By Sarah Young
Lose up to 6.5kgs in 30 days! I’m in! I didn’t know that Lev existed until a few weeks ago when I walked past their shop in Portimão. Lev is a French company with outlets throughout Portugal (two in the Algarve). They produce snacks, meals, soft drinks, desserts and supplements which form the basis of a targeted, controlled weight loss plan.
Having smoked for most of my life, I decided to stop last March, which among a long list of physical side effects was weight gain (two dress sizes).
So when I spotted Lev, I thought this could be the kick-start I need. I booked my appointment with the lovely Marta in Portimão and prepared myself for a change of lifestyle.
The consultation was very thorough. They have a Segmental Body Composition Monitor, a very clever scale with retractable handles that measures your weight, body fat, bone and muscular mass, water retention, visceral fat and metabolic rate.
Marta then went through a medical check list, took my blood pressure and calculated the results. According to this, I have a body age of 52! I was slightly shocked to say the least, being that I’m 37. Deep breath taken and on to the next step …
My nutritionist Marta then proceeded to explain how the Lev weight loss plan works.
There are four phases to it. Depending on the individual’s requirements, it is possible to skip phase one and move straight on to phase 2. This would be suitable for someone who wanted to follow the maintenance programme for some time and is looking for a long-term plan. I personally want quick results, so I’ll do it all.
The following weight loss programme is based on my consultation.
■ Phase 1: I can expect to lose around 2.5kg in the first 10 days by eating between five and seven Lev products and eat as much as I like of the vegetables that they list with lunch and dinner.
■ Phase 2: I should substitute one Lev meal for poultry or fish and can expect to lose around 2kg.
■ Phase 3: I can reintroduce milk, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, red meat and eggs and should lose about 1kg.
■ Phase 4: maintenance phase.
We then visited the reception area, which is basically a smart-looking supermarket! I was really surprised to see the range of products that were available. Chocolate fondant, pizza, crisps, sweets, chocolate mousse and cookies, pasta, rice, crepes, truffle omelettes, crème Brule and yoghurt drinks, to name but a few of the products.
I chose bread, cereal bars, crepes, little baguettes, fruit juice, yoghurt, a chicken and mushroom gourmet meal and the 10 pack of dinners which contained chilli, spaghetti Bolognese, stew and pizza, and some cheese snacks and fruit-flavoured sweets.
I was then presented with a whole bag’s worth of vitamins and supplements, which included magnesium, multivitamins, omega 3, a supplement for water retention and a tonic which contained sea minerals.
Marta gave me advice and recommendations throughout the selection process. She gave me her card and told me to call or text if I needed anything at all. I found it very reassuring to know that I have someone on hand if I need help.
Feeling positive and informed, I left with my three goody bags and headed to the normal supermarket to get the salad and vegetables I need to accompany the Lev lunch and dinner meals.
Over the next four weeks, I will be writing about my experience and will hopefully be able to fit into some of my nicer clothes by then. Wish me luck!