I was offered to try the meal prep service Dietlicious Australia, and here is why I stopped after just two weeks. All opinions stated are my own.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would've seen that a few weeks ago I started the 5.2 diet with Dietlicious. You'd also know that since then, I've been going out, and posting food that clearly isn't prepared meals. Here's why!
Firstly, what is Dietlicious?
The food is created using only locally grown, and fresh produce with no preservatives, no additives, and no genetically modified food. They are extremely transparent about what is going into your food (no secret herbs, and spices here!) with a full list of ingredients, and calorie count on each individual meal. The orders are all packed on Friday afternoons, and then delivered by Dietlicious drivers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Queensland 5/6 days a week to your door.
Dietlicious recommends before starting on one of their meal plans, to do one of their Cleanses: 3 Day, 5 Day, 10 Day, or Mens Cleanse. The Cleanse is exactly what it says: a meal prep to cleanse your body. The Cleanse has you consuming 3 meals a day totally 1100 calories, with absolutely no preservatives, no additives, no highly processed foods, no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, no red meat and no sugar.
There are 5 Plans you can choose from with Dietlicious: 1200 Calories, 1500 Calories, 1800 Calories, 5 Day Lunch & Dinner, and the new 5.2 Diet. With all the meal prep plans, there is a normal, vegetarian, and gluten free option.
When they approached to try the new 5.2 Diet, I chose the normal option.
What Is A 5.2 Diet?
A 5.2 Diet has you consuming 500 calories for two days a week, and 1800 calories for 5 days a week. This is supposed to get your body to burn the excess calories on your deficit days, and refuel you on the high/normal calorie days.
Depression And My Weight Gain
To really give you an understanding about how I tackled this 5.2 Diet, I need to take you back a few years. I was a skinny child, and a skinny teenager. Food was taken away from me as a method of controlling, or punishing me, and I was always told that "men only like skinny girls". Naturally, I was extremely self conscious, had a low self esteem, underweight for my age, had a terrible iron deficiency, and a skinny frame that was usually commented on ("wow you're so skinny"/"I need to lock you in McDonalds"/"You need to eat" etc etc).
Then I met my (now) fiance Albon when I was 15 years old. He helped me with my self esteem by always encouraging me, taking me out to eat at nice places, and bringing me to the gym so I could build muscle mass.
We've been training at Adonis Athletics which is a strength, and conditioning gym in Castle Hill. It surrounded me by people who knew about healthy eating, made homemade meal plans, competed in national, and international lifting competitions (like my fiancé does), were healthy, had strong looking bodies, that they balanced with a social life.
I finally got to a healthy weight, and a healthy mindset on myself.
But then I got a full time job at a place I no longer work. I never felt like I fit in there. Their conversations were about things I wasn't interested in, I didn't receive the mentorship I had been promised, I always felt like an outsider as I didn't look like them or share their interests. Every day everyone drank, went to the pub after work, and there was constantly snacks. The more depressed I got working there, the more I gained weight. I ended up gaining a fluctuating 6-10kg, leaving there, and working now at Koala where I'm a happy chap.
My Experience With Flexible Dieting: How I lost 8 KG
Fast forward to last year, I was determined to lose weight. I was in control of my body, and I knew it was up to me to fix myself regardless of how I had been treated.
With the assistance of my group of friends friends who we made from the gym, we started doing meal prep together, new shredding workout programs, and doing conditioning together to keep each other motivated.
I'm a food lover. I love pastas, bbq ribs, crispy pork belly, cheese cake, ice cream, and I won't say no to a bottle of Hennessy when we're at kae.
It was important to me to lose weight but also not lose the food I enjoyed in life. I didn't want anything bland that would make me hate eating because it was all the same meals every day.
So I practised flexible dieting. Through my coach at the gym, I found out how many calories I should be eating, and the split of macronutrients I had to consume in order to eat healthy, and perform the exercises that would help my body get healthy.
I didn't have to starve myself. I didn't have to remove the my favourite foods. I just learnt to track what I ate through the app My Fitness Pal to make sure I ate the right meals, and portions of meals to get the macronutrients I needed.
I made healthy alternatives to the food I was consuming. For example, for dessert instead of having a scoop of vanilla ice cream (201 calories), I could eat a whole bowl of Diet Aeroplane Jelly (7 calories) with a quarter cup of blueberries (21 calories).
I balanced my new diet with a daily hour of conditioning/HIIT, and 1.5 hours daily of a custom shredding program that focused on the main lifts (deadlift, squats, bench).
My results were quick. Within the first week I had significantly reduced the appearance, and feeling of bloating. Within 2 weeks, I had already lost 2.3kgs. Then within 3 months I had successfully lost, and kept off 8 kgs in time for our holiday in the Whitsunday Islands.
My Experience With The 5.2 Diet Through Dietlicious
To me, meal prep services are a lifesaver. They take out the time, and effort you would need to exert preparing your own meals while fulfilling their promise of providing healthy meals.
That's exactly what Dietlicious provided: meal meals without me having to think about it. The meals came veery Wednesday morning to my office so all the breakfasts, and lunches could be consumed at work then I just had to bring home the dinner.
Every day the meals were different. Dietlicious exposed me to so many flavour variations, and meals I hadn't even thought of. To be completely honest, I'm not a very adventurous food eater. I know what foods I like, and those foods are general red meat, salmon, or barramundi. I love spicy food, and the thought of consuming boiled chicken during a diet turns me off.
And that's why my experience with Dietlicious was amazing. The main meat in each meal were prepared with an abundance of flavour. There was never a dull moment for my taste buds, and I was genuinely excited for the meals the next day brought.
My favourite breakfast by far was the vanilla, honey, mango, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa porridge. It was a small portion but extremely filling. My favourite lunch was the beef burrito (I know!!), and my favourite dinners were by far all the salmon ones (yes there were multiple).
The weekly food were all stored in the freezer, defrosted in the microwave, and then I usually cooked the lunches, and dinners using the stove or oven.
Every day my coworkers would remark that my food smelt delicious, and when I told them the ingredients they stated it sounded incredible. Whenever I discussed with my fiancé how many calories there were he would be amazed how small the calories were even though I was full.
But no matter how good my experience with Dietlicious was, it impacted my work, and social life.
Dropping down to 500 calories for two days every week left me lethargic at work, and in the gym. I felt easily irritable on low calorie days, and while I felt energised the first week of 500 calorie days at the gym, I could only muster to do cardio on the second week those days.
Thank goodness I have a flexible workplace as during the 500 calorie days I chose to just work from homes I could just sleep when I was hungry afterwards instead of face my commute.
Due to having obligations as a blogger, I had to break my diet several times for collaborations I had booked way in advance that involved food (high tea for example).
I get invited to influencer events, and opportunities, and unfortunately I had to keep turning them down so I wouldn't have to break the 5.2 diet again. But after the third opportunity I turned down in one week, I realised this wasn't for me.
As much as I enjoyed my experience, and was excited to see what long term changes I could've experienced, it impacted my other obligations, and opportunities.
Now I'm back to flexible dieting in combination with daily lifting, and conditioning. But most importantly, I'm happy.