For me, it’s a NO.
Let’s be clear- I am referring to ready to eat meals either bought off the shelf or home delivered. Examples include YouFoodz, Muscle Meals, My Muscle Chef, Nutrition Station…. the list goes on.
We are lucky that we have so many options that prove to be very convenient for those people who lack time, organisation, or the desire to spend too long in the kitchen. However, like most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to purchasing Pre-Made Meals.
So why is it a no for me? Simple, all the ones that I have tried, have not fulfilled my nutritional needs. Let’s take a look at my needs:
I’m big guy with a high resting metabolic rate. On top of that, most days I lift weights, and every other day I hit short duration high intensity workouts. And once or twice a week I will do something a bit longer. So, whereas I am not a professional enduro athlete, I do require a relatively high number of calories, and therefore I need to eat a lot.
Although quantity is important, what makes up that quantity is also important. Quality meat, starchy carbs, good fats, and the necessary amount of vegetables are all essential to my daily food intake and is vital for my performance on the job and in training, and also to maintain an ideal body composition.
For me to eat the food in front of me, I must enjoy it. I don’t believe it is really necessary to be eating foods that you do not enjoy, when we have so much variety available to us. There are exceptions to that rule, in certain circumstances, sports, and/or occupations, but I am not faced with any of those in my current situation.
Living in Sydney, where the cost of living is up there as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live, of course cost is going to have some bearing. Whereas a significant portion of my budget is spent on food, the option I tick does have to tick the affordability box.
I run a business. I am in a relationship. I like to attribute a significant amount of my time to training, and leisure activities. Time is of the essence, and convenience, as for most people, is a significant factor when It comes to many choices we make in life. My food is no different.
Unfortunately, in all of my experience to date, all options explored have failed in at least one of these domains. Therefore, I find, the best solution is to prepare my own home made, read to eat meals, either once or twice a week, ready for the week ahead.
This is definitely the most affordable option, as $100 spent of ingredients for homemade meals will get you a lot further than for purchased ready made meals. That way I can ensure the quantity is there, and choose the right ingredients so the quality is also there. I can cook to my own taste satisfaction. And Ifi am organised, I can prepare all my meals for the week in one 2-3 hour stint, which makes it very convenient for the rest of the week.
My needs are best met by allocating a small portion of one day, to serve me well every other day. That way Im healthy, happy, not hungry, and have more time on my hands for other fun stuff.
In saying that, for people with different nutritional needs, or even a different priority of needs, purchasing ready mademeals could in fact tick the boxes. I advise you to think about your nutritional needs, and do some experimenting. See what works best and go forward with that option.