235. What about meal prep services?Jan 07, 2022
By: Michael Beiter
People ask me all the time, "Mike, a new spot opened up down the street. I can go in and order several meals to be delivered to my door. They have fridges full I can grab and go when I'm short on time. What do you think about them?"
I hate them. Let me explain why.
Meal prep services and similar businesses seem fantastic on the surface. I was a fan initially until many clients used them and failed.
Fundamentally, they offer you the ability to delegate cooking. The problem is that cooking is a fundamental skill not to be delegated. This is a hard pill to swallow for a culture obsessed with paying others to do things we don't like to do.
Let it be known; delegation is terrific to free up time. But the essential skills and behaviors that make us healthy cannot be delegated. Cooking is one of them. So are exercising and sleeping.
Lawn care, cleaning, data entry, and even driving are all things we can affordably pay others to do for us. Another problem is that when we get free time back from the delegation, we don't use it to sleep, cook, or exercise; we use it to work more—terrible choice.
One of my favorite authors is Michael Pollan. He has been called "America's authority on food" for his investigative journalist pieces. I'll share a link to a short video where he suggests the best diet for everyone involved in home cooking.
Mike says: "The food industry and its marketing messages flatter our sense of busyness and tell us: You don't have time to cook. You're too important. You're a loser if you have time to cook."
If you buy into said belief, there's a good chance you got sold on a bad idea.
The only way to be successful with nutrition, in the long run, is to build the skills necessary to sustain like: cooking, shopping, eating with others, and cleaning up. There is sound evidence that if you add growing and cultivating your food to that list of skills, you will be even better off.
The food prep companies are an extension of the fast-food industry. You learn nothing by using them. And for that reason, I don't recommend them.
I'm with Pollan when he says, "You know what the number one diet for everyone would be? Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself."
I've been suggesting the principle of eating whatever you want and tracking it since I started my business. After seeing the ineffectiveness of meal prep businesses, I have to conclude cooking for yourself is an excellent addition to our program. It is one of the reasons we have a shopping list, meal plan, and recipe subscription service on the way.
Drop the delegation. It's time for you to learn the skills needed to handle your nutrition yourself.