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Which diet-meal plan is best for you?

Some wives of senators and congressmen resort to these choices to prepare for the Sona red carpet
/ 05:00 AM March 22, 2016
GRILLED tenderloin steak with mashed potato LEOM.SABANGANII

GRILLED tenderloin steak with mashed potato PHOTOS: LEO M. SABANGAN II

Investing in a diet-meal plan delivery service is now more affordable than ever, with some companies delivering at a weekly price of P2,000 or below, or about less than P300 per day.

But with a rate that low—P300 is about the same price you’d pay daily for fast-food meal budget—how are consumers assured of quality?


Losing weight does not just demand iron-will determination from dieters—there’s a science you follow if you want it done the acceptable healthy way.

Which diet principles exactly are these affordable diet-meal plans following?


Dependable brand

One dependable brand has been delivering diet-meal plans since 2006. Jill Ignacio Busuego, also known as Chef Jill, has been in the catering business since 1992.

At the height of the popularity of South Beach Diet, and for her brand, Delicioso, to find a niche, she decided to start her diet-meal delivery.

Since kicking off her project with the South Beach Diet, she has now expanded her menu to include Cohen, Dukan and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and has even come out with two of her own: Healthy Food and Calorie-Count meal-plans.

Chef Jill says she studied all these diets, even tried them herself over the years. Today she can whip up a meal plan in less than a minute for someone who wants to lose, say, 20 pounds.

NORWEGIAN salmon with rosemary and capers

NORWEGIAN salmon with rosemary and capers

“If you want to lose weight, there are principles to follow, a science behind these diets. These principles are especially helpful when you’re over 40 and your metabolism begins to slow down. Weight loss is guaranteed as long as you follow the program,” says Chef Jill.

South Beach Diet, more than a decade after the publication of its book, is still the first choice for many dieters.


Developed by  American cardiologist  Arthur Agatston, it promotes a meal plan that’s high in fiber, low-glycemic carbs, lean protein and unsaturated fats.

One of the come-ons of this diet, says Chef Jill, is probably its larger portion sizes.

As a chef, she says she has made it her mission to make sure her clients get the best experience possible while on a diet. That means everything has to taste good.

Since food is delivered the night before, it is prepared in such as way that reheating won’t cause the food to become dry.

Loyal following

A diet that’s winning a loyal following is Dukan. Made popular by Catherine (Kate Middleton), the Duchess of Cambridge, who slimmed down two dress sizes before her wedding day, it is a protein-based nutritional approach designed by the French nutritionist and dietician Dr. Pierre Dukan. (A general practitioner, Dukan was struck off France’s medical register in 2014 for promoting his diet commercially.)

“With Dukan, I lost 12 pounds in eight days. But some people don’t like it because it requires them to exercise at least 20 minutes a day,” Chef Jill says.

Cohen, the diet of choice of many celebrities, was developed by international specialist Dr. Rami Cohen.

Grilled chicken with shirataki noodles

Grilled chicken with shirataki noodles

It is an individually adapted weight-loss program based on age, blood test and gender. It’s a lifestyle program that measures food by weight, so that explains why people who do not like to be hassled with measuring would rather opt for the services of Chef Jill.

Under her service, food is individually tailored; each pack is carefully labeled with the client’s initials to avoid the inadvertent swapping of meal plans.

A chunk of Chef Jill’s clients are celebrities and personalities. Even politicians and their partners seek out her help. Come  State of the Nation Address (Sona) time, her kitchen gets extra busy preparing meal plans for wives of congressmen and senators who want to lose weight  to look their best on the red carpet.

Least popular

The least popular diet would be the extreme, overly restrictive HCG diet. The program requires injection of HCG hormone coupled with a calorie-restricted diet ranging from 500-800 per day. (In the United States, HCG, used mainly to treat fertility issues, has not been approved for over-the-counter use or weight loss.)

HCG is one of the most controversial diets, its critics pointing out that the calorie-restriction alone is bound to make anyone lose weight whether or not  he/she gets his/her daily dose of HCG shots or not.

Still, due to some requests, Chef Jill has this among her staples.

American spareribs with mashed potato

American spareribs with mashed potato

“It’s the least popular because HCG is so easy to prepare,” she says.

Chef Jill, who says she taught nutrition for a while, also developed her own Healthy Meal (meant for those on maintenance) and Calorie-Count meal plans (for those who like to count calories instead of measuring food by weight or size).

Delicioso also creates meal plans for people on special diets, such as those with gout, diabetes, hypertension, allergies.

“Each disease has its own list of food [that patients] can and cannot eat. We customize this following the principles that we already employ. Sometimes the nutritionist will give me the requirements, and I use that info to look for the most suitable diet,” she said.

Packages may contain nutritional information upon request. A typical 14-day meal plan costs more than P10,000, or about P600-P800 per day.

Delicioso, 0917-8223354 or 0917-5289628, or e-mail

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CHEF Jill Ignacio Busuego

CHEF Jill Ignacio Busuego

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