Finding a diet that works for your lifestyle and nutrition preferences can be tough. Then, sticking to it can be challenging and lonely. Having fully prepped food delivered to your door may just do the trick.
If you want to follow a diet with fully prepared, portion-controlled, low-calorie meals – BistroMD and Freshology both have your back. These two meal delivery services offer very similar plan options with a few important twists between the two.
And these twists lead me to choose BistroMD as the winner. BistroMD wins because it offers more available customer service hours, more menu options per plan and meal type, more available dietitians on staff, and makes an effort to source fresh ingredients.
Read on to discover why BistroMD wins and whether it’s right for you!
One important note before reading on is that Freshology is the same as Diet-to-Go. I confirmed with customer service that the menu, plans, and service are 100% the same as Diet-to-Go’s. The only difference is in the name! Marketing purposes, perhaps. On to the comparison.
Both services offer fully prepared meals, but BistroMD wins for this category because it offers more dietitian-designed recipes for each meal type within each plan. For each of its five plans, you can choose from 20+ to 35+ recipes for breakfasts, 35+ to 60+ lunch/dinner recipes, and 20+ to 30+ snacks. This is an excellent variety for most meal delivery services.
BistroMD offers 125 to 150 recipes depending on ingredient availability and seasonality. The Signature plan offers the best meal variety, which I assume is because it doesn’t cater to any diet or allergy.
BistroMD also offers optional snacks, while Freshology doesn’t. Freshology offers snack suggestions and recipes in its FAQ, but no snack food for purchase.
Knowing how many options Freshology offers is difficult since its menu rotates every five weeks.
Freshology’s five-week rotation of recipes includes about 15 for breakfasts, 20 for lunches, and 20 for dinners.
The Freshology meals are selected for you but you can substitute each one if you wish. This means that if you want to eat Chicken Fontina for every dinner and Cinnamon Walnut Cereal three times a week – you sure can. You’ll see several substitutions for each meal so you can continue eating the same thing or change it up when you want.
It’s hard to be certain of the number of meals Freshology offers as some appear on more than one menu. Even if I add six recipes to each category for Freshology, it would still rank as less varied than BistroMD’s meal plan. View the table below.
I’ve watched Freshology’s menu rotate through several cycles and have seen many recipes repeated for each five-week rotation and between meal plan menus. For example, the Balance plan and the Keto-Carb30 plan share several recipes each cycle like Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork; Chicken, Rice, and Cheddar Casserole; and Green Chile Pork with Southwest Salsa.
All BistroMD meals are designed by a doctor and her husband – the CEO of BistroMD, Dr. Cederquist is a physician with 20 years of experience guiding insulin-resistant patients to improve their health and lose weight. Most meals have moderate carb levels and are balanced with a great variety of veggies, sauces, and meat or fish.
However, if you’re looking for in-depth information about how the Doctor and her husband construct recipes, you won’t find much.
This is the same for Freshology’s website. There’s a lot of talk on both websites about meals being “science-backed” and “dietitian-designed,” but little information regarding the science and design. Customer service also doesn’t have information about this for either service.
Both menus include similar cuisines of standard American, Mediterranean, Italian, Asian-inspired, and Mexican. However, BistroMD uses more varied ingredients and sauces in its recipes. Freshology’s meals are less appetizing, and you may want to read about my colleague’s experience eating various Freshology’s meals.
BistroMD meal portions are slightly larger than Freshology’s, but the calorie count is similarly low per meal. Both services aim to offer a daily calorie count of 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day, and the average per meal calorie count is about 250 to 500 per meal. You can double-check the calorie count for each meal on both sites.
BistroMD is slightly better in terms of ingredient quality. The service tries to source produce locally and seasonally and prepare meals more timely and freshly than Freshology. Fish is sustainability sourced, and the company tries to obtain humanely treated meats.
According to my chats with various customer service agents, Freshology’s ingredients are “normal grocery store foods”.
Both services are great if you want the most hassle-free way to follow your low-calorie weight loss plan. All meals are single-portioned, so these plans are best for individuals with extra cash who are willing to invest in their diet journey. Big families would find subscribing to this meal plan inconvenient and pricey. More on pricing later.
