BRIDES magazine weighs the good, the bad, and the unappetizing of five food-delivery services aimed at helping you drop pounds.
Jenny Craig Direct
Price: For about $60 to $70 a week (plus shipping and a $36 membership fee), three daily meals plus snacks are delivered to your door. Bonus: You get your own food consultant (via phone or online).
Taste: Jenny meals are tasty but tiny; rotini with meatballs, chicken parm, and the turkey burger get high marks. If you need something more filling, order one of the hearty soups.
Difficulty: Minimal effort (prepackaged food you pop in the microwave) meets maximum choice on this program. The one-on-one support makes staying on track a piece of cake.
Results: Expect to take off between one and two pounds per week—a healthy, sustainable weight-loss rate.
Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet
Price: Consider this a sweet deal—$59 for a week's worth of low-fat cookies. They come in five flavors (banana, coconut, chocolate, blueberry, and oatmeal-raisin) and are high in fiber and protein.
Taste: While you'll never mistake these cookies for Mrs. Fields's (oatmeal-raisin was our fave), they do satisfy your sweet tooth and fill you up. The downside: After a few days, you're cookied out.
Difficulty: This is a simple meal-replacement program. In lieu of breakfast and lunch, you eat a total of six cookies (600 calories in all), then have lean 200-calorie protein-and-veggie dinners.
Results: These amino acid-enriched cookies suppress appetite, which can translate into shedding up to 2 1/2 pounds per week.
Price: Be prepared to shell out quite a few clams (about $40 per day, plus shipping and handling fees) for this daily delivery program that offers three fresh-cooked entrees and two snacks.
Taste: This food service caters to the gourmet palate with delish dishes like eggplant rollatini and lobster tail.
Difficulty: You can pick the type of plan but not individual meals. The lack of flexibility may make the chef's specials tough to swallow.
Results: It's possible to enjoy epicurean eats and still lose weight (about one to two pounds per week) on this 1,200-to-1,400-calories-per-day plan.
Price: These mini meals won't cost you megabucks. A week's worth of provisions (breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks) and access to an online consultant is $54.95.
Taste: The pictures on the packaging are more appetizing than the actual food. However, the blueberry pancakes, ice cream, pizza, and beef stroganoff are tasty.
Difficulty: If you can open a package, add water, and operate a microwave, you can master NutriSystem. Most of the meals take one to two minutes to prepare—a joy for the time-crunched.
Results: NutriSystem's 1,200-calorie daily plan typically offers a rewarding 1-pound-per-week weight loss.
Price: Medifast gives you great value for your meals—the food (more than 70 menu options) costs about $11 per day, or $299 per month.
Taste: Portions are puny (compared to the other plans) but flavorful. Menu highlights: scrambled eggs and the popular Medifast shakes, which work as replacement meals.
Difficulty: The signature 5 and 1 Plan is easy: five replacement shakes or foods, plus one protein-and-veggie meal daily. All are quick to fix.
Results: Medifast works—fast. With a daily allowance of 800 to 1,000 calories, you can lose up to five pounds a week; keeping it off once the diet is done is the challenge.
—Sheryl Berk, BRIDES magazine