Intro When you hear someone say they’re eating organic in the United States, what they mean is they’re choosing only to eat agricultural crops that…
What Is Nutrisystem
What Is Nutrisystem
The popular Nutrisystem diet program is a portion-controlled eating plan with prepackaged foods delivered to your home. It offers different programs for men, women, vegetarians, seniors, and people with type 2 diabetes.
The meals emphasize lean protein and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index such as whole grains and vegetables. In addition to pre-packaged foods, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins from the grocery store are added to the meal plan.
The foundation of Nutrisystem’s program is the nutritious, pre-portioned, prepared meals delivered to your door each month. These chef-created meals are designed to be high in lean protein, fiber, and low-glycemic (good) carbs, and low in saturated fat and bad carbs.
How Nutrisystem Works
Nutrisystem provides several programs for different types of dieters and different budgets. There are separate programs for men and women, as well as options for vegetarians, people who have type 2 diabetes, and people ages 60 and older. Each plan provides three meals per day plus one snack for women and two snacks for men.
Within each plan, you can choose your own meals or you can choose the “Favorites Pack” where meals are selected for you. Nutrisystem recommends that you start with this option.
Most plans start with the “Turbo Takeoff” to help jumpstart your weight loss during the first week on the program. The Turbo 13 program claims to help you to lose up to 13 pounds plus seven inches (overall) in your first month.
Each plan provides a different level of service.
- Basic: Start the first month with the Turbo 13plan, then receive portion-controlled meals as well as access to online tools and trackers.
- Core: Start the first month with the Turbo 13plan, then receive portion-controlled meals, access to online tools, trackers, and diet counselors on call.
- Uniquely Yours: Start the first month with the Turbo13 plan, then receive portion-controlled meals including Nutrisystem’s frozen cuisine. You also get access to online tools, trackers and diet counselors on call.
Each of these plans is also available for dieters with type 2 diabetes, but the Turbo Takeoff is not included in those programs.
After you choose to subscribe to a Nutrisystem program, food is delivered to your door. If you sign up for auto-delivery, you’ll continue to pay for and receive orders every four weeks until you cancel your subscription
- Prepackaged meals and snacks from Nutrisystem
- Fresh or frozen vegetables
- Lean proteins
- Restaurant meals
- Store-bought food other than those listed as compliant
- Sweets and desserts other than Nutrisystem brand
Most of the food on the plan is provided by Nutrisystem, and the standard shelf-stable foods are convenient to carry and reheat. The best tasting entrées are the fresh-frozen meals, which are only available on the Uniquely Yours plan.
What is in the Box
The Nutrisystem Food
Nutrisystem offers over 160 menu choices, but how do can you tell if specific foods are good?
Then, select a meal (breakfast, lunch, etc) and you’ll get a sortable list of foods. By default you’ll see them listed by “top-rated,” but you can change that
Do not forget to Click on any food and you can read all customer reviews for that specific food, including the bad ones.
- Best food? The hamburger is highly rated at 4.6 stars (out of 6000+ ratings), and the Italian Turkey Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza at 4.5+ stars
- Worst Food? Reviews say you should avoid the Fiesta Mac & Cheese and Mushroom Risotto, which usually disappoint customers at 2.5 stars.
Will Nutrisystem Work for YOU?
To determine whether Nutrisystem works, we’ve looked at customer reviews, expert ratings, and clinical research. We can conclude that Nutrisystem usually works, but that doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
Before signing up for Nutrisystem, ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you overweight? If you don’t address the psychological component of obesity, your initial weight loss may be unsustainable
- Do you like to cook? The foundation of the Nutrisystem program is the prepared meals. If you enjoy cooking or expect a variety of gourmet food, you may be disappointed by the “heat and eat” approach
- Are you going to be disciplined? If you follow the program, the math says that you’ll lose weight. If you cheat, tire of the food, or don’t adjust to the eating schedule, this diet will probably fail you
People all have very different personalities and lifestyles, so no single diet will work for everyone. For example, while some people may flourish with Nutrisystem’s structured approach and menu limitations, while others may bristle at the idea of such a compromise.
Customer Reviews: PROS and CONS
We read hundreds of good and bad Nutrisystem reviews which included some common praise and complaints.
Every diet has strengths and weaknesses, so let’s consider the pros and cons of Nutrisystem:
PROS: Common Praise
- Convenience: About 90% of people say that they don’t like to cook. Nutrisystem tells you what to eat and when making it a favorite of busy people and a popular choice for people who have tried the DIY diets and apps without success
- Fast weight loss: Nutrisystem is rated highly for “fast weight loss,” and customers seem to agree, as the first month of the program is designed for just that.
- Structure: Do you find that DIY diets give you a bit too much freedom? This is a common problem, and can inhibit weight loss results. If you follow the Nutrisystem program and log your meals, the math says you’ll lose the weight.
Nutrisystem’s strength is convenience, and it seems to be a good diet option for busy people who need structure. Have the DIY diets failed you? If you are willing to sacrifice menu freedom for weight loss results, consider Nutrisystem.
CONS: Top Complaints
No single diet is right for everyone, so let’s learn from bad reviews and stories of failure. Here’s what users complain most about in bad reviews:
- Cancellation fee: Customers venting anger about Nutrisystem’s cancellation fee is the biggest complaint in user reviews. If you don’t like the program cancel in the first 14 days. If you cancel after 14 days but before your second shipment, you will be charged $125. Learn more about their cancellation policy here.
- Food taste & variety: Switching from complete menu freedom to a structured diet of pre-packaged meals is not easy for some people. One bad Nutrisystem review criticized their menu as being, “the return of the tv dinner.” Other users complained that there isn’t enough variety of foods, especially if you choose their lower-end plans that don’t include frozen foods.
- Price Increase: Here’s an important one. Some promotions, including their “$100 off“ seasonal promotion do not lock-in the promotional rate. These coupons only apply to your first 3 months, and by month 4 you may be surprised by a price increase. For the best deal,
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s worth watching this short video with answers to all of your FAQ’s.
The Nutrisystem food, however, is heavily processed, and while the entrées and snacks help dieters to learn portion control, they don’t necessarily promote healthy food choices
For example, if a dieter gets used to eating Nutrisystem cinnamon buns or hamburgers every day, continuing those food choices after the diet is complete may cause the weight to come back.
The program costs between $250 and $600 a month depending on the plan you choose, plus the cost of additional foods from the grocery store such as vegetables, fruit, and dairy that you’ll need to supplement your diet.
The prepackaged food on the Nutrisystem diet is mostly processed foods, which are not the healthiest. Source However, the company pledges to not use artificial flavors, sugars or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or trans fats.
Nutrisystem is not a good option for anyone on a gluten-free diet, especially people with diagnosed celiac disease. Almost all meals on the plan contain gluten ingredients—muffins, donuts, pasta, sandwich melts, pizza, etc. The few meals that include no obvious gluten are not intended for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity due to gluten cross-contamination in processing
Get started with Nutrisystem
Many women and men who find success with Nutrisystem have failed with the do-it-yourself diets and apps, and are now willing to make compromises to reach their weight loss goals.
With more than 45 years in the diet industry, the Nutrisystem program is a time-tested weight-loss plan that has helped millions of people reduce. The plan is easy to follow, convenient, and pre-portioned to keep calories at the optimal level for weight loss.
- Pre-portioned servings
- Convenient, little food prep needed
- Varied menu
- Nutritionally balance
- The Cost
- No eating out
- Not safe for food allergies
- Processed foods