Diet-To-Go Review

Quick meals for dieters

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3.4

Diet-To-Go

breaded fish on a white plate

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Diet-To-Go places low-calorie meals within easy reach of those looking to save time and energy on shopping, meal planning, and cooking. If you appreciate a mix of hot and cold food options, do not have food allergies, and prefer reheating vs. cooking from scratch, Diet-To-Go might work for you.

Pros
  • Free health coaching with a registered dietitian

  • Options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

  • Both cold and hot meal options

Cons
  • Unnecessary amount of packaging

  • Meals may get repetitive

  • Interface is outdated and not user-friendly

3.4

Diet-To-Go

breaded fish on a white plate

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Founded in 1991 by Hilton Davis, Diet-To-Go was one of the first fresh meal delivery service companies in the United States. Up until 2000, the company exclusively served the Washington, D.C., area but now delivers nationwide. Its philosophy is “healthy eating made easy,” and the company says its goal is to help customers achieve and maintain a lifelong healthy weight.

Diet-To-Go is designed to support weight loss through four plans. With a wide range of available options for meal delivery services, it’s important to choose one that suits your unique preferences and needs, no matter where you are on your health journey. We subscribed to the service for a week to get a look at how it works—and of course, how the food tastes.

Pricing: Complicated

Pricing starts as low as $138.99 per week, with the most expensive subscription at $225.99 per week. All plans are available in five- or seven-day options with two (lunch and dinner) or three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) meals per day. Shipping is $19.98 for weekly deliveries.

The price breakdown of each plan is as follows:

Balance Women’s, Balance-Diabetic, and Vegetarian:

  • 5-day option with two meals: $138.99
  • 5-day option with three meals: $162.99
  • 7-day option with two meals: $185.59
  • 7-day option with three meals: $203.99

Balance Men’s: 

  • 5-day option with two meals: $147.59
  • 5-day option with three meals: $172.99
  • 7-day option with two meals: $198.99
  • 7-day option with three meals: $225.99

Keto-Carb30:

  • 5-day option with two meals: $151.99
  • 5-day option with three meals: $179.99
  • 7-day option with two meals: $206.59
  • 7-day option with three meals: $225.99

How It Works: Abundance of Plan Options

Once you’re ready to order, the first step is to enter your zip code. If your delivery is going to an address near one of the company’s two kitchens, it will be delivered twice weekly. If not, you will receive one shipment of flash-frozen meals per week. Next, you’re taken to the plan builder page, where you choose between Balance, Balance-Diabetic, Vegetarian, and Keto-Carb30. If you’re going for Balance or Keto-Carb30, you’ll need to select whether you want fish and seafood. If opting for the Balance program, you’ll need to choose your gender—women’s meals contain 1,200 calories per day and men’s meals have 1,600.

Weekly recommendations change from week to week within a five-week cycle plan, but substitution options appear to remain the same each week.

You then choose the number of days you wish to receive meals (five or seven, as noted above) and the number of meals per day (two or three). From there, you check out and are taken to your dashboard, where you can view your meals and choose substitutes. If you see something that doesn’t appeal to you, you can omit the meal to prevent it from ever being suggested again. Cuisine types include American, Chinese, Fusion, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and Middle Eastern. In addition to heat-and-eat meals, Diet-To-Go offers options that don’t require reheating, like Waldorf chicken salad and peanut butter and jelly.

Choosing Meals: Diverse Variety

Menus are automatically generated with an option to substitute if the recommended meal doesn’t suit your tastes. Weekly recommendations change from week to week within a five-week cycle plan, but substitution options appear to remain the same each week. We found 20 alternates each for lunch and dinner on the Balance plan and about 25 for breakfast. While we didn’t try any of the other three plans, we were still able to view sample, five-week cycle menus. Balance-D offered 12 lunch and dinner substitutions and 10 breakfast substitutions; Keto-Carb30 served up about 11 substitution options for breakfast, about 16 for lunch, and 17 for dinner; and the Vegetarian plan had 25 breakfast substitutions, about 20 lunch options, and 17 dinner options. Add-ons are not offered, but we were pleasantly surprised to find desserts included with some of the meals.

Diet-To-Go told us that its recipes are crafted by health experts: “Menus are developed by registered dietitians who work directly with our chefs to design and create the meals.”

