Hey just so you know, you can switch back and forth anytime. You can sign up with the Biggest Loser Plan without snacks and see how you like things (The food is all made in the same kitchens). If you decide after 3 or 4 weeks that you want to see what Bistro offers that you didn't get with BLMP, you can do that no problem. They told me that on my first day. You can switch back and forth whenever you like. I wanted to drop the breakfasts so I had no choice as they do not offer ala carte meals on the BLMP (plus I wanted to see what foods Bistro members get that I didn't on the BLMP). It helps if you have more choices and I've heard that Bistro has a 6 week rotation rather than a 4 week for BLMP.
I can't get over this food. Seriously, this is good stuff! The chicken is of such high quality and all the food is just incredible. The thing I can't get over his how creative they are! They must have magicians working there to be able to make these incredible meals that are mostly only 300 calories or so! This gives me so much freedom that I have never had with any other delivery plan. Because the food is so filling and so good and so low calorie, I can have the snacks I want and still lose weight. I swear I do not feel like I am dieting here! On the others I have tried, I was so hungry and the calories were high enough that it left me with almost no snack room at all. I need snacks.
I finally realized that I can't do the total low carb plans at all and I can't do the total low fat plans either. This one is perfect for me because it focuses on more protein, but is so balanced and gives you healthy carbs too. With the calories being so low, I am able to have about 300--400 calories per day worth of snacks! I never had that before and still be able to lose weight! That's why I don't feel that crunch and that feeling of being on a diet. I've stopped worrying about the carbs and fat content and yet I still try and be careful of course. I am focusing more on the calories and that is not only helping me to lose more weight, but I can still have the things I love in addition to the meals! I just never go over 1400 calories per day (1500 tops). I am losing steadily too!
I have a cup of delicious hot cocoa (regular because light makes me sick) and just use fat free milk and it's delicious and only 170 calories. I get thirsty and sometimes really want something cold and fruity and refreshing and those light drinks leave me gagging. With Bistro, I am having a glass or two a day of regular Fruit Punch or Strawberry Gatorade after my work outs, and I am still losing and it's wonderful to have what I want and not freak over carbs! I usually put some fat free cream cheese or some natural peanut butter on a couple of Wasa Crispbreads and that is still under 200 calories (and I get two long crispbreads which makes for a nice treat)! Most of the calories are from the peanut butter or cream cheese because the Wasa's are next to nothing. When all is said and done, it all boils down to calories burned each day as opposed to calories eaten carbs or no carbs...fats or no fats.
Those online calculators are very interesting. They tell you how many calories you burn per hour sleeping, watching TV, working out and even sitting at the computer! I was shocked by what you burn just sleeping! Learn something new every day! They said to take the amount of calories you burn total and subtract what you eat from that (what you take in) and you get the difference and for me that's a 2 pound weight loss per week. So far I am on target too (and I can finally enjoy some carbs again)!
This is really working for me! The way I am doing things makes me feel that I could easily stay on this for a really long time. I am being careful and yet I am living normally too and having what I want within reason every day. I've been really pretty good and have pretty much stayed under 1400 calories per day. I think it's also better to start higher than lower. When you hit a plateau and you are already at only 1200 or so, you don't have much wiggle room without making yourself sick.
Not too happy about the packets though. I wish I could say I loved them, but I honestly don't. They are a pain!! I am getting more of them now that I am on regular Bistro and yes the food is tasty, but for me, it is just as tasty in the trays and I don't burn my fingers off. I wash down a sharp pair of scissors now each time and use that to cut the packets to limit exposure to my fingers. I quickly cut and even that does not spare me or get the sauce out very well and everything is so messy this way! Oh well. They said that eventually everything will be in tray form. I won't cry!
So today was my first half day on the diet (my food arrived at noon), and I already have a couple of questions for you experienced users!
First, for those of you who do your own snacks, how many calories per snack do you shoot for? I want to make sure I don't subvert my progress by eating huge snacks, but I also don't want to undereat, especially as I work out every day.
Second, how do you handle the urge to salt? The packages say that one can salt the food, using sea salt. Do you salt? Or do you try to tough it out and learn to like low sodium foods? I made it through lunch (a tasty steak wrap) with no salt, but I couldn't get through dinner (not-so-tasty roast turkey) without a few turns of the salt grinder.
