Are recipes from meal delivery services actually healthy? Here's how to find the best meal delivery service to help you hit your weight-loss goals
3 Minutes Read
You're getting tired of "same old, same old" dinners while dieting and want to turn to the best meal delivery service for weight loss. But does such a thing even exist with all those gourmet-style and supposedly, user-friendly recipes? Meal delivery services are designed to take the guesswork and the extra energy out of home cooking. But do they take "healthy" out of the equation, too? Here's what to keep in mind when searching for the best meal delivery service for weight loss.
The best meal delivery service for weight loss should offer a calorie-controlled option
The key to weight loss is consuming fewer calories than your body needs. Look for a meal delivery service that offers a weight-loss-friendly option. To feel full, optimize nutrition, and control calories, select meals that contain a lean protein, healthy fat, and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to select complete meals that are 600 calories or less per serving.
If you have tried to lose weight before, you know that keeping portions under control can be a daily challenge. With meal prep and delivery, you order only what you need, which means you don't end up with tempting leftovers, making it easier to stay on track with portions.
Providing calorie and macronutrient information upfront
The best meal delivery services provide you with the nutrition facts per meal on their website. This allows you to find meals that meet your dietary needs and takes the guesswork out of figuring out the calories.
Helping you reverse-engineer your calories for the day
Knowing what you are going to eat ahead of time gives you the chance to reverse-engineer your daily calories. Before you order your meals, you can access the calories/macros to plan ahead. Then enter your meal into an online tracker such as MyNetDiary ahead of time, allowing more accurate budgeting information for that day's other meals and snacks.
Setting you up for success with convenience. Most meal delivery services require you to make your upcoming meal selections about a week ahead of time. Use this to your advantage by selecting your next delivery meals soon after you eat breakfast or dinner, for example. That way, you are apt to make a healthier choice. Research shows that when we shop for food or visit the drive-thru while hungry, we eat more calories and fat grams than intended.
Benefits of using a meal prep and delivery service for weight loss
Did you know that the average fast-food meal contains 836 calories? Meal delivery services not only offer lower-calorie options, their meals are also nutritionally balanced and more filling.
Meal prep and delivery services make meal planning more convenient. It takes next to no time to sign up for the service, and all you have to do is choose among the options. No creative meal planning required.
Utilizing a meal delivery service may increase the number of whole foods you eat each week. It is well known that fresh, whole foods from plants and animals contain more nutrients than packaged, processed foods, such as those served at fast-food restaurants.
Meal delivery services can make cooking fun again. Once that box of fresh food arrives at your house with a recipe, turn on relaxing music and decompress while prepping the meal.
If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction, many meal delivery services accommodate your needs. You'll find several services online that offer options to individuals who follow vegetarian, diabetic, gluten-free, paleo, keto, or Mediterranean meal plans.
If you want to up your game in the kitchen, consider a meal delivery service to get a little extra cooking guidance. All services provide detailed cooking instructions along with the ingredients needed for the recipe. If you want to take it a step further, look for a service that offers supplemental video tutorials to complement the recipe and printed cooking instructions.
Finally, meal delivery services are easy to track in MyNetDiary. In fact, many meals come included with the MyNetDiary database.
Other considerations with meal delivery services
Mouthwatering photographs and plenty of comfort-food options may tempt you toward selecting higher-calorie meals. Choose the best meal delivery service for weight loss by choosing a calorie controlled option. Then, high-calorie and high-fat items that don't meet your health goals won't sabotage your efforts.
To ensure the ingredients arrive at your doorstep fresh and undamaged, most companies use a lot of packaging. If you are concerned about environmental waste, read the fine print and look for a company that prioritizes sustainable packaging such as paper, instead of single-use plastic.
With convenience comes added expense. On average, meal delivery services run between $10-15 USD per serving. Many services offer occasional promotions, which reduce the cost.
Many meal kits come with extra sauces, often containing excess fat and sugar. While adding extra flavor, sauces can also add extra calories. To further control your meal's calorie content, reduce or omit the sauce that comes with the recipe.
To guarantee you get in your recommended daily intake of veggies, you may need to add vegetables to your meal kits. While most meals include a vegetable, eating additional non-starchy vegetables fills you up without eating a larger, calorie-dense entree. Consider steaming up some broccoli or cauliflower to serve alongside your meal delivery kit entree.
Perhaps you don't care to spend valuable time grocery shopping or planning out dinners each week. You may want to begin using a meal delivery service. They're a healthier alternative to fast food and may even help you become a more adventurous eater! Finally, if weight loss is at the top of your list of health goals, make sure to select calorie-controlled meals.
Note: MyNetDiary does not endorse nor get paid to promote services mentioned in this post.
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