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One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals).

Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

The idea of being on the full meal replacement plan is to ensure you only eat a specific number of calories per day. Obviously by controlling what you eat you should start to lose weight.

Although I do want to lose a bit of weight it's not that big a priority. Over the last 15 years my weight has always been between 70-76 kilos (154-167lbs) which is not too bad for my 5 foot 7 inch frame and mostly within the recommended range for my Body Mass Index (BMI). Currently I'm at 74kg (163lbs) after loosing a kilo in the last couple of weeks and could probably do to lose 2-3 kilos to be at what I feel is my ideal weight.

The problem I found with Light n' Easy mainly is that the breakfast, lunch and snacks menu includes too much fruit. Don't get me wrong, I love fruit. I wish I could eat more fruit all the time but my stomach won't let me. Too much fruit gives me cramps, gas and the constant feeling that my stomach is empty - like when your stomach rumbles because you're hungry but mine does this all the time.

Light n' Easy menus are pretty well set. They can't really cater to specific needs. At best they can suggest alternatives that you can purchase yourself to replace anything in their menu that may not work for you. For me they suggested replacing some of the fruit with carrot or celery... you can almost hear the sound of my displeasure. Celery isn't even food.

If it wasn't for the fruit thing I'd probably still persist with the entire menu but I was also having an issue with the so called 'easy' part of preparing my lunch and breakfast. I'm pretty simple when it comes to food. I don't need lots of variation, I especially don't like the hassle of cooked breakfast and I do prefer sandwiches to almost anything else for my lunch.

A Light n' Easy breakfast low.
Every day was something different. I will admit the cooked breakfasts and lunches were nice but sometimes more trouble than I'd ever go to preparing my own food.

On the flip side, sometimes breakfast was a little too 'easy'. When the Light n' Easy menu served up a piece of raisin toast with butter on it and a small vanilla yogurt cup I felt I'd reached a dietary low. Isn't breakfast supposed to be the most important meal of the day? I can tell you that morning didn't start with a spring in my step.

After a week, for breakfast, I just wanted a modest sized bowl of cereal, a couple of biscuits with a cup of tea - which is all I used to have.

I've since replaced the cornflakes and a couple of sweet biscuits for breakfast with a small bowl of natural muesli and a couple of muesli breakfast biscuits. That's all I need for breakfast. Virtually no preparation, no thinking, and just enough food to sit and enjoy whilst reading a few pages of whatever book I'm reading.

 Light n' Easy lunches are pretty amazing if you like salads and cooked lunches. Other than the fruit there wasn't really anything I could fault with the lunch menu... except the lack of bread and sandwiches. Like breakfast it was a bit too much variation for me and I don't like to think too hard about making lunch either.

For lunch I'm now having a single round of multi-grain sandwiches filled with salad and either deli meat or tuna fish along with a side of nuts or something else healthy. I'll also have an orange or some other piece of fruit that doesn't disagree with my stomach too much.

Overall, if you're wanting to eat healthy and don't have any foods that particularly play havoc with your stomach, Light n' Easy food is nice and probably more varied than what you're currently eating - and likely has a lot less calories and sugar perhaps?

If you're wanting to lose weight then the full meal replacement plans are the better way to go. I guarantee you won't be impressed with some breakfasts and lunches but if you make the effort to pick and choose from the two menus on offer, you should be able to avoid a single piece of toast and vanilla yogurt for breakfast. (You'll end up with this at least one morning if you just pick the default menu).

I suspect people who say Light n' Easy is terrible are just grumpy that they can't eat doughnuts and Macca's any more. The food is nice and, if you take the time to put it on plates rather than eat straight out of the containers it comes in, you won't feel so much like you're on a diet. It'll feel like you're eating your regular meals, just healthier.

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