Both Freshly and BistroMD offer prepared, chef-cooked meals designed to help people stick to a healthy diet or aid with weight loss.
But while Freshly is flexible and allows you to have quick, healthy meals to hand, BistroMD is more about a structured, calorie-controlled diet. Freshly is also more allergy-friendly, while BistroMD has a wider range of offerings that includes snacks.
Both services can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences, but BistroMD can be a little overbearing if you want more freedom with what you eat.
Read on to find out who won the battle in our detailed breakdown – and for even more options, check out our list of the best meal delivery services.
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Carb-Conscious, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free
Gluten-Free, Diabetic-Friendly, Heart-Healthy, Menopause Support
150+ meals, plus snacks
$6.90 per serving
$8.24 per serving
6 minutes or less
Both services make it easy for you to choose meals according to your dietary and lifestyle preferences, and both clearly display the ingredients and nutritional info such as calorie content, fats, protein, and more.
With Freshly, you can sort through the menu using three filters: Diet, Categories, and Nutritional Macros. This allows you to browse only dairy-free meals, for example, or meals that are low in calories.
Plus, if you click on each meal, you get detailed information about the ingredients used and the nutritional facts.
BistroMD focuses more on meals that aid weight loss, and before you even get to browse the menu, you’re asked to choose one of five programs:
Next, you have to select the plan that works best for you:
Full program (breakfast, lunches, dinners, plus snacks)
Lunches and dinners
You can order either option for seven or five days a week. Once you decide, BistroMD’s registered dietitians will compile a custom diet for you (which you can edit by approving or removing entries).
BistroMD also allows you to set taste preferences and mention any dietary specifications (gluten-free, peanut-free, and more) when you sign up.
While both services offer detailed nutritional info, Freshly wins in terms of how easy it is to filter the menu for allergens. I liked how it presented everything in an organized, easy-to-understand way. It was much harder to find information with BistroMD’s less visually appealing design.
Both Freshly and BistroMD offer prepared meals packaged in single-serving portions.
Freshly’s menu offers around 56 different meals, while BistroMD offers a hard-to-beat 150+ – but both are varied and take inspiration from cuisines around the world. BistroMD also offers a range of high-protein, high-fiber snacks for an extra cost.
Freshly’s vegan options are limited (around five meals out of 56) – the menu mostly focuses on a combination of chicken, turkey, or pork with veggies and rice. Overall, though, Freshly’s menu feels healthy and nourishing, with nutritional twists on comfort-food favorites, like this Homestyle Chicken with Mac & Cheese.
BistroMD has slightly more variety with options from a wider range of cuisines. The menu includes more beef, alongside lean chicken, turkey, and pork. It also has a limited selection of plant-based meals, but a wider variety of seafood options.
A great example of a balanced BistroMD meal is this Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork with Broccoli.
Freshly’s prices start at $6.90 per serving when you order 12 meals per week. That price goes up the fewer meals you order – so if you just want four meals per week, you’re looking at $11.79 per single-serving dish.
Shipping is calculated at checkout and starts from $5.99, depending on location.
At BistroMD, things are a bit different since you choose between either a five- or seven-day program that covers either lunch and dinner or breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You’ll get the best deal if you choose the Full Program for seven days, where meals will cost $9.50 per serving. These go all the way up to $12.95 per serving when you select the Lunches & Dinners program for just five days. For a side-by-side comparison, 10 meals from Freshly will cost you just $9.29 per meal.
Shipping at BistroMD is also a whopping $19.95 per week.
Both Freshly and BistroMD use recyclable materials when it comes to packaging, and each meal comes in a microwave-safe, CPET plastic tray that can be recycled, alongside the cardboard sleeve.
BistroMD uses dry ice to keep its meals cool during delivery, while Freshly uses non-toxic gel ice packs, which can also be recycled once emptied and washed.
Both services deliver to all states within the continental US throughout the week. Just enter your zip code on the website to find out which days they deliver in your area.
Freshly has a handy app that provides tracking information, while BistroMD uses the standard FedEx delivery system. Both companies will allow you to skip a delivery or make changes to your order – just be sure to check the cutoff day and time.
Winner: It’s a tie
When your meals arrive, Freshly suggests storing them in the refrigerator, where they’ll have a shelf-life of around three to five days. It’ll even mark the meals that the chefs suggest should be eaten first to ensure maximum freshness and quality. The meals are also freezer-safe should you not be able to eat them before the use-by date.
When you’re ready to eat, simply pop them in a microwave for three minutes.
BistroMD, on the other hand, delivers its meals flash-frozen to preserve the flavor and texture. The meals can be kept frozen or placed in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be heated. They’ll usually take six minutes or less in the microwave.
Winner: It’s a tie
Both services deliver meals cooked by chefs and use fresh, high-quality ingredients. However, Freshly has the upper hand when it comes to cost and how easy it is to navigate certain dietary requirements.
That said, BistroMD is great for people who want to lose weight and who require a stricter diet plan. It’s impossible to go off track when every meal of the day is covered. The service collaborates with registered dietitians to prepare the meals, and all the programs follow doctor-recommended guidelines.
Still, Freshly and BistroMD are not the only ones on the market that can help you to eat healthily – check out this list of best weight loss meal delivery services for more!
Overall winner: Freshly
Freshly’s starting price is $6.90, while BistroMD starts at $8.24. But it is difficult to compare the two since Freshly offers between 4 and 12 weekly meals, while BistroMD’s plans send you between 10 and 20 weekly lunches, dinners or breakfasts.
BistroMD is more targeted toward weight loss than Freshly, and works with registered dietitians to plan fully balanced calorie-conscious meals. Freshly allows you to sort for gluten-free and carb-conscious meal items, and Freshly meals use fresh produce and proteins without added sugars or artificial flavors.
Freshly is better for people who just want to eat healthy fully prepared meals. If you are trying to lose weight, BistroMD has one of the best and tastiest weight loss meal plans on the market.