We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We scored BistroMD high for meal variety and taste, but it’s not the best meal delivery option for vegans. Keep reading for our full review.
BistroMD is a weight loss program designed to make healthy eating easy. It offers several programs tailored to specific dietary needs, multiple subscription options, access to a members-only online community, and support from its team of registered dietitians.
It was developed by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, a board certified bariatric specialist of Naples, Florida.
It offers an extensive menu of fully prepared meals, which the company occasionally refers to as entrees, as well as several plans tailored to specific needs and individual support from registered dietitians.
This review takes a closer look at BistroMD and our experience with the meals.
MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE REVIEW SCORECARD
Our Healthline tester scored BistroMD across 10 categories and allotted points from 0 to 5. The scores below reflect the average rating for each category.
- Overall: 4.1
- Sign-up, delivery, and cancelation processes: 5
- Meal variety: 5
- Nutrition: 4
- Sustainability: 4
- Ingredient quality and freshness: 4
- Ease of preparation: 5
- Taste: 4
- Affordability: 2
Learn more about how we test meal kits.
There are a wide variety of meals available, so you can really pick what you’re in the mood for, including everything from savory meals to sweet snacks and shakes.
However, animal products were almost always present in most meal options. Often I’d find something that sounded perfect and seemed vegetarian-friendly, like a cheese omelet, but it’d also come with turkey sausage links or something like that.
Along with an assortment of snacks and shakes, I tried the following BistroMD meals for this review:
- Avocado Bagel with Egg and Roasted Tomatoes
- Four Cheese Ravioli
- Grilled Salmon with BBQ Sauce
- Mozzarella, Roasted Tomato, and Basil Frittata
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Delivery and storage
Everything arrived fresh and well packaged.
The cardstock paper covers clearly say what the meal is and has heating instructions unique to that meal. You also receive a printed daily meal plan that you can follow for each meal of the day.
Since meals all come in microwavable trays, they stack neatly on top of each other while shipping or sitting in the fridge.
When preparing the meals, I always went the microwave route, and it was ready within minutes.
Meals can be served right in the tray that you heat it up in, which I really appreciated because if you have a busy schedule and don’t have time for plating and cleaning dishes later, it’s about as easy and grab-and-go as possible.
I actually loved the shakes the most. They’re powdered and come in a bottle — you just add water. The bottle also indicates the fill level too, so the shake was perfect every time.
Each meal was prepared quickly and was very filling. Because there was just the right amount, I always finished it and didn’t have that “I ate too much” feeling afterward.
Overall, I felt I didn’t need to add anything else. Especially with the snacks and shakes, I always had a full meal, even if I didn’t like something on the plate.
Do BistroMD meals taste good?
Each meal had a good variety of flavors, veggies, and proteins.
The taste and texture of the meals were also very good, which was surprising considering they were shipped and reheated in the microwave.
Considering that the meals are pre-made and could be microwaved, I was impressed with their bold flavors, like BBQ salmon, that could have gone really wrong in the microwave but still tasted pretty good.
The only issue — like you would find in a lot of microwave meals — is the small pool of trapped moisture you almost always find when warming up food. Not a huge deal, but was a little unappetizing when something like green beans would sit and absorb liquid if you didn’t eat it fast enough.
I would recommend BistroMD to anyone looking for nutritious and diverse meals on the go. The meal portions were well sized, so I never felt like I ate too much and I could share most meals with my wife.
In fact, we found that we could almost get by having a full day’s worth of food for the two of us from just the one-person plan.
The weight tracking features are also nice for tracking your progress if you wanted to follow it.
Ideally, when I was younger, married without kids, and working unusual hours (i.e., the years I lived off pizza delivery) this would have been a great fit for me!
However, for families with little kids or larger families, this would be a challenge to keep up with.
Additionally, vegetarians and vegans would have limited options because meat and animal products were almost always present in most of my meal options.
- It has a large menu with more than 150 entrees.
- Several menus are available to suit varying needs.
- The company offers support from a team of BistroMD dietitians.
- It may aid in weight loss.
- It’s more expensive than similar services.
- It may be unsuitable for those with certain dietary restrictions or allergies.
- It’s not great for folks who prefer organic or locally sourced ingredients.
- You may require additional snacks and foods, depending on your calorie needs.
BistroMD offers six programs to choose from, depending on your specific health concerns and nutritional needs.
Some of the available options are:
- Signature: This program combines “the science of healthy weight loss” with meals made by chefs. The company claims it will help you reach weight loss goals and enjoy the process.
- Gluten Free: Meals in this program are gluten-free and don’t include ingredients such as wheat, rye, and barley.
- Heart Healthy: These meals contain low levels of sodium and saturated fat to promote healthy functioning of your heart.
- Diabetic: This program has meals designed to “promote stable blood sugar.”
- Menopause: Meals in the menopause program are made to keep insulin and blood sugar levels stable, allowing your body to “effectively utilize energy and burn fat.”
