Whatever your health and fitness goals are, nutrition needs to be properly designed and individualized to you and your goals. For optimal health and well-being this means consuming all the micronutrients (I.e. vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) that your body needs to function best.
In order to make desirable changes to your weight, performance and the amount of muscle mass and fat you are carrying, you also need to manipulate the amount of calories you are consuming, as well as the protein, carbohydrate and fat intake.
For example, in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than what you consume through food and vica-versa, in order to build muscle mass you want to consume more calories than what you burn. In both cases you are focusing on getting sufficient protein since this will have a positive impact on preserving and building muscle mass.
When you figure out what your goals are, ideally you would specify the amount calories and macronutrients you’ll be consuming. Based on this you will plan your meals that will fit into these calorie and macronutrient targets. If you are doing your own meal prep, this might seems like an impossible task. However, the good news is that you don’t have to be 100% accurate and like anything else, you’ll get better with practice.
If you are short on time or don’t want to prepare meals and portion them yourself, you can buy pre-made meals. This requires a bigger financial investment, but it will save you time and energy. Here are some available options:
FROZEN PRE-MADE MEALS
You can buy frozen pre-made meals at almost any grocery store, but I found you can get best deals at stores like Walmart and Loblaws. Plus, these two stores now offer home delivery.
All frozen pre-made meals are portioned and you know exactly how many calories and macronutrients you are consuming. All you have to do is microwave them for a couple of minutes and they are ready to be served. These meals come with variety of flavours and options to choose from with most of them actually tasting very good. The best part is the cost is not much more than doing your own meal prep.
Similarly, some companies in Toronto now make their own frozen pre-made meals and deliver them straight to your door. These meals usually cost more and you have to buy them directly from the companies making these meals. They are supposed to be tastier than meals found in Walmart and Loblaws and you have lots of options to choose from at a good price. Rose Reisman is one of the companies that does this kind of service.
FRESH MEAL DELIVERY
Another option is to get fresh, healthy and properly portioned meals delivered straight to your door. These meals usually taste better than the frozen ones, take less time to reheat and similarly come with a specified amount of calories and macronutrients they contain. However, this kind of service is also the most expensive, but well worth it if you can afford it. We partnered with one such company - Meal Fix, and are now offering a 10% discount for all of our clients.
Companies like Chefs Plate, Hello Fresh and Good Food delivery recipes and raw, fresh ingredients straight to your doorstep, so you can cook food yourself. This is the least time-efficient service compared to the previously mentioned options, but it is good for someone who wants to learn more about cooking and it still saves you some time and energy by not having to buy and search for raw ingredients yourself.
COMPARISON: PRICE VS AMOUNT OF FOOD YOU GET
Walmart, Loblaws frozen meals
Meat lasagna - 330 kcal, pro:20gr, carb:46gr, fat:8gr
Thai red curry chicken - 370 kCal, pro:23gr, carb:46, fat:11gr
Blue menu butter chicken - 390 Kcal, pro:21gr, carbs:56 gr, fat: 10 grams
Lemon and herb quinoa chicken - 380 kcal, pro:27 gram, carb:49grams, fat:10 grams
Butter Chicken - 500kcal, pro:39 grams, carb:52gr, fat:13 grams. Price: $9.95
Double baked potato stuffed with ground beef and bacon -540kcal: pro:47gr, carb:54, fat:15gr
Price: $9.95 here to edit.
Meal Fix - fresh meal delivery
Jerk Steakwith potatoes and greens - 500kcal - pro:34grams, carbs:18 grams, fat:33 grams
Price: 14.25 or $12.85 (with 10% off)
Salmon + rice - 565kcal, protein:52 gr, carb:38gr, fat:25gr
Price: $13.25 or $11.92 (with 10% off)
HelloFresh - meal-kit delivery
Peking Pork - 880Kcal, pro:42gr, carb:82gr, fat:42gr
Tandoori Chicken - 611Kcal, pro:52gr, carb:47gr, fat:24gr
price: $10.83 - 13.33/serving
Making your own meals from scratch (*prices are based on Walmart.ca as of January, 2019)
Chili (yield 5 portions): 0.8kg lean beef ($12), 2 cans of beans ($3), 1 can crushed tomatoes ($2), 1/2 kg veggies ($1.5/0.25kg) (634kcal, pro: 51.6gr, carb: 65gr, fat:21gr)
price: $3.7/portion + spices cost
Chicken Thighs with potatoes and veggies (yield 5 portions):
chicken thighs ($13/kg), potatoes ($3.3/1.5 kg), frozen mixed veggies ($3/0.5 kg)
(498 kcal, pro:40gr, carb:57gr, fat:14gr)
Price: $3.86/portion + spices cost
Salmon with rice and veggies (yield 5 portions):
Salmon ($28/kg), rice ($1.14/.45 kg), frozen mixed veggies ($3/0.5 kg)
(618Kcal, pro:46gr, carb:59gr, fat:20gr)
price: $6.4/portion + spices cost
Eggs, toast/toast, veggies (yield 5 portions):
eggs ($4.4/20 eggs), bagel ($3.3/5 bagels), frozen mixed veggies ($3/0.5 kg)
(514Kcal, pro:34, carb:43gr, fat:23gr)
price: $2.14/portion + spices cost