Health Fac­tory

Friday - - Living -

Tested by Fri­day chief sub-ed­i­tor Vic­to­ria Ether­ing­ton The con­cept: Cus­tomised health and nu­tri­tion pro­grammes de­liv­ered to your door to help you reach your re­al­is­tic fit­ness goals. The ex­pe­ri­ence: I’ve al­ways been a bit scep­ti­cal about food-de­liv­ery ser­vices. Main­tain­ing weight is about the bal­ance of calo­ries in, calo­ries out. Your waist­band is tight? Ease up on the choco­late and fit in an ex­tra spin­ning class. Sim­ple. But then I hurt my back and it was harder to get that bal­ance right. Calo­ries were go­ing in faster than they were go­ing out, and it showed.

Time to take ac­tion. I made an ap­point­ment with Health Fac­tory nu­tri­tion­ist Ar­chana Arora, who told me I was stor­ing fat around my mid­dle (a waist­band never lies) and that the Mir­a­cle 1,300 plan was the one for me. It’s de­signed for peo­ple who don’t (or can’t) ex­er­cise much, so sounded ideal.

She said I needed more pro­tein, so my meal op­tions took that into con­sid­er­a­tion. There were two choices for break­fast ev­ery day, and five lunches to choose from, plus a choice of two side dishes. For din­ner, again I had to de­cide be­tween two side dishes but three mains. Op­tions were varied and there were al­ways a cou­ple of veg­e­tar­ian dishes. The menu: No mat­ter how ef­fi­cient the de­liv­ery ser­vice, how knowl­edge­able the nu­tri­tion­ist, what re­ally mat­ters is does the food taste good? If you’re eat­ing only 1,300 calo­ries a day, each calo­rie had bet­ter be packed with flavour.

And they were. Sal­ads were fresh and crisp, the chicken was moist and tasty, the dal was de­li­cious and the fish was flavour­some. The In­dian dishes such as channa dal with rice and pa­neer jal­frezi with cha­p­atti stood out as par­tic­u­larly tasty. And the sweet treat was al­ways wel­come. Pros: The va­ri­ety of food on of­fer was a real plus. Fruit and veg­eta­bles don’t seem to stay fresh for long here, and to buy cheaply you of­ten need to buy lots. By the end of day five, even melon and straw­ber­ries can lose their ap­peal. But with this ser­vice, fresh varied sal­ads ar­rived ev­ery day, so I never got bored. Cons: You need to choose a month’s worth of meals at the start of the pro­gramme, so there’s no chance to or­der favourite dishes again. The re­sult: My waist­band told me I had lost inches and when I re­turned to the di­eti­cian to check on my progress, I had lost 2.6kg in three weeks. And that was with a weekend away thrown into the mix, when I had three days off the plan. Verdict: This ser­vice is con­ve­nient, the food is so tasty and the op­tions so varied, I signed up for another month. I can’t give a bet­ter rec­om­men­da­tion than that. Price and de­tails: Daily de­liv­er­ies for 26 days (ex­cept Fri­day) three meals and two snacks Dh2,950 per month. Call 04 347 3808 or log on to www.health­fac­tory.com.

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