This post as you've probably already realised was supposed to be up on Friday as part of my regular Foodie Friday series. Unlike a lot of my posts in this series though, this post isn't to encourage you to eat, it's actually about something which has been designed to help you curb your appetite.
There are several reasons why I find it so hard to lose weight, and two of the most important one are that I never feel full, and that I tend to pick and snack in between meals. The simplest options is obviously to eat 3 meals a day and stay strong and not pick or snack, but it doesn't always work like that, especially when you lack a bit of willpower like me. I have to say I am getting better, but sometimes you need a bit of extra help, so I've tried everything to stop the fridge calling my name, from appetite suppressant sprays, to drinking water in between meals, and having my mum hide things that I'm going to be tempted by. Whilst I'm not into cranky and unrealistic remedies, like any person who wants to lose weight I'm pretty willing to try out anything that I feel can help me. I've noticed with interest the increasing amount of coverage that appetite suppressant drinks have received both in the written press, on blogs and on tv, so that was the next thing on my list to try. There are quite a few companies out there selling products like this but I was kindly sent some products from company called Slimsticks to try out.
Marketed as something which can help you eat less and therefore lose and manage weight, the key ingredient in Slimsticks is a product called Konjac. Konjac is a water soluble plant based fibre that has been used in Japanese cuisine for centuries to make jellies and noodles. The Konjac works with water and gently expands in your stomach to make you feel full. You can find out more Konjac in this article from the European Food Safety Authority and yes it is the same things that is in the popular Konjac facial sponges :) Slimsticks also contain palm and oat oils, which help to fool the body in thinking they still have fat to digest so you don't get the hunger signals you would normally get and that would normally make you head for the fridge.
It's advised that you take 1 Slimstick, 3 times a day at least an hour before a meal - it's important to remember that Slimsticks aren't a meal replacement product, they are a food supplement, and are to be used alongside regular meals, and as part of a healthy balanced diet, and alongside regular exercise.
The Slimsticks come in 3 flavours, Strawberry, Vanilla and Double Malt. Each Slimstick comes individually packaged, all you need to do is tear the sachet open and tip the powder into a glass. You then need to add a little bit of warm to hot water to the glass and give it a stir. This is to start dissolving the power, the instructions say tepid water but warm to hot water in my opinion worked best.
Then you need to fill up the glass with cold water, give it a quick stir and then drink it down.
This is the Strawberry flavour that you can see here. Whilst the liquid has the appearance of milkshake, it has a slightly jelly like texture, bit like bubble tea in my opinion. The strawberry flavour is quite apparent, but I found it to be very sweet and even a little bit salt, and it had a pretty strange after taste.
Next up Vanilla, this drink had quite a subtle vanilla flavour and had the same after taste.
Finally Double Malt, I was a little concerned about this one as I can't usually have products with malt in them because of the gluten content, but I needn't have feared Slimsticks are suitable for vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and people with diabetes. I'd already decided in my mind that these would taste like Horlicks or Maltesers but I was wrong - they actually tasted of coffee! Hmm bit of a name fail there. Again this tasted very sweet and had an unusual after taste.
After you've downed your Slimsticks drink you then need to drink at least an additional two glasses of water over the next hour before your meal to get the Konjac working.
Did this work? I have to be honest and say yes, I think it did. After I'd had the drink, and the water I felt a little bit bloated, and I definitely felt fuller, and whether it was psychological or down to the Slimsticks I didn't feel the need to raid the fridge at night like I normally do. I lost 3lbs in the 7 days that I used the product which tells its own story. I haven't used the Slimsticks this week and I've definitely noticed a difference - I've snacked more and I haven't felt anywhere near as full as I did - I don't weigh in till tomorrow and I'm almost sure that I've stayed the same on even gained.
Despite their effectiveness I do have a few reservations about the product, that would make me think very carefully about purchasing these or recommending these. First of all the convenience - you really need to make an effort to integrate the Slimsticks into your lifestyle and eating habits, in some cases it may not be convenient to wait an hour before having a meal, I can see this being a real struggle especially at breakfast time, whilst working and I guess it would take away some of the spontaneity of eating. I also have an issue with the price of the product, although you don't need to use the Slimstick programme continuously, they do retail at £24.99 for a 10 day supply (30 sticks), this definitely isn't a option if your on a budget. Finally I have an issue with the taste, whilst the initial flavour hit was quite nice, the after taste and texture in my experience just wasn't pleasant - I'm lead to believe that this is quite common with this type of product and I've read that it's more palatable if you mix it with milk instead of water - so that's maybe something to try and I'll definitely give it a go with my remaining sachets.
I don't think Slimsticks are for everyone but if you want to kick start a diet, or try and stop snacking to lose a few pounds for a special occasion then these are something worth trying. You can find out more about Slimsticks on their official website x You can purchase Slimsticks from Boots, for £24.99, for a pack of 30 in Vanilla, Strawberry and Double Malt flavours. If you have any questions please leave me a comment x
(A Sample Pack Of Slimsticks In Strawberry, Double Malt, And Vanilla Was Provided For Review / Promotional Purposes)