Building muscle requires spending quite a few hours at the gym every week, a fantastic way to de-stress and get healthier. However, that time is effectively useless if it isn’t backed up by a strong diet. In fact, bodybuilding is 80% nutrition which is especially true for beginner to intermediate gym-goers.
With the increased calorie and protein demands for muscle gain, comes the struggle to build the right meals into your diet. It’s important to consistently be eating lean, high protein meals but this is especially hard if you don’t have time to cook every day. Never mind the fact that all this extra food can quickly get expensive.
That’s why I’ve tried lots of meal delivery services to see if they can help you achieve those muscle gains. Here, I share my perspective on the best meal subscriptions for muscle gain in Australia.
If you’re more advanced and moving into bodybuilding territory, I’ve produced a separate guide to the best meal delivery services in Australia for bodybuilding.
Best Meal Delivery Service: My Muscle Chef
Type: Prepared Meals
Well it’s just in the name isn’t it. My Muscle Chef specialise in producing meals that are designed to increase muscle mass. There are plenty of dinners that are high in both calories and protein, as well as protein snacks and protein shakes available.
The reason I rate My Muscle Chef so highly is because their meals taste incredible. It’s rare that I find My Muscle Chef meals that I dislike. The food is prepared fresh and delivered chilled to your door. Each meal comes in a shallow plastic tray, shrink-wrapped to keep the food fresh for at least 10 days in the fridge. Every single dinner is designed to go in the microwave for 90 seconds, which is significantly more convenient than cooking from scratch.
You might expect this quality to come at a high cost, though this is definitely not the case. Whilst they’re not the cheapest available, you can easily get them at around $10 per meal. Top tip if you order online, make sure you ‘subscribe’ to a weekly or fortnightly delivery to save $10 on shipping costs. You can still cancel at any time before the cut-off date.
My Muscle Chef is available for delivery everywhere in Australia, with delivery charges slightly higher in rural areas. You can also get a smaller range of their meals available at supermarkets like Woollies and IGA.
READ MY FULL REVIEW OF MY MUSCLE CHEF
Recommended Meal Delivery Service: MACROS
Type: Prepared Meals
If My Muscle Chef isn’t for you, you might want to consider MACROS. Whilst I think that MACROS meals aren’t as tasty overall, they provide a really consistent set of meals for building in a high protein intake. I’ve conducted a full comparison between MACROS vs My Muscle Chef which you may want to check out.
I do find they come in slightly expensive unless you order 21 meals in a single delivery. MACROS definitely freezes well, so I’d highly recommend purchasing a higher quantity of meals and storing a few of them in the freezer. With 21 meals, the cost comes down to $9.90 per meal.
In general, I did find that MACROS meals needed a little extra food to go with them. This could be in the form of salad, veggies or carbs to bulk out the meal and add a few extra calories.
Delivery is available to most metropolitan areas, with limited coverage in rural areas. Delivery is charged at between $10 – $15 per box.
READ MY FULL MACROS REVIEW
Recommended Meal Kit: HelloFresh
Type: Meal Kit
If you’d prefer to cook yourself, then it’s definitely worth looking into meal kits. These provide a weekly set of ingredients and recipes to guide you on cooking delicious, healthy meals at home. Unfortunately, none of the services offer any specific customisation for anyone with a muscle gain fitness goal.
Therefore, I’m recommending my favourite meal kit HelloFresh. They consistently provide incredible recipes that can be cooked in under an hour, allowing you to produce restaurant standard food at home consistently. I love the quality of using fresh ingredients and the ability to tweak meals to your preferred style. Even better, you can get per-portion costs down to as low as $10.
If you’re using HelloFresh as a solo eater, then I highly recommend getting a 2-person box and cooking multiple nights at the same time. This will easily halve the total amount of cooking time you need to spend.
The cost of HelloFresh delivery comes in at $9.99 for metropolitan areas, whilst some rural areas will need to pay $19.95. With our discount link, it’s worth trying them out for at least a week.
