2014 Diet Food Programs Taste Test

Updated 04-07-2014

If you have thought about signing up for a diet meal delivery service, then you may have been skeptical about those attractive food photos on their websites. The food in the photos all seems to look delicious, but how do the meals from those diet meal delivery programs actually taste? We were curious too, so we did the tasting for you.

Twelve individuals participated in our blind taste test, rating each dish for taste and appearance. Some of the food was, indeed, delicious: other food did not live up to the program's mouthwatering photography. We took the findings and developed the official Meal Delivery Taste Test results below. The final results are broken down into breakfast, lunch and dinner categories, with an overall rating as well. For more information on these meal delivery plans, see our Meal Delivery Plan Comparison.

"Chicken tastes like it is fresh out of the oven."
- Bistro MD taster describing a dinner meal

"Nice mix of good flavors and crispy textures."
- 17 Day Diet taster describing lunch

"Breakfast sandwich looked great and tasted even better."
- Jenny Craig taster describing breakfast

Best
Tasting Diet Food Programs
View overall rankings of meal delivery programs
Service NAME: MEAL RATINGS: OVERALL:
1
Bistro MD
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Breakfast Food:
LUNCH FOOD:
DINNER FOOD:
5
2
17 Day Diet
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Read Full Review
Breakfast Food:
LUNCH FOOD:
DINNER FOOD:
4.5
3
Jenny Craig
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Breakfast Food:
LUNCH FOOD:
DINNER FOOD:
4
4
Diet-To-Go
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Read Full Review
Breakfast Food:
LUNCH FOOD:
DINNER FOOD:
4
5
Nutrisystem
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Read Full Review
Breakfast Food:
LUNCH FOOD:
DINNER FOOD:
3
See overall rankings of meal delivery programs

The only independent DIET FOOD COMPARISON

This was an independent taste test in every sense of the word. We ordered all of these plans anonymously as regular consumers would, paid for them ourselves, and tasted them unbeknownst to these companies. There was absolutely no input from the diet companies themselves, and the ratings are based on our testers' opinions.

Because it was a blind taste, neither branding, nor any other factors, swayed the testers. They told it and rated it like it was — the good, the bad and the bland. The final results were counted and compiled for the chart above.

For complete meal delivery plan rankings, see our other diet program information and comparisons:

How We Reviewed ThE FOOD

Like our taste tests from the past three years, we anonymously ordered the basic meal plans from each company. These plans range between 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day. We then had 12 independent male and female testers of different ages participate in the taste test. Although some of the meal plans give you the option of cooking them in the oven, we heated all of the meals in the microwave to even the playing field. We followed the preparation instructions for each meal, and heated them accordingly.

With five different diet programs to try, there was a lot of food! The tests ran over a three-day time period, with two different diet programs to taste each day. We did one taste testing in the morning, which included three breakfast meals from each service, and another for three lunches and three dinners from each service mid-day. The tasting was done "blind," with none of the testers knowing which plan they were sampling. They rated each meal numerically on a scale from 1 to 10 — one rating for taste and one for appearance. They also provided additional comments. Finally, all of the results were tallied and are shown to the left.

For complete meal delivery plan rankings, see our other diet program information and comparisons:

How to choose a diet program

Do you like the convenience of having pre-made food delivered to your doorstep? If so, a meal delivery diet program may be great for you. These services deliver healthy, filling, portion-controlled meals straight to your door, taking the guesswork out of dieting. Regulating the amount of calories and fat you eat is a huge benefit of these programs and a great way to help you get used to a healthier lifestyle.

So which service should you choose? There are several factors to consider: the food type (low fat, sodium free, low glycemic, vegetarian), how the food tastes, the type of support you receive, plan customization options and the robustness of the fitness program.

If health considerations or personal preferences mean you need to follow a specific diet, make sure you select a plan that complies with your needs. Those who have allergies, are diabetic or need a low sodium diet should pick a plan that caters to these requirements. Several, but not all, of the meal plans we review do provide health-specific choices. If you just don't like a certain type of food, choose a plan that allows you to customize according to your personal taste.

Our taste test addresses the second component, how the meal delivery plans actually taste. Keeping in mind that taste is very personal, we had 12 different men and women taste the meal plans we reviewed. Their ratings were averaged for the results you see in the chart. However, it is possible that your tastes are entirely different from those of our tasters, so if you see a plan that looks great for you but wasn't rated highly by us, don't just take our word for it, try it yourself.

The need for support varies from person to person. If you know that you'll need more personal interaction, it makes sense to select a plan that lets you talk on the phone with a real person. If you're interested in online tools, forums and support groups, pick a plan that has this functionality.

Finally, take a look at what is offered in terms of fitness. If you need more encouragement or guidance, consider a plan that provides it. If you can do it on your own, this won't be as big of a consideration.


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Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most of the services we review. Our editors thoroughly research and whenever possible test each service we review and offer their honest opinions about each one. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.