Tried And Tested Wellbeing: Dieting For The Lazy (But It Works)

pretty girl selects pizza or...
pretty girl selects pizza or...

Is Diet Chef the best recipe for getting the weight conscious and reluctant exercisers into their bikinis this summer?

It's certainly got the numbers - with over 75,000 people trying the diet so far - the well-known followers and some impressive success stories. Sir Alan Sugar's right hand woman Karen Brady lost a stone and a half using Diet Chef and you only have to log onto to see happy healthy people like 'Sarah,' smiling from the website screen and declaring: "It’s like having your own personal chef. It didn’t feel like a diet. I was never hungry."

Pick from a range of portioned, pre-packaged meals and snacks that are delivered to your door. All you have to do is stick them in the microwave and add fresh veg, fruit and dairy and hey presto, you're consuming a limited daily calorie intake of around 1,200, which should equal two pounds of weight loss a week. What could be easier?

I'm naturally suspicious of food that doesn't have to be refrigerated. I understand that they're probably pasteurised and preserved like astronaut fodder, but when I've had a chicken curry in my cereal cupboard for a few weeks I don't tend to feel that enthusiastic about eating it.

I realised after a few days that in reality Diet Chef's dishes vary wildly between deliciously tasty and repugnantly foul. My first day of an Oliver Twist sized portion of porridge with cocoa nibs followed by what looked liked cat sick but called itself tuna and rice salad, I was left thinking that that was Diet Chef's weight-loss secret: you can't actually eat the food!

Apple & Cinnamon Porridge

Diet Chef

However, once you're used to the baby breakfasts, singular snacks and sometimes questionable dinners, it's clear that that here are some tasty options in the diet and enough variety to keep you interested and satisfied.

That's not to say that this diet isn't restrictive. Most of the lunch options are soups and when the barometer hit 30 degrees in July I was craving fresh salads and sushi, not a steaming bowl of oxtail soup followed by a Lancashire hotpot.

The bottom line is that Diet Chef works, which is what people most want to hear, and I know for a fact that my bottom line was feeling noticeably trimmer after two weeks of baby bowls of granola and 200-calorie curries.

I can't help but wonder what happens when you come off the diet. Without the controlled portions and pre-cooked meals do people ballon back to their pre-diet shapes or does Diet Chef curb your appetite and eating habits enough to control any future binges? Let's face it, the products aren't the cheapest with the four week plan at £61.25 per week - that's £8.75 per day per person, plus the cost of your fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy.

I personally couldn't wait to get back to my normal, freshly-cooked eating habits and am not entirely convinced that you couldn't get the same results with the old, bog standard diet method that's been around forever: Eat less, eat healthier and move more.

There's no denying that this diet gets results and if you're time poor, sick of fad dieting and detoxes want something uncomplicated, varied and temptation-free that can be cooked up in two minutes flat every time, then this could be the one for you.

For more information, visit the Diet Chef website.