Pros and Cons
Can provide 3 meals per day, 7 days a week
Free health coaching
Different portions for men and women
More expensive than competition
Dishes are hit or miss
Lots of packaging
Diet To Go
Diet To Go is a meal delivery service for individuals who want to lose weight while outsourcing some of the personal responsibility associated with the process. With Diet To Go, you don't have to plan, shop, cook, or count calories, leaving you with more time, but at a greater cost than shopping yourself.
Is the tradeoff worth it? Since we only tried Diet To Go for a week, we can't speak to the weight loss aspect. But we took a hard look at all other elements of the service, especially the food. Read on to learn more about our experience.
How It Works: Depends Somewhat on Where You Live
Diet To Go's signup process is easy enough. Start by entering your height and weight, gender, age, and activity level. Diet To Go then calculates your BMI and the caloric intake you'll likely need to hit to achieve your weight loss goals. Next, you'll select your plan from the four options: Balance, Balance-D, Keto-Carb30, and Vegetarian. You can view sample menus for all four options. The main difference between the plans is the macronutrient breakdown (covered below).
Next, select whether or not you want seafood, enter your gender again—it determines the cost (men pay more) and your daily caloric intake (women get less)—then select whether you want meals for five or seven days per week, and two or three meals per day.
After payment, you'll see your dashboard. Depending on your proximity to Diet To Go's facilities, you may receive either fresh or flash-frozen meals, either in two deliveries or in one FedEx shipment. This reviewer is located in a major city near Diet To Go's facilities, so our meals came fresh in two courier deliveries—one on Tuesday, the other on Friday. In this scenario, you can make changes to your order as late as noon ET on Monday. If you reside farther away from the company's facilities, your meals will arrive in one shipment via FedEx, and any changes must be made by noon on Friday the week prior.
Choosing Meals: Lots of Flexibility
Diet To Go chooses meals for you, but you are able to change the selections. The menus for all the plans repeat every five weeks, but you can choose your own substitutions at any time. Lunch and dinner each have around 20 possible substitutions. There is no meal customization, only substitution. The interface for accomplishing all this feels a little outdated, although it works.
You can also omit meals if you like. On the plan we tested—two meals per day, five days a week—we were able to omit up to four of the six meals in the Tuesday delivery and two of the four in the Friday delivery. That's six out of 10 total. Presumably, you can do the same thing if you're receiving the single box from FedEx.
You can put a vacation hold on your account, but you can't really skip a week as you can with other services. You can only set up one hold request at a time.
What We Made
We ordered 10 meals, Diet To Go's smallest plan, which is lunch and dinner only. We chose meals based on personal taste, and also with an eye toward seeing how Diet To Go handled a range of foods, from fish to Indian foo, to steak. Our selections were:
- Cauliflower and pea paprikash
- Teriyaki flat iron steak, wasabi cauliflower mash, and broccoli with fajita veggies
- Field greens salad with chicken
- Channa masala
- Portobello meltover
- Turkey pastrami on rye bread
- Texas tofu chili
- Italian meatballs
- Tilapia Veracruz
- Chicken burger
Support Materials: Free Health Coach by Phone
Diet To Go labels each meal with serving instructions and complete nutritional information. Since the food is already fully prepped and cooked, Diet To Go doesn't provide much support beyond that, which was appropriate.
In terms of your weight loss goals, there's nothing to speak of in the box besides the food. However, the company does provide a handful of other resources, accessible online. In the Help section of the site, you'll find the FAQs. Dig into these and you'll stumble across PDFs packed with answers and helpful tips. There's also a blog, which is updated frequently, and a link to a private Facebook group.
The company also encourages customers to reach out to its staff dietitians and health coaches. This one-on-one coaching is included in the meal plan. We didn't use this feature as we're only reviewing the food.
Packaging: Verging on Excessive
Diet To Go had the most packaging of any ready-to-eat meal service this tester has tried. Here is a breakdown of the packaging involved with a single delivery (and remember, Diet To Go delivers twice a week):
- 1 large cardboard box
- 3 large plastic air pillows
- 1 small sheet of bubble wrap
- 1 silver plastic thermal bubble bag
- 2 sheets thin packing foam
- 6 small plastic dry ice bags
- 5 large gel ice packs
- 1 small cardboard separator
- 4-6 sealed plastic meal trays
Meals with dressings, soups, side salads, and the like contain additional packaging elements, like plastic portion cups with lids or extra plastic wrap around ingredients such as bread. The amount of plastic that is recyclable depends on the facilities in your local area. We suspect that for most people, much of Diet To Go's packaging will end up in a landfill.
