Nutrisystem Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

nutrisystemNutrisystem is a portion-controlled diet plan from the online weight loss company Nutrisystem.

The NutriSystem Diet began in a similar way to Jenny Craig (with bricks-and-mortar weight loss centers), but a few years ago they became internet-only (sometimes incorrectly called nutra system).
Marie Osmond and Dan Marino are their current celebrity spokespersons.

Nutrisystem also has a diabetic option available. (see below)

Nutrisystem Options

The NutriSystem Diet program was once based on the Glycemic Index. Carbohydrates on the diet are generally low glycemic. A typical day would include 3 meals and 2 snacks.

With Nutrisystem, dieters are provided with a customized meal plan based on their metabolic type.

The food is available directly from NutriSystem (via their website), who ship the food directly to the customer. There are options for men, women, vegetarians, and Diabetics.
The idea is to restrict the diet to accurate portions based around the persons required calorie count. Food can selected from a pre-made menu, or you can select individual food items.

The typical meal plan cycle is 28 days.

Nutrisystem  has a transitional program to help people adjust to a new way of eating when ready to prepare their own meals once again.

Considering that a significant contributor to obesity is growing portion size, NutriSystem can be very helpful for some people.

Special Offer: Lose up to 5 pounds in the 1st week for free with Fast Five. Learn more.

Chef’s Table Entrees

Many have had success with NutriSystem, but people have complained about the taste of the food. Nutrisystem listened and created a new line of entrees developed by top celebrity chefs. This was launched in 2011 as a way to clean up their poor tasting food image.

Programs

The NutriSystem Diet program does provide more than a diet. A weight loss counselor is available via online chat (there is apparently no charge for this service). They also provide more information regarding exercise and building a healthy mind.

Five plans are offered, tailored to either men or women.

  • Core: Costs around $85/week with auto-delivery option.
  • Basic Less than $10 a day.
  • Vegetarian: Costs around $75/week with auto-delivery.
  • Diabetic: Costs around $80/week with auto-delivery.
  • Select Plan: Costs less than $12 a day.

Nutrisystem Diet Fast Five

Nutrisystem Fast Five is an accelerated 7 day program designed to deliver quick results. It involves the use of meal replacement shakes.

This consists of the following:

  • 7 specially selected breakfasts, lunches and dinners
  • 7 EnergiZING shakes to rev your metabolism
  • 7 Craving Crusher shakes to fight off hunger
  • Complete meal tracker to keep you on track

NutriSystem D for Diabetics

nutrisystem-dThe NutriSystem D program offers diabetics a simple approach to weight loss that can also help to manage their diabetes.

The program consists of packaged meals that are ordered online or over the phone and delivered to your door. Dieters are provided with calorie controlled packaged meals for each day of the week.

The meal plan includes three meals, one snack and one dessert daily. Dieters can select either a packaged meal plan or can mix and match from the meals available to suit individual preferences.

The daily calorie intakes are approximately 1200 for women and 1500 for men. 25% of the daily calories come from protein, 20% from fat and 55% from carbohydrates.

Foods on the Diet

Here is a sampling of foods on the Nutrisystem diet.

BREAKFASTS

  • Oatmeal
  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • NutriCinnamon Squares Cereal
  • NutriCoconut O’s Cereal
  • NutriFrosted Crunch Cereal
  • NutriFlakes Cereal – 40% Bran Cereal
  • Lowfat Granola Cereal
  • Frosted Oats Cereal
  • Mini Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal
  • Lemon Poppyseed Muffin
  • Banana Spice Muffin
  • Blueberry Bran Muffin
  • Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
  • Apple Granola Bar
  • Cranberry Granola Bar
  • Scrambled Eggs – Smoke Flavor
  • Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese
  • Scrambled Eggs with Peppers and Mushrooms

ENTREES
nutrisystem-chefs-table-entree

  • Butternut Squash Ravioli
  • Citrus BBQ Glazed Pork
  • Whole Wheat Ricotta Crepes
  • Arroz Con Polo
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup

