Monday 9 December 2019

Trying Out a VLCD Diet Plan With Slim & Save.

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When it comes to diets I am no newbie, I have tried quite a few different diets and whilst I have found a few that have been easier than others, I always find it really hard to stick to after the first few weeks. I think thats because when you are trying so hard, you want to see the results so when you don't it can be disheartening and send you off track.

But one diet I hadn't tried up until now was a VLCD diet, this stands for very low calorie diet and generally consists of shakes, meals and bars and sometimes a low calorie meal too. So when I was recently invited along to try out Slim & Save, a VLCD diet program, I knew it would be a great way to try and lose a few pounds before Christmas!

Slim & Save is a VLCD diet meal replacement plan. A very low calorie basically works by drastically butting your calorie intake and the typical very low calorie diet restricts calories to around 1,000 calories per day. To put that into perspective the average adult consumes around 2,000 - 2,500 calories per day on average. This is what aids those quick results, but it can be a tricky diet to follow.

However the great thing about following a set plan such as Slim & Save when following a VLCD diet is that the plan takes the stress out of most of the calorie counting. Meaning you can just simply follow your chosen Slim & Save Plan using your chosen meals, shakes and bars. 

There are 3 main plans to choose from with Slim & Save, these include the following -

- Lifestyle Plan 
- Simplicity Plan 
- Simplicity Plan Plus 

The main difference between these plans is the amount of Slim & Save sachets/bars you have during each day on the plan. The Lifestyle plan incorporates 3 of your chosen sachets/bars per day as well as a low calorie, high protein meal. This is a great plan if you are trying to lose weight but don't want to cut out your normal meals completely.

The Simplicity and Simplicity Plus plans are fairly similar, both allow you to have up to 200g of vegetables each day along side your sachets/bars. The Simplicity plan is 4 sachets/bars whilst the Simplicity plus plan uses 5 sachets/bars per day.

I decided to go for the Simplicity plus plan as this is recommended if you weigh over 17 stone. This meant I was allowed up to 5 sachets/bars per day (although you are only allowed to incorporate 1 bar into your meal plan each day) as well as up to 200g of vegetables.

When it came to choosing my products for the plan I was very surprised to see there are actually 54 different products to choose from including meals, shakes and bars. I felt like this offered great variety and change, especially if you are considering following the plan over a longer period of time.

I opted for a variety of all of the products including porridge flavours such as red berry, banoffee and vanilla custard and chocolate flavours for breakfast. For my main meals I was a bit spoilt for choice and if you are worried about not finding anything you like I think you might be pleasantly surprised by the choice.

The main meals I selected including chilli con carne, ham and mushroom pasta, spaghetti bolognaise, cottage pie as well as a variety of soups including beef noddle soup and chicken soup.

By far my favourite part of the plan was the bars! There were really delicious, dense and chocolatey, just what you need when you are on a diet and want to avoid reaching for the stuff you shouldn't be. My favourite bars included the chocolate orange truffa bar, chewy caramel bar and the praline chocolate bar.

As I mentioned above these chocolate coated by really do feel like a treat and taste like, well … chocolate! I quickly realised that these bars were a perfect treat to save for an evening snack when I was most likely to slip off plan. It also meant I didn't feel too left out when the kids and hubby were having pudding or chocolate either.

As well as all of the meal choices there are also plenty of shake flavours to choose from too. You can even purchase a shaker which helps you to make the shakes with a handy wire ball inside to eliminate lumps. The shaker is great for taking your shakes on the go too, perhaps to work or for an after work out drink.

There are 17 shake flavours from key lime pie and coconut flavours to chocolate, peanut butter and cookies and cream so you are sure to find a flavour you can enjoy. I found the shakes quite sweet for my tastes, however they were good for curbing a sweet fix and were fairly filling too. I used the shaker to make mine and considering they are made with just water and the sachet the shakes thickened up really well and the flavours I tried actually tasted fairly creamy in texture, although some had a strange after taste which was a shame.

I tried the plan for two weeks and over all I actually lost 7lbs! I will however hold my hands up and admit I found it pretty tough to follow and had a few slip ups across the two weeks. The bars were by far my favourite and the pasta meals were actually quite nice too.

