The evenings are getting lighter, the temperature is getting warmer (ok, ‘warm’ is pushing it, but less chilly at least!) and there’s just a little hint of Spring in the air. I love this time of year because the post-Christmas lull has passed, we’ve made it though January (the most depressing of all the months), February is rolling to a close and the anticipation of Spring is setting in. This is the time of year when I start to think about booking myself a Summer holiday to look forward to, but with that comes the ever-long goal of getting myself a beach body to be proud of. Step in – The New You Plan.
The New You Plan is the fastest growing Diet Meal Replacement company in the UK and Ireland. The meals are designed to provide you with all the nutrients you need whilst being very low calorie and “ketogenic” (where the body burns off fat reserves, rather than carbohydrate). The plan can help you to drop up to two jean sizes in just a month.
I tried out the one week starter bundle* which meant that I got to select 28 meals / shakes / bars, plus two snacks to last me a week on the plan. I decided to choose a shake for breakfast and lunch, a hot meal for dinner and a bar as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack each day. When I was choosing my food, the shake flavours and meal selections sounded really appealing to me. The shakes include flavours such as mint chocolate and heavenly hazelnut, meals included spicy noodle nosh, cottage pie and vegetable chilli and the bars include chocolate trufa and chocolate cream cookie – doesn’t sound like your typical diet food to me…so far so good!
I was also sent a VIP starter accessory bundle which included a shaker, BMI calculator, a drop-a-jean-size journal and breath strips and three water flavourings in mango and passionfruit, raspberry and pink lemonade.
My experience begun when a consultant from The New You Plan phoned me to explain how the diet works and to talk me through my options for meals and snacks on the plan. The man I spoke to was extremely helpful, and helped me to choose the best products to suit my lifestyle – it felt like a very personalised service and he wasn’t pushy at all. My order arrived with me within 48 hours and was very nicely packaged in a box wrapped up in bright pink tissue paper.
I received a series of emails from The New You Plan introducing me to the plan and confirming my order. I have since received periodic motivational and supportive emails a few times a week which I can imagine would help keep me on track if I was following the plan for more than a week.
The shakes are made only with water, so I was expecting them to taste quite bland and watery, but all the flavours I tried were very thick, creamy and surprisingly filling. I drunk my first shake at around 9am each day, and the second one at around 1pm and I genuinely didn’t feel hungry in between. My favourite flavour was the mint chocolate one, although there weren’t any that I tried and didn’t like.
The bars were my favourite products from The New You range. All of the bars I tried were delicious and I would happily snack on them even if I wasn’t following this plan, because they were so tasty. My favourite was the luxurious chocolate trufa bar, which tasted a bit like the nougat part of a Mars bar. I tried to hold out until mid-afternoon before eating my bar each day, although I did crack in the morning on a couple of the days when I felt a bit more desperate for food!
The hot meals I tried came in the form of small sachets – a bit like an instant soup sachet – and are made just by adding hot water and heating in a pan. The portion sizes are small, and this was the part of the plan I found most difficult. I ate my hot meal at around 6pm each evening and I found that by that time of the day I was starving and ready for it. It was a real test of my will power for me to not crack at this point, as I found myself really craving substantial foods like pasta and potatoes each evening. The meals themselves were ok – they were mainly soya based, and I found the spicy ones to be the best, as they had the most flavour to them. My strategy for distracting myself from evening food cravings was to have a nice long bath and a pamper session which seemed to work for me.
I found that the water flavourings and breath strips helped a lot during the day, especially during any lulls in motivation. The breath strips are minty and refreshing, and the water flavourings are really tasty – the flavours are nice and it was good to have something sweet tasting to help curb any sugary cravings during the day.
I did have two supplementary snacks which I saved for the weekend. I tried the BBQ soya crisps which were delicious and the chocolate high protein snacks, which are a diet-friendly version of Maltesers (not quite as tasty as the real thing, but not bad as a low cal alternative).
I found the first couple of days on the plan fairly easy. Of course there were times when I felt hungry, which I would expect on any calorie controlled diet as your body gets used to consuming less food, but I found it was easy to keep focussed knowing exactly what I would be eating each day, and knowing that there was no room for cheating. Days 3 and 4 were harder – I was really craving a proper plateful of hot food. The meals and shakes were filling, and they temporarily satisfied the cravings, but the time in between was pretty tough. Days 5 to 7 got easier again, as by this point I had become used to the lower food intake, didn’t feel so hungry and I was really seeing the benefit of sticking to the plan.
I filled in my “drop a jean size” journal each evening. It was useful to write down each day’s achievements, emotions and progress, and again helps focus the mind and keep positive. By the end of the week, I was thrilled when I weighed myself to find that I had lost five pounds through following The New You Plan for just one week.
I’ve tried a few meal replacement diets in the past, and The New You Plan has been my favourite to follow, both in terms of the choice of food and shakes, but also because of all the extra support and tools in place to help keep you on track. It’s a really good all round package, and it takes out a lot of the inconvenience and time often involved in following other diet plans, because it provides all you need to stay on track without having to do lots of shopping and food prep. I found that it’s a good diet for people with a busy lifestyle because the shakes and bars are very convenient for taking to work or out and about during the day.
I’ve said before that I personally don’t believe that meal replacement diets such as this are sustainable for long periods of time, but I do think they are a great way to kickstart a weight loss and a healthier lifestyle and I wouldn’t hesitate to follow The New You Plan if I needed a boost again in the future.