Is ‘diet’ a dirty word?

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Many of us have dieted at some point to try to lose a bit of weight or to make ourselves more healthy.

And how many of us have tried a crash diet to prepare for a holiday or to fit into a special outfit for an occasion?

Dieting often means heavily restricting or eliminating certain food types, denying the body of essential nutrients that help us to stay healthy. But is this really a good idea?

Many dietitians will tell you that going on restrictive diets will not help long term: even though people can lose weight, either quickly or over a few months, some experts believe that as many as 90% regain that weight (and even a little more) when they have stopped dieting and returned to their normal regime.

Why don’t diets work?

  • We get bored of the restrictive options
  • We don’t like the foods we think we have to eat to lose weight
  • We don’t follow the diet closely enough anyway
  • We don’t eat enough
  • We may not get the full complement of nutrients we need

Fad diets are particular culprits. The diet industry is worth about £2 billion in the UK alone – from the cabbage diet to juice cleanses and everything in between, these usually promise quick weight loss, but the pounds lost are more about the ones in your purse.

One thing is for sure: there’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.

Healthy balance

What we all need is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take exercise. While diets have their place, particularly if directed by a medical professional, there are common sense ways to maintain a healthy weight, which we all know is better for our health.

This means enjoying a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and eating less saturated fat and fewer processed sugars.

It should be easy, but many of us find it hard because of our busy lifestyles, perhaps shift work causes complications, or there is a lack of cooking facilities.

We’re not all dietitians, but thankfully, our experienced chefs have done the hard work for you.

Each of our frozen ready meals is nutritionally balanced to ensure that you can enjoy lunch or dinner without having to worry about what is in the food.

We have thought carefully about how our ready meals can fit into busy lifestyles and provide the nutritional balance required to keep you healthy. Of course, we understand that some people need to reduce their calorie intake if they want to achieve weight loss in a healthy and manageable way.

This is why we have 36 dishes that are lower in calories, but deliver plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can keep you satisfied and, importantly, do not make you feel deprived so you reach for the biscuit barrel.

You might be surprised when you see our under 500-calorie frozen meals as they certainly don’t feel like diet foods!

For us, creating delicious low cal foods doesn’t mean restricting, or worse, eliminating, food groups that our bodies need.

It’s about creating a gourmet experience that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry. The only things missing from our under 500 calorie meals are false promises about rapid weight loss and nasty additives! Oh – and because they are frozen, ready to eat when you are, there’s obviously not a limp lettuce leaf in sight.

Our seafood paella is packed with rice, prawns, mussels, chorizo and peppers. The smoky tomato sauce is flavoured with smoked paprika, white wine and lemon – and yet a single portion comes in at 423 calories and provides healthy amounts of carbs, protein and fat. Just pop into the microwave, following the instructions on the pack, and you’ll soon be enjoying a taste of Spain.

If you want to continue your Iberian experience, how about this Catalan-style chicken stew? This ready meal can be cooked in the oven or microwave and is made with diced chicken breast, which is mixed with protein-rich pulses in a white wine and tomato sauce, flavoured with chorizo, smoked paprika and basil. Per serving, this gourmet ready meal, delivered to your door, is just 346 calories and packs in 31.4 grams of protein.

Our menu also has frozen ready meals that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

How about tucking into our flavourful Keralan red pepper and cauliflower curry? As delicious as home made, this ready meal cooks the vegetables in the most fragrant coconut sauce with curry leaves and mustard seeds. It’s just 339 calories per serving – so you can add a side dish of fluffy basmati rice (231 calories), taking you to 570 calories for a satisfying dinner that will fuel your body.

Who doesn’t love cauliflower cheese? Our twist on this classic dish – the Croxton Manor cheese and cauliflower bake with walnut crumb – is an indulgent dish that comes in at 435 calories.

This hearty frozen ready meal combines cauliflower with a creamy bechamel sauce and four types of cheese (who says you need to cut out cheese if you are reducing your calorie intake?), leeks and mustard before being topped with a delicious walnut crumb. Free from artificial flavourings, colours and preservatives, this will be a family favourite.

If you want to buy a bundle of 12 frozen ready meals that are delivered to your door, you can also opt for our meals bundle, which at just £52.99 means you can enjoy almost a fortnight of nutritious, low calorie meals – that’s just £4.41 per hassle-free dish.

Five tips to eat healthily

Eat a rainbow: this means eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day).

Think thirds: one third fruit and vegetables; one third carbohydrates (wholegrain versions, if possible); and one third lean protein and reduced fat dairy.

Watch your portion size: be mindful of what a portion size should be. How many of us have eaten something, then read on the pack that it should have served two or three people!

Drink plenty of fluids: water, unsweetened teas and coffees, low fat milk and even reduced sugar squash counts.

Reduce: saturated fat, sugars and salt.

Ready to order?

Hassle-free, nutritious ready meals, delivered to your door – what could be easier? As they are frozen, they can be stored away until you are ready to enjoy them. Simply pop them into a microwave or oven for the number of minutes recommended on the pack and then serve.

If you have any questions about any of our delicious ready meals, our friendly team will only be too happy to help and advise you.