The Fresh Diet
The Fresh Diet: What It Is
It sounds like a dieter’s dream come true – chef-prepared meals delivered to
your doorstep, and they taste so good you don’t even know you’re on a diet. The
Fresh Diet is one of the nation’s fastest-growing fresh meal delivery services,
even though customers must live within the program’s delivery areas and be able
to pay at least $35 per day.
It’s ideally suited for busy people like South Florida dermatologist Melissa
Lazarus, MD, who says she loves the food.
"I am super busy, and never have enough time or energy to eat healthy food,
cut up vegetables, or prepare meals," says Lazarus, who lost seven pounds using
the Fresh Diet plan. "Although the plan is expensive, it costs less than eating
Fresh Diet chief executive officer Zalmi Duchman founded the program in
Miami Beach in 2005. At first, Fresh Diet meal plans were roughly based on the
Zone Diet concept, of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% healthy fats. But
Duchman says the company is moving away from that model; currently, only 70% of
the meals are Zone compliant.
The program allows you to set your goal weight and indicate how much
exercise you get. You’re then assigned a daily calorie allotment that is
divided into three meals plus two snacks (one sweet and one savory). Most women
are prescribed a 1,200-1,400 calorie plan and most men get 1,600-1,800
calories. But the plan can go as high as 2,400 calories per day to meet
Meals can be customized according to your food likes and dislikes. You can
get vegetarian or gluten-free meals as well as those suitable for certain
medical conditions, including food allergies, diabetes, hypertension, high
cholesterol, and pregnancy.
"The food is prepared by expert chefs using natural ingredients ... never
frozen, and delivered to your doorstep every day except Saturday in insulated
containers between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.," Duchman says.
The executive chef oversees the nutrition component of the program
using a nutrition data analysis program. Certified chefs prepare the food in
four kitchens in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. (The New York
kitchen also services customers in New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and
The Fresh Diet: What You Can Eat
You can choose from two different Fresh Diet programs. The chef’s choice
plan allows you to indicate up to eight food dislikes, and starts at $35/day
for a one-month plan. The premium choice plan, which allows unlimited dislikes,
starts at $45 per day for the 31-day plan.
Clients select their menu items from among the tantalizing pictures on the
company web site. They log on to the online meal planner to choose from a
selection that includes four entrees, six side dishes (whole grains and
vegetables), three desserts, and three savory appetizers/snacks. If you choose
too many carbs and not enough vegetables, a pop up warning alerts you, but the
system allows the client to be the ultimate decision-maker.