The principal of Equalation, is that you can keep eating your favourite foods as long as you follow the meals they give you 80% of the time, and you will lose weight.
It’s a new type of dieting called flexi dieting, and it is science based.
The best thing about this diet is that it is an app, and a pretty fabulous one. Their tag line is; “your pocket nutrition coach.”
The Sydney girls behind the app, Jade Spooner, 26 and Amal Wakin 25 are inspiring. Former google employees, the app was born out of their own successful weight loss, of a mammoth 50kg between them, and this is the plan they followed.
They have 250,000 social media followers, and won Australian start up of the year in 2016. They have 22 staff.
It did take me a number of days to find everything on the app, and luckily I did the program with a friend, so we were able to support each other and find different aspects of the app and share them with each other.
But the idea is that every Monday one full day’s worth of personalised meals is sent over to the app and those meals are chosen and adjusted specifically for you, depending on what you have already told them you like eating.
The meal plan they create takes into account your daily exercise habits, and how many calories you need to eat a day to lose weight. For me, my daily calorie allowance was 1700.
At the same time, you receive feedback on the past week’s entries in terms of how you went, mistakes you made and things to improve on.
The concept is that you eat exactly the same meals and snacks every single day for seven days, but you are allowed to substitute your favourite foods, and you can have alcohol, but you must enter it into the app.
You can see the protein, carb and fat load on your system as you enter your meals daily into the app, to monitor your progress.
This took a while to get used to, as you eat the same food at the same time every day, for seven days. Sounds easy, but does get repetitive. And the app needs a built in shopping list desperately.
The fab feature the app does have is a scanner to scan the items in the supermarket by their bar codes so you can see their calories. This is excellent. Especially when it comes to your favourite foods so you can see how many calories they have, (you are allowed to eat other foods of your choice as long as you enter them into your daily record and therefore are counting their calories)
Within 2 weeks, I was eating less overall with a lot more variety than usual.
And you quickly and easily pick up healthy tips such as; extra vegetables have almost no calories, red meat has a lot, as do nuts and many other healthy foods which I always assumed were light in the calorie department. They also push you to drink 3 litres of water a day by the third week.
There are a lot of low calorie alternatives within the eating plans like low fat yoghurt and low fat icecream, low calorie chips and other health hacks to ensure you lose weight by consuming less calories, but still feeling like you are indulging.
There’s a weekly weigh-in each Monday, with images to be provided by you through the app from the front, side and back, and a measure up -so you need a tape measure, body scales as well as food scales (which they oddly don’t tell you before you start).
This is all critical to monitor your progress and stay motivated.
It’s not the cheapest way to lose weight -it’s $75 per week with a minimum sign up of 8 weeks. So that’s a $600 committment up front.
But as anyone in health and fitness will tell you, the more you invest, the more likely you are to commit. (I was fortunate to be invited to try the plan so didn’t pay).
After that it’s up to you if you continue for your own nominated period of time.
I did about 5 weeks. And lost around 2.5 kilos. This is the amount most people lose per week. But I have diabetes.
I didn’t find this plan specifically worked with diabetics, but there were still a lot of valuable weight loss hacks I picked up.
It was relatively easy to follow, but the best part for me was being forced to write my food consumption down daily. This was a great way to confront myself with the reality of my daily eating habits; both good and bad.
The worst part was being completely cut out of the app once my time was up.
This meant I was unable to go back and see my weight loss, but more importantly I couldn’t go back and look at what I’d eaten on certain days, what I had recorded and what had worked.
I also couldn’t access all of the images I had provided within the app.
After so much effort and commmitment on my part, this felt like a huge let down.
This, along with shopping lists needs to be addressed.
But I would recommend it. Particularly if you simply want to lose weight by eating better and educating yourself about healthier, lower calorie choices.
Click here for more on equalation.
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