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BistroMD Review: A Dietitian’s Objective Analysis

Written by Emily Hirsch, MS, RD

Published on January 21, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

3.9

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Evidence-Based:3.0
  • Easy to Follow:5.0
  • Customization:4.0
  • Sustainability:3.0
  • Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Accountability:5.0

BistroMD is a comprehensive, customizable weight loss program that delivers fully prepared meals to your doorstep and provides individualized support from registered dietitians.

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BistroMD Review: A Dietitian’s Objective Analysis

Pros

  • Large customizable menu offering a lot of variety
  • Caters to many dietary restrictions and health conditions
  • Support from registered dietitians and community members

Cons

  • Steep price point
  • Not suitable for vegans
  • Not suitable forpeople who prefer organic ingredients

How BistroMD Works

BistroMD aims to take the guesswork out of weight loss and food preparation. This weight loss program combines the expertise of a dietitian, the creativity of a personal chef, and the ease of a food service delivery all into one package.

Additionally, BistroMD offers a variety of online support tools in addition to a member-only online community forum.

The program was created by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, a board-certified bariatric specialist with over 20 years of experience.

Dr. Cederquist claims that the meals provided by BistroMD will support weight loss through an ideal combination of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) which will allow for the preservation of lean muscle mass.

BistroMD provides individualized meals based on the client’s age, height, weight, and weight loss goals.

Their meal plans are customizable and their meal options are seemingly endless, as their extensive menus include over 150 breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrées.

The program allows you to mix and match your preferred dishes to tailor a meal plan to your liking each week.

The program also offers several meal plans tailored to specific needs, including, gluten-free, diabetic, menopause-friendly, and heart-healthy. This means it can meet the needs of most people who need a specialized diet.

The meals are flash-frozen and shipped right to your doorstep.

Additionally, BistroMD uses sustainable ingredients by selecting environmentally-responsible seafood, sourcing rBGH-free beef, and using hormone-free chicken.

BistroMD also tries to partner with local, family-owned farms whenever possible.

BistroMD’s Scorecard

The BistroMD weight loss program was objectively evaluated by a dietitian based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence-Based: 3.0
  • Easy to Follow: 5.0
  • Customization: 4.0
  • Sustainability: 3.0
  • Safety: 4.0
  • Value for the Price: 3.0
  • Accountability: 5.0

Overall Rating: 3.9

Learn About the Methodology

Foods to Eat and Avoid

BistroMD provides all meals and snacks if you choose to utilize their full program, in which case you would only be eating food from them.

For people choosing to eat some meals and snacks on their own, BistroMD has mapped out the following suggestions:

  • No more than one serving of fruit per day paired with a lean protein source.
  • Limit alcohol to 3 drinks per week for women and 5 drinks per week for men.
  • Limit caffeinated drinks to 2 per day.
  • Snacks should contain approximately 150 calories and 10–15 grams of protein.

Additionally, BistroMD recommends having a meal off the program once a week to help reduce feelings of deprivation.

Does It Work for Weight Loss?

Weight loss is not simply a matter of calories you eat versus calories you burn. The science supports a holistic approach to weight loss and that is exactly the approach that BistroMD is attempting to create.

This study describes the yo-yo dieting cycle and the challenges surrounding the long-term sustainability of weight loss.

According to the study, weight loss requires ongoing attention and support in the form of weight maintenance-specific counseling to improve success.

BistroMD’s program includes individualized counseling and community support from others looking to lose weight while improving their lifestyle.

The macronutrient profile of the meals provided by BistroMD also helps to promote weight loss.

BistroMD provides high-protein, low-calorie meals. Most of their meal plans provide 1,200–1,400 calories per day, with roughly 40–45% of the total daily calories coming from lean protein.

Research shows that following a high protein diet may be helpful for weight loss. According to this overview of the literature, higher-protein diets can decrease appetite, improve body weight management, and even decrease risk factors for heart disease.

It remains clear through research that exercise of all types, including aerobic and resistance training will provide multiple health benefits in addition to promoting weight loss.

BistroMD’s website provides a wealth of information regarding the benefits of exercise and encourages people to participate in some form of moderate exercise on most days.

They claim that with the convenience and support that BistroMD provides, clients will have more time for exercise in their schedule.

While there are currently no randomized clinical trials studying BistroMD specifically, their diet philosophy is based on existing programs that support weight loss.

Sustainability

BistroMD provides a foolproof way for people to lose weight while eating well-balanced meals.

