Nutrisystem is a weight-loss program that has been on the market since 1972 that provides users with a comprehensive plan to shed the extra pounds. This plan combines the accessibility of pre-packaged meals, balanced protein shakes, and a thriving online community for support to ensure that you see the change that you are looking for.
How Nutrisystem Works
Nutrisystem is a complete meal system that offers healthy recipes and pre-portioned meals that come fully prepared and occasionally frozen. With over 150 different food items that you select, this system provides a variety that will ensure that you don’t get bored with your weight loss program.
More than 120 of the offered meals are provided low levels of sodium, have no added preservatives or trans fats. That has made it an ideal solution for those who struggle with diabetes or have no idea how to construct a healthy meal plan. Additionally, they offer a variety of vegetarian options to ensure that no one is left out if they are trying to lose weight in a healthy way.
By following the menu and eating the foods that are sent to your home, you can quickly drop the extra pounds without having to eschew the foods that make you happy. That is a huge departure from most modern diets, where you have to give up the things that you love to see a figure that you love.
The only item that it is suggested to avoid or to limit is alcohol while you are following a Nutrisystem program. Otherwise, you are free to eat a varied and exciting diet.
Every Nutrisystem plan comes with a variety of foods that have been selected to provide you with the correct combination of nutrients and healthy fats. Regardless of which plan you choose, you will have the energy that you need to complete your day without any concerns about having an unbalanced meal plan.
While each plan and meal will have different ingredients in them to accomplish that goal, each meal will focus on items such as:
Protein has long been acknowledged as a vital element for healthy as it is in every cell that you have. Everything is built from protein, from your nails and hair to the role that protein plays in building your cartilage, muscles, and bones. Your body pulls protein from your system every day to repair tissues damage and create the enzymes that you need to digest your food.
In short, protein is crucial for human survival. It is micro-nutrient and your body craves it when you are lacking this building block.
Protein is also crucial when it comes to losing weight. Protein is full of amino acids that are used to put more lean muscle on your body, which use more calories through the day even when you are not working out.
Additionally, you will burn more calories digesting foods that are high in protein than any other food. It takes your body more work and focuses to metabolize and utilize protein. Because it takes so long for your body to process this essential element, you will also feel far fuller throughout the day.
Research has shown that foods that are high in fiber will help you to stay full longer so that you aren’t as inclined to snack throughout the day Additionally, adding more fiber into your daily diet will help you to maintain a stable weight while supporting the health of your heart.
High fiber foods include certain vegetables, fruits and unprocessed and whole grains. These fibrous foods are a healthy carbohydrate for your body because it is difficult for your body to digest. That means that not only will you stay full for longer, you will avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes which can lead to low energy throughout your day.
In addition to ensuring that you are getting the appropriate amount of fiber in your diet, Nutrisystem plans focus on providing you with good cards that will support your system. That means that most of the carbs that are included in this diet plan will be low glycemic such as grains and specific vegetables. All of these carbohydrates will be converted into glucose sugar that supports your body.
The more complex the carbohydrate that you ingest is, the longer that it will take to break down and digest. As they break down they release sugars into your bloodstream steadily and slowly, helping you to lose weight and keeping your blood sugar from spiking.
Research from the U.S. National Library of Medicine has shown that the fewer spikes that you have in your blood sugar, the lower chances of having diabetes later in life.
The only items that these plans don’t include are fresh fruits and vegetables. The founders of this program felt that it was too important to have these fresh elements so they left them out of the plan. To ensure that you are receiving the minerals and vitamins that you need, pick up fresh seasonal produce.
Finally, there are some ingredients that Nutrisystem rejects completely, including:
- Corn Syrup
- Artificial Colors
- Artificial Flavors/Sweetners
- Artificial Preservatives
- Starchy Vegetables
- Trans/Saturated Fats
- Added Sugars
Plans and Cost
Nutrisystem offers a variety of different plans for its users to make sure that they are able to meet a diversity of needs. There are four basic plans to choose from and they are all customizable based on your gender.
The Basic Plan
The Basic Plan is the first tier of the Nutrisystem weight loss plan. It offers a 28-day long plan that utilizes their Lean13 program. This program includes pre-packaged meals, Nutrisystem shakes, bars, and snacks that don’t require you to count any calories, carbs, or points. The Lean13 program helps you to lose 13 pounds and seven inches within the first month of use.
