New You Plan Day Five : Making Crisps out of Soup?

Can't believe I've made it this far! I've never stuck so completely & strictly to an eating plan, EVER. Not just weight loss eating, but also a few years ago I had high cholesterol and couldn't stick to a diet for that either!  

So why is this diet different?

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Firstly I have to be accountable to you guys. There's no point me doing a free week's trial in return for blogging all about it, then not doing it properly. My readers want to see if it's worth the price tag, and if I mess around on it, you aren't getting the whole experience reported to you.

The other reasons are applicable to anyone doing the plan, the second being the money guilt trap. As you are paying £38.99 a week for your total inclusive food for those seven days, it's silly to cheat one or two days and waste your money. 

Lastly, this diet is different in that New You Plan's input doesn't stop with the delivery. There is free  live chat with a customer service advisor during office hours. There is a plethora of tools for weight loss maximisation on their main website. But what really is helping keep me on plan is the Secret Slimmers Facebook Page that I keep mentioning. Women (mostly) who are going through the exact same plan as you, with advise, answers to questions and encouragement for you daily. It's a very active page with fun events like Selfie Saturday and weigh ins weekly. Without the page I KNOW I would have blipped and scoffed something off plan by now.

 So, truthfully, how do I see the New You Plan diet, five days in? Well to be brutally honest, it IS hard. This isn't a diet where you simply make a few changes to you eating by adding more lettuce than potatoes to your dinner. You can only eat four New You products a day, a shake, a soup, a bar or a meal. The meals are SMALL. I'm not going to pussyfoot around that fact. You are certain to pour out your very first meal packet on your first day and think, 'oh my god, I could eat four of these in one go'. 

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So you are making a big sacrifice of your usual eating habit of eating until you are full. You aren't hungry after the small meals, but you will notice the huge difference in portion size from regular meals. 

So the meals are small, but balanced for nutrients daily. The meal replacement bars are quite big in comparison. Like fun size Mars Bar size. Being able to eat chocolate on a diet is fab though. The other two products, shakes and soups, are straightforward, easy to make and taste good. I decided quite early that I didn't want any of my four products a day to be liquid, so I'm now turning shakes into bowls of mousse or frozen lollies, and this afternoon I attempted the soup mix crisps!

One pack of New You Plan soup mix, any Flavour, I chose chicken, add spices if desired. 

One pack of New You Plan soup mix, any Flavour, I chose chicken, add spices if desired. 

Add 30ml of water and mix into a baby food consistency  

Add 30ml of water and mix into a baby food consistency  

Spread the mixture out in crisp sized shapes and microwave for 90 seconds

Spread the mixture out in crisp sized shapes and microwave for 90 seconds

Peel from the paper and eat! Mine were more like savoury bites so I'll spread the mix thinner on my next attempt

Peel from the paper and eat! Mine were more like savoury bites so I'll spread the mix thinner on my next attempt

Excitingly now my daily posts are being shared over on the New You Blog among the other stories of women's successes. I hope by the end of the full seven days I'll have a result somewhere near the average. I have a fashion event to attend next Tuesday, so it would be lovely to have dropped under 9 stone by then. 

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*week one of the New You Plan provided for review purposes. Always see a GP before embarking on a very low calorie diet. All result vary, weight loss is not a guarantee* 

The New You Plan Day Four : Mixing Things Up

It's day four and so far I've stuck to plan 100%. I have been tempted, but I know how successful this diet is for people who don't cheat on it, so I've been able to stick to my four products a day with the image of fitting into my too-tight-for-now M&S jeans in my mind. 

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My hazelnut shake, frozen into lollies last night, didn't go entirely to plan. They stuck in the mould and the handle came free. So I put both of them into a bowl and ate it like an icecream. Now you know I'm being brutally honest on this plan, so I have to tell you it doesn't compare in the slightest to a big bowl of Ben & Jerry's, but it isn't bad either. I'm definitely going to either freeze, or make mousse from my remaining shakes, because when I'm eating this little a day, I don't want to waste any calories on drinks. 

The New You Plan is a total meal replacement diet, and where some delivered diets let you add your own fruit and veg, this diet does not. You must stick entirely to the four products a day (plus a very occasional snack, also from the plan) and not add anything except the odd spice. This has its pros and cons.