Nutritious tip: Keep in mind that both services design their meal plans to be low-calorie. Low-calorie diets don’t work for long-term weight loss. All calories aren’t created equal, and the type of calories you eat makes a huge difference in sustaining your weight loss goals and doing so in a nutritious way.
Eating a low-calorie diet may be harmful to some people with serious health conditions. Consulting a physician or healthcare professional about your specific needs is the best route to determining whether following the meal plans of either service will work for you.
All Freshology meals are dietitian-designed, and all BistroMD meals are dietitian and doctor-designed to be eaten as is. The goal of each service is to make calorie-restricted weight loss meal plans as easy to follow as possible. Meals are cooked according to your chosen meal plan, flash-frozen, and delivered.
BistroMD offers five meal plans – Signature, Gluten-Free, Heart-Healthy, Diabetes- and Menopause-Friendly, and Keto-Flex. There aren’t many plant-based options. When I checked the menu, there were eight vegetarian options and nothing suitable for vegans. If you follow one of these diets, it might be best to look elsewhere.
For each plan, you elect whether you are a man or woman, and daily portions will change to 1,400 for men and 1,200 for women.
There isn’t a quiz about lifestyle, so I suggest choosing a meal plan based on whether you think you’ll want a little more or fewer calories per day. For example, I’m a 5’10 woman with an active lifestyle, so I would actually choose the “man” option.
The Signature plan is the standard BistroMD meal plan without any dietary specifications like the other five meal plans.
The website offers the Diabetes and Menopause plans as separate plans, but their menus are exactly the same. For the Menopause plan, there isn’t any information about the design and contents of the meals and how they support menopause other than that they contain lean proteins and moderate to low carbs. Customer service also had no information on this.
BistroMD has the Gluten-Free plan, which excludes wheat, rye, and barley, but isn’t certified gluten-free by the USDA. If you want a certified gluten-free menu, check out Green Chef’s USDA-certified Gluten-Free plan.
Freshology also offers five meal plans – Balance, Balance-Diabetes, Keto-Carb30, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian plans. Most Freshology plans are meat-heavy, so having the vegetarian option is great for vegetarians who want to try a low-calorie meal plan. These plans aren’t suitable for vegans as most meals include cheese and eggs.
Like BistroMD’s Signature plan, the Balance plan is Freshology’s standard menu without dietary specifications.
Freshology offers the option to exclude seafood in its Balance and Keto-Carb30 plans but otherwise doesn’t cater to any allergies.
Please note – The Keto-Flex and Keto-Carb30 have moderate carbs and fats and won’t achieve the goal of a keto diet – to get your body into ketosis. The Keto-Flex and Keto-Carb30 menus don’t follow the original keto requirement of 20g net carbs per day. Instead, each plan offers meals ranging from 13g to 43g of net carbs per meal.
However! If you’re looking for meals with moderate to low net carbs per meal that include a moderate percentage of healthy fats rather than full-on keto, these plans are a great option.
Neither service allows ingredient swaps, protein upgrades, substitutions, or portion changes.
If you have zero allergy concerns and are happy with the menu options – great! However, if you have any allergy concerns and want to exclude certain ingredients – neither service is for you.
If you dislike a particular ingredient, your only option for both services is to exclude the entire meal. Double check each meal ingredient list, and if it’s not suitable you’ll need to exclude the entire meal.
The downside of this option is that your recipe choices are significantly reduced if your selected plan has a lot of the ingredients you don’t want.
If you’re a food label-reading nerd like myself, you won’t be happy with the fact that viewing complete ingredient lists before ordering isn’t possible for either service. Freshology has more processed foods than BistroMD does, so there are ingredients like “grape jelly” or “cream cheese” with no list of ingredients for these items.
I asked customer service if they could provide more complete ingredient lists for each recipe, and they can’t.
BistroMD’s recipes are less processed and contain more whole foods. Recipes are also much better labeled for ingredients on BistroMD’s menu.
Swapping recipes within a meal plan is easy for both services. Freshology’s menu has a set list of recipes for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on a five weekly rotation. If there’s a meal you don’t want or a meal you’d like to repeat a few times, you can simply choose from the list of recipe substitutes within that rotation.
