Thanks to weight loss-centric prepared meal delivery services, losing weight has never been easier or tastier. But which service is right for you? I’ve reviewed and compared two of the most popular weight loss meal delivery services: BistroMD vs. Diet-to-Go.
BistroMD and Diet-to-Go are both prepared meal delivery services that deliver portion and calorie-controlled “heat and eat” meals to your door.
Although BistroMD is medically backed (by founder Dr. Caroline Cederquist) and has great reviews, Diet-to-Go stood victorious in this comparison. Frankly, I'm not surprised by Diet-to-Go's win – after all, it made it onto our Best Meal Delivery Services of 2021 list for a reason.
Before I get down to the details, here’s a quick overview of the services.
Gender-specific, diabetes-friendly, keto, vegetarian
Gender-specific, diabetes-friendly, heart-friendly, menopause, gluten-free
5 minutes or less
If you’re vegan or have any food allergies, neither BistroMD nor Diet-to-Go is for you. There are, however, a few plans catering to some basic dietary restrictions with both services.
With BistroMD, you’ll find five different plans – Standard, Gluten-free, Diabetic, Heart Healthy, and Menopause. Except for the Menopause program, all others offer gender-specific plans that fulfill different caloric requirements for men and women.
While there are no heart-friendly, gluten-free, or menopause-friendly plans with Diet-to-Go, you will find the Keto-Carb30 plan for those on a keto diet, the Balance D plan for diabetics, and the Vegetarian plan, which is perfect for lacto-ovo vegetarians. And of course, you have the standard Balance plan.
As for customization, you won’t find much flexibility with either service when it comes to swapping proteins or removing certain ingredients. The only customization available is to choose the meals you want.
The lack of flexibility is understandable since these aren’t merely prepared meal delivery services but complete weight loss programs. The recipes are carefully crafted to be low on calories and high on nutrition and altering the recipe can impact this balance.
That said, I think they could both do a better job of allowing people to filter out certain common allergens, at the very least.
Both Diet-to-Go and BistroMD offer an extensive menu but there’s a big difference when it comes to menu options.
BistroMD offers 150+ options (I counted 179 on the current menu, to be precise). There are 140 entrées for main meals and 39 EATS (Essential And Tasty Snacks). These aren’t part of the actual plan but you can purchase a set of 10 or 14 EATS at the time of placing the order, or even after.
What I like most about the menu is its diversity. From Jamaican Style Black Pepper Shrimp to Barramundi Seabass with Mango Coconut Salsa, you’ll find flavors from all over the world.
Now, if you thought BistroMD’s selection was excellent, wait till I tell you about Diet-to-Go’s extensive menu. It follows a five week-rotation system with hundreds of dishes. You won’t find snacks as a separate option but there’s plenty to make up for it.
There’s a five-week sample menu posted with every program on the website and Diet-to-Go personalizes this to give you a recommended menu. Once you’ve placed your order, you can view and edit this menu and swap any meals you don’t like.
You’ll find global cuisines to spice up your everyday meals. You can choose from Salmon Burger with Mango Salsa, Chicken Stroganoff, Thai Turkey Tenderloin, and even Shrimp with Spanish Style Rice and Sauce, to name a few.
Winner: The winner of this round, hands down, is Diet-to-Go.
As is common with meal delivery services, the more meals you order, the lower the price per meal.
Both services let you decide whether you want to opt for two or three meals a day for five or seven days a week. You’ll find that the price per meal is lowest when you order all three meals seven days a week. While Diet-to-Go gives you 21 meals for seven days, BistroMD’s plan includes only 20 meals, giving you one cheat night.
The 21-meals-a-week Balance plan with Diet-to-Go costs $179.99, which means your cost per meal is $8.57. Diet-to-Go’s Keto-Carb30 program is priced slightly higher than its other programs. The price for 21 meals a week on this plan is $204.59, meaning that your cost per meal is $9.74.
BistroMD, on the other hand, charges $189.95 for 20 meals a week, making your cost per meal $9.49.
As I mentioned before, a set of 10 or 14 snacks (two per day for the five- and seven-day program respectively) can be added to the order for an additional $20 or $28. For some reason though, you can only pick which snacks you want after you have placed the order.
The prices of the men’s programs are a bit higher for both services to account for the increased portion size. There’s also a flat fee for shipping with both services – $19.98 for Diet-to-Go and $19.95 for BistroMD.
Diet-to-Go’s shipping cost is a bit confusing when you first set up your plan, as it shows $9.99 per delivery instead of $19.98. I’ll explain why this is the case in the Delivery and Packaging section below.
A very big plus with Diet-to-Go is that it also offers a pick-up option in some places. So if you have any pick-up locations nearby, you can completely skip the delivery and the associated costs.
Winner: Yet again, Diet-to-Go bags a win. Even with the shipping charges, it beats BistroMD by almost a dollar a meal.
Much like any other prepared meal delivery service, BistroMD meals arrive weekly. Unfortunately, unlike many others, BistroMD does not let you pick your delivery day.
Diet-to-Go, meanwhile, sends meals for 3-4 days at a time and delivers them twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. That’s the logic behind the “$9.99 per delivery” charge I mentioned earlier (two deliveries a week make the $19.98 overall).
I like this system better since it’s easier to fit fewer meals in my refrigerator. You can store Diet-to-Go meals in the fridge where they can easily survive for a week. If you put them in the freezer, they’ll keep for up to 30 days.
The Diet-to-Go meals come nicely packed in recyclable containers with the nutritional information, ingredients, and heating instructions on every meal. But recyclable containers are the most environmentally-friendly it gets, as the containers are sealed with plastic wrap.
Diet-to-Go loses another point for using styrofoam coolers. The service does suggest that the coolers are accepted in certain recycling facilities but let’s face it, how many of us really go beyond the driveway with our recycling?
BistroMD fares slightly better when it comes to packaging. You’ll find plenty of plastic wrap with this service as well but the box and the separators inside are all recyclable. The meals are further wrapped in a cardboard sleeve, which displays the nutritional info and the ingredient list. Both the sleeve and plastic tray are recyclable.
Winner: One’s better at delivery and the other at packaging. Let’s call this a tie.
BistroMD and Diet-to-Go meals are both designed by dietitians, cooked by chefs, flash-frozen to lock in nutrients and freshness, then delivered to your door. The prep time and skill level required to dig into your meals are pretty low. All you need are some pro-heating skills with the microwave (for most meals), the oven (for some meals), and the stove/induction (rarely).
Having said that, BistroMD claims that it takes five minutes or less to get the meal ready, while Diet-to-Go promises two to three minutes. Note that some of the meals can be eaten cold, requiring no prep time at all. Since BistroMD meals are frozen, they do require a few extra minutes to heat as opposed to the refrigerated Diet-to-Go meals.
Winner: On particularly busy workdays, those few saved minutes are worth a lot, at least to me. So Diet-to-Go wins this segment.
Diet-to-Go and BistroMD are both great prepared meal delivery services for weight loss. Both offer dietitian-designed, chef-prepared meals. However, with three out of five category wins, Diet-to-Go comes out on top, especially if you’re looking for healthy keto and vegetarian meal plans.
Clearly, the service has well earned its spot on our list of the best meal delivery services of 2021.
Just as a final point, if you’re looking for gluten-free options or a diet suited for menopausal metabolism, BistroMD might be a better fit for you.
Overall winner: Diet-to-Go.