|Posted by Rob Woollen on March 13, 2010 at 6:04 AM|
Please read the results in combination with the comments on Diet Chef below. We did not achieve this simply by following their plan - we had to make significant adjustments. Here is how we stacked up over the 4 weeks.
Overall weight loss - 7.2lb
Fat loss -4.6lb
Lean tissue loss -2.6lb
Starting BMI -22
Final BMI - 21
Starting body fat - 13.6%
Finish body fat - 11.2%
Female friend - mid 30s
Overall weight loss - 8.3lb
Fat loss -5.5lb
Lean tissue loss -2.9lb
Starting BMI -26.3
Final BMI - 25.1
Starting body fat - 33.2%
Finish body fat - 31.6%
As you can see we have both lost a similar amount of weight and of body fat, so it goes to show anybody can do it -from a fairly sedentary worker to a personal trainer - and anyone in between.
Ideal BMi is 20-25 for most people so in just 4 weeks my friend has reduced her risk of metabolic disorders (such as diabetes), many cancers and heart/lung/blood vessel disorders considerably!
We lost almost twice the amount of fat as we did lean tissue. This is important as we are not aiming to lose to much lean. However a little associated loss is almost inevitable on a fairly quick weight loss programme.
The DietChef plan is flawed in that the calorie content of their packs is significantly lower than that stated. It is imperative that if you decide to use the plan you are aware of this and take steps to address it - otherwise you will end up losing only lean mass and hardly touching the body fat you really want to lose.
We realised that the packs come in at around 500 calories less than they are supposed to. So we made adjustments to ensure that we still got enough to eat. And the proof is there - it worked and we lost body fat. My final and overall recommendation is in favour of using Diet Chef as it does all the hard work for you. However it is vital that you measure the results weekly so that you can adjust as necessary.
I rated the food highly. Given that they are ready meals, cooked in 3 minutes in the microwave, I thought the standard was consistently high. The Italian Tortellini is a disappointment- it is a bit like Heinz spaghetti hoops. The chicken curry was delicious as was the beef in velvet porter. My friend enjoyed the meatballs (both pork and beef). Other dishes of note were the stroganoff and the chicken fricassee.
The soups are great. I do not like thin watery soups, so the chicken and thyme was a disappointment - however some people would prefer this to the thick stew-like consistency of the chorizo and bean and butterbean and carrot (both of which I Ioved!). For those looking for an in between - mushroom, parsnip and chilli or butternut squash might suit you best.
Breakfasts were very nice, granola is going to find its way onto both of regular menus! Snacks also were spot on, with a good mix of biscuits, bars, and crisp-type oatcakes. My friend remarked that she still felt able to have a treat due to these.
I am not a big fan of milkshakes with added vitamins as meal replacements, and think this is a bit of a cop-out as it is the only difference between the 1200 and 1500 plan. (This proves a point actually as the milkshakes contain 225 calories - surely you need 300 to make 1200 into 1500?)
I am still disappointed by Diet Chefs uneducated response to my issue with the calorie intake, but in general the plan has taken into account the need for calcium, fresh produce and sufficient calories to allow healthy weight loss. They need to get over trying to sell 4lb in a week weight loss as on their case studies and "success stories". The science behind this goes a little like this: --
4lb of body fat (remember that is the only weight we really want to lose) = 14000 calories. So to lose this in a week would require a calorie deficit of 2000 per day. Given that most people need around 2200-2800 per day, the only way to achieve this would be to only provide about 200-800 calories per day. This is just not right and will give rise to serious health issues. Diet Chef would do better to give people the amount of calories their plan says they do. I wonder how the "1200 calorie plan" is viewed under the trade descriptions act when it contains around 750.
The way forward
This plan is safe and very effective as long as you take in enough calories per day. Use the dietchef website to find out how many you should be having and make up the deficit in the grossly understocked packs by adding things like: -brown rice; wholemeal bread, wholemeal cous-cous, low-fat yoghurt.
If you want more details of exactly how to do this feel free to email [email protected]