How to Find the Best Diet Delivery Plan

food delivery service comparisons
By:Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images

Just like there is no single diet that works for everyone, there is no single diet meal delivery service that works best for everyone. So before you sign up for a diet delivery meal plan, ask these critical questions about the cost of the food, the quality of the meals and the nutritional standards upon which the program is based in order to find the best meal delivery service for you.

10 Questions That Reveal The Best Diet Delivery Meal Program

You can find answers to most of these questions on the websites of popular diet delivery program websites.

But you may have to do a little digging to find them. When I review delivery food programs, I find most of the answers in the FAQ section, not on the main pages. You can also get answers by emailing the company. 

  • Is this food plan designed for weight loss? This may seem like a simple question, but many meal delivery services provide healthy meals that are not calorie-controlled and won't necessarily help you lose weight. Diet food delivery plans designed for weight loss should provide information about how many calories are in each meal and other essential nutritional information.
  • How many calories will I consume each day on this plan?  You may already know how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. Some plans are designed to provide a specific number of calories each day while others have some flexibility in the total number of calories you consume. Remember, weight loss won't happen unless you create a specific calorie deficit at the end of the week. So make sure you know how many calories you will consume on the plan.
  • Will the food taste good? This will be a tough question to answer before you order because everyone's tastes are different. But you may find that online reviews are helpful.  My diet delivery service reviews provide comments about food taste and food quality. And online research company NextAdvisor also reviewed several of the top companies and rated each on food quality and cost.
  • Does the weekly cost of the meal plan include all food? Some meal delivery plans look less expensive, but you may have to provide your own snacks and/or your own fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you take the extra food cost into account when you are comparing the cost of each plan you like. And remember that the calories from your purchased food will increase your total daily calorie intake. That may have an impact on how quickly you lose weight.
  • What extra services are available with this plan? Some food delivery services provide access to fitness services, support from a team of registered dietitians or even an online community that may be helpful to some dieters.  
  • Can I customize the amount of food that I order? You should probably have a plan to go off the program before you even start the program. Why? Because for most dieters, a food delivery plan isn't affordable for life. So to keep the weight off for good, you'll need to learn to cook your own food at home. If the transition to home cooking is slow and gradual, you're more likely to keep the weight off with good meal planning and healthy eating strategies. If you can customize the amount of food you order each week, you'll be able to slowly taper the amount of food you purchase and increase the amount of food you cook.
  • Can I eat these foods when I'm slimmer? Some diet delivery services provide popular meals that you may love to eat. Meals like lasagna or meatloaf sound good when you're trying to lose weight. The problem is that if you get used to eating those foods, you may still want to eat them when you go off the diet delivery program. If you eat traditional versions of those foods at home, you're likely to regain the weight that you just lost. So tread lightly if the diet delivery plan includes too many of the comfort foods that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
  • How is the food shipped and how much does it cost? Some food delivery services don't charge shipping fees when you first sign up. So you need to ask about shipping costs to make sure you're not surprised when that bill eventually comes. In addition to the cost of shipping, find out how the food is shipped. For example, if you are not home during the day, you don't want to sign up for a service that requires a signature when it is delivered. And if the food is frozen when it arrives, you'll want to make sure it can stay that way until you get home.
  • Does the plan renew automatically? If so, how do I cancel? Many diet delivery meal plans renew automatically. This is more convenient for most dieters. But eventually you will probably want to taper off of the delivery meal plan and begin to make your own meals at home. Make sure you are clear about how to cancel the service and make note of any relevant deadlines for cancelation in case you don't like the food.
  •  

It's easy to choose a diet delivery program simply based on pictures of the food, or attractive photos of a company spokesperson. But the program might not provide the important tools that you need to slim down. So take the time to do a little detective work before you invest. The answers to these questions should help you to find the best diet delivery meal plan for you. 

Continue Reading