Backed by medical expertise, this meal delivery service promises healthy weight loss without compromising on taste. In addition to carefully prepared meals, you also get a professional support team to keep you on track.
Personalized plans backed by scientific research
BistroMD’s discount for new customers: Get 25% Off + Free Shipping
Shipping is expensive at $19.95
Limited choice for vegetarians and no vegan options
Five- or seven-day plans only
People with various health conditions who want to lose weight
People who follow a balanced diet with few restrictions
People with a tight schedule
The BistroMD meal delivery service is designed to make losing weight and improving health as easy as possible. Meals are planned by a doctor and team of dietitians, and cooked by professional chefs.
BistroMD also takes a unique approach to its programs, with dedicated meal plans for diabetes and even menopause.
That being said, I had some concerns about this meal delivery service. For one thing, are the flash-frozen meals actually tasty? For another, does BistroMD’s holistic meals and coaching approach actually work? I wanted to find out how well-founded these concerns were.
Here’s what I discovered.
BistroMD is not your average one-size-fits-all meal delivery service.
Founder Dr. Caroline Cederquist is a certified physician specializing in bariatric medicine. She’s had first-hand experience with patients that needed to lose weight under all kinds of circumstances. Cederquist also witnessed the biggest obstacles her patients faced.
That’s why she founded BistroMD with her husband – to create a program that covers absolutely every element of weight loss, from the professional support to the food itself.
From looking at the range of programs, you can see BistroMD has put a lot of thought into its offerings. There are five plans, with different programs for men and women:
Standard: Combines the science of healthy weight loss with the convenience of chef-prepared meals.
Gluten Free: Free of wheat, rye, or barley and tested to the FDA gluten-free standard.
Heart Healthy: Meals contain less than 600 mg of sodium and 3.5 grams of saturated fat.
Diabetic: Designed to promote stable blood sugar with 25 grams or less of net carbs per serving.
Menopause: Created to keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable.
I decided to take a deeper look at the Standard program as this one was likely to have the greatest appeal to most people.
After selecting which program you want to try, you then choose how many days you want to receive meals – the full program (which includes breakfast) or just lunches and dinners. I wanted to check out as many meals as possible, so opted for the Full 7-Day Program.
At this point, it would’ve been useful to start adding allergy information or food preferences, but you can only customize your menu once you’ve filled in your personal and payment details.
I don’t like this method of doing things because I prefer to see upfront what meals a company offers and whether it’ll suit my tastes and requirements. In this case, you have the option of working with a dietitian to customize your menu to avoid certain foods.
Once you decide which program and how many days and meals, hit Order to go to the Create my profile page.
On the Program Options page, I could add snacks, which looked very tempting, but you can also add them later if you want.
It was tempting though!
The BistroMD EATS program, which stands for Essential and Tasty Snacks, is a novel approach to snacking. These treats are loaded with nutrients to help cut down cravings and avoid unhealthy food decisions.
Anyway, back to the weight-loss programs.
If you fit the recommended “average woman” stats, i.e., 5’0”-5’5”, you’re encouraged to eat three meals on the standard plan and add two snacks that total roughly 1,200 calories per day. For the average man (5’6”-6’0”), you’re recommended 1,400 calories a day from three meals and two snacks.
If you don’t fit within these guidelines, you can contact a dietitian for a customized plan to fit your body type and caloric needs.
Once you’ve completed your order, BistroMD’s dietitians get to work creating your program according to your needs and preferences. They’ll also work with you to create a unique menu geared toward any specific health conditions you have.
BistroMD will build you a weekly menu that you can see under My Menu when you log in. You can swap out any meals you don’t like the look of but it’s worth noting that you can’t customize the recipes by adding or excluding particular ingredients. So the more ingredients you remove, the more limited your choice of meals becomes.
BistroMD may be a weight-loss delivery service, but a lot of thought and creativity has gone into the taste. There are many tempting options among the whopping 150+ chef-prepared entrees on offer and I was thrilled to see a few dishes containing alcohol, which is often discouraged on a calorie-controlled diet!
