BistroMD and Jenny Craig claim to provide you with delicious weight loss meals that help you easily shed those extra pounds. But sometimes weight loss-focused meal delivery services provide nothing but bland, boring, and tasteless meals. So how do you know which one of these provides the best-tasting and most affordable meals that help you lose weight the fastest?
To save you some time, my team and I have thoroughly researched and validated each option. I’ve compared each one carefully to help you lose weight consistently while eating meals you’ll love. Find out what the exact differences are, and why you may want to choose one over the other.
Both BistroMD and Jenny Craig could be good choices for you. I’ve found BistroMD to be the best option thanks to its larger menu variety, more customization options, easier ordering and delivery, and better overall customer support. It was a close call though especially as Jenny Craig boasts a better pricing model.
Jenny Craig (Price: Missing Product jenny-craig per serving)
🍔 Menu Variety:
BistroMD (150 choices per week)
⏰ Prep Time:
It’s a tie
BistroMD (7 dietary options)
👍 Ordering and Delivery:
🙋 Customer Support:
BistroMD is the clear winner, here. It offers tons of weekly choices (150), and various meal types like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Not only that – you also get your choice of diets like Heart Healthy, Keto Flex, Menopause, Diabetic, or Gluten Free. You can choose between the Men’s and Women’s plans as well.
With BistroMD, you’ll get access to two types of plans – the Full Program or the Lunches and Dinners only for five or seven days. You can only choose one of the diets above at any time. You’re always welcome to change your plan, though, which can easily be accomplished from within your account dashboard.
Items on offer for breakfast include things like Artichoke, Spinach, and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata and the Bagel Sandwich with Egg, Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Swiss. For lunches and dinners, you can look forward to succulent options like the Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Marsala or Meatloaf with Honey Bourbon Glaze.
In terms of Jenny Craig, things work a little differently. There are three main plans you can choose from – the Simple Meal Plan, Essential Meal Plan, and Max Up Weight Loss Plan. The Essential Plan is the most affordable with each subsequent one becoming a bit more expensive, but for a good reason.
For example, with the Simple Meal Plan, you’ll get 14 breakfasts and 14 lunches which are good for two weeks. The Essential Plan adds 14 dinners on top of that, and the Max Up Weight Loss Plan adds snacks, desserts, Recharge energy bars, personal coaching, activity plans, and a quality of life assessment on top of all that.
Some recipes for breakfast include (but aren’t limited to) the Egg, Cheese, and Turkey Sausage Burrito, Cinnamon Rolls, Classic Waffles, or the Cheesy Egg and Bacon Skillet. Items you can expect for lunch include the Loaded Baked Potato, Beef Stir Fry Bowl, Chicken Margherita Pasta, and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Fried Chicken.
Jenny Craig doesn’t offer as many dietary options as BistroMD. For example, with Jenny Craig, you can only get Vegetarian and Diabetes-friendly menus. Keep in mind that you also can’t browse these on the site. You have to request them to be sent to you via email.
Each of these meal delivery services offers single-serving prepared meals intended for a single person, not families. That means you’ll either be able to heat everything up within 2-3 minutes or simply open up the package and eat it without heating anything. This helps you avoid doing any prep at all, and you don’t really have to think much about how to prepare and cook meals that’ll help you lose weight.
In terms of cuisines, Jenny Craig offers up a healthy variety including French, Italian, classic American, Japanese, and Latin American. The vast majority of the dishes are heavily Americanized so you won’t find too many exotic or overly spicy ingredients. This means the dishes are also mostly family-friendly, but I personally wouldn’t be ordering Jenny Craig if I was looking to feed my kids.
BistroMD, on the other hand, offers Italian, Mediterranean, classic American, Latin American, and Creole (or Cajun, however you want to look at it). Again, most of the dishes are heavily Americanized and are quite hearty with the portions being pretty generous. I’d say that, in my experience, BistroMD’s dishes can contain a few more exotic and spicier ingredients than Jenny Craig, but it’s definitely nothing over the-top.
In terms of customization options, neither service is very good, but BistroMD does edge out Jenny Craig by a slim margin.
It offers seven different dietary options which include Heart Healthy, Keto Flex, Menopause, Diabetic, or Gluten Free (keep in mind that it’s not actually a certified gluten-free facility, but some meals avoid any ingredients containing gluten). Jenny Craig, on the other hand, only offers two which are Vegetarian and Diabetic-Friendly.
