Review: What you need to know about Dietbon’s diet ready-made meals plan

AD. Dietbon is a French plan of diet ready-made meals which has recently started distributing their food to Britain. I guess if you are considering this (or any diet plan) what you want to know most are: What is the food like? How much weight can you lose? Is it easy to follow? And how much does it cost? I was invited to have a weeks introduction to the diet to review it so this post is about how I found Dietbon.

A chicken, prawn and chorizo paella from dietbon meal replacement programme, a tomato, lettuce and celery salad on a dressed table
Dietbon Paella with a fresh side salad

What is Dietbon and How does it work?

Dietbon is a meal replacement diet plan designed to help you lose weight gradually and healthily while retraining you to have a better approach to food long term. The food is sent to you with enough for 2 slimming meals a day, a breakfast, a snack, a pudding (optional) and detox tea (optional). You get sent enough food for 6 days each week which lets you have one day off plan a week. This day shouldn’t be seen as a cheat day, but a chance to practice long term healthy eating habits and they provide recipe ideas in the "My Dietbon guide to success" guide which comes with your first delivery. The free day also gives you a chance to go out for a meal with friends or have a family meal.

Dietbon is a calorie controlled diet which aims to reduce the amount of calories you consume and to eat more healthily. Before starting your diet you get a phone call consultation with a dietician and you can speak to them each month for more advice. You can find out more about what happened in my phone call further down this post.

Lots of packets of dietbon ready meals, breakfasts and snack and detox tea ready to review for a week
A weeks worth of Dietbon food

Dietbon guide to success open on the page with information about the starter program and free day

What is the Dietbon food like?

The meals are prepared in a way that means they don’t need to be refrigerated and it can quickly be heated in the microwave. I think this is great because you don’t have to worry about fresh food that might go off, but obviously it has an effect on the food. I guess it’s a bit like aeroplane food, it isn’t for everyone, but I enjoyed the meals. They describe their food as 100% natural by which they mean there are no added preservatives, artificial colours, flavourings or sweeteners. The recipes are varied and have more interesting ingredients than some other meal plans I have tried. I particularly liked the range of beans and grains in many of the meals because it made them feel more substantial.

The main meals come in plastic containers and a cardboard sleeve so they can go straight into the microwave for heating or be tipped on to a plate if you are having one of the wholegrain salads. Alongside the Dietbon food you are expected to add a number of fresh ingredients to provide extra nutrients. You need to add in milk and low-fat or natural yoghurt (I used plant based versions because I am dairy free), a portion of fruit a day and a portion of raw vegetables or salad with vinaigrette. This gives ensures you get vitamin C which is killed off through posterisation in the cooking process and fatty acids.

I like that there is a snack (I chose the mini lemon cake), fruit and a pudding (I chose the compote which looks like baby food but tastes ok) as part of the plan as well as fresh vegetables so you get a good variety of tastes and textures.

Close up of Dietbon berry granola breakfast with fresh raspberries and dairy free yoghurt

Dietbon Salmon in soya sauce in it's packaging showing the food straight from heating for 2 minutes in the microwave
Dietbon meal straight from the microwave

What is the choice of food like?

You get to choose your own meals from all the options available. I chose my foods to choose ones without dairy ingredients and according to my tastes. It is easy to use the filter to remove certain options like dairy, egg or meat. There is a big variety so in my weeks worth of food I had 12 different meals (all without dairy). There were a few really tasty sounding ones I missed out on due to dairy like: chocolate pudding, cookies and Ravioli stuffed with goat's cheese pesto with a tomato and tofu sauce, but I was happy with what I ordered. 

Is the Dietbon plan easy to follow?

I tend to gain weight because I snack a lot and because I have awful portion control.  Dietbon for me was a challenge because the meals are smaller than I’m used to and it cuts out most of the snacking (although there is a snack and I added in a few more raw vegetables during the day when I was struggling). Following the diet for a week didn’t give me enough time to retrain myself, but I think by week 2 or 3 I would start finding it easier and by following the diet for several months there would be a real difference to my eating habits long term (as well as the initial weightloss). 

