Not all meal delivery services are created equal – especially those that are designed for weight loss. Both Nutrisystem and the Health Management Resources (HMR) diet offer personalized and health-conscious eating plans, though HMR puts more emphasis on the support it offers through its community and medical supervision.
Like Nutrisystem, the company will send you prepared meals, shakes, and snacks to help you cut calories, but you’ll need to consume these alongside extra servings of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and more, which you’re expected to purchase yourself.
Nutrisystem is much more convenient. When you place an order, you’ll get everything you need for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you want even more ideas for healthy and balanced meals, take a look at our complete list of the Best Meal Delivery Services Today.
90 to 160+ meals and snacks, depending on your plan
30 meals and snacks
Price: Missing Product nutrisystem
From $14.92 per day
$14.95, or free on orders over $249.99
All the plans at Nutrisystem have a Women’s and Men’s version available, so you’ll know that your body is getting the recommended calories it needs.
In addition to its standard plan, HMR offers a dedicated Lactose Free plan and has a few vegetarian meals on the menu. If you have any other dietary requirements, you’ll probably find HMR too restrictive.
HMR offers a rather limited 30 pre-packaged meals in total, including two flavors of a shake that you’ll need to prepare yourself, a multigrain cereal base, and an instant chicken soup you can also use as a sauce.
The entrées are a mix of American, Mexican, and Italian dishes – think Penne Pasta with Meatballs in Sauce, or Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce.
The potential downside is that each dish only constitutes half a meal, as you’ll be expected to add a side or two of veggies for a complete, nutritious dish. For example, the Chicken Enchiladas come with a serving suggestion of red cabbage, avocado, cabbage slaw, corn, or black beans.
While the intention behind it, I assume, is to give you more freedom and allow you to make healthy decisions, it could make it a lot harder to keep track of your calorie intake.
Nutrisystem also offers suggestions on how you can enhance some of its meals with fresh produce, but you can also simply eat them as they come.
The menu is divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The vegetarian menu has around 90 meals and snacks to choose from, while on other plans, that number increases to more than 160.
The meals vary from low-calorie twists on fast food (pizza, burgers, pasta) to more home-cooked-style meals, such as Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast.
Meanwhile, the breakfasts include options such as muffins and omelets, alongside cereal and nut bars.
Rather than offering a starting price per serving, as most meal delivery companies tend to do, Nutrisystem calculates how much you pay per day.
It makes sense – since a typical plan offers up to six meals per day, including snacks.
The most basic plan starts at $9.74 per day, which is great value considering every daily meal is covered, and shipping is always free.
HMR’s standard plan costs around $14.92 per day, while the Lactose-Free plan is $18 per day. This price includes prepared meals, shakes, and nut bars for a full week – but you’ll need to take into account the extra groceries that you’re required to purchase yourself.
Shipping for any order under $250 will set you back $14.95. This shouldn’t be an issue if you subscribe to a plan, but you should be careful if you want to order à la carte.
The fundamental difference between Nutrisystem and HMR deliveries is that Nutrisystem will send your box every month, while HMR delivers every two weeks. This means you can expect a heavier box with Nutrisystem, but you’re also paying a bit more in advance.
Nutrisystem ships to the contiguous US states only, while HMR delivers to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico as well. You should expect to wait a bit longer for your order if you’re in one of these states, but no longer than five business days.
Both companies have an auto-delivery option in order to simplify the process.
When it comes to environmental impact and sustainable packaging, Nutrisystem puts significantly more effort into this department. Its coolers are now reusable and recyclable, as well as being 92% biodegradable.
Winner: It’s a tie
Many of the meals and snacks from both services are considered “shelf-stable”, which means that they do just fine at room temperature. The powder for the shakes and sauces, for example, doesn’t need to be put in the fridge.
However, they also both offer frozen meals that need to be stored accordingly. It also means you’ll need a large enough refrigerator or freezer! One Nutrisystem order can contain up to six meals per day for an entire month, so there are a lot of frozen meals in there…
When it comes to prepping, it couldn’t be easier. Most of the time you just need to either heat the meal or add some water or milk to the shake mix.
That said, if you want to prepare your meal as per the company’s suggestions, the dishes from HMR may require more time. The diet plan recommends eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables (that don’t come with your order), so you’ll need to purchase and cook those separately.
In contrast, only a few meals from Nutrisystem suggest adding a side.
It’s no surprise that Nutrisystem wins this battle. It’s more affordable, offers a much wider range of meals, and has specific plans such as vegetarian and diabetes-friendly.
However, if you don’t live in the contiguous US, or if you prefer a biweekly shipment to a monthly one, HMR may be the better choice for you.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that out of the two, only Nutrisystem made it onto our list of the Best Healthy Meal Delivery Services.
HMR, on the other hand, has a rather limited menu, and you need to complete the recipes with fresh fruit and veggies yourself for a truly balanced diet.
However, if you prefer to work directly with a weight loss clinic, HMR could be a better match for you.
When it comes to costs, Nutrisystem is a more affordable choice than HMR. Starting at just Price: Missing Product nutrisystem per day, an order provides six meals a day, including snacks.
Meanwhile, HMR plans start at around $15 per day and don’t include sides with the meals.