DESSERTS / SNACKS

  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Almond Pistachio Biscotti
  • Amaretto Coffee – Unsweetened, Decaffeinated
  • Apple Cinnamon Soy Chips
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Bar
  • Blueberry Lemon Dessert Bar
  • Cappuccino Coffee – Unsweetened, Decaffeinated
  • Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti
  • BBQ Soy Chips
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Chocolate Shake
  • White Cheddar Soy Chips
  • Mint Hot Cocoa
  • Mocha Shake
  • Chocolate Mochaccino Dessert Bar
  • NutriCrunch Chocolates
  • Sour Cream and Onion Soy Chips

Included Diet Tools

The Nutrisystem Diet offers subscribers a wide range of tools to assist them in their weight loss journeys such as iPhone, Android, and Blackberry Apps, as well as online tools, support, and exercise advice.

Criticisms of This Diet

Like most packaged weight loss programs, they are useful for short term controlled weight loss. However many people will not continuing buying foods like this for the rest of their life, and will have to ‘wean off’ the program.

As with many packaged food diets, some will not enjoy the taste of the NutriSystem food products. There have also been stories of some foods being substituted by NutriSystem at peak times (such as the new year) – this could be an issue if you have a food allergy.

Their new Chef’s Table Entrees hope to cause more people to enjoy the taste of their food.

See also a fuller review of Nutrisystem at Diet Blog.

    Citations:

  • Hubbard, B. (2007). Meal Replacement-Based Weight-Loss Programs. Obesity Management, 3(6), 292-295. link
  • Carlson, J. (2014). Of the Most Common Weight-loss Programs, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and Medifast, which is the most effective?. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: March 16, 2016. Disclaimer
  • Kacie

    The food gave me really bad stomach cramps.

  • stephanie

    I’ve been on nutrisystem twice. The first time I lost 35 lbs,then I had a baby, now I’m working on the second time through. The food has greatly improved since last time I was on it. I also tried the vegetarian route but got quite bored with it since there isn’t much variety yet and it also gave me stomach cramps. Since I started the regular womens program a week ago along with walking at least a half hour every day and i have already lost 5 lbs!

  • Kelsey

    I don’t think this plan actually works.
    From what I hear the food is horrible and the most
    poundage you lose is about 2 pounds. This sounds
    more like a publicity stunt then a diet.

  • Terry

    The food is nasty! If you try to order food that sounds good, Nutrisystem substitutes with awful food. Most weight loss was due to water loss.

  • Steve Parker, M.D.

    I tried their beans-and-rice and lasagna. Not bad. Their actual food does not look as appetizing in reality as it does on TV.

    -Steve

  • Donna

    i ordered it and was very let down. the food was gross and i just ended up throwing it out. Waste of money

  • Kim Heidler

    Does anyone out there have any suggestions for low-sodium meal packages that can be delivered to one’s home? Mom is visually-impaired and we are seeking some alternatives.
    Blessings,
    Kim
    nathealeduc@aol.com

  • Jane

    This is the only diet that has worked for me. I work long hours and don’t feel like cooking when I get home or preparing lunches for work. There are a lot of foods that are pretty good (chili, ham and beans soup, good snacks) what do expect, it’s a diet and it works if you follow it. It’s not that difficult to translate into store bought food if you take the time to do it. High energy, reasonable quick weight loss, agreed with my system, lots of fiber. It worked for me, years ago and now.

  • Sarah

    Not to be gross, but the food made me very stinky to say it kindly. I think that it is highly process with loads of sodium and who knows what else. I think it may help some people lose weight initially, but I don’t think it is healty to stay on it for more that a few months. It does not offer a life long solution, and I think in the end people may wind up fatter than when they started this yo-yo diet.

  • Lorraine

    Some of the food is really good, and some I’m not so much a fan of. But the beauty of this diet is that you CHOOSE your food. So if you don’t like something one time, you can avoid ordering it next time. My issue with this diet is that it’s so very expensive. :/

  • Chris

    If you look at the ingredients of their meals, they look far from healthy

  • Jeannie

    This is the ONLY diet that has EVER worked for me. Yes, some of the foods are ‘yucky’, but I just didn’t order them the next time. And like Jane said, it’s just a matter of translating store bought food to the same idea. I have ‘cheated’ a few times and am still losing an average of 3 pounds a week. This is the first diet that I am never, and I mean NEVER hungry. Sure it’s expensive, but my health (not being obese) is worth it. Staying on it long term is not an option because of the high sodium content, but it really has ‘taught’ me how to eat right! And eating fruits and vegetables is not considered unhealthy! Only 15 more pounds to go!

