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There’s no such thing as a satisfying, tasty diet, right? Generally speaking no. But meal plans that are meant to be followed for life, like Lauren Gleisberg’s Eat Your Way Lean meal plan, are absolutely delicious. They’re also healthy and satisfying. In Eat Your Way Lean, Lauren’s included her 7 Day Slimming Nutrition Kickstart. The meals in these seven days are designed to help you lose weight and tighten up quickly by following a limited calorie amount and high protein diet. It’s just for 7 days, but it is more extreme than most diets.
I followed it for seven days, and surprisingly didn’t hate it. I actually really enjoyed the food I ate and waited in anticipation to eat a few of them. Here’s a look back at my week of slimming meals.
Recipes: Grocery Shopping and Meal Prep
I’m a meal prepper at heart, but I chose to only cook meals for Monday through Wednesday lunch and then finish cooking the rest on Wednesday night. I didn’t want something to get mushy before I could eat it. I headed for the store, and amazingly didn’t need to spend a fortune for the items. I had a lot of stuff at home, so that kept the cost around $100. Most of that was spent on protein too.
Before following this plan, I hadn’t really noticed the price of chicken. I love meat, but I don’t make it the main portion of my meals so this was quite eye opening. Aside from the large amount of protein, everything was very affordable and doable.
I’m lactose intolerant though, so I did have to make a few adjustments to the recipes. If something included cheese in the ingredient list, I simply left it out. For the recipes including plain greek yogurt, I either swapped in coconut yogurt or chose Miracle Whip. I know Miracle Whip isn’t healthy, but it’s better than being sick all day long. Even though I had to make adjustments, it didn’t feel like a hassle. I might just be used to it at this point though.
When I started cooking the meals, the hardest thing was simply doing the math to double the ingredients when I needed to make more than one serving. Aside from that it was easy to cook the number of portions I needed for the days to come and store them in my fridge.
Hunger Rating and Satisfaction Level
It should be noted that I can eat. I don’t mean in a large salad kind of way. More like Liz Lemon shotgunning a pizza. In my dieting experience, I’ve always felt like I was starving and quit because life is too short to be hungry. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw how small the servings were in this plan. They aren’t unhealthy, but they are smaller than I usually eat. I went in expecting to be hungry despite the high protein intake.
I actually didn’t starve. The meals were filling since they’re high in protein, but I certainly could have eaten more even though I wasn’t technically hungry after eating. Appropriate portion sizes kind of suck like that. Probably the biggest test of my willpower was the office snack bin. Walking by that without even grabbing a bag of unsalted cashews was difficult.
Variety on point.
Huge shout out to Lauren for the wide variety of meals in the plan. For only seven days, there was a surprising number of different recipes. For someone like me, this was exciting, but also weird. I usually cook one to two different things in a big enough batch last me the full week. Did I mention I was a lazy meal prepper? On this plan, I had turkey burgers, chicken salad, chicken cordon bleu, a mediterranean bake, two different versions of salmon, egg muffins, and three different smoothies. And that’s just a handful of the items.
Of all the recipes, I definitely have a few favorites. First of all, Lauren’s recipe for “cookie dough” (which is essentially yogurt and a combo of flavors) was amazing. I want to eat it every day now. I have a sweet tooth so this was by far my favorite dish all week. I’m also in love with avocados (who isn’t?) and couldn’t get enough of her avocado salsa. It will be in my potluck arsenal forever now. I’m also giving an honorable mention to the egg muffins and mediterranean chicken bake because I looked forward to eating those. This was easily one of the most delicious diets I’ve ever done. I’d even go so far as to call it lightly decadent.
So this wasn’t a miserable experience, but there were a few bumps along the way. The first issue I had was knowing if I could drink coffee and how much. The plan doesn’t mention if you can enjoy a cup of joe during the week, but since I’m a coffee addict and can’t function without it, I maintained my caffeine habit. I justified this with the fact I left out the cheese included in recipes. Hopefully, it all evened out.
Another question I had was exercise. I didn’t actually make it to the gym this week, but I still wondered what the recommend amount and type of exercise was for this plan. It’d be nice to know what exercise would maximize the results at the end of the week.
After following the diet, I didn’t have a huge transformation. I did however, feel much tighter around my stomach and didn’t even experience a wiff of bloat. The diet left me feeling energized and strong even though I didn’t hit the gym once during that week, which is probably why I didn’t see significant change. Usually diets leave me feeling lethargic and tired, but this one didn’t. If I had gone to the gym that week I think I would have plenty of fuel to crush my workouts. Since I didn’t though, I was just pleasantly surprised by how confident and comfortable I felt in my swimsuit at the end.