FuelMe experience of the month: "I quickly lost weight and gained strength"
We had a great chat with our experience of the month October: a relaxed, food-loving, Belgian guy - a nationality we openly appreciate within FuelMe for some reason.
Hi Wim! Pleasure to see and hear you again. Where did you first bump into FuelMe?
W: “Pleasure to see you too! I saw FuelMe for the first time on social media, through an ad in Facebook messenger. My first thought was: “What’s that?”, very quickly followed by the second thought: “Okay, what the hell!? That’s it!”.
I visited a dietician right before seeing the ad. Training and going to the gym is one thing, yet I sit down all day and have a lot of meetings so it’s absolutely not a very physically active job. To stay in shape food and nutrition is even more important in that sense; “you can’t outrun your fork”. So I had been Googling for a meal prep service or similar.
The lunch here is self-service and there has been a period I took even pictures of my food and sent it to my dietician to get a better grasp on my calorie intake. Not really #foodporn, but I had a hard time to estimate how much rice, vegetables and meat for example I needed to put on my plate. The advice was to take less, which with a buffet is not easy.”
Then FuelMe suddenly popped up.
W: “I knew right away this is it for me: I know what I eat, I have portion control, there are no added sugars and I do not have to cook or do grocery shopping myself.”
You have a hectic and not very regular “Finnish” lifestyle regarding work-home balance. Can you explain?
W: “I work in Helsinki during the week and leave for Belgium on Fridays for the weekend, to return to Helsinki on Monday morning. I know it is not very common, but it works very well and I have been doing it for 10 years now. The balance is ideal, as my weekdays are work-focused and structured from Monday to Friday afternoon and the pressure is off during the weekend.
I work long hours during the weekdays and try to train Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. There is no time for cooking, let alone grocery shopping. During the weekend I like cooking as a hobby though. But during the week - no way I have time for that. So I was looking for something that could give me food on demand and where I knew what I was eating in terms of macros and calories.”
10 years without having meal prep service, how did you eating behaviour look like during that time?
W: “I tried to prep meals myself occasionally, but with my schedule that is a bit tricky and it never lasted. So mostly I ate at our local lunch place where I did not have control over the portions and added sugars. Actually the realization that food is equally important - or even more important - as doing sports has grown during those years. So food intake did not always have the same importance as it has now. I’ve always done sports and never really had problems with my weight. But I know that if I do not pay attention to my food intake or stop doing sports, I will gain weight.
FuelMe has been an incredible life-saver in that sense. Of course I can make time for cooking and food in general, but I want to spend it here in Finland on work and at the same time stay in shape even though I have an intellectually challenging but rather sedentary job. It is appealing to stay at your desk all day and munch on junk food. Healthy food intake gets too little attention.”
What kind of sports do you do at the moment?
W: “I have been training with a PT during the week and during the weekend I use my home gym or I’d go running or mountain biking with my wife in our home area. We keep a good level of sports besides our busy work life.”
Did the switch to FuelMe have a significant impact on how you were feeling on daily basis?
W: “I started ordering from FuelMe in March and the results during the following months came rapidly. I lost weight very fast and also at the gym I noticed I had gained strength and was using heavier weights than before. After a month or two I realized that it was all going in the right direction and I was feeling great. It seems that from one day to the other it all changed and for me that was the convincing story."
Do you order FuelMe meals just for yourself?
W: “At first, yes. But in my unit there are quite a few people that like to talk about food and also during the lunch meetings people were starting to notice the meals I was eating. It didn’t take long before others jumped in and we started making group orders. And colleagues like it as much as I do, not just for the time-saving aspect but as much as the health reasons. We pick up the meals in turns from StadiFit, which is within walking distance from the office. More people in our office are joining our “FuelMe Gang”.
How do you and the others like the meals?
W: “The taste is excellent. Today I had Chicken Harissa - top dish. And I hear the same feedback from the other gang members. It’s nice to have variation every week when it comes to taste, but also in terms of calories where you have meals with less calories for instance.”
Would FuelMe fill in your lunch and/or dinner?
W: “I grab FuelMe for lunch and I think that goes for most of us here. Breakfast is decent and covered with for example an egg, avocado, some toast or a bowl of oats with blueberries. FuelMe then takes care of the most difficult time frame of the day, which is between noon and evening. A few hours later I’d have some nuts or a piece of fruit for example. Then pre-workout, post-workout and then something small, like a salad with some bread. I train quite late, so I do not want to have too much food during the last moment of the day to not disturb my sleep.”
Have you noticed any physical differences before and after ordering FuelMe?
W: “My weight has been much more in balance and under much better control. I now have way more control over my food intake comparing to the past. I lost weight, even though intake has been the same and I have not started to train harder or more. It’s been a huge positive difference.”
What’s your favourite meal?
W: “Hmm, I actually like all of them! The Chicken Harissa was very good, pulled pork meals have always been excellent and the new Salmon Teriyaki was very tasty. The Paleo Fish Taco Bowl is popular too.”
What do you value the most when it comes to the prepped meals?
W: “I know what I eat and I know there are no added sugars or processed ingredients. As a biochemist I want to know the content of what I eat. At the same time, I can adjust my food intake based on the portions and whether or not I am training that day. Flavour is a big plus.”
What is your guilty pleasure?
W: “That would happen more during the weekend when there are Belgian beers available and the social setting makes it easy to have one (or two). Or a piece of chocolate at times, but not in extreme amounts. I can easily save it up during the week and enjoy the Belgian pleasures later on.”
Amen to that. What does FuelMe, in a nutshell, mean to you?
W: “Quality, tasty and portion controlled meals. It gives me valuable time to focus on other things and I can trust the food is of high quality.“
Are there any changes you have noticed since the beginning and are there things you would like to see appear in the future?
W: “The add-ons are a nice idea, it gives some variation for breakfast for example. Some light dinners or salads for me would be great.”
A separate salad menu is added to the website very soon actually. Thank you, Wim!