Wednesday, April 18, 2012
While my weight has gone up and down over the years, it has been much more difficult to keep it on the down end of the scale ever since having children and passing 30.
Darn oldness. (Is that a word?)
But while there are a million weight loss programs and dietary supplements and grueling fitness regimes out there that all claim that they can cause the pounds to disappear, many of them make me weary. Unless I've had time to study all of the ingredients (and look up the definition for half of them), how can I trust that the company actually has my best interest (and health) in mind?
Fortunately, I was able to participate in a Shaklee review more than a year ago and learned all about their decades of experience in making our bodies, our homes and our planet a healthier place. So, when the opportunity arose to try their Cinch Inch Loss Plan, I already knew that their products would only contain natural ingredients for a healthier lifestyle.
Including things like Energy Tea, Shake Powder and Snack Bars, the Cinch Starter Kit arrived at my door with a Program Guide that easily laid out the entire process. I'm not one for following any sort of plan that leaves me hungry, so I was glad to see that Cinch allowed for multiple meals and snacks to keep me going throughout the day:
• Breakfast: Shake or Meal-in-a-Bar
• Morning Snack: Energy Tea (hot or cold)
• Lunch: Shake or Meal-in-a-Bar
• Afternoon Snack: Snack Bar and Energy Tea
• Dinner: Well-balanced, sensible meal
Throughout the day I was to take one of the 3-in-1 supplements, 3 times daily, and drink plenty of water. I was also given access to CinchWellness.com (a tools and support site for Cinch customers), which is great for people that depend on a support system to help them throughout their weight loss journey.
So, after two weeks what did I think?
Cinch Vanilla Shake Mix Canister (15 servings) and Cinch Shake Mix Box (14 single-serving packets)
As I'm a chocoholic, it was easy to say that I was a bigger fan of the Chocolate Shake Mix than the Vanilla. With the added bonus of the Chocolate arriving in pre-measured powered packets, it was also slightly more convenient to be able to just rip one open and dump it into the Cinch Shaker Cup with some milk (not that scooping the Vanilla out of the canister was all that difficult, though).
I was typically in too much of a hurry to do anything other than simply mix the Shakes with milk and I found that the consistency wasn't perfectly smooth, but, with the vigorous shaking/mixing that was recommended, they were just fine. For days that I wanted to add a little variety, it was also extremely easy to instead put the Shake Mix in the blender with ice (for results similar to an ice cream shake) and/or with fruit to end up with something more like a smoothie.
I felt as though both of the Shake Mixes had enough flavor on their own to be tasty (especially the chocolate... mmmm!) and didn't mind enjoying them throughout the day.
Cinch Snack Bar Assortment Pack (10 bars)
With three flavors of Snack Bars — Lemon-Cranberry, Chocolate Decadence and Peanut Butter Crunch — I was glad to see that there was a variety of options, although I wouldn't have minded one or two more added to the mix. Each bar contains only 120 calories and has 3 grams of fiber as well as 10 grams of protein, so they really pack a lot into a small package.
Of course the Chocolate Decadence bars were my immediate favorite, as they made me feel as though I was eating a chocolate bar or some sort of dessert rather than being part of a weight loss plan. The Lemon-Cranberry had a fruity flavor and reminded me of sugary lemon bars, while the Peanut Butter Crunch had a satisfying, wholesome-yet-flavorful quality to it as well.
I felt as though all three Snack Bars were just the right size to fulfill my afternoon cravings and they did a great job getting me through until dinner. The Cinch Starter Kit doesn't come with any of the Meal-in-a-Bar bars and I would have liked to try those to see how filling they are as well!
Cinch Energy Tea Mix, Unsweetened (28 sticks)
As I'm not typically a tea drinker, I didn't assume that I would be all that into the Energy Tea Mix, but I was happy to find that I was mistaken. I tried it cold as well as hot and both methods resulted in just the right amount of flavor to make it very easy to drink down. As with the rest of the Cinch products, I didn't feel as though the Energy Tea tasted like it was part of a weight loss program, just a tasty tea!
Whether or not it actually gave me more energy, however, I'm not certain. I didn't feel as though it made me wired or jittery, but instead was just a great way to add more water to my daily intake with the soothing addition of the flavor of tea.
Cinch 3-in-1 Boost (42 tablets)
These supplements are designed to help boost your metabolism, retain normal blood sugar levels (to keep you from being hungry), and fortify your day with vitamins and minerals, while also containing EGCG, which is thought to help burn calories.
While again I can't prove their results, I didn't find anything difficult about taking these tablets (aside from remembering to actually take them each time throughout the day).
Cinch Weight Loss Accessories
The Cinch Starter Kit also came with handy accessories such as a tape measure to find and track your measurements, a pedometer to track your steps and encourage activity, the Program Guide that lays out a great deal of information about Cinch as well as setting goals, servings sizes and more.
I also appreciated the two Weekly Journals available, as they made it easy to keep track of your food and water intake, activity level and more. As someone who finds it much more difficult to cheat on a diet plan when I'm keeping close track of exactly what I'm eating, I found that these Journals kept me much more accountable throughout the two weeks.
And my results?
I found that I enjoyed the Shaklee Cinch Inch Loss program and was happy to have had the chance to try it out! The Shakes and Bars all tasted great and with the ease of each portion of the day all laid out to follow, it made it simple to take both weeks step by step. Even better, in the end I found that I had lost four pounds, so I'd count that as a definite success!
However, if you are looking for a method that works and has the ability to start your weight loss efforts off on the right foot, then this just might be the program for you. Shaklee is known for caring deeply about the health of their customers and their amazing natural products are renowned for their effectiveness and safety — Cinch included!
For more information about the Cinch Inch Loss Plan, visit www.ShakleeCinch.com and follow the conversation from other satisfied users on Twitter at #cinchspiration. To check out the rest of Shaklee's products, visit their website and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
(Other than the Cinch Starter Kit that I was provided by Shaklee, I was not compensated or enticed or to do this review in any way. This is solely my opinion of these products and your feelings and results may differ.)