The diet plans I have followed in the past and lost the most weight with have been the most simple ones, ones where I haven’t had to think about food at all and just ate the meal replacements. While they are great for losing weight quickly, they are hard to follow longer term and they don’t improve eating habits resulting in the well known yo yo dieting. Dietbon has a combination of provided meals, but you still need to supplement it with other food each day and have a whole day choosing your own food each week. This makes it harder to follow, but should provide better results longer term. The monthly conversations with a dietician would also help.

My conversation with a Dietician

My phone call with Jenny lasted about half an hour. During the phone call we discussed: what I normally eat and drink, my activity level, the Dietbon plan and how it would fit into my life. While the conversation covered the programme it was generally about how to get my diet on track and eat better long term.

It felt like she really understood how hectic my life is right now thanks to having a baby and two other children. I spend my time just trying to make it through each day and Jenny recognised that what I needed to do diet wise short term wasn’t necessarily the same as what I would do in the future.  I am breastfeeding, don’t eat dairy and only eat eggs occasionally (and then baked in foods) which nutritionally causes a few challenges. At the moment I also often eat badly because I struggle to find the time to cook from scratch and things like chopping food can be a challenge. She gave me lots of great (affordable) suggestions of how I could improve my diet and eat more fruit, vegetables and protein. We also discussed how to reduce sugar (and artificial sweeteners) in my diet. Ideas included buying precut frozen fruit and defrosting a small amount at a time in the fridge.

At no point did I feel patronised or criticised although I know very well my diet and activity levels aren’t great right now. She made me feel better about this though and pointed out the ways I am active (school run, carrying the baby etc).

Snack time: A Dietbon mini lemon cake next to a booklet and mug of tea
Detox tea, Dietbon Guide to Success book and detox tea

How much weight can you lose with Dietbon?

Dietbon encourages weight loss at a sustainable rate. It expects people to lose between 800g and 1kg a week. Weight loss will be dependent on many factors including amount of physical activity, how well you follow the plan, what you eat on the free day and how much weight you have to lose. 

My aim at the moment is less about losing weight and more about eating a better amount of food so I wasn’t concerned with how much I lost in the week. I only had a very small loss, but that was because I struggled to follow the plan. I felt really hungry on the first few days so I cheated a bit, gradually cutting down so I was following the plan by the end of the week. I think this was a sensible approach, especially if I was following it long term because it meant I was eating less each day rather than trying to be very strict the first few days and then binge eating (which can sometimes happen with diets).

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on how long you commit to with the 4 months or more package as the cheapest. You can get a 15% discount with my welcome code and link below which means the 1 month plan is £76 a week (£304) reducing to £44 a week on the 4 month plan. The savings on the longer plan makes it cheaper than buying ready meals and you get the bonus of the dietician advice too. When considering costs you need to remember you will also need to buy fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt and food for the free day. You can include the desserts or detox tea in the diet for a small additional cost or you can have another portion of fruit. 

Dietbon isn’t a cheap option, but if you have tried reducing calorie consumption on your own and struggled this plan might be the investment you need to turn your weight around. Committing to 4 months would definitely provide an incentive to stick with it and obviously you can offset the costs against future shopping bills when you change your eating habits.

What did I think of the Dietbon plan?

I really like that this plan should have a long term impact on how people eat. Providing both weight loss and the ability to maintain weight loss. There are some great meals which are easy to store and heat up (just 2 minutes in the microwave). I love that you get to speak to dietician too. It’s not the easiest plan to follow, but it is easier than following a calorie controlled diet without support.

The plan is French and has only recently become available in the UK. There are a few niggles like occasional emails in french and a few words here and there in the booklet not translated, but nothing that is problematic. The dietician I spoke to lives in France, but used to live in the UK so there were no communication issues. I found the conversation with her a great part of the plan.

Kitchendiet detox tea which can be bought as part of the Dietbon diet
Detox tea is an optional part of the Dietbon programme

Special Offer

If you want to try Dietbon then click on my special link and use the code “WELCOME” to get a 15% discount and free 28 day Morning and Night detox tea.

***Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Dietbon, I received a weeks worth of food and payment for my time. All thoughts are my own***

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