Delivered Diet Food: Diet Chef
By WLR's Site Manager, Laurence Beeken
Do you want your own personal chef who does all the planning, measuring and cooking?
This is the sales pitch from Diet Chef, a diet delivery service that provides a calorie counted selection of food for each day of the week. Breakfasts consist of granola, muesli, cookies or porridge. Lunches are soups, pasta pots, shakes or bars. Dinners are ready meals to be popped in the microwave where needed. The snacks are things like oat biscuits, rice bars and popcorn.
(Pricing checked January 2017)
Diet Chef food delivery will cost between £6.25-£8.75 per day depending on the package chosen.
You'll need to buy fresh fruit, veg and milk from your nomal shop and some of the meals, like meatballs and pasta, don't include the pasta.
It does say on the front page that you can do Diet Chef for as little as £3.39 per day. This is for the Cook@Home plan that supplies fresh ingredients but only makes up 3 evening meals or lunches, depending on the menu for the week. This plan is currently on special offer for the first week (January 2017).
Price Options (based on 1200 calories)
- £245 for 28 days on the plan
- £195 per month for 2 months, paid monthly
- £190* per month for 3 months, paid monthly
How does Diet Chef compare to Weight Loss Resources?
For just £9.95 per month you can use all of the tools and resources available from WLR. You’ll learn about portion control and how to change your eating habits for life. We’ll give you the freedom to make you own choices, lose weight and keep it off.
Why not take a free trial and see how you can lose weight and control your own meals.
You select the plan you would like to follow and place the order. You will need to buy your own fruit, veg and milk to be added into the meals and some meals require extras like pasta.
The site offers a free personal profile to work out your BMI and daily recommended calories. You enter your body statistics and get a report of BMI, daily calorie burn and calorie requirements to lose 1-2lbs a week. Once you have added in the fruit, veg and milk the meals for one day come to approximately 1200 calories.
However, when we tested the personal profile, it gave a calorie deficit of 700 calories to lose 1-2lb. The deficit needed to lose 1lb is 500 calories per day and to lose 2lb is 1000 calories per day. So this major piece of information is out slightly.
If your calorie allowance to lose weight is more than 1200, the site recommends you add in some extra food. However, there is no information for people whose calorie allowance is less than 1200 to lose weight.
A point to bear in mind is that Diet Chef plans are meant to be calorie and portion controlled with no counting calories, points or syns. However, having to add in your own fruit, veg, pasta and rice could prove problematic. What is the correct portion size to add? Or the correct weight? Especially with the rice and pasta portions as they are both calorific.
|Treacle & Pecan Granola||Minestrone Soup||Beef Rogan Josh||Chocolate Chip Oat Biscuits|
|Fruit & Oat Soft Cookie||Vanilla Flavour Protein Bar||Coq Au Vin||Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels|
|Vanilla and Banana Porridge||Lemon & Herb Couscous||Lamb Hot Pot||Butter Flavour Microwave Popcorn|
There is also the option to ‘top up’ your Diet Chef delivered food with extra snacks.
There is a ‘help’ button at the bottom of the screen. You click on this and type in your question. The site then searches through the FAQs for you. If it doesn’t find an FAQ that fits your question, you can then leave a message for someone to email you back.
You can also email direct but there is no phone number, forums or any kind of human contact available. Any kind of contact with Diet Chef takes a while.
Diet Chef Plans
There are 5 plans available to choose from:
- The standard 3 meals and a snack a day plan
- The Cook@Home plan – just the ingredients to make 3 meals per week
- Weekend Flex – 5 days of Diet Chef meals and snacks for Monday to Friday, leaving you to sort your own food for the weekend
- Diet Now – a very low calorie diet consisting of shakes, bars and meal packs. There are 6 VLCD plans available depending on where you are on your weight loss journey.
- Fast Blast – for those wanting to follow the 5:2 diet. The meals supplied are for the 2 fast days but the actual calorie count in the meals is not given.
Can I try before I buy?
There is no longer a free trial available. However, in 2011 you could get a sample pack.
We asked for one on 05/04/11 but it was never delivered. After a few emails to Diet Chef regarding the whereabouts of the trial meal we eventually received our soup on 03/05/11.
- It was from the Lunch Menu: Lentil and Vegetable Soup (300g)
- The portion was quite small but it tasted like a good home-made soup.
- It took 3 minutes to cook in the microwave so if you have those facilities at work it’s easy to make.
- The soup was thick and therefore quite filling but the portion was just so small. Having to wait 5 hours for dinner was just impossible, and within that time you may seriously struggle to fight off the urges to snack.
The DietChef home delivery diet consists of food which is calorie and portion controlled so, if followed strictly, would result in weight loss.
However, having to add your own fresh fruit and veg makes tracking what you are actually eating very difficult.
Having the option to compliment their food packages is nice, but it does make you think more about the cost of your food bill. You'll be paying for their meals but still having to add in the extras, increasing the overall cost.
DietChef might be a good option to get the weight moving for a week or two but it would be difficult to follow the programme for much longer than that.
Diet Chef says that following their normal meal delivery plan would give you a healthy, sustainable weight loss of 1-2lbs a week.
Weight Loss Resources’ View
If you have enough will power to just stick to what is sent to you, then you should lose weight. The meals are designed to give you 1200 calories once you have added in your own fruit, veg and milk, but like any restrictive plan, there will be the temptation to eat more. Without a food diary, you cannot monitor any ‘extras’.
You basically just buy the meals and add what you want to them. However there is nothing to stop you eating the meals and then eating anything else that is lying around – and if you have a family, then there is a chance that you will snack as you prepare meals for the rest of the family.
Although you can generate a personal report, it seems the information isn't quite correct.
As always, it’s a reduction in calories that will shift those pounds. Diet Chef is just another way to do this and might suit you if you can afford the cost of the meals. Ultimately, it’s just as easy – and much cheaper – to follow a 1,200-1,400 calorie diet based on foods from the four main food groups, and eat the things that you enjoy!
If you'd like to devise your own diet plan (or use one of ours) why not take a 24hr free trial...
You'll get full access to the UK's largest online calorie and nutrition database, extensive recipes and plans databases, and you can calorie count your own recipes and plans.
The Diet Chef website
Diet Chef Reviews on Trust Pilot