The pros are the weekly price you pay is absolutely all you'll personally spend on food that week. You don't receive your parcel then have to shop for another £30 of ingredients to add. Another pro is you know exactly if you're doing things right or not, as you aren't wondering have you eaten too much fruit and taken in too much sugar. If you stick on plan then you can't get it wrong in other words.

The cons are that you can't snack on even a carrot or celery if you have a hunger pang. You can opt for the broth water flavouring, but apart from that you've to stick to just the four items a day. Another con is if you are eating out with family or friends, you are either going to have to break the diet, or bring along a meal replacement bar & face the awkwardness of that! 

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Another potential con, long term, is that you'll find yourself eating the same meals over and over. Successful slimmer Dawn has come to the rescue though.  Over on the New You Plan blog she has shared her New You Plan 'hacks' as it were. Using just the shakes, meals or soups, she's combined and tweaked products to make tempting treats like cupcakes (from the porridge & a chocolate shake with the snack mousse as topping) and savoury inventions like cottage pie sticks and even crisps made from the soup mix! Can't wait to try that.

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The Secret Slimmers Facebook group also share recipes, and I'm left smiling at how even on such a strict diet women have been able to be creative with the products and make a whole new range of meals and snacks. I'm definitely going to try some of Dawn's recipes before the plan is over.

I have to confess though readers, I emailed Grant, my contact at The New You and answerer of my endless questions, and asked him are any of the products on the Yo Sushi menu fit in with the diet and keep within the ketosis plan. I know, I know, I'm only four days in, and I sort of knew the answer before I whizzed off the email, but with it being Bank Holiday Monday and Michael being off school, AND it being Yo Blue Monday, I was weak! Any off plan eating is going to effect the success level I have at the end of week one, so before he even answered I had talked myself out of sushi anyway. Once I finish my diet there will be many more Mondays for sushi, and because it's so low fat & calorie it'll be a great option for maintaining.

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So no Yo Sushi for us this week, sorry Michael. He had a treat in going to W5 today anyway, and when he had a snack in their cafe, I was able to have one of my New You bars. The diet was saved from a moment of madness!

Michael is back at school full time tomorrow, and I'll be left to my own devices. Eating lunch alone will make things a bit easier as I won't have to cook and smell his food and be tempted that way. Almost half way through week one!  

The New You Plan Day Three- Tackling Social Eating

9:00am The beginning of day three and it's a Sunday, so that means eating lunch at my parents' house as a family. The problem I'm pondering, over my morning porridge (lovely by the way) is how I'm going to sit and eat with my family and not get tempted by their food. I'm definitely sticking to the plan, so cheating & eating the same as them isn't an option. Yet social eating is always going to turn up, so what can I do?

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The Secret Slimmers Facebook Page comes to the rescue once more. You can combine the meals to make larger lunches or dinners, and the different combos are all tried and tested by people on the plan. This means you'll use up two of your four products a day, but it will feel more like a Sunday Lunch, so you won't feel left out. 

Yesterday I was craving a Subway salad (I'll definitely be using them to maintain once this fortnight is over), but I managed to resist and stay 100% on plan. If you do have little wobbles then it's worth checking in over at the New You Plan blog, and reading some success stories to keep you motivated.

Slimmer Amelia-Grace  told her story on the blog  of losing four stone in EIGHT WEEKS!

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She stuck ridgidly to the plan & certainly reaped the success of her willpower. She looks like a completely different person and about ten years younger! Obviously this is one of the top slimmer weight losses, but the blog has dozens of other women, and men, sharing how much weight they lost, and how quickly. So you can get an idea of what level your loss will be, but of course with all these things results vary from person to person.

I have to mention that long term weight loss at this speed can cause issues like gallstones- but this is why 1/ You should check with your GP before starting, 2/ If you've a lot to lose then stick to the plan's guidelines of staying on plan for 12 weeks, then taking a 2-3 week break before starting another cycle, and 3/ Make sure your water intake is at least two litres a day. Although there are some health risks, you have to weigh them up (pardon the pun) with the dangers of being overweight. 

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I'm still getting used to the size of the meal portions, but I'm not really feeling hungry. Any food cravings I have are more likely due to boredom, so I placed an order today for a product which should help if I feel like something but I've used up my four allowed items that day. Usually when I'm dieting I would have cup a soups in the house for evening snacks, to avoid eating something else savoury like crisps. It just so happens that New You have just released a new product that should replace the cup a soups and keep me in ketosis.  

