Meal Prep vs. Meal Delivery Services: Which Is Right for You?
As you navigate your healthy eating journey, there are numerous options for creating meal plans with nutrition dialed in. With everything from meal in a box, frozen meals, fresh meals, or do-it-yourself batch cooking, the options are endless. Which path is right for you? Here is a break down of the top three meal prep methods to help you decide.
At Home Meal Prep, aka ‘Batch Cooking’
The term “meal prep” refers to cooking and preparing your meals ahead of time. This means buying all your groceries and then batch cooking your meals for the week or days ahead. This way you have all your meals prepared and ready to eat at mealtimes.
- Meal prep is the cheapest option because you can buy items seasonally or on sale.
- It allows the most control of your ingredients; eat what you like.
- You can weigh and measure everything so you control every macronutrient.
- It is the most time-consuming method since it requires shopping and cooking.
- Meal prep requires deliberate planning and calculating your own menu.
- Eating the same thing four or more days in a row can become boring.
You’ve probably seen commercials about these new meal-in-a box delivery services that ship pre-chopped and measured ingredients with a set of instructions. The ingredients tend to be fresh and you cook them for yourself at home.
- You can save money by buying only what you need.
- You have control over portion sizes.
- You can cook your meal fresh at home and eat it right away or later if you choose.
- You can try new foods or flavors you wouldn’t normally eat.
- It can still take a long time to prepare and cook ingredients.
- Sometimes instructions are difficult to understand.
- Some meal-in-a-box deliveries can get redundant.
- You may not have the right amount of food needed for the family.
Meal Delivery Services
These days there is no shortage of meal delivery services. Popular diets such as Paleo, keto, vegan, and many more are all offered in ready-to-go meals (fresh or frozen) delivered to your doorstep. Here are some of the pros and cons with meal delivery services.
- Meals are fully cooked and ready to eat so require little to no effort to prepare.
- Meals come pre-portioned so you can’t overeat.
- You can choose the specific diet that you want to follow.
- No more grocery shopping!
- The meals can be more expensive than buying and preparing food on your own.
- Meals are premade, so they are not as fresh as home-cooked.
- Menus are often pre-set, so there isn’t much room for customization.
One positive thing about all of these choices is that they make you more aware of what you are eating, which in turn leads to better, healthier choices overall. I recommend experimenting with a few different services to see which is right for you. Happy cooking!