How to Choose the Best Fitness Meal Delivery for You

If you have health or fitness goals but are crunched for time, Green Chef is a great option for busy home cooks looking to take the guesswork out of meal planning.

Grilled chicken salad with avocado
Photo: Arx0nt / Getty Images

With so many meal delivery options out there, it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you have fitness-related goals. You may need added protein to help you recover from a deadlift PR, or a good mix of carbohydrates to give you the energy you need to finish the last mile of an endurance race; or perhaps you're just looking for nutritionally-balanced meals to provide you with the fuel your body needs to get you through your day. Knowing this, testers looked at 40 different meal delivery companies and compared them based on price, nutritional transparency, the number of dietary choices accommodated,and, of course, the quality of the cooked meals. The resulting data was used to narrow the field to help you find a meal delivery service to complement your fitness goals.

Best Meal Delivery for Fitness of 2022

01 of 09

Best Overall: Green Chef

Green Chef
Green Chef

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $12 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 47 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

With a roster of meals that accommodates a variety of nutritional needs, Green Chef's fresh meal kits make flavorful weeknight meals a snap.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Up to 12 servings per meal can be ordered
  • Meals ready in about 30 minutes
  • Full nutrition label with each recipe

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited cuisine

Overview

If you enjoy cooking but are crunched for time, Green Chef's meals are a great weeknight option. Meals are ready in 30 minutes or less, and you can easily order up to 12 servings to satisfy your whole family. The company is clear in its nutrition labeling, which is especially helpful if you're tracking macronutrients.

Pricing and Plans

  • 2 people, 3 meals per week: $13 per serving
  • 2 people, 4 meals per week: $13 per serving
  • 4 people, 3 meals per week: $12 per serving
  • 4 people, 4 meals per week: $12 per serving
  • 6 people, 3 to 4 meals per week: $12 per serving

Meals We Tried

  • Harissa-spiced shrimp
  • Sesame ginger bavette steak and shrimp
  • Middle Eastern-style chickpea bowls
  • Maple glazed carrots with figs
02 of 09

Best Value: Fresh N' Lean

Fresh n Lean logo
Fresh n Lean

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $8 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 50 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

If you're looking for budget-friendly premade meals, Fresh N' Lean's selection may appeal to you.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Delivers nationwide
  • Provides medically-tailored meals
  • Provides high-protein options

Cons

  • Difficult to recycle materials
  • Customer service somewhat limited

Overview

Fresh N' Lean offers the best value among the meal delivery services testers tried. Prices are as low as $8.49 (compared to other companies that start at more than $10 per serving) and Fresh N' Lean delivers nationwide. Meals can be medically tailored, so if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, or celiac disease, Fresh N' Lean has meals that can accommodate your nutritional needs. Finally, Fresh N' Lean features multiple cuisines, including Greek, Japanese, and Mexican, to name just a few.

Pricing and Plans

The more meals you purchase per week, the lower your cost per meal will be:

  • Protein+ Meal Plan: $10 to $11 per meal
  • Keto Meal Plan: $11 per meal
  • Vegan Meal Plan: $8 to $10 per meal
  • Whole 30 Meal Plan: $11 to $16 per meal

Meals We Tried

  • Grilled shrimp with caper dill aioli and roasted winter squash
  • Moroccan mint grass-fed steak with spiced cauliflower and brown rice
  • Tikka chicken with turmeric-roasted cauliflower and quinoa
  • BBQ turkey meatballs with white beans
  • Cajun salmon with yukon potato and tomato rice
03 of 09

Best for Nutrition Consultation: bistroMD

Bistro MD logo
Bistro MD

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Frozen

Why You Should Try It

BistroMD offers individualized support through one-on-one consultations with dietitians along with additional tools and resources so you can easily customize your meals based on your nutritional goals.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Physician and registered dietitians on the team
  • Medically tailored meals
  • Over 150 meals to choose from

Cons

  • No meal rotation
  • Lots of unlabelled plastic packaging

Overview

BistroMD's meals are created in collaboration with a staff physician and its registered dietitians to ensure nutritional balance, making this delivery service a great choice if you need additional nutrition consultation. With over 150 meals to choose from, there are meals free from common food allergens, carb-consistent options for people with diabetes, and food that meet the American Heart Association's recommendations for calories, sodium, total fat, and saturated fat.

Pricing and Plans

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners: $220
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners: $187
  • 7 lunches and 7 dinners: $189
  • 5 lunches and 5 dinners: $150

Meals We Tried

  • Chicken, rice and cheddar casserole
  • Salmon with dill mustard sauce
  • Turkey breaks with cranberry apple chutney
  • Oven-fried catfish with spicy tomato leek sauce
  • Baked pasta marinara with chicken sausage
  • Meatloaf with honey bourbon glaze
  • Mojo pork with black beans and rice
  • Chicken pad thai
  • Grilled salmon with creamy pesto
  • Lasagna with garden marinara
04 of 09

Best Variety: Hungryroot

Hungry Root logo
Hungry Root

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $10 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Hungryroot doesn't just offer meals; it also functions as a grocery delivery service, giving you plenty of options to help you streamline your weekly meal planning.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • FDA-standard based meals
  • Over 3,000 recipes crafted by chefs

Cons

  • Delivery contained unmarked plastic
  • Poor transparency on pricing without a subscription

Overview

With over 2,000 recipes, Hungryroot offers plenty of variety for busy cooks. Ingredients are pre-measured and portioned, making meal prep a snap. Hungryroot's search filters and wealth of dietary options makes it easy to address your food and health needs, with nutritional guidelines that accommodate an array of medically necessary diets (including protocols for heart disease and celiac disease).

