A low-calorie diet is one of the most effective approaches to living a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. It caters to different needs based on your age, weight, activity level, and other important considerations.
If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating, that doesn’t exist. What does exist is successful diets like low calorie, low carb, high protein, low fat, etc. which can help boost overall health, maintain weight, and prevent chronic diseases.
A low-calorie diet, according to experts and registered dieticians and nutritionists, is a good lifestyle choice if you want to lose weight and slow down the aging process. It’s a restrictive diet plan linked to burning stored fat as fuel in the body and preventing age-related diseases.
How Many Calories Should You Consume On a Low-Calorie Diet?
The average number of calories to consume per day is 2,000 calories. But when you’re on a calorie deficit or low-calorie diet, you can reduce your caloric intake to anywhere between 1,500 and 1,800 calories per day. This means that you have a deficit of 200–500 calories per day.
If this is your first time following a low-calorie diet, maybe you should start small. Stick to a deficit of 200–300 calories per day for the next couple of weeks. Once your body is used to the caloric deficit, you can increase the caloric deficit to 500 calories per day. It’s important to keep an accurate calorie count of all the foods you eat in a day. One of the benefits of a low-calorie meal kit is that you can see the exact number of calories in every meal.
According to this study, burning 3,500 calories of energy equals losing 1 lb of body fat. If you perform a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day, you can lose 1 lb every 7 days.
However, the actual scales are not the same for everyone. It depends from person to person, their age, weight, and activity levels. Cutting calories can have a huge impact on your body, so make sure you consult with a dietician or nutritionist before you begin.
What to Eat On a Low-Calorie Diet
There is no one way to follow a low-calorie diet. You can cut down calories every day by adjusting your portion size or eating fewer meals in a day or boosting your workout routine. There are many ways to approach a low-calorie diet as it depends on your personal needs and stamina levels.
Cutting Calories with Fewer High-Calorie Foods
You can swap high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods as a way to limit your calorie intake. Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cheeses, mayonnaise, butter, sauces, red meats, whole milk, and pork are several high-calorie foods.
Simple changes like avoiding drinking soda with lunch or swapping a bowl of ice cream with fruit to satiate your sweet cravings in the evening can significantly reduce your daily calorie intake. You don’t even have to make momentous adjustments.
Evaluate how much you eat except for the main meals of the day. You’d be surprised how many extra calories you end up consuming with drinks, desserts, treats, etc.
Switch to nonfat alternatives for cheese, milk, yogurt, and packaged items like frozen foods. Fat-free milk, Greek yogurt, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables keep you full for longer and aren’t loaded with too many calories.
Cutting Portion Sizes
Reducing how much food you eat daily can significantly reduce the number of calories, even if that means checking labels to determine the actual per-serving portion size of certain foods.
Controlling portion size is a simple and effective way to cut calories. You can start by reducing the number of carbohydrates you consume, which includes starchy vegetables. Increase the intake of foods that are naturally low in calories, and decrease high-calorie foods from your daily diet.
You can also eat in smaller plates and bowls that give you an idea about how much you’re eating every day. Eating from packages and a large bowl is more likely to cause overeating.
Every food item you buy at a grocery store comes with nutritional facts on the label. Check the serving size, and try to stick to that portion size. Most times, we’re not aware of how many calories we’re consuming especially when we eat out of a packet of chips, a tub of ice cream, and a can of soda.
The last thing you can do to reduce your portion size effectively is to use a calorie counter app. Smartphone apps come with all the necessary data required to input the portion size and view the calories, proteins, fat, and carb content of all the food you eat and log in.
Having a clear sense of caloric values can help you cut back on small steps rather than make unrealistically big changes to your diet.
What Are the Benefits of a Low-Calorie Diet?
In addition, to help you lose weight, a low-calorie diet offers several other health benefits such as the following.
