Nutrisystem Review: How I Lost 100 Pounds on the Plan
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Dieting and losing weight is a challenge many people struggle with. A key part of that is having a plan structured to your needs. I know as I’ve always struggled with my weight, despite being active most of my life. Several years ago I turned to Nutrisystem to lose weight.
It wasn’t always easy, and it does cost money. However, I was able to lose 100 pounds on the weight loss plan and improve my health.
This honest Nutrisystem review discusses how to follow the plan, what it costs, benefits, and what you can and can’t eat on the program.
What is Nutrisystem?
Nutrisystem is 28-day weight loss program and meal delivery service. The company specializes in providing pre-packaged, low-calorie meals that are delivered to your home. You can add certain fresh fruits and vegetables, and the plan is simple to follow.
The Nutrisystem diet focuses on meals that have you eat fewer calories, without leaving you hungry. They do this by having meals that are 50 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat, and 25 percent protein.
The company also promotes smart carbs which help avoid significant increases to your blood sugar. By following the specialized meal plan you have energy to carry you through the day without feeling hungry.
The diet company was founded in 1972 by Howard Katz, and shifted to a direct-to-consumer meal delivery program in the late ’90s.
How Does the Diet Meal Plan Work?
Nutrisystem offers numerous packages. This lets you make selections based on your age, gender, and many other factors.
For example, as I was in my 30s, I chose Nutrisystem for men as it was tailored to my needs. There are also plans for diabetics, vegetarians, and even a gluten-free option. Food options also tend to be low-sodium and lower-glycemic foods to help promote healthy eating.
This level of customization is not available with many other weight loss meal plans. Other programs lack customization, which can help lead to frustration when trying to lose weight.
This leads to people be feeling hungry all the time while losing weight. That is not something I usually dealt with while on Nutrisystem.
You receive three meals per day, based on your specific needs. You also receive snacks in all meal plans. Women receive one snack per day, while men receive two snacks per day.
Nutrisystem claims to have over 160 menu options you can choose from, depending on the meal plan you choose. Most of the meal plans start with the “Turbo 13 Plan.”
This part of the diet meal program help you achieve at least 13 pounds over the first month on the plan, depending on your gender and starting weight.
After the first month, the meal plan shifts focus a bit, helping users to focus on more gradual weight loss since losing substantial weight quickly isn’t sustainable.
Most Nutrisytem meal plans let you manage everything online. This includes food selection and other helpful resources to manage your weight loss.
What Foods Can You Eat?
Whenever you compare weight loss programs like Nutrisystem, it’s important to know what food you can eat. The diet plan recommends users to eat three pre-packaged meals per day. You can also include their snack offerings in what you eat each days.
Some of my favorite foods were margherita pizza, double chocolate muffins, and ginger cashew chicken. These were all low calorie foods filled with nutrients, lean protein, and fiber.
Depending on the plan you choose you can also add in certain snacks, such as non-starchy vegetables, slices of turkey, or three cups of air popped popcorn.
This is where the customization Nutrisystem provides really helps. You can create a meal plan that works for your needs all while losing weight. The food is all heart-healthy too.
What Foods Can’t You Eat?
Similar to any diet food delivery service, Nutrisystem has fairly strict dietary guidelines on what foods you can eat. You’re greatly discouraged from eating at restaurants while on Nutrisystem.
If you’re unable to avoid restaurants, foods like leafy green salads, with no dressing is a suitable option.
The diet plan also has numerous packaged meals you can take on the go if dining out. Think KIND bars, or something similar.
While you can have alcohol while on the diet plan, the company strongly encourages you to avoid it. If you must consume alcohol, you’re encouraged to have no more than one serving per week. This is typical with most diet meal plans.
Lastly, it’s best to avoid condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise. They add extra fat and calories to your meals. If you must use a condiment, do so sparingly.
Nutrisystem Menu Samples
Here are real menu options from a normal day of Nutrisystem, according to their site. Listed first is a typical day for a man, followed by a typical day for a woman.
|Meal||For Women||For Men|
|Breakfast||🍴Nutrisystem blueberry muffin|
🍴Milk, fat-free, 1 cup
🍴Hot tea with calorie-free sweetner
|🍴Eggs, 2 scrambled |
🍴Whole wheat toast, 1 slice
🍴Light margarine, 1/2 tbsp.
|Morning Snack||🍴Nutrisystem honey mustard pretzel bits||🍴Nutrisystem turbo shake|
|Lunch||🍴Nutrisystem cheese tortellini|
🍴Turkey breast, 2 oz.
🍴Green beans, cooked, 1 cup
🍴Nutrisystem tuna salad
|Afternoon Snack||🍴Cottage cheese, low-fat, 1/2 cup|
🍴Peaches, canned in water, 1 cup
|🍴Cashews, unsalted, 2 tbsp. |
🍴Raisins, 1/4 cup
|Dinner||🍴Nutrisystem turkey and stuffing|
🍴Turkey breast, 2 oz.