The deadline to make changes is Friday at noon ET the week prior to your delivery. We did not receive tracking information because we live near one of the company’s kitchens, but we were informed that our two weekly deliveries would arrive in specified windows on Tuesday and Friday. There was no option to choose the delivery days. Customers who do not live near a kitchen receive tracking information. You can place your account on hold for any reason by calling the company or via your dashboard. This wasn’t completely clear, so we called for assistance.

six packages of meals from a meal delivery service

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

What We Made 

We chose the five-day lunch and dinner plan, which included five lunches and five dinners for a total of 10 meals. We reviewed these 10 meals for the purposes of this review:

  • Chicken Florentine burger
  • Tomato pesto meltover
  • Tuscan boats with turkey
  • Monterey turkey with almonds
  • Chicken black bean wrap
  • Turkey Salisbury steak
  • Asian meatballs
  • Herbed baked salmon
  • Chicken and three grain
  • Blackened turkey loin

Packaging: Slightly Overwhelming

The individually-sealed meal trays were packaged within an oversized thermal cooler bag that lined one large cardboard box. The meal trays included other packing elements inside such as plastic wrap and condiment cups. There were also gel ice packs, cardboard dividers, and sheets of bubble wrap within the box.

In total, there were 53 pieces of packaging included with our delivery. Out of those 53 pieces, 25 were eligible for curbside recycling and nine could be recycled at a specialty facility. The remaining 19 pieces, however, needed to be thrown in the trash.

Customer Support: Mom and Pop Feel

While some meal delivery services include a listing of meals and a meal guide in each delivery, Diet-To-Go sends the basics—a label taped to the front of each meal with a nutrition facts label, an ingredients list, and a packing slip with instructions for reheating meals. Additional supporting material arrived via email after we placed our order: a reheating guide and a plan-specific snacking guide. Health coaching with a registered dietitian is advertised, and the company told us directly that they provide free health coaching over the phone and email. Customers are asked to contact the company for more information and to set up a session.

General customer support is available over the phone and via email through a contact form. We received prompt and warm service with both methods. When we called for clarification on the vacation hold, the representative explained the process and offered to place the hold. 

two sheets of paper from a meal delivery service

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Nutrition: Low-Calorie Prioritized

Diet-To-Go offers four plans with three distinct macro-nutrient profiles. The Balance and Vegetarian plans supply ranges of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that are within daily nutritional goal ranges recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Similar to other low-carbohydrate/high-fat diets, Keto-Carb30 delivers higher than recommended percent values for fat and much lower carbohydrate percentages than what is recommended by the DGA. Balance-D offers a slightly lower than recommended carbohydrate percentage but protein and fat percentages are within recommended guidelines by the DGA.  Nutrition labels are not up to date with new labeling standards set forth by the Food and Drug Administration for added sugars. Additionally, food labels are not complete for allergens. Note that Diet-To-Go does not offer vegan, kosher, or gluten-free options.

We noticed that the site uses a significant amount of diet culture language, including messaging centered around weight loss, calorie budget, and portion control throughout the website.

The company is diet-focused at every turn, with pop ups reminding customers to set goals and coupon codes like "Get Slim" to get you started.

The Cooking Process: Simple and Accessible

Diet-To-Go provides heat-and-eat meals and cold options that don’t require heating. According to the company’s reheating guide, meals can be reheated in the microwave, toaster oven, and conventional oven. The toaster oven is recommended for sandwiches, wraps, and dishes with cheese. The conventional oven requires 20-30 minutes of cooking time vs. 2-3 minutes of microwaving time. The process was mostly straightforward and simple, although we noticed that the turkey Salisbury dish didn't heat properly in the microwave and required extra cooking time to warm up.

fish and broccoli in a plastic container

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Underwhelming

Overall, we weren't impressed with the flavor and texture of most of the meals we ordered. While "diet" food isn't often known for being mouthwateringly flavorful, we thought the majority of these dishes could have benefited from more seasoning—particularly the vegetables on the side. We noticed some textural issues as well, like a soggy pita on the tomato pesto meltover and an oddly soft texture on some of the meat items, like the turkey Salisbury and the chicken burger.

Note that the company does not disclose sourcing information for any of its ingredients.

Diet-To-Go Is Good For

Diet-To-Go caters to those who want to spend less time in the kitchen while meeting weight loss goals and certain nutritional markers. The company makes accessing low-calorie, nutrient-dense meals achievable to those who are short on time or aren’t interested in preparing their own meals while on a weight-loss journey. The service may not be ideal for someone who is not aiming to lose weight, because the calorie ranges are designed with that goal in mind.

Final Verdict

Diet-To-Go offers low-calorie meals that fit into multiple dietary plans, including keto-friendly, diabetic-friendly, and vegetarian. If you’re looking to shed some pounds, Diet-To-Go might be a good option for you.

Methodology

We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 40 different meal delivery services to rate each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, sustainability, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, collected data, and rigorously reviewed each one.

Our Verywell Fit writers are all registered dieticians who relied on their research and its resulting data to inform their reviews.

Specs

  • Product Name Diet-To-Go
  • Starting Price $138.99 per week
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Products Arrive Frozen
  • Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? No
  • Free Shipping? No

By Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, LDN
Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and macro social worker. She is the owner of Truly Real Nutrition and is particularly committed to increasing awareness of weight inclusive philosophies in Black communities.