Go Bulk Or Go Home

For two weeks Digital Editor Olivia Adams exchanged Cosmo HQ’s canteen for a goal-specific meal plan to build muscle. Here’s what happened…
Go Bulk Or Go Home
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Dear diary, I really want to have a toned body, but I can’t seem to get one - despite eating healthy food and exercising regularly. 

Familiar with that diary entry? Thought so. For me, that sentence has been marked over my notebooks and left my lips for over a decade, and to be honest, I’m still puzzled by how it’s a reality.

So when Dubai-based meal plan company Avocado asked if I’d like to review one of their packages (either ‘weight loss’ or ‘bulk up’), I was intrigued. I’d never tried a goal-specific meal plan to help me reach a physique goal,  along with guidelines to help track the calories, carbs, protein, and fat you should be shooting for each day. I asked for a two-week trial – the offered packages are weekly, monthly or bi-monthly – and cleared my schedule: it was time to go bulk or go home.

When you sign up online, the first step asks for your details, including your weight, age, goal (‘weight loss’ or ‘bulk up’), food allergies and dislikes, how frequently you exercise and what exercise you take part in. Next, you are emailed a tailored meal plan by a nutritionist, who has calculated the food diary based on your targeted calories and macros. For the ‘bulk up’ package, I would be consuming 1,800-2,500 calories in total a day.

I’m no stranger to trialling a meal plan, but they’ve often been extreme, quick fix weight loss solutions, involving litres of juice or child-sized portions. Avocado believes so many people ditch healthy eating because it’s boring and tasteless and they can’t be committed to that kind of food for a long time. And so, the company promises genuinely delicious recipes that are also balanced between protein, fats and carbs to provide you with the most efficient nutrition.

And it delivered (literally). On day one I devoured an egg white spinach omelette with crumbled feta for breakfast, fresh pineapple and avocado brownies for snacks and a turkey burger for dinner. Every bite truly moreish, fresh and impressive.

The meal plan changed every day – a chef cooks and bakes your food every morning – and breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with two snacks, were left outside my door in the AM.

A plus (or negative?), was as my meal plan was tailored accounting on the amount of exercise I said I did a week, it meant I couldn’t skip a class as I’d then be consuming too many calories that day. Also, it upset me seeing all the plastic packaging. To reduce this waste, surely the company could switch to glass or metal containers, or ask users to wash the plastic containers and return them in the bag each evening so they can be reused.

Did the ‘bulk up’ plan actually work? Quick answer: yes. After two weeks I felt – and looked – stronger, leaner and more defined. And that’s all I avo wanted.

‘Bulk up’ plans start from Dhs165 a day, ‘weight loss’ plan starts from Dhs155 a day. See avocado-nutrition.com for more information.

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