Review | My First Impression on the Cooking Light Diet Plan

Monday, October 26, 2015

FroBunni | Cooking Light Diet
Cooking Light Diet Homepage

On Saturday, I went to MetroCooking DC; I had a lot of fun and will make a blog post on my experience later this week. There was a Cooking Light booth and, unbeknownst to me, they put out a diet plan earlier this year. I received a one-week free trial to try it. I just finished putting my first set of recipes together for the week, and decided to write about my first impressions.

FroBunni | Cooking Light Diet
If you don't like the meals, just click the arrows to get new ones!

To set up, all you have to do is login, and it shows your meals for the week (by the way, you can choose if you want only vegetarian and/or gluten-free meals, so those options are nice). If you're not impressed with the meals, you click the "Edit Meals" button and you can switch out meals that you aren't interested in. Then, you customize your shopping list. If you're like me, and know that you'll eat leftovers, or if you know that you're going out to eat some days, you can un-check meals or even entire days. Once you click "Create," you get a customized shopping list that you can print off and take with you to the grocery store.

Fairly Easy to Use: This is a pretty easy interface, which is nice. It's pretty easy to follow, and it's nice that I can un-check certain meals and days if I want to eat leftovers or know that I will be going out to eat on a specific day. I also like that if I don't like a meal, I can find other meals for that day, instead of being locked in.

FroBunni | Cooking Light Diet
Un-check boxes if you know you'll eat leftovers or you're going out to eat

Not "Permanent": My biggest gripe with the interface is that it's not "permanent" meaning that once I decided on my meals for the week, if I log out and login again, everything I un-checked is now re-checked. This is a little frustrating because it means that I can't rely on the site to help me remember what I need to cook that day. I actually ended up writing down all of the meals I was cooking, which I felt was unnecessary.

Can't Set Servings: This is fairly minor, but I don't really like that I can't set the serving size. Since I eat leftovers, it isn't that big of a problem, but it would be nice. But again, it's not that serious.

All in all, I really liked that it put my recipes together without me having to think about it. I know that it's difficult for me to get my recommended fiber intake for the day, and this will really help me reach my goal. I also like knowing that I will stay within my caloric goal, as well. But one of the biggest downfalls of the apps is that it doesn't let me keep my changes from previous sessions, which can get really frustrating.

UPDATE: I did the Cooking Light Diet for two months before I ended my subscription. While I really enjoyed the recipes, and the concept was simple enough, I like being able to choose my meal based on what I'm craving. There were weeks when I didn't like the options that were provided, and I just went to look for a recipe on Pinterest. I also almost never used a recipe for breakfast because I like to keep it simple. Either some yogurt and fruit, eggs and toast, or a smoothie. The only thing I really miss is that it totaled my calories for the day, which was pretty helpful.

The diet can definitely work for people who need structure and to limit their food choices. Plus, counting calories is really useful for those who are trying to lose or manage weight (which I wasn't doing at the time). There have been a few changes to the system since I ended my subscription that might have addressed my above gripes to make it a bit more user-friendly. All in all, I still think it's useful, but just not useful for me. I would say try it to see if it works; it's not that much money, so a month isn't going to set you back that much.

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