I’m no fan of meal replacement, you all know that, but they’re always the exception when some of the meal replacements taste awesome which is what I’ve found with Exante. Kelly originally reviewed Exante and found it a little lacklustre, however since then it seems that they’ve changed some of their things around.
My mum used to be a huge meal replacement fan and spent the majority of my teenage years swapping her meals for milkshakes, but the flavours were nearly always limited to just the three, Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry with the odd occasion where the company would add a special like Banana to mix it up a bit. I remember thinking that they’d pushed the boundaries at one time offering Cafe Latte in a tin which I would often nick out the fridge to drink as a regular drink (may have contributed to the size I am now in fact) but that’s as modern as they got back then. These days with Exante, they’ve pushed the boat to a whole new Quay – Lemon Cheesecake, Hot Chocolate and Ginger and Irish Cream flavours just to name a few, grace the shop and delight the palette. Take the powder, empty it into the shaker with water and give your muscles a workout in the meantime. Job done. I don’t like my shakes too thick so I always add extra water which in some cases can be a disaster as the flavour doesn’t carry well in some but these shakes cope well. Flavour was still pretty strong even when I thinned it out a little.
As well as the shakes they do a nice little range of snacks. I have to have something sweet on my diet or I’ll fail (as I so monumentally have demonstrated) so sweets, puddings and snacks are my go to just to survive. Choco Balls are allowed (although you can get them from the likes of MuscleFood too called Chocolate Protein Balls) are the dieters equivalent to Maltesers and they’re ok I suppose, although no substitute for the original. Bit less light and a bit crunchier than regular sweets, with much more protein. Protein rich diets are far superior to regular “diet” systems anyway as they promote feeling full as opposed to feeling light of pocket and still as chunky as a Yorkie bar so mixing in some protein elements are good in my book.
I usually eat Porridge for breakfast with added Flaxseed so I didn’t really want to deviate from it as it’s the one thing that keeps me totally full until lunchtime but they tempted me with a packet of Maple Syrup Pancakes dammit. You have to make sure that you spray enough oil into the pan though because if you have the pan too high they burn immediately. We made the mistake with one of the pancakes and manage to salvage the other one thankfully which tasted really nice and would make a nice alternative but as I only had one packet, I couldn’t find out if it kept me as full. Still, tasted nice with the addition of the calorie free sauce (which I have a cupboard full anyway being diabetic as it normally gets poured over soya ice cream, porridge, yogurts and anything else that needs a bit of a lift) again, I purchased mine elsewhere, but it’s a must if you want to lose weight, or just don’t want to add sugar to everything.
Puddings though are the best part of the meal and they’ve handled that quite nicely too – I’m not keen on the Tiramisu pudding though as it’s just like a gloopy cross between a milkshake and a mousse, and unfortunately although it smells divine it’s flavourless. However, the chocolate pudding is another matter. More like a salted chocolate cake, it’s a microwaveable miracle. Gooey in the centre, and not unlike the Japanese mug cakes that I made in abundance during my diet (albeit 50 calories less but still) it’s a dieter’s dream! I had a couple of packets put in the box for me and I’ve purposely kept one back to savour when I’m utterly desperate for something naughty so they must be doing something right. The same goes for their bars – especially the amazing Strawberry Jam and Yogurt Bar (I could eat this quite happily several times a day but for (if I remember correctly) 200 calories per bar it’s not for snacking as such but still very, very good for naughty moments.
The only things I have issues with on this diet. I hate the fact that they promote VLCD’s (Very Low Calorie Diet’s). This isn’t healthy in the slightest. Your body goes into starvation mode with calories this low and you’ll end up losing weight very quickly (which incidentally isn’t fat, it’s generally water) and becoming sick. Body organs don’t thrive being put through diets with calories as low as 600-700 per day. Look what happens when overweight people have gastric bypasses and bands. They are left with saggy skin and if they’re unlucky the body turns on itself, caving in to other more fatal diseases. This is no good!!! Diets below 1600 calories are pointless and in my opinion damage not only your confidence as you can’t maintain a decent weight loss any lower as there’s nowhere to go to negotiate a loss, and will cause more damage to your body than you think. Short term, ok, but long term NO NO NO.
The other thing that I have an issue with is the price. Why do companies feel the need to charge so much for diets? ExanteDiet have at least given some fairly decent deals with their programme, offering a BOGOF on their milkshakes and 60 products for £60 which is a lot more financially friendly than others I’ve tried though.
Sadly I didn’t get to try the main meals as I don’t do reconstituted packet food. I think a meal cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients is the best thing you can have on a diet. But if you have no choice and you just have to buy the whole programme, then I doubt you’ll be disappointed if they take as much pride with the main meals as they do with the milkshakes and snacks.
Right now you can get it on offer if you pop over to the site, and if you need to shift a bit before Christmas and don’t have time, then it’s a decent enough option for you to take.