Yahoo Lifestyle: A diet for diet haters

Signing up was pretty painless. I picked my plan and then glanced through the meals that are pre-selected. Mostly I left them as chosen by the system but couldn’t resist changing some of the options for ones that looked particularly tasty. I also decided to go for the middle calorie level of 1600, rather than 1200, which is the lowest you can go. As a cyclist and generally active person I felt that was too low to keep me on two wheels. If you’ve no clue, your profile will recommend you a level, depending on how much activity you say you do. Then I just had to wait for my box to arrive.

The insulated box is waiting on my doorstep when I get home from work a few days later, containing three days’ worth of meals. It feels a bit funny to see single slices of bread diligently wrapped in plastic sandwich bags (the toast part of Tuesday’s breakfast) and a small bunch of spaghetti wrapped in cling film. But there are also ready-made meals in plastic containers that look a bit more impressive, and pre-chopped and washed salads with separate pots containing the proteins – tuna, slices of chicken etc. It might have been the novelty but I had fun sorting the packets and containers into their individual days and felt positive for the couple of weeks ahead. There seemed to be plenty of food, nothing I didn’t like (although later it turned out I don’t like dates) and regular snacking was encouraged. There were even puddings (from flapjacks to mousses). I spent two weeks eating ‘on box’, spending a few days on each diet plan. I was looking to lose weight and de-bloat and my profile recommended I try the premier diet so I did that for a few days, then tried the Low GI, the Detox, the Superfood and the Flat Belly plans. If I’m honest they all felt quite similar. Superfoods contained a few more exotic options, but on the whole the plans all ran together in my mind.

So when you’re choosing which one, don’t get too hung up on the options. The best thing to do is pick the plan that best fits the outcome you want and just stick to it. They’re all calorie controlled to the same level so you should see similar benefits. For people who hate the idea of diets and messing around, this works really well. But as with any diet delivery service, or diet for that matter, the key is fitting it into your life. My partner was a bit miffed he couldn’t eat with me for two weeks but actually this didn’t pose too much of a problem as we could still sit down together even if he had to cobble together something for himself. Socially it’s a double-edged sword. Half the time I used the fact that I’m ‘on box’ as an excuse to avoid eating out and a reason I couldn’t accept that biscuitty snack going around the office or head out for a drink after work. But it also meant then when I did want to socialise, I was pretty limited. No one wants to be the loser sitting in a restaurant eating out of Tupperware do they? The only way to get round this is to remember that it’s for a limited time, and you have your goals to think about. If eating out isn’t a problem and you have more trouble at home picking at the fridge, I found this to be willpower in a box. If it’s not from the plan, it’s not allowed. It’s amazing how a simple, arbitrary rule can really help you stick to your guns.