Everything you need to know about diet programs in 2023 is right here …
I don’t care what anyone says, eating healthily and dieting, takes time. Put it this way: It takes longer to prepare a nutritious home-cooked dish, than it does to say .. stick some chicken nuggets in the oven or grab a take-away. And with kids in the mix who are not following your diet regime, is can be almost impossible for modern day mums to kick the cals.
Enter the wonderful world of diet programs which make ‘eating right’ so damn easy that we have no more excuses. Except maybe one: Which weight loss program is the best?
Well, to cross that final excuse off your list and to get you happily dieting, we’ve prepared a list of the best and easiest diet programs for busy mums. After all, anything that saves time AND makes us thinner has got to be a winner.
Or, if shakes are more your thing? See: Top 10 diet shakes on the market right now (with specials).
Ready-made Food Diet Programs
Using a ready-made meal delivery service is the easiest way of all to diet. Simply pick your food online, receive your delivery, heat it up and serve … in the plastic container if you like, no judgement here. There are differences though. Some are fresh, some frozen and different ones cater to different diets and of course, different budgets. Here is our overview of ready-made food diet programs.
The recently rebranded WeightWatchers (WW) is the maker of the “#1 best diet for weight loss 9 years in a row,” according to U.S. News and World Report, so they must be doing something right. Everyone knows someone who has lost weight with WeighWatchers.
Besides offering personalised diets/meal plans created by nutritionists for those who are actively losing weight, WW is for anyone who wants to build healthy habits. Weight Watchers (WW) Healthy Kitchen is perfect for busy mums who want to prepare healthy meals but don’t have the time. Created by chefs and nutritionists, WW Healthy Kitchen’s ready-made meals are balanced, protein-packed, gluten free and without added sweeteners, artificial flavours or preservatives.
One downside of this diet program is the lack of delivery option. At this time, you can only buy ready-made meals at Woolworths or the Woolworths online shop. We have our fingers-crossed this will change soon and in the meantime you can buy direct online.
For more about Weight Watchers see: Weight Watchers: A review from a user in Australia.
Box types: Meals for 1 person (400g per box)
Price range: Starts at $3.25 per 320g box, WW membership starts at $42.50/month
Pros: Chef and nutritionist-prepared healthy meals
Cons: The selection is quite limited (6 lunches and dinners) and there is no home delivery service at this time.
SPECIAL: Get Up to 50% Off
Be Fit Food
Be Fit Food’s science-backed weight loss programs are designed for people looking to shed kgs fast or maintain their weight loss.
Created by a nutritionist and a doctor, the program is based on a ketogenic diet that restricts carbohydrates and relies on fats for energy. Whether you choose the rapid, gradual or maintenance program, it’s safe and effective if you stick to it.
We particularly like that you get to eat less processed foods and more veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, lean meats, and healthy fats. No bars or shakes here, just healthy meals and reduced calories based on your weight loss goals. They also have healthy snacks, kids’ meals, and bundles if you just want healthy meals delivered.
Box types: Meals for individuals, couples and families
No. of meal kits per week: 7, 14 or 28
Delivery area: Australia wide, see full list here.
Price range: From $94.95 (7 meals) per week
Pros: Tasty and filling meals, great meal variety, dietitian-designed meals
Cons: Very restrictive calorie intake for rapid/gradual weight loss may not be sustainable for a lot of people
SPECIAL: Sign up to Be Fit Food for exclusive rewards
A Life Plus
A Life Plus offers meal plans and individual food items to choose from whether you're looking to lose weight or simply need meal planning easier.
If you're concerned about the quality of ingredients in your meals, we love its focus on real fresh foods. A Life Plus promises that every meal is made with clean and non-GMO ingredients. There are also different meal plans available: ketogenic, NDIS, plant-based, gluten-free, alkaline, and organic.
