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Diet Delivery Plans Demystified

Thursday, 4 Sep 2008 | 8:51 PM ET

We’re all looking to lose a few, right? Some of us want to be like Atkins, some want to live it up like they do in South Beach, and some want to be like … Dan Marino?

Companies like NurtriSystemthat claim to deliver diet food right to your door for as little as $7 a day may cut some fat from your figure, but they can also weigh on your finances. Make sure you read the fine print carefully, because there can be a wide difference between advertised costs and the trust costs of these plans.

NutriSystem, for instance, hawks plans for $7 a day and promises free shipping. But that only covers two meals a day, five days a week, for a month. And the truth is, it’s not really $7 a day because you still have to pay for the cost of shipping, a third dish and fruits, vegetables and dairy products that supplement the meals.

Of course, if the plan works, it might be worth the costs. The popular Chef’s Diet, which delivers Zone-style meals, advertises the cost as $14.95 per day. But they use FedEx for shippings, passing that cost on to you. So depending on whether you select daily or weekly deliveries, you’re looking at paying at least $50 per shipment, plus handling.

Bottom line? If you want to trim your waistline without emptying your wallet, think of these diet delivery plans as food for thought, and not much else.

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