This is made possible with Nutrisystems Turbo Takeoff program, which provides benefits that include:
- Digestive Health Support
- Balanced Diet to Beat Bloat
- Hunger Reduction
- Blood Sugar Balance Throughout The Day
- Sustained Energy
This plan includes pre-packaged meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in additon to a shake and a bar for snacking throughout the day. This particular plan leaves all food decisions in the hands of Nutrisystem representatives. The daily cost for this plan is: Women – $10.18 Men – $11.61
You can also upgrade to a menu that is specialized for your own preferences at a small upcharge. On the custom meal plan, the daily cost will be: Women – $11.07 Men – $12.50
The Core Plan
The Core Plan builds off the Basic Plan but it offers a larger variety of food choices. You will also receive enhanced perks through Nutrisystem, including frequent access to highly trained dieticians, counselors, weight-loss trackers, and other resources that have been shown to aid those trying to lose weight.
This price per day is: Women – $11.07 Men – $12.50
This plan also has a Custom Menu option, but there is currently no upcharge for choosing it.
Uniquely Yours Plan
The Uniquely Yours plan includes access to over 150 menu options, with the inclusion of a variety of frozen meals and nutritious snacks. It also includes the Turbo Takeoff program for your first week which will help you start your weight loss journey correctly.
This plan incurs a per day cost of: Women – $12.50 Men – $13.93
The custom pack for this plan does not cost more.
Uniquely Yours Plus Plan
The Uniquely Yours Plus plan is almost identical to the Uniquely Yours plan, but it includes 1 TurboShake every day. The Favorites Pack has a per day cost of: Women – $13.93 Men – $15.36
The Custom Menu does not incur an upcharge.
The Vegetarian Plan offers all the benefits of the other Nutrisystem plans but everything is vegetarian. The Favorites Pack has an everyday cost of: Women – $12.50 Men -$13.93
There is no increase in price for the Custom Menu.
Diabetes Basic Plan
This plan offers a diabetes-friendly plan that will fit into your lifestyle. It offers a variety of low-glycemic foods that will still ensure that your body is getting the nutrients that it needs to make it through the day and thrive. There is no guesswork because Nutrisystem has created a safe and easy to follow weight loss plan that will lower your blood sugar and help you to lose weight.
The Diabetes Basic Plan Favorites Pack has an everyday cost of: Women – $10.18 Men – $11.61
The Custom Menu has a per day cost of: Women – $11.07 Men – $12.50
Diabetes Core Plan
The Diabetes Core Plan is similar to the Basic Plan except that it also includes a variety of frozen options. This plan has a daily price tag of: Women – $12.50 Men – $13.93
There is no cost difference between the Favorites Pack and the Custom Menu.
Diabetes Uniquely Yours Plan
This plan is similar to the Diabetes Core Plan but it includes access to over 145 different meals, including the largest selection of frozen meals. This plan has an everyday cost of: Women – $12.50 Men – $13.93
There is no price difference between Favorite Packs and the Custom Menu.
While every specific plan has a variety of different options and specialty foods that you can choose, the standard menu will include some common foods for all of your meals as well as your snacks. While some items may give you pause, such as chocolate cupcakes or buttermilk waffles, every item has been carefully curated by a specialized team of nutritionists and dieticians to ensure that you lose the weight that you are focused on losing.
Some breakfast items include:
- Biscotti Bites
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Granola Cereal
- Strawberry Cheese Crepe
- Turkey Ham & Cheese Omelette
Your average lunch may be:
- Loaded Potato
- Arroz Con Pollo
- Cheddar Broccoli Rice
- Meatball Parmesan Melt
- Red Beans & Rice
Common dinner meals are:
- Chicken Pasta Parmesan
- Grilled Sausage and Peppers
- Ravioli Formaggio
- Salisbury Steak with Mac & Cheese
- Tuna Casserole
Some delicious snacks include:
- Apple Pecan Bites
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Garlic Parmesan Snack-A-Rounds
- White Cheddar Popcorn
- Zesty Pizza Snack-a-Rounds
Some foods aren’t delivered with the Nutrisystem, but they are recommended for outside purchasing to ensure that your body stays healthy. These items include:
- Fresh Produce
Overall, Nutrisystem has a comprehensive menu that includes over 150 items in total. You can customize your plan to ensure that you are receiving the products that you are interested in without having to worry that you are slipping over your caloric intake for the day.
Nutrisystem does encourage people following this plan to try to limit eating out, especially at fast food and chain restaurants. They caution that it is incredibly easy to slip into bad habits again when you start to visit drive-throughs and chain restaurants.
Additionally, they discourage sharing. Each meal plan is formulated for one specific person, designed to work for them especially. By choosing to share your food or to give away meals because you think you don’t need them, you are leaving yourself open to hunger cravings throughout the day or the possibility of consuming under your recommended calories for the day.
