I have the dieting capabilies of a mouse faced with a cheese mountain. That mouse would be no more capable of scuttling away from the fromage festivities than I am when it comes to my favourite foods. I really need to develop some will and staying power! My problem is that once I've done the diet for three weeks and have lost it, I sabotage it by thinking "ha! I showed you body, I can lose weight when I want to!" and reach for a slice of bread and jam (my downfall). I also do the food shopping, albeit online, and if I get bored I buy 'niceties' which are very naughty!
When I was asked if I'd like to try some of the range of Diet Chef I agreed thinking, "Why the hell not?". I was sent a day's meals and told not to eat anything else. For one day, surely I could manage that?
Well I didn't get the chance to, because when it came it included a meat shepherd's pie. I'll give many things a go for reviews, but I'm not about to give up thirteen years of vegetarianism, so Mr. TheBoyandMe stepped in and offered to do the review. My Knight in shining tinfoil!
Note: the food reviewed is part of a subscription-based diet scheme. Talking to a doctor or qualified medical professional is always advised before starting any diet. Diet Chef themselves also recommend taking part in light exercise.
When the Boy's Mummy asked me to review a day's worth of meals from Diet Chef, I decided to give it my best shot (he's lying, he offered!). My food reviewing skills may be more Gyles Brandreth than Giles Coren, but just to do it properly, how about if that is the ONLY food I eat that day (thankfully, coffee is allowed)? That way it'll be a test not just of how good the food is, but also if the quantity is sufficient to remove the temptation to snack.
The meals provided were just a single days worth of a diet subscription plan that can last for several months at a time. Diet Chef recommend adding fruit and vegetables, and to drink at least one litre of water per day.
Breakfast: Chocolate granola, 195 calories
I'd never had granola before, so decided to eat it with milk like a normal cereal; this added a few extra calories but made it more palatable to my tastebuds, and gave an overall effect of eating crunchy coco-pops. To add a bit of bulk (breakfast being the most important meal of the day, after all) I also added some chopped strawberries to keep me going until lunch.
Lunch: Tomato and pasta salad, 264 calories
Mixed in with some steamed vegetables, this tasted a lot better than you'd expect from diet food, with a slightly creamy taste rather than the tomato assault I feared. I'd actually say that I preferred the taste of this over and above the standard tomato pasta sauces that ready meals often contain.
Snack: Salted popcorn, 107 calories
There's not much I can really say about popcorn. Soft, salty, with a few bits that stick to your teeth for a week afterwards. But, come 3pm, very much a diet-saver.
Dinner: Cottage pie, 235 calories
Taking out the calories can often mean also removing the taste; not so in this case, and if I hadn't known in advance that it was diet food I'd have been none the wiser. Served again with vegetables, in quantity it was indistinguishable from a 'normal' evening meal and, if a fully committed dieter would easily have been enough to see me until breakfast.
I admit that at the end of the day I did give into temptation with a late-night snack and beverage (although the latter are allowed in moderation anyway), but had I been eating these as part of a longer-term diet plan I may well have held off. In addition, as we were provided with these foods for review there wasn't the same impetus that would exist had I been a fully paid-up subscriber to the diet plan.
Overall, if these meals are representative of the entire range, then there's enough flavour and variety there to keep anyone happy. As they don't need to be refridgerated and can be microwaved, they are also extremely convenient to both store and cook, and therefore suitable for someone who doesn't have time for a more 'traditional' diet plan.
I was sent these products for review. Mr. TheBoyandMe's opinion is honest and without bias.