A fairly popular dieting program, diet chef has been tried by many people, who have had a variety of experiences. This makes up over 200,000 people across the UK. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good choice, so with a focus on overall health, we’ll be answering the question: “Is Diet Chef Healthy?”.
The programs have a main focus on delivering meals with a controlled portion size. This is supposed to lead to less calorie intake and subsequently weight loss.
Is Diet Chef Healthy? A Truthful Review…
A Popular UK Delivery Diet Plan
- Overall Rating: 2/10
- Price: £199 – £245 per Month (Core Program)
- Best Place to Purchase: Their Website
- Customer Reviews: Mixed
- Guarantee: 14 Day Money Back Guarantee
What The Diet Chef UK Reviews Really Say…
First off, let’s address the results and experiences people have had with Diet Chef. This is a natural starting point and an accurate representation of the business and its diet programs.
Let’s jump straight into an overview of what people are saying…
On the website, one of their top pages is titled “Success Stories”. This compiles 42 stories from people who have followed there diets and managed to lose weight, ranging from around 1.5 – 7 stone individually.
This is a positive impact on people, for sure. It teaches its customers about portion control and not overeating. This is a great skill that can really help out in an overall healthy diet, preventing chronic effects, and even financially.
There are also positive comments on sites like Trustpilot, where customers are keen to speak about their weight loss results.Examples of satisfied reviews are from people having lost 4kg in the first week, 8lb in the first week, and even 3lb in first 3 days.
One customer mentioned “ditching the fat”, which reflects the diets emphasis on reducing fat intake as demonstrated in their “diet guide”. This reduces calories, but isn’t good for long-term health, as we will see.
On the other hand, there are also a significant amount of negative reviews. These include people discussing:
- Undesirable taste and flavours in the foods
- Orders getting mixed up
- Deliveries arriving broken
- Lack of flexibility
- Refunds and unsubscriptions not being dealt with
- Alternative recommendations
So yes, there are positives, but there are also negatives. Nutritionally, it’s not ideal and provides unnatural ingredients. We’ll talk about this now.
Does Diet Chef Work?
In short, it depends on what you’re looking for. The focus is on losing weight, but do you want to do this in a healthy and sustainable way? If you’re currently having “cheat days” quite often, the meals they’ll give you are generally better than a takeaway.
The program has helped people lose weight simply by reducing caloric intake, and saves people the time of making their own meals. The meals unfortunately not ideal for health, as we’ll see.
So if you’re looking to improve overall health, consider whether it’s better than your current practices, and think twice about this program. If you’re looking simply to lose weight any way you can, the program might help but you could save the money and simply eat less, and eat better. It’s your choice!
The positive aspect is that people don’t feel like they’re missing out, so it’s easier to stick to. For the most part, they aren’t missing out, they’re just eating smaller portions…
How Does It Work, and What Does This Really Mean?
We’re trying to answer “Is Diet Chef healthy?”, so we need to consider all of the fundamentals. Most importantly, what it does, how it does so, what it doesn’t do, and its effects on health.
Let’s start by acknowledging a root cause of weight gain: We haven’t evolved to eat the amount that many people do today. It’s a clear problem, and one that needs solving. At the same time, we have by no means evolved to eat much of the stuff that people do! Our bodies simply aren’t design for it, which leads to to countless negative health effects.
One could lose weight and eat fast food if they consume a low amount of calories, and especially if they use them more. The thing is, it’s not sustainable, and will eventually become counterproductive as metabolic functions and the healthy roles that fat plays are interfered with.
Diet Chef works on this principal and delivers meals, recommending amounts to eat according to the BMI and caloric needs. By eating less, people on this program create a calorie deficit, which means that they burn more than they take in.
As a result, the body fuels is energy from stored glycogen and fat around the body, therefore leading to weight loss. It can be an effective strategy, but one that should be followed in the right ways.
Note: Restricting too many calories is counterproductive as your body will lead to weight loss at unhealthy rate, and will prioritise the storage of energy (as fat). Calorie-restriction slows down metabolism, so it shouldn’t be extreme and should be paired with exercise.
Diet Chef has a BMI calculator on their website and instead of catering portions for each customer, will recommend a calorie intake to help you lose weight.
Diet Chef’s Meals… To Eat or Not To Eat?
When it comes to meal choices, they give you a set of options for the plan you choose. Then you have the freedom to decide what you do and do not want to be delivered. They have vegetarian and wheat-free meals available, too.
Unfortunately, the food that they offer isn’t necessarily healthy. It may be healthier than having takeaways, but still contains unhealthy ingredients and added sugars. On top of this they recommend avoiding saturated fat, which is an outdated idea. In reality, this recommendation hasn’t been fully evidence-backed since it’s very origin.
Let’s take a look at some of these points…
Dietary Fat Is Not Bad! Don’t Be Misled by Carbs Either…
We mentioned earlier that the program focuses on reducing fat intake. At the same time, they emphasise a high carbohydrate diet (irregardless of activity level) and aren’t afraid to add sugar into their products. Along with this, a high intake of sweet fruits is (conventionally) promoted…
These approaches to eating have been demonstrated in numerous peer-reviewed studies and meta-analyses to have negative health effects. Additionally, other healthier diets often are more efficient. High-fat low-carb diets: (^)(^); Effects of sugar: (^); Keto:(^)(^).
Time for a little (well-due) rant! c:
You have been warned…
Note: DO NOT be misled – high-fat diets, even with saturated fat, do not cause harm or heart disease. The effects and their significance is determined by the types of fat consumed (^)(^). Whilst funded studies will tell you that high-fat diets are bad for you, there are many factors unconsidered, and conclusions are made from outdated beliefs. The “saturated fat as an unhealthy nutrient” myth has been dispelled many times (^)(^)(^)(^). These fats don’t increase cardiometabolic diseases, coronary heart disease risk, or clog the arteries. Studies have also used toxic oxidised and trans fats, and referred to their health impacts as reflecting natural saturated fat’s.