It Lowers Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetes
Eating more calories causes an unwanted spike in your blood glucose levels, which could lead to serious problems in diabetic patients. Eating foods low in calories and fats and high in proteins can be good for curing high blood sugar levels and insulin levels in diabetes.
A diabetes diet consists of eating fiber-rich foods that contain good fats and are low in calories. Fish, nuts, legumes, non-starchy fruits and vegetables, and avocados are recommended. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and calories.
It Reduces Feelings of Depression and Low Mood
Altering your diet by lowering calorie intake and consumption of highly processed foods can have a positive impact on your mood and mental health. It is also linked to reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
A poor diet high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and refined carbs can cause inflammation. This causes an imbalance in essential nutrients in the body, which is detrimental to physical as well as mental health.
It Reduces Oxidative Stress Related to Aging
Calorie restriction has been directly linked with lowering inflammation in the body related to aging. Not only does it benefit weight loss, but it can also slow down oxidative stress in the body and fight age-related diseases.
Cutting down your calorie intake by 15% over 2 years can have a positive impact on your body and can further build protection against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Low-calorie diet brings about slower metabolism and higher energy levels because the body burns unwanted fats for fuel and drastically reduces inflammation and oxidative stress from the organs and muscles. This creates a better metabolic response in the body.
A balanced and healthy reduction in calories – anywhere between 500 and 300 calories per day – is highly recommended by experts and nutritionists.
Who Should Follow a Low-Calorie Diet?
If you are healthy and lean, you can follow a low-calorie diet successfully to reap its many health benefits. Reducing the number of calories you eat every day is directly linked to reducing inflammation in the body at a cellular level.
A restrictive diet, like a low-calorie diet, is also highly beneficial for adults who are severely overweight and obese. The low-calorie diet includes consuming 800 calories per day for people who have a BMI that’s over or between 30 and 40.
However, a low-calorie diet may not be suitable for you if you have several preexisting conditions like cholesterol, diabetes, or low blood pressure. If you want to experiment with what you eat every day, it’s best to consult with a dietician or nutritionist first before trying out new restrictive diets like a low-calorie diet.
Who Should Not Follow a Low-Calorie Diet?
A low-calorie diet is not recommended for some people. So, before you take up a new kind of diet, check with an expert, and understand how your body would react to a low-calorie diet.
People who often experience low energy, body weakness, muscle soreness, headaches, and dizziness may find it difficult to follow a low-calorie diet plan. Consuming fewer calories may trigger these symptoms even further.
Understand that a low-calorie diet is not the one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight and staying fit, especially if you plan on cutting back significantly in your daily caloric intake. It can cause muscle weakness, low energy, headaches, and other similar problems.
People with an eating disorder or autoimmune disease and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to stay away from restrictive diets like this.
To know whether a low-calorie diet is for you, do a full health check-up and follow up with a dietician for an effective approach to healthy eating for weight loss.
How Do Meal Kits Help You Win at a Low-Calorie Diet?
Meal planning is the number one priority when you’re following a strict diet plan like a low-calorie diet. It helps you keep track of all the meals you eat every day, and with the help of calorie counter apps on your phone, you can monitor your daily calorie consumption.
Meal planning on your own involves several steps: writing down recipes, going grocery shopping, portioning, prepping, and finally, cooking the meals yourself. It’s not an easy task especially when you have to work and take care of other responsibilities.
This is where meal kits and meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron, Green Chef, Home Chef, and Daily Harvest come in. Everything from meal planning to grocery shopping to portioning is taken care of for you. All you have to do is unpack a meal kit and start cooking the preportioned high-quality ingredients according to the recipe’s instructions.
Meal kits have several other perks too:
- Each meal kit provides you with the correct nutritional information so you know exactly how many calories, carbs, proteins, and other essential nutrients a meal has.
- Meal kit delivery services offer a wide variety of dishes to choose from every week; hence, you are never out of options.
