We only need to take a look around at our fellow Brits to realise that lockdown has taken its toll on waistlines.
Now the weather has taken a turn for the better people are desperately struggling to get into shorts and t-shirts, so it’s little wonder that the ‘baggy look’ is big fashion news at the moment.
Losing weight is extremely hard at the best of times, but when panic sets in it’s nigh on impossible, I should know I used to be three stones heavier and a diet consultant for a national slimming organisation.
For that reason, I was curious to sample a new diet subscription meal service – Love Yourself – which has recently expanded nationwide.
Ready-made meals are delivered to your door and there are many diets to choose from – low-carb, ketogenic, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, veto and halal and that’s to name just a few.
I was sent several dishes from the low-carb range. There’s quite a lot of confusion about low carb. Many people think you can only eat below 50g a day to lose weight, but that’s the extreme ketogenic diet. Low carb is anything below the recommended 100-150g a day.
To put this into context, a medium-sized slice of bread is about 15 to 20g of carbs, which is about the same as a regular apple. On the other hand, a large jacket potato could have as much as 90g of carbs, as does one litre of orange juice.
According to Healthline, while there is no strict definition of a low-carb diet, under 100–150 grams per day is generally considered low-carb. This amount is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet.
You may achieve great results within this carb range, as long as you eat unprocessed, real foods.
But if you want to get into ketosis — which is essential for a ketogenic diet — then this level of intake may be excessive. Most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to reach ketosis.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t leave you with many carb options — except vegetables and small amounts of berries, which is where Love Yourself’s keto diet could be helpful in providing you with all the meals and snacks you need for a week.
I sampled dishes from the low-carb diet. Five days’ worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks costs £135, £121 if you take out a subscription, which apparently can be cancelled at any time. It works out at just over £24 a day.
So here’s what I tried. Lunch: Lamb and Feta Meatballs (506 cals, 14.6 cals), Lunch: Chicken Chasseur (517 cals, 34 carbs); Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Turkey and Cheddar (402 cals, 21 carbs); Dinner Shredded Vietnamese Chicken Salad (370 cals, 14 carbs). There was also a chia seed and berry smoothie and a Cinnabomb (cals 178,carbs 7), made with peanut butter, almond butter, pecans and cinnamon for snacks. All were from the 1500 calorie range.
My favourite was the Vietnamese Chicken Salad with grated carrot, courgettes, cucumber, Vietnamese dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, agave syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, red chilli peppers, ginger and garlic, with crunchy beansprouts and sunflower seeds. I could have eaten this delicious meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all week. I enjoyed all the meals without exception, although the chia and berry smoothie wasn’t to my taste.
The beauty of having prepared foods delivered to your door is that if you clear your cupboards, there’s no room for temptation. It also takes away the issue of portion control.
I wasn’t looking to lose weight, but I could see that it’s a great solution if you’ve got the willpower to carry it through and it’s super healthy using the best fresh ingredients. The site has dozens of meal options and there are four calorie options to choose from – 1200, 1500, 2000 and 2500, depending on your requirements or how fast you want to lose weight.
So, if you want an easy way to lose weight without much thought, give Love Yourself a go. You’ll be in those shorts quicker than you can say ‘low-carb’.