I'm excited about my first full day on the plan tomorrow. The steak wrap was promising, and I hope the turkey was an anomaly. Turkey's such a dry meat anyway that it seems hard to present as a microwaved food-- I ended up roasting a few heirloom cherry tomatoes in a dry pan and tossing them on top just to juice it up a bit in a healthy way.
Snacking is such a personal thing. Not everyone snacks the same way. Some people snack by calories while others count carbs and snack that way. I try to keep it as simple as possible and so far that works best for me. I'm more focused on calories right now. I stay under 1400 per day total. Since the meals provided usually don't go over 900 or 1000 calories per day, that leaves me with 400 calories to spend on snacks if I need them. That's one of the things I love about this food. It's so filling and they give you so much for only 300 calories or so per meal!
When I was on Diet To Go for instance, the low carb meals were extremely high in calories and left me no snacking room at all so I had to give that one up. Many people need snacks or their blood sugar levels will drop and cause them problems with a rigid three meals per day only. It depends on what calorie intake you are personally shooting for. You can get a lot of help by simply googling online and using the calories per day calculators. The have you enter your weight, activity level and age and it shoots out how many calories you need to maintain your weight so that you can pretty much figure out what you need to eat to lose weight. Then you will at least know what starting point you should be at. Bistro tells you that you will be averaging anywhere between 1200 and 1400 calories per day if you are to have their full program which is three meals and two snacks per day.
I can't use their snacks because of all the soy. I buy cocoa and make a nice cup of hot cocoa at night and sip slowly to take care of my chocolate cravings. I will have some string cheese or an Atkins bar. Sometimes I will have some low fat peanut butter or low fat cream cheese on Wasa cripsbreads and they are filling and very low in calories. Also a small handful of nuts is good. It depends on personal taste
Because I am doing this long term, I don't make things really hardcore and rigid or I won't be able to stay on it for the duration. I do salt things like the dry turkey, but I don't use a lot and I use the Morton's Light salt. By the way I love love love those Steak wraps! God those are tasty! One of my favorites!
Thanks, Lisa! This really helps a lot. I've just gone to the store and picked up some high-protein snack options to try out this week. Off to a good start this morning with berry crepes and turkey sausage!
Well.... its all sorted and packed away in the freezer!
I have to admit there is quite a variety that took me by surprise!
So I have a feeling this will be very interesting for my "taster budz"
I noticed also that on my menu it states that a snack this week (for those who do get the snack options) that you will be having a "mini blueberry cheesecake" this is the cheesecake that others said you could also find in the store --- For those of you who do get the snacks could you please share with me the name of the Company that makes that? Thanks!
By the way... I use Penzeys Spices Love them! Anyway they have a great salt free section --- I use the "Mural of Flavor" to season anything that needs a little something something It works great!!!
Hi Everyone! I'm on Week 4 of Bistro and oh my gosh, it's going great - I really like the food and the convenience is huge! I know it's expensive, but I'm really finding that it's worth it - the only thing I add to my daily Bistro is some fresh fruit every day, and 1 small non-fat latte (I'm 5'9 so according to their paperwork a little extra protein is a-ok) every day. I've started exercising, and so far have lost 13 pounds! I have a lot to lose, this is a long journey for me, but I'm feeling great - I also really really love having the "my night" every week - makes it a bit easier to have something of a social life if I know one day a week I can go out to dinner or whatever.
The only hiccup I had was over Memorial Day; I live on the W. Coast and the shipping was delayed a day because of that - it was a problem b/c I only keep Bistro in the house, so I had to go "off plan" for that day - I called them and requested that they expedite shipping on days when holidays fall on a Monday (so I can still get the box by Friday) and they said they would (I'm guessing it happens 4-5 times a year or so.) So that was a problem, but otherwise everything is going well!
Oh, one thing I forgot to comment on is the salt - you definitely do taste the difference between these and higher-processed (read: higher sodium!) frozen dinners, a la Lean Cuisine. I'm fortunate in that I was always more of a low-sodium eater, but I do occasionally add a tiny bit of sea salt, a little pepper, or a spritz of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray to my veggies (like the green beans) - the thing with sea salt is that the flakes are a bit larger, so you get a saltier taste from using way less than you would if you were using regular table salt.