- The meals are preportioned according to serving size, which reduces the chances of overeating. The ingredients are preportioned and packed. This tends to help with cooking the meals faster, and you never eat more than you actually should stick to a low-calorie diet.
- Many meal kit delivery services offer nutritional and dietary preferences like low calorie, low carb, high protein, gluten-free, etc. with which you can select specific meals according to your personal needs.
- The majority of meal kit delivery services offer healthy and delicious meals that boast balanced nutrients including proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and sufficient calories.
5 Best Low-Calorie Meal Kit Delivery Services
1. Blue Apron
Blue Apron serves meal kits for 2 and 4 servings per meal. They offer several interesting dietary categories plus a Signature plan that offers a mix of every type of meal kit they have on their menu. Someone who’s not a picky eater and wants to try a bit of everything can pick their Signature meal plan easily.
Blue Apron is a very methodical and convenient meal kit delivery service. All the meal kits are preportioned accurately to serve 2 or 4 people for a single meal. The service takes care of meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal portioning. Especially for home cooks who make food for more than 2 people at a time, multiple serving sizes are very helpful.
For curious and keen cooks, there’s even a learning curve with a meal kit delivery service like Blue Apron. Some of their meals allow you to upgrade your cooking skills and try new ways of cooking food that you wouldn’t have made from scratch yourself.
Blue Apron also pairs different additional items along with their meal kits such as kitchen tools, cooking equipment, wines, and gift cards for the meal and wine pairings.
The flexible meal pricing of Blue Apron is also very easy to understand and beginner-friendly. You’ll know right away.
No matter your meal preferences, Blue Apron lets you pick your meals according to serving size. The plan consists of 2 or 4 servings per meal and between 2 and 4 meals per week.
Here’s the cost of their meal plans based on the number of servings you want and the number of meals each week.
|2 servings per meal||4 servings per meal|
|3 meals per week||$11.99 per serving||$9.49 per serving|
|4 meals per week||$9.99 per serving||$8.49 per serving|
|5 meals per week||$9.49 per serving||$7.99 per serving|
The more meals you order, the less you pay “per serving,” and this is very cost-effective for budget-minded customers.
You will be charged for every delivery right after placing an order, but you can make last-minute modifications to the order without paying extra charges. Skipping an order, pausing a subscription, changing the delivery date/day, and adding or removing meals are possible just before the cutoff date.
Shipping costs extra, $9.99 per order, which is almost the cost of a meal serving. But considering the wide variety of meal choices that Blue Apron offers and the convenience of its meal kit delivery service, it’s well worth the added cost.
Blue Apron offers several different meal plans and features that allow you to switch easily between new diets and serving sizes. Their diet categories are varied and tempting: Signature, Vegetarian, Wellness, Signature for Four, and Add-Ons.
The Signature meal plan includes a mix of health-conscious, diabetes-friendly, and WW-recommended. These meals are perfectly suited to someone who is not a picky eater. They can try new recipes every week with a host of nutritious and yummy ingredients such as plant-based foods and nonvegetarian recipes including chicken, beef, and seafood.
You will find over 15 different meal kit recipes in the Signature plan which is the most popular and varied meal plan on Blue Apron’s menu. The Vegetarian and Wellness meal plans consist of 3–4 meal kit recipes each. The Vegetarian and Wellness plans have fewer meal kit recipes.
Vegetarian serves all meat-free and plant-based recipes. The Wellness plan includes nutritious, low-carb, and holistic recipes.
One of the special features of the Wellness plan is that the meal recipes are designed and approved by nutritionists for diabetes, weight loss, and a balanced diet plan. The meals are lower in carbs, and some even have fewer calories to aid weight loss and promote better blood sugar levels.
The Signature for Four menu option features several balanced meals with 4 servings per meal, ideal for families and get-togethers. If you dislike meal planning and prepping during a house party or a dinner, you can cook your meals easily and quickly with the help of the Signature for Four menu plan. It’s convenient and saves effort and time.