BistroMD operates similarly. Once you log in through the website, you can choose from a set of recipes available based on your diet plan. If you choose to exclude meals with an ingredient you don’t want to eat – like dairy – you can choose from the remaining recipes within your plan.
Pro tip: The Keto-flex program doesn’t appear on the plan options page if you click on all the other Get Started buttons or on the Shop button in the top right corner of the main sitemap pages. To order the Keto-Flex plan from BistroMD you need to click on Programs >> Keto-flex, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and click Get Started.
Both services offer the option to speak with a registered dietitian on staff who can help you with your meal choices. More on that in the customer service section. Heads up – BistroMD wins.
Ordering with both companies is straightforward. You can choose your preferred diet and whether you want meals for five or seven days each week and two or three meals each day. The minimum order is 10 meals per week for both services – or two meals for five days per week.
Both services ship to the continental US – all states excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Neither service offers an app through which you can order or manage your subscription, so you must order and manage your order through the website or the customer service phone line.
Unfortunately, neither service allows you to choose a preferred delivery day. For Freshology’s service, you type in your zip code, and you’ll be notified which days Freshology delivers to you along with a shipping price.
BistroMD functions similarly and estimates that your first delivery will arrive about six days after your order is confirmed. After that, meals will arrive regularly according to the delivery dates set for your zip code. BistroMD uses FedEx and will provide tracking information via email for each order.
BistroMD change requests must be completed before Wednesday 5 pm ET each week for all orders.
Freshology change requests must be completed by 12 pm ET on the cutoff day indicated on your account. Cutoff days are different for each zip code since delivery days are different.
Freshology offers two delivery options – Home Delivery and Fresh Home Delivery. For Home Delivery, all orders are shipped in styrofoam boxes with dry ice in an amount according to length of shipping time and estimated temperature in your zip code.
The unfortunate feature of styrofoam is that it’s only recyclable in certain zip codes. You’ll have to research your zip code to see if styrofoam recycling locations are available.
The Fresh Home Delivery option is a unique meal delivery service feature and is a better option to ensure fresher food than the Home Delivery option. With this option, your food arrives cool and not frozen on Tuesdays and Fridays.
However, while your food arrives fresh and not frozen, some of it still may have been previously frozen – like sausage patties, a variety of proteins, and even some veggies.
The Fresh option is only available in certain zipcodes in and near Washington DC (including Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland), Baltimore, New Jersey, and Los Angeles.
For both services, meals arrive frozen and individually packaged, with storage and prep instructions labeled on each meal. All you have to do is ensure you have enough freezer and fridge storage for your order, unpack your box, and recycle any materials you can.
BistroMD’s delivery boxes are more recyclable than Freshology’s standard Home Delivery option, but comparable to Freshology’s Fresh Home Delivery recycling materials. So depending on whether you choose Freshology’s standard delivery once per week or Fresh Home Delivery twice per week, shipping material recyclability is comparable.
Winner: It’s a tie!
Both offer fully prepped, individually packaged frozen meals that can be heated in the microwave for two to three minutes. Zero prep, zero cleanup, zero hassle. Both services recommend thawing your meal before heating it so that your meal will be completely heated in the microwave – no cold or frozen middles.
Meals arrive frozen and can be left in the fridge to defrost or put in the freezer for storage. You can leave your meals in the freezer for up to one year. BistroMD and Freshology meals are okay to eat for up to a week after thawing in the fridge, or by the indicated use-by date on each meal package.
Both services provide details on their websites about how to heat the meals. If you don’t have a microwave, the meals can be heated using a toaster/convection oven.
BistroMD wins because it offers longer customer service hours and on-call dietitians. Its total customer service contact options are the contact form on its website, an email address, or calling the customer support line.
BistroMD’s customer service hours are seven days per week – Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm ET, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm ET. You can also leave a voicemail that they’ll return it within 24 hours.
Freshology’s customer service hours are five days per week – Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm ET. You can also use the contact form on the website or an email address.
Calling customer support is the fastest way to contact BistroMD and Freshology for any account management questions. I called the customer support line for both companies several times with questions about the menu, deliveries, and more, and found all the agents I spoke with to be very helpful and friendly!