  • austin dillenger

    it was my time of the month, and i was feeling very hungry.. i had to eat 6 of these meals to finally get full.. such a disappointment.. after i ate these nasty meals i got very bad cramps.. i havent lost any weight at all. is it because i eat to many of the meals at one time? Its not my fault im addicted to food.

  • krystal

    its great.. i liked it.. it explains alot

  • Lauren

    First of all..the food is not packed high with sodium. It is very low in sodium. You need to eat more dairy if you are having feeling stinky. Second, if you don’t like the food…don’t eat it. Do something that works for you. Nutrisystem has worked for a lot of people because it is showing healthy food choices and portions. Many people enjoy the food! Including myself. Of course nurtrisystem is not a “life long” diet…you have to teach yourself how to eat. Americans are so used to eating gigantic portions that you get upset when the right amount is offered to you. Be fat or not…the choice is yours – whether it is nutrisystem or not – you should compliment those who are trying to do something about their weight.

  • Anonymous

    I am on my second week of NutriSystem and I have to say most of the food is horrible. I have had a few good things, but overall I will not purchase another month of food. I think Jenny Craig has much better tasting food, though both programs aren’t cheap.

  • nate

    this diet doesnt work and i dont likethe food and i didnt lose weight… i actually gained afew pounds

  • Michael

    I have no Idea how the food tastes

  • nikki

    how areu suppose to know what the good carbs and bad cards are after you are off the diet?? it makes no sense because there is no such thing as as a good and bad carb because either way they sre going to turn into sugar… its like the Nutrisystem is advertising FALSE HOPE

  • Jennifer

    I lost over 90 pounds on Nutrisystem in less than a year. It’s simple- it works if you do it. If you let the food sit in the box in a closet- it’s not going to work. If you don’t like a certain meal, don’t order it next time. It’s not rocket science, and no one ever said that dieting was enjoyable!

  • bob

    This diet is great i love it and it works for me perfectly. I have been on this diet for 3 weeks and have lost 19 pounds.

  • Anonymous

    Eat all the green vegtables and red meat you can. Then add store bought frozen meals and create your own diet. It is cheap and healthy. I did it and lost 32 lbs the first month!

  • Issa

    I live in Jordan can I get `how to lose my wieght in 5 monthes.
    my wieght: 100kg.
    my Hight:178cm

  • T

    I lost over 50lbs on NutriSystem. The food was not horrible at the time, but it is hard to maintain that weight loss once I was off the program (like any diet I guess). I would recommend it for anyone who does not have time to prepare healthy meals for themselves. I tried to restart the program after I gained some weight back though, and I couldnt bring myself to eat the food again. It wasnt bad then, but it does get expensive so I’m trying to go the cheaper route.

  • Roxy

    The food was completely awful. I had horrible stomach cramps and the snacks were overly salty. Too much soy (soy can change estrogen levels in women). Customer service was a joke. I do not recommend this diet at all. Save your money and buy locally grown fresh food.

  • CAROL

    I just started this diet 1 week ago. I was on the Medi-Fast Diet and they give you a book on the program. It contained DIRECTIONS so you don’t have to call a counselor all the time. There were instructions on how to substitute food, exercise and how to go off the diet successfully. I decided to try Nutrisystem as I got tired of the same Medi-Fast food. Nutrisystem needs to do the same. Give us a book of instructions!. I still don’t understand the program after many calls to a counselor. So far I have only gained weight. I’ll stay on it for awhile and if I don’t loose weight I’ll go back on Medi-fast where I lost 54 lbs.

  • jessica

    I’ve been on Nutrisystem for 19 days and lost 9 lbs. And my goal to lose is 30 lbs. which would put me at 130lbs. I think the food is good. This is a diet people! Eating all that “delicious” food is what got you FAT in the first place. If you didn’t lose weight then you weren’t following the plan. I think it’s actually impossible to not lose weight on this diet! The food comes with a complete book on what else you can eat in addition to the pre-packaged foods. It’s extremely straightforward…. Read it!