Additionally, BistroMD is able to cater to a wide variety of food preferences and dietary restrictions.

Those looking for vegetarian, heart-healthy, gluten-free, or diabetic-friendly meals will be aptly accommodated.

However, those seeking out more restrictive diets like ketogenic, paleo, or vegan will not find them at BistroMD.

BistroMD is also lacking in options for people looking for fully organic ingredients.

After signing up with BistroMD, you have the ability to control the ingredients in your meal plan and customize your weekly menus.

You are also given weekly wellness updates from trainers, foodies, and doctors through their members-only platform.

BistroMD also provides free one-on-one consultations with a registered dietitian where you can schedule weekly check-ins and get advice.

As a meal delivery service, BistroMD may be perceived as sustainable. However, do most people want to eat 3 frozen meals per day indefinitely?

Are the people seeking weight loss strategies using BistroMD as a crutch to avoid learning how to meal plan and prep for themselves?

As balanced as BistroMD’s meals are, it’s also important to recognize the need to learn how to independently plan and cook meals as part of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Relying on BistroMD food forever is not sustainable long-term.

Accountability

BistroMD is an individualized program with unlimited access to a registered dietitian.

Dietitians can answer questions concerning weight loss and other nutrition-related questions in addition to offering solutions to overcoming common hurdles.

The program also includes a daily tracker, weight tracker, fitness tracker, food logs, and a members-only forum to get support from others.

Value for the Price

The cost of BistroMD depends upon the number of meals you choose each week.

The program you choose whether it be diabetic, menopause, heart-healthy will not affect the cost of your meal plan.

The BistroMD meal program can only be ordered through their website and the current pricing for their plans are as follows:

  • 7-day full meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner): $189.95
  • 7-day lunch and dinner only: 159.95
  • 5-day full meal plan: $159.95
  • 5-day lunch and dinner only: $129.95

Current discounts include free shipping and 25% off on your first week only. After your first week, their standard shipping rate is $19.95.

If you were to order their 7-day full meal plan which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you would be paying $209.90 (including shipping) for a week’s worth of meals.

This is roughly $10 per meal or $30 per day. This price is significantly higher than other similar weight loss meal delivery programs.

For example, the average price per day for Nutrisystem is anywhere between $10.18 to $15.36. This is equal to $3.30 to $5.12 per meal.

The South Beach Diet is another popular weight loss program that offers a meal delivery service.

The cost of South Beach Diet’s meal delivery ranges from $10.70 to $14.30 per day, which is anywhere from $3.56 to $4.76 per meal. The South Beach Diet’s meal plan is less costly than BistroMD’s.

Safety

BistroMD is a well-rounded, healthy meal plan that is generally safe for most people.

However, their meals may not meet the needs of someone that requires a protein restriction or other restrictive diets.

Because meals at BistroMD are processed in a facility that also processes major allergens, those with severe food allergies and/or intolerances may need a more allergy-friendly meal service.

How It Compares

There are many food delivery weight loss programs to choose from.

For example, Jenny Craig is a meal delivery service that is designed to promote weight loss.

Like BistroMD you can customize your meal plan and receive support from a coach. However, unlike with BistroMD, your coach is not likely a highly trained registered dietitian.

At roughly $6.50 per meal, Jenny Craig is less expensive than BistroMD but may not be the best fit for someone seeking support and advice from a highly trained professional.

Diet-to-Go is another food delivery service promoting weight loss.

Unlike BistroMD, Diet-to-Go offers mostly organic foods at a similar price point. However, Diet-to-Go does not offer the support of a registered dietitian.

The Bottom Line

If you’re like me and you dread the nightly question of “what’s for dinner,” then BistroMD might be the solution to your meal planning woes.

Moreover, if you’re looking to remove the hassle of meal planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning, BistroMD may help free your time up for other things, like exercising.

With respect to sustainability, like many weight loss programs, BistroMD may help kick start a healthy lifestyle, but may not be a viable option forever.

Standing in the way of sustainability may be affordability. BistroMD costs more than many similar programs on the market.

Have you heard the expression “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”? Learning to prepare healthy meals at home is going to be a more sustainable option rather than relying on frozen foods forever.

BistroMD is a refreshing reminder that there are some healthy, evidence-based weight loss programs out there.

Perhaps I’m biased but a weight loss meal program that involves the feedback and support of registered dietitians is worth taking a look at.

Image credit: bistroMD

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