Saturday 10 April 2010

Slim.Fast's new 3.2.1 weight loss plan

Now call me a child of the 80's but when I hear the words 3.2.1, I think of that cheesy old game show that was a regular part of my Saturday evening TV entertainment when I was a kid ! I still remember Dusty Bin, the mascot of the show (who represented the booby prize of a new dustbin !). As Wikipedia says, "Although the show did not rely on catchphrases in the traditional sense, Ted Rogers would regularly make a lightning fast 3-2-1 hand gesture. This became an important gimmick of the show - and a school playground favourite - mainly because it was quite difficult to do, and resulted in a rude hand gesture if performed incorrectly. The correct way of doing the gesture is to hold up three fingers (index, middle, and ring), facing inward; two (index and middle) facing outward; and then one (index) facing inward, turning your hand as you change your fingers." Yes, sad as it may seem, we really did spend hours running around the playground trying to master it !

But enough of going off on a nostalgic tangent ! This review has nothing to do with dustbins or rude hand gestures ! 3.2.1 is the name of the new weight loss and weight management plan unveiled by Slim.Fast. That's 3 snacks, 2 meal replacements and 1 sensible meal per day.

As soon as you say the words Slim.Fast, most people will automatically think of the powdered shakes. They were the original Slim.Fast product and, despite the pale imitations (which is a nice way of saying cheap copies !) made by numerous other companies now, they remain very popular. When you're on the go and don't always have time to make up a fresh shake or have access to a fridge, they also come in a range of ready-to-drink bottles too. I was aware of this but thought they still had just the boring standard flavours of strawberry, chocolate or vanilla. Well, the usual suspects are still there but there are some really surprisingly different and delicious options available too - café latte, blissful banana, lemon meringue, raspberry crush, fruits of the forest ... Boredom is one of the big reasons people give up weight loss plans but with that many different flavours, it shouldn't be an issue. They also have Smoothies - a blend of fruit and yoghurt - that not only fit into the weight loss plan but count as one of your five-a-day portions of fruit.

For those who don't like milk or prefer to have something solid to munch on so that they feel they've really eaten a meal, there are also a range of meal replacement bars available. Just make sure you don't mix up the meal bars and the snack bars, as the packaging looks very similar ! They taste just like normal cereal bars but are amazingly satisfying and really do fill you up. They're perfect for when you need to eat lunch on the go - every Tuesday, I only have 50 minutes for lunch break and I have to change schools in between plus deal with paperwork and photocopies. I've been eating a quick sandwich while walking between schools but it's not particularly practical and the sandwich always gets squished in my bag under a pile of textbooks. These meal replacement bars are absolutely ideal on both counts.

The new and surprising element of the 3.2.1 plan is the number of snacks you can eat. As they explain on the website, "You replace 2 meals a day with a Slim·Fast meal replacement (shake or meal bar), your third meal should be a healthy, nutritious meal of 600 calories for a female and 800 calories for a male. In addition you can have up to 3 snacks of under 100 calories per day, this can be fruits, vegetables or one of our range of Slim·Fast snacks. In total the plan provides between 1200-1400 calories per day. In addition, you should drink around 2 litres of water per day, and also get some exercise."

The snacks are so delicious, it's hard to believe they're part of a calorie-controlled weight loss programme ! If you've got a sweet tooth, you can choose from a Cranberry, Almond and Raisin Bar, a Chocolate Peanut Bar or a tasty and gooey Chocolate Caramel bar - yes, really ! If you're fed up of sweet things and want to go for a savoury option, you have the choice of Cheddar Bites or Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels (just don't do a George W Bush and choke on one !). They taste really yummy and if they didn't have the Slim.Fast name on the bag, I'd never have believed they were low-calorie.

I could go into details of nutritional information and the number of calories per product but the whole point of the programme is that you don't have to, they've done it all for you. As long as you complete the plan with a sensible low-fat dinner each evening (or lunchtime - whatever fits in with your lifestyle), you'll be covering all your essential vitamins and minerals while following the plan.

A recent survey by Slim.Fast discovered that UK women waste a staggering £32,186,000 on clothes that don’t fit. "Shocking new research released today has revealed that the average woman has £200 worth of unworn clothes gathering dust in her wardrobe, equating to four times more than the average household spends on food in a week. The survey of 2000 British women was conducted by Slim.Fast and showed that 80% of women keep clothes that are too small for them in the hope that they will fit into them again “one day”. Over a quarter of those surveyed have purposely bought clothes that do not fit as an incentive to diet, but have never reached their target. The study revealed that nearly 50% of people have 10 or more items of clothing in their wardrobe that they cannot bear to part with, including on average 4 pairs of jeans, 2 little black dresses, 2 bikinis, 1 skirt and 1 boob tube. 53% of women have clothes in their wardrobes that span 3 or more different dress sizes." Well, I have to admit to being one of them, all my pre-pregnancy clothes are still in the wardrobe !

The 3.2.1 plan is so flexible and easy to stick to that it's got to be worth a go. It will work out a lot cheaper than buying a whole new wardrobe too, so in these credit crunch times that's got to be a good thing !

star rating : 5/5

1 comment:

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