Even though Jenny Craig offers two types of diets to choose from, these menus can’t be accessed without first contacting customer support. There seem to be about 38 options for lunch, dinner, and breakfast at any given time.
Neither service will let you filter down the menu by specific ingredient preferences or allergens. As both services offer prepared meals, you can’t swap or remove individual ingredients. If you dislike something or have an allergy, you’ll have to avoid the entire meal. However, you’re able to view the recipe card for each meal on each website to find a detailed ingredient list.
The BistroMD menu allows you to choose from any of the dietary options mentioned above to start your order. You can’t mix and match across diets, so I recommend making sure you choose exactly what you want from the get-go. You can always change your plan and diet for your next order, however.
I have to say that, after thoroughly testing out and researching each service, Jenny Craig makes it ever so slightly more difficult to order your meals, but it’s a very close call. As a result, BistroMD’s seamless ordering system wins here but really not by much.
The reason for this decision is that Jenny Craig suffers from many of the same issues other weight loss programs suffer from – an overabundance of choices. More isn’t always better, and offering so many different choices makes it complicated to just order as quickly as possible.
With BistroMD, once you click on the Shop button in the top right of the screen, you’ll be brought to a page where you can simply select your dietary preferences, meal types like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the number of days – five or seven. The minimum BistroMD order is five days’ worth of lunches and dinners. Jenny Craig’s minimum order is 14 breakfasts and 14 lunches.
In terms of delivery, BistroMD ships to all 48 contiguous states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii at this time. It doesn’t offer delivery of your box on any specific day, only that it’ll take FedEx around six days to get your box to you after you place your order. The standard shipping charge is $19.95 per order.
If you need to change your delivery date, or address, or make any other changes to your order, you must do so before your box gets shipped. To find your specific cutoff date, log in to your account dashboard as this date is specific to every customer.
Jenny Craig also ships to all 48 contiguous states besides Alaska and Hawaii, and it also delivers to Puerto Rico which many meal delivery services don’t. Changing your order is possible, but not for your first one. All subsequent orders after your first one can be canceled or changed up to 48 hours before the scheduled shipment date by calling the support phone number.
Both BistroMD and Jenny Craig’s boxes come fully insulated with frozen goods inside microwaveable containers. Both services offer frozen foods only – nothing arrives fresh. You should be storing your food in the freezer for both services, and heating the meals from their frozen state. Everything is also labeled for easy identification. Jenny Craig takes this a step further by color coding all of their meals so you know which ones are for what time of day.
Each service is virtually identical in this regard, so you won’t find there to be much difference – though, I did find that Jenny Craig outpaces BistroMD slightly in terms of the recyclability of packaging.
BistroMD states that its meals are served in CPET plastic trays and sealed with a light plastic cover to ensure freshness. The meal trays are microwave- and oven-safe (up to 400F) and don’t release BPA when heated. Both the tray and plastic cover can be recycled, as well as the cardboard sleeve with other paper products.
Jenny Craig’s meals come in fully recyclable boxes. It also claims that everything you get in the box is recyclable as well. This takes a lot of the guesswork away from how you can dispose of everything once you’re done with it.
Both BistroMD and Jenny Craig are based on a prepared-meal model. That means no prep, cooking, cleanup, or hassle with either service. Most meals can simply be heated up in the microwave in under five minutes. Oftentimes, many meals are ready to eat straight out of the packaging as well.
BistroMD’s meals are flash-frozen and kept cold in recyclable packaging using dry ice. It recommends either heating from frozen or, for a quicker, more even heat, you can thaw the meals out in your fridge the night before. You’ll have to consume any thawed-out meals within 48 hours. All of the meals come in microwave- and oven-ready recyclable trays.
Jenny Craig doesn’t publish much information on the website regarding its individual meals, how to heat them, and how they arrive. So, I took it upon myself to call the number and find out for you. The customer support representative confirmed that all its meals come flash-frozen and in recyclable, microwave-ready trays. All meals must be heated in the microwave with the exception of Fish & Chips, which must be prepared in the oven.
It’s best to heat the meals directly from frozen for freshness, or you can also thaw them out first – though by thawing them out, you’ll have to consume them within a day or two so they don’t spoil.
