Review: Diet Chef

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Comments

  1. says

    So funny you're reviewing this as I sent them an e-mail las week saying I was telling everyone how bad they are. Got food poisoning, and their customer service is so appalling he told me it was good as it meant I'm losing weight….I couldn't move for three days! Love your blog btw! x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Oh no, that's awful! You can't possibly say that having food poisoning is a good thing, under any circumstances.

  2. says

    I've often wondered what these are like & if I was living on my own I think I would be tempted but if you've got to cook for everyone else as well there's not much point…shame you didn't get a months worth of vegetarian meals & then you could really put it to the test!

  3. says

    I agree, I gave up after that and grew everything I had out! Their customer service is horrible, I've even resorted to telling people about my food poisoning which I'd rather refrain from!

  4. Soph says

    I can safely say I've had no issues with their customer service; a couple of items were missing from my hamper and they very promptly replaced them and their staff have always been helpful and polite whenever I have spoken to them? I knew they had stuff like diet chef in the US and Canada but the similar plans here seemed too expensive and the food didn't look exactly appetising-more like astronaut food! Then I saw an advert for diet chef and googled it and it did look pretty decent, my husband and I are doing it together so we can motivate each other. I am afraid our one downfall is being lazy gits and while we will happily make food from scratch for our young children, it often isn't the healthiest or best choice for an adult trying to lose weight.

    We were ending up spending close to £750 a month on ready meals, sandwiches and fast food so at £410 a month the diet chef is positively cheap in comparison! We have tried just counting calories and my husband has tried a very low calorie diet before and it was just not doable. We have been doing it for 2.5 weeks now, sticking to the guidelines about adding veg, extra protein portions (as we are doing the vegetarian diet), we did feel a bit hungry on the first day but after that feel totally fine. In fact I have so much energy now that I am able to walk two miles and not get worn out. I have lost 11lbs so far and my husband has lost 10lbs. I haven't been tempted at all by the kids food, though I have had a small portion of oven chips or pasta that I have made for them to bulk out the calories on days when I have fallen a bit short. I have also been able to have the odd homemade treat and not feel at all guilty because I am still within my calorie intake but am able to resist temptation when I have had to get a few bits from the supermarket. Last night I was fancying a coke and a dairy milk but today I thought, nah.

    Its not all perfect, some of the meals are not so nice-the bean pasta salad (lunch) is awful and the vanilla milkshake (also a lunch option) is horribly bitter and tastes like medicine, also the cereal based snack bars are absolutely revolting (i.e. the chocolate chip one which is a few crispies mulched in with brown not very chocolately sludge!), but the rest of the things I have tried I absolutely love, the macaroni cheese is much nicer than any tinned or ready meal version I have had. So a definite thumbs up to diet chef from us!

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