Blue Apron also delivers several different kinds of Add-Ons like desserts, salads, a la carte proteins, and prepared meals like noodles, healthy bowls, and pasta.
For a quick fix, this category offers plenty of options for you to pick from. The serving price of each of the Add-Ons is more affordable than the per-serving cost of the meal kits. Plus, you can add as many extra items to your weekly cart plus the Add-Ons menu changes every week so you won’t ever run out of options.
- Extensive meal variety for picky eaters.
- Some of the ingredients are certified organic.
- Nonvegetarian meals include hormone-free and sustainable meat.
- GMO-free, preservative-free, and additive-free fresh produce.
- It is suited to low-carb and holistic diet plans for weight loss and diabetes.
- The meals are very beginner-friendly and easy to cook.
- Some prepared meals with 2 and 4 servings each are included.
- Signing up and selecting meals are quick and flexible.
- Not a lot of meal kit options for a Vegetarian diet.
- They use a lot of plastic in their packaging.
- They don’t cater to specific diets like high protein, low calorie, etc.
Hungryroot is a hybrid meal kit delivery service that offers groceries as well as meal kits. You can organize the groceries by different recipes, and you can swap ingredients in a meal kit recipe easily if you have specific preferences and needs, diet-wise.
Such meal customization is great if you want to maintain a low-calorie diet because you can swap ingredients that have a higher number of calories with low-calorie and healthy alternatives. Likewise, Hungryroot features hundreds of different grocery items for you to pick from, so you’ll never run out of options.
What makes Hungryroot unique in every way is that they function just like a supermarket with holistic and preservative-free, GMO-free, and additive-free groceries suitable for many diets such as vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, and shellfish-free.
Pick your preferred diet categories, and you’ll have a fully customized and versatile menu. You can either choose meal kit recipes or individual grocery items.
And if you’re confused about what to select, you can take their quiz and select specific preferences and dietary needs. Hungryroot then personalizes and curates the best meal plan for you. You can edit the recipes and ingredients as you like, but it’s much faster and more convenient.
The meal kits are packed individually, organized by meal recipes, and they take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes to cook and eat. All the ingredients are premeasured depending on the serving size you’ve selected.
Anyone looking for a simple yet flexible meal kit and grocery service that lets you experiment with different ingredients and flavors will find Hungryroot a cost-effective and invaluable pick.
The smallest weekly order on Hungryroot includes 6 meals/servings per week. The price per serving decreases as you increase the size of your weekly order.
|Total number of servings||Cost per serving|
|6 servings per week||$10|
|8 servings per week||$9|
|10 servings per week||$8.75|
|12 servings per week||$8.49|
Hungryroot also uses a special credit system where you get a specific number of credits every week with which you can swap different ingredients based on the choices available to you.
Some ingredients, like chicken, seafood, beef, or premium plant-based options, cost more than others. You can check the prices at any time and find cost-effective meal kits to pick from if you’re on a budget.
Thankfully, the shipping is free above $70, which means if you want to save more money make sure you’ve added meal kits that amount to more than $70 weekly. Shipping is not free below $70, and it is calculated based on your delivery location and the size of the order.
Choosing meals can be a bit overwhelming if it’s your first time browsing and subscribing to Hungryroot’s meal kits. But thankfully, Hungryroot’s user interface is very comfortable and flexible to use.
They offer two separate menus: one for groceries and the other for recipes. You can select as many meals as you want and organize them concisely and straightforwardly with the help of these menus.
The Recipes menu features two different types of subcategories or filters. The first is the submenu with different types of cuisines accessible to you. It feels like an actual restaurant’s menu with the recipes organized by the type of dish, such as mains, sides, grain bowls, tacos, pasta, stir-fries, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, bakes, flatbreads, soups, stews, roasts, and veggie bowls.
The second type of subcategory is the filters with which you can choose different dietary preferences and mix and match according to serving size, protein, spice level, cooking time, nutrition, and dietary needs.
