Losing weight doesn’t just have to mean eating boring salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I’m definitely a firm believer that if you get your proportions and calories right…
(and get the right nutrients in)
… you can eat almost anything you want on a diet. (Within reason, of course!)
And when you talk about eating amazing meals at home, you’ve got to talk about home meal delivery kits. They’re:
Super fun to make
Full of variety and exciting new dishes
Relatively inexpensive (compared to restaurants)
Lower in calories than gourmet restaurant meals
So whether you’re looking to lose weight, maintain a trim physique, or gear up for some New Years resolution fitness goals, here are all the best meal delivery services for weight loss.
(Most of these will give you a great discount on your first order by clicking the link!)
- Hungry Root (318 calories per meal)
- Purple Carrot (516 calories per meal)
- ***Blue Apron (638 calories per meal)
- Sun Basket (650 calories per meal)
- Home Chef (661 calories per meal)
- Plated (737 calories per meal)
- HelloFresh (792 calories per meal)
(*** = My top overall choice)
Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Below, I’ll explain how I compared these different services, the pros and cons of each, and why I think Blue Apron is the best overall choice for weight loss (though they’re all great for different reasons!)
How I compared the different meal delivery services
Picking the best meal delivery service is no easy task.
There are only about 7,230 to choose from!
But I had to start somewhere. So what I did was take most of the biggest names in the business, including ones I’ve personally tried myself, and gone through an evaluation process.
The biggest things I’m looking for in this comparison are:
These brands are heavily competitive with one another, so the pricing is about the same on most of these meal kits. That said, there seem to be two tiers… Tier one is your ‘normal’ meal deliveries like Blue Apron and HelloFresh. Tier two is a little pricier but includes the organic, vegan, or vegetarian based services like Purple Carrot and Hungry Root.
For the most part, though, you’ll pay somewhere between $60-70 per week (for 2 people and 3 meals a piece), and the price difference is so small that it shouldn’t be a huge factor. But I’ve included it below regardless.
Sample meals and selection
For each service below, I’ve listed basically everything that’s on the current menu and available for delivery at the time of this writing.
It should give you a pretty good idea of the selection and how many choices you’ll have each week you opt in for a delivery.
This is actually pretty important if weight loss is your goal. It’s nice to be able to choose from lots of different meals depending on your calorie goals and other dietary restrictions (low carb, Keto, paleo, low fat, etc.)
Average calories per serving
Most of these meal delivery services list all of their nutritional information online for the current menu, which is such great information to have access to!
Below, I’ve taken the average calorie count of each current menu item (full meals only… lots of these places offer snacks, lunches, and dessert as well, but for our purposes we’re just comparing dinner meals).
This will help you get an idea of the overall calorie average you can expect week in and week out from each service.
Average of 3 lowest calorie options
One cool thing about being able to choose your meals each week from a menu is that, even if a service has higher calorie counts overall, you can choose a handful of lower calorie options and leave the massive calorie bombs behind.
So below, in my specific breakdowns, you’ll see an average of the 3 lowest calorie menu items for each service to get an idea of what it would look like if you made the “healthy” choice every week.
Blue Apron (638 calories per serving)
Overview: The original, and still one of the best absolute best, meal delivery services around. Blue Apron practically invented the game so it’s no surprise they do it well.
You can choose your number of people, how many meals per week you’d like delivered, and pick from about 8-12 different recipes each week.
There’s plenty of variety, though it’s less than some competitors. But the reason it makes this list is because it’s the lowest calorie option around (on average) if you want your meals to include meat!
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meals per week meal plan from Blue Apron, you’ll pay
$9.99 per serving
Around $60 per week total
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Blue Apron:
Seated steaks & mashed potatoes (600 calories per serving)
Spiced chicken & cabbage slaw (680 calories per serving)
Seared tilapia & orzo salad (600 calories per serving)
Three-cheese pizza (710 calories per serving)
Asian-inspired brown rice bowl (500 calories per serving)
Indian-style cauliflower (420 calories per serving)
Sweet & spicy chicken grain bowl (640 calories per serving)
Picadillo-style beef ragu’ (960 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 638 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 506 calories per serving
Average cook time of around 45 minutes
Tied for least expensive option on this list
Vegetarian options available
Seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients
Less selection than some competitors
Tons of packaging waste
Why Blue Apron is my favorite meal delivery kit for weight loss: It’s not the absolute lowest calorie option on the list, but on average, it’s the lowest one outside of Purple Carrot and Hungryroot which both specialize in vegan and vegetarian recipes.
