety available. I knew after looking at the website there was a huge variety of shakes and meal bars, but hadn't really appreciated the amount of 'real food' on offer as well. As I went through my box I found packets of scone mix, chocolate pudding, noodles, burgers and probably the most exciting sounding for a VLCD diet - a box of pizza mixes!

I'll be going into more detail fully in my review at the end of week two, but thought I would share a few meals to give you an idea of my week, and let you know how I got on. As well as the food, I was to drink between 2-4 litres of water a day and up my exercise a little too.

The Food!

Firstly, I should say that I read a lot of reviews on the foods the day I started on the Exante website, and got the impression that it's a bit love/hate with the food. I get the impression as well that people buy the pizza mix and expect it to taste like a take away pizza - it doesn't. If you're doing a diet like this you need to be realistic - Exante would be quadruple zillionaires living on a desert island somewhere if they could make food that drops weight off you (like this does) taste as good as the real thing, so with that in mind I actually quite enjoyed the food and a big part for me is making it look good. I like a plate of colour so I added my favourite roasted kale or cabbage with some meals, though I found meals like the noodles and soups to be plentiful and filling on their own and very much enjoyed every one.

The day I tried the burger mix, I hadn't had time for breakfast (slaps wrist) so I had an extra meal. I chose to make a bun from the cheese and bacon scone mix and make it more burger like. There is a certain 'taste' to these sort of products (from any brand) which I think is what people may dislike, but I actually quite like it and after a couple of days it just becomes the norm. If you try this diet then the key is to get creative with how it looks and also to persevere through the first couple of days as you stop feeling hungry, the cravings for other foods subsides and you start enjoying the products more. I thought the burger mix was OK but really liked the sausage mix which I made into mini burgers a day or so later.

The pizza base mix is strange as you make a kind of paste which you bake and it magically turns into a cute little risen pizza base. Again, it doesn't taste like bread but it comes with a pretty good sauce and you can add unlimited spices and herbs so I found garlic powder and oregano worked a treat. I added a little topping to make it look more appealing and tastier. I knew this would probably hinder my weight loss a small amount but it would also make me enjoy it more which would keep me more motivated so it all works out in the end! These are pretty good and a pretty cool alternative if you are bored of the usual shakes these diets usually offer.

My favourite sweet treat for the week was the melt in the middle chocolate puddings and they even do a salted caramel one - yum! Again, I had read mixed reviews, but I love these and I could happily keep these in stock even when I am off plan for a treat in the evening as I love my mug cakes and these are so similar (but nicer). I found that these took about half the time the packet indicated (my microwave is a little psychotic) so maybe this would explain some peoples dislike for this product? Luckily I cooked both mine perfectly, they were gooey and cakey and felt naughty. This gets a huge thumbs up from me and in two large ramekins it was very satisfying! If I order again these would feature pretty heavily. My favourite savoury meal is an Indian Dahl curry pot with rice and lentils - really tasty and very filling.

The Results

So now the bit that you are probably reading to find out - how did I get on? Well here it is in it's bright pink blazing glory (breast cancer awareness month colours!).

So to recap, that's 7 1/4 lbs lost, 10cm from my waist and 7cm from my hips! I was really surprised as I had struggled with the water until the last couple of days which I knew would have massively slowed me down. I had also had little extras to help the meals along and the odd bite of things I shouldn't have here and there (slaps wrist again). Really pleased with this week as I don't feel it has been challenging at all and I have been surprisingly happy with the food after reading mixed comments previously. I've never really felt hungry or deprived either, though maybe just a very small amount on day one and two. I am really looking forward to another week and hopefully another couple of pounds off too. I'll be trying a few new products next week so it'll be interesting to see how they are and I can't wait to try the new shake flavours!

So that's it for this week, more detail next weekend in my final review. So far though, I would really recommend Exante and the products, there is such a variety meaning you can really mix things up so you don't get bored and there is plenty of sweet and savoury options to satisfy your mood. Some I have loved, some I have found just OK, but I'll go into that more next week.

I've been regularly topping up my Instagram account with pictures of meals and motivation too, so if you have an account please come over and follow me there too.

Wish me luck!


Disclosure: I was sent a two week diet pack in exchange for an honest review, all words and thoughts are my own.