Calories Per Day
While you are utilizing the Nutrisystem program you will find that your caloric intake will continue to change depending on where you are in your progress. During the program, most people will consume around one thousand calories every day for the first week. This is a low number but safe for a short burst to help to kickstart your weight loss progression. Most users will see a large loss in the first week of the plan.
After seven days, the caloric intake will jump up to a more sustainable number. After the first week, men will consume around 1,500 calories per day and most women will consume about 1,200 calories every day. There are always exceptions to these general rules; for instance, those who are invested in losing one hundred pounds or more will have 200 calories added to their meal plan for longevity in the weight loss program.
This system is designed to be a long-term weight loss program with a lower-glycemic index then other diets that are on the market. It was created to provide:
- 50% of Calories From Carbs
- 25% of Calories From Protein
- 25% of Calories From Fat
As you continue to lose weight, you will find that your calories will continue to fluctuate. This is the best way to lose weight. Choosing a plan that moves with your progress instead of staying in a rut is what will ensure that you don’t stall in your weight loss progression.
Nutrisystem Compared to Other Programs
With so many different weight loss programs on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Here we will take a moment to compare Nutrisystem with other popular programs that have been around for a while.
Many times people will find themselves trying to choose between Nutrisystem and another popular dieting plan. many of these weight loss programs showcase reduced calories and lower glycemic index programs, so here is a general overview of the differences between different options.
- Food: The food in both programs are complete, nutritious, and varied; however, Jenny Craig only offers frozen foods. Nutrisystem offers both shelf stable and frozen foods depending on the plan that you choose and is more convenient than the alternative.
- Cost: The total cost of the Jenny Craig program is higher then the Nutrisystem program. They are both pricey, however, and could be seen as less accessible for those who have lower incomes.
- Support Both systems have comparably printed and online resources for those who are trying to lose weight. Jenny Craig does offer more direct support then Nutrisystem does, including weight loss centers and counselors who check up on their progress. Nutrisystem does not have counselors available at all levels and offers no face-to-face support currently.
- Food: Atkins has many foods that you cannot eat but allows you to consume a variety of high fat and high protein foods. Nutrisystem has no limitations on what you can eat but ensures that you stay within a limited caloric range. Atkins focuses on purchasing and preparing all of your own food (which means that your food will only taste good if you are a good cook) while Nutrisystem offers pre-made meals that just need to be eaten.
- Costs: Nutrisystem has steep costs each month but comes with the bargain of prepared meals and no worries about creating a food budget every month. Atkins requires you to purchase all of your meals and prepare them yourself, which can make it difficult to stick to a budget if you are eating healthy for the first time.
- Support: Nutrisystem has a comprehensive support system that includes access to a community, trackers, and phone support from dietitians and counselors if you are struggling. Atkins also has carb counters, a thriving online community, and experts who are able to answer in questions that their users may have.
- Food:Both Nutrisystem and Medifast have varied menus that you can choose from, parts of which you can customize. They both also require you to purchase other food to supplement their menu but it seems you do more actual cooking on the Medifast program.
- Cost:Medifast i more expensive than Nutrisystem without question. The cost for the Medifast diet is only ten dollars every day but that doesn’t include the costs of having to prepare yourself every day. In fact, their thirty-day weight loss kit includes nine meals, but the other 51 in the recipe book you have to prepare and cook yourself, significantly increasing your costs every month.
- Support:Both Nutrisystem and Medifast offer online applications that can be downloaded and used to track progress and calories; however, it seems that only Nutrisystem has access to a community of professionals for those who are needing an extra level of support. Both have access to a community of individuals who are working with their respective programs, but sometimes you need a professional to provide you with the support that you’ve been seeking
As you can see, each weight loss program has a myriad of pros and cons. It is important to speak with your primary care provider before you begin a diet plan like those listed above. Doing so will ensure that you are choosing the program that is the best option for your body, your long-term goals, and your lifestyle.
NuMi and Community Support
NuMi is the tracking system that was developed for and is used by Nutrisystem. It is designed to provide support to those who use it by making it easy and convenient to track your caloric intake. NuMi already contains the nutritional information for every meal that is offered by Nutrisystem so there is no need to enter any information except the name of the meal and you’ll be done tracking for the meal.
The app also provides a variety of other complementary actions, including daily weight loss tips, activity suggestions, and quotes from the team at Nutrisystem. Additionally, it is designed to sync with a variety of other health and fitness apps such as Apple Health, Fitbit, and Jawbone so that you can get a clear vision of how your weight loss is progressing as you move through Nutrisystem.