So if you’re looking for a really good customer experience, an affordable price, and delicious meals that include meats and proteins (though veggie options are always available), without crazy calorie counts, you really can’t do much better than Blue Apron.
(If you’re interested, you can even check out my in-depth guide to how to use Blue Apron calorie counts to fit your diet and lose weight.)
HelloFresh (792 calories per serving)
Overview: If you’ve heard of two names in the meal delivery service world, chances are they’re Blue Apron and HelloFresh. HelloFresh is a top competitor of BA and has been around almost as long.
They’re pretty similar overall, in both price and quality. The two biggest differences are the average calorie count of the meals (Blue Apron is far lower), and the variety (HelloFresh has a lot more selection each week).
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meals per week meal plan from HelloFresh, you’ll pay
$8.99 per serving
Around $60 per week total
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at HelloFresh:
Balsamic fig chicken (590 calories per serving)
Swedish meatloves (810 calories per serving)
Tuscan sausage and pepper spaghetti (950 calories per serving)
Cheesy beef tostadas (870 calories per serving)
Mediterranean roasted chicken legs (1140 calories per serving)
Chicken sausage flatbreads (680 calories per serving)
Seven grain chiles rellenos (670 calories per serving)
Butternut squash agnolotti (630 calories per serving)
Za’atar crusted grilling cheese (530 calories per serving)
20oz rib-eye steaks over risotto (1220 calories per serving)
Wasabi zinger salmon (710 calories per serving)
Beef taco loaded potatoes (740 calories per serving)
Lobster ravioli lasagna gratin (930 calories per serving)
Bulgogi chicken tacos (620 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 792 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 580 calories per serving
My take: HelloFresh meals are freaking delicious. I can attest to that, as I’ve been a customer off and on for a while.
The downside, though, is that the calorie counts tend to be quite a bit higher than almost every other option on this list.
The good news is that HelloFresh has some of the best selection around (with about 15 new meals to try each week), so you can almost always find lower calorie options. Even those, though, will usually still clock in over 500 calories.
You can, however, still use HelloFresh for weight loss if you plan your eating day accordingly. Here’s my guide to doing exactly that.
Plated (737 calories per serving)
Overview: Plated follows a similar model to Blue Apron and HelloFresh. You pick the number of people in your household, pick how many meals you want each week, and then choose from the current menu.
Pretty simple! And delicious, too.
The big differentiators here are selection and price. Plated has a TON to choose from each week (well over 15 recipes by my count), but is also a little more expensive than the big competitors.
As far as calories go, Plated comes in on the higher end at just over 700 calories per dish. It’s a little less than HelloFresh, and still totally manageable with some smart dieting, but it’s not the lowest calorie option available by a long shot.
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meals per week meal plan from Plated, you’ll pay
$11.95 per serving
Free shipping for plans over $60
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Plated:
Sun-dried tomato chicken (670 calories per serving)
Gochujang beef meatballs (830 calories per serving)
Szuchuan-style chicken thighs (750 calories per serving)
Chicken puttnaesca (700 calories per serving)
Tomato bisque (740 calories per serving)
Mushroom cavatappi (880 calories per serving)
Lamb merguez (670 calories per serving)
Sausage, broccoli, and cheddar calzones (960 calories per serving)
Chive butter-basted steak (430 calories per serving)
Crispy tilapia (790 calories per serving)
Black bean chilaquiles (790 calories per serving)
Kale and sweet potato bowls (730 calories per serving)
French onion soup burgers (760 calories per serving)
Braised chicken, apricots, and currants (790 calories per serving)
Prosciutto pizza (790 calories per serving)
Caprese chicken (780 calories per serving)
Chicken marsala (710 calories per serving)
Spicy crunchy shrimp bowls (730 calories per serving)
Salmon and creamy dill sauce (670 calories per serving)
Seared steak (570 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 737 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 543 calories per serving
My take: I love the insane amount of selection you get from Plated. I’ve tried Plated many times, as well, and always found the meals incredibly delicious and pretty simple to prepare.
