My HONEST Weight Story
Here is a photograph of me taken last week. I know that I am not obese in the slightest but my five foot frame cannot take a lot of weight. Being short is a nightmare because gaining three pounds is immediately visible on me. On the flipside, if I lose three pounds it is also apparent straight away.
Up until the age of about seventeen, I ate so much junk food and crap yet remained really skinny. Like, a little too skinny! Friends’ parents made comments about me possibly having an eating disorder. My only disorder was that I had a terrible diet but I was completely healthy. Then, I started to fill out. I don’t remember this happening but it seemingly did over night. Looking back at photos from then, I can see the way my stomach and ‘love handles’ filled out. My cheeks look chubbier. At the wrong angle, I have a double chin. At my heaviest, I weighed about 8 stone 7. Now before you go flying off the handle about how that isn’t heavy at all – you must take into account my height! A healthy BMI for me is between seven and nine stone approximately. So okay, according to my BMI, I wasn’t overweight but I was the heaviest I had ever been, personally and it did not look good on me. I’ve seen tall girls who are a size fourteen or sixteen look stunning with gorgeous proportionate curves. My body does NOT do that. As you can see, I am a REVERSE hourglass shape. All of my weight goes to my stomach and in that gorgeous rubber ring all the way around my middle.
At about eighteen, I ended a really bad relationship and as therapy, began to work on my appearance. I ate very little and worked out obsessively. It was actually really unhealthy and looking back, I know that but I dropped the weight and ended up at seven and a half stone. In photographs from that time, I look great – not too skinny but slim and healthy, even though I went about it the complete wrong way.
Then I got into my current relationship and as you do in long term relationships, you get comfortable. Takeaways, eating out, staying in and drinking too much wine – my weight began to creep back on. For a few years I tried to keep control of my weight and balance my bad eating with some good eating too and I managed to keep my weight at eight stone which I was still a little unhappy with but wasn’t really a bad weight for me at all.
More recently, moving in with Boyfriend, my eating habits have gotten worse and worse and I weighed myself a few weeks ago to discover I weighed 8 stone 9; the heaviest I have ever been. Heavier than those photographs where I was a ‘plump’ eighteen year old. I knew that I was putting on weight but I ignored it. I could see it in my face which was losing all definition – bar the artificial contouring I was doing – and my stomach was rounding out as it always does. This time, I really noticed the weight in my arms too and photographs from events, nights out and family occasions would pop up on my Facebook News Feed, leaving me slightly horrified. All winter I have covered myself in baggy jumpers. My one redeeming factor is my legs. I have skinny legs and tiny hips. Okay, my legs have filled out a little but they really don’t look too bad in leggings or skinny jeans to balance out the baggy tops I was using to hide the rest of me. I wanted to diet so bad but the bad habits were too hard to break and any time I tried, I failed quickly.
Then I was contacted by the people from NUPO Ireland. asking if I would be interested in giving it a go and decided it was a sign; I was going to try this. NUPO is originally from Denmark and has been around for thirty years although it has only been released in Ireland recently. It is simple to follow; you simply drink six NUPO shakes or soups a day or five NUPO shakes or soups and a meal bar. The shakes/soups/bars provide you with all of the vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre you need a day but with very little calories – we are talking 700 calories a day! This is the ‘Kickstart’ plan, which aims to, well, kickstart your weight loss meaning you should lose the weight very fast.
There is also a different plan where you do all of the above but also have ten additional “bricks” to spend. A brick is around sixty calories and there is a comprehensive list of different foods and their brick allocation available. This second plan is better for a slower weight loss or to maintain your weight if you have already met your goal.
It is also possible to replace one or two of your meals a day with NUPO products to keep your calorie intake down.
Now, before anyone loses their head, I am totally aware that this is not a sustainable diet. I don’t plan on living on NUPO for the rest of my life. I am simply doing it for two weeks in the hopes of seeing an improvement in my weight. If I see some results, I will be more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan afterwards as I will not want to put the weight back on. I am a very impatient person and if I eat healthy for a week and don’t see results, I think ‘why bother?’ and scoff some chocolate. Because of my height and the fact that I am not grossly overweight, I do find losing weight difficult. I downloaded a calorie counting app for my phone and it told me that because of my weight and height, I was only allowed something like 800 calories a day if I wanted to lose weight. That is really difficult on a normal diet! I felt like I was starving myself and I was still going over my limit. With a 700 calorie NUPO diet, I’m hoping I will see some results.
The one thing NUPO states is that you really need willpower and self control to do this diet and after being on it for a few days already, I can tell you it is so much harder than you could even anticipate. However, I will be doing a diary of my first week on NUPO next week giving a day-by-day account of my struggles.