Here’s a closer look at four of the company’s most popular programs.
The Signature Program from BistroMD is designed to support sustainable weight loss. It’s the company’s bestselling program.
The company offers two sub-plans in this program — one for men and one for women. The plan has more than 150 meals to choose from, including a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees, as well as snacks.
The Signature Program is great for those who are interested in reaching or maintaining a moderate weight and saving time on cooking.
It’s a good choice for those who don’t have any specific health concerns or dietary restrictions and want more curated options when customizing their weekly menu.
Gluten Free Program
Whether you have a sensitivity to gluten or are trying to reduce your intake of gluten-containing grains, the Gluten Free Program from BistroMD could be a good option.
All meals in this program are free of wheat, barley, and rye and tested to ensure that they contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten (which meets the FDA standard for the “gluten-free” label, according to BistroMD).
The company has more than 100 gluten-free meals to choose from, each of which is designed to increase weight loss and provide similar nutrients to meals in the Signature Program.
BistroMD is not certified gluten-free.
However, the company notes that its kitchens are certified and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that its gluten-free meals are tested regularly to ensure that they’re safe for those with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.
Heart Healthy Program
The Heart Healthy Program offers more than 100 nutritious meals, which, as the name suggests, are meant to promote heart health.
All meals included in the Heart Healthy Program contain fewer than 600 milligrams of sodium and 3.5 grams (g) of saturated fat per serving.
According to BistroMD, the program is appropriate for those who have a diagnosis of heart disease, those at a higher risk for heart disease, and those who are looking to incorporate more heart-healthy foods into their diet.
BistroMD’s Diabetic Program offers a doctor-designed meal plan to support healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Like the Heart Healthy and Gluten Free Programs, the Diabetic Program includes more than 100 meals to choose from, each of which contains fewer than 25 g of net carbs per serving and features, on average, 30 g of protein from lean sources, such as chicken and fish.
As with other BistroMD programs, meals included in the Diabetic Program are free of trans fats and additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG).
BistroMD boasts a massive menu with more than 150 entrees, allowing you to mix and match your favorite dishes to create a custom meal plan every week.
Your weekly order placement allows you to easily:
- swap out meals
Though the company offers a variety of meals, a few of the entrees are extra popular with customers.
One such meal is the Lasagna with Garden Marinara, which is topped with ground chicken sausage and a veggie-based marinara sauce featuring:
- yellow squash
According to online reviews from customers, despite being low in carbs this dish is:
The Meatloaf with Honey Bourbon Glaze is another option. It’s made with:
- lean beef
- bell peppers
- a honey bourbon glaze
- a side of green beans
Customers note that its unique flavor and tender texture make it a memorable menu item.
For breakfast, one of the top options is the Artichoke, Spinach, and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata, which is stuffed with white cheddar cheese and paired with a side of turkey sausage links.
Many reviewers describe the dish as:
They note that its high protein content makes it a great morning meal.
Rowe also notes that the shakes are especially flavorful and satisfying. “If I could just order the shakes I would,” he says.
When building your weekly menu, you can view the ingredient list and nutritional information for each meal. However, unlike some other meal services, the company provides little information on how these ingredients are sourced and whether they’re organic.
Therefore, these meals may not be the best choice if you prefer to eat ingredients that are mostly organic, locally produced, and sustainably sourced.
BistroMD makes it easy to find meals that work for you by providing a wide array of entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A team of chefs and BistroMD dietitians develops the recipes to ensure they’are healthy and can support weight loss.
The meals are shipped to you frozen, so all you need to do is heat them in the microwave or oven and enjoy.
According to Rowe, the meals were easy to prepare and ready within minutes. Most of the meals he tried also had a good variety of flavors and maintained their texture well, even after reheating.
With more than 150 meals to choose from, you can easily customize your weekly menu to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions or preferences.
For example, BistroMD offers meal plans that are:
- gluten free
- heart healthy
You can also remove meals that contain:
If you’re following a vegetarian diet, you’ll need to sign up for the standard program and then contact customer service to request the removal of specific ingredients (meat, in this case) from your meals.
Rowe says it can be challenging to find vegan or vegetarian diets on the regular menu, as there isn’t currently an option to filter out meals that contain meat or animal products.
Though he notes that the meals are very diverse, he also adds that there are other similar services that may be a better fit for vegans or vegetarians.
BistroMD may also not be ideal for those following other restrictive eating patterns, including ketogenic or paleo diets.
While the company does offer a program called Keto Flex, it includes 15 g to 20 g of net carbs per meal, which is more than traditional keto diets allow and may make it less appealing to those on this type of diet.
Lastly, because the meals are processed in a facility that handles many major allergens, BistroMD may not be a good choice for people with severe food allergies or intolerances.
The full program includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner for either 5 or 7 days per week, priced at $11–$13 per serving.
Alternatively, you can opt to receive only lunch and dinner for 5 or 7 days per week for $13–$15 per meal.