Rest assured that even the meals with culinary twists like alcohol flavorings will work with a weight loss diet, as the menu is created by dietitians and each meal clocks in at less than 450 calories.
The menu is heavy on meat and fish, so if you’re a vegetarian you might feel a bit limited for choice. If you’re vegan, you’re out of luck. Diet-to-Go’s vegetarian weight-loss meal plan might be a better option for you instead, particularly if you’re an ovo-lacto vegetarian.
There are breakfast options too, all packed with protein and fiber. I like these homestyle waffles with a side of scrambled eggs and sausage.
As for variety, BistroMD works hard to limit the number of duplications within each six-week program so you won’t feel you’re eating the same food over and over again. BistroMD also adds new recipes so you’ll be able to try something new regularly.
Losing weight on the BistroMD program breaks down into three stages:
Reclaim – take control of what and how much you eat
Transform – your body adapts to this new way of eating and you start losing weight
Stabilize – it takes about six months for your body to get used to its new weight
The way that you manage each of these stages – which can take anywhere from weeks to months – is where the BistroMD community comes in. From professional trainers to health coaches, BistroMD promises to have your back throughout your entire weight-loss journey.
Here’s a quick summary of BistroMD’s pricing and the dietary needs it best accommodates:
Meal plans available
Free for the first week, then $19.95
BistroMD currently delivers throughout the continental US only. Your meals can take up to six business days to arrive based on ground delivery time.
All BistroMD boxes are shipped using FedEx Ground. Each week you have until Wednesday at 5 pm ET to make any changes to your menu because that’s when the chefs start preparing your meals. Then, at the beginning of the following week, you’ll receive your well-insulated package.
With BistroMD, I felt like I knew exactly what to expect. The hand-holding even extended to preparing me on how my box would arrive with a handy illustration:
Your box includes your chosen meals and a weekly menu. Dinners and lunches are interchangeable, but the menu will suggest when you should eat each meal.
Your first order will also contain a welcome kit with information to help make sure the program is successful.
When it comes to being eco-friendly, BistroMD goes further than any other weight-loss meal delivery service I’ve seen. Its sustainable shipping methods are comparable to organic, low-calorie meal delivery services, like Sunbasket.
The food arrives in a 100% recycled box insulated with an eco-friendly liner. This layer is made from biodegradable and compostable materials such as cotton that can also be reused as a hypoallergenic bed for your pet or to insulate reusable grocery bags. I just love this idea.
One thing I can never wrap my head around when testing weight loss meal delivery services is the amount of food you get! With BistroMD, the portions are on the generous side and are designed to leave you feeling satisfied. If you’re a snacker, you should notice less of an urge to start rummaging through the cupboards.
For example, the Spinach and Feta-Stuffed Salmon looks both decadent and satisfying.
Many of the meals outline the reasons behind the ingredients. Here’s what BistroMD had to say about this stuffed salmon dish:
This gives you an idea of how much thought is put into designing each and every dish on the menu. And maybe even more importantly – you’re learning the ins and outs of healthy eating straight from the experts. You’ll retain this knowledge even if you stop ordering from BistroMD.
Another appealing dish was the Hickory Smoked BBQ Beef with Yukon Gold Potatoes. Nothing screamed “diet” about this one.
All of the meals come in microwavable containers but they’re also safe for the oven up to 400F. That means you can have a delicious lunch or dinner ready in five minutes or less, with no cleanup.
It’s easy to get in touch with BistroMD’s customer service. You can either give them a call Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm ET or 9 am to 6 pm on the weekends – or you can email the customer support team with any questions.
It was easy to make alterations to my order and to cancel the plan. You can do this by email or by calling the customer service team during business hours. To find out more about canceling your BistroMD plan, read this blog about the entire experience.