I just want to give you a bit of a lowdown on the products so I don’t have to go into that detail in my diary post.
This is quite bland and doesn’t taste like any vegetable in particular, a bit like a cup a soup. It also has those miniscule dehydrated vegetables in it. I find that often the vegetables can get lodged in the mixing part of the shaker and so I have to pick them out and eat them. Believe me, when you are not eating any other solids, every little counts! I tried to add salt to see if it helped with the flavour but to little avail. I then read the NUPO booklet I received and there is a handy tips page that tells you some things you can add to liven it up a little and for no extra calories. I added a little curry powder and was pleasantly surprised. The difference isn’t overwhelming but at least it tastes a little more seasoned. I also like to use a spoon when eating the soup so that it feels like more of a meal.
Spicy Thai Chicken Soup
I have been a vegetarian for something like nine years now but somehow forgot to mention that when speaking to the NUPO ambassador on the phone so she sent me this. I decided that I would drink it regardless seeing as I was eating nothing else and also because I don’t really think powdered soups contain that much actual real chicken. Please don’t tell me otherwise! The flavour is definitely on the mild side of spicy but it does have a little kick to it. There are tiny bits of chicken in this – we’re talking the size of those dehydrated carrots in cup a soups but they usually get caught in the mixing part of the shaker too so I just throw them out. Despite not becoming a vegetarian for taste reasons, I actually don’t really like this soup. It leaves a funny thick, frothy feeling in my mouth but I will continue to drink it, just for some versatility.
This has a very artificial strawberry taste and very sweet. Despite not being a huge fan of strawberry milkshakes (or milkshakes in general), this does wonders for my sweet tooth when I want to taste something that feels a little bold. They recommend crushing ice cubes to put in your shakes but I find that just using really cold water does the job and gets them to quite a thick consistency – all the better to make you feel like you’re filling up.
Funnily enough I thought this would be my favourite flavour but I find it really bland. It just doesn’t taste like much so I find myself reaching for others over this.
I hate hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate yogurt or basically anything that is flavoured like chocolate but isn’t chocolate itself. Bizarrely, I adore this. They recommend drinking this as a cold shake but I heated it up and love the hot chocolate drink it makes. This is one I favour before bed.
This is the one I looked forward to most, being a coffee freak and despite it not tasting anything like I imagined, I adore it. It is definitely my favourite of the lot. It has a gorgeous coffee taste but also a slight nutty kick or something. I haven’t tried this one hot and don’t know how it would translate but have it for breakfast most mornings. It tastes quite naughty, like a frappuccino or something!
This was the first one I tried and I was really not impressed. There was a slight minty and chocolatey taste off it but I found it really heavy going. If you have ever eaten a protein bar, you will know how heavy and chewy and time consuming to eat they are and this is exactly like that – in fact, all the bars are but in particular, this is not a favourite.
I adore coconut and this bar is beautiful. Okay, it’s not a Bounty but this diet makes you appreciate the little things. I have come to look forward to my daily bar and savour eating it as it is the only thing I chew all day and it tastes bold!
This one is also lovely. Sweet and chewy. Another favourite.
I am a huge fan of nuts and despite it not containing any actual ones, I am a huge fan of this bar too.
I can almost convince myself this is a very chewy Mars Bar. Without the caramel. And without the taste of a Mars Bar. Honestly though, it’s edible.
Also in the range are ready to drink shakes in cartons but like the bars, you can only have one of these a day alongside your five regular shakes and soups. I didn’t receive any of those to try but to be honest, wouldn’t be too interested. I’d rather a bar to mix things up.
All soups and shakes are simply added to water and mixed in the shaker which comes with them. If you want to drink something hot, you can heat it on the hob or microwave it. I find they microwave just fine in the shaker so that is what I do.
Despite it taking a lot of will power, the flavours of the products themselves are not bad which is a major plus! It would be even more miserable if they were gross.
I should also point out that it is recommended that you drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day on top of this – this may include tea, coffee, sugar free soft drinks or juice. You may be relieved to hear that but I have been trying to stick to just water to be extra good!
The diet works out at approximately ten euro a day which is actually cheap when you consider that you’re not buying any other food. I’d easily spend a tenner on my lunch when I’m in work, not to mention I’m not buying daily coffees which saves me another few euro! A box of twelve shakes cost €19.99 and come with a free shaker, the meal replacement bars are €2.99 each or there is a two weeks starter set available for €161.80 on the Sam McCauley website.
As I said before, this is not meant to be used as a sustainable diet and it is not recommended to be done for more than three weeks at a time without consulting your doctor. I’m excited to see some results and give it a try and I will report back next week with how my first seven days went.
What do you think? Have you heard of NUPO? Would you give it a try?