The Cooking Process: Mostly Microwave
Since all Diet To Go's meals are fully cooked, you'll prepare most of the meals by simply reheating them in the microwave. Each meal is labeled with instructions. There were only two items we did not microwave: the field greens salad and the pastrami sandwich, which we toasted in a frying pan. For the pastrami sandwich, its only ingredients were two slices of rye bread, a few scant slivers of turkey pastrami, and a tiny ramekin of mustard. This seemed excessively spartan, so prior to pan-toasting, we added cheese and homemade pickled peppers to the sandwich. All other meals we consumed as-is.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Reminiscent of Schools and Hospitals
Overall, our tasting panel was not impressed. While our modified sandwich turned out well, the fruit cup served with it reminded our taster of the canned fruit sometimes served in institutional settings like schools and hospitals. The teriyaki steak was well done, with a soft, grainy, dry texture; the side of wasabi cauliflower mash was only just palatable, and the broccoli and fajita veggies were soggy. The chicken with the field greens salad appeared to be chunks of some kind of processed chicken loaf, despite the ingredients list stating that it was simply "chicken breast." The cauliflower and pea paprikash was bland. Nothing was spoiled or inedible, and some things—such as the tilapia Veracruz and the tofu chili—were almost good. Nobody on the panel wanted seconds.
Nutritional Value: All Spelled Out
Each Diet To Go plan adheres to an average calorie count and macronutrient breakdown. The Balance plan that we tested delivers, on average, 1,600 calories for men and 1200 calories for women, with a macronutrient profile of approximately 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein. The plan is also relatively low in sodium (not more than 1,600mg per day, on average) and saturated fat. Diet To Go says that its meals are not calorie-dense, meaning they are relatively low-calorie but also filling, and we indeed found this mostly to be the case. The Keto Carb 30 and Balance D (for diabetes) plans, which we did not test, have different macronutrient profiles.
Diet To Go Is Good For
Diet To Go may be good for you if you are looking for three meals a day, seven days a week, and you prefer fresh food rather than frozen.
Diet To Go Is Not Good For
If you lean towards being a "foodie," you will probably be disappointed with Diet To Go. The large quantity of packaging may also be a turnoff for some.
Add-Ons: Meals Only
Diet To Go only provides meals. There are no add-ons, such as snacks and drinks, available from the service.
Customer Service: Helpful and Accessible
Diet To Go's customer service is reachable by phone and email. Most of our questions were answered by the FAQs, but we did call customer service to inquire about how shipping worked for distant customers. Our phone call was answered quickly, and the agent was helpful and courteous. We also reached out to cancel our service, because, unlike many meal delivery services we've tried, Diet To Go doesn't permit cancelation with a simple click. You must cancel by phone or submit a support request.
Nothing was spoiled or inedible, and some things—such as the tilapia Veracruz and the tofu chili—were almost good.
Making Changes and Canceling: Mostly Done Online
Making changes to your order is easy. Just click on the meal you want to change, click on Substitutions, pick an alternate from the list, and confirm. Diet To Go allows changes as little as 24 hours prior to your Tuesday delivery. The Tuesday delivery and the Friday delivery lock at the same time, so, in terms of making changes, the two deliveries are functionally one.
You can't skip weeks like you can with other services. Instead, you can create a vacation hold. Such holds have an initial maximum of about three weeks, but you can keep manually extending by editing the initial hold. When the hold ends, your plan will automatically restart. To make your hold permanent, change your delivery address, or cancel, you must contact support.
The Competition: Diet To Go vs. Snap Kitchen
Both Snap Kitchen and Diet To Go offer fully cooked, low-calorie, balanced meals that are delivered fresh, but there are a number of key differences between the two services. Diet To Go has a vegetarian plan, while Snap Kitchen does not. Diet To Go can provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, while Snap Kitchen offers a maximum of 12 meals, with only one breakfast item. Diet To Go is also a bit more expensive than Snap Kitchen, and also charges extra for shipping, while Snap Kitchen does not. We tested both services and found Snap Kitchen to be tastier and more satisfying than Diet To Go.
We were underwhelmed by Diet To Go. The service is more expensive than its competitors Snap Kitchen and BistroMD, but delivered less in terms of flavor, satisfaction, and overall value. The only thing Diet To Go had more of was packaging. Given the choice, we'd go with the competition.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Brand Diet To Go
- Lowest Price per Serving $8.50
- Number of Diets Served 4
- Number of Recipes 300
- Delivery Area 48 States
- Serving Sizes Available 1