Under serving size, you can select, if you want, 2 servings per meal or 4 servings per meal.
Under protein, you can select multiple protein options such as beef, bison, poultry, pork, fresh fish, lamb, smoked fish, tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, plant-based meat, and shellfish.
Under spice level, you can filter meals that have no heat and are mild, medium, or hot in flavor.
Under cooking time, they have meals that take 5 minutes or less to cook and meals that take 10 minutes or less.
Under nutrition and dietary needs, you can select as little or as many options as 500 calories or less, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free, egg-free, and shellfish-free.
On the Grocery menu, you have two submenus to browse with again divided into the type of groceries, just as how you have separate aisles for different kinds of ingredients in a supermarket, and you have the filters for proteins, nutrition, spice level, dietary preferences, and newest additions.
The submenus for groceries include produce, sauces, condiments, meat, seafood, plant-based proteins, grains, pasta, bread, bakery, snacks, dairy, eggs, sweets, pantry, beverages, and ready-to-eat foods.
The filters with which you can select specific meals based on your nutrition and diet needs are the same as the Recipes menu. You can easily pick different types of diets like vegan, vegetarian, organic, etc. and still, find hundreds of options to pick from.
- Specific nutritional preferences for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
- Best for people with dietary restrictions and allergies.
- Hundreds of different meal kit recipes to pick from.
- You can take a quiz to find personalized recommendations.
- Vegan and vegetarian meals are abundant.
- All the recipes are highly customizable and swappable.
- You can download the recipe cards for each meal.
- You can select meals with fewer than 500 calories per serving.
- Affordable prices that reduce as you add more meals.
- Some of the meals may feel repetitive or bland.
- The packaging is mostly made up of single-use plastics.
- The hundreds of recipes/groceries may confuse you.
3. Daily Harvest
Daily Harvest is a premium and organic meal kit delivery service that offers zero-prep, mess-free, and low-maintenance meals. They are completely plant-based and vegan with a wide variety of vegetarian ingredients packed with maximum nutrition and flavor.
This best meal delivery service is not like most other meal kit delivery services. People subscribing to this service have very specific dietary needs like clean eating, a plant-based diet, and low-calorie and low-carb meals.
While Daily Harvest makes for one of the best low calorie meal kits on the market, it may not cater to people looking for a satisfying and wholesome meal kit service.
That being said, Daily Harvest’s meals are very limited in portion, and they have all holistic meal plans starting from smoothies and healthy bowls to salads and soups.
Another unique quality of Daily Harvest’s meals is that they’re all frozen meals and packed so they have a longer shelf life than most other meal kit services. You have to store the meal kits in the freezer, not the fridge, once they arrive at your doorstep.
The service caters to people who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. The meals take less than 10 minutes to assemble, and you can even cook some of the recipes in a microwave or oven. Simply reheating is required.
The quality of the ingredients is high as Daily Harvest is a 100% plant-based meal kit delivery service. This also reflects in their pricing because Daily Harvest offers competitive prices for all their meals including smoothies, ice cream, plant-based milk, and healthy bites.
Daily Harvest works uniquely and methodically when it comes to meal pricing and meal selection. They offer several different types of meals starting from smoothies, Harvest bowls, Harvest bakes, flatbreads, soups, forager bowls, scoops, bites, lattes, and their very own branded plant-based milk.
Rather than the typical per-serving cost structure, Daily Harvest has different prices based on the type of meal you select. Plus, you can reap different discounts based on the number of items you add to your weekly cart.
