I Tried a Fitness-Focused Meal Plan—Here’s What Happened
Plus, once you do decide on a route to take, you still have to put in the effort of planning and actually making your meals (trust me—as a committed meal-prep vet of two years, I am very familiar with chopping and batch-cooking fatigue).
That's why when I heard about Kettlebell Kitchen, the customizable meal delivery service that does all the prepping (and thinking!) for you, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.
For Kettlebell Kitchen, the process starts with a simple questionnaire including info like height, weight, frequency and intensity of workouts, and your personal aims (fat loss, muscle gain, or sport performance). Then, one of the brand's in-house dietitians analyzes your responses and develops a meal plan totally tailored to you.
"The main benefit when you sign up for a meal plan is that it takes the guess work out of what to eat for your goals."
"Kettlebell Kitchen is a goal-focused food provider in the sense that we provide meals to help our customers achieve a specific wellness goal," says founder and CEO Joe Lopez-Gallego. "The main benefit when you sign up for a meal plan is that it takes the guess work out of what to eat for your goals... This eliminates a lot of confusion around food choices."
As involved (and often confused) as I've previously been in puzzling together my various personal meal plans, I decided to give the hands-off approach a shot and let Kettlebell Kitchen's team do the work for me. Plus, with its stated pledge of helping me achieve my wellness benchmarks (co-founder Greg Grossman says some customers have seen results in as little as two weeks) I was definitely intrigued. Would this finally be a method I could stick with?
Scroll down to find out what happened during my trial week.
Delivery was super easy
After making my selections from the pre-screened meals within my plan, I was pretty pumped to get my first delivery. On the menu for the week? Wild salmon cakes, cajun shrimp with pulled chicken, and roasted pork loin with bacon date relish. AKA, yum.
On the menu for the week? Wild salmon cakes, cajun shrimp with pulled chicken, and roasted pork loin with bacon date relish. AKA, yum.
Orders are placed five days in advance so the team has time to snag new ingredients for each meal (to keep everything super fresh, there's no stockpiling), and meals are delivered twice a week to avoid the age-old meal-prep problem of choking down a five-day-old salad.
Dishes can be delivered to your office or favorite fitness studio, but I chose home delivery for max convenience. My package was brought to my door on Sunday evening in an insulated tote filled with icepacks. I just popped the containers in the fridge, and boom: weekly prep, done.
I discovered new flavor combos
Despite the promise of fresh ingredients, I was still a little nervous my meals would arrive looking like frostbitten TV dinners.
But Grossman assured me that would never be the case. "Our food is fresh, never frozen, and consciously produced to help you achieve your goal and genuinely live better," he says. "The ingredients are cooked at the last possible minute and blast-chilled to preserve the nutrients and freshness. We then pack them right before sending them out to you."
Shout out to the chipotle quiche with chicken sausage and Swiss chard I had for breakfast one morning.
And he wasn't wrong. There wasn't a wilted veggie to be found, and the meats tasted like they had just been prepared (definitely no rubbery texture). Most impressively, the flavor profiles were on point—shout out to the chipotle quiche with chicken sausage and Swiss chard I had for breakfast one morning, which was rich and smokey with just the right amount of kick.
It made me realize the power of protein
The main difference between my usual diet and the Kettlebell Kitchen meal plan was that I was eating more protein than I was used to—an increase Amanda Montalvo, a registered dietitian at Kettlebell, notes is deliberate and a key element of helping people along their wellness journey.
"Protein is important for a number of reasons: Not only does it help build and maintain muscle mass, but it is also broken down to amino acids and fuels hundreds of processes in the body," Montalvo says. "Protein also has the added benefit of helping you feel more satiated after a meal and promoting blood sugar balance."
"Protein also has the added benefit of helping you feel more satiated after a meal and promoting blood sugar balance."
Feeling more satiated was right in line with my experience. Because the protein-packed breakfast was bigger than my usual smoothie or plain hardboiled eggs, I wasn't starving by the time lunch rolled around. I actually ended up delaying my lunch a bit, which in turn meant I wasn't running home to eat ASAP at the end of my work day (and I definitely wasn't tempted to raid the W+G snack cabinet at 4 p.m.).
Overall, my week of Kettlebell Kitchen meals was one I would definitely repeat. Not only was it a major timesaver, but my body and energy levels responded with a major thumbs up. I'll have to try the meal plan longer to see where it takes me in terms of workout goals, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted to break up with meal-prep for good.
In partnership with Kettlebell Kitchen
Photos: Kettlebell Kitchen
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