One week ago today I started the Diet Chef plan and wanted to fill you all in on how I’ve found it so far and how much weight I’ve lost. As you may have seen in my previous post, I was very happy when my hamper arrived! It was crammed full of yummy meals that would last me 28 days. I couldn’t wait to start!
Here is a run down of the meals I’ve eaten in my first week and what I thought of them.
Breakfast: Porridge with cacao nibs. Not a great start, mainly because I genuinely dislike porridge but wanted to try everything on the Diet Chef menu. I imagined the taste of chocolate chips which would help me to enjoy it but unfortunately I couldn’t taste the cacao nibs at all which made it very bland. As I said, this is more my fault as I don’t like porridge at all really. Made myself a note to add fruit to future bowls.
Lunch: Creamy pesto pasta pot with stir fry veg. So nice!! It had the appearance of a microwave pot of pasta so I thought the taste may let it down and really feel like a ready meal but it was absolutely lovely! Lots of sauce and so creamy with a strong, gorgeous pesto flavour. I think this is going to be a favourite and paired with veg it was very filling.
Snack: Salted popcorn Huge portion, fantastic tasty snack
Dinner: Lasagne, salad and green veg Again, really, really lovely. The portion looked very small but it was misleading! Especially once coupled with veg and salad it made for a really scrummy hearty meal. Very happy with my first day!!
Breakfast: Chocolate cookie Absolutely to die for! Really soft and gooey and I’d buy lots of these even if they weren’t ‘diet’ cookies! Yum!
Lunch: Ham and sweetcorn chowder, 2 slices of seeded bread, stir fry veg with 30g light Philadelphia The chowder was so thick and was packed full of sweetcorn, potato chunks and carrot. I couldn’t taste any ham to be fair, but it didn’t matter as it was gorgeous. It was my first day eating a soup for lunch and was concerned before trying it that it may not keep me going until dinner so I added some veg fried in Philadelphia and toast and ended up really filling. Another new favourite!
Snack: Salted pretzel sticks Yum yum yum! Did not taste like diet food at all, but instead had the taste of any bag of pretzels you’d buy in the supermarket. Excellent snack.
Dinner: Paella with 30g low fat cheddar and steamed veg This was a fraction too dry, but in hindsight I would cook for 30 seconds less than directions ask in future as my microwave is more powerful than suggested. The paella was really good though and I could really taste the tuna. Would definitely order again.
Breakfast: Apple and cinnamon porridge, skimmed milk A much, much better porridge experience than day one! This one had tons of flavour and I could really taste the cinnamon. I might even add some extra cinnamon powder on next time! Mmmmm! There were also tons of dried apple chunks with made the texture much easier for me. This one may have converted me!
Lunch: Tomato, pepper and cheese pasta pot with salad and veg This was great just as the pesto pot I tried was. Having said that, a tomato based pasta sauce will never thrill me as it isn’t my thing. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone with this diet and try everything on offer. Even as someone who’s not usually a fan of this kind of sauce, I thought that for people who do enjoy tomato sauces this pot was just as good as the pesto one.
Snack: Babybel light and oat bar with chocolate I wasn’t sure if I’d find the oat bar really dry and boring but it was delicious! It was very chocolatey and even had little rice crispy bits in which made it extra good! I’ll be ordering lots more of these next time. Very filling for a snack too.
Dinner: Chicken in black bean sauce, rice, veg and 30g low fat cheddar I’m not joking when I say the sauce in this dish was even better than the one at my local takeaway – and that’s hard to beat! My favourite dinner yet. Big portion and I couldn’t get enough of it. Can’t wait to have it again!
Breakfast: Chocolate cookie See above
Lunch: Large duck salad at the pub during a family gathering When on Diet Chef you should stick to the planned food, but there will obviously be times where you’re caught out or have a family birthday meal for example like I did today. If you need to go off-plan, make sensible options and use the My Fitness Pal app to work out calories where possible. I chose a sensible salad during a late lunch at around 3pm. I was so full I didn’t need my snack or dinner which saved calories meaning I wouldn’t have gone over my allowance – so no guilt!
Breakfast: Vanilla and banana porridge with a banana Again, porridge isn’t for me and sadly I did think this one lacked any flavour. But as I learned from before, I added a sliced banana which made it a really good breakfast that I actually enjoyed.
Lunch: Tomato, bulgar wheat and cous cous pot, stir fry veg and a wrap As I’ve said before, tomato based foods aren’t for me. I gave it a whirl and I wasn’t a fan but that’s more down to me not liking this kind of flavour than the meal pot itself. For someone that enjoys a tomato taste I think it was OK but I would mention that I think it requires less water than stated on the pot.
Dinner: Sausages in onion gravy, 30g smash and cabbage Super super yum! The sausages were absolutely massive, really herby and had so much taste. The gravy was even better – a gorgeous taste of red wine and onion. Big win for me, this one – I’ll be ordering a lot of these next month!