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Their new broth can even be drank as often as you like, it doesn't count as one of your four. A tub is £5.99, and there is an introductory offer of 3 for 2, at £11.98. I ordered yesterday, but with the bank holiday it will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday before I have it here to try and report back about. 

After lunch : Sunday lunch went fine! I tried the cottage pie meal and really liked it. In fact I wish I had ordered more of them, rather than the noodle meals, as it was bigger and tastier than any of the pasta meals so far. 

After lunch my son & I went out shopping for a bit. We usually stop off at Caffe Nero, I get an espresso con panna & he gets their chocolate fudge cake. On The New You Plan you can drink tea and coffee, but they recommend you don't use milk. I just can't drink coffee that way, so I was glad they say if you can't face black coffee, you can put a tiny splash of milk in it, but not more than 250mls a day.  

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My usual drink is the espresso con panna which is a double espresso topped with whipped cream. Instead I swapped to a espresso macchiato which is a double topped with a very small amount of foamed milk. It's perfect for the diet and won't throw me off ketosis. I usually use the powdered sweetener on offer in Caffe Nero, but that's off plan, so I followed the advice to use the tablet form of sweetener instead. 

After yesterday's success with drinking water, I'm struggling a little today again, so I got some fizzy water to mix things up a little. 

I plan on having a noodle meal later, and a shake to total to my four daily meal plan items. I shall check in with you again tomorrow! 

*Consult your GP before beginning a very low calorie diet. Results are varied and not guarenteed. Meal plan supplied for this week by New You for review purposes* 

Yo Sushi Belfast Restaurant Recreated in Minecraft

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If you ask Michael out of everywhere you can go to eat, where would you like to go, nine times out of ten he'll tell you Yo Sushi. He may only ever eat cucumber maki, prawn nigiri (no wasabi please!) and tonnes of pickled ginger, but he just loves the whole Yo Sushi experience of video walls, bubble lamps to alert your waiter & of course the little water taps on each table.

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One of the very first buildings he recreated when he started getting into Minecraft was Yo Sushi. Now he's a bit better at building he has rebuilt the Belfast restaurant today, complete with working sushi train. 

Apologies for the photos of a screen, but I'd probably lose my mind trying to work out how to take a screenshot on his Kindle! 

Apologies for the photos of a screen, but I'd probably lose my mind trying to work out how to take a screenshot on his Kindle! 

Grey box is a mine cart which zooms round like the sushi train below

Grey box is a mine cart which zooms round like the sushi train below

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Booth view of sushi train

Booth view of sushi train

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Michael has just started making his own Minecraft vlogs. You can watch his first Minecraft video here.

The New You Day Two : Getting Into the Swing of Things

Well, last night around 1145pm when I finally finished my 7th 500ml bottle of water, I couldn't believe I had to do it all over again today. I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but the drinking water is a hundreds times harder for me than restricting my calories. 

But, this morning I seemed to whizz through my first litre with no problem, and I thought of Dawn's advice from yesterday, how the water becomes easier as it becomes habit. I also tried my first shake this morning! I went for the chocolate one and used the special mixer bottle which made sure there was no gross powdery bit left at the bottom. If you've done Slimfast shakes from powder then you'll know what you're getting here. I hadn't ordered many shakes for my second week, but now that I've tried one, I'm not too worried about getting through the six I have for this first week. 

And my delivery I placed for my second week arrived already! That was under 24 hours from me placing the order! The benefits of The New You being a Northern Irish company there. 

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My second week order included freebies of the famous 'old recipe carbonara' which seems to be a big favourite on the Secret Slimmers Facebook Page. So I made it up as my second product of the day, for lunch. Again it's a small portion for maximum weight loss, but it does taste good. 

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I want to talk about the very low calorie aspect of the diet, as it is noticeably restrictive compared to regular diets. You are going to have to say no to takeaways and eating out in order to maximise your results. It is low calorie, but then again it gets repeated success as you can see with the endless blog posts of before and afters of people who have stuck to the plan . I think you have to decide, before committing to The New You Plan, are you going to push to lose the weight you've always wanted to this time? Personally I've hovered around 10st for a few years now and perpetually wished I was 20lbs lighter. This diet does need commitment, you can't cheat on it, and you can't even really add any non-plan foods without being careful not to knock yourself off ketosis,  but if you really want to lose the weight this time- this plan will work. It would be physically and scientifically impossible not to lose weight on a very low calorie diet, but it's your own will power that guarantees success.

