Love Yourself Review: Calorie counted fresh meals delivered with MyFitnessPal integration [Performance Diet]

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Love Yourself Delivered Meals Review Rating

Summary

There is a lot to like about Love Yourself. For anyone short on time but needed a specific calorie-controlled diet, this is an ideal choice.  While a lot of people will not find it cheap, the time saved could easily justify the cost, and it is more affordable than competing brands.

The food wasn’t always amazing, but I was on the performance diet, and these can be a bit bland at the best of times.

Overall
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Pros

  • Most meals were nice and they were all perfectly edible 
  • A superior choice of diets and calorie counted set meals than any other competing brand I could find
  • More attractive pricing than most/all competing brands
  • Local deliveries are daily guaranteeing fresh food. 

Cons

  • Some meals are very bland
  • Other meals are much more calorie-dense than I would expect on a calorie-restricted diet. 
  • Some issues with DPD deliveries 

A food delivery service may not fall under my theme of consumer technology, but I do cover health and fitness. As a keen fitness enthusiast, I am interested in anything that could help optimise my performance or just make my life a bit easier.

I always used to think food delivery services were a rip-off, with the cost of them being disproportionate to the food you get. However, in recent years, as my workload and finances have increased, I have started to appreciate why people may use services like this and why so many people eat takeaway multiple times per week.

My other off-theme health-related content

Love Yourself Plans

While I don’t have extensive knowledge of fresh meal services, Love Yourself appears to have one of the best options on the market if you are interested in fitness and/or weight loss.

The company has 12 separate plans catering for different diets, plus a platinum plan. This includes vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, Halal, Keto, low carb and performance.

Then each plan has different calories counts. Typically you have four options going from 1200-2500. Then for performance, it goes up to 3000, and Keto has a 3200 calorie plan.

I opted for the Performance Diet which is based on 35/35/30 split for macros which is the most often recommended balance for performance. It is not something I have followed, I have found my performance and satiety cope quite well on lower-fat diets, and I eat so much food I don’t particularly need to commit to 35% protein.

I also needed the 3000-calorie plan, as I typically eat 3.5K+ per day due to my activity levels.

Delivery & Packaging

With me being based up north, I had to have my meals delivered by DPD. It was supposed to arrive Sunday, it arrived Tuesday at 11 am. The one concern here is how long was the food with DPD, if it was in the van from Sunday to Tuesday, that is not particularly good with fresh food.

Assuming it wasn’t left too long in a van, the delivery was not a big problem for me, but it would have been if I was expecting my entire weeks worth of food to be based around this. I suspect this may be just because I was on a one-off order, or perhaps teething issues.

Some of the food looked a bit squashed and some of the plastic packets and opened up a little. Again, not too much of a problem, nothing was ruined but no ideal.

Depending on where you live, the meals normally get delivered daily, which should avoid the above issues, and it is reassuring to know you get fresh food.

Meal Reviews:

With a 5-meal plan, you are probably supposed to space your meals out evenly, however, I typically fast until lunch, and on the first day, the package didn’t arrive until 11am, so I stuck to my usual schedule. I also had no intention of having an egg sandwich for my breakfast.

The 2nd day coincided with my long run day, so I had my oat, banana and chia seed smoothie/mousse/porridge pre-run, and I ate quite a bit of other food as it was a 16-mile run.

With each meal, you can use the barcode scanner on MyFitnessPal to scan the meal into the system, making it far easier to add than searching for meals yourself. If you stick to this plan strictly, you probably don’t need to use MyFitnessPal because all the work is done for you, but it is a good way to make sure you stick to your calories and provide some accountability when you cheat.

Day One

  • Meal 1 – Egg and avocado sandwich
    • Bread is probably my favourite food, and I am quite picky with it. I have no time for bad bread. This was not good bread. To be fair, my initial impression was that it was going to be inedible, it was dry and dense. But the actual flavour was OK, and I guess the density helps with satiety.
    • The turkey and avocado were quite nice.
  • Meal 2 – Coffee fix smoothie
    • This looked disgusting but I was pleasantly surprised how nice it tasted.
  • Meal 3 – Chicken and tomato pasta
    • This tasted good. It needed microwaving for much longer than the suggested two minutes. Even though the ingredients listed tomato first, it was basically just pasta, chicken and cheese, so quite calories dense, making a small portion.
  • Meal 4 – Baked potato with chicken, beetroot & cabbage
    • For a start this was boiled potatoes with beetroot, cabbage and cauliflower – similar but not the same as what was listed.
    • This one wasn’t great, very very bland and dry. Cauliflower by itself with no sauce or condiments has to be one of the dullest foods ever.
    • The overall portion size was good here. Cauliflower, beetroot and cabbage are all good for padding out your food.
  • Meal 5 – Chicken & basil stir fry
    • This was one was good, it had a curried flavour which was quite mild, likely so it wouldn’t be too spicy for some buyers, but it was still good. A decent amount of here, but not loads.

