For five days, associate editor Alyssa Morlacci tests out bistroMD—a meal subscription program for weight loss developed by Dr. Caroline Cederquist.
There might be one thing I dislike more than cooking: grocery shopping. This will have my Italian ancestors rolling in their graves, but pushing a cart down aisles of food gives me more anxiety than what’s likely normal. I will forget a key ingredient, pick up something I’ll then question buying for the rest of my excursion or purchase the exact same items as always and leave disappointed. So, when my box from bistroMD packed with enough already prepared meals to last the next five days arrived on my doorstep, I thought, “Uh-oh, I could get used to this.”
How it works
After selecting the seven-day, five-day or custom program, bistroMD ships a cooler filled with balanced, properly portioned meals developed by weight loss and metabolism expert Dr. Caroline Cederquist. Each entrée is free of trans fats, and doesn’t include aspartame, freeze-dried ingredients or added MSG. For the duration of the diet, the only things needed are a microwave and fork.
What I liked
The most planning I did was deciding whether I would have stuffed French toast or a chicken dill crepe with fruited quinoa for breakfast, and the most work I did was moving meals from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before heating them up. There were also no repeats—one night I had blackened tilapia with red pepper coulis, the next, jerk-spiced chicken with mango chutney. The program includes more than 200 recipes to choose from. My favorite meal was the manicotti with vodka marinara, because who thought you could eat pasta on a diet?
What I didn’t like
There’s an average of 300 to 350 calories in each meal. While I didn’t feel hungry throughout the duration of the diet because each meal was well rounded, I was only having about 1,000 calories each day. There are programs that include snacks, but mine would have been difficult to continue long-term.
What you need to know
BistroMD recommends unloading all meals onto medium-sized plates after heating them up in their plastic trays. This plays a trick on your brain. I went from sizing up the food in its packaging thinking, “I’ll still be hungry,” to seeing it spread out on a plate and thinking, “I’ll never finish this.”