Fad Diet Takedown: Do Pre-Made Meals Take Out The Guesswork?

Hi everyone!

Kaori here and in this edition of Fad Diet explorations, I’m going to give you my experience with food preparation services. We’re a society culturally on the go and sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy–especially when fast food is so convenient, cheap and fast. You’ll hear from trainers and coaches alike that meal prepping is the best way to go, but some of us barely have time for that. Those who meal prep oftentimes find themselves in the kitchen through their Sunday before work instead of taking some time off to unwind. I’ve meal prepped for my week ahead in the past and I found it extremely time consuming. Also, as someone who loves food and variations of food, I get sick of my food by Wednesday and usually end up miserable until the next batch (the week after).

After that experience, I decided to find a few options of meal prep delivery services that weren’t only relatively inexpensive but healthy and had variety too.

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First one I tried was a service that had all meals already ready in-store. The premise is to go in, pick what you’d like for breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or snack. All the meals had the macronutrients and calorie count ready for you. In fact, all I had to do was scan the barcode in my app “My Fitness Pal” and it was inputted easy. Super convenient. Breakfast included tacos, steak and eggs, rice and ground chicken. Lunch and dinner provided a large amount of different goods from salmon to fried-less chicken tenders, macaroni and turkey, lemon chicken and asparagus. A lot of healthy options to choose from. Depending on if you’d get a large or small, lunch or dinner, snacks, etc.. The bill could stay low or go up. Five meals cost about $50. Not too bad.

What I really liked about this layout was how convenient it was to go to a store that had food already prepped, you just choose and they had their expiration dates on the box. Like I said. I like variety and this place totally did it for me. The food was pretty good but it did lack the taste of fresh since I’m sure it was mass produced. Also, having to still go to a store takes time that sometimes I don’t even have that extra 30-45 mins to make the drive, pick and choose, and come back.

Photo: Jochen Tack [Getty Images]

So I started to look for meal delivery services that were inexpensive but couldn’t quite find any. To boot, I was worried they would also still fall under the lack of freshness category. One day my friend who happens to be an excellent cook and loves being in the kitchen decided she wanted to start her own meal prepping delivery services, for $10 a meal. I decided to show some support all while trying her services by starting off with 5 meals for a week. The way she worked was she would deliver the meals from Monday-Wednesday on Sunday and the remaining two Thursday- Friday she would deliver on Wednesday. It would ensure freshness. And man, for just $50 I really felt like I was eating at her place. Everyday was different and you still had options to choose fish or chicken. Her foods were healthy with a twist of her Mexican heritage. She did a lot of research on foods for fat loss and ultimately I fell in love with the taste and convenience. I eventually had to take a break from it but I do miss the simplicity. It was nice to actually look forward to eating healthy food!

I currently started to receive meals from a meal prep service that just started up less than a year ago. This place is even cheaper than what my friend had to offer, but the menu is set and every week you can choose which protein+veggie+carb you want to eat. Depending on the protein, each meal goes for $6-8. Man is that a steal or what! And let me tell you. I’ve tried a lot of their meals and they are delicious. A lot of variety and ways to mix and match your foods. Macros included.

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I guess my experience when it comes to meal delivery services have been mostly positive. It’s nice not to worry about what your next meal is going to look like. It’s even better not to worry about preparing your food for the week. It definitely saves you a large amount of time, and you can continue to eat healthy with variety, especially if you find one that is via word of mouth and from someone in your community who loves being in the kitchen. Not sure if I trust the bigger, more mass produced spots as they have high prices and make things in a quantity above your basic kitchen. Enjoying food that stems from a touch of love is unique and for that I support the smaller businesses such as my friend’s and this new one I got connected to from another friend. That is my suggestion.

I hope you enjoy reading my fad diet experiences and I hope you continue to visit myself and these articles along the way. Let me know if there is anything you’re curious about: Send me an email [email protected] and follow me on Instagram at @Kaorious and YouTube at www.youtube.com/kaorious