Weight-Loss Meals Appear on Doorstep

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by Wendy Walton

The Toronto Business Times, Front Cover,

In doing research on how to stay in shape, Toronto resident David Lloyd found The Zone Diet was right for him. Not only were the meals healthy, but they were delivered right to his door. "The Zone was one of the diets I had researched and felt was fairly reasonable with respect to its approach" Lloyd said. "Some of the other diets out there completely cut out carbohydrates. It seems very drastic and it's kind of illogical to me, so when I read about the Zone Diet, it showed a more or less shifting the proportions a bit and not cutting anything out completely."

And the fact he didn't have to shop for groceries, cook or clean up made going on the Zone Diet an easy choice.

Lloyd, who works from his home at Yonge and St Clair Avenue, has been on the Zone Diet since November and is on the 28-day program where he has three meals and two snacks delivered to his door five days a week.

DietDelivery Canada Inc. was started in Toronto in July 2002 by Heather Wilgar and her brother Michael.

After hearing about actress Jennifer Aniston talk on television about being on The Zone Diet and having her food delivered to her door in Los Angeles, they decided to launch a similar service in Canada.

Heather said she and Michael, who was in university at the time, researched how the company operated in the United States and delivery service options, established a line of credit, and away they went.

Dr. Barry Sears created the Zone Diet in 1982. The diet is made up of 40% carbohydrates, including more vegetables and fruits than breads or pastas, 30% protein, and 30% dietary fat, including virgin olive oil and avocados. "If you eat excess calories, regardless of whether they come from protein, carbohydrate or fat, they will turn to glucose and store on your body as fat," Wilgar said. "But eating your food in this breakdown: 40-30-30- ensures that you're continually burning everything that you are ingesting."

Chefs prepare Zone Diet meals from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then the proper cooling procedures take place. All meals are assembled, sealed, and packed in 24 can black vinyl cooler bags with ice packs that go out for delivery.

Customers receive a bag at their door every morning before 6 a.m.

For Breakfast Lloyd might receive an egg omelette with vegetables or a mixed berry waffle with fruit sauce. Lunch could be a roasted yellow pepper soup with grilled chicken and Serrano cream or a chicken salad. He might dine on Salmon with vegetables for dinner. Snacks include a Zoned Brownie, Zone chocolate and peanut butte bars, or vegetables with dip.

Lloyd said he is rarely hungry after his catered meals. "One of my concerns was, well, am I going to be full after these meals and quite often I struggle to get the whole meal in me just because they are quite hearty."

Delivering tasty meals is important, Wilgar said, because it keeps clients interested in pursuing the diet. "You think of diet food and you think bland, so our chefs really take pride in their creations with how they season the meals because they don't want anyone growing bored with the plan."

But having meals prepared and delivered comes with a price. It costs $29.99 per day plus taxes to have your meals delivered to your home in Toronto for the 28-day plan and $32.99 per day plus taxes to have your meals delivered to your Toronto home for the 14-day plan.

To get on the diet, a telephone consultation, which costs $19.99 plus taxes, is required ; it is $29.99 for an in person consultation if requested.

During the consultation, the Wilgars explain the diet, go over the specifics of the service as well as provide tips for success. They also complete a food profile, taking into account any food allergies or dislikes.

Since Lloyd had his consultation and has finished two 28-day cycles, he said he's certainly in better shape. "I feel good about myself, I feel better about myself," he said. "I don't feel that's 100 percent Zone related, but it is certainly part of it."

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