Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Review - Diet Chef

A couple of months ago now I was contacted by a company called Diet Chef, who were hoping for a review of their weight loss programme (the premise is that you pay for chef-prepared ready meals and snacks to be delivered to your door therefore controlling your calorie intake).  Now, I'm pretty happy with my weight, not ecstatically over the moon about it, but happy enough.  My husband, on the other hand, has put on a few pounds over the years and is always talking about shedding them.  So, when I told him about the Diet Chef opportunity, he offered his services.

We were sent a menu and my husband picked a day's worth of food to try.  All the food sounded yummy in my opinion and my hubby eventually plumped for treacle and pecan granola (breakfast), spicy tomato and beef soup (lunch), mild chicken tikka masala (dinner) and an apricot and orange bar (snack).  If I'm honest, that sounds like more food than I currently eat so I was pleased that my husband was trying this out instead of me!

When the food arrived I thought it was well packaged but I won't start giving my review as I wasn't the one doing the taste test.  Here's what my husband thought...


Breakfast: Treacle and pecan granola

I was a bit disappointed when I poured the cereal into the bowl and added the milk.  It didn't look like much of a serving and it was true, it wasn't.  But, I've never really eaten much for breakfast anyway, so found the portion more than enough.  It wasn't that tasty; it was quite bland but then again, it was pecan granola and it's difficult to make that taste any different. 

All in all, I felt this was what I expected it to be - no different to one of the healthier cereals available in the supermarkets.

Lunch: Spicy tomato and beef soup

By lunchtime I was peckish but held off having the soup until 2pm.  Now, being honest, I wasn't expecting much.  Although the packaging of the food is very good and looks very smart, it is at the end of the day soup in a packet, or even a thick sauce.  But, once I realised this is diet food and hey, the portion's are going to be smaller, I actually liked it.

It was a quick microwave job and once it was warmed up it smelt good and looked like an appetising soup.  It was tasty (I could definitely taste the beef) and compared to packet soups and even some cheaper brands of supermarket soup, this was nice.  It didn't fill me up, but I guess I'm used to more.

Snack: Apricot and orange bar

I had my afternoon snack at 4pm.  Again, it's difficult to make these types of bars any different to the hundreds of others available in shops.  They're all low calorie so you know from the outset you won't be getting a chocolate fix and there's no indulgence here.  It was chewy and fairly tasty. I like apricot so chose the right flavour and it was enough to fill a gap.

Dinner: Chicken tikka masala

Given what I do for a living and the hours I work (I'm a freelance broadcast journalist available 24 hours a day), I was still in the office when I had my dinner and I was really hoping for something substantial.  At first look though, in the packet, the masala didn't look great.  It looked like more soup, but I guess it's difficult to put chunks of chicken into a packet.  I felt slightly better once I had decanted it into a bowl though; the packet was deceptive.  There were pieces of chicken in there so I was quite looking forward to it and the curry was nice.  As I said, I was relieved it did have some chicken in there, but disappointed no rice found its way into the recipe.

Other than that, as a diet dinner goes, it was surprisingly tasty.


It must be difficult to make good diet food but I think Diet Chef has done a good job; the packaging on this was classy; the portions were to be expected; I'd say it was better than average in terms of taste; and the range seemed quite vast. 

I can't say I lost weight as I only did it for a day, and I'm not the kind of person who skips a meal and loses 4 pounds so I'd be lying if I guaranteed it worked.  If you can afford to do it though, and have the commitment to a weight loss programme, then I would say give this a go.  Don't be expecting Weight Watcher style dinners with lumpy potatoes and chunks of chicken; this is food in a packet that you can store in a cupboard and take to work.  But, if you get past that, it's probably better than you think.

Please note: My husband was given a day's worth of Diet Chef products in exchange for writing this review.  All opinions, as always, are 100% honest.


  1. Surely Diet Chef should have sent you guys enough of their product to be able to test the name and the claim?

  2. Hi there, funny I looked them up yesterday, I was intrigued as to what it was, I have looked before and was quite impressed.  I want to lose about another stone, having lost 1 following baby number 2 and think food & pilates is my answer. Find it difficult sometimes to get organised enough to eat healthily so thought I'd give this a go. I was looking forward to reading the results - but they only sent you a days worth. Shame cause it would have been good to do it for a month, looking at the variations they have as they look such a broad spectrum. Sorry not dissing your blog at all, just disappointed the brand didn't see the value in a month's focus on it.

  3. Or even better, do a proper experiment and get a group of people together, give them each a different weight loss programme to follow and see who loses the most weight after a month. What do you reckon? ;-)

  4. To be fair to Diet Chef, I think the aim of this type of review for them was to challenge the idea that diet food is boring or like taste-less cardboard. I did ask them if they wanted to do a longer trial but to be honest, it took me a couple of months to post this review so I'm not sure they'd want me to do anything more (huge, huge apologies again, Diet Chef peeps, I've just had tons of personal stuff going on!)

  5. Should also add that I didn't take your comment as you dissing my blog, don't worry ;-)

  6. Urgh, food in plastic bags... Funny that they only sent food for a day. It would have been interesting to find out how long your husband would have been able to go through with it...

  7. I think their main aim was to challenge the notion that diet food is boring or tastes like cardboard. I agree though that it would have been a good challenge and my husband would have definitely been able to write about whether or not he dropped any weight during that time - that would be a great endorsement of the product if it worked. I did suggest it to them and they said they'd think about it...

  8. people are more likely to buy their product if they can see it actually works. Think they missed an opportunity with you.


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