How to Find the Best Diet Meal Delivery Program

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No single diet works for everyone, so it makes sense that no single diet meal delivery service works best for everyone. 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 to find the best meal delivery service for you.

How to Choose a Diet Delivery Meal Program

You can find answers to most of these questions on popular diet delivery program websites. But you may have to do a little digging to find them.

You'll find many answers to diet and nutrition questions in the FAQ section of a website rather than on the main pages. If you don't see the information you need, email the company. Most have nutritionists and other staff who are willing to provide information.

Calorie Control and Count

This may seem like a simple question, but many meal delivery services provide nutritious meals that are not calorie-controlled and won't necessarily help your health goals. Diet food delivery plans designed for weight loss should provide information about how many calories are in each meal and other essential nutritional information.

You may already know how many calories you need to eat daily for weight management. Some plans are designed to provide a specific number of calories each day, while others have flexibility in the total number of calories you consume.

Nutritional Information

It's essential to ensure you get enough protein to maintain muscle mass, enough carbohydrates to provide energy, and some healthy fats to promote a healthy body composition. If a nutrition facts label is provided with each meal, you'll be able to find this information. 

You might also want to check the ingredients and nutrition for each meal to plan future meals based on what you liked and didn't like. For example, you may find that breakfast meals with more fiber help you to stay satisfied through the mid-morning slump. This information will help you to plan fiber-rich morning meals long after your time with a meal delivery service is done.

Taste

This will be tricky to know before you order because everyone's tastes are different. But you may find that online reviews are helpful. Many diet delivery service reviews provide comments about food taste and food quality.

If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive or negative in terms of taste, that will give you a good indication of whether the food is tasty or not. Checking for the opportunity to sample meals before making a long-term commitment can also help.

Food Costs

Some meal delivery plans look less expensive, but you may have to provide snacks and/or fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you consider the extra food cost when you compare the price of each plan you like.

Extra Services

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 consumers. If getting this type of extra support and advice is something you'll want, then factor that into your decision-making.

Customization

You should probably have a plan to go off the program before you even start the program. Why? Because for most people, a food delivery plan isn't affordable for life.

To maintain the nutrition habits you pick up with a curated meal delivery service, you'll need to learn to cook your food at home. If the transition to home cooking is slow and gradual, you're more likely to succeed 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.

Shipping

Some food delivery services don't charge shipping fees when you first sign up. So it would help if you asked about shipping costs to ensure you're not surprised when that bill eventually comes. In addition to the shipping cost, 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 ensure it can stay that way until you get home.

Renewal and Cancellation

Many diet delivery meal plans renew automatically. This is more convenient for many people. But eventually, you will probably want to taper off the delivery meal plan and begin making your meals at home.

Make sure you are clear about how to cancel the service and make note of any relevant deadlines for cancellation in case you don't like the food. Some companies make cancellation complex and place it in the fine print, so do the work to find out the exact terms.

A Word From Verywell

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 necessary tools to lose weight. So take the time to do a little detective work before you invest. The answers to these questions should help you find the best diet delivery meal plan. 

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.