Review of Diet-to-Go's Low-Carb Meal Plan

blackened salmon
Diet-to-Go Blackened Salmon. Courtesy of Diet-to-Go. ​

Diet-to-Go is a meal delivery service for people on a weight-loss program. Their Keto-Carb30 menu is specially designed for people on a low-carb diet and offers around 30 grams of net carbohydrate per day.

Fresh Diet-to-Go meals are available for pickup in some areas. Outside of those areas, frozen meals can be delivered by FedEx or UPS to your home or office.

Background

Diet-to-Go was founded in 1991 in Virginia by entrepreneur Hilton Davis. The company offers four types of meal plan: Balance Controlled Calories, Balance-Diabetic, Vegetarian, and the aforementioned Keto-Carb30.

A pioneer in the diet food delivery industry, Diet-to-Go offered one of the first diet meal mail-order products in 1999 and today prepares over 40,000 meals per week. They operate a local pickup service through providers like Gold's Gym, World Gym, Walgreen's in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Elsewhere, the foods are shipped frozen overnight by express courier.

The Diet-to-Go kitchens are inspected daily by inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and adhere to nutritional guidelines issued by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Diabetes Association.

In 2011, Diet-to-Go was rated number one for flavor by judges at Epicurious, beating out Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and Nutrisystem.

Diet-to-Go Program

When signing up as a customer of Diet-to-Go, you are given a choice of receiving food either five or seven days per week, either with three meals per day or just lunch and dinner. All of the dishes are made with real food with the exception of some flavor enhancers used their chicken stock-based sauces.

You can either receive the meal plan as it comes, with dishes delivered in rotation every five weeks or take the time to put together a customized plan using their easy-to-navigate website.

As with other major diet meal plan providers, Diet-to-Go offers their customers certified health coaches to help meet their weight loss goals. Unlike Jenny Craig, the coaches don't make regular one-on-one contact but are there for support when needed.

The meals are portioned-controlled and come in plastic trays ready to heat and eat.

Keto-Carb30

Diet-to-Go's Keto-Carb30 menu is not the Atkin's Diet per se but follows it pretty closely. The meals are restricted to 30 grams of net carbs per day on average and can be used as part of a ketogenic diet (a dietary strategy in which you "train" your body to burn fats instead of carbs).

The high-fat, low-carb meals are made with healthier unsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. With the exception of saturated fats found naturally in some of the meats and food products, no saturated or trans fats are added in either the preparation or cooking.

A sample meal plan might include:

  • Breakfast: western omelet, kale and swiss frittata, ratatouille omelet, or a pork chop breakfast
  • Lunch: chicken parmesan, homestyle pot roast, lemon-herb tilapia, or a spicy salmon and spinach salad
  • Dinner: beef short ribs, blackened salmon, veal parmesan, or grilled andouille sausage

When your foods are received, you will be reminded that you cannot add any bread, sugar, or fruits to the meals and will be advised as to what beverages you are allowed to drink.

In addition to the Keto-Carb30 menu, the company's Balance-Diabetic meal plan meets the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, delivering less than 45 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Our Taste Test

Unlike some diet meal plans that we've tried, Diet-to-Go clearly puts extra effort into their packaging and presentation. You can actually serve some of these meals on a plate and not feel as if you're existing on take-outs.

The quality of the food preparation is high, while the flavors and textures range from okay to very good. In some cases, a meal would fall flat because the cooking instructions left some parts of a dish well-cooked and others overcooked. We found this with the tilapia dishes which might have been better had we cooked the fish and vegetables separately.

The Diet-to-Go chefs made the wise choice of going easy on the spices so that nothing is overly seasoned. Even the blackened salmon was pleasantly mild. If you want more heat or seasoning, you can simply add it on your own.

Among the biggest surprises were the steak and salmon dishes which you would hard-pressed to recognize as being microwaved. Our least favorites were probably the egg dishes, which reminded us of an airline coach meal.

In terms of portions, most are pretty substantial. Sure, a few a little spa-like, but others, particularly the Mexican dishes, were huge.

Finally, while most of the daily meal plans were as advertised—30 grams of net carbs or less—some went well beyond that figure (presumably in the belief that you'll "make it up later"). If you're on strict Atkin's or South Beach Diet plan, you may need to keep tabs on the daily carb count and make adjustments, as needed.

The Verdict

For those who would rather not cook or want more structure in their low-carb diet routine, Diet-to-Go may be a very good option. The prices (including delivery) are reasonable, and the quality and variety of meals are extremely good.

Moreover, because you are able to customize your plan, you'll be less likely to waste food and may even find a few dishes you'll be willing eat several times a week.

Was this page helpful?