Major congrats to you on your weight loss Caffy! Awesome!!!
I'm ecstatic. I have lost almost 12 pounds total in one month and that's never happened on any other plan I have tried! I don't know how they do it, but somehow they are able to create these really filling meals with huge portions that are only 250 and 300 calories! It blows me away. I had the Cajun chicken, I believe it was, stuffed with wild rice and some yummy sides dishes, and it was only 250 calories (or 275 can't remember exactly), but it blew me away! They are so creative. I gave my bf the blue cheese stuffed chicken because he loves blue cheese and I detest it, and he was literally blown away by how delicious it was. Of course they are way off in the cooking times they suggest. I just put all the packet meals in for 8 minutes and that way I never end up having to put anything back in the microwave. Same thing with the trays. I put them all in for 7 minutes and I'm fine.
The food is just incredible! The only problem I have had is that I have severe acid reflux (GERD) and it's been really acting up with this food. I was starting to get worried, but I found if I take a few Prelief's each time, it takes the burn out of the meals and I am OK. I told them to hold the chili's and burrito stuff because my IBS goes crazy. I have hypoglycemia and have to have snacks to keep my blood sugar even. These super low calories are a Godsend because I am able to snack and still lose considerable weight! It's ironic as I was just reading another board somewhere and the person was saying that they lost more weight by counting calories the old fashioned way then all this carb and fat counting and I would have to agree. I am focusing on my total calories each day and I am losing more than when I worried about carbs and fat. I feel so much freer! I focus on more protein than carbs obviously just like the diet does, but I am not obsessed with it or count anymore. I just count calories in my daily food journal. I never go over 1500 ever and hover between 1200-1400 and I am fine!
I have hot cocoa almost every night (real cocoa because I can't handle that light stuff which is more obnoxious and obvious in drinks than it is in bars and stuff). I use fat free milk of course. I have two Sourdough Wasa Crispbreads with two tablespoons of Strawberry Cream Cheese most days and that filling snack is only 150 calories (90 calories for two tablespoons and 60 calories for two crispbreads). Love the contrast of the cold strawberry cream cheese and the crunchy sourdough Wasa's...mmmmm. I look at it like a food bank and I know how many calories I can spend each day. I deduct everything as I go along and it keeps me honest and on track. Love this diet!!!!!!!
I just wish it were not so expensive (oh and I wish I could have a steak wrap every week...God I love those)!
Just received my second week! All this stuff takes up a lot of room in my freezer! I've fallen a bit behind my first week because I ate some of my own healthy dinners. So, I've gotten a bit of a surplus, but I'm sure I'll catch back up.
So far this first week, I've found myself needing something to munch on. I don't know why since it hasn't really been hunger, but I've definitely found myself eating little bits and pieces of things towards the latter part of the day. (It may have been due to the fact that I was off from working and just floating around the house, but we shall see).
The food is pretty good. My main complaints...the breakfasts. I reallllly disliked those creme cheese filled crepes and the stuffed french toasts. They were both pretty foul. The teriyaki chicken was also very odd. Very salty.
I loved the philly cheese steak chicken and the veggie burrito.
I'm going to see how I do with this next batch of food and I'll use that to determine if I continue with this program or if it's just a waste of money.
5% lost-228lbs (-12lbs): 2/23/2011
10% lost-216lbs (-24lbs): 5/25/2011
College weight-190lbs (-50lbs):
No longer overweight-170lbs (-70lbs):
Ultimate final goal(?)-160lbs (-80lbs):
I am thrilled with this program. I've been on it about two months now, and have lost 17 pounds with almost no exercise. It's not easy for me to exercise with a medical condition that I have. I only exercise about once a week for now (hoping to do more as I go along, but it's not easy). I think that's pretty darn good for two months with very little exercise and still having things I enjoy.