If you’re good at fitting in some higher calorie meals into your diet, Plated is well worth a try.
Hungryroot (318 calories per serving)
Overview: How about something a little different? Hungryroot offers up vegan fare, and uses a slightly different model than most of its competitors.
You’ll still choose how many people you want to service and how often, but in addition to getting a handful of meals, you’ll also get a few snacks, sides, and desserts (the black bean brownie batter is to die for!).
The other main difference is that Hungryroot meals and sides are served almost completely ready to eat. There’s not much prep, just a little bit of reheating when you’re ready. That can be a great plus if you don’t have the time for complicated meal preparation.
And, finally, Hungryroot (partly by its vegan nature) is a SUPER low calorie option. In fact I might even say that it’s too low, in some cases, if that’s possible, with some dinners coming in at only 300 calories per serving.
Cost: For a 2 person, 2 meal per week meal plan (plus snacks, sides, and desserts) from Hungryroot, you’ll pay:
Around $69 per week
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Hungryroot:
*Note: This is just a sampling of their current dinner selection, as that’s the best way for me to compare Hungryroot to Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated, etc. Hungryroot boxes will also include some lunches and snacks depending on your bundle. You can see the full calories and macros for everything HungryRoot serves right here.
Avocado chickpea noodle bowl (300 calories per serving)
Butternut squash tofu curry (290 calories per serving)
Creamy corn cauliflower risotto (460 calories per serving)
Broccoli basil yuba bowl (280 calories per serving)
Pad thai fried rice (390 calories per serving)
Three bean sweet potato chili (300 calories per serving)
Zucchini noodle eggplant bolognese (250 calories per serving)
Bangkok curry buddha bowl (270 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 318 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 267 calories per serving
My take: Hungryroot is a really cool service. If you like the idea of meal delivery but don’t want to spend 45 minutes a night making the meals, you might want to give this a try. Everything in the box is served either ready to eat or just needs to be heated up in a skillet or microwave.
These are great meals and snacks to take to work, for that reason. And the taste is great!
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian looking for a low calorie option, Hungryroot is one of the best choices around.
Purple Carrot (516 calories per serving)
Overview: Here’s another great low calorie, vegetarian option. Purple Carrot is a really cool service that more closely resembles your standard meal delivery kit:
You pick the number of people and number of meals, then choose from the current menu.
The selection is a little low, and it’s not cheap, but the quality is fantastic, the portions are spot on, and there are all kinds of cool packages like quick meals, high protein meals, and gourmet meals that you can choose from.
While I think Hungryroot calories actually come in a little bit too low to be filling, Purple Carrot is right on the money with an average of 516 calories per meal.
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meal per week meal plan from Purple Carrot, you’ll pay:
$12 per plate/serving
Around $72 per week
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Purple Carrot:
Kale brussels sprout Caesar salad (420 calories per serving)
Mediterranean bowl (490 calories per serving)
Miso-ginger polenta (450 calories per serving)
Pesto rigatoni (670 calories per serving)
Sweet potato fajitas (510 calories per serving)
Peanut tempeh (560 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 516 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 453 calories per serving
My take: That’s a really good looking menu, and though I don’t love the low selection, I really like that you can tweak your delivery by choosing quick meals or high protein vegetarian options.
Purple Carrot is definitely a great choice for weight loss, especially if you’re willing to pay a little extra for high-quality vegetarian food.
Sun Basket (650 calories per serving)
Overview: If you’re really into eating clean, whole foods with a strong sustainability component, Sun Basket might be the choice for you.
They come in on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the food quality and sourcing is really top-notch.
One thing I love is that there are paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, pescatarian, and Diabetes-friendly options available. So you have tons of choice here for any diet.
Sun Basket calories are pretty middle of the road at around 650 per serving. Perfectly filling and easy to fit into most diets with a little planning.