  • Mrs. Jones

    to be perfectly honest the food was okay.. but in the aspect of Weigh loss i would say run fast and far from this diet.because while i lost 17 pounds the first week! its not worth it because guess what i gained over 60 pounds back after i stopped eating it due to the fact that it almost put me in the hospital from the cramps it gave me. Unless you plan on eating this food for the rest of your life!!! do not do the program. i would not want someone to go through what i am know and feel more horrible than when they started..i dont even want anyone i know to see me know..so please please…dont do it.

  • grandmom

    I have been on Ntrisystem now for 11 days. The first week I was hungry but I expected that. If you expect to lose weight you will have to cut down the number of calories you consume. I know I was consuming way to many.
    As you get older you need to consume even less and also increase your exercise. The food quality varies but I have not had prolems eating anything.It is very convenient. The instruction book -IF YOU READ IT!- provides me with all of the information I need and an exercise video is included.
    I haven’t gotten on a scale yet but I know I have lost weight and I now feel great. I follow the program exactly and add in all of the foods they recommend. I have even eaten out 2 times! So far so good for me and I will continue as I have over 50 to lose..

  • marsha

    I have been on Nutrisystem for 3 months and have lost 26lbs, i like the food and it is very convenient to take to work, the diet does not work without the excerise along with it. the powerwalk cd is wonderful and i am seeing amazing results i have dropped 2 sizes and will keep on going with this diet till i loose 40lbs more. if you don’t like a certain food then don’t order it the next time its very simple, you have to be serious about loosing weight and keeping it off if you want to be successful, for a person with a back injury, knee surgery and shoulder surgery i am having no problem doing the exercises and my back is stronger than ever. good luck

  • maria

    The NS diet does work. Anyone who says they are gaining weight are NOT following the diet. NS doesn’t claim to keep you fit for life, that is up to you to do; take some responsibility folks. If you do some research, you will see that the sodium levels are less than the daily recommended levels. I have been on the diet for 2 weeks and lost 4# each week. You have to exercise with the program, just like any other diet. NS food is not the best, but don’t expect to eat fattening and delicious foods on any diet you go on.

  • Wendy

    I’ve been on this diet for only 3 days and what I’ve had so far is far from appetizing. I did Weight Watchers before and had much better luck with preparing my own meals and deciding what I wanted to eat each day. The food is just gross. I have called twice now to have the advisors reset my login to get help online and still on day 3 I can’t access the websites member information.

  • Vicki

    I’ve been on nutrisystem for about 2 weeks. Here’s the good – it works, as I’ve lost about 5 pounds. It’s also convenient, as all of the portions are premeasured. I really like the bars they give you for lunches because it’s easy to eat on the go. But the bad is that the food ain’t good in my opinion. It’s not BAD necessarily, but it’s not good either. Some things are better than others. I personally like the egg fritatta for breakfast, but the wedge potatoes and beef steak is basically bland crockpot food. And the hamburger patty was practically inedible but the nutrichocolates are yummy. So bottom line is that I’m not disappointed, but I won’t do it again…

  • Kelly

    NS really works i have been using it for about 2 weeks and i lost 6 pounds but what i didn’t like is how the food tasted. im not saying that there bad but some foods were good and some were really good.also with nutri system you hav to excerise regullary while eating the foods

  • sarah

    i like this program. for a girl in college it really helps me lose weight. the food is fine for me. i ordered the meals i wanted instead of the favorite meal selection because those foods didn’t look good. it is very easy to understand. people that done under stand it just need to read the book that COMES in the box.

  • Jess

    I hated this diet. The food is TERRIBLE. I thought it would save me money because I was eating out at restaurants a lot, but you still need to add fresh fruits & vegetables- which are the most expensive part of grocery shopping. The food is processed and disgusting and can’t be good for you. You will lose weight if you follow it, but you will be miserable watching the people around you eating food that doesn’t taste like it was made at a factory that manufactures pet food. If you want the portion control that Nutrisystem offers, save yourself the trouble and buy some LeanCuisines at the grocery store. It’s just not something that you can stick to for life.

