meal plan service

Over the past 4 years I’d steadily been gaining weight. I wasn’t what you would consider morbidly obese, but I had a BMI that hovered around 30% and was tired of the way my body looked. Something had to change.

I felt fat. I felt like I didn’t have time to eat right, and the choices I was making for food were based on taste and convenience vs. health. I was basically willing to blame everything but myself.

So, I decided to do something about it. I wanted to at least try to eat better and lose weight. If exercise wasn’t my “thing” and eating wheat grass and air wasn’t appealing, maybe there was a happy medium somewhere.

Doing The Research

For a few days I started researching my options. It seemed there were hundreds out there. Everything from Weight Watchers-style “count your points” programs to meal services that deliver your food for you.

I didn’t want the restriction of counting points. I’d seen family members go through this and it really seemed like more hassle than it was worth because they were pretty unhappy about the food options as well.

Why add to that frustration by doing math and eating food you don’t like?

I want actual food. Food I enjoy eating, though I’m willing to make concessions on what ingredients I use.

The perfect meal doesn’t need to be french fries or lasagna, and if I want that, I don’t want to feel guilty for eating it. I simply need variance and a plan I can stick to.

Meal Delivery Services & Other Options

Next up we have the various meal delivery services. I’ll admit, some of these seemed pretty decent and had good reviews. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated. The list goes on.

…but the cost. There’s just no way I could rationalize spending $10/meal on something I may or may not like. That comes out to almost $1,000/mo in food costs! Even if it was $3/plate, what’s to say I even want to eat boiled peas and meatloaf on that day?

OK, sure, I was probably spending that much on eating out and groceries in general but I knew I liked that food!

So, money might not be the biggest factor in my decision to avoid meal delivery services, however it’s still factor for me and millions of other people.

Food delivery was an option, and not a bad option, I just wanted the best option for me.

Then I found it. Platejoy.

This video does a great job of explaining what Platejoy is and how it works.

I like to cook. Yes, I love to eat, but when I can cook I know what goes into my food and I can do it on my own time.

Fast food and eating out is a convenience that sometimes I’ll indulge in, but I still always cook at least 1 meal at home every day and none of them really took longer than 20 minutes anyway. It was fast enough and the food was always yummy.

So, would Platejoy fulfill that need?

Before I answer that question, let me tell you why I chose Platejoy.

Why I Chose Platejoy

I first found this service while reading reviews for meal delivery services, not knowing there were other types of meal services. I thought everything involved shipping meals out to you with no option to cook.

Then a friend on Facebook told me about Platejoy so I decided to do a little research.

It turns out they were getting great reviews from hundreds of customers on TrustPilot and mentions on very big websites such as Shape, Greatist, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and my favorite…The New York Times.

Platejoy is the most customizable service I’ve tried. Each week, recipes and shopping lists magically appear on my phone based on a plan of my choosing.”

New York Times

Interesting, OK. So I get recipes? What else? Because I can get recipes anywhere for free. I’m not going to pay $9/mo for recipes what kind of fool do you take me for?

Then I realized it was so much more than that, it was that missing link – the shopping list and meal plan!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve purchased a vegetable that just sits in the refrigerator and never gets used. It sucks throwing food away. I feel guilty and I waste money.

It’s not that I didn’t know how to shop, it was more about timing and quantities. Platejoy seemingly helps solve that.

Life kind of gets in the way sometimes and it hurts to throw away food that you didn’t use.

Platejoy helps eliminate that waste by not only planning your meals but selecting ingredients that can either be used multiple times, or in quantities that will work for that meal.

Yes, it’s not going to stop life from getting in the way, but it will give you a more efficient way to eat on a routine basis. Which definitely beats my random grocery shopping trips while hungry where I buy everything I think I want to eat all at once.

While it can be argued that meal delivery services offer this same exact benefit, the costs are far different. And even if costs weren’t a concern, because eating healthy is rarely cheap, you still have to actually want to eat what a meal delivery service sends you!

With Platejoy you’re customizing your own meals with foods you actually want to eat and then your meal plan (and shopping lists) are generated for you.

