First, the basics. For those of you that have been living under a rock, Nutrisystem is a diet system of prepackaged meals that are sent to your house. They are delivered FedEx to your door, and the delivery cost is included.
You eat 6 times a day. Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, late snack.
With lunch and dinner, you are providing vegetables that you go out and buy yourself to go along with the meal. Two servings per meal.
Once a week, you have something called a “
There’s even an Eating Out Guide that lists good ideas for flex meals at various
It’s pretty easy to follow. Outside of the prepackaged meals, they give you examples of some proteins (Power Fuels) and carbs (Smart Carbs) that are the makeup of, for example, that one snack that you’re supposed to put together for yourself each day (for examples, see my sample meals below).
The meals are decent tasting, and super convenient. Some of the meals are downright delicious. But you may be missing out on them if you’re on one of the cheaper plans.
See, it has different systems or plans:
Basic – they tell you exactly what to eat, so the only freedom you’ll have is on veggies and your self-prepared snack
Core – you choose from over 100 foods and have access to their support online, which apparently is pretty helpful
Uniquely Yours – you choose from over 160 foods, have online support access, and can enjoy “total menu freedom”, which just means you can pick whatever you want every month. Even if it’s all frozen foods (which the other plans limit or completely exclude… and I gotta say, the frozen foods are where it’s at!)
Uniquely Yours Plus – this was what I had, and it has everything Uniquely Yours has plus shakes – it also says “experience ultimate variety”, which I’m not sure if that’s an actual menu change from Uniquely Yours, or if you’re just paying $1.50 a day for a probiotic shake (which is probably the case, but they’re supposed to be great for your digestion!)
They also have a Vegetarian plan, which is basically Uniquely Yours with any of the foods that have meat in them omitted from your choices. So you could do a vegetarian or almost vegetarian diet on the Uniquely Yours or Uniquely Yours Plus plan yourself by choosing the vegetarian meals.
They also have plans specific for diabetes, which must control the amount of added sugars that they have in the meals. And there’s a men’s plan, which is very similar but has more calories.
Here’s a sample day for both men and women as of right now:
Both of these also get three servings of “Extras” (things like coffee creamer and salad dressing) and all of the “Free Foods” (really really low cal stuff like spices, sugar-free sweeteners, etc.) that you want.
Does it work?
Absolutely. If you follow it, you’ll lose weight. I lost about 20 pounds and my husband lost about 15. This was in a month and a half.
- I never thought I’d be interested in having someone tell me exactly what to eat. But when we first started Nutrisystem, we did the small, 1 week boxes that you can find in Walmart. They were a very set meal plan. Turns out, I liked the lack of leniency. It didn’t give me any wiggle room to cheat. So I followed it to the letter. In other words, the strictness of their meal plan is a good thing.
- It’s very portable, so if you’re going out of town for a while or going to work, just bring some of the non-frozen meals with you and you’ll be good to go.
- Most of the frozen foods are pretty yummy, and if you get one of the higher-priced plans, you can choose your meals. So you’re not forced to eat things you don’t like, and you’re still following their plan.
- Extremely flexible when it comes to choosing your
meals ,if you get the Uniquely Yours or Uniquely Yours Plus plan.
- They want you to eat a decent amount of vegetables. It’s not the 10 servings a day that is recommended, but it’s still a lot more than most Americans get, so that’s good.
- The Numi app has great articles, incentives to follow your diet (think discounts on food), and a very easy-to-use food tracking diary.
- Many of the non-frozen meals are just not great. So if you want portability AND yummy-tasting foods, you’re going to be harder pressed to find them.
- The cost that you’re getting quoted for your monthly meals doesn’t cover the one snack a day that you’re getting for yourself, random Power Fuels, or your veggies, which brings the cost of the plan up to higher than you may have originally calculated.
- These foods are all highly processed and many of them have sugars added to them to make them taste good. So while you will lose weight on Nutrisystem, you won’t be eating foods that are as healthy as they could be.
- I was hungry most of the time. Sometimes I felt satiated after lunch or dinner, but not for very long.
I started Nutrisystem when we were living out of a hotel room. It was really great for that. We couldn’t cook very easily and so their prepackaged meals were perfect. The strictness of the diet made it very easy for me to stick to it… for about 3-4 months.
Then something happened. Maybe it was me getting bored of their foods. I should’ve probably started mixing up what I was getting a bit more. Maybe I was getting sick of all the processed foods and it was me getting excited about eating fresh foods again. Maybe it was this blog and me deciding that processed foods aren’t the way I want to go anymore.
Regardless of the reason, I feel in my gut that it’s not a very sustainable solution for long periods of time.
So my suggestion is to stick to it and stick to it well for 3-6 months, lose a bunch of weight, and then when you start getting sick of it, use the ideas for portion control that it’s taught you to start eating fresher foods.
You’re going to lose weight, but you’re not going to be eating terribly healthy foods (except for the veggies and snack that you’re providing). Pre-packaged foods that are made to last until the apocalypse comes are NOT very healthy, even if they are low in calories. So don’t try to make this a long term solution.
Nutrisystem even states it’s not a long term solution, and the whole point of their flex meals are to get you ready for life after Nutrisystem. They give you an idea of portion control and how you should be eating, which you can then apply to fresher foods.
So I’m breaking down my rating for Nutrisystem, because YES, it will help you lose weight. But NO, the meals that they’re providing are not extremely healthy.
Weight Loss Rating: 5/5 Stars
Healthy Food Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (and it would be much lower if it wasn’t for all those fresh veggies they want you to eat)
I’m giving away 5 (sealed!) containers of the Nutrisystem Fresh Fit Probiotic shakes. Chocolate flavored. ($90 value!) So if you’re interested in winning:
U.S. residents only, please.
5 Winners will be chosen randomly on August 31st, 2019 @ 11:59 pm, so leave your comment today!