As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, I am fat. Not ‘plump’, not ‘cheery’, not ‘cuddly’. Just fat.
And I, like many people unhappy with their weight, secretly hope that there is a miracle diet tool out there that will help us lose weight quickly. Ideally without us having to resort to eating dust.
I recently undertook the So Shape 14 day challenge to see if that, were indeed, the miracle I was looking for. *Note, I didn’t really expect that this would be a miracle diet, I know that there is no such thing*
What is it?
Created in France, So Shape consists of a selection of Smart Meals that contain the equivalent nutrients to a balanced meal are vegetarian and, with the exception of the pasta meals, are gluten-free. The majority of the Smart Meals are sweet shakes but there are a couple of savoury soups and pastas. So Shape also provide a variety of fat-free, sugar-free Smart Foods including muffins, pancakes and granola to help stay on track when following the plan.
How it works
To be frank, I have no idea how stuff like this works but that heading felt good. With So Shape, you simply choose whether to follow a 5 day ‘Reboot’ challenge, a 14 day ‘Remove’ challenge or a 28 day ‘Reborn’ challenge. You have a Smart Meal for breakfast and tea with a ‘rule free’ meal at lunch time (not a kebab, obviously). You can purchase extra Smart Foods to snack on or eat anything from the list of free snacks – chicken, tuna, green salad, cucumber etc. You absolutely can’t have fruit though.
How did it go?
I opted to do the 14 day challenge (30 Smart Meals and a shaker) in the run up to my holiday. I was surprised at the size of the box when they arrived, the shakes come in cute little triangle pouches and are placed in plastic trays for delivery. There’s no denying it’s aesthetically pleasing but I do wonder if there’s a way to deliver with less packaging.
I started my challenge on a Monday, for that is a great day to start a diet, and chose a Coco Choco shake for my breakfast. The booklet suggests you use very cold water, maybe from the fridge, to make the shakes. I can confirm that you MUST do this. I made my first shake with cold water from the tap and it was truly awful. The second shake I made with ice-cold water and it was delicious, now I make sure I have water in the fridge at all times.
On day 2 I decided to mix it up and make a Pasta Arrabbiata Smart Meal. I’m going to be honest, it was most unpleasant. I couldn’t eat it and could see no way of improving it. Not only was it claggy but it had a weird taste like baby food. I decided then to stick to the shakes.
I didn’t find it hard not snacking between meals and found myself quite looking forward to having a shake for breakfast or tea. After 5 days on the challenge I was 6lb down and a little smug.
The second week I started to struggle. I stuck to the challenge where possible but did slip once or twice. I don’t know if it was the heat or lack of energy from the shakes but I felt grumpy and meh. A night out on Friday meant I consumed more gin than is probably allowed in the challenge and probably didn’t help. By the end of the 14 days I had gained a pound back.
Would I recommend it?
In a word – Yes. In a few more words –
I would recommend sticking to the shakes rather than incorporate the pasta meals too.
It is by no means a sustainable diet, though it really has made me stop snacking which is a long-term plus.
It is ideal if you want a weight loss boost for a holiday or something and I will do another 5 days before our wedding party.
It isn’t cheap, at the time of writing the 14 day challenge works out at £2.96 per meal which is vastly more expensive than many other meal replacement shakes that can be bought at a supermarket BUT they offer so many more flavours than those. My favourites are Cookies & Cream, Lemon Cheesecake and Cappuccino. I found the Strawberry tart one to be a bit synthetic.
If you are the sort who does a lot of exercise then this challenge may not be for you, the leaflet suggests you stick to light aerobic exercise or jogging, I totally see why though as some days I was struggling to exceed 800 calories. Luckily this wasn’t an issue for me and my dodgy hip!
I quite enjoyed following this challenge and ended up 5lb lighter – if I’d had a better second week it could have been more. Though it’s not sustainable it is ideal for a boost. It does cost more than meal replacement products you can buy in supermarkets but is around the same price as other ‘plans’ you can buy – with more variety of flavour.
If you’d like to give the So Shape plan a go, you can double your flavour selection on the 14 day custom challenge at no extra cost using code MEANNIEBEECUSTOM at the checkout.
So Shape provided the 14 day challenge at no cost in return for a review. As always, all opinions are my own.