07/01/2011 09:47 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Slimmers Turn Their Backs On Diet Ready Meals

After the excesses of Christmas and New Year it seems like everyone's obsessed with dieting and losing weight right now. But according to market analysis experts Mintel, many slimmers aren't taking the easy option of eating diet ready meals.

Freshly prepared meals are more popular than ready diet foods Slimmers are choosing to prepare their own food rather than use diet meals. Photo: Flickr, FotoosVanRobin

When asked about why they were dieting, the top reasons chosen by those taking part in the survey were to lose weight, to be more healthy, to look more attractive, to reduce cholesterol and to stay slim.

But while diet ready meals might seem like a good idea, especially for those trying to lose weight but with little time to cook, it seems they aren't going down as well as food manufacturers had probably hoped for at this time of year. According to the company's research, six out of 10 people in Britain prefer to prepare their own low-fat and low-calorie food than pop a diet meal in the microwave.

It sounds like a triumph for the nutritionists who have been warning us about the dangers of eating too many ready meals, owing to the fact that some can be high in salt and sugar.

Almost half of the people taking part in the survey say they don't think diet ready meals are as healthy as they seem. Just over four out of 10 people claim they're worried about the use of artificial sweeteners in some diet foods too.

But according to the Mintel researchers, a quarter of people also said diet ready meals aren't filling enough, with a further quarter claiming they end up eating more because they don't satisfy their hunger.

Do you eat diet ready meals? Or do you prefer to lose weight by eating smaller portions of your usual food?

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