I was recently invited to trial Boot camp in a Bottle, a new meal replacement programme that helps slimmers to drop as much as a dress size in a week.
I don’t normally advocate systems like this as I believe a healthy balanced diet and exercise is the key to sustainable weight loss, however after discovering it’s approved by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and contains all the daily nutrients you need, I decided to put it to the test.
The fact that I was five days away from hitting the beach may have also had something to do with it!
Boot Camp in A Bottle is a powder predominantly made up of a blend of Psyllium fibres and natural clays that expand when they are put into water so they make you feel full with zero calories. Fortified with all your essential vitamins and minerals, it is recommended as a complete meal replacement plan with slimmers drinking 5 or 6 glasses a day, with the option of adding a low calorie soup if required.
I must say this is meant to be a seven day plan for people with a BMI of 25+ and is not designed to be continued long term. As my BMI is under 25 and I don’t have as much weight to lose I decided to instead just have it twice a day, replacing breakfast and my dinner, supplementing the drinks with healthy snacks and lunches.
I found that adding snacks was crucial as I tend to get lightheaded when my blood sugar drops so I don’t think I could have done it without actually eating anything! I put it to the test for four days in the run up to my holiday and this is what I found…
My Typical Day:
Hot water with lemon, 2 heaped teaspoons of BIAB mixed into one glass of water
Small handful of almonds
Mixed salad with tuna/ Vegetable crudités and houmous
Small pot of yoghurt
2 heaped teaspoons of BIAB mixed into one glass of water
I ate a bit more on the days when I exercised, adding more fruit and protein into my diet.
What does it taste like?
Tobe honest, I found BIAB didn’t really taste of much at all. When stirred into the water it gets a thick consistency, and I did find it got a bit lumpy at times when it settled. It reminded me of other effervescent tablets like aResolve or Alka Seltzer. After reading other people’s reviews I saw they suggested putting the powder into sugar-free squash or low calorie hot chocolate drinks to mix up the taste and I think this is a good idea if you were going to behaving it as a complete meal replacement to prevent boredom.
Is it filling?
Surprisingly, yes! I was a bit sceptic of whether a watery drink could keep me feeling full but it actually did. I had my ‘breakfast’ drink at around 7.30am and didn’t really feel hungry until around 10.30am which is when I normally start to feel a bit peckish after breakfast anyway.
After the first couple of drinks I had a strange feeling in my stomach, probably as I got used to the psyllium. Let’s remember psyllium is a concentrated source of fibre so it definitely kicks your digestive system into action!
As breakfast is my favourite meal of the day I did kind of miss my usual porridge or eggs, but found this and dinner were the most practical meals to replace as I didn’t want to take the BIAB into work.
Did You Lose Weight?
Now the important part, how much weight did I lose? Well it wasn’t the drastic drop a dress size like some of the slimmers, but I did lose two pounds in four days, which I didn’t think was bad considering I have a healthy BMI and still ate regular meals alongside the shakes. I imagine people having BIAB in a complete meal replacement plan would lose significantly more.
Would you recommend it?
Like I said, I don’t really recommend meal replacement plans as a substitute for a healthy diet but I do think BIAB could be a good way to kick start a diet if you’re overweight. Many people are spurred on by quick weight loss, so BIAB is good for this but I definitely don’t think it’s a sustainable measure.
My fault with the plan is that you are lacking the key proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats that are the basis of a healthy diet. As I wasn’t replacing all of my meals with the drinks, I ensured what I did eat was rich in protein and vegetables so I was still getting a good range of nutrients.
Personally I think this would be the best way to take the drinks. Obviously the results may not be as drastic but it is a healthier way of going about it. Perhaps swapping one meal or snack a day for BIAB will help you to cut calories and achieve a slower and possibly more sustainable weight loss.
If you are thinking of trying it out please consult a doctor or medical professional first, this is not advisable for everyone and is not an easy fix to weight loss. For more information on Boot Camp in a Bottle visit www.bootcampfoods.com.