Pricing and Plans

  • Meals start at $10; a minimum of $70 an order per week to obtain free shipping
  • For orders less than $70, shipping is $7

Meals We Tried

  • Spinach artichoke and mushroom tortelloni
  • Roasted salmon and sweet potato on Brussels sprouts
  • Southwest chicken and rainbow veggie tacos
  • Thai peanut beef and broccoli stir-fry
05 of 09

Best Gluten-Free: Freshly

Freshly logo

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $9 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Freshly's rigorous gluten-free protocol makes this service our top choice for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Weekly rotations of more than 50 meals
  • Foods prepared in a Gluten-Free Food Service-certified kitchen

Cons

  • Limited selection for other medically necessary diets
  • Poor transparency on pricing without a subscription

Overview

Freshly features a weekly rotation of more than 50 meals and you can filter according to your dietary preferences, including high protein, low-carb, pescatarian, and vegetarian options. All Freshly's meals are made in gluten-free facilities and certified through the Gluten Free Food Service, a division of the Gluten Intolerance Group, so you can feel confident that your meals will meet your gluten-free needs.

Pricing and Plans

  • 4 meals per week: $13 per serving
  • 5 meals per week: $12 per serving
  • 6 meals per week: $11 per serving
  • 7 meals per week: $11 per serving
  • 8 meals per week: $10 per serving
  • 9 meals per week: $10 per serving
  • 10 meals per week: $10 per serving
  • 11 meals per week: $10 per serving
  • 12 meals per week: $10 per serving

Meals We Tried

  • Asian style chicken and noodles
  • Steak peppercorn
  • Thai green curry
  • Pork chile colorado
06 of 09

Best Vegan: Trifecta

Trifecta
Trifecta

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 50 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Trifecta touts itself as a meal delivery service that caters primarily to athletes, making it a good choice if you're looking for portion-controlled meals with clearly labeled macronutrients.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Registered dieticians, doctors, and health coaches on staff
  • Chefs have Michelin-restaurant backgrounds

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Most of the packaging isn't recyclable

Overview

Compared to competitors, Trifecta has a high level of nutrition transparency thanks to its medical staff, which includes registered dietitians, doctors, and health coaches. Combined with the chefs with Michelin-restaurant backgrounds, Trifecta the best fitness food delivery for vegan meals, though the service also offers meals compliant with paleo, Whole30, and vegetarian diets. Factor also offers plans that accommodate conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and celiac disease.

Pricing and Plans

  • 5 entrées (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): $155
  • 7 entrées (lunch and dinner): $111
  • 7 entrées (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): $215
  • 10 entrées (lunch and dinner): $159
  • 10 entrées (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): $230
  • 14 entrées (lunch and dinner):l $220
  • 14 entrées (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): $215

Meals We Tried

  • Kung pao grilled chicken with broccoli and roasted sweet potato
  • Beef skillet with roasted sweet potato and marinated cabbage
  • Herb roasted cod with walnut basil pesto and vegetables
  • Slow-cooked rosemary thyme beef with root vegetables
  • Salmon Mexican bowl with tomato salsa and vegetables
  • Ginger shrimp with herb marinated sweet potato
  • Cajun chicken andouille sausage and roasted vegetables
07 of 09

Best Keto: Factor

Factor
Factor

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 50 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Factor's menu primarily caters to keto and low-carb diets, so if your health-care provider recommends a keto protocol, this service may be a good choice for you.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Registered dietitians and health coaches on-staff
  • Offers complimentary 20-minute nutrition counseling session

Cons

  • Limited options outside of keto meals

Overview

Factor focuses on keto or low-carb meals with vegan, vegetarian, and high protein categories. The most significant benefit is a complimentary 20-minute nutrition counseling session that is offered once you have purchased a meal plan. If you have specific health or fitness goals, this can be a useful tool to help you customize your meal plan to suit your dietary needs.

