So what is Diet Chef?
It is a diet plan consisting of three calorie controlled meals and one snack each day. Your products are delivered to your door every four weeks and you can choose the meals that suit you and your tastes. The plan can be followed by both meat eaters and vegetarians as there is good variety.
The daily meals provide about 1200 calories a day, and Diet Chef estimate this is about 700 calories less than most people need in a day to sustain their weight. You should see a loss of about 1-2 lbs per week depending on your weight when you start, this gradual loss gives you a better chance at keeping the weight off. The plan is suitable for those with a BMI above 24.9 and you use the free online tool to work yours out.
Is it easy to order?
You choose online which meal options you would like (and there are lots) and place your order, this was really simple to do and not very time consuming. If you are not sure what you want you can just go with the pre-selected options so you can try out many of the meals and find out which ones suit you.
When my order arrived, there were 2 items which were damaged. I had to speak to customer service and I can tell you hand on heart they were excellent, really knowledgeable and very interested in my issue. I was told I’d be called back and I was and the replacement food items were sent out in the post and arrived 2 days later. Couldn’t fault it. As well as telephone customer service support there is also email support and an online live chat option, so you can get things sorted out quickly and with minimal fuss.
What are the meals like?
All lunch and dinner meals are developed by their chef to be balanced and tasty but importantly low-calorie. They are prepared and sealed in a pouch or tray and then pressure cooked to give them a long shelf life. They do not need to be refrigerated and this makes storage very easy. I have to say that I did not find them very visually appealing in their packaging but maybe this is a good thing as personally I have far too much focus on food and my enjoyment of it and what I really need is to be able to see it is fuel for my body.
The breakfasts: My favourite has to be the soft chocolate cookie – very sweet and filling to kick start the morning. I tried different granolas, mueslis and porridges and cannot complain about any one of them. The muesli and granola were smaller than the portion I would normally have but when you add fruit and/or yoghurt then you have a good start to the day. These individual packs were very good at helping me to recognise what a portion should look like, portion control is definitely an issue I have currently. The only breakfast option I didn’t like was the muesli bars, but I think that’s just my taste.
Lunch: mostly I choose soups but also some milkshakes and pasta pots, this is because these are my preference. There is also a variety of salads but I did not fancy them. The soups are very good and the chunky vegetable one stood out for me.
Snacks: I love the popcorn and there are various flavours so no need to be bored. The 2 pack biscuits were also good, especially the chocolate ones and for me I was not so keen on the cereal bars, just a bit dry and bland in my opinion.
|Dinner: There is a massive variety of dinner options and generally I think they are very good but I was surprised to find I needed to add pasta, rice, and vegetables if I wanted them (most of the main dishes are just the meat aspect of a meal). I love the chicken curry and it is filling but my problem comes in that I want naan bread with it! Diet Chef suggest you look at the serving suggestion photos on the website to see what might be a good idea to add to your meals. This was useful to me as I would probably have given myself far more than 20g of dry pasta otherwise. I am learning to bulk up with salad and vegetables and not carbohydrates.|
What does it cost?
If you wish to try out Diet Chef the minimum term is 28 days. A four week plan will set you back £245 for the four weeks, this works out to £8.75 per day. When you add to this that you need to also cost in milk, bread, fruit, vegetables etc then I suspect you are spending about £10 per day for one person, which is quite steep. However if you need a short term fix and only have a small amount of weight to lose then this might be a good option for you as it will kick start your diet and help shrink your stomach and get you aware of portion sizes. It can work out cheaper if you are happy to commit to 12 weeks, this will cost you £180 per month, working out at £6.43 per day.
It is important to say that you need to be aware of automatic renewal. Diet Chef change you to a four week rolling plan at the end of your original order term and whilst I think it is good that they are open about it being an automatic renewal, the last part about the rolling four week plan is in lighter text and is easy to miss on the webpage.
How long should you follow the plan for?
Diet Chef recommend signing up to the following plans depending on the amount of weight you wish to lose –
4 weeks – less than ½ stone
8 weeks – 1 – 2 stone
12 weeks – more than 2 stone
I do think Diet Chef is much better than many of the diets available nowadays, especially the very low calories ones with meal replacements as at least I am getting used to eating smaller portions of real food.
Calorie counting and portion control all done for you – making life simpler, giving you the headspace to be able to diet
No cooking, measuring, counting or weighing
Easy to prepare, heat and serve in 2-3 minutes – great the ready meals are so quick but you still have to cook the accompaniments like vegetables, rice etc
No banned foods – things like chilli and curries are still allowed which is obviously a plus point, as often when you deny yourself something you just crave it more
Encourages frequent eating to prevent cravings – great for establishing an eating pattern for those prone to skipping meals and then gorging at other times
Overall thoughts on Diet Chef?
I’m only on my second week of this diet so maybe it’s too early for me to give a detailed answer. However, currently I am enjoying it and have already lost 6 pounds. I’m looking to lose about another stone so fingers crossed this will happen in the next month to 6 weeks. I think the diet is easy to follow and you still get to eat real food!
I shall report back on my progress in due course….