If you fell off the January diet wagon, there is a fail-safe solution. No need to shop or chop, these fully-prepared ready meals are all calorie-counted and come delivered to your door, so that you can slim like a celebrity
Choose from a 1200 calorie or 1800 calorie a day menu plan, and you’ll get a fresh breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks delivered to your door, from £19.99 a day. They arrive in handy pots that you can easily put in your bag to take to work. Millie Mackintosh has tried it, commenting, “I lost half a stone in the first 10 days! I’m really delighted – the food was always delicious and filling.” Delivers nationwide, from £19.99 a day. www.balancebox.com
Honestly Healthy Fridge Fill
A champion of alkaline-eating, which is said to be the most healthy and beneficial diet (diseases thrive in acidic conditions), Natasha Corrett is the author of best-seller Honestly Healthy Cleanse. And you can sample her dishes through her Fridge Fill service, which delivers an alkaline diet plan of smoothies, soups, salads and stews to your door. It promises weight-loss of around 5kg if you opt for the three-week cleanse. Dishes are quite delicious – think steamed pak choi parcels filled with grated vegetables and fresh sprouted salad – and all are free from wheat, dairy, sugar and meat. High-profile followers of her method include Victoria Beckham, Robbie Williams and Melissa Odabash. Delivers nationwide, from £137 for three days. www.honestlyhealthyfood.com
With a array of options, all of which are free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar, this London-based detox deli, delivers fresh, cleansing food each day, before breakfast, with daily menus from 900 calories upwards – no wonder the likes of Elle McPherson and Gwyneth Paltrow are fans. Expect dishes such as butternut, fennel, green bean, orange and hazelnut salad or Malaysian spiced pumpkin soup, all beautifully presented. As well as three meals a snack and a pudding, each daily delivery contains an immune-boosting wheatgrass shot, supplements, mint tea and a pot of nuts and seeds – and a handy jute bag for transporting your lunch to work. The 1,500-calorie protein package is their most popular plan. Delivers across London, from £29.99 a day. www.detoxkitchen.co.uk
With an emphasis on weight-loss, MY Food deliver freshly-prepared meals to your home weekly (you can then freeze what you aren’t going eat right away), and can cater for 5:2 dieters, as well as high protein, vegan and halal plans. Dishes such as chicken with quinoa, edamame and avocado salad and sun-dried tomato hummus are not only flavourful, but also so filling that you may struggle to finish them! Gabby Logan, Caroline Flack and Kirsty Gallagher are all devotees of this extremely efficient regime – a recent dieter, Kerry, lost 22lb in eight weeks on the plan. Delivers nationwide, weekly plans start from £17.85 a day. www.myfood.co.uk
Everyone from Lily Cole to Florence Welsh and even Hugh Jackman has signed to Pure Package, for its gourmet healthy food that promises results. Whether you opt for the Detox and Cleanse package, Training Support, Weight Loss or Skin Health, each fresh menu is delivered daily and you get support and advice from a nutritional therapist, who is just a phone call away and also “checks in” while you’re on the plan to see how things are going. This luxury option is so delicious you’ll forget you’re dieting and yet one customer lost more than two stone on the plan. The service makes it stand out, with each client getting a personal consultation and a tailored diet accordingly. “If we knew you were very stressed, for instance, we might include an extra evening snack as your cortisol levels will be higher and you may have trouble sleeping,” explains Frankie Ross-Smith.
Breakfast might consist of tomato, avocado and cottage cheese on organic rye bread, lunch could be a Thai chicken noodle salad with shitake mushrooms and coconut rice noodles, while suppers include coriander and lime marinated kingfish with black bean salsa. Delivers across London, from £29.95 a day. www.purepackage.com
Supported by a team of nutritionists. Soulmate Food’s diet regimes focus around different goals, including sports performance, weight loss, low carbs, and an alkaline detox. Imaginative menus include the likes of Cajun chicken and seabass curry, which are delivered fresh twice-weekly. Their Sportskitchen department creates performance-led menus for all sports disciplines, including athletes, professional boxers and Premier League footballers. Fans include The Saturdays, Pippa Middleton, Zoe Ball and the Olympic Team GB. Their Paleo menu launched at Christmas and has already become one of the most requested plans, with Mel C and Michelle Keegan both trying it. Later this year you’ll be able to buy the meals at Virgin Active gyms, and their book, Fitness Gourmet by Christian Coates, launches in the spring. Delivers nationwide, weekly plans from £99 a week. www.soulmatefood.com
Top tips to get the most from a delivery-diet
Avoid calorific coffees and wine
Lots of people forget to add drinks to their daily calorie tally, but a glass of wine has more calories than a donut, and a daily milky full-fate latte would add a pound to your waistline in a week if you don’t include it as part of your daily calorie allowance.
Make space in your fridge, freezer and cupboards
Some services deliver every morning, but many do a twice-weekly “drop” so you’ll need to clear a lot of space. It’s worth getting rid of those tempting items like ice cream, biscuits and crisps any way, so that you stay on track.
Get a lunch bag
Most companies provide a cold lunch and snacks that you can easily take to work and eat without any prep needed, so get a lunch bag and take everything you need with you. Repeat after us: step away from the Pret/Eat/Greggs.
Clear your diary
Of course, we’re not saying you can’t go out, but if you want to get the most from your diet, a trip to Pizza Express (one pomodoro pesto romana pizza has 1150 calories and 60grams of fat!) probably won’t help.
Focus on your goal not your weaknesses
Don’t dwell on feeling hungry or denying yourself, instead visualise how good you’ll feel at the end and why you’re doing this. When you have a craving, sip some water or herbal tea and remind yourself that you deserve to feel better about yourself! If you can’t resist the urge to snack, stick to fruit and veg, or a handful of nuts or seeds.
This article appeared in Metro on 5 February 2015
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