Pricing and Plans

  • 4 meals per week: $15 per meal
  • 6 meals per week: $13 per meal
  • 8 meals per week: $12 per meal
  • 10 meals per week: $12 per meal
  • 12 meals per week: $12 per meal
  • 18 meals per week: $11 per meal
08 of 09

Best Paleo: Paleo On The Go

Paleo-on-the-Go-logo

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $15.93 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Frozen

Why You Should Try It

Paleo On the Go offers pre-made breakfast, entrées, and desserts that are paleo-friendly and autoimmune protocol (AIP) compliant.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Meal boxes very customizable
  • Transparent pricing
  • Clear nutrition facts

Cons

  • Questionable medical terms such as "leaky gut" used to market
  • Expensive

Overview

Paleo On the Go is an excellent option if you adhere to a paleo diet. The nutrition facts are easily accessible, so you can customize your plan if you're looking to up your protein intake or you prefer to avoid meals that contain foods eliminated by paleo or AIP diets. (This list includes gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, nightshades, sugar or artificial sweeteners, chocolate, or seed-based spices). The company's pricing is also transparent: It compares your one-time purchase or the other savings options right next to each other to make it easier for you to find a plan that fits your budget.

Pricing and Plans

  • Prices vary greatly depending on how you build your box, but the more you purchase, the more you will save.
  • Options include a one-time box with at least eight meals, or a subscription box with eight, 12, or 16 meals.

Meals We Tried

  • Homemade chicken pot pie
  • Bacon apple chicken burger with maple cranberry sauce and collard greens with smoky bacon
  • Coq au vin with herb mashed Japanese white sweet potatoes
  • Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy and onion confit cauliflower mash
  • Moo shoo pork tacos
  • German brats with sauerkraut and home fried potatoes
  • Polish stuffed cabbage rolls
  • Thai basil shrimp
09 of 09

Best Whole30: The Good Kitchen

The Good Kitchen logo
The Good Kitchen

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11.50 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 50 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

If you opt to follow a Whole30 protocol, The Good Kitchen offers a bevy of meals that feature grass-fed beef and chicken raised without antibiotics or added hormones.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Packaging is primarily recyclable compared to competitors
  • Transparent food sourcing information.

Cons

  • Can't choose delivery date

Overview

The Good Kitchen is a good choice if you want to adhere to a Whole30 diet while supporting a company that puts sustainability and food sourcing information front and center. The website gives transparent details regarding its sourcing standards, and the meals are rotated weekly to feature various cuisines and eating patterns such as nutrient-dense, gluten-free, vegetarian, primal, paleo, low-fat, dairy-free, egg-free, shellfish-free, and tree nut-free.

Pricing and Plans

  • 6 meals: $98.87
  • 8 meals: $129.36
  • 10 meals: $157.66
  • 12 meals: $180.10

Meals We Tried

  • Beef shepherd's pie
  • Bison and beef sloppy joe with potato leek gratin
  • Chicken satay with cilantro rice and broccoli
  • Chili lime chicken with fajita veg and cilantro cauliflower rice
  • Miso glazed wild boar meatballs and hibachi zucchini
  • Tomato, asparagus, and spinach frittata with yukon potato hash

Final Verdict

The Green Chef provides enough variety to get you through the week while allowing you to order up to 12 servings of your favorite meals. Combined with the ease of prep that it lends to its meal kits and easily accessible nutrition information, it's our top pick for the best overall fitness meal delivery service.

Compare the Best Meal Delivery for Fitness

Company Starting Price Delivery Area Products Arrive Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? Free Shipping?
Best Overall
Green Chef
$12 per serving 47 states Fresh Yes No
Best Value
Fresh N Lean
$9 per serving 50 states Fresh No Yes, with order greater than $85
Best for Nutrition Consultation
BistroMD
$11 per serving 48 states Frozen No No
Best Variety
Hungryroot
$10 per serving 48 states Fresh Yes Yes, with order greater than $70
Best Gluten-Free
Freshly
$9 per serving 48 states Fresh Yes No
Best Vegan
Trifecta
$11 per serving 50 states Fresh No No
Best Keto
Factor
$11 per serving 50 states Fresh Yes Yes, depending on plan
Best Paleo
Paleo On the Go
$16 per serving 50 states Fresh No No
Best Whole30
The Good Kitchen
$12 per serving 48 states Fresh No No

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Are Meals From a Meal Delivery Service Good For?

Meal deliveries may arrive fresh, frozen, or prepared. The fresh kits and produce will typically last two to five days, with fresh meats lasting the shortest time. Prepared foods that are adequately sealed will last longer. Check the FAQs page for the meal delivery services you are interested in or reach out to customer service.

Are Fitness Meal Delivery Services Expensive?

Costs vary greatly and depend on many factors. Generally speaking, the price of a meal delivery service will fall somewhere between a meal you cook at home and restaurant takeout. If your goal is to save time and pay less than you typically would for takeout or local restaurant delivery, a meal delivery service may be a good fit.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Meal Delivery Service Instead of Meal Prepping?

If the saying "time is money" rings true to you, comparing how much time you will save with a meal delivery service compared to meal prepping may be the deciding factor. Choosing a meal delivery service can save you time, as most offer meals or kits in pre-proportioned sizes, taking much of the guesswork out of meal planning.

Methodology

Testers reviewed 40 companies and evaluated flavor, packaging/sustainability, customer experience, nutrition and information transparency, cookability, family focus, and nutrition values when choosing our top picks. The ultimate goal was to provide selections in a variety of categories to help you choose a service that works best for your lifestyle.

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