READ MY FULL REVIEW OF HELLOFRESH
Benefits of Meal Subscriptions for Muscle Gain
Purchasing a meal subscription can be incredibly useful for helping achieve your fitness goals, especially with the recommended services. They can ultimately make life simpler and give you more time to achieve your goals. Here are the top 3 benefits of meal subscription services for muscle gain:
- Pre-Portioned Meals – Having all your meals weighed out with the exact nutritional values is incredibly helpful for tracking your intake. Everyone has different calorific requirements for gaining muscle, but the common thread is that success is created by tracking/managing the food that you eat. Most services come with barcodes that can be scanned into an app like MyFitnessPal, allowing you to make sure you hit your targets every day.
- Save Time – In between working long hours, going to the gym, keeping up with your friends and giving yourself a chance to relax, it can be incredibly hard to find the time to eat healthily. It becomes incredibly easy to rely on takeaways or frozen pizzas that contribute to a ‘dirty bulk’. That is, you put on just as much fat as muscle. By eating meals from a meal delivery service like My Muscle Chef you can save up to an hour every day whilst still eating healthily.
- Meal Variety – When you’re trying to gain muscle, you often find that food becomes a boring routine of cooking the same basic meals over and over again. Things like ‘Chicken and Rice’ become part of the daily routine, but this just leads to more cravings for (normally unhealthy) takeaways. With a meal delivery service, you get a different meal every night with huge variety. Perfect.
About our Food Box Recommendations
Here at Food Box Mate, I endeavour to try all our recommended Food Boxes for at least a couple of subscription cycles. This makes sure I get a sense of their consistency, variety and overall experience. Based on my experimentation, I rate each Food Box with an individual review score. However, each Food Box is great for different people so even if it wasn’t right for me, I also award Gold Recommendations for Food Boxes that are perfect for TYPE. I’ll never give out a Gold Standard recommendation if I haven’t thoroughly tested the service myself.
Due to time, money and location restrictions, it isn’t always possible for me to try every single service. In this scenario, I don’t want you to miss out on a potentially exciting Food Box experience. For these services, I’ll provide a standard recommendation and make it clear that I haven’t tried the service myself.
What I’m looking for in Muscle Gain Meal Subscriptions
I’ve tried plenty of meal subscription services, so I hope to share what makes a good service stand out from the rest. In particular, which factors are most important for trying to gain muscle.
- Protein Amount – Your body needs protein to build muscle, that’s why things like protein powders are so popular. In fact, it’s recommended that you intake between 1.2 – 1.6 times your body weight (in kg) of protein every day when trying to build muscle. For me, that’s over 120g of protein I need to consume. The more you can get from your main meals, the easier it will be to achieve that goal.
- Cost – When you’re eating a lot of food, it’s incredibly easy to spend lots of money. It’s really not sustainable to be spending $30+ on getting your protein intake for a day. That’s why we look for meal subscription services that can get the cost down to $10/meal or lower. I also review whether you’re getting large meals that help you get 50%+ of your protein intake sorted, which can be great value.
- Taste – Nobody enjoys tough, flavourless chicken and watery vegetables. It shouldn’t be a chore to get your daily calorie intake, you should be able to enjoy all your meals. When your food tastes good, your more likely to stick with your muscle building diet for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be at home for delivery?
All Food Boxes are designed to be left outside your home for at least 4 – 8 hours before their contents need to be placed in the fridge or freezer. This depends on how warm it is and whether there is a safe, shaded spot to leave your box. Failing this, you can always nominate a friendly neighbour to pick it up for you or get your meals delivered to work.
Am I guaranteed to gain muscle with these meal delivery services?
Whilst nutrition is very important for putting on muscle, you still need to consistently go to the gym with a weight training routine. All the effort to build a consistent diet will be wasted if you can’t also put in the hard yards at the gym. Fortunately, having a strong protein-heavy diet will increase your recovery speed and give you more energy to tackle the gym.
These seem like they’re really expensive, are they worth the money?
That’s a very individual question. Consider whether you can afford them as part of your household budget, then give the services a try to see how you feel about their value. If one of your life goals is to build muscle, then a meal delivery service can be an incredibly valuable way to help yourself towards that goal.
I hope you found this page useful, it’s really exciting for me to spread the word about businesses I love. If you’ve had any experience using any of these companies, do let me know on Facebook. Alternatively, if you think I’ve missed an incredible service out of these recommendations, send a message from my Contact Us page.