A lot of us struggle to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. And, just as many have a hard time finding the time and energy to cook meals from scratch every night. Most of us work full-time and the amount of time we spend getting to and from work every day gets longer every year. Is it any wonder that we cook less often and are more likely to be overweight?
Can Home Delivered Meals from Bistro MD Help?
When people are stretched too thin, healthy meals are often one of the first things to go. Even 20 minutes of time spent cooking can feel like too much when it takes five minutes to swing through a fast food drive through on the way home.
With the average fast food meal clocking in at over 800 calories, those hassle-free meals can quickly lead to excessive weight gain. BistroMD positions itself as a fresh and health option that is effort-free and delivered to your door. With simple-to-prepare meals home-delivered, it can be much easier to pass up fast food or high-calorie packaged meals from the grocery store and instead opt for a calorie-controlled dish that includes lean meats, whole grains and fresh vegetables.
How BistroMD Works
The offerings from BistroMD are all prepackaged and heat and serve. The program was designed by a husband/wife team: “The M.D.” is weight loss specialist Dr. Caroline Cederquist and “The Foodie,” Ed Cederquist, who travels to local farmers markets for ideas and then consults with the program’s in-house chefs.
Participants can choose to get three meals a day delivered either five or seven days per week. You can customize your choices by picking foods specifically for those on diabetic, gluten-free and other diets. You can also choose to add snack packs to tide you over between meals. Participants can choose specific entrees from inside the program interface and can update their customized programs at any time.
The meals are shipped frozen once a week using Fedex Ground. The foods included are responsibly sourced, touting such features as:
- Hormone-free chicken and beef.
- Environmentally-responsible seafood.
- Partnerships with local, family-owned farms whenever possible.
- Meals free from trans fats, MSG, artificial colorings, chemical fillers, added sulfites, nitrates and aspartame.
They offer 100 different meal options, including entrees such as Chicken Marsala with Italian Roast Cauliflower or Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Irish Beef Stew with Sauteed Cabbage, Four Cheese Ravioli and Grilled Salmon with Champagne Sauce.
The doctor who created the program has over 20 years experience treating weight loss patients. In her practice, she learned that many of her patients do not have the time or patience to cook quality meals at home. In many cases, they did not have the nutritional knowledge to create meals that would support weight loss and health. But, she discovered that even moderate weight loss could help her patients enjoy better health. She created this meal program to help patients cut down their weight and get a good start on a healthier lifestyle.
Bistro MD Reviews and Testimonials
On their website, BistroMD has testimonials from a number of clients who have had success with the program. Many praise the convenience and their weight-loss success. Stories from participants who had lost anywhere from 15 to 55 pounds were shared on the site. Successful participants included such diverse respondents as Lisette, a 40-year-old who gained weight after moving cross-country for a job, 51-year-old Erin, who shared her story on Dr. Phil and 32-year-old Lisa who used BistroMD meals to lose 50 pounds after the birth of her second child.
Elsewhere on the web, BistroMD reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Many reviewers say that they find the staff friendly, responsive and helpful. Most are happy with the quality of the food and the convenience offered by the program.
There are, however, some common criticisms. Many people have trouble navigating their internal MyBistroMD website. They say that it can take a long time to get pages to load and that the website’s navigation can be counter-intuitive. Additionally, some customers do not like the automatic reordering. You need to cancel by Sunday to keep a new weekly plan from being ordered.
Pros and Cons of the Program
As with any home meal delivery or weight loss program, there are a number of pros and cons to choosing BistroMD. On the pro side:
- The program was created by a board-certified bariatric doctor.
- Meals are customizable and cater to special diets that include diabetic, menopause and gluten-free.
- BistroMD includes unlimited consultations with their staff nutritionists, who can be reached via email or over the phone. Since a lack of support is one of the prime reasons that diets fail, this perk can be extremely beneficial.
- The program is highly customizable and allows people to set personal preferences.
- BistroMD offers a high level of convenience. All meals are heat and serve.
- They offer a referral bonus for new members: you receive $50 off your order for every new member you refer, and your friend also gets a $50 discount. This can substantially cut your costs.
There are, of course, also cons:
- Less than transparent pricing. BistroMD is $134.96 for your first week if you get the 7-day package and $112.46 for the 5-day package. However, this is just an introductory 25% off offer. Prices revert to $179.95 and $149.95 on the second week. It is unclear whether shipping charges are included after the first week. Opening the site in a private browser also generated an offer to get the first week as low as $89. But, without logging in and creating a profile, our reviewer could not find what this offer includes or how to claim it.
- Difficult site navigation. Our reviewer was initially able to locate a page where entrees were offered on an individual basis, but was unable to find this page later to share with readers.
- Possibly deliberately confusing descriptions on the site. BistroMD says that the science of their program centers around “metabolic dysfunction.” Now, most metabolic disorders are quite rare, occurring in 1 in 1000 people. Unless, of course, we are talking about type 2 diabetes, which is indeed common and can affect the way your body processes nutrition. But, why not just say so?
On the whole, the program appears to offer convenient, nutritionally balanced food that can be a healthy weight loss option. At roughly $25 a day, the program is more expensive than purchasing food from the grocery store, but about in line with the costs of other similar programs.
How to Purchase BistroMD
BistroMD plans can be ordered by visiting the official Bistro MD website or by calling 866-401-3438. They deliver throughout the continental US, Alaska and Hawaii. According to their website, it can take up to 6 days for your first set of meals to arrive. After that, the program auto-renews each week, with billings on Wednesday. They accept all major credit cards all allow you to cancel at any time.
Have you tried out BistroMD? How did you like the food? Was the program easy to follow and did you get the results you wanted? We’d love to hear about your experience and help our readers make the best meal delivery and nutritional choices.