We’ve introduced meal delivery services on the site before for their convenience and nutritional value. Zone Manhattan wants to add one more benefit to the list: weight loss (or maintenance depending on your personal goals).
The Bronx-based business operates out of Hunts Point in The Bronx. Unlike other food subscriptions that have risen in popularity, Zone Manhattan doesn’t deliver a pre-measured list of ingredients for cooking to your door because it does the work for you by delivery a full day’s worth of meals.
Customers fill out a detailed questionnaire, including height, weight, dietary restrictions, and health goals. They select a start date and delivery time — 5 AM or 6 AM — and begin receiving daily deliveries. Each delivery includes a curated menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks in labeled, reusable plastic containers.
The meals consist of high-fiber, low-carb, low sodium, and no sugar dishes made from the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. The ingredients are purchased the same day, prepared the night before and left in a portable cooler bag at your door hours after completion. A printed menu describing the dishes accompanies each delivery and suggests microwave heating times, if any are needed, for each meal. You can dispose of or reuse the containers and place the cooler bag outside in the evening for pick up during the next delivery.
I tried Zone Manhattan for seven days with the goal of weight maintenance, opting for gluten-free ingredients and here’s how it went.
I don’t usually eat a heavy breakfast so Zone Manhattan’s breakfast options worked for me. This first meal was typically a large serving of fresh fruit or traditional breakfast item like steal-cut oatmeal or french toast — which I enjoyed the least since the meals are cooked and prepped the night before causing the french toast to be soggy.
Two snacks come in the each delivery for eating in between meals. They were most often small fruit cups, but occasionally something more substantial like a mixed veggie salad, hummus and crudités, or quinoa salad. But in the introductory letter ZM recommends eating additional snacks, like unsalted nuts, if you are still hungry. I often was hungry, but felt more equipped to make smarter choices for snacking off of the meal plan.
Lunch and dinner consisted of an animal protein and vegetables. Since I opted for gluten-free meals, they were usually zero-carb dishes, with the exception of brown rice sometimes. This also created the occasional discrepancy between the printed menu and the actual meal, where a dish would be described with an ingredient like spaghetti but a different dish with the same protein was in the delivery. It wasn’t a great inconvenience, but was initially confusing.
It was great to be able to eat healthy and balanced without routinely running to the supermarket, or having to decide between eating well and personal productivity by cooking or not during my week-long trial. The fixed portions — reinforcing the company’s strategy of control instead of deprivation — left me hungry, but I felt satisfied, light, healthy, and unburdened digestively. It was a great way to learn portion control, experience new healthy food choices, and complement my active commuting schedule.
I also really enjoyed the tastes, especially in the dinners, which typically featured more complex flavors and cooking methods like sears, roasts, and purees. I wished the menu descriptions were more detailed so I could easily note the ingredients I really loved, but customers can contact Zone Manhattan for any inquiries or adjustments to meals if we want more or less of something.
Foodies, what are your thoughts on meal deliveries? Would you try it to eat healthy or lose weight?