Here is an example of the type of daily meal plan you can expect, and various combinations of products that different Slimmers prefer. I'm definitely a Norman No Shakes, I've ordered mostly bars and meals for week two, but all the products will give you success if you stick to them. 

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My plan for the rest of day two is to have another low calorie meal later, the noodle nosh I think, then end the day with a coconut bar. I read a tip about freezing your chocolate bars on the Secret Slimmers Page, so I'm trying that! Sounds tasty! 

*first week's products supplied for review purposes. Consult your GP before embarking on a low calorie diet. Results will vary from person to person* 

Day One of The New You Plan : What a Lot of Water!

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I read once that Monday is the worst day to try to start changing your eating, or dieting, so therefore Friday must be the best, right? Either way I'm starting today. I weighed myself this morning and I'm 9 stone 9.6lbs. My ultimate goal is about 8 stone 3lbs, but that won't be achieved in this week, unless I chop off a foot.  

A dusty scale! Whoops! 

A dusty scale! Whoops! 

My main sticking point will be the water in take I think. I'm pretty good at sticking to restrictive diets when I want to, but even as a kid my Mum used to be tortured trying to get me to drink enough water. I don't even like dilute, so I can't fancy up my water and trick myself that it's juice. 

I reckon the best way to get the 3 to 5 litres a day they suggest through me, is to buy 4 litres of water and use that as a visual guide to see how far I am along every day. I got eight 500ml bottles in the pound shop for £2, and I'll just refill them from the tap every morning, but they should help me see how far I have to go each day. 

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With the whole week's meals, shakes and bars in front of me it was tricky to pick which four products I was going to use today. For breakfast I picked the lemon meal replacement bar, which is really chewy and more like a treat than a traditional cereal bar. It's the sort of thing I'd eat even off a diet if it were a snack choice. It's a bit like a Boots Shapers Bar if you've had them? Only a bit bigger. It looks tiny in that photo, but it was quite filling.

I also tried one of the pineapple fat burning powders in water. It contains calcium, chromium (which regulates glucose levels) and green tea leaf extract which increases fat burning. You can take up to three of these fat burner sachets a day to help increase your metabolism naturally. I love pineapple so for a dilute type product, it's not too bad! 

Breakfast: pineapple fat burner, lemon meal replacement bar, water water water! 

Breakfast: pineapple fat burner, lemon meal replacement bar, water water water! 

As mentioned in my little disclaimer at the bottom of each post, this week's whole plan has been provided complimentary by The New You Plan, but I've gone ahead and placed an order for a second week. Once my package arrived & I got a feel for the products I knew the plan was ideal for me, so I decided to go ahead and stock up. You only enter the state of ketosis, which promotes quick weight loss, after a few days, and as I was only doing seven days, I wouldn't get the maximum benefit of my hard work!

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The offer I went for is another whole week's worth of products, four a day, for  £38.99 (plus £3.99 shipping within NI). What I liked about it is you can literally choose all shakes, all soups, all meals, all bars, and any combination in between. So if you try the shakes and you don't like them, you can just order meals and bars and the program will still work for you.

If you do place an order I'd really appreciate if you used my referral code VdxfiJV2 as it helps me save points to get discounts on my own ongoing purchases.

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I picked only three shakes for the second week, as I imagine when I'm drinking so much water daily, I won't want even more liquid as a meal. However, thanks to the Secret Slimmers New You Facebook I read tips from other Slimmers who suggest using the shake mix as either mousses, by adding less water, or turning them into ice lollies with a mould. In fact you can buy a lolly mould on the site if you like this idea, as I do. So I've ordered mint chocolate shake to make into lollies. They also say you can make up a vanilla, chocolate or hazelnut shake, heat it, and add a scoop of coffee granules to make a flavoured latte. The Secret Slimmers group is packed with lots of little ideas like this to tweak the products without losing the benefit of them.