It comes with a diet calorie calculator which will guide you on the best meal plan to meet your goals. Then, you can choose among 900-, 1200-, 1500-, and 1800-calorie meals for the ketogenic plan. Having these options give individuals the choice whether they want fast changes or take it slow and steady.
Box types: Meals for individuals
No. of meal kits per week: 3, 7, 14 or 28
Delivery area: Australia-wide except Darwin and Perth, see full list here.
Price range: From $78 for 3 days (6 meals)
Pros: Options for keto, NDIS, gluten-free, plant-based, alkaline, and organic + You can choose between standard and organic ingredients
Cons: Website is confusing and there's no discount for large orders
SPECIAL: Share your success story for a chance to win 2 weeks of free meals + Free shipping for orders $50 and up
My Muscle Chef
My Muscle Chef is a fairly new ready-made food delivery service, but it has already established a loyal following. We notice that their growing fans love their clean, high-protein meals and meal plans that meet a range of dietary requirements.
They have it all! High-protein, low-carb, low-calorie, keto and even vegan options as well as fixed meal sets for couples. Their goal is provide great-tasting nutritious meals for active and busy people, from bodybuilders to working mums.
The meals are great value for money and perfect if you’re a time poor mum on a weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey.
Box types: Meals for 1 person and couples
No. of meal kits per week: As many as you like
Delivery area: Australia-wide, See full list here.
Price range: From $10 per meal, meal plans and fixed sets from $110 per week
Pros: High-protein meals for active people, excellent meal variety, no additives or artificial flavours
Cons: People with bigger frames may need to supplement the meals with snacks
Clean eating for weight loss is effortless thanks to Macros, a meal delivery company specialising in fresh, healthy meals made from whole food ingredients. We have to add that there is something about the black packaging that makes the meals look super yummy.
Each meal is designed by a dietitian and prepared by a chef so you can enjoy what you’re eating even if you’re on a diet. Their menu selection is pretty impressive, with high protein, plant-based, gluten-free, nut-free and dairy free meals on offer, and apparently all under 350 cals.
Simply choose your diet goal/meal plan (weight loss, sculpt, balanced, etc.), number of meals per week (the more you order the cheaper it gets, which we love) and you’re all set.
Box types: Meals for 1 person and families
No. of meal kits per week: As many as you like
Delivery area: Australia wide
Price range: From $81.20 per week ($9.65 per meal) for single meals
Pros: High protein dietitian-designed meals, excellent meal variety, fresh ingredients without additives
Cons: Portion sizes may be too small for very active people or those building muscle
SPECIAL: Sign up for emails to get $20 off your first order
Further reading: MACROS User review with latest special.
Which weight loss program is the best?
Dr. Sanford Siegal's Famous Cookie Diet
Cookies to lose weight? Yes!
This is a really great option for the sweet toothers amongst us who hate to give up desserts and treats. Dr. Sanford Siegal’s Cookie Diet may be the right diet for you.
The Cookie Diet is a two-step weight loss plan that relies heavily on cookies to help you shed those kgs. It may sound bizarre but the concept is pretty simple: You are restricted to 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day. You get to eat nine cookies each day (60 calories/cookie for a total of 500 calories) and a healthy dinner of lean protein and salads.
This sounds almost too good to be true but we hear it works, so definitely worth giving it a go … especially as it includes nine whole biscuits every day!
Box types: Cookie packs for 1 person
No. of meal kits per week: As many as you like
Delivery area: Free shipping Australia wide
Price range: From $69.95 for a one-week supply to $539.95 for a 4-month supply
Pros: Great for short-term weight loss, affordable
Cons: Very restrictive, not recommended for people on a gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free diet
SPECIAL: Receive a $10 welcome coupon when you sign up for emails.
Youfoodz Weight Loss Food Program
Youfoodz is Australia’s #1 healthy meal delivery service (according to customer reviews) and they certainly deliver with a line of ready-made meals that are sumptuous, healthy and fresh, not frozen. Youfoodz aims to make healthy eating easy for everyone, and their ready-made meals are a great fit for the busy mum lifestyle.
