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As we traverse the ever-changing world of health and wellness, the search for the perfect diet plan is a never-ending adventure. Each year brings new trends, twists on old favourites, and experts sharing their insights on the most effective paths to a healthier lifestyle.

Diet plans today are as diverse as the people who follow them. Whether you’re looking for a personalised approach, a balanced mix of nutrients, or a transformative lifestyle change, there’s something out there for everyone. From being intrigued by a tailored meal plan to getting curious about the flexitarian way of life, or embracing the keto craze, 2024 is brimming with options to help you on your journey to wellness. Just remember, the best diet plan is the one that fits your lifestyle and makes you feel your best.

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Tailored approaches

According to Araj Hassan, Founder and CEO of VMeals, the notion of a one-size-fits-all diet plan is obsolete. Instead, Hassan relies on the importance of personalisation. By tailoring meal plans to individual preferences and requirements, VMeals ensures not only short-term success but also long-term sustainability. “Everyone’s bodies, eating habits, genetics, and even their ability to taste is different,” he explains. “My top most recommended diet is the one that works for you – personalisation is key, so we work with clients to understand their needs and build custom plans for them.”

Araj Hassan

Colm Carmody, Founder, Pura, echoes the sentiment of customisation but also values balance and flexibility. By prioritising whole foods and offering flexibility, Pura’s dietary patterns not only promote individual well-being but also contribute to environmental sustainability. “In 2024, the balanced diet and flexitarian approach continue to be highly recommended for their sustainability and health benefits,” Carmody says. “At Pura, our main offering is centred around providing nutritious options that nourish both the body and the planet.”

Colm Carmody

For Aatir Dhadalla, General Manager and Managing Partner of Meals on Me, the key to an effective diet plan lies in its ability to provide a comprehensive array of nutrients while catering to personal preferences. With a focus on wholesome ingredients, balanced proportions of protein, carbs, and fats, and inspiration drawn from the Mediterranean diet and plant-based sources, Meals on Me’s meal plans strike a harmonious balance between efficacy and sustainability. “Each plan has its strengths, but the hero is the one that gives you an edge on all nutrients,” Dhadalla says.

Aatir Dhadalla

While customisation and balance dominate the discourse, Nyma Peracha, Founder and Head Health Coach of Be More Healthy, champions the ketogenic diet for its transformative potential. By drastically reducing carb intake and eliminating sugar, the keto diet prompts the body to enter a state of ketosis, wherein it burns fat for fuel, leading to weight loss and improved metabolic health. “I am a huge fan of the keto diet,” Peracha proclaims. “Although it is slightly tricky to follow, when done correctly and followed accurately, it can really have some amazing fat loss and health benefits overall.”

Nyma Peracha

Catering to diverse tastes

By listening to their customers, leveraging their culinary expertise, and prioritising flexibility and individualisation, meal plan companies are paving the way for a healthier and more inclusive future. The options are endless, and the future looks deliciously diverse.

For Hassan, the key to creating effective and personalised diet plans lies in continuous communication with customers. “In terms of effectiveness, we measure and ensure this by continuous communication with each customer, on a one-to-one basis,” Hassan explains. This personalised approach allows VMeals to not only gauge the effectiveness of their plans but also to tailor them to the diverse tastes and requirements of their clientele. “We are able to cater to the diversity of this country and its tastes by offering a huge range of diets, and building innovative meal plans like our Indian fusion meal plan,” Hassan adds.

Carmody looks at individualisation and flexibility in catering to diverse dietary preferences. “At Pura, we individualise diet plans to personal preferences and requirements through comprehensive assessments,” Carmody states. By offering varied food options and meal plans, Pura ensures flexibility and personalisation. “Continuous communication and feedback help adjust plans as needed. We prioritise menu planning to meet diverse needs effectively,” Carmody explains.

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Dhadalla highlights the meticulous process behind crafting menus that cater to a diverse clientele. “We interviewed many people from various nationalities and gathered amazing insights into their food preferences,” Dhadalla recounts. By leveraging his culinary expertise and insights from customer feedback, Dhadalla and his team have created menus that offer options from all over the world.

Peracha believes in a personalised approach that caters to each client’s specific health conditions and goals. “At Be More Healthy, we don’t believe in a one-plan-fits-all concept,” Peracha states. By speaking to each client individually and understanding their unique needs, Peracha and her team are able to recommend the best-suited options.

Affordable and accessible

In a society where the cost of living seems to be ever-increasing, meal plan companies are working tirelessly to offer affordable and accessible options. Hassan, for instance says the key to affordability lies in precise customisation.

“We are able to do this by offering very precise customisation, in terms of meals, days of delivery, food preferences, commitment periods,” Hassan explains. By tailoring their meal plans to meet the exact needs and budget constraints of their customers, VMeals ensures that healthy eating is not just accessible but also worth the investment. “Our flexibility with the customers makes it affordable, accessible, and worth the investment,” Hassan adds.

Dhadalla prefers creating value propositions appropriate for the price. “Price is a crucial factor when selecting products. The only approach we use in our offers is to create value propositions appropriate for the price,” says Dhadalla. By paying attention to portion size, macronutrients, and recipe costs, Meals on Me is able to keep their plans affordable without compromising on quality. “Keeping a keen eye on ingredients, changes, and production costs helps us keep our plans affordable and accessible,” Dhadalla adds.

Peracha offers a range of options to fit all budgets. “We like to ensure that clients not only see results but are also able to do it in the most cost-effective way,” she explains. By creating Basic, Premium, and Platinum plans with different food and meal offerings, Be More Healthy caters to clients with varying budgets without compromising on quality.

Role of technology

As meal plan companies continue to embrace technology, the future of diet planning looks increasingly digital.

Hassan says technology is at the core of their operations. “Technology plays a pivotal role in our business – from managing customer subscriptions, to handling food operations, to getting the food delivered to the customer,” Hassan explains. By utilising both third-party platforms and proprietary systems, VMeals has streamlined its processes and expanded its reach across the GCC. “We not only use 3rd party tech platforms but have also built our own proprietary system to help us expand the business across GCC,” Hassan adds.

Dhadalla highlights the company’s innovative use of technology to enhance customer experience. From custom-built CRM systems for efficient customer feedback management to back-end systems for menu performance insights, Meals on Me is at the forefront of technological innovation in the industry.

“Currently, we’re in the process of integrating AI into our customer service and menu selection processes, aiming to provide a personalised experience for each customer,” Dhadalla adds.

Peracha sees technology as a key driver of future growth. “Be More Healthy is still a relatively new company, and rebranded back in May 2023. We are known now as a Boutique Meal plan company and looking to employ tech services such as our own app for clients to manage their orders,” Peracha explains.