You can add snacks to your order for an extra fee.
Shipping is available throughout the contiguous United States for a flat fee of $20 per delivery.
If you’re interested in getting started, new customers receive free shipping and 25% off their first order.
Several meal delivery services on the market are similar to BistroMD.
• dried meat
• ice creams
• energy bites
• savory sides
|Price*||• $11–$15 per serving|
• $20 shipping
|• $10–$14 per day|
• free shipping
• $19.98 shipping
• $10.99 shipping
|Customize?||• choose from 150+ meals|
• 5–7 days per week, breakfast optional
|• choose from 130+ meals|
• 5 or 7 days per week
|• choose from 150+ meals|
• 5 or 7 days per week, 2 or 3 meals per day
|• choose from 35 meals per week|
• receive 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 18 meals per week
|Cancel?||online by Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST the week before next delivery||via phone or chat by 6 p.m. EST the day before your next order is processed||via phone||via phone|
*Prices listed as of October 2023
BistroMD is a high protein, low calorie program. Most plans provide 1,200–1,400 calories per day, with approximately 40%–45% of the total daily calories coming from lean proteins like meat, fish, and eggs.
Reducing the number of calories you consume can also be an effective strategy for weight loss, but it’s worth noting that 1,200 calories is too low for most adults, so you should aim to eat additional snacks focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables.
Cutting calories too drastically can have negative health consequences.
For this reason, BistroMD encourages you to also enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks as part of the program. This will help you build healthy eating habits and ensure that you meet your calorie needs for long-term, sustainable weight loss.
BistroMD may be a good option for those who prefer a structured weight loss program that leaves little room for error.
Because all dishes are delivered frozen and fully prepared, it may also be ideal for those seeking a convenient way to lose weight while saving time on meal prep and grocery shopping.
With its extensive collection of meals to choose from, it can likewise be a great option for picky eaters and those with certain dietary preferences.
That said, it may not be ideal for people with severe food allergies or strict dietary restrictions, those on a tight budget, or those who prefer to learn how to prepare healthy meals themselves to sustain long-term weight loss.
According to Rowe, it might be particularly challenging for vegetarians and vegans, as most meals feature meat or other animal products.
“I feel like there are similar services that better serve people with more restricted diets, but for people who aren’t veggie or vegan, the meals are very diverse,” Rowe says.
Enrolling in BistroMD begins with two of the same steps that many other online meal services require.
On the company’s website, you start by selecting which program you’d like and the number and type of meals you’d like to receive each week. You can order meals for either 5 or 7 days per week, depending on your preference.
Regardless of which program you choose, there will be two options for the number of daily meals: two (lunch and dinner) or the “full program,” which includes three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Next, you’ll be asked to enter your shipping information, along with details like your name and gender, which are used to create an account.
At this point you can add snacks to your order for an extra fee or enter a promo code if you have one.
Most orders ship within 1–3 business days after they’re placed, and delivery typically takes 5–6 days. Once your order ships, you should receive an email with tracking information.
You can also log in to your account to choose meals, or you can opt for the recommended weekly menu based on your program.
How long do BistroMD meals last?
BistroMD meals can last up to 1 year if kept frozen. If stored in the refrigerator and thawed, BistroMD meals should be enjoyed within 2–3 days.
Can you choose meals with BistroMD?
Once you sign up for BistroMD, you can select from more than 150 meals to create your own custom menu. You can also set your personal taste preferences and review or edit your menu by logging in to your account online.
Are BistroMD meals frozen?
BistroMD meals are delivered frozen, which helps preserve their flavor and extend the shelf life for up to 1 year. The meals are made to be reheated and enjoyed or thawed in the refrigerator overnight.
Where does BistroMD ship from?
Though BistroMD is based in Naples, Florida, orders are manufactured and shipped from fulfillment centers located in Indiana and Nevada.
Do you lose weight on BistroMD?
BistroMD meals are low in calories, yet high in protein, which may
Additionally, studies show that meal planning may be associated with:
However, BistroMD weight loss results can vary depending on several factors, including your:
- physical activity level
- health status
- what other foods you’re eating throughout the day
Is BistroMD expensive?
BistroMD may be more expensive than some other meal delivery services, depending on the specific plan and number of meals you select. Still, it might be worth the price for those seeking a simple and convenient way to save time on cooking.
Is BistroMD easy to cancel?
You can easily cancel your BistroMD subscription online by logging into your account and selecting “Update Plan.” Be sure to cancel your subscription by 5 p.m. EST on the Wednesday prior to your next week’s delivery to avoid additional charges.
BistroMD is a weight loss program that makes healthy eating easy and convenient.
With more than 150 meals to choose from, it may be a good choice for those seeking a structured program that can be customized to fit specific food preferences.
However, it’s pricier than many other programs and may not be a good fit for everyone, including people with specific dietary restrictions or those looking to learn how to prepare healthy meals at home.