The latest food trend is dozens of companies that deliver fresh ingredients paired with recipes that you can cook, directly to your door. Services such as Blue Apron, Plated, Green Chef and more are changing the food game by empowering people to save time searching the stores and getting back to basics cooking in their own homes. The appeal is obvious because who doesn’t want to live like a king and have fresh food delivery right to their door? For the average Joe, these meals can seem like a great way to save time and potentially learn a number of new recipes. For individuals who are losing weight and embracing healthy nutrition, these services have some potential drawbacks that are worth considering before you buy into the hype.
Weight Loss Worthy?
The big debate right now is whether these services are truly a good fit for individuals who are looking to lose weight. The standard meal for each service features a protein, a starch and vegetables, which, on the surface, covers the spectrum of macronutrients for clients. The issue then lies in the portion sizes that are included in the meal and the occasional unhealthy ingredient or two. With the SlimGenics Weight Loss Program, each customer learns the specific portion sizes needed for their body to receive a balanced nutritional profile that is also optimized for weight loss. These portions vary per individual and help address the specific health concern of each person.
The one size fits all nutritional profile of these meals does not take these things into account. Additionally, there are usually items included that may not be on suggested food lists for most major weight-loss programs. The challenge is then to portion out each meal to suit your nutritional needs or risk overindulging and eating food that work to the detriment of your weight loss. Not only is this the opposite of convenient, but it can also be a waste of food. This leads into the next major consideration for these services.
What is the Cost of Convenience?
Modern ease comes with it’s own price tag which is neither a good nor a bad thing. We priced out major services that deliver food and discovered that monthly costs for a minimum order of three meals per week can range from $191 to $287, not including shipping. These meals account for approximately 14% of your monthly meals (snacks not included). For individuals who are on a budget, that can be a hefty price to pay. Recalling the old college days, the costs for these meals can easily chew up an entire monthly food budget.
Another problem is that all of these meal services work on a subscription basis and will automatically generate orders unless you take the initiative to put them on hold or cancel. To be fair, almost every company does this now because it is convenient for repeat customers, but for individuals who are keeping a close eye on their budgets, it can get out of hand fast. Additionally, some delivered meal services require two weeks notice before the next box goes out in order to cancel or put the delivery on hold. For the busy person, forgetting to cancel can be quite easy and then you’re racking up another unanticipated charge for the month.
A number of delivery box services suggest that individuals with food sensitivities and allergies do not use their services as they cannot guarantee that the food is free of cross-contamination. It makes sense as the boxes are assembled in facilities that deal with a wide range of differing foods that someone with severe celiac disease or peanut allergies would want to stay clear. However, it is refreshing that companies take the time to make sure individuals with sensitivities are properly cautioned. New innovations in food-handling technology is allowing meals for home delivery to start seeking industry certification for gluten-free menu options, so there is hope for the gluten-sensitive among us!
Premium vs Standard
Something to be careful to note about the cost structures for meal kit boxes is that these companies are thinking outside the box to traditional grocery store models. The idea is outstanding in that they make direct relationships with farms and fisheries in order to bring the freshest ingredients right to your door along with the pledge of being eco-friendly and often times, organic. That qualifies the contents of these boxes as premium ingredients and with premium ingredients come hefty price tags.
These companies often struggle to make their boxes as affordable as store-bought food. The reality is that these ingredients will always price well above store-bought alternatives. So, it’s fair to say that these boxes could potentially be more affordable in terms of premium meal items that can be bought in stores but the normal, standard food you can buy at your local store is still more affordable overall.
Meal delivery services are a fantastic idea and a great way to enjoy the process of making a meal with ingredients that have care and dedication behind them, oftentimes direct from farms and manufacturers. These companies are trying to revolutionize the way we interact with food in our busy lives and help us re-establish positive relationships with the food industry on a whole. For ease and convenience, we are totally into using these delivered meal box services. However, in relation to cost and healthy weight-loss, we’re not all that excited about them. We recommend trying services like these for the experience. When it comes to weight-loss and balanced nutrition, the SlimGenics Program teaches our clients how to eat healthy meals that are easy to make and created with affordable, everyday foods right from your local sources.
Looking for new recipes to spice up your healthy lifestyle? The SlimGenics STEP in the Kitchen Cookbook features over 260 delicious recipes that are perfect for making your meals unforgettable and weight-loss worthy.