Why does sticking to a healthy diet always feel like an impossible task? It feels like there is way too much planning, searching for recipes, finding the right ingredients, then prepping and cooking three meals a day, every day.
We've all tried it, but a lot of us end up caving after a week and falling straight back into our old habit of ordering takeout. Turns out, there are services out there that make eating healthy surprisingly convenient and achievable.
Two of the most popular healthy meal delivery services we've come across in our research are Factor and Freshly. Our editors tried them both to see which subscription we'd keep.
Here's what we found:
- Both Factor and Freshly meals are curated by expert chefs
- Both deliver directly to your doorstep
- Both are subscriptions you can skip, pause, or cancel at any time
- Both require zero to minimal prep
- Factor uses organic produce, antibiotic-free chicken, cage-free eggs, grass-fed meat and sustainably sourced seafood
- Freshly provides limited information on its ingredient-sourcing
- Factor caters to different dietary needs such as paleo and keto
- Factor provides breakfast, lunch and dinner meal options, plus add-ons
- Freshly provides lunch and dinner meals, but no breakfasts or add-ons
Signing up for Factor is easy. I went with the 12-meals-per-week option, and quickly chose our menu. We needed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner 4 days a week.
One of the things I noticed about Factor's site is how much information is available, and how transparent they are about their ingredients. Every meal has a Nutrition Facts label with all the data you'll need. Factor uses fresh ingredients from their network of trusted partners. The meals are free of hormones, antibiotics, gluten, refined sugars and GMOs.
Not to mention the variety of options they offer. There are meals for paleo, keto, dairy-free, plant-based, low-carb and low-calorie. Whatever your needs are, Factor is there for you.
When our Factor meals arrived at our door I couldn't wait to dig in. First up was a Strawberry and Banana Smoothie breakfast. It was great to simply take it out of the fridge and drink it, no prep needed at all! It was so tasty, and I was surprised with how filling it was, too.
For lunch I had the Charred Corn Elote Bowl. The Quinoa is cooked with red onion, garlic, jalapenos, cumin and chili powder, so it's bursting with lots of delicious flavors. Again, it required zero prep.
Dinner was my favorite meal of the day - Jalapeño Popper Burger. Super yummy and satisfying!
The rest of my week with Factor was a dream. I enjoyed all the meals but the hands down winner was the Keto Chorizo Chili. So tasty. With Factor, I feel constantly energized and motivated to stay on my new diet.
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Freshly's site is easy to navigate. I went with the 12-meals-per-week plan again, but Freshly has no breakfast options so I got lunch and dinner for 5 days.
In terms of the meals and ingredients, there's definitely less detail provided on the Freshly site. It appears that some Freshly meals don't cater to specific diets such as keto or paleo.
The Freshly meals arrived promptly and I couldn't wait to start my week. I wanted my diet to be fully healthy all day long, so I promised myself I'd make my own nutritious breakfast each morning. The week started off well with a breakfast of oatmeal and plenty of antioxidant-rich blackberries.
For lunch I had the Miso-Glazed Beef Bowl with Carb Swap Cauli Rice. Frankly, it was bland. I wasn't a huge fan of the "Cauliflower rice". That night for dinner, I sampled the Tangy Turmeric Turkey Bowl which was pretty good.
The rest of my week with Freshly was pleasant enough, the Chicken Tikka Masala was definitely a highlight. But by the end of the week I was sick of oatmeal and found myself standing at my kitchen counter eating a gigantic bowl of the sugary cereal I was trying so hard to avoid.
When it comes down to it, if I'm going to maintain a healthy diet, I must enjoy all the meals I'm eating. Factor's meals are of a much higher quality and so flavorful.
Both services are convenient, but the fact that Factor offers breakfast meals, as well as lunch and dinner, means that I'm eating nutritious meals all day long. That simply wasn't the case with Freshly where I gave up and gorged myself on junk food.
Factor also has a variety of diets and offers add-ons like juices, brownie balls, cheese cakes and other yummy snacks. I'm sticking with Factor.
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