  • Kelli

    I was on this diet along with my mom, my dad, and later my brother before he moved out. All 4 of us lost weight on it. We followed the meal plans for daily intake and ate out every saturday night just making better decisions then we did before. This gave us a little taste of the “good fatty foods” so that we didn’t get burnt out on the nutrisystem.

    My Dad lost 50lbs, my mom lost 35lbs, my brother lost 40lbs but gained muscle as well with doing his job along with the diet (hanging gutters), and I lost 15lbs (fyi, this brought me to 115lbs, i wasn’t fat before just couldn’t lose a few pounds on my own)

    I didn’t mind the food, there were some things i ate and decided weren’t for me.

    For the first 2 weeks i actually had to force myself to finish my meals, not because they tasted bad but because i was full. I didn’t eat enough in a day and that is why my body was holding on to everything i ate because it didn’t know when i was gonna get food again. After the first 2 weeks I was great with the amount of food, eating more then normal and losing weight.

    I did not combine with exercise either. None of us did.

    Since i have been off the nutrisystem for about 4 years i have gained the 15lbs back but now that i have been given the tools to succeed i know now that i can do it on my own when i want too without nutrisystem

  • Cheryl

    I’ve been on NS now for 3 weeks. The food is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had bad gas for the first week. That went away the second week. Now the third week I’ve got bad stomach cramps every time I eat the food that comes in the tins. I think they use Fiber as the filler/thickener for all their foods. When I signed up, there was some small sneaky wording about “auto-renew”, meaning after one month of food, they will automatically ship you another month’s worth. I luckily found this out and had to call to cancel the ‘autorenew’. Unfortunately, they charged me another $57.00 to cancel the autorenew. I would NOT recommend this diet food to anyone. Way too expensive, food is bad, causes bad gas and cramps and too much fine print.

  • Julz

    Does anyone know where to find the expiration dates on the food? I cannot find them anywhere.

  • erika

    Ok, 1st of all, i’m on this diet for a week, i follow it strictly, and no result, absolutely none. It’s not working for me. Im 22 i have a fast motabolism and it’s just not doing it.

  • Whitney

    I love Nutrisystem and recommend it all the time!!!! I used it in the past when I was in undergrad, and I lost 30 pounds. I kept it off for 3 years, and I actually lost a bit more on my own using the tools I had learned. Being a single female, I found the program to be very convenient, and it fit well into my hectic schedule. I am currently in medical school and have decided to start the program back up (currently in week 2 and 5 pounds down) due to the poor eating habits that developed during my first two years (late night studying is a KILLER–I was also out of the country which made things a bit more difficult for me). I really do not understand the people who complain about the bad taste and “small” portions of the food…isn’t eating big portions of fatty foods what led us to wanting a change in the first place?? I found some items that I was not a huge fan of and opted to just not order them the second time around. I would advise picking your own items instead of ordering the favorite meals option…even if this is your first time, you can still pick things based on what you know you like and do not like instead of being “surprised” when you see something with, let’s say for example, spinach, which you have hated since the third grade. 🙂 Being honest here, the only negative I can find about the program is that it can be a bit pricey up front. However, even with adding in fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy products as suggested, my monthly finances for food are really NOT that much different than before (when I sat down and really calculated it out). Different programs work better for some people more than others. I think the real key to success here is making the decision that you really are ready for a LIFE change and sticking to it! Good luck to those of you who do decide Nutrisystem is the prgram for you.

  • Kelly

    I tried this diet. It did work and it was convenient and I was not hungry. The bad part is that it gave me the worst stomach cramps and gas pains so I had to stop eating the food. I took all of my left over food to my place of employment to share with my co-workers.
    I was disappointed that the food caused the cramping and gas pains.

  • gazebo

    The food is affordable. But I couldn’t continue with it because I couldn’t stand the taste. I would suggest trying the one week free food first before committing to this diet.

  • Susan Courtney

    been on it 3 days now and i LOVE it. the food i think is awesome. i’m full after every meal and actually feel i am eating too much but i am following the plan. i eat 1100-1200 calories a day and exercise 500-850 a day. i’m down 3.5 pounds. everything i have eaten so far tastes really good.