Is Diet Chef Healthy? Honestly, You’d Be Surprised…
September 28, 2019
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;
- Unclean foods – you’re not cutting out all of the processed junk.
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 calcium 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 replenishing 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.
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 (or Read This Review to Learn More)!
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!
If you enjoyed reading this, why not Have a Read of Our Other Articles where we cover topics such as recipes, healthy foods and lists, ethnic cuisine, and more!
Until next time, stay healthy
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10 Replies to “Is Diet Chef Healthy? Honestly, You’d Be Surprised…”
I live in the UK (Wales) and I have heard about, and seen adverts on Diet Chef on numerous occasions – I was under the impression that it was a decent and popular product…turns out I was probably wrong with this opinion!
For me the 14 Day Money Back Guarantee is a slight worry, as a lot of these complaints you mention have probably happened AFTER a two week period of using the service. What do the owners do to combat this?
Ah, it is a popular program to some degree, so I expected that some people would have heard of it.
The negative reviews that you referred to are mostly on websites such as Trustpilot, and not the official website itself, so I’m honestly not very sure about what they do to overcome this issue.
However, I am aware that in some of their replies to people mentioning for customer service on Trustpilot, they mentioned that they have newly trained customer service staff since then. Hopefully this has made a difference for customers.
Thank you for the question, it certainly is important to think about…
Well, thank you for clearing that up for me. When I saw that they didn’t try to restrict carbs I was a little confused. When I consume carbs I put weight on quickly. People are often mislead on “Fats”. When I see low-fat foods I have to remind myself that some things are necessary. Thanks for this very informative article. I have decided not to join that Diet Chef. I would rather eat food not just geared towards weight loss but food that is geared towards my whole health.
Thanks for your comment, Marie, I totally agree that eating food give towards one’s whole health trumps targeting weight loss alone.
An important note on carbohydrates is that everybody reacts differently. This depends on internal factors such as genetics and any conditions, but just as much so on the amount and type of carbohydrate and the general activity level of the person. Diet Chef unfortunately don’t seem to pay that much attention to these factors, especially the type of carbohydrates.
Including healthy fats in one’s diet is essential for good health, and I have many protective properties, including in metabolism and your appetite!
I’m glad I could help!
Very interesting article. I am a diabetic type 2 and I feel like ranting all the time too whenever people tell me I should not eat saturated fat! You are so correct, it is the biggest and most dangerous myth in the history of heart diseases.
People should realize that saturated fats are not the cause for high cholesterol. But what makes saturated fats dangerous is when you use them in addition with added sugar and high levels of the insulin hormone.
When we stuff our mouth with sugar day in day out, we cause insulin spikes that tells our body that we are busy saving up for our winter sleep… This is an analogy with bears that eat lots of fruit and sweet things (honey) right before they go into winter sleep.
Insulin tells our body to use as much of our intake as possible and store it as fat, this includes causing visceral fat which is obviously very bad. The body will prefer to store our slow burning energy which typically will come from saturated fat intake while it uses fast burning energy for short bursts of activity like eating and digesting.
So it is always good to read posts that confirm that saturated fats are not the EVIL that so many people claim it is, it is the sugar you eat that makes them dangerous. So cut out excessive sugar and teach your body to burn your fat instead 🙂
Thanks a lot for allowing me this rant :p
Hi there Tom, thank you for sharing your experience on this matter!
(P.S. Feel free to skip this long text, I definitely agree with you, there are some great points. James.)
I know exactly how you feel, and honestly it’s upsetting to think that a lot of people still believe that saturated fat is bad for us. It has been a fundamental building block of our entire human evolution, as far as archaeological experts and nutritionists agree, and it also plays many important roles in the body.
In the past, it is very likely that meals (especially large ones) could have been far and few between at times, so it makes sense that our body has a function for storing energy in the way it does.
However, times have changed and so have our diets, and it’s undeniable that sugar is found in way too high amounts in many cases to have the functions that it once used to.
It’s important for people to learn that fat is stored as energy in different ways, as you mentioned. Glycogen is the form from carbohydrates which most people will be familiar with. More energy dense (but slow releasing) forms of body fat come from fat in the diet. We can see how these two have naturally been useful tools for our survival.
Overeating, and especially with refined carbohydrates and sugars has had a drastic impact on modern health. So let’s keep pushing back so we can truly appreciate and understand and follow so a more natural lifestyle and diet!
Interestingly, some of sugar’s other harmful effects are boosted by trans fats, but that’s a story for another time!
Thank you for speaking with us all! This is an interesting topic,
Good afternoon James,
It is good to read your post so one does not get fooled into thinking Diet Chef is your salvation.
When looking at the numbers, 200.000 people in the UK, one gets the impression this is good. Even if it is sensible to eat smaller portions when I saw what this “food” consists of I for sure would not like to try it. Their meals are not healthy, no doubt about that. Too much sugar, trans fats, and additives, not for me thank you.
I will stick to my healthy food which includes extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds, and in general, eat as close to nature as is possible.
Doing a good detox and a fast now and then will be a lot healthier and also cheaper.
Good afternoon, Taetske!
It’s good to know that this post has helped in considering what makes a more natural and healthy approach to weight loss, not just considering portion also what’s actually in that portion!
I like the sound of your healthy food, it seems to share some great foods that I myself enjoy quite often as well!
I appreciate your comment! Best of luck,
Hi James, thanks for this very insightful article. I am really pleased that you have highlighted this interesting concept on weight loss. For decades we have been told to avoid fats and stick to a low caloric diet which in fact is more harmful than healthy.
For almost twenty years, I have been a victim of weight loss problem. I have tried basically every weight loss program I could access but my weight was always uncontrolled; more like a roller coaster ride as i would lose then gain and the cycle went on; until in 2017 when I decided to do thing differently.
I did my own research by reading and comparing information, then I decided to join a weight loss management program. I quickly learned that incorporating foods from the various food groups is importantly necessary and portion size is even more important.
When all is said, there is really no magic to weight loss, the bottom line is a balanced diet and exercise. I managed to control and maintain my weight since 2017, and could not be feeling any better.
Hi there Mazie! What an inspiring story, thank you for sharing that, it means a lot.
Firstly, I’m sorry to hear that you went through that weight loss problem, which as for many people was influenced a lack of information being spread about what a healthy diet really means. It can be a jungle out there, which is why I’m always motivated to continue writing and helping!
Secondly, I’d like to congratulate you on your accomplishments! It’s awesome to know that you found what works for you. It’s not always an easy path, but when one does some proper research they can apply that knowledge effectively, just as you have. And the result is always worth the effort! 🙂
Keep up the great work, and best wishes for the future.