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.


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.


  • 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


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


  • 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.


  • 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: October 30, 2017. Disclaimer


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.