I just went to see my family doctor this past week and he said something that blew me away and was rather ironic just now. He was thrilled about my weight loss and said to not worry about counting carbs or fat grams. Worry about calories and that will give me more success than anything else. I must have looked pretty blown away because he looked at me kind of funny and said "what did I say." I told him that I had just figured that out for myself while doing this program. That I was counting fat grams on one plan I was on and counting carbs on a few others and I was miserable. It was just so ironic to hear him say the exact same thing I was feeling. I am having so much more success with counting calories, than I ever did with carbs or fat grams. I am happier this way and losing weight at the same time. We talked about the diet industry in general and he said he has more patients doing horribly on the low carb diets because they don't get what that's really all about. That they are eating far too many calories and don't understand that they have to stick to almost no carbs in order for it to not do a reverse on them and make them gain. That it's too many calories loaded with fat for the body and that often they make the mistake of snacking on healthy foods which are loaded with carbs and stop the body from going into Ketosis. I've seen what he means too. I have heard people say that they had an apple or a salad and stuff like that while consuming all those calories on a low carb plan and wonder why the weight is not flying off. Those kinds of snacks are great on a low fat plan, but they throw off the chemical process that you are trying to get your body to go into with low carb, so all you are doing is eating a lot of calories and fat for nothing! I found myself doing that too on the low carb. I was just so miserable and hungry and wanted some healthy choices.
Now that I am counting calories only, the weight is flying off and I'm totally satisfied for once! I stay between 1300-1500 and stopped ordering the breakfasts. I wanted to love them, but they were not for me. Sometimes I just go right to lunch when I get up and have dinner when I get home and just pack some snacks that keep me going and feeling full. That gives me a lot of snacking room and makes me feel satisfied instead of ravenous and aware of being on a diet. What's been a HUGE part of my success is keeping that journal! Wow! To think I used to feel that was so cliche, but it keeps you honest! Every thing that goes into my mouth is written down and added so that I know how many calories I can spend or not spend. I love this! The food is delicious and the snacks I choose are also very satisfying. This week I have been having some Havarti cheese on crisp breads and my cup of hot cocoa at night (real cocoa with fat free milk). Some peanut butter on an apple and a delicious chocolate Atkins bar here and there. I had one day where we went to Applebee's and I went off it a little, but even then my calorie total for the day was 1660 and not 3600 or something crazy like it had been on days like that in the past. I must admit I was shocked that the burger I had was 965 calories and I didn't even eat the fries! God those things are loaded!
There are very few things that I don't like (don't like the Moroccan chicken, heavy lentil dishes, burrito's and that Philly cheese steak sickens me). The only thing I can eat out of that one is the actual chicken. I may ask that a few things not be sent to me because they just go to waste, but not many. The only thing I miss from DTG is the salmon. Nobody does salmon better. God those fillets were good!
I guess we have almost nobody doing this one out here anymore, but in case anyone out there is on this still, just checking in and sharing. Hope everybody is hanging in there and doing great on whatever it is they are doing.
another BistroMD member here (well doing the Biggest Loser Meal Plan with them). Just started out....got shipment on Thur and started out on Sat. I also was doing DTG Low Carb and for 10 weeks and decided it was time to switch things up and introduce carbs but not the heavy loaded carbs i noticed on DTG plan. Since I am only on day 2 can say much yet but will try to come back and coment. I will say I too miss the DTG Low carb Breakfast meals because you always started the day off good. But I am going into the BistroMD plan with an open mind. I am planning on doing it for 5 weeks and evaluate things at that time.
Those are the things I miss most. The DTG breakfasts and the large and fluffy salmon fillets (oh and the yummy burgers). Loved their beef patties! The problem is that I eventually began to realize that this was the only reason I was staying on it, and that wasn't enough for me. The chicken and pork all taste the same and have that strange salty seasoning undertone that put me off. They have so much chicken and pork, and that's great, but it has to be really good or you will go crazy and that's what happened to me. I was finding that I was subbing for almost all beef because of that salty seasoning stuff on the chicken and pork, and had to make a change. Actually some of the omelets began to get old and I never loved any of the quiche. I can whip up a better omelet, but what I can't replace is that luscious sausage they have. I would give anything to know where they get those links! Now that is the best sausage I have ever found in my life! Really miss that!
I didn't really lose any weight either. It was just too many calories for me. I was on DTG for a while too. I was afraid to try Bistro because of the price, but I am loving the food and feel more normal eating carbs and protein again without all the counting! The food is truly delicious! Hope you are successful at whatever works for you. The bottom line is to find something that works for you that you enjoy. Good luck.