Meal delivery programs,like Nutrisystem, have gained a huge following over the past year. These programs generally fall into one of three different categories. The first category delivers the entire meal, including all ingredients, to your home on a scheduled basis. The second category delivers frozen or freeze-dried meals, but tells you what fruits and veggies you need to buy to add. Finally, the third kind delivers full meals for one or two days of the week and then advises you what to eat for the rest of the time.
While there is certainly a level of convenience here the question that a lot of people have is, “is this healthy?”. They want to know if they can rely on these programs to build a healthy diet, and do they work for menand women. Can they lose weight and get into shape by eating primarily what is provided by the meal delivery service? The answer to those questions depends entirely on the delivery service in question.
First and foremost, a delivery service that is attempting to provide healthy food should also attempt to provide ample education. Some companies provide only food without telling you why it is healthy or how it can help. But what happens if you’re no longer able to use that service? Have you learned enough to continue a similar diet afterward? Unfortunately not.
A delivery service that is transparent with why they choose certain meals or ingredients is a much better option. If you’re learning something new about each meal you receive then you’ll be able to cultivate your own healthy eating habits. That means when you’re eating out at a restaurant or with family you’ll be able to make smart food decisions that won’t compromise the diet provided by the delivery service.
Don’t Buy Into Extreme Hype
Just because a meal delivery service claims to offer healthy diet options doesn’t mean it’s true. This is especially the case if they are offering meals that follow “trend” diets or extreme diets. For example, if they are limiting your calorie intake to such an extreme that you feel starving and sick all day, then it’s not healthy at all even if you do lose weight because of it.
Not only should the food be healthy and nutritious, but it should taste great as well. It’s difficult enough to stick with a diet when you like what you eat. But if you are stuck eating food you don’t like, then it will never work. So carefully examine their meals to make sure you won’t be starving yourself and you won’t be forcing yourself to eat something you don’t like.
Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Are Needed
No one is advised to live their life eating only freeze-dried foods. But, depending on where you live, you may not have the option to have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your door. Does that mean you should avoid meal delivery services altogether? Not exactly.
The key is to buy your own fruits and vegetables and add them to the meals. Similarly, you should limit your consumption of frozen meals to only a few times a week. If the company is making an effort to educate you, then you should be able to construct your own healthy meals at home for the rest of the week. This way you will get to enjoy delicious fresh meals that follow the same dietary guidelines as the delivery service.
Know Your Options
New meal delivery programs are popping up on the internet every day. Some of them are comparable to scams while others have a strong reputation, and are actually pretty affordable. It’s up to you to research your options, research the company’s history, and research the meals that they are providing. And don’t think that you have to choose a company just because it’s rated “number one” on some health blog or show.
Finding a company that provides meals you actually enjoy is just as important as finding a company that offers healthy meals. Chances are, there are dozens of these delivery services that offer healthy meals you will like. Those are the companies that can help you meet your weight loss goals. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same company that everyone else recommends.
A Final Warning
Always read the fine print when signing up for any memberships or trials. Many meal delivery services charge monthly fees, but some have their own unique payment schedules. Familiarize yourself with the specifics of membership so that you don’t fall victim to any hidden payments. Likewise, canceling your membership should be simple and free. If not, then you should avoid the company altogether.
Keeping this information in mind, you should be able to find a healthy meal delivery service that can help you meet your weight loss goals. And hopefully, it’s a company that teaches you healthy eating habits that will follow you for life.
Ben Corbin brings more than 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest information. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.