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Commercial diets may help people lose weight or develop nutritious eating habits. Brands offer a range of products and services, including meal planning, reduced-calorie foods, recipes, health coaching, journaling, and other support tools.
This article provides an overview of commercial diets, how they work, and alternatives. It also explores eight commercial diet plans in more detail.
- Best for overall: WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined)
- Best for personalized daily lessons: Noom
- Best for reducing diet-induced inflammation: Zone Diet
- Best for a plant-based diet: PLANTSTRONG by Engine 2
- Best for diabetes, keto, and vegetarian menus: Diet-To-Go
- Best for a budget meal planner: Platejoy
- Best for lower calorie meals: Trifecta
- Best for doctor support: The Mayo Clinic Diet
To discover more evidence-based information and resources for obesity & weight management, visit our dedicated hub.
Typically, people following commercial diets track their daily calorie intake and periodically weigh themselves to monitor their progress. With some commercial diets, participants receive support from health coaches and peer support groups. Many commercial diets also deliver preprepared meals and snacks.
It is important to note that most commercial diets are
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
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Best for overall: WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined)
The new WW PersonalPoints system helps people monitor their food intake. It gives foods a point value according to their calorie, fiber, fat, sugar, and protein content. People attempt to limit their intake to a set number of points daily. The reimagined plan includes additional ZeroPoint food options.
Additionally, the program includes an updated, award-winning app, meditations, audio workouts, and in-person or online support. The company has 3,000 studio locations throughout the United States.
New members pay a $20 joining fee. There are currently four subscription options:
- Digital: starting from $10 per month for the first 3 months
- Digital 360: starting from $10 per month for the first 3 months
- Unlimited Workshops + Digital: starting from $10 per month for the first 3 months, in participating locations
- 1-on-1 Coaching + Digital: starting from $47.97 per month
Learn how WW compares with Noom.
Best for personalized daily lessons: Noom
Noom is an app-based dieting platform that applies behavioral psychology to help people develop self-awareness and build more positive eating habits. The app includes a food tracker, an exercise log, a step tracker, recipes, articles, and quizzes.
New users answer a short questionnaire explaining their motivations, habits, and health concerns. The Noom app then generates a personalized plan according to the information provided and matches users with a coach and support team.
The Noom program helps dieters identify their true motivation and encourages them to focus on the caloric density of foods. Noom labels each food as green, yellow, or red from its caloric density. No food is off-limits, but the program provides strategies to manage cravings.
A Noom subscription starts from $60 per month for 1 month.
Best for reducing diet-induced inflammation: Zone Diet
This diet aims to balance macronutrients to manage hormones that may cause inflammation. It focuses on balancing carbohydrates, protein, and fat for each meal or snack, using Zone Food Blocks.
Zone dieters eat three meals and two snacks daily, and no meal exceeds 400 calories.
The diet encourages the consumption of nutritious proteins, low fat dairy, and tofu. Regarding carbohydrates, people using Zone should choose those with a low glycemic index. They should also eat at least once every 5 hours.
People can join the online Zone Diet community for free. Its website offers some products that align with its dietary standards. A box of 10 Zone Diet bars costs around $35.95, while four bags of pasta cost $59.95.
Best for a plant-based Alzheimer’s: PLANTSTRONG by Engine 2
Engine 2 is a low fat, plant-based program that aims to prevent chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research suggests that plant-based diets can lower the risk of chronic disease. However, they may not affect a person’s weight and can have negative effects if someone does not monitor their nutritional needs.
An individual may wish to purchase the Engine 2 Diet book that outlines the 28-day “Save Your Life” plan.
People may sign up for the PLANTSTRONG meal planner, which costs $14 per month. PLANTSTRONG also offers behavioral change programs with weekly lessons, live group calls, and individual coaching for $159 to $359 per year.
Best for diabetes, keto, and vegetarian menus: Diet-To-Go
Diet-To-Go provides prepackaged, low calorie meals featuring fresh ingredients and no preservatives. Foods are flash-frozen to maintain freshness.
People can choose from 5- or 7-day plans that include lunches and dinners. The company also provides meal plans for those with diabetes, vegetarians, and individuals following the keto diet.
According to the company website, plans cost $18–29 per day.
Best for a budget meal planner: Platejoy
Platejoy is a customizable meal planner that the company markets toward busy working people. It offers whole foods, low carb, Mediterranean, paleo, vegan, and gluten-free meals.