1:30pm Lunch time! My first trial of one of the low calorie meals. This was a bit of a shock to the system! The little packages are small, but just how small was a surprise. The broccoli pasta pack is akin to a child's portion, but it IS a very low calorie diet, so if you're going to do these things, they have to be done right. Positively, the meal is super easy to make up. There are instructions for hob or microwave, the later which just takes two 90 second spins and you're good to go. It's the sort of thing you could prepare in an office without fuss, or without anyone knowing it's a diet product, if you want to keep it quiet. Also it TASTES GOOD! It may be a small meal, but it isn't wasted calories because I actually enjoyed it.  

It's not pretty, but it's tasty! This is the full portion. 

It's not pretty, but it's tasty! This is the full portion. 

Again the wealth of tools and resources on the New You Plan website come in to play here. The Secret Slimmers Facebook Page has recipes that customers have invented using the prepackaged meals, or you can check out slimmer Dawn's amazing recipe ideas here. There are hints how to bulk up the meals without effecting ketosis, and ideas for long term users of the plan to vary the meals with spices to give them a new kick.

 

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As I predicted, the water drinking is still tough for me. I've only reached my fourth 500ml bottle by lunch. Yet again Secret Slimmers comes into play as I've asked them how they found the new intake of loads of water when they started. Long term & super successful slimmer Dawn Pratt tells me it gets easier as the days go on, and she now manages eight litres between 2.30pm and 9pm daily! That's good going!  

I'm feeling quite bloated from all the water that I'm not used to, but I know this will pass and I'll actually lose more water weight by keeping my intake up, rather than it making me heavier. I chose to add one of the water flavourings to bottle number four. Unfortunately my dislike of dilute juices extends to this product, but for anyone else who likes juice I'm sure they'd find it a great alternative to regular flavourings. 

5:30pm I made the chicken soup as my third out of four product choice. Directions advise to use the fancy shaker, but I want to keep it for the shakes only, so I made the soup up with boiling water from the kettle and whisked it with a fork. This did the trick. The soup tastes good and is just like a regular cup a soup in flavour and texture. 

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I'm going to sign off for today now, but I will be having my first shake later, but I shall tell you all about that tomorrow! 

*Weight loss results vary. Consult your GP before beginning a very low calorie diet. Products for this week supplied for review purposes* 

Tomorrow I Embark on The New You Plan!

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I'm pretty excited because my package from The New You Plan has just arrived. I've always wanted to try one of the diet plans where you have a week's worth of food shipped to your door, and with The New You Plan being a Northern Irish company, it seemed like the perfect fit to trial and share my results with you. I will be following the plan strictly for one week, starting tomorrow morning.

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The  New You Blog has some very impressive before and after posts, as well as tonnes of first hand stories about how other dieters found the plan to follow. The diet consists of choosing four New You Plan products a day, such as soups, shakes, low calorie meals and bars, which are specially tailored to let your body enter a state of ketosis. This in turn causes quite rapid weight loss, if followed properly. The plan also involves drinking a lot of water, one of the Secret Slimmers' Facebook pages mottos is, 'sip sip sip!'. I'm confident about being able to stick to the diet, but I'm terrible at getting water into me, so I asked the group for their tips on how to reach the daily target amount of liquids the plan suggests. I'll share those tips with you during this week.

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I mentioned the Secret Slimmers' Facebook Page. It's a private group you can join to chat everything New You Plan with fellow slimmers. On there they share tips, successes and fails, and new starts like myself can ask questions about any part of the plan. A major key of The New You Plan over other delivery diets is the service doesn't just stop when the products reach your door. You'll be able to access a plethora of information, blogs and videos to keep you motivated while following the plan.

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Safety and your health is another concern of the brand. They acknowledge a very low calorie diet isn't for everyone, and it definitely isn't recommended for long term without a break. They suggest twelve weeks followed by two weeks normal eating before entering the plan again. It's also best for those with a BMI over 25, and no underlying health issues that might be negatively effected by a low calorie diet. The meals are balanced to ensure you still get your full range of vitamins and nutrients. 

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My BMI is currently 23, but using the New You Plan for a short kick start of losing the last weight I want to shed will be fine. So tomorrow I will share my weight, my goal, and show you what my first day's meals consist of, and whether I can manage the litres of water I'm dreading trying to get through! Wish me luck!  If you like the sound of the plan already, use my referral code VdxfiJV2 to get started picking meals and shaping your own plan.

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*Week's trial provided for review purposes. Recommended to speak to your GP before embarking on a very low calorie diet plan. Results will vary from person to person*