They have 3 different meal plans starting Small, Medium, and Large. You can add 9 items, 14 items, and 24 items to your weekly cart, respectively, and Daily Harvest gives you a discounted rate based on the number of items you select.
|Small||9 items||$5 off per box|
|Medium||14 items||$10 off per box|
|Large||24 items||$25 off per box|
They also make the costs of each meal type visible before signing up so you can see how much their meals cost per serving.
|Smoothies||$8.49 per smoothie|
|Harvest Bowls||$9.79 per bowl|
|Harvest Bakes||$11.99 per meal|
|Flatbread||$9.79 per serving|
|Soups||$8.49 per serving|
|Forager Bowls||$6.79 per bowl|
|Scoops||$8.99 per pint|
|Bites||$7.99 per 7 pieces|
|Lattes||$5.99 per 2 servings|
|Mylk||$7.99 per 8 cubes|
The shipping costs are included in the abovementioned prices so you don’t have to pay anything extra during checkout nor are they any hidden charges for meal customizations or modifications after you place an order. Just make sure to make all the changes before the deadline via the app or website.
Everything about the Daily Harvest is 100% plant-based and vegan. If you prioritize healthy eating with organic produce and vegan ingredients only, then Daily Harvest should be your ideal choice.
Their meals are favorably low calorie and low carbs but with limited portions and more fiber-rich foods than refined carbs and fats. Their diet palate includes meals cooked with whole grains, lentils, legumes, and exotic fruits and vegetables that you wouldn’t cook with on your own.
None of the ingredients are processed in an unhealthy manner. They are organic, non-GMO, preservative-free, and best of all, 100% certified vegan.
Since the meal portion is less, you end up consuming fewer calories per serving. Even sweet recipes like smoothies, ice cream scoops, and energy bites have natural sugars and are very low in calories.
Nuts and seeds that are rich in healthy fats are used including spices and condiments that are naturally fat-free and lower in calories.
Their menu features a submenu displaying all the different types of meals that Daily Harvest offers – Smoothies, Harvest Bowls, Harvest Bakes, Flatbreads, Soups, Forager Bowls, Scoops, Bites, Lattes, and Mylk.
Their menu also features a separate filter menu with three types of customizations: Likes, Dislikes, and Dietary Needs.
In Likes and Dislike, you can add or remove specific ingredients from your menus such as avocado, banana, berries, caffeine, chocolate, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, garlic, greens, nuts, oats, onion, and spice.
In Dietary Needs, you can filter according to nutrition and specialized diets such as AIP, FODMAP, keto, paleo, less than 10g fat, less than 15g carb, less than 15g sugar, fewer than 250 calories, less than 500mg sodium, more than 10g protein, and more than 6g fiber.
- Flavorful and nutritious meal choices.
- Healthy and protein-packed smoothies and energy bites.
- The menu offers more than 100 different types of healthy meals.
- Vegan and organic ingredients.
- An interesting variety of exotic fruits and vegetables are used.
- It positively impacts a low-calorie diet plan.
- Ideally recommended for weight loss, diabetes, and lowering cholesterol.
- All the food items can last up to 3 months in a freezer.
- No meal prep or cooking is required.
- The prices are expensive but competitive.
- The portion size is too small.
- The majority of the meals have fewer than 400 calories.
4. Green Chef
For certified-organic, calorie-conscious and healthy meals, turn your attention to Green Chef. Every week, there are 24–25 new and nutritionist-crafted recipes to choose from, and if you’re specifically looking for a meal kit delivery service that uses only organic ingredients, then picking Green Chef is wise and practical.
Green Chef is all about high-quality, nutrient-rich ingredients that are not only USDA-certified organic but also CCOF-certified organic. Your orders can be tailored to fit your dietary needs and preferences. For instance, meals are customizable to suit keto, paleo, plant-based, or any other diet plan you might be following at the time.
No matter the meal type or plan, every recipe is nutritionally balanced (and some of it is gluten-free too!). And almost every ingredient included in those meals is certified organic, while the meats are obtained through sustainable farming methods (no antibiotics, no hormones).
The dishes are fairly simple to prepare, most of them get ready in under 30 minutes only. Each meal kit comes with instructions, which are easy to follow (be it for preparing classic chicken meals or even pork meatballs).
