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Want to Try Meal Prepping Services? Here is Everything You Need to Know

Meal prepping levels up as delivery services rise to the challenge of increasingly sophisticated palates.

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Call it a cliché, but as far as fitness goals go, you are what you eat. With studies reporting up to 80% of health and body composition goals being more dependent on nutrition than time spent in the gym, it’s evident that the best bodies are built in the kitchen. However, the hours spent shopping and cooking macronutrient- and calorie-controlled recipes for DIY meal prep can often be too time-prohibitive to fit into a modern lifestyle. Fortunately, premium meal-prepping services are now stepping up to the plate, with a range of new options to keep your nutrition and fitness goals on track, from feeding muscle growth to dropping excess bloat. Catering to everyone from those with dedicated bulking goals to those simply trying to keep healthy while staying at home, meal planning deliveries have evolved far beyond the chicken, veg, and rice bowls previously relied on for macro-friendly fuel.

The best way to choose the service that suits? Start making lists. By envisioning your body goals, calculating desired macros, and identifying the willpower it takes to stay on a more restrictive plan, it becomes easier to shortlist services that both cater to expectations and keep meals interesting. Check for trial options, with most services offering a shorter period of time to sample services. Three days give a good taste of what to expect before committing fully. See if pausing delivery is offered – a must for those with can’t-miss dinner invitations or short-notice travels. Take a look at the weekly menu to see if there’s enough variety – flavor fatigue is one of the drivers behind dropping a meal-prep plan.

“Customers are looking for excitement when they open their meal plan box in the morning,” highlights Yasmin Hadi, founder of Dubai-based meal-planning delivery service Honest Badger. “They want variety but also a personalized experience.” Hadi says that meal planning has become more sophisticated as clients demand more than the three-meals-a-day format, to help curb snack cravings and fuel training sessions. Moving its menu towards being plant-based and championing leaner meats was a natural progression borne from clientele seeking out meals that are tasty, nutritious, and thoughtfully prepared. “The concepts of ‘healthy food’ and ‘delicious food’ do not have to be mutually exclusive,” says Hadi. “I believe healthy food can be fun, exciting, and something you crave. Our customers demand balanced but varied meals made from only the freshest ingredients.”

Keeping both lifestyle preferences and health goals in mind when choosing a meal-prep service sets you up for success. In addition to more options, men across the Middle East are demanding cross-cuisine variety and diet-specific plans, with vegan, high-protein, keto, and gluten-free diets among those headlining. Saudi food subscription app Daily Mealz gives clients complete control of their menus, with options to pick and choose across different kitchens, cuisines, and calorie limits.

Meal-planning for families is also now in the mix, with an increasing demand for shareable menus. Developed as an alternative to fast-food delivery and single portion meal planning, Abu Dhabi-based Serves Gourmet specializes in made-to-order home-cooked recipes like lamb tagine, beef Wellington, and salmon en croûte delivered in table-ready ceramics. Serves Gourmet founder and chef Karl Bishop says his wholesome meal service originally focused on family groups but soon saw individuals and couples ordering for impressive at-home meals. “People have described us as a life saver as we take the hassle out of providing good-quality food to the family,” explains Bishop. The Serves Gourmet menu is an impressive option for weekend meals or stay-at-home date nights, especially for those committed to an existing weekdays-only meal plan. “We have found that couples love using our meals to share with friends or keep for leftovers the next day,” comments Bishop. “People want convenience, but they also value our ethos of nourishing food and sustainable packaging. As customers get more choices, they are rightly demanding better quality from their providers.”

Try these services for some of the region’s best meals delivered straight to your door.

Bahrain. From 26.25 BD per week


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Uses a custom algorithm to deduce what you need. Ideal for gym regulars and heavy lifters, Calo’s body-fueling meals can be low-fat, high-protein, or anything in-between with the flexibility to stop and start a subscription via the handy app.

Honest Badger
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain. From AED144.50 per day

Comfort classics with a healthy twist. Each day, receive seven portions of fruit and vegetables. All the plans are
free from dairy, wheat, and refined sugars.

Serves Gourmet
Abu Dhabi and Dubai. From AED95 for a family dish

“As a chef, it’s important to me that we use good-quality ingredients,” explains founder Karl Bishop. “Our focus is on wholesome, nutritious, real food.” Order a crowd-pleasing dish and add on sides or dessert for cooked-to-order meals.

Daily Mealz
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. From SAR40 per lunch subscription

Utilizing a network of restaurants, Daily Mealz allows clients to customize their order to fit their diet plan. With no minimum subscription, you can adapt your meal prep to suit your lifestyle and personal tastes.

Read Next: You Can’t Travel But Your Tastebuds Can. Try These 3 New Restaurants

Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Vogue Man Arabia 

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