I’m at one of those moments in my life when I feel insecure about my size. We all have our happy weight – the times when our favourite jeans don’t feel too small and we feel good about ourselves. Thanks to the summer holidays, plus a period of inactivity after my back surgery, I’ve crept past my comfort zone.
You may look at me and say you don’t need to diet. But we’re the only ones who have to live in our own skin – and everyone has their happy weight. I’ve been an unhappily chubby child and I’ve been super-skinny (and starving). Right now, I just want to be able to do up my favourite jeans without cutting off my blood supply.
But, here’s a confession – I hate diets. I’m time-poor, lazy and I like butter. Dieting generally makes me miserable and tetchy. I usually fail.
But, sometimes we all need a kick-start – a little push in the right direction to get us back on track. When I was contacted by So Shape and invited to try their weight loss challenge I jumped at the chance. I’ll try anything that makes dieting easier.
What is the So Shape Challenge?
It’s incredibly simple: you replace your breakfast and dinner with their special Smart Meals, and then eat sensibly for the rest of the day. They send you everything you need from a selection of milkshakes, soups and pasta – and each little meal is packed with the vitamins, nutrients and fibre that you need. Everything is mixed together in a handy little shaker, which also doubles up as a water bottle. Choose from different challenges: 5, 14 or 28 days.
How long does it take and what did I hope to achieve?
I chose the five-day challenge. This felt this an achievable plan for someone who struggles with diets. I knew I wouldn’t look drastically different after five days, but I hoped that my jeans would feel a little looser, and that it’d kick start a new healthier start.
What’s it like?
I had the milkshakes every day for breakfast – and tried the brownie, raspberry and hazelnut flavours. They taste nice and are surprisingly filling. They kept me going until lunch time.
Lunch is a free meal. I took this to mean a good healthy meal with plenty of protein and vegetables to keep me going. I’d have something like salmon, wild rice and salad.
For your evening meal, you can choose a soup or a pasta dish – which you prepare and heat in a microwave, or on a hob. My favourite was the Garden Soup. The cheesy pasta was also good.
If you’re going out, then you can swap lunch and dinner around. I did this on a couple of days and it worked well.
Did I weaken and crumble under the pressure?
The main benefit to the So Shape diet is that it’s simple and requires minimal effort. My boundaries were clear and I managed to stick to the plan for five days. Sure, I missed the variety at breakfast and dinner time – but this kind of meal-plan is never designed for long-term use. It’s a kick-start, and five days felt achievable. I could tell I was eating less than normal, but I didn’t get the terrible hunger pangs and cravings for food that I often get with dieting. This kind of eating is functional, but it’s easy to stick to.
By the end of the week I was pleasantly surprised to find that my tightest pair of trousers felt noticeably looser. It wasn’t a dramatic change, but it’s given me the little boost I needed. It has also helped to re-train my mind (and stomach) and I’ve noticed I’m feeling more satisfied again with smaller portions. There’s also a lot less mindless eating going on and I’m finding it easy to feel back in control again.
The challenge was fun, and it’s given me the motivation I need to get my weight back on track. It also didn’t feel like a crash diet – this eating plan is sustainable and fun!
Fancy taking your own So Shape challenge? You can find out all the details here.
Enter my special code MARMALADEPIE10 to get 10% off your 14 or 28-day Challenge. UK only!
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