One of the popular diet programs from Youfoodz is the 70/30. It’s a line of meal plans based on the premise that by eating clean, healthy meals for 70% of the week, you can lose weight and become healthier. The 70/30 plan comes in three variants: Starter (10 meals for 5 days), Classic (10 meals and 10 snacks for 5 days) and Complete (15 means and 10 snacks for 5 days).
You can create your diet program on their website, choose your favourite meals from an extensive list and have them delivered straight to your door.
Box types: Meals for 1 person
No. of meal kits per week: As many as you like
Delivery area: See list here
Price range: Meal plans from $47.45 to $89.82
Pros: Endless menu and meal combos, next-day delivery, fresh meals
Cons: Minimum order value for home delivery, meals are not frozen
Lite n' Easy
Anything that saves time and makes meal prep easier is worth paying for. Especially when you’re juggling too many things at the same time and desperately need a break in the kitchen. That’s where Lite n’ Easy comes in.
We love how easy it is to customise healthy meals for every night of the week. You won’t ever get bored, like you can with other weight loss programs, as they have over 230 ready-made meals to choose from.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier, Lite n’ Easy has a meal plan for you. We recommend the vegetarian option if you are trying to eat less meat. These meals were surprisingly tasty with just the right portion sizes, and the money-back guarantee is a great deal.
Meal plans: Full 5 and 7-day meal plans and dinners
Delivery area: See full list here
Price range: From $16.95 for combo packs, $85-$200 for full meal plans. Total price depends on chosen meal plans and delivery location.
Pros: Customisable meal plans with over 100 meals to choose from, money-back guarantee
Cons: Minimum order value of $49 for all deliveries
If your goal is weight loss with home-delivered meals instead of serving healthy meals for your family, we reckon Jenny Craig is a good bet.
They have different plans from simple breakfasts and lunches to meals for busy people, but their Max Up plan is a complete program specifically designed for weight loss. It’s based on intermittent fasting where you have your meals during a 10-hour period, then take a break for 14 hours.
What we like best about this diet plan is one-on-one coaching that makes reaching your goal weight that much easier. Your daily calories are based on your current weight and goal weight, among other factors. They also deliver prepackaged meals straight to your doorstep. While it’s not for everyone, the program is safe and teaches you healthy eating and fitness habits.
Meal plans: Simple, Essential and Rapid Results
Delivery area: See full list here
Price range: From $90/week to $194/week
Pros: Dedicated personal consultant, popular with diabetics, vegetarian options, wide range of low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium meals, pickup option
Cons: Prices tend to be on the high side, limited selection of vegan, paleo and keto meals
SPECIAL: Sign up for emails to be the first to hear about specials.
Weight Loss Programs with Meal Planning
The other option is to join up to a weight loss program with meal planning. These require you to prepare your own food following their guides. They make it super-easy, with some even going so far as to provide shopping lists. This is a more time-consuming but less-pricey option which lots of mums are loving. It also introduces new meal ideas and cooking techniques to your kitchen skillset which you can use even when you’re not on the program. Here’s our thoughts on some of the top offering on the market today.
CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet
Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) recently released their Total Wellbeing Diet program that’s grounded on years of clinical testing and the latest scientific evidence. Sounds clever? That’s because it is.
The goal of the Total Wellbeing Diet is not just fast weight loss, but sustainable weight loss and good gut health. It runs for 12 weeks and takes into account your behaviour and personality on top of nutrition and physical activity level in order to make healthy eating truly sustainable. The Premium Program comes with coaching sessions with a dietitian, unlimited phone support and cookbook.
These weight loss programs are unlike other diet plans in that there are no excluded food groups (yay), meaning you can eat whatever you want as long as the meals meet the macronutrient requirement, which is essentially higher protein and low glycemic index.
