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Are Recipes From Meal Delivery Services Healthy? How To Find The Best One For Your Weight Loss Goals

Picture of healthy meal of salmon, green beans, tomatoes and cous cous

Are you tired of "same old, same old" dinners while dieting and craving inspiration in the kitchen? 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 remember when searching for the best meal delivery service for weight loss.

The best meal delivery service or meal kit 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 conveniently lists calories per serving. To feel full and optimize nutrition, select meals that contain lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fat. A good rule of thumb is to choose complete meals around 600 calories or less per serving.

Here’s how meal delivery services support weight loss

  • Make portion control a whole lot easier If you have tried to lose weight before, you know that controlling portions can be a daily challenge. With meal prep and delivery, you order what you need, so you don’t end up with tempting leftovers, making it easier to stay on track with portions.

  • Provide calorie and macronutrient information upfront The best meal delivery services for weight loss provide nutrition facts upfront. Online nutrition facts allow you to find meals that meet your dietary needs and preferences and take the guesswork out of figuring out the calories. Many meals from large meal delivery services are already entered into MyNetDiary for easy tracking. If not, simply create a custom food using the nutrition information provided by the company.

  • Help you reverse-engineer your calories for the day Knowing what you will eat beforehand allows you to reverse-engineer your day. Before you order your meals, you can access the calories/macros, making planning easier. Then, enter your meal into a tracker such as MyNetDiary ahead of time, allowing more accurate budgeting for that day's other meals and snacks.

  • Most meal delivery services require you to make your upcoming meal selections about a week ahead. Use this to your advantage by selecting your following delivery meals soon after you eat breakfast or dinner. That way, you can make a healthier choice than when you are hungry. Research shows that when we shop for food or visit the drive-thru while hungry, we eat more than intended.

Additional 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, but their meals are also nutritionally balanced and more filling.

  • It takes next to no time to sign up for the services, and all you have to do is choose among the options. Plus, these types of services reduce the amount of time you’ll spend looking for hard-to-find ingredients at the market.

  • Utilizing a meal delivery service may increase the number of whole foods you eat weekly. 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 or fast-casual restaurants.

  • If you want to up your game in the kitchen, consider a meal delivery service for extra cooking guidance. All services provide detailed cooking instructions, and some services include supplemental video tutorials to complement the printed instructions.

  • If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction, many meal delivery services accommodate your needs. Several services online offer vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, keto, or Mediterranean meal plans.

  • Meal delivery services can increase the fun factor! Once that fresh food box arrives at your house, turn on relaxing music and decompress while prepping the meal.

Other considerations with meal delivery services

  • Most companies use a lot of packaging to ensure the ingredients arrive at your doorstep fresh and undamaged. 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. Meal delivery services run between $10-15 USD per serving. Many services offer occasional promotions, which reduce the cost.

  • Many meal kits contain extra sauces, often containing excess fat and sugar. While adding extra flavor, sauces can also add extra calories. Reduce or omit the sauces to further control your meal's calorie content.

  • 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 instead of eating additional entree servings. Consider steaming some broccoli or cauliflower to serve alongside your meal delivery kit.

Some of our favorite calorie-controlled meal delivery services

  • Sun Basket’s lean and clean program

  • Home Chef’s low-calorie options

  • Hello Fresh's calorie smart

  • Purple Carrot, vegan meals

Meal delivery services are a healthier alternative to fast food and a helpful tool for reaching your weight loss goals. You may even find that trying different food combinations and seasonings helps you become a more adventurous eater!


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