Green Chef seems to have surpassed expectations when you talk about quality and healthy ingredients. These ingredients are fresh, and they come together to provide you with light and tasty dishes.
Moreover, Green Chef offers flexibility when it comes to choosing a delivery slot/time, unlike some of the other top meal delivery services on the market.
The first thing to know about Green Chef pricing is that the per-serving cost is the same irrespective of which meal plan you select.
So how much does Green Chef cost?
– For 6 servings per meal
- 4 or 3 meals per week: $11.99 per serving
– For 4 servings per meal
- 4 meals per week: $11.99 per serving
- 3 meals per week: $12.49 per serving
- 2 meals per week: $12.99 per serving
– For 2 servings per meal
- 4 meals per week: $12.99 per serving
- 3 meals per week: $13.49 per serving
Now you know how much is Green Chef’s cost per month. Compared to other top-ranking meal kit delivery services, Green Chef does seem like a slightly more expensive option. But you have to pay a little more for high-quality and, especially, certified-organic ingredients.
The shipping cost per order is $9.99.
Once your order has been placed, you can still make changes to it so long as you’re sticking to the deadline (every confirmation email comes with a deadline). The cutoff time is usually a week before the scheduled delivery date. Skipping weeks and also canceling your order or subscription can be done very easily and quickly with Green Chef.
The Plans page on the Green Chef website reveals what kind of meal plans they offer:
- Keto + Paleo (most suitable for low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein meals)
- Fast & Fit
The most popular plan is Keto + Paleo (4 meals per week, 2 servings per meal). But you can pick your meal box size – 2, 4, or 6 servings per meal and 3 or 4 meals per week.
On their Low Calorie Meal Delivery Service page, they have described their low-calorie meal plans very clearly. Every bite of their convenient low-calorie meals leaves you feeling satisfied, and it’s not like the recipes are time-consuming to prepare. The dishes are assembled by expert and registered dieticians and chefs, and each organic ingredient is properly measured.
Even the diversity of Green Chef’s low-calorie meals is the best – well-balanced, flavorful dishes on the low-calorie menu that you can cook in your kitchen in under just 30 minutes!
For low calories and carbs, the Keto + Paleo meal plan (high-protein and free of soy, grains, and gluten) is the right option. Every serving of meal here includes under 20 grams of carbs and anywhere between 600 and 800 calories. These healthy meals consist of fresh, chopped vegetables and signature sauces – all of which are delicious to their very core.
Even plant-powered meals include a wide range of vegetables and plant-based proteins. A diverse variety of flavors are a part of both plant- and meal-based Green Chef meals. More advanced or complex meals are equally a part of the menu as comfort foods.
Thai, Mediterranean, Jamaican, Mexican, and more international cuisines are added to the Green Chef menu weekly. Overall, every dish is well-seasoned and consists of flavorful spice combinations (without tasting excessively salty).
- USDA-certified organic ingredients and sustainable packaging.
- Protein-rich and plant-based meals.
- Large range of flavors and cuisines.
- Lots of different meal plans to choose from.
- Best keto + paleo recipes every week.
- Some dishes are gluten-free as well.
- Meal modifications not possible.
- An expensive meal kit delivery service.
5. Home Chef
One of the most affordable and best meal delivery services, Home Chef allows you to swap proteins depending on your dietary preferences. This meal delivery service is the best and most well-known for its calorie- and carb-conscious meals.
There’s a personalized quiz you take that allows Home Chef to create a customized meal plan just for you. Another thing that can be tailored to your liking is the swapping or upgrading of ingredients. Check if the recipe of your choice has a “Customize It” button. Because if it does, you can substitute the protein source or even double up on quantity.
Every week, there are over 20 dishes on the Home Chef menu, which includes convenient and quick oven-ready and one-pot meals, but ultimately, it’s the meal customization part that stands out, as very few meal kit delivery services allow that.