Day Two

  • Meal 1 – Egg and turkey sandwich 
    • Same issue with the bread as the previous day.
    • While the eggs and turkey didn’t look particularly appetising, they were nice together.
    • No condiments were supplied, so you either have it dry, or you cheat on your first meal of the day.
  • Meal 2 – Oat, banana and chia seed smoothie
    • What I actually got was an oat, banana and chia seed mousse. While it was more like porridge it did have a slightly lighter or fluffy texture. It tasted OK, I think I would have prefered a more porridge like texture. I prefered the smoothie from day 1.
  • Meal 3 – Turkey, black bean & sweetcorn tortilla
    • The tortilla was a pancake which was quite unnusual but I guess it avoided being dry like the egg sandwiches. It was actually quite nice, but not something I would choose over a proper wrap.
    • The high meat and carby tortilla ratio made the portion size quite small for this one.
  • Meal 4 – Boiled potatoes with cottage cheese
    • I actually love cottage cheese, but I imagine this wouldn’t be a very popular meal. Nor is it very inventive or time-saving
  • Meal 5 – Roasted sweet potato & chickpea salad
    • I palmed this one off on my partner in favour of something more calorific. However, it tasted nice. It would have worked better for a mid-day meal. Again, this was quite calorie dense, especially for a salad. The three main ingrediates were sweet potato, then chickpeas then feta.

Overall Impressions of the meals

I found the food itself to be quite enjoyable, and I certainly appreciate it taking 2 or 3 minutes to make my lunch vs 20+ mins.

Not every meal was great, it wasn’t bad and quite edible, just very boring, which could be an issue if I was committing to this long term. A lot of people on a performance-specific calorie-controlled diet will likely fall into the trap of eating boring and repetitive food, if you are the sort of person that ends up eating a lot of plain rice, chicken and veg, then there is nothing on this menu that you will find too boring.

I found some of the meal sizes to be quite small due to the fact that it was predominantly protein combined with pasta/potato/bread.

As an ex obese person that does a lot of exercise, one of the methods I have used to deal with my hunger is to cut back on carb-heavy foods like rice and pasta and pad them out with veg. I think anyone that struggles with their appetite and is on one of the lower-calorie options may struggle with the portion sizes for some of the meals.  This doesn’t apply to all of them though, the potato with chicken, beetroot & cabbage had a good veg to carb/meat ratio.

At first, I thought this plan wouldn’t get a decent portion of micronutrients. Midway through day 1 I thought there was no way I’d get 5+ portions of fruit or veg. However, it looks like it does, probably only just over the RDA but good enough. One benefit to this plan vs my normal diet is a little more variety, my diet typically consists of peppers, mushrooms, onion, carrot, cabbage, sweetcorn and strawberries, then not much else. So, with this plan I probably get a wider variety of micronutrients.

I noticed one online review claim the food is unseasoned, while another claimed it had too much salt. Knowing what professional chefs and packaged food is like with salt, I expected these to be overloaded, however, this is not quite the case. Looking at the reported nutritional values, it comes in at about 5-6g so the top end of your RDA, and this is for the 3K plan, lower-calorie counts should have less salt. It would be good if Love Yourself included this data in MyFitnessPal.

Perhaps coincidentally, my Garmin Fenix 6 recorded much more deep sleep than I normally get following a day on this diet. I have wondered if my poor sleep could be attributed to my diet, and my sugar intake has definitely increased over the past year or so.  So this has motivated me to look into optimising my normal diet.

Time Saved vs Cost of the Food

As someone that has cooked all my food fresh for the last 10+ years and baulked at the cost of meal delivery services a few years ago (when I was poor), the time-saving benefits here are revelationary.

The benefits here will obviously be dependant on your lifestyle and earnings, but I estimate I save nearly an hour per day with planning, prepping, cooking and cleaning. I wrote up the first half of this review during the time I would have gone down to start prepping dinner and cleaning up from lunch.

If I could convert that time to billable hours, then £20+ per day in delivered food quickly becomes more cost-efficient than making everything yourself.

Price and Alternative Options

The 3000 calories performance diet is £130 for 5 days or £28 for 1 day, and you can get a 10% discount if you subscribe. So, on a subscription that £23.40 per day or £4.68 per meal.

Then the one off 5 day payment options are:

  • 2500 calories: £125
  • 2000 calories: £120
  • 1500 calories: £115

Good Prep is £135 or £27 per day, including three meals per day and one snack. Most of the main meal sizes are around 450 calories, so fewer overall calories than mine. It is also more work for you, as you will have to count out your own calories/macros.

Balance Box is £261 per week but covers all 7-days, but that still works out at £37.40 per day, and you don’t get the same level of calorie choices or diet plans.

Chefly can do up to twelve meals per week, dropping the price down to £6.99 per meal. The ordering process makes it easy to see the calories carbs and protein so you could build you own plan, but it is still less convenient.

Nutrition Kitchen offers the same idea of calorie-counted goal-orientated meals, but a one week plan with 3 meals each day with an average of 560 calories is £123.60.

Overall

I have some mixed feelings towards this service, but I do like it and I think it would work well for a lot of people (people that are more normal than me).

The time saved planning, prepping and making meals could end up making this a cost-efficient way of eating healthy – depending on how busy you are and how valuable your time is. I also prefer this style of service compared to the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto. It is the time it takes to cook my food and clean up that I can’t be bothered with.

I enjoyed most of the food, it wasn’t always amazing, but it is certainly good enough for weekday eating. I also love the way you can scan it into MyFitnessPal, minimising the chances of your cheating by not counting things.

This service is a lot more appealing for buyers that can get their food delivered daily. Looking at most competing options, it is often done in batches with twice week deliveries.

Looking at the comparables, Love Yourself appears to offer the best value for money on the market while at the same time offering a easier to select plans and a superior range of diet and calorie options.

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