I’ve always been of the opinion dieting and healthier eating just weren’t for me.
I love potatoes in ways that aren’t healthy for the body or mind, and have always prioritised my immediate enjoyment over any long-term effects the food I’m putting into my body might have.
I can’t hate on that way of life; I have had so many amazing meals off of the back of that philosophy. However, unsurprisingly, it catches up with you eventually, and I was left feeling unhappy with my body and wanting a change.
I’ve tried a few different diets before (some with much better results than others) and wanted something that was not going to see me spending my life chopping courgettes and stirring a big pot of cauli rice.
MuscleFood asked if I’d like to trial their Do The Unthinkable plan, which seemed up my street (apart from the overly aspirational branding, let’s be honest).
It starts at £60 a week for five days a week, or goes up to £79 weekly for no days off at all – that’s the one I did.
They send you all the food you’ll eat at the start of the week, as well as a DVD of workouts to do.
Food includes mostly protein porridge for breakfast, with three snacks a day, and microwavable or easily-made wok meals.
The first thing I did notice was how completely easy the food part was. Unpacking the box was the most difficult thing, and then you simply heat up the food.
One day’s food on Do The Unthinkable
Breakfast: OOMF Chocolate Porridge Pot
Morning snack: Healthspan HiLo Dark Chocolate and Mint Protein Bar
Lunch: Sweet Chilli Chicken & Rice Pot
Afternoon snack: Hippeas Organic Chick Pea Puffs Salt & Vinegar
Dinner: Persian Lime Chicken with Quinoa, Cauliflower Couscous and Minted Peas
Night time snack: Dr Zaks Salted Caramel High Protein Cookie
In terms of exercise, there was a HIIT workout calendar with about three penciled in per week. They’re pretty standard and not hard to follow; a burpee here and a lunge there and you’re good to go.
I must admit, I didn’t stick to the exercise schedule as well as I should have. There isn’t much space in my flat, so if someone had put their washing up to dry in the living room my home gym was pretty much out of action.
Your living situation should definitely factor into your decision to Do The Unthinkable. Firstly, you need to be home for a huge delivery box – or live with someone that can bring it in. Otherwise you’ll have fresh food sitting on your doorstep all day.
Plus, unless you have a gym membership, you need somewhere spacious to follow the exercise plans.
Plus, most of the main meals contain meat, so vegetarians are gonna have a bad time.
At the start, I was super motivated, and the quantity of food is staggering. It feels like you never stop eating, and that’s including things that might have been considered ‘bad’ on other diets, like crisps and chocolate.
There’s even protein pizzas, which is ideal for someone who doesn’t want to feel like they’re missing out on carbs and comfort food
Temptation is always present, though, and given that I did this during the World Cup, pints were always beckoning. I did still drink on this plan, but just cut it down and tried to have spirits with diet mixers rather than wine or beer.
Four weeks in, I was a lot less enthusiastic. I had eaten so much chicken I felt like at points I was forcing down the rice pots at lunch.
I only did The Unthinkable for a month, so those who do it for the full three months would likely be feeling like it’s chicken and rice Groundhog Day by the end (or perhaps they’d have Stockholm syndrome by then).
That said, I went from 11st 7lbs to 10st 6lbs, which is no mean feat in four weeks, and especially when you’re eating that much and feel so full all the time.
Although I wanted to see more variety with Do The Unthinkable, I spent next to no time preparing food and was able to see really great results.
I’d certainly recommend that those with more social commitments go for fewer days per week. That way you can still have a meal out or cook yourself something.
If you want results with not too much effort and plenty of guidance, it’s a great idea.
I’d also recommend it to people who already eat a high protein diet and need that level of convenience in the short term.
It’s not a perfect plan, but it does jump start any weight loss or fitness goals you might have, which can hopefully end up changing your lifestyle for the better afterwards.
What does a dietitian say?
Dietitian and British Dietetic Association Spokesperson Linia Patel gives her pros and cons:
The diet plan bring together both nutrition and physical activity which is good as these are two important factors in any weight loss journey.
It appears to not exclude any food groups which is great.
On the plan you have to do zero preparation as all meals and snacks are delivered to you – so this would be great for busy people.
The fact that the portions are portion controlled would help those who struggle with portion control.
There are a lot of pre-packaged bars and foods and a lack of whole fruit and veg and whole foods in general. Ultimately whole foods is always better in the long-term. Where are the berries to add to the high protein porridge or to add more phytochemical to the high protein bars?
A key element of a sustainable plan is behaviour change. Perhaps this element is overlooked by this plan – the reality is that you can’t have meals cooked and prepared for you every day of your life (if only).
People need to be empowered with the knowledge to know what food they should be putting on their plate at home and when out and about and how to prepare this. Healthy doesn’t need to be complicated, and whilst this plan tries to simplify it, it lacks a step down approach that would ease people back into ‘normal’ life when they are shopping, preparing and cooking meals for themselves.
No one size fits all. This prescriptive plan might work for some, however it is unlikely to work for everyone. The important thing is to find something that works for you and is sustainable in the long run. Speaking to a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist is a good place to start if you are on a weight loss journey.