I found some of the products quite spicy including the beef noodle soup and chilli con carne and was initially taken a back by the size of the meal portions. The sachets come as a powder and when  you pour it into a bowl it looks now more than a few table spoons of product! However after adding water and microwaving the meals go from this -

To this -

As you can see, its still a fairly small portion, however it does bulk out a little and as you can have 200g of vegetables on the simplicity or simplicity plus plans you could bulk out your meals with some extra vegetables too.

After a few days of getting used to the chance I found planning my days meals the day before was the best way to get through without any slip ups and so I was following something like -

Breakfast - Porridge sachet
Mid Morning Snack - Shake
Lunch - Meal Sachet
Dinner - Meal Sachet
Evening Snack - Chocolate Bar

I have mixed feeling about VLCD diet's as a whole, however the Slim & Save plan did give me good results in a short space of time. If you are looking to change your eating habits and the way you look at food this might not be the diet for you. It is very strict and as such I found it quite difficult to adapt around every day life, I also wasn't so keen on the fact you cant have ANY fruit whilst following the plan. Fruit it my go to when I am feeling peckish when on a diet so I was a little disheartened to read you couldn't have any.

If you are looking to lose a  few pounds to fit into a special outfit or for a holiday etc then this diet could definitely help. If you are thinking of considering a VLCD plan such as Slim & Save, here are my top tips.

Here are my top tips to consider when following a VLCD diet such as Slim and Save - 

- Be prepared, when following a restricted diet its always best to plan out your meals/drinks in advance at the beginning of the day so you don't get caught out later on in the day. This ensures you know what drinks/meals to take with you if you are away from home and always ensures you can plan out your intake without any unplanned surprises popping up and throwing you off track.

- Water is your best friend! With any diet you are advised to up your water intake but when you are following a VLCD diet and seriously reducing your calorie intake water is so important. It not only keeps you hydrated but can also help curb cravings, fill you up more and help keep the headaches at bay which often come with cutting out sugar or caffeine from your diet.

- Remove temptation's from the house before you start the diet. If I told you that you wouldn't be hungry when following a VLCD diet, then I would be lying. During that first week you will feel really hungry as your body adapts to the lower calorie intake. If temptations are around the house it can make it so much harder to stick to plan. Removing anything you know you can't have whilst on the diet can really help you stick to plan.

Have you ever tried a VLCD plan? Did you see good results from following it if so?


**This is a collaborative post. I was gifted two weeks of product as well as a fee for the purpose of this review. However all words and opinions are my own and it is important to remember that results will vary when following and plan. You should also always consult your doctor or GP before making any big diet or lifestyle changes. **


  1. I have tried other similar plans for a short time. I am a believer in eating good food for a healthy body, but sometimes you just need a little help to get you on track to your ideal weight. And this kind of things can be just the thing as it is easy to follow. I think it always helps to have bars that taste of chocolate too. we all like a bit of chocolate at times.

  2. I've never tried anything like this but I can see the appeal! There seems to be a huge variety of food options available!

  3. The snack bars look so delicious and that is something even I will try eating. I guess you are right about moving temptations from the house to make the plan work in the long run.

  4. This sounds interesting. I haven't tried anything like this before, but it sounds like there are a lot of options in terms of choice especially with those bars.

  5. oh these look nice. Might have to give them a try pout in the New year as I'm hoping to lose a bit of weight

  6. I've never been good at sticking to diet plans. This one looks as it off could be achievable!

  7. I need to try something like this to kick start my weighloss. I have lost a stone but its starting to slip the other way again

  8. I have tried calorie counting and calorie deficit, which i suppose was pretty similar to the VLCD. I think the hardest thing about it was weighing all the food and working out the calories, then adding them all up. With this diet plan, I you don't have to worry about that, which I really like! Dieting is chore enough, without adding maths into the equation. Congratulations on your 7lb loss!

  9. This sounds like such an easy way to try out a VLCD diet. I must admit, I'd never heard of VLCD diets before now! Congrats on your weight loss in just two weeks!

  10. It's great to see that there are a couple of ways in which you can complete this VLCD with the addition of vegetables to bulk up some of the meals.

  11. I have tried something similar before and I found if I stuck to it it worked really well and I did not feel hungry all the time. I hope this works really well for you.