One of the things that sets BistroMD’s customer service apart from other meal delivery services is that you can contact a dietitian directly for support. They can also create programs for specific goals and lifestyle needs, which is a great extra touch.
BistroMD isn’t cheap, but there was a decent discount going on when I started to fill out my order. I was also glad to see free shipping on the first order. That’s quite a saving because shipping is $19.95 a week for subsequent orders.
Even though I focused on the Standard plan, I played around with some of the other programs to compare the prices. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were all the same price since many other companies often charge more for niche menus like gluten-free.
If the full seven-day plan is out of your budget, you can choose to only get lunches and dinners delivered five days a week. That might make your weight loss a bit slower (helloooo temptation on those other two days!), but it’s a bit easier on your pocket.
Just a quick heads up – you’ll be charged weekly the moment you select your plan and place your order, even if your previous delivery is still on the way. That’s due to the lead time cooking and delivering orders (up to six days).
If you’re not sure how BistroMD compares to other weight loss delivery services, I’ve pulled together info on the top-performers so you can weigh up your options:
Alternatives to BistroMD
$9.50 per serving
$8.57 per serving
$9.29 per serving
$10.80 per serving
Standard, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy, Diabetic, Menopause
Balance, Balance Diabetes, Vegetarian, Keto-Carb30
Basic, Uniquely Yours, Partner, Diabetes, Vegetarian
Weight Loss, A la Carte
Breakfast (optional), lunch, and dinner five or seven days a week
Breakfast (optional), lunch, and dinner five or seven days a week
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner + snacks, five or seven days a week
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner five or seven days a week
Prepared (frozen + shelf-stable)
Prepared meals (frozen)
150+ at any given time
15+ per week per plan
150+ at any given time
40+ per week
Diet-to-Go may be the better choice if you follow a strict keto diet, as it offers a low-carb plan called Keto-Carb30. If you follow a vegan diet, the Weight Loss Plan from Veestro is the best plant-based weight loss meal delivery service.
If you like eating often and you have strong snack cravings, Nutrisystem might be the right fit for you, as its plans rely on eating six times a day.
Dr. Cederquist talks about how stressed out her patients were with the dilemma of eating healthier. When you’re used to eating a certain way, and a certain amount, it’s not easy to shift your mindset and approach to food prep. BistroMD solves that problem, giving you exactly what you need, without the stress.
If you have specific health conditions, such as celiac disease or type 2 diabetes, BistroMD has got your back in your weight loss journey. The Menopause plan is also a very thoughtful addition that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Of course, despite this being a medically backed program you should still consult with your own doctor before starting a new diet.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, however, BistroMD probably isn’t the best fit for you.
Working from home in the pandemic has made a lot of us more lethargic and leading an active life has felt out of reach for months. If, like me, you gained some extra pounds during quarantine, you’ll be pleased by the straightforward way BistroMD helps people reach their weight loss goals.
No matter what meal plan you choose, a 7-day Full Program (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) costs $189.95 and a 5-day one $159.95. If you opt for the lunch and dinner only plan, you’ll pay $159.95 for a 7-day order and $129.95 for a 5-day one. These are the full prices, but there's often a generous discount on your first order.
While not all BistroMD ingredients are certified organic, the company has a long list of banned ingredients and tries its best to incorporate ethically sourced and environmentally responsible products in the food it offers. What’s more, the meals you get from BistroMD are prepared using healthy methods like boiling, steaming, and baking.
No, but that won’t be necessary. Each meal comes in under 400 calories as is, and each plan has a calorie limit already set based on your sex and potential health conditions so you can maximize the weight loss effects. If you have any concerns regarding your calorie intake, just ask the in-house dietitian!
It’s super easy. You just need to log into your account, click the My Account tab, choose Plan, then hit Cancel My Plan and click to complete the cancel request. The customer support team can help you with any additional questions.
You can get the full scoop, plus further suggestions for alternatives, in this short How To Cancel BistroMD blog post.