Review: International Plan for weight loss with Kcal

Kcal features comprehensive weight and nutrition management plans to deliver well-balanced, wholesome and healthy meal plans in the UAE

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I love to cook on the weekends, especially when I’m not time-bound, and because I’m able to monitor the ingredients I use, their freshness, quality, quantity and calories. However, in between work meetings, stringent deadlines and a hectic lifestyle, I find myself reaching for quick (and unhealthy) meals. This ended up turning into days where I’d end up skipping breakfast, grabbing a late lunch, and dinner was mostly takeout from my couch, with Netflix for company.

Not the best lifestyle, right? I knew it wasn’t sustainable or healthy.

Hence, why I decided to try Kcal. My reasons for this were threefold – I learned that they cook all their meals from scratch, without any preservatives or additives; each dish comes cooked, with instructions to heat it up; and the best part, the cuisine offered was International, so I knew I wouldn’t get bored.

Plenty of meal plan options are available to choose from, including a diabetic plan, vegetarian and gluten-free plans. I opted to try a four-week International meal plan for weight loss, that catered to one person. There is also a personalised plan from TV chef Hala Ayash that lets you experience the healthier side of Levantine cuisine. The Syrian foodie with a passion for a healthy lifestyle and Middle Eastern flavours, teamed up with Kcal to create a meal plan with recipes from the chef and personal trainer herself.

To start, I made an appointment with their nutritionist to discuss my meal plan. This was a plus in my book, since I could discuss any food intolerances, allergies or foods I disliked, and the team would cater the meals to my preferences.

My plan included a five-day schedule, leaving the weekends free to indulge just a little bit. The goal was to reduce weight optimally and help me feel more energetic. It’s based on moderate portion sizes at mealtimes, high protein and fibre, while remaining low in carbohydrates and saturated fats.

Every day, at a time that suited me best, I was to receive my meals that included breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. I opted for morning and without fail, I would receive my meals for the day before 8am. The delivery arrived alongside an email with the menu for the day, ingredients used and the calorie count. I must admit, I found this to be an educative, helpful gesture.

The meals are prepared by chefs, based on menus created by a team of nutritionists. It comes cooked and with a set of instructions on how to re-heat. I found this to be an advantage since I didn’t have to go food shopping and thus avoided the temptation of the chocolate aisle.

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An example of a day’s plan includes a breakfast of carrot pancakes; a morning snack of dill and yogurt dip with cucumber strips; a lunch of paleo vegetable beef soup; an afternoon snack of blueberry almond cookies; and chicken kabsa with courgette zucchini for dinner.

I enjoyed every dish, my favourites being a chia macadamia pudding with mango and plum, a shredded beef salad, grilled chicken bruschetta and chicken kabsa. A tip to remember, if ever you find yourself bored or disliking any dish, you can log on to your personal dashboard and change the menu. And you can do this an unlimited number of times. The plans come with a flexi tag as well, which means you can stop and start your meal plan at any time throughout the month.

The cuisine is varied and I really liked this about the plan. It gave me the experience of trying out new dishes from Lebanese, Moroccan and International cuisines.

At the end of the four weeks, I felt healthier both physically and psychologically. I realised that I also made it a point to exercise more than I normally did. And I managed to lose a whole 3kgs, which was great, considering I did cheat on the weekends.

The bottom line:

If you’re in need of a nutritive, informative and great-tasting meal plan to help ensure you eat healthy, on-time and get the required nutrients your body needs, give Kcal a try. It even helps you get conscious about your wellbeing and fitness!

With their range of snacks and meals, you don’t feel like you’re missing out. I’d recommend Kcal for those with a busy lifestyle and little to no time to prepare nutritious meals.

Free delivery in UAE. Starting from AED3,100. Visit the website or call 80039872.