How would you feel if your favorite restaurant unexpectedly shut down? You’d probably be confused and hurt (at least for a while). Well, that’s what the customers and fans of The Fresh Diet felt when their favorite weight-loss meal delivery service closed shop a few years back.
But something better comes along (almost always), so if you’re missing The Fresh Diet’s meal plans, have a look at Freshology’s offer. The menu is diverse, with well-balanced meal plans that cater to specific dietary needs.
Also, the meals are cooked by expert chefs, focusing mainly on weight loss and healthy living. I truly think Freshology is a great replacement for The Fresh Diet, and here’s why:
Freshology is a meal delivery service that offers ready-made meals with options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, the company caters to several diets and focuses on creating low-calorie, nutritionally balanced meals for people who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Each of the meal plans offers more than 20 options, and all the meals are fully cooked, single-servings. So, all you have to do is pop the meal you want in the microwave or oven and enjoy!
I like that the company focuses on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, but I’d like to see more information about common allergens and sourcing practices. Still, it’s good to know that Freshology follows the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Fresh Diet had a similar ideology, but the menu wasn’t this diverse, and the company didn’t cater to as many specific dietary needs. The company offered prepared single-serving meals with options for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and desserts. Overall, you had over 50 options, and new menu items were added each month.
The food was made with heart-healthy ingredients inspired by the Mediterranean diet principles. Overall, the main idea behind The Fresh Diet was that if you had access to preportioned, cooked healthy food for every meal of the day, you wouldn’t be as tempted by cravings.
I like that Freshology’s menu for each of the plans is a nice mixture of Standard American and international cuisines. Also, Freshology’s dishes are designed by dietitians and carefully assembled by specialized chefs to make it easier to feel excited about your diet and stick to your plan.
Who wouldn’t love to start their day with a delicious muffin that’s only 280 calories? The lunch and dinner options are just as delicious, and most have under 600 calories per serving. Plus, Freshology chefs cook in a USDA-certified kitchen, so you don’t have to worry about food safety.
While you can’t change the recipe or remove ingredients from meals, Freshology makes sure the menu stays flexible regardless of which meal plan you select. Plus, you have several menu customization options available before placing an order to make it easier to find the meals you like.
The Fresh Diet had an online meal planner where customers could select up to 50 ingredients they didn’t like. This made it easier to choose from the remaining meals, but there was also the risk of limiting your options a lot. Customers also had the option to reach out to a nutritionist and receive customized recommendations based on their dietary needs.
Freshology’s offer is divided across five meal plans: Balance, Balance-D (for diabetics), Keto-Carb30, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian. The Balance and Balance-D meal plans include calorie-controlled, portioned meals for weight loss, perfect for controlling blood sugar levels.
Keto-Carb30 is keto-friendly and restricts carbs to a maximum of 30g per day, so it’s perfect for people who need a protein-rich diet. On the other hand, Mediterranean and Vegetarian meal plans are perfect when you don’t follow a specific diet but want a healthy lifestyle. Note that the Mediterranean meal plan isn’t listed on the home page. You can view a sample menu from the Menu tab at the top of the page and choose to follow this meal plan at the sign up page.
All the meal plans are controlled for calories, cholesterol, fat, and sodium. Freshology’s menu works on a five-week rotation with the meals selected for you but all meals can be substituted so you can tailor the menu to your preferences and you can have the same meal multiple times a week if you wish (as long as it fits with the diet you selected).
The Fresh Diet’s menu, on the other hand, was divided into three meal plans – the Premium plan, the Chef’s Choice, or the Fresh Classic. As you can tell by the names, none of the meal plans were designed around specific dietary needs. But I do like the option of allowing a professional chef to choose my meals once in a while.
Both services offer little information about common allergens in their food, but there’s a list of ingredients and nutrition facts for each meal on Freshology’s menu. Still, this means you have to pay attention and do a bit of research if you have any allergies or intolerances.
To place an order, as a new customer, all you have to do is choose the meal plan you want, add your address and other information, and then choose your meals. It takes less than five minutes, and every order is easy to change or update using your online account.
The same account is just as helpful for when you want to pause or skip, but you must respect the weekly deadline if you want the changes to be effective immediately. The deadline is Fridays at 12 noon (EST) for mail orders and Mondays at 12 noon (EST) for Fresh Local Pickup orders (option to get your box from a local store or gym).
With The Fresh Diet, on the other hand, you had to do things like signing up, postponing a delivery, or canceling via phone. You could design your profile on the website, but it didn’t offer many options besides choosing the meals. Also, to put a delivery on hold, you had to notify the company no less than 72h before delivery, which many found rather short.
When canceling your Freshology subscription, you’ll also have to get in touch with the customer service team via phone or email and let them know about your decision. The same goes for when you want to add an extra meal to your box (outside what’s included in the meal plan). However, this option is only available for the Fresh Local Pickup service.