On Home Chef, you get to replace one protein with another. For example, if you don’t want to fill up on potatoes or don’t like pork, you can easily substitute that with veggies, fish, or chicken.
What’s also possible is doubling up the protein content in your lunch/dinner. This automatically lowers the carb content of the meal, which really helps with weight loss (or if you’re on a paleo or keto diet).
Another form of customization is choosing between standard protein and antibiotic-free protein – the latter might cost extra though.
As for the prep time, there are dishes that take as little as 10 minutes or as much as over 40 minutes to prepare. Either way, the cooking process is hassle-free, be it for comfort foods or heavier recipes.
Affordable pricing is the heart of the Home Chef experience – around $9 per serving only!
The price per serving goes down to $7 as well, but these are for salads and easy, quick meals. Likewise, the cost per serving can increase up to $18–$20 too for premium dishes or higher-quality cuts of meat or for seafood recipes.
The shipping cost is eliminated if your weekly order’s total bill amount exceeds $45.
So, typically speaking, what is the weekly cost here? A meal box of Home Chef with 3 meals (4 servings each) can cost around $120, hence free shipping.
The Home Chef menu also includes protein packs, such as New York Strip Steaks, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, and more. The price per bundle of these types of extras is between $60 and $75.
You can cancel your subscription and modify your meals before the deadline – 12 p.m. (Central Time) every Friday before the scheduled delivery date.
To start with, there are three filters on every week’s menu – calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and under 30 minutes. The first two are the ones you should be selecting for limiting your calorie and carb intake (e.g., to bring about effective weight loss results).
Overall, every menu features a large number of meals to choose from. Upcoming menus are also a part of the Home Chef experience (order as early as 5 weeks in advance!). This way, you know whether your subscription will be worth it or not.
The dishes are tagged accordingly. For instance, the following labels are found on the Home Chef menu:
- Culinary Collection
- Meal Kit
- Family Meal
- Express Plus
- Fast & Fresh
- Fast & Fresh Plus
- Oven-Ready Plus
- Oven-Ready Family
- Protein Pack
Now you can see the huge variety of options there is on the Home Chef menu. Each recipe is tagged depending on many factors – diet, prep time, etc. Then there are a la carte items too. This includes desserts, snacks, protein packs, and so much more.
You can customize some of the meals by adding extra protein or substituting the proteins.
Overall, Home Chef offers easy-to-prepare meals that are beginner-friendly as well. Traditional American recipes are more commonly a part of the menu, but then there is a good number of unfamiliar flavors also.
They also have classic lunches and dinner options like pork tenderloin and baked chicken with more global-inspired, creative dishes such as Brau Haus-Style Beef Burger and Spicy Korean-Style BBQ Shrimp Rice Bowl.
You might also fall head over heels in love with the Culinary Collection on the Home Chef menu. These Home Chef meals are slightly more expensive – and for good reason.
Some examples include Sirloin Steak and Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Cherry Balsamic-Glazed Salmon, and Candied Bacon and Smoked Gouda Burger. Pop any of these into your weekly meal box to treat your taste buds once or twice a week.
- Customizable meals on the weekly menu.
- Quick, easy meals and meals from the culinary collection.
- Plenty of carb- and calorie-conscious recipes.
- Protein can be upgraded and substituted.
- A la carte items also available.
- Overpriced “premium” meals also on the menu.
- Excessive use of plastic packaging.
- Not many plant-based options.
This article takes a closer look at a low-calorie diet plan and some of the best low-calorie meal kits you can subscribe to. Every meal delivery service comes with its pros and cons, but the most important thing is what your personal needs and preferences are.
These services aim at making healthy eating accessible and convenient for everyone. By incorporating different types of fruits and vegetables into your diet, you can skip high-calorie foods without a fuss and get ready-made, preportioned meal kits that are easy to cook, make no mess, and do not lead to food waste.