Cooking has never been something that I personally enjoy. I eat to live, not live to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love good food, but the process of preparing a slow cooked meal is my nightmare. I want to eat when I’m hungry, so cooking for two hours in anticipation of being hungry later just doesn’t make sense to me. Because of this, I spend a lot of money eating out (healthy meals, but bought at cafes and restaurants) and stick to quick basics when I’m at home; eggs, fruit, eggs, tuna, eggs and bread. I don’t get a lot of variety. This is why the idea of having prepared meals immediately seemed appealing, and the benefits went well beyond my health.
[Quick disclaimer, given that the thought of cooking one meal, let alone cooking a week’s worth of food, makes my pulse race, I turned to healthy meal delivery service Eat Fit Food. Made from fresh ingredients, the meals were delivered to my door every 2 days to ensure their freshness, and to keep my fridge space manageable.]
I Ate Better
Given my distaste for cooking, variety was seriously lacking in my diet, and even the healthy cafe options I was springing for were laced with oils and sugar. Whilst not wholely unhealthy, I had been falling into nasty eating routines. Even the chicken salad I regularly ordered each day at work was the same every single day. With these prepared meals, I had a new, exciting, fresh meal each day, forcing me to broaden my taste horizons. I also got to try foods I would never be capable of cooking myself, with Moroccan tagines, grilled salmon, and poached eggs all on the menu. And while these may not be the height of culinary excellence, they were a long way removed from my regular egg and tuna scramble.
I Had More Time
Having my meals ready ahead of time was incredible for my productivity. When I got home from the gym in the morning, boom… my breakfast was ready. Instead of wasting my lunch break hiking to a local café, I could spend the time walking in the park or catching up with mates. Dinners were also a treat, with no preparation time I could bring my tired self home from work and have my food ready to go, knowing I wasn’t going to be tempted by the local chicken shop or a sugary quick fix to up my energy.
I Was Hungry
I never realised exactly how much I ate. It’s a lot (which may explain the expense of my eating habits). I found having prepared meals limited my normal calorie intake, meaning I was constantly hungry. When I'd finished licking my bowl clean, I was constantly reaching for fruit or nuts to finish off a meal. In hindsight, I should have had 4 prepared meals per day, rather than 3, however for someone trying to manage their portions, meal preparation is an extremely effective weight loss tool.
I Saved Money
Even with the cost of a meal delivery service, it was far less expensive than eating at the office café every breakfast and lunch. My routine of quick fixes meant that I rarely bought groceries in bulk, but rather would go to specialty shops for each meal, buying complete meals or paying premiums at specialty stores. And while parting with a lump sum of cash up front for prepared meals may seem harder (similar to a huge grocery shop), the amount I saved over the course of the week was well over $150.