Both are services behind in offering easy subscription management through apps. However, they make up for it with expedient customer service phone lines – I was connected to a customer service agent in under a minute each time I called BistroMD and Freshology!
Freshology agents were more knowledgeable about the recipes, meal plans, and service details. BistroMD’s agents were very helpful but not as well-equipped as Freshology’s.
Aside from the phone line, I found navigation through both websites rather clunky. FAQs for both websites are also outdated, and you should call customer service for the most updated information regarding what services are offered.
For example – Freshology still states that it still offers Fresh Local Pickup, but actually discontinued that service due to COVID. So far as the agents know who I spoke with, Freshology isn’t planning to begin that service again as of the time of this writing.
BistroMD and Freshology offer consultations with registered dietitians (RDs) once you’ve confirmed your first order, but BistroMD wins because it has three dietitians while Freshology only has one.
For both services, RD consultations are only meant to be available should you have some difficulty with the food you’ve ordered – like high blood sugar spikes or allergic reactions.
The RDs can then consult on which other meal options might be better for you. While the consultation is free, and you can have a follow-up appointment or two if necessary, but that’s where the consultation ends.
This one is close. For both services, prices generally decrease as you order more meals. However, Freshology is overall cheaper per meal than BistroMD and sometimes offers cheaper shipping prices.
Shipping is always $19.95 for BistroMD and is either $9.99 or $19.98 for Freshology depending on your zip code.
Freshology’s weekly price is either $203.99 per week at $4.60 per serving, or $225.99 per week, at $10.76 per meal. You can choose your plan, how many days per week you’d like to have meals, and how many meals per day you want. You can see the per meal price and shipping cost for your order once you’ve made your plan selection.
BistroMD’s meal plan prices are the same for each diet plan, which makes comparing prices super easy. If you order seven days of meals at three meals per day it’s $219.80 per week or $10.99 per meal, and prices are the same for men and women.
Here’s a visual of the per meal price for BistroMD’s plans that I calculated using the pre-discount price, excluding shipping:
Here’s a visual of the per meal price for Freshology’s Balance-D Diabetes-friendly plan that I calculated using the pre-discount price, excluding shipping:
Individuals who want to lose weight with fully prepped meals
Individuals who want to lose weight with fully prepped meals
$8.24 per serving
$4.60 per serving
$9.99 or $19.98
250+ total, less per meal plan
150+ total, less per meal plan
2 to 3 minutes
2 to 3 minutes
Allergies catered to
Gender-specific, Diabetes-friendly, Heart-healthy, Menopause-friendly, Gluten-free, Keto Flex
Diabetes-friendly, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Keto-Carb30
Phone line 7 days per week, voicemail, contact form, email
Phone line 5 days per week, contact form, email
The call was close, but BistromMD wins for its more available customer service hours, more recipe variety within each meal plan menu, snack variety, more registered dietitians on-call, and more recyclable shipping materials.
Apart from that, these two services are quite alike. They deliver portion-controlled, calorie-counted, fully prepared, and frozen meals to your doorstep. The subscription management is identical except for BistroMD’s longer customer service hours.
BistroMD is great for individuals who know what diet they would like to follow and want to ease the challenge of sticking to it with a zero-hassle meal plan.
If neither of these services quite fit what you hope for in a low-calorie meal delivery service, check out this list of the 10 Best Low-Calorie Meal Delivery Services of 2023.
BistroMD’s monthly price ranges from about $600 to $880, excluding weekly $19.95 shipping. All plan prices are the same, and there are four variations for each plan. Your monthly price for five days of meals at two meals per day is about $600, five days of meals at three meals per day is about $750, seven days of meals at two meals per day is about $755, and seven days of three meals per day is about $880.
Freshology’s monthly price ranges from about $556 to $904 (excluding weekly shipping), depending on how many meals you order per week and which plan you choose. Freshology offers two weekly prices starting at $138.99 and $147.59 for a minimum of 10 meals per week.
Your monthly price for five days of meals at two meals per day is about $556 or $590, five days of meals at three meals per day is about $652 or $692, seven days of meals at two meals per day is about $741 or $796, and seven days of three meals per day is about $816 or $904.
Yes. The only difference is the name. The recipes, plans, prices, and service – including the customer service agents – are all the same.