Additionally, there is the general community of people who are all participating in the Nutrisystem programs. Because of a thriving community of health and fitness enthusiasts, you never feel alone as you lose weight. There are hundreds of individuals who are just starting their weight loss journey who are joined by those who have reached their goals and stick around to support new folks.
Finally, there is a collection of data and research that supports different ways of losing weight and shows you the science behind Nutrisystem. If you need more support than all of the above, then there are also dieticians, nutritionists, and counseling staff that you can contact during your process.
Complaints About Nutrisystem
Every weight management program has issues and customers complaints that should be addressed. Here are the top five complaints about Nutrisystem.
- Cancellation Fee:There is a cancellation policy when you choose to use Nutrisystem. You can cancel your subscription by calling before 6:00 p.m. the night before your order is scheduled. If you cancel after the 14-day money back guarantee period and before you have paid for your second consecutive 4-week order, you will be charged for the auto-delivery discount that you received.
- Taste and Variety:There have been complaints made about the taste of the food and the variety that is offered. Many of these complaints have been offset by the reality that pre-packaged and frozen food is a different diet than being able to prepare your food from fresh ingredients. This sort of switch is not easy to make and it definitely will not suit everyone.
- Sodium Content:There have been complaints regarding the salt and sodium content within the food. While all pre-packaged food has a higher sodium content then fresh food to ensure that it is preserved, Nutrisystem’s sodium content falls within the recommended guidelines from the USDA. Additionally, there are ways to further reduce the amount of salt in your meal plan by contacting their dieticians and nutritionists and adjusting your food intake.
- The Cost: Nutrisystem products are designed to be a complete meal delivery service. Any food delivery service of this kind of nature seems a little pricey and this product is no exception to the rule. However, when comparing the price of this weight management subscription with others that are similar to it, Nutrisystem is actually at the lower end of the price pool. It is never exciting to see a chunk of money come out of your bank account but the products feed you for a full month.
- Price Increase: Nutrisystem frequently offers a discount to those who are just starting their program. But choosing the promotional value doesn’t lock that amount in forever. There is a promotional period and when that ends, you will pay full price. There have been complaints from customers who missed that information. To ensure that you don’t become frustrated when the promotional value of a product ends, take the time to jot the ending date down in your calendar.
Just like any other system, the Nutrisystem has a few flaws. Spending some time focusing on them will ensure that you are able to navigate any concerns you have so that you can lose the weight that you want to.
Precauations About Nutrisystem
You should always speak with your primary care physician before you began a weight loss program, and Nutrisystem is no different. This is especially important if you have pre-existing conditions, are pregnant, or are currently taking medication.
There are a few conditions that would keep you from using the program for weight loss. These include:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Soy or Peanut Allegies or Special Diet Needs
- Are Under the Age of 14
- Vegan or Gluten Free
- Certain Medications
- Pregnant or Nursing
If you have any of these issues or concerns you should speak with your primary care provider before you begin this program. While there are dieticians and nutritionists who are capable and willing to support your durign this transitional period, it is equally important to have a doctor who knows you well support you.
The Benefits of Choosing Nutrisystem
Now that we’ve discussed the main complaints about this system as well as the people who should avoid using this program, let’s touch base on the biggest benefits of choosing Nutrisystem. There are many pros that come from using this system, including the following:
- Balanced Meals with Minimal Supplemental Produce Purchases
- Low-Glycemic Index Focused Foods
- No Need to Cut Out Certain Foods
- Frozen and Shelf Stable Foods
- Customization in Meal Planning
- Calorie and Fitness Tracking App
- Strong Community Support Network
- Access to Specialists Via Phonecalls
- Multitude of Different Plans to Meet Your Needs
- Proven System Designed to Shed Pounds Quickly and Safely
- Delivery Plan
There are many benefits to the Nutrisystem program besides the weight that you will lose and the boost in your general health. Take time to discuss your options with your doctor to make sure that Nutrisystem is the right choice for you before you start your diet plan.
Where Can I Purchase Nutrisystem?
Nutrisystem is a highly accessible plan that can be purchased directly from their website at Nutrisystem.com
The reviews have stated that it is the easiest to order this weight loss system through the official webpage so that you can reveiw the information easily. There is also convenient contact information located on the page so that you can reach out to them Monday through Sunday if you have any issues.
However, if you prefer purchasing your Nutrisystem in a physical location you can visit Walmart. Walmart frequently has an array of different products from the Nutrisystem brand including Nutrisystem shakes, protein bars, or shake mixes. The pricing is competitive and their diet products can be purchased in-store or online for delivery.