21 Oct 2014

Adding extra food to your Diet Chef meals...

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One question that often crops up among customers and people who are interested in our meal plan, is how much extra food you need to add to Diet Chef. So in this blog post, we take a closer look at all "the extras".

The Diet Chef food...

On Diet Chef you receive a daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack - this on its own usually comes to around 800-900 calories, depending a bit on your meal / snack selections.

To this, you add five portions of vegetables and fruit (less fruit and more veg is better), and two potions of dairy each day.

1200 calories...or more...

Your Diet Chef food, along with the fruit, veg and dairy, would normally come to roughly 1200 calories, and for many customers this is their daily recommended limit.

If you are allowed more than 1200 calories a day, you can have some additional foods (see the 'Extra foods' section below). The 'Free Profile and BMI Calculator' on our website homepage will tell you how many calories you are recommended to have each day, for safe and sustainable weight loss.

How much to add... 

So how much exactly is a portion of dairy, or one of your five-a-day fruit and vegetables?


A typical portion size of dairy would be:

  • 250 ml of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk (around half a pint)
  • 30 grams of cheese (matchbox size), or half-fat cheese
  • 125 grams (small pot) of low-fat yoghurt

Fruit and vegetables...

Fruit and vegetables vary significantly, in terms of calories, so it's best to have a think about what you want to add to your daily meals, then check the calories, to make sure you are sticking to your 'daily allowance'.

Fruit is generally higher in sugar and calories than vegetables, so be careful about adding too much fruit.

Pulses (such as kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, lentils) also count as one of your five-a-day. They are a great and inexpensive addition to your Diet Chef meals; low in fat and a good source of protein and fibre.

Extra foods...

Customers who are allowed more than 1200 daily calories can add some extra foods to their daily diet, in addition to the fruit, vegetables and dairy.

This could be anything from more fruit and dairy or a slice of wholemeal toast with breakfast, to some oatcakes with humus as a snack or  a bit of rice / pasta / potato with a dinner meal.

The main thing to remember with regards to extra foods is to try to make healthy, sensible choices as much as possible, and make sure you are sticking to your daily calorie allowance.

Our Calorie and Portion Guides... 

To help you figure out how much fruit, vegetables, dairy and extra food you can add each day, we have created some useful guides that you can download.

The Calorie Guide 

This guide contains lots of useful information about adding fruit, dairy and vegetables to your Diet Chef meals - as well as the calorie content of lots of extra foods.

Download the Calorie Guide here.

The Portion Guide

This is actually more of a handy infographic, providing a range of visual cues as to what represents a portion size in lots of different foods, along with the calorie counts for many common 'extras'.

Download the Portion Guide here.

The Diet Guide

Last but not least, we have our Diet Guide...this is sent out to customers in their hampers, and contains useful 'getting started' information - it's less detailed than the Calorie Guide, in terms of adding food, but includes some great tips and a week's sample menu.

Download the Diet Guide here.

We hope you found this helpful!

You might also want to... 

Check out our menu... 
Read our answers to FAQ's...
View our plans... 
Contact customer services with any questions you have...


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