Weight loss appears to be a perpetual part of contemporary culture – even those who have nothing to loose can have their heads turned by the promise of a quick fix … but on the quest for looking a little slimmer, what are the options and do they really work?
Drink It … Aspire
What it is … An energy drink that professes to burn up to 209 calories per can.
Secret weapon … The drink contains cranberry and green tea – so the combination of diuretic and caffeine gives a little hint about the ensuing jumpiness; however, it also contains Guarana – believed to induce a sense of feeling full, and cayenne pepper – a key contributor to the product’s all-important claim to fame – a thermogenic reaction boosting the body’s ability to burn calories.
What it costs … Available from Waitrose, the drink retails at £1.65 a can … falling pretty much midway between the prices of other popular energy drinks.
What we thought … Our dieter was a veritable Duracell bunny when it came to energy levels, and drinking one can in the morning and one in the afternoon for a week was noticeably less peckish throughout the day – both of which were welcome side effects!
Spray It … Full Fast First
Secret weapon … The key ingredient is 5-Hydroxytryptophan, which comes from the Griffonia shrub and is intended to boost serotonin levels which in turn should help reduce hunger cravings. That’s in addition to our aforementioned super ingredient – Guarana, Klamath Algae, Artichoke, Centella and Taraxacum … mmm, tasty!
What it costs … You use three sprays five times a day and after five days cravings should have decreased – 50 ml should last a month on that basis, and will set you back £23.95.
What we thought … Our dieter was surprised to find that not only was the taste perfectly fine, but it also started having an effect after only two days. Happily, it did exactly what it promised and within a week she was unable to finish modest meals.
Take It … alli
What it is … A weight loss pill claiming “for every 2lbs you lose, alli can help you lose 1lb more”. The website also offers a plan complete with exercise and food recommendations – basically it’s a kick start to weight loss.
Secret Weapon … alli is said to work by reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs by 25% through the active ingredient, Orlistat. The product does, like most things warn against less than desirable side effects, but it appears that for the most part this relates to whether or not you exceed the recommended fat intake … absorption levels or not then, that’s an incentive not to over indulge!
What it costs … A month’s supply of alli costs £49.95 from Boots … that’s about 60 pence per meal to factor in with your lunchtime sandwich.
What we thought … Over a six month period our dieter did lose a significant amount of weight in a slow and steady manner. Of course, this may well have happened without the supplement given her simultaneous healthy lifestyle changes which are recommended on the plan, but psychosomatic or otherwise she did feel that it gave an added boost to her efforts based on past experience and importantly, didn’t experience any of the aforementioned side effects – phew!
Fake It … Spanx
What it is … A well known favourite, Spanx are a collection of designs to help smooth things out a little – in this instance we tried out their Slim Cognito Shaping Mid-Thigh Bodysuit – a particularly elegant item which goes all the way from your knees to your rib cage.
Secret Weapon … No massive surprise here – it’s tight and it pulls you in – a clever combination of materials derived from a pivotal day when founder Sara Blakely took a pair of scissors to her control top tights when searching for the perfect pair of seamless knickers.
What they cost … Available from Figleaves for £72, this isn’t a cheap option, especially considering it isn’t really an every day item in our opinion … but then you would probably spend the same on a pair of shoes with wow factor!
What we thought … In answer to your question, we don’t know where it all goes either, but in this instance it didn’t appear under our armpits … granted Spanx are not going to transform you from a size 20 to a size 12, they are not the most comfortable of items, and they are the definition of ‘Bridget Jones’ big knickers’ … BUT, they do have an extremely pleasing effect on your silhouette so they are great for special occasions – hey, if they are good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, they are good enough for us. A modern classic and we can totally see why!
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