Breakfast: Chocolate soft cookie, Babybel light This cookie is an absolute favourite of mine. Today I decided to phone Diet Chef customer services to see if I could swap my remaining porridge packets I have left for this month to cookies. They were so helpful and said that of course it wouldn’t be a problem. I offered to send the porridge back but was told that since it was my first return and due to the fact that I wanted to only send back 10 items, they would send me 10 cookies but that I didn’t need to trouble myself with posting back my unwanted porridge. Fabulous service! I’m very pleased to now have breakfast items I absolutely love for the rest of the month. They arrived within 48 hours too! Next month I’ll know just to order the cookies from the start.
Lunch: Pea and ham soup, wrap, salad, Chilli sauce This soup was absolutely gorgeous. Really thick and creamy and full of pieces of ham and unblended peas. A really hearty meal. I was very hungry so decided to pair it with a salad wrap.
Snack: Paprika flavour bites Definitely not the kind of crisps you’d expect from a diet! Usually low fat crisps are nothing but tasteless air but these are lovely. The texture and bite reminds me of Crinkly Cheddars.
Dinner: Pasta carbonara I found this OK, but carbonara isn’t a favourite of mine at the best of times. I found it quite sickly and next time would probably add a dash of hot water to thin the sauce a little. It wasn’t to my personal taste so probably wouldn’t order again.
Breakfast: Chocolate soft cookie
Lunch: Creamy pasta pesto pot, 30g low fat cheese, Leeks
Snack: Stem ginger oat biscuits, Babybel light The biscuits had a really strong ginger taste – I loved them. Very moorish!
Dinner: Vanilla flavour protein bar I wasn’t very hungry tonight so decided to have a lighter dinner. The protein bar is actually a lunch option and I did think I’d find it awful but it was surprisingly nice! it reminded me of a Mars bar without the caramel. Not bad at all! It was very filling and sickly so if I were to have this for lunch, I’d probably eat half and save the rest for later in the afternoon.
Overall I am thoroughly enjoying this diet! I feel like I’m eating real food and not missing out on anything whatsoever. Yes the portions are smaller than I’m used to but that is what happens when you are being taught how much you should be eating. One thing I have learned from this diet is how severe Western greed is. Before this, I would eat 3 or 4 times as much at each meal and think that was fine. It absolutely isn’t and is a real shock to learn the size portions should be in order to stay healthy and not continuously gain weight. A real eye opener
When dieting it’s very easy to crave chocolate or crisps, pasta and other carbs or ‘naughty’ foods but with Diet Chef you don’t miss out on those things, meaning no cravings or a need to cheat. I must say that when I start any diet I inevitably feel very hungry for the first few days as I’m eating less. I felt hungry for most of the week but I know this was down to pre-diet greed and that it would just take a little time for my stomach to shrink and adjust. Towards the end of the week I was pleased to find that I didn’t need to add so many extras, for example I’d choose a salad OR veg – not both. This showed me that I was getting used to how much I should consume and was no longer feeling starving between meals which was one of my main aims at the start.
I found that you do need to pay attention to the directions when it comes to the strength of your microwave. Mine is 900W OR 1000W I think, which meant that some foods such as porridge needed less time. I found if I left the porridge in for 2 minutes as stated, it bubbled over and overflowed making a mess of the bowl and microwave plate – but this was down to the strength of my microwave not the product itself!
At the beginning of the week, after I’d filled in my online profile with height, weight, amount of exercise I do, it worked out for me that I need 1200 calories per day in order to lose weight steadily. Diet Chef states a recommendation of 2 portions of dairy and 5 portions of fruit and veg each day. The meals provided add up to around 3/4 of your daily calorie allowance and it was my job to check the calories of my dairy and fruit veg to make sure I didn’t go over 1200. Some days I was over and some days I was under, but as long as you have a mix of both and aren’t always going over then it evens itself over the month and you should still lose weight just fine. It’s also up to me if I need some extra calories for alcohol or dessert, I can choose a lower calorie portion of cheese/milk/veg to allow for this.
If I’m honest, I did wonder how I’d find having to count calories myself as the reason I was drawn to Diet Chef was that it was all counted out for me meaning no weighing and keeping count. I soon found that I needn’t have worried! Diet Chef have teamed up with the My Fitness Pal app which makes life so much easier. The app has all the Diet Chef foods listed, so any time I eat I simply type in ‘Diet Chef pasta’ for example and immediately I’ll have a list of all their pasta foods and I just tap the one I need. This adds it to my daily diary and Bob’s your Uncle. I don’t have to work out anything for myself, which is exactly what I was looking for in a diet now that I have a young baby. The app also has all other brands and general foods too, so I can tap each item in quickly and see how my calories for the day are looking. If I’ve eaten a bit more than usual I can pick a lower calorie Diet Chef meal for dinner, or maybe a lower calorie cheese or vegetable so that I stay within my allowance. I now have absolutely no worry at all when it comes to keeping up with counting – this app does everything for me and so far have not lost count, gone over my calorie allowance without realising or had the stress of working things out myself. Brilliant!
So – you want to know the results of my first week?!
I’m very pleased to say that I HAVE LOST 5 LB!!
Start weight 13 weeks post partum: 11st 7lbs.
Weight after week one: 11st 2lbs
I’m on day one of my second week and am still thoroughly enjoying it! Bring on next week and more weight loss!