PROS / eDiets offers diet plans for people with special dietary needs.
CONS / This service does not offer direct access to dietitians the way many competitors do.
VERDICT / With its variety of diet plans, fitness tools and tracking capabilities that can help you get in shape, eDiets is among the best online diet services.
Our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner, eDiets, is fundamentally different from most online diet plans. Rather than offering its own weight loss program, it compiles a number of popular commercial diet plans and allows you to choose the one that's right for you. Health and fitness professionals will tell you that the most successful weight loss programs combine a healthy diet with physical activity. eDiets offers both, and if you value the opportunity to pick your own diet, it's a perfect fit.
Diet & Fitness
The service supports more than a dozen diet plans, including ones for individuals with special dietary needs. For example, there is a vegetarian diet program and a plan specifically formulated for diabetics. If you don't know which diet is right for you, the service can create a custom diet for you with your own exercise plan and weekly menu based on your preferences. You can change what plan you are following weekly, or even daily if you prefer. That can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preference. Our volunteer tester found all of those options to be overwhelming.
There are too few options when it comes to substitutions, though. When you swap out a muffin that you do not have time to make, the only other options are other muffins. Also, if you do switch out one food item for another, eDiets does not save your swap. When you access the diet again, the original food is there.
You can use this site to track your weight, body measurements, workouts and even mood factors that can affect your weight loss. You can build custom workouts by selecting specific exercises the service lists under the fitness tab in your online account. A virtual trainer walks you through each exercise so that you can maximize your physical exertion and ensure that you perform each one correctly.
One major benefit with this service is the simplified mobile interface. It is not quite the same as having a specific app, but the screens are simplified so you can easily track food and exercise in a smaller phone or tablet screen when you are away from home.
The eDiets tracking tools include a variety of graphs that are easy to understand, including a pie chart that shows how much carbohydrates, protein and fat you should consume in your daily diet, not just calories. There is also a line chart that helps illustrate your progress with weight loss, water consumption, hours of sleep and other fitness goals.
One drawback of this online diet service is its relatively limited selection of community features. Online communities are a significant part of most other diet plans we reviewed, and they can provide immense support and encouragement as you commit to losing weight. With blogs and a presence on social media, the eDiets community is constantly growing, but there are other services that offer more support.
Help & Support
The traditional methods of support also are somewhat lacking. It would be nice to be able to ask questions by telephone, but that is not an option with eDiets. You can reach eDiets through email, but even those contacts are with customer service, not dietitians.
Overall, eDiets is an excellent, beneficial resource, particularly for dieting veterans who value choice. The service provides numerous plans and tools that can help you effectively lose weight and keep it off. That said, its community features are somewhat lacking. Using eDiets to shed those pesky pounds may require more self-discipline and determination than the two best comparable weight loss programs would, but it's still among the very best.