This question gets asked all the time, so time to try and put all the info you need in one place.
Will I lose the same amount with Exante?
YES! Exante Total Solution will give you the same losses as the other very low calorie diets. You can expect to lose at least one stone a month that you stay on total solution (for some people you may find the losses are more than this - I lost 5 stone in my first 16 weeks on this diet)
But the calories are higher?
Yes they are, but only slightly and the results will be the same.
Exante Total Solution - you have 3 packs per day, total ~600 calories
Lighter Life Total - you have 4 packs per day, total ~ 500-600 calories (depending on choice of packs)
Cambridge Sole Source - you have 3-4 packs per day ~ 415 - 554 calories
Lipotrim Pharmacy Programme - you have 3 packs ~425 calories
Why is it so cheap?
Exante sell directly to you, so there is no middle man (counsellor) who is trying to make a living out of it too. You only get the cheapest prices on Exante if you are prepared to purchase the bumper packs. If you are more particular about the combination of flavours then you may find that the price goes up a little.
Exante Total Solution ~ £26 per week (from bumper pack)
Cambridge Sole Source ~ £40 per week
Lighter Life Total ~ £70 per week
Lipotrim ~ £36 per week
(If you have additional packs, just like on the other VLCDs, then obviously your cost per week goes up accordingly)
What is different about Exante?
Well, you can see from Exante's website:
Exante are the only meal replacement company in the UK that have NO aspartame, NO artificial colours, NO monosodium glutamate (MSG) and have NO genetically modified productsYou can resell Exante packs on some auction sites, if you find that you don't like them - although I'm sure this isn't encouraged. (You cannot swap, trade, sell, give away Exante packs through conversations on minimins)
What about the water flavourings?
Exante water flavourings do not use aspartame, they use sucralose. Sucralose is higher in carbohydrates, so whereas on the other vlcds, their water flavourings are about 0.03g carbohydrate per serving, Exante's are about 3g carbohydrate per serving - if you are following the ketogenic total solution, you may well want to be quite sparing with the water flavouring to ensure you stay in ketosis, or purchase one of the other vlcd water flavourings (but they will most likely contain aspartame).
What does it taste like?
Well, this is always a difficult one to answer, as everyone's taste buds are different.
The general consensus seems to be that Exante shakes are not as sweet or synthetic tasting as the other vlcds. If you miss the sweetness you can always mix in some additional sweeteners when you make up your shake.
The bars look more like a conventional flapjack than some of the other bars, some people love them, others not so much (again, all personal preference). You can also substitute an Exante bar for a Biggest Loser, Asda Measure Up or Tesco Ultra Slim meal replacement bar, so you have a variety of choice / taste options open to you. (Personally I really like both the Exante bars, and mostly have them)
I think the Exante soups are generally considered creamier than the other vlcd soups (with the possible exception of the tomato soup - which I personally can't stand, but then I couldn't stand the LL tomato soup either)
Why do you have to Add A Meal (AAM) after 5 weeks?
Anyone can purchase Exante, and you are not under any supervision from either a GP, a counsellor or a pharmacist while you are doing Exante (unlike most of the other vlcds). I think this is why Exante advise you to Add A Meal after 5 weeks. All the other vlcds do have their equivalent of AAM, but generally after 12 weeks instead. All the vlcds do it for the same reason, to give your metabolism a bit of a boost, some people find it kickstarts their weight loss, others hate it, some avoid it - I can't advise you.
What is the difference between Total Solution and Working Solution
Total Solution is a very low calorie diet, and your body is very likely to go into ketosis while you are following this solution. It is the most rapid weight loss programme.
Working Solution is a low calorie diet (you combine the 600 calories from 3 packs with a 400 -600 calorie meal), where your total calorie intake will be around 1000 calories per day. This is equivalent to Cambridge Diet 810 or Lighter Life Lite, where you are combining the food packs with a conventional meal. You may choose for your meal to be ketogenic (low carbohydrate foods) to keep you in ketosis, or you could have a regular meal (within the calorie limit). As with the other similar plans you could expect to lose ~10 lbs per month if you follow this plan.
One of the things I like about these two plans with Exante is that you can mix and match them. For me, I tend to have 2-3 Working Solution days per week and 4-5 Total Solution days per week. The choice is yours, and you can decide day by day how you want to do it.
But how will I stick to it without the supervision?
Well, that's a choice you will have to make. Personally I find the accountability by following minimins on a regular basis, by keeping a diary and by submitting my loss (stay the same or gain) on a weekly basis is helping me to stay on track. The support on this forum is fantastic and I learn a lot by supporting others too. But the choice is yours, and if you need someone else to supervise you or do your weigh-ins you could either find someone you trust to support you with this, perhaps a friend or family member, or you may find that your pharmacist or your gym may be willing to do that for you.