Sunday, 26 April 2015

Exante Diet Review*

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Exante Diet to trial some of their trial weight-loss packages. After recently trying Slim-fast weight-loss meal plans and shakes, I realised it definitely wasn't really for me bar one of the shakes, I was eager to try the Exante meal plans as after my research, I wanted to understand just how they worked, from sachets you can create actual meals.
  For all those who are not familiar with the brand, Exante Diet has a range of flexible, easy to follow weight-loss/weight management plans. By replacing your everyday meals and replacing them with Exante meals, you are able to eat the correct portion controlled meals as well as give up the calorie counting, to ensure a steady weigh-loss journey.

I was sent a fairly huge box of Exante goodies to try, and honestly didn't know what to expect. The box included meals, shakes and even a pizza kit. 

Meal Plans
During my whole Exante Diet journey, I tried a variety of their product meals from Soups to Pudding to Shakes. Below is a few from the trial kit and what I thought of them

 I started every morning with the shakes I was sent until I ran out of them, the flavours I was sent were strawberry, chocolate, raspberry and lemon, and cream coconut. Out of all the shakes the main one I was able to enjoy the most was the strawberry shake, I found the others to be either unsuitable for me or to completely disagree with my taste-buds. Although they all smelt and taste full of flavour.

The strawberry breakfast shake was really easy to make just needing to add cold water and a couple of ice cubes, and it was even easier to drink. Full of flavour but not as thick as a milkshake (due to no milk). I have never been a breakfast person, nor does it sit right in my stomach in the morning as I tend to feel ill, so I find it very easy to digest shakes. 
The chocolate shake wasn't really my cup of tea as chocolate contains caffeine which makes me ill, but for this review, I had a sip to get an idea of what it may taste like. And as you can imagine it was very very chocolatey, this would be heaven for those chocolate lovers out there.
The raspberry and lemon shake unfortunately really made me uncomfortable sort of like when you suck a lemon, it was full of flavour but not the flavour I wanted to consume and found it rather bitter.
Finally unfortunately I couldn't consume the coconut shake as I am allergic to nuts including coconut so was sure to steer clear from testing this one, although I did make a friend give it a go, and she wasn't too impressed. 

I found the breakfast shakes to be very light and filling but wouldn't keep me going till lunch and would definitely need something to snack on... This is where the grapes come in handy. The shakes were quick to make in less than 3 minutes, creamy and light. All shakes are made with water and ice and don't forget to add your straw. 6/10
Creamy Coconut Shake
My next breakfast product I was keen to try, was the breakfast Maple syrup pancakes. The maple syrup pancakes were fairly easy to make, again needing to just add water and cook in a frying pan for a few minutes each side until golden. I just had to add a hint of sugar to the top to give it the perfect finished look. I was very impressed with how the pancakes came out and they certainly taste like maple syrup, but due to it not actually being pancakes the texture can be a little off putting, it gets a definite 10/10 for flavour but only a 4/10 for texture. 
Maple Syrup Pancakes
The picture below may not look appetising but it actually didn't taste so bad, although I'm not sure if I would do it again. The packaging originally suggest dinner meals to be made in a microwave, but due to not knowing I would need one prior, I opted for cooking them all in my oven. They still turned out fine but probably would have been better in the microwave. The Shepard's pie had a unusual texture at the top but the filling was much better, which consisted of a rich gravy taste. I decided to add a few carrots and green beans to my meal in order to digest it all together. The Shepard's pie is a solid 5/10 this is because of the texture and due to needing a microwave.
Shepard's Pie
 The breakfast eggs were certainly not my cup of tea, I did not enjoy the texture nor the flavour. I was expecting the eggs to be similar to eggs but was more like a consistency of couscous, it had the same cooking time as the pancakes, adding water to the sachet (the same instruction for all meals) then  cooking in a frying pan with a little fry light until it was ready. I opted to adding some wholemeal fresh cut bread into the meal as I didn't think I would even get half way through this otherwise. Unfortunately the breakfast eggs score a low 4/10.
Breakfast Eggs
 The soups! I hate soup so none of the soups including the vegetable soup below or the tomato and basil that was sent was finished, only trialled. Following the same pattern, the soups were made by adding warm/hot water. The vegetable soup was very runny and tasted more like a broth with little bits of vegetable swimming around. Whilst the tomato and basil was very rich almost the same taste as the pizza kit sauce, although the tomato soup was thicker in consistency and looked a lot more like a soup. This score is a little bias as if I actually enjoyed soup it would probably be a lot higher, therefore I am unable to score the soups out of ten.
Vegetable Soup & Added Brown Bread
The Spaghetti bolognese, (although looking like spaghetti bolognese) tasted exactly like the Shepard's pie, but just with pasta added into the mix. As with all the dinner meals after adding water then the meal was meant to be added into the microwave, but as I don't own one I opted for putting it into the oven with my garlic bread. I found this hard to consume as it kept reminding me of the Shepard's pie. I topped the meal with sea salt and cheese, but it still wasn't what I had hoped it would be. 5/10
Spaghetti Bolognese
 The Pizza kit was rather difficult to make, as the base had to be measured and rolled out yourself which didn't have step by step directions nor how thin to roll the base. The pizza base was definitely a case of  trial and error at the beginning. But once I was able to get my head around consistency and making the perfect shape and base, the sauce was meant to be made in the microwave also but I choose to use the hob and then add to the base into the oven.  The sauce is a rich tomato and basil which smelt lovely from the oven but the base still had the unusual texture that I was starting to become familiar with. I topped the pizza with a little bit of cheddar cheese and a side of spinach in order to make a meal more suitable to what I would like. The pizza kit gets a 2/10 for the base and a 7/10 for the sauce (would be a higher score if there was more available)
Apart from the strawberry shake, I also thoroughly enjoyed the snacks and bars that was included in the box that was sent. The Choco balls (chocolate flavour protein snacks) exceeded my expectation and received a ultimate 10/10. They were perfect for pre and post workouts and before my boot-camp sessions. The protein snack had a crunchy consistency and is obviously a much healthier option then that of chocolate bars. It was perfect for me as it was easy to carry to workouts, simple and light snack. 
I also really enjoyed the snack bars that were sent to me. Hot cross bun bar and Double chocolate flavour bar. The Hot cross bun bar which was very chewy and tasted exactly like a hot cross bun in flavour. The Double chocolate bar tasted just as good full of flavour without actually being a chocolate bar at all, yay, so no need to worry about getting ill from the caffeine that can be found in chocolate. The consistency was perfect again perfect for pre workouts or when feeling rather peckish and needing a quick snack. This is a product I would certainly buy from a supermarket! 10/10. 

Although Exante Diet wasn't exactly my cup of tea, I really enjoyed their strawberry shake, and could easily have that everyday for breakfast. The snacks were great for pre and post workouts and the bars also just as good, it was the meals I wasn't too keen on due to the texture but the taste/flavour was edible. I have never been too keen on products like ready meals that need consistent cooking using a microwave as it takes away all the fun of cooking things from fresh, and microwaves can get rid of the vital nutrients in food.
I think I have come to the conclusion that meal replacement diets aren't going to work with me that well, neither do they ever help me to lose weight although I work out 3/4 times a week. I do think I can see myself buying protein snacks rich in vitamins and nutrients as well as the breakfast shakes as they were easy to digest. 

The Exante Diet has definite products I could buy into and some I just couldn't see myself trying again. I do think the diet would work  for others but on this occasion I just don't think it will work for me. 

Thank you to the Exante Team for sending over the product for me to trial.
What do you think of meal replacements and diet plans?

xx



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