Meal plans: 12-Week Program and Premium
Price range: $199 for 12 weeks, $299 for the Premium Program, $19.95/month loyalty plan
Pros: Evidence-based weight loss, nutrition and exercise program with food and exercise tracking, shopping lists and meal plans
Cons: $19.95 monthly fee after completing the 12-week program
Noom is an award-winning diet program grounded on the psychology of weight loss and well-being and aims to change behaviours that keep us from losing weight for good. We like that it removes the diet stigma and focuses on healthy eating and long-term life-style changes, which feel more sustainable in the long-term.
Right from the start you get asked a number of questions about your age, height, weight and other information to personalise your plan. Noom tells you how long it will take you to reach your goal weight, but this is easily adjusted by choosing a calorie-restricted meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
Track your meals, calories and activity with the user-friendly Noom app and check in with your goal specialist about once a week. You can also share your progress/interact with other Noom users online.
Price range: Plans from $60 (monthly) to $199 (annual with upfront payment)
Pros: Personalised diet plan, flexible pricing, user-friendly app, psychology-based weight loss/healthy lifestyle program
Cons: Coaching needs improvement, may not work for everyone
SPECIAL: 14-day free trial
The ‘fast’ in the SuperFastDiet is more about fasting than speed, as it cuts down drastically on calories on some days of each week.
The concept behind this diet program is to eat like you normally would for most days of the week (up to 2000 calories for women) and eat reduced calories (500 for women, 600 for men) on the other days. The SuperFastDiet has three fasting methods (2, 3 and part-day fasting) that lets you enjoy your favourite foods without guilt whilst achieving your weight goals.
Subscribers also get multiple coaching videos every week, a personalised tracker and dashboard, and lots of recipes and meal plans.
Ease of meal preparation: 5/5, Easy meal prep with recipes and meal plans
Price range: $28 for the 28-Day Challenge
Pros: Comprehensive weight loss program with meal plans, recipes and private support group
Cons: Not suitable for a lot of people (type 1 diabetics, teens, pregnant women, the elderly and frail, and those with underlying medical conditions)
SPECIAL: 28 days for $1
It’s easy to see why Michelle Bridges’ 12-week body transformation (12WBT) weight loss program is so popular. At one point, it took Australia by storm.
This online fitness and healthy eating plan attracts massive crowds of people looking to lose weight and live healthy lifestyles. Once subscribed, you get access to meal plan options, tasty recipes, weekly shopping lists, exercises and motivational videos.
The plans are tiered for beginners (3 different beginner programs), intermediate and advanced users, so there’s something for everyone, even the busy mum. The program can also be customised based on goals, like pregnancy fitness, losing that post-baby weight, or becoming more active.
Ease of meal preparation: 4/5, There are multiple meal options, including cooking for one and time saver plans. Meal prep and food shopping can take a lot of time.
Price range: Starts at $159 for 12 weeks of meal and exercise plans or $19.99 weekly
Pros: Sensible meal planning and fitness program geared for long-term health and fitness
Cons: Tracking weight/fitness and exercising can be time-consuming
SPECIAL: Try 12WBT for free
The Healthy Mummy
Next on our list is The Healthy Mummy, the largest healthy eating and weight loss program designed specifically for busy mums. The 28-day weight loss challenge is the core of The Healthy Mummy and most of us know a friend-of-a-friend who has done it.
After signing up for a monthly challenge, you gain access to the program and mobile app for tracking progress. There’s no reason to get bored with meals as the menu and theme change every month. Besides a wide array of delicious and customisable meal plans, you also get thousands of recipes, home workout videos and an amazing national support group.
Ease of meal preparation: 5/5, bulk meal planning and budget-friendly recipes\
Price range: Subscription plans from $69 (6 month access) to $99 (12 months)
Pros: Affordable plans, nutritionally balanced meals, built-in workout program
Cons: Lots to digest and may be complex to get into for beginners