Pros: tastes great, works as promised, very filling
Cons: availability, soy protein may not be everyone's cup of tea
Weight loss seems to be a very important obsession in the United States today
probably the rest of the world too, but being an isolated Wyomingite I can only speak for what I personally observe and read in nation-wide news. The statistics say we, as a country, are fat. Id say theyre most certainly right as the vast majority of people I know are overweight with the occasional anorexic thrown in and in fact I only know one person out of all my friends and acquaintances who is at an ideal weight
they say the average person is acquainted with upwards of 1,000 people, I think I know a few more than that
this ratio does not look good.
Until recently Id never been one to really jump on the diet train because I had always been able to get rid of unwanted weight with increased activity in fact I used to only be overweight in the winter when I was shut up inside all the time and then only slightly. Ive finally had to admit that my metabolism finally hit an all-time low and, consequently, my weight an all-time high and knew I had to do something about it beyond taking a few more walks.
Shaklee has long been trusted in my family for their high-quality affordable products so when I made the decision to buckle down to a specific weight loss plan theirs immediately appealed to me. The Cinch Inch Loss Plan consists of certain eating habits (aided by the Cinch Coach software) and supplemented by 3-in-1 Boost (metabolism booster), Cinch bars, Cinch energy tea (another metabolic booster, but milder to help with hunger between meals), and Cinch shakes.
These shakes currently come in four flavors (Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cafe Latte) and are made primarily out of soy protein (Vanilla is also available made from whey protein) with some added vitamins, minerals, and most importantly Leucine which helps preserve muscle mass.
Each serving of shake contains a whopping 24 grams of protein (two scoops or one packet mixed into 8ozs of milk) and trust me, thats some filling stuff! According to my Coach Im supposed to be taking in a serving of fruit with each of my shakes which with my weight loss needs I drink twice a day in place of breakfast and lunch but there have been times that its been a bit of a struggle to take that much in at once thats not to say its too much for a person to eat, its just that I dont like to feel overly full and a shake by itself is enough to fill me up just fine and sometimes I just end up eating my fruit a half-hour later so I dont feel too full.
Just because there are meal plans in this plan doesnt mean one has to limit eating or abstain from foods they like just because theyre on a diet on the contrary, Im on a 2,045-calorie diet (spread out over three meals and two snacks) which is a lot more than I generally eat in a day. The stress here is mainly about the right kinds of food, diversity of food, and good portion sizes for a permanent change in the way one eats as opposed to many fad diets that have you eating special foods or outside your preferred zone until youve dropped a bunch of weight and then let you go right back to the old habits and gain it all back again. I fell into the trap early that less food is better and so every time I caught myself gaining weight I reduced intake more thus lowering my metabolism even more and making it even harder to lose weight.
The overall details of the Cinch plan are important if one is considering Cinch Chocolate Shake as a weight loss product because it will work its best if used within the plan for which it was intended and my experience with the product has been all within the bounds of the Cinch plan.
So far Ive been on the Cinch plan for just over one month (I will be updating this review as time goes on) and Im definitely finding out why it is an inch loss plan because there isnt a huge weight difference between weighing and measuring every two weeks. With two shakes a day the meal plans are designed to help one lose about 1 ? pounds per week after an initial gain of nine pounds (undoubtedly due to the aforementioned habit of eating far too little for my bodys needs) Ive lost about four pounds from my initial weight in that month. Heres the kicker it may be only four pounds but Ive lost a combined (measuring waist, hip, chest, arm and thigh) nine inches. Let me repeat NINE inches in just a month. Thats a huge number to me and one Ive found to be well worth the money.
Now Ive been raised with soy milk and used to drink it all the time before I met my other half who didnt like it (that is, hed never tried it before but was completely unwilling to) at which point I switched to cows milk. I do mix my shake into cows milk now (nonfat) but with the high soy protein content it tastes just like the Silk soy milk I enjoyed in my younger years and I thoroughly enjoy the stuff. However, if youre not used to soy milk your reaction may be slightly different my significant other tried it and thought it tasted good but had a chalky texture; its a texture Ive always been used to in soy milk but may come as a surprise to someone whos never tried it. Additionally, a family friend (who is now on Cinch without any problems) had some initial stomach upset from the shakes and was told by her doctor that she had to build a tolerance for soy, that some people just cant take it right off the bat and have to ease into it a little.
Id have to say the chocolate shakes are my second favorite of all the Cinch shakes, Im a sucker for Cafe Latte so its up against some pretty stiff competition. However, if youre expecting a traditional chocolate milk out of this you may be disappointed there is no sugar or artificial sweeteners in this shake so the flavor may be a bit less than youre expecting, though if youve ever had chocolate soy milk from the stores youll know just what to expect. Its versatile too the fruit I mentioned earlier goes very nicely in a chocolate shake, my favorite ones to add are strawberries or pitted cherries (I add frozen ones because thats what is available for my budget) and a scoop of chocolate shake goes great with a scoop of any other flavors of shake for a little extra variety.
Cinch shakes can also be used for workout recovery or to have on had for meals on the go once youve reached your weight loss goals, and one shake a day is recommended to help maintain weight.
At first glance Cinch products are a bit pricey. The shakes come in either a canister or in packets and since this is a review of the canister well focus on it as the packets are a completely different story as far as convenience and price. Retail price on the chocolate shake canister is $47. Im hearing an ouch! somewhere out there. Bear in mind, though, that this shake is highly effective as a weight loss supplement and it replaces 15 meals so its just over $3.00 per meal. Id say it would be well worth it for anyone wanting to get on the Cinch plan to actually sign up for Shaklee because members get a 15% discount on all their orders so the $20 membership would be paid for FAST.
That brings me to about the only gripe Ive ever had about any Shaklee products availability. Shaklee doesnt sell to stores so the only way to get the products you want is by purchasing through a Shaklee distributor. Luckily distributors can easily be found by going to the Shaklee website where you can search for one in your area.
The shake canisters are fairly compact and therefore easy to store and travel with if need be but bear in min that the powder is quite fine and easily dusts the hands if not careful. Personally I only dislike the first use out of any particular can because that darn scoop always ends up about halfway to the bottom of the can and I have to get shake powder all over my fingers to retrieve it. Luckily most of the time I remember to save a scoop from the previous canister to use in a new one until I uncover the elusive scoop that belongs to it.
Overall this is a great shake that Ive enjoyed and had great results with and can easily see myself making part of my permanent eating habits. I still struggle with the urge to eat less whenever I feel fat but hopefully with time my brain will adjust to the fact that I just cant lose weight without eating a little more. The soy protein may not be for everyone and if youve never tried soy before may take a little adjusting, but in the long run its certainly worth the effort.