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Americans love having chef prepared meals delivered to their homes, so it makes perfect sense that Americans would also love weight loss meals delivered to their homes. There are some huge differences in services, benefits, and quality between a prepared meal delivery service, and a diet delivery service, but before we go through the difference, we would like to perhaps "shift" your expectations.
Very generally speaking, people that go on a diet expect to suffer. They expect to be hungry and unsatisfied with the quality and the amount of food they will be consuming. It is almost like dieters are okay with punishing themselves for having to diet in the first place. In our opinion, there are some diet delivery services out there that will certainly help you experience the feeling of suffering. They seem to be able to get away with it because the consumer has low expectations. We will happily to point these companies out to you.
BistroMD: For overall price, quality, and value, we found BistroMD's diet delivery service to be the best.
Meal Delivery Services
- A La Carte ordering. Order as many meals as you like.
- Freedom to choose any meals, or meal plans you want to eat.
- No required automatic food deliveries.
Only Suffer on a Diet Meal Plan If You Want To!
Suffering on a diet plan is a choice you make. We just about tried them all, and there are diet delivery plans that offer you delicious diet meals, at reasonable prices, without long-term commitments or hidden penalties for cancelling early. But yes, there are diet plans available that are....for lack of a better word, disgusting. Our goal is to help you find the best delivery service for your healthy weight loss needs, and your budget.
Diet Delivery Services
- Must buy weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly meal plans.
- Must buy the meals on their menu, whether you like them or not.
- Guarantee rarely offered.
- Often, required automatic delieveries, with automatic credit card charges.
When we started reviewing prepared meal delivery services, we found there were a few clunkers out there, but overall the industry does a pretty good job of putting a good meal on your dinner table. It sort of makes sense. They have to, or you wouldn't order again. When we started taste-testing diet delivery services we didn't find the same overall commitment to quality, and some of the companies we tried were just a pure rip-off, in our opinion.
Here are a few Rules of Thumb to look out for when shopping for a diet delivery service:
- Look for a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and read the fine print. Some companies will make it sound like they have a guarantee, but in the fine print they will guarantee things like "your order is guaranteed to arrive." A 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is a powerful marketing tool. We have found if a company doesn't offer it, it's most likely because when they did, they had too many returns that ate into their profits.
- Don't Believe Anything Someone Says on the Phone, get it in writing! Some diet services are very aggressive with the phone and telemarketing efforts (Chef's Diet comes to mind) so keep in mind when you call a customer support or customer care center, you may be calling a room filled of commission-hungry tele-sales people. If they say something that sounds wonderful to you, especially in regards to how easy it is to cancel their service without additional or hidden charges, penalties, or fees, they should be able to show you were that exists in writing. Important: Some companies will have something in their contact that specifically speaks to something like "we are not responsible for any verbal promises..."
- Do they have Pictures of Food on their Website? We found the companies that paint the picture of how much weight you are going to lose, without showing you any of the food you are going to eat are suspect.
- Do they have an Introductory Offer? We found that companies with introductory, no-commitment offers generally have better food than companies that want to lock you into a long-term relationship with your credit card. Nutrisystem and eDiets come to mind.
Here are two breakfasts from two different diet delivery services that cost about the same price. Which do you think is more nutritionally balanced, and a better value? Click on the pictures to see more meals from these companies.
Based on the diet meals we tried from these services, here is our list of companies we consider the best diet programs, and would order from again. Overall, we found the menu of meals to be compelling, nutritionally balanced, and easy to reheat. We are also including portion size, and how easy it was to cancel future deliveries.
We think this service might be the best in the business. It is not without flaws, but we can't say we had one that was perfect. The food is well above average and is nutritionally balanced.
This service is available in the NYC area, and may be the best food (not just diet food) you can order online. However, their meals cost over $17 each, including oatmeal for breakfast. Great if cost isn't an issue.
One of the few companies that allows a la carte shopping. Buy has many meals as you like. Portion sizes are above average and still nutritionally balanced. Automatic reordering is an option.
On this plan you are going to have a small breakfast, sandwich or soup for lunch, and a hearty dinner. Most of the production budget goes into the dinner meal, but you swap your menu as you see fit.
We would say the quality of the food above average. Some of the portion sizes didn't seem nutritionally balanced because the portion sizes were too big. National shipping is expensive.
Here is a company that can cook to order and delivers fresh prepared meals nationwide. Shipping can be a little pricey, but we found their prepared food to be well above average
For every yin, there is a yang. These companies are not companies we would ever want to experience again make up our list of the worst diet programs. Our highest priority is the quality of the food. You are likely to be more successful on a diet plan with better tasting food. If you have to supplement your diet meal plan with additional food because you had to throw meals out or they are just too small, you are not saving the money you think you might be, and you are probably not going to lose the weight you want to.
These are the smallest trays we have ever seen, and eDiets has a hard time covering the bottom of them with food. We felt ripped off. You may want to have your lawyer read the contract for you.
We found ourselves grading this food on a curve, based on it being edible. You can go to the canned food aisle of your local supermarket and do this diet plan at about 25% of the cost of buying it from them.
Here is a question that came up with our taste testers quite often: What is this meal? Can you tell? It actually tasted worse than it looks in the picture. Much of our order was spoiled, too.
Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinners
We honestly believe you can do better getting your diet meals at the supermarket than buying from any of the companies that appear in our Worst Diet Delivery Meals section.
We are always reviewing new prepared meals, gourmet steaks, and diet delivery services, so please bookmark us and come back often! We hope we have been able able to help you make a smart consumer decision, avoid the worst diet programs, and find the best diet programs for your budget and your health goals.