🍴Cucumbers, 1 cup
🍴Salad dressing, fat-free, 1 tbsp.
|🍴Nutrisystem chicken alfredo |
🍴Spinach, cooked, 1 cup
|Evening Snack||🍴Nutrisystem chocolate cake|
🍴Whipped topping, fat-free, 3 tbsp.
|🍴Nutrisystem white cheddar popcorn|
There is not one set price for the meal plan. Thanks to customization, price will vary when you sign up for the diet meal plan.
The basic plan has three tiers to choose from. Here are the prices for the available Nutrisystem meals:
- Basic – $8.57 per day
- Uniquely Yours – $10.36 per day
- Uniquely Yours Ultimate – $12.50 per day
These prices vary depending on your plan, and may cost a little more, or a little less. The more expensive options include frozen meals and allow you to choose whatever food options you want that are available in your specific plan.
If you sign up for a plan and find that it doesn’t work for you, Nutrisystem does offer a 14-day money back guarantee.
Ways to Save on Nutrisystem
Nutrisystem commonly runs different deals to help users save money. The current offer is 50 percent off all plans + 50 percent off a month of shakes.
Another terrific way to save money is to buy discounted gift cards at Costco or eBay. For instance, Costco sells $100 gift cards to Nutrisystem for $80. Several times throughout the year they go on sale for $60.
If you’re a Costco member, or know someone who is, you can stock up on the gift cards to help reduce your monthly cost.
*Do you want to include exercise to lose weight? Read our guide on how to find cheap gym membership deals to help save money.*
Pros and Cons
It’s important to take an honest look at any weight loss program. Here are some things to know when considering Nutrisystem.
- Fully customizable – not all diet meal programs let you customize your menu offerings. If you need to diet, it’s easier when you have a plan you can adapt to.
- Foolproof – dieting isn’t always easy, but Nutrisystem simplifies everything. You order your food online, and it’s delivered, pre-packaged, right to your door.
- “Healthy” junk food – If you’re like most, you crave chocolate and junk food. Nutrisystem food includes healthy junk options in their snack offerings to help satisfy those cravings.
- Wide variety of foods – The diet plan has over 160 menu options, so there is plenty to choose from.
- Nutritionally balanced – Most of the foods on the plan are low in calories and sodium, while focusing on smart carbohydrates.
- Lots of support – Through its online site, Nutrisystem offers tons of support, both from other users and from registered dietitians.
- Cost – cost is always an issue with diet systems and Nutrisystem is no different.
- Processed foods – similar to other diet plans many of the foods are processed.
Cost aside, Nutrisytem is worth considering if you need to lose weight.
Companies Similar to Nutrisystem
Nutrisystem isn’t the only player in the weight loss program space. There are other legitimate companies that help you lose weight.
Here are a few of the top alternatives.
|Diet to Go||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Check current price|
|South Beach Diet||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Check current price|
|Bistro MD||⭐⭐⭐||Check current price|
|Noom||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Check current price|
|Weight Watchers||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Check current price|
It’s understandable to have questions before joining Nutrisysem. Here are a few of the common questions people ask before joining the weight loss program.
How much weight can you lose on Nutrisystem?
The diet program claims you can lose 13 pounds and seven inches in your first month. This is on their primary plan they put most people on to start.
Each person is different, so it’s impossible to give a guarantee. However, by following the diet plan and exercising you will lose weight.
Is the food bad for you?
Most of the Nutrisystem meals and snacks are low in sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and include whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
The menu has ample variety and should work for most, including those with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
How good is the diet plan?
Good is a relative term, but commitment is necessary to have some level of success. I was able to lose 100 pounds on the plan, and many others have also seen success.
Each person is different, but the program offers numerous resources to help you achieve your goal.
Does Walmart sell Nutrisystem?
Yes, you can find some items at Walmart, such as shakes, meals, and other food. This is not a replacement to joining the plan though and does not offer any of the resources offered through their various meal plans.
Can you go out to eat on Nutrisystem?
Yes, it is possible to go out to eat while on Nutrisystem but it does take work. Your best bet is a salad without dressing or high fat items if going out for lunch or dinner. Grilled chicken or salmon will also work.
For breakfast look for high fiber items and fruits. When you join, the company offers access to an in-depth guide that provides ideas of what to order and what to avoid at popular restaurants.
How much does Nutrisytem for men cost?
The diet plan has numerous plans, with Nutrisystem for men being one of the most popular. This plan is slightly more than the basic plan.
The current cost of the basic plan is $8.57, $10.36, and $12.50 per day depending on what you choose. Nutrisystem for men currently costs $10, $11.79, and $13.93 per day depending on what you choose.
Remember that if you sign up for a recurring plan that will lower your overall cost.
Diet plans aren’t for everyone. There is a cost to it, and you may not enjoy some of the foods. However, if you’re looking for an easy-to-follow diet plan, that’s full of customization, and helpful resources, Nutrisystem is a legitimate way to lose weight.
Losing weight is more mental than anything. It takes commitment, but it also requires you to choose to stick to a plan. Nutrisystem knows this and helps people on their journey by pointing them in the right direction to find success.
Have you ever tried a diet plan like Nutrisystem and what was your experience? How many times can you eat the same thing in a week without tiring of it? Would you ever pay to lose weight?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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