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meal per week meal plan from Sun Basket, you’ll pay:
$11.99 per serving
Around $71 per week
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Sun Basket:
Steak and roasted sweet potato with scallion-ginger relish
Speed Korean BBQ chicken lettuce cups with kimchi
Sesame crusted salmon with scallions and warm carrot salad
Sheet pan pork sausages with roasted apple and squash
Gingered turkey meatballs in lemongrass broth with cauliflower rice
Southwestern chicken salad with black beans and avocado
One-pot Basque-style bouillabaisse with sole and tarragon
Simple squash fajitas with sweet peppers and queso fresco
Lamb korma with sweet potato mash and toasted naan
Mediterranean salad with falafel and Marcona almonds
Easy fusilli with Neopolitan ragu’ and kale Caesar salad
Quick Malaysian shrimp curry with apple and chard
Sweet potato and black bean chili
Five-spice pork and soba noodle bowls with edamame
Salt-and-pepper tofu stir-fry with glass noodles
Stir-fried tempeh teriyaki with bell pepper and cabbage
Superfast Southwestern chili with pinto beans, chiles, and kale
Ecuadorian chicken stew with bell pepper and brown rice
Average calories per serving = 650 calories
Sun Basket actually doesn’t list the nutrition online for its current menu. You’ll get that information delivered with your meal if you decide to become a customer, but for the purposes of this comparison, I can only go by the information they’ve made available.
According to Sun Basket’s nutritional guidelines, most meals have average between 550-750 calories per serving.
They also have a Lean & Clean series you can choose from, where all the meals are under 600 calories.
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = N/A
My take: Look at that selection! You won’t have any trouble finding a dish that you like and a few that fit your calorie requirements here, with 15+ options each and every week.
And if weight loss is the goal, Sun Basket’s Lean & Clean meals should be perfectly up your alley, with each one coming in under 600 calories.
This one is well worth a look, especially if sustainability and whole food eating are important to you and you’re willing to pay a few dollars more to get them.
Home Chef (661 calories per serving)
Overview: There’s nothing super, crazy unique about Home Chef. But the meals are good, the selection is strong, and the price is right.
What’s not to like?
The average meal from Home Chef will come in around 660 calories, with the lowest calorie options being around 507.
That’s pretty good for an at-home gourmet meal, and should fit into your diet without too much struggle.
One cool thing about Home Chef is that you can sometimes add in lunch meals and smoothies as an add-on to your regular package. Great for low calorie snacking.
Cost: For a 2 person, 3 meal per week meal plan from Home Chef, you’ll pay:
$9.95 per serving
Free shipping over $45
Around $60 per week
Sample Meals: At the time of this writing, here’s what’s currently on the menu over at Home Chef:
Salmon with brown-butter tomato relish (564 calories per serving)
Steak strip chimichangas (820 calories per serving)
Shrimp de jonghe penne (685 calories per serving)
Japanese BBQ burger (935 calories per serving)
Nashville hot chicken strips (582 calories per serving)
Maple-glazed tenderloin (444 calories per serving)
Teriyaki chicken thighs with smoked almonds (766 calories per serving)
Prosciutto & balsamic flatbread (685 calories per serving)
Autumn chicken stew (617 calories per serving)
Turkey burrito skillet (613 calories per serving)
Creamy parmesan linguine (697 calories per serving)
Black bean chili (513 calories per serving)
Artichoke and tomato flatbread (678 calories per serving)
Average calories per serving = 661 calories
Average of 3 lowest calorie options = 507 calories per serving
My take: Man, I’m getting hungry reading through these menus. That all sounds incredibly delicious, and the calorie count isn’t too bad.
The selection is strong with Home Chef, but some might find the recipes a little simplistic for their tastes. You also get a little less room to customize with Home Chef, as they don’t have a ton of vegan recipes or specialty packages.
In the end, I’ve got to go with Blue Apron as my top overall meal delivery service for losing weight.
I like the calorie count… It’s low compared to its competitors, but you still get protein-rich meals and filling portions. It’s not hard to fit it into your diet, and I personally really enjoy a heftier dinner like the ones Blue Apron offers. (Hungryroot and Purple Carrot are great, but a little too low calorie for me, personally!)
The price and convenience are also great from Blue Apron. It’s probably not something you can afford to do every single week, but for a few weeks here and there, it’s one of the cheapest options around, AND one of the best quality. Hard to beat that.
Follow this link and get $30 off your first Blue Apron order right now.
Hope this helps, and good luck on your weight loss journey!