Saturated fats also play many important beneficial biological roles. These include:
- Improving heart health and cholesterol ratios (^)
- Aiding vitamin uptake and calium and other nutrient transport (^), as do other dietary fats (^)(^) – A variety of dietary fats, including saturated is often important for overall health (^)(^).
- Increases satiety
- Acting as antiviral and antimicrobial agents
- Provides beneficial fuel for energy and the brain
- Building and repleneshing cells
- And more…
Even the fats they do include have trans fats, which are harmful in many ways and cause enzymes to malfunction. The affected enzymes can’t send the signals to burn or transform fat cells. These toxic unnatural products can also create cascades of inflammation throughout the body.
It’s sad to see that so many “health” and weight loss programs still follow this conventional way of thinking. You can see the end of this post for my personal recommendation when it comes to a beneficial diet program.
Is Diet Chef A Scam?
The question “Is Diet Chef a scam?” isn’t difficult to answer. This program is not a scam in itself, as they do not claim to provide improve health, and simply focus on weight loss. The reason some people might believe it is a scam it’s because of negative experiences.
You might recall the stories of customers not being able to cancel the subscriptions or orders correctly. This reflects more closely the customer service and possibly ethos of the business rather than its diet. There is also a £50 cancellation fee for customers who cancel past the initial 14-day money back guarantee date.
If this question was in relation to “Is Diet Chef healthy?”, then it would quite possibly be considered a scam, and at least in poor interest. But for what the program explicitly states, it can help people lose weight and can provide value for anyone with such a goal. It undeniably does teach a lesson in portion control, which is a transferable skill that people may take on from the program.
So Then, Is Diet Chef Healthy?
In conclusion: not really. In fact it’s fair to say it’s far from it, unfortunately. Taken from a perspective view, it is a certain improvement in relation to overeating or eating a lot of takeaways / junk food. In that respect it can be considered healthier, but I still feel that it can’t be considered healthy overall.
Anyone overweight or looking to lose weight to maintain a healthy body mass can benefit from the program, however. Achieving this in itself provide health benefits and prevent risks, and therefore the program may help some people to become healthier.
It works on basic principles that can be applied to any diet, and are easy and cheaper to follow simply by eating real whole food in appropriate amounts.
I have explained my reasons for saying this above, at least partly. A big issue to consider is what is found in the food they provide:
- Lots of added sugar*
- Vegetable oils (sunflower, rapeseed, etc.)
- And unhealthy additives…
*Added sugar in literally every item I looked at apart from fruit and nuts mixes (snacks), which still have toxic oils. Sugar is included in chocolate bars, cookies, snacks, even in curries, coq au vin, and “Orginal Oats”!
This comes in “sugar”, “syrup”, and other forms.
Please, Take a Look for Yourself Here.
Added sugar has been linked to negative health effects in countless studies. It’s simple. Recently it has also been linked more directly to cancer than before. Furthermore, we have known for a long time about its influence in the causation of inflammation, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, impaired brain cell formation and function, epigenetic effects, and much more.
And about the oils? Today we can find these hidden toxins (trans fats) everywhere in pre-made and ready “food”. They have many similar harmful effects to sugar, but also their own harmful effects.
For example, as important enzymes tried to metabolize these trans fats, the fats actually stick to the enzyme and render them inactive. Without these enzymes, we cannot properly and efficiently metabolize fat cells. This leads to an impaired ability to store and burn fat, or even transform it into other cell types.
Anyone wanting to lose weight should consider this enemy number one, along with high amounts of sugar. Therefore, I really find it counterintuitive to add these into a diet plan with the aim to aid weight loss.
Really, losing weight can be complicated. Certain basic principles in diet, including mindfulness and portion control do achieve results though.
Therefore, I would recommend the people with this goal in mind simply eat Whole Foods and natural diet, maintain a calorie deficit (often recommended at 500 below your daily requirements), and exercise at least five days a week. Exercise can include moderate-intensity jogging, HIIT, going on long walks, and much more.
Doing this will efficiently achieve healthy results, save money, and improve your overall health. It takes the first “hurdle” but once you notice the benefits you’ll feel so much better and then it becomes easy to stick to.
Understandably, it’s the first hurdle that some people need help with, and never better diet programs than Diet Chef for this.
What If You Want A Fixed Program?
I believe that by far the best one that I’ve found is PlateJoy, (which I will review in an upcoming post). It’s a highly personalised program, and caters to all types of dieting. They create meals for a range of lifestyles and consider people’s weight loss goals and activity levels at the same time.
You can customise your carbohydrate intake, which is great for different diets such as low carb, ketogenic, and more. At the same time you can choose preferences for meat, so those with pescatarian or vegetarian or other beliefs can comfortably follow the diet.
I would highly recommend following a “Clean Eating” approach to the diet which will avoid processed foods and sugars. There is much more to talk about, as we will do. You Can Take a Look Here if you’re interested!
That’s All For Now!
Overall, I rate this service a 2/10. It may help with losing weight initially, but provides unsustainable and rather unhealthy diet programs…
Anyway, that’s all for this post. I hope to have helped you make a decision when it comes to this dieting program. Always consider your specific goals and whether anything you sign up to truly caters to them.
We’ve answered and analyse the details for those wondering “Is Diet Chef healthy?”. Let me know so if you have any experience with similar programs below!
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Until next time, stay healthy