We've heard all the sayings, we know what we have to do, but it's harder than it sounds. Proven by the fact that 10 per cent of women fail their diet just 24 hours after starting them and 27 per cent have even put on weight whilst trying to diet. In order to get our diet under control we need to unlearn our bad eating habits, kick our addictions, learn to speak the confounding and purposely confusing language of food labels and prepare to get acquainted with hunger because we no longer know when we are actually full.
If you've fallen off the January diet wagon and want to kick-start your weight loss without the bother of shopping, cooking or any kind of prep. There are lots of delivery-to-your-door diet options available from juice, to vegan, to paleo and sushi at a wide range of prices from basic to gourmet. Throughout the year, I will give you the skinny on diet meals on wheels.
First up... I tried the Dukan diet from Bodychef
The Dukan diet has long been heralded a diet miracle. I wanted to put it to the test without having to do any of the preparation whatsoever.
Cost: Their diet plans start from around £18 per day and prices include delivery and an unlimited amount of plan changes and food exclusions.
On the menu:
They offer 15 diet plan options; I tried the Dukan Attack Phase, Premier and Slimmer Winter over two weeks.
The Dukan diet was a good one to start with as the large amount of protein and eating five times a day meant I filled up easily. Throughout the week I had days where I didn't finish all my food allowance and feeling full all day meant my usual regular visits to scour the fridge didn't occur.
The day started with a delicious oat bran galette and yoghurt and throughout the rest of the day I got to eat copious amounts of turkey, chicken, ham and yoghurt. Although my usual diet is protein heavy, on the second day I missed fruit and vegetables, but by the last day, I loved the simplicity of it and started to worry about how I'd cope with saying goodbye to 'all you can eat' yoghurt.
The Slimmer Winter and Premier plans were a nice follow up to Dukan as it was great to eat broccoli again. The portions were perfectly sized and I didn't feel hungry once. The day started off with porridge or granola and fruit, which kept me, satisfied until lunch, which was a soup, a stir-fry, or salad with crisp bread and hummus. Dinner was protein and veg that I just had to microwave or heat in the oven with rice or new potatoes which I had to cook myself.
The dishes were mainly tasty, a few were a little bland, but that is because I have ethnic minority taste buds. I was bought up in a house where breakfast, lunch and dinner is heavily seasoned and served with hot sauce. So, I did make a few adaptations. The meals come with tips on reheating them, but my top tip for the Dukan diet is reheating the chicken breasts in a small amount of stock and a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from going dry.
The stand out dishes included Parmesan baked cod, Asian meatballs, chicken and rice soup and the spicy hummus. Also, I am now reacquainted with my long lost childhood friend jelly. The only unpleasant bit was eating the tuna, I am not a huge fan of tuna, but that aside without sauce it's hard to swallow. I resorted to mixing it with cottage cheese, I advise against this.
Weight Loss and Energy Levels:
Over the two weeks I lost 5lb, mostly on the week I was on the Dukan Diet, my stomach was flatter and I felt less bloated.
So I could see the full effect of the diet, I cut my exercise down to mild cardio in the form of daily walks and to test my energy levels one intensive exercise class a week. I had no dips in energy throughout the week and the diet didn't affect my ability to perform high intensity intervals or a spin class.
The site is easy to use, the profile questions help them workout the right amount of food for you based on activity levels, BMI and amount of weight you want to lose.
The ability to easily eliminate ingredients is good for people who are fussy, have intolerances or allergies. The list of foods you can eliminate is extensive and can be changed at anytime. Trust me, I pushed it to the limit.
The cool boxes are delivered twice a week and the food comes in plastic tubs and foil parcels. The menu is emailed in advance and included in the package; all food is labelled with the contents, calorie count, the day and time of day to eat it.
The only teething problem I had was with the delivery. The delivery timeslot was impractical for generic work hours unless you work close to home. I made them aware of the difficulties and the team altered the schedule, but it still involved me being home one morning a week. The delivery options need to be more flexible or timeslots made available.
The Dukan diet is restrictive, if unlike me you don't LOVE turkey, chicken and yoghurt. The monotony of this particular diet and the lack of fruit and veg would get to you, but the Dukan is designed so you only spend a short period on the Attack Phase before moving into the other phases that incorporate fruit and veg.
Diet delivery plans are great for learning about portion control. It's a great way to see how much food you actually need to fill you up.
I've never considered myself an overeater, but since this plan, my portion sizes have decreased slightly.
Other diet delivery companies that deliver the Dukan diet plan and provide tools to make it easy to try are:
Have the Dukan Diet delivered to your door by Designer Diet:
The Dukan home delivery fresh food diet plan is delivered direct to your door twice each week. They offer all stages including the Attack', the Cruise and the Stabilisation phase before moving on to the Consolidation. Plans start from around £30 a day.
The site offers all products approved for the Dukan diet, as well as recipes, books, supplements and accessories for a healthy lifestyle.