I think this video really sums up what Platejoy can do for you with meal planning.

Who Can Use Platejoy?

This may seem like an odd question because you’d figure everyone could use it, and they can, but let me explain.

One of the biggest barriers to using anything in the food industry are specific dietary concerns or needs.

For instance, those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have an incredibly hard time eating out or using meal services.

Then you’ve got those with food allergies that absolutely can’t eat certain types of foods.

This is where I believe Platejoy shines because your meals are customized to your needs.

Diet Types Platejoy Supports

Chances are if you have dietary restrictions Platejoy can work with them. This appealed to me as someone that needed to reduce my carbohydrates and avoid certain foods (shellfish)

See, Platejoy uses an incredibly advanced software algorithm to match your food preferences with meals designed by in-house nutritionists.

Think of it kind of like a dating service for meals.

Not everyone wants the same food, right? Some of us don’t like specific ingredients, or there might be an allergy in the family or maybe you’re diabetic or on a Keto diet or vegan.

The point is, we all have different dietary needs and this is where the customization quiz comes in. If we want an algorithm to perform correctly we need to feed it the correct data!

Platejoy Customization Quiz

On this page you will see a relatively long list of questions. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to answer them and it’s actually kind of fun. I like quizzes I guess!

The first question wants to determine how many people will be needing a meal plan, and I like that, even if it makes me feel a little sad for being solo.

I know there are a ton of families out there and cooking for 3, 4, 5 & 6 people or more can be absolute nightmare. Platejoy can help eliminate the headache of choosing what to eat and what to buy.

Some sample questions below…

When you’re done with this part of the quiz you’ll be taken to the next section which are your customized meals. In my case I was given 12 meal options for each breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks – so about 50 total!

Here are 8 of them for each of the meal times.

Snacks & Dessert…yum!

By the time I hit this page I was pretty much sold on the service. Short cooking times for most meals (I selected that) and I could just click a link (Nutrition Info) and see the macros (calories, protein/fat/carbs, .etc) – perfect!

Keep in mind, these were meals selected for me based on the way I customized my meals. I wanted a lower carb diet and I prefer not to eat shellfish. I’m open to almost anything else and I want to try new things.

You, however, may have totally different dietary needs and that’s cool because Platejoy can work with nearly anything and as many people as you have in your family.

So, from here you now have the tough decision.

Should I Pay For This?

Actually, you don’t quite have to do that, not just yet. If you see that red button under the total cost you’ll see Platejoy has a 10 day free trial.

And yes, you should absolutely take them up on that.

The service itself isn’t expensive ($99 for the entire year!) but hey, what if it sucks?

What if I don’t like the food?

What if I decide I would rather eat Five Guys or Shake Shack?

These are all questions I asked myself and the free trial helped eliminate any doubt. If I didn’t like it, I cancel it, easy.

Free trial it is!

Some Questions You Might Have

How The Service Works

This is really the easy part. You just use the free Platejoy app (iOS or Android) and log in.

From there you’ll have the ability to see your custom meal plans, shopping lists and more.

Now all you have to do is shop for the ingredients and cook them! It’s really that simple.

Conclusion: My Thoughts & My Results

There are quite a few stories out there of rapid weight loss using Platejoy. My story isn’t quite that dramatic. I’ve managed to lose 12 pounds in 60 days, and more importantly keep it off.

To me this is a drastic lifestyle improvement. It isn’t Biggest Loser-amazing, but it doesn’t need to be. I’m losing fat at a healthy clip and eating food I actually enjoy.

If I want to have a couple of cheat meals then I plan those in advance and I don’t feel bad for it. As long as I stick to this core meal plan and avoid overeating then I’ll continue to lose body fat and live a healthier life.

I truly feel like my life has changed for the better because I’m taking control of what I eat. I have no more excuses when it comes to food.

Platejoy is worth a try if you’re seriously considering making a lifestyle change. It’s not easy, though. An app won’t stop you from eating McDonald’s at 10pm, or 2 bowls of Lucky Charms at 1am.

What it will do is give you the right portions of food you like to eat and with a little self-control you’ll start to see results.