The service considers what an individual has in their pantry and can reduce waste and save money. It also allows people to order the grocery items in their plan with one click from Amazon Fresh or Instacart. However, this comes at an extra cost.
On the website, consumers can choose the Platejoy path, which may lead to more balanced nutrients.
However, people may wish to carefully consider the meals Platejoy offers. For example, some of the low carb plates include bread that is not low in carbohydrates.
One month costs $12.99, but people can purchase a 6- or 12-month subscription plan, lowering the monthly price to between $8 and $12.
Best for lower calorie meals: Trifecta
Trifecta, similar to Platejoy, allows people to choose a customizable meal plan that meets their dietary requirements and preferences. Options include lower-calorie meals, clean meals, vegan, keto, paleo, meat lovers, and budget meals.
This company cooks and ships the food, which people then refrigerate or freeze before heating in the oven, stovetop, air fryer, or microwave.
However, Trifecta is more expensive than many options on this list. Additionally, it may be unsuitable for people who are not looking for lower-calorie options.
Prices start from around $104.95 per week.
Best for doctor support: The Mayo Clinic Diet
This commercial diet by Mayo Clinic aims to go beyond offering different meal plans. It also offers educational content and tools that may help individuals keep track of their food intake and goals.
People can choose between the classic Mayo Clinic Diet, vegetarian, keto, higher protein, and Mediterranean options.
A subscription gives people access to:
- a series of at-home workouts without equipment
- virtual video sessions with Mayo Clinic doctors in groups
- food tracker
- habit optimizer
Pricing depends on the payment plan. A 12-month plan costs $4.61 per week, while a monthly plan costs around $11.54 per week.
There are several considerations when choosing a diet, such as:
- Dietary requirements: People should ensure that the commercial diet they choose accommodates their dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan meals.
- Calories: The diet a person chooses should offer enough calories for their body to continue functioning. Eating very low amounts of calories is dangerous without medical supervision.
- Nutrients: Commercial diets should meet a person’s minimum nutrient needs to ensure they do not develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
- Cost: Some commercial diets may be costly, especially if the services also prepare and deliver food.
There are benefits and risks to commercial diets. People should carefully consider these advantages and disadvantages before choosing a diet.
Some advantages of commercial diets include:
- Supervision: Commercial diets that provide medical supervision are some of the safest dietary plans to follow. A medical professional can monitor a person’s progress and provide evidence-backed advice.
- Structure: Commercial diets provide a structure of meals that may be easier for someone to follow. Knowing what to eat and when may make it easier to stick to a diet plan.
- Motivation: Commercial diets often have support groups online or in-person that can help motivate an individual to stick to their diet plan. Most of these groups have moderators to help people create realistic goals and provide tips if a diet is not meeting their expectations.
It is important to pick a suitable commercial diet for a person’s needs. Some potential disadvantages include:
- Restrictive calories: Everyone needs a certain amount of calories to support their body’s basic functions. Eating insufficient calories can lead to fatigue, hair loss, and vitamin deficiencies.
- Unbalanced nutrients: It is important that a commercial diet offers meal plans that meet a person’s minimum nutrient needs.
- Unsubstantiated claims: People should be aware of commercial diets that claim to help them lose large amounts of weight in weeks or treat medical conditions. Most of these diets do not have support from evidence-based science and can be dangerous to follow.
A person should speak with a registered dietitian if they want to change their diet or manage their weight.
A suitable resource on which to base a person’s diet is the
There are several alternative diets and lifestyle changes to consider:
Another option is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This diet is specifically beneficial for people who have hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease.
The DASH diet
- 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day
- 7 servings of carbohydrates per day
- 2 servings of low fat dairy products per day
- 2 or fewer servings of lean meat per day
- 2–3 servings of nuts and seeds per week
The Mediterranean diet
This dietary plan typically involves eating leafy vegetables, fruit, cereals, and olive oil.
Several apps may help people reach their weight goals.
However, it is important to remember that diet apps contain the same risks as some commercial diets. People should never use an app that promotes severely restricted eating or promises that people can lose large amounts of weight in a short time.
Regular exercise and other lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake, can help support people in their diet.
Many commercial diet options are available for those aiming to develop more nutritious eating habits or maintain a moderate weight. A person should compare various brands and consider how long they plan to follow the diet before choosing a program.
People should also consider speaking with a registered dietitian about improving their diet or making other lifestyle changes.