BistroMD wins here, but not by that much. Both companies have similar methods of communication including email and phone, and Jenny Craig even offers a physical mailing address if you’re so inclined to send them a letter. But where things really fell apart for Jenny Craig was in its customer service team’s response time.
Since neither company offers a live chat feature, I decided to contact them both via email to see what would happen. BistroMD got back to my email question in quite literally eight minutes. Its support was friendly, fast, and professional, and the agent took all of my concerns into consideration.
Jenny Craig’s support team did get back to me within about one hour, but the agent pretty much ignored most of my questions. This was a subpar experience and left me disappointed. I ended up having to contact the team via phone instead.
I actually tested out the phone number. Someone connected with me within a matter of seconds and was super-friendly and helpful. The agent was able to answer most of my questions from memory and asked me if I had any further questions. Overall, my Jenny Craig phone support experience was quite stellar which is pretty much the opposite of my email support experience.
If you’re looking to contact BistroMD, you can do so via phone or email, or browse through the extensive FAQ section on the website. It’s chock-full of useful information that might already be in there so you don’t have to spend any time contacting someone. You’re welcome to contact someone between 8 am and 8 pm EST from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 6 pm EST on weekends. And, amazingly, you can even leave a voicemail after hours.
Jenny Craig offers a phone number, a contact form, and a decent FAQ section as well. However, as I mentioned, my personal experience contacting the team via the contact form was pretty subpar.
Both Jenny Craig and BistroMD also offer some form of diet support as well. For example, BistroMD offers virtual support from registered dietitians as well as webinars. It also publishes a pretty large list of health-related articles on its blog that you can check out periodically.
Jenny Craig, on the other hand, offers one-on-one coaching with a wellness coach for weight loss guidance, personalized feedback, and custom meal planning (only with the Max Up Weight Loss Plan).
All-in-all, I would’ve given Jenny Craig the upper hand here, but its reluctance to respond to my email was a bit of a turn-off. Your mileage may vary, and you may have better luck contacting the team via the phone number instead. It definitely feels like this is the path it wants you to take anyway for a more personalized support experience.
Winner: Jenny Craig
Overall, it goes without saying that BistroMD can be quite pricey. Jenny Craig is a much cheaper option, especially when you opt for the higher tier plans like the Essential Meal Plan or the Max Up Weight Loss Plans (which are only a few dollars more than the Simple Meal Plan). Prices start at around Price: Missing Product jenny-craig per serving.
BistroMD starts at around Price: Missing price for Product undefined per serving for the very basic five lunches and dinners for five days plan. Increasing the number of days for which you’ll receive food only increases your total price by around $52, but I’ve found that you can save some money using our special coupon: 40% OFF + free shipping on your first week.
BistroMD’s shipping costs $19.95, and Jenny Craig’s is $29 for orders under $546 and $58 for orders over $546.
$8.24 per serving
Price: Missing Product jenny-craig per serving
$29 - $58 (depending on the total value of your order)
Five days of lunches and dinners
14 breakfasts and 14 lunches
150 choices per week
0 to 3 minutes
0 to 3 minutes
Allergies catered to
Heart Healthy, Keto Flex, Menopause, diabetic-friendly, gluten-free
8 am and 8 pm EST from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 6 pm EST on weekends via phone, and email
Phone, contact form, and FAQ
Overall, it was a bit of a close call. To me, BistroMD wins because of its larger menu, better customer support, more diet options, and easier-to-navigate website.
Jenny Craig does have its good points too, though – namely, the lower prices. I’ve awarded Jenny Craig with the close second award simply because it could be far more sustainable, price-wise, for those who are looking for the more affordable option between the two.
It’s on a par with many other meal delivery services and is quite reasonable for a weight loss service. Do keep in mind that, compared to Jenny Craig, BistroMD can be significantly pricier. With the basic BistroMD plan (which includes five days’ worth of lunches and dinners), you’re looking at about $8.24 per serving.
Yes definitely. If you’re someone who sticks to the plan and doesn’t veer off course, then yes, people can (and have) lost a significant amount of weight following the BistroMD plan. It’s all about adherence, so make you’re following the instructions precisely. It offers up an impressive selection of over 150 weekly meal options that can help fast-track your weight loss journey.
Yes – all of BistroMD’s meals come flash-frozen. It’s recommended that you heat the meals from either frozen or thawed, but thawing them first helps ensure that they’re heated more evenly. You can still heat them from frozen, but it might take a little bit longer.