The Fresh Local Pickup service is only available for people living in the Washington DC Metro area (including Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland), Baltimore, New Jersey, or the greater Los Angeles area.
When it comes to mail orders, Freshology delivers via FedEx throughout all contiguous United States and sends out the tracking information via email. This is in contrast with The Fresh Diet’s delivery system, which was only available to certain locations in the US (around and in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, New York, and Miami).
One thing that’s noteworthy about The Fresh Diet is that customers would receive fresh meal deliveries five days a week (double deliveries on Thursday/Friday and Saturday/Sunday). The meals were delivered during the night, between 7 pm and 5 am, in thermally insulated cooler bags, which were later picked up by the delivery driver.
The cooler contained your meals for the day (three entrees and two snacks), which were prepared to be eaten that day. However, many customers felt uneasy about the number of plastic containers and the lack of information about recycling.
With Freshology, you receive a box with your weekly order, and you have to follow the storage instructions on the labels. None of the meals contain preservatives, so they’ll only last about four to five days in the fridge. If you want the meals to last longer, you’ll have to freeze them for up to a month.
I also like that the packaging is minimal and that most of it’s recyclable. The box, the meal trays, and the styrofoam coolers can be disposed of safely, following your community’s recycling regulations.
Freshology and The Fresh Diet were designed as prepared meal delivery services and were focused on making the dining experience as pleasant as possible. Still, Freshology is the only one active today, so the points go to them.
To heat up a meal, all you have to do is remove the plastic and pop the container into the microwave (black containers are microwave and oven-safe). Freshology also offers instructions for a conventional oven or a toaster oven, so make sure to check the label for guidance.
Depending on your appliance, it shouldn’t take longer than five to 20 minutes to have dinner ready.
In an effort to keep customers and visitors up-to-date and well-informed, Freshology offers an extensive knowledge database (FAQs) and a well-written blog. This way, you can learn about the meals, and the services, while also getting health and food-related tips.
People who want to get in touch with the customer support team can use the phone lines (available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm ET), the online form, or the email address available on the site. Also, the company is active on social media.
The Fresh Diet only offered phone and chat options, but to get in touch with customer service, you had to use the phone. If you go through some of the reviews from when it was still in operation, it’s easy to see that customers weren’t exactly thrilled with how the company handled the communication. Things got especially sour as the company got closer to declaring bankruptcy.
The cost per week varies depending on the meal plan you select and whether you want the full menu (seven days a week, three meals per day) or the compact version (five days a week, two meals per day). Also, with the Balance meal plan, there’s a difference between the Women’s and Men’s plans (men’s is a bit more expensive).
Overall, the price per week starts at $138.99 for a 10 meals box and goes as high as $203.99 for a 21 meals box. The only difference is with the Keto-Carb30 menu, which is a bit more expensive (around $225 for a 21 meals box). To this, you also have to add the cost of shipping which is $9.99-$19.98 per week.
I can’t say that Freshology is a great fit for all budgets, but at $4.60 per serving (the starting price), it’s not the most expensive either. In the end, it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on ready-made meals for your diet.
The Fresh Diet was also on the pricier side, but the company offered free deliveries, and there were several discounts for newcomers. To give you an idea, the seven-day Fresh Premium Starter Plan was around $249, while the 31 Day Fresh Premium Plan was $39.99 per day ($1239.69 per month). The amount had to be prepaid in full to get access to the service.
The Fresh Diet
Weight loss and healthy lifestyle
$4.60 per serving
$35.57 per day
2 meals/day, 5 days/week
Seven days worth of meals
250+ choices per week
50+ per month
3 to 5 minutes
3 to 5 minutes
Allergies catered to
Check the label
Ingredients available on the label
Diabetic-friendly, Keto, Low-calorie, Vegetarian, Mediterranean
Online form, email, phone
The verdict is clear – Freshology is the only possible victor in this competition. The Fresh Diet was a fantastic meal delivery service with many features similar to those offered by Freshology, but it's time to move on and find a new provider of delicious meals.
And, if Freshology doesn’t meet your needs, make sure to check our list of the best meal delivery services. Here, you’ll find some of the best brands on the market!
Yes! Freshology costs between $130 and $230 per week (depending on the meal plan you choose), plus shipping. With The Fresh Diet, on the other hand, you would have paid around $400 per week for a full plan, which is quite pricey even by today’s standards.
Yes. First of all, Freshology is still going strong, while The Fresh Diet has been closed since 2016. Second, Freshology delivers nationwide and has a well-established, diverse menu. The Fresh Diet had limited reach and used to receive complaints about its customer service even before the closure.
The Fresh Diet suddenly closed shop in 2016 without notifying business partners or customers. The company used to be a gourmet meal delivery service focused on healthy foods and weight loss, but it was losing money.