Not all diets out there promote healthy weight loss. Most health and nutrition experts recommend that you choose a variety of nutritious foods to eat daily, and only avoid foods if you have specific dietary restrictions that change the way you can eat. Some diets focus on numbers; others require eliminating certain foods or food groups.
Thankfully, there are professionally developed diet programs out there, like NutriSystem, that have been around long enough to create a form of dieting system that works, is healthy and ensures that you will get all the nutrition you need while still getting to enjoy the foods you look forward to the most.
Read on to learn about what makes the NutriSystem program unique, how you can benefit from its highly customizable model, the kinds of foods you can get when you pay for upgraded subscriptions and stories from real people who have successfully managed to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle while following this diet.
NutriSystem Diet Review
NutriSystem is a diet program that aims to help people lose weight, have more energy throughout the day and improve their overall health. It offers paid meal plans to give structure and convenience for people who are trying to incorporate more healthy eating into their lives. Since all food is delivered right to your home, it can be an easy way to help you get started on a healthy, maintainable weight loss journey.
Unlike many other diets out there, NutriSystem does not require that you cut out certain foods or food groups. The more you are willing to pay for a subscription, the more freedom you have to choose the foods you want to eat.
NutriSystem Basics and Rules
Think of NutriSystem as something similar to the recently popular food and meal delivery systems popping up in major cities across the United States. Depending on the plan you choose, NutriSystem will deliver food to you that is healthy, will give you energy and help you lose weight in a healthy and safe way.
There are three separate NutriSystem plans available to choose from. Each one lasts for four weeks, and each different plan comes with added benefits despite the extra cost, such as more customizable menus for each day’s meals.
The basic plan includes free shipping on all orders, and when you choose this plan, you get a kit of pre-selected ready to eat foods to serve as your meals. You do not get to choose the foods provided in this kit, but NutriSystem guarantees that you will receive healthy food options that will provide what you need to stay healthy and energized over the course of the month while you also attempt to lose weight.
The core plan, like the basic plan, includes free shipping. It also allows you to choose from over 100 different foods to add more of a customizable variety to the meals you get to enjoy over the course of the four-week plan. The other major benefit of the core plan compared to the basic NutriSystem plan is that you have access to various types of support, including the program’s food tracking system, as well as other tools, dietitians and counselors who will willingly help you along the way.
Finally, the uniquely yours NutriSystem plan is the biggest and most expensive but arguably the most valuable of the three available plans in terms of customizability and food selection options. In addition to everything you get from the core plan (food tracking and support), you will also be allowed to be in complete control of all of your menus. You get to pick and choose what is included with each meal, so if there is a certain food you really do not like, you have the ability to switch it out for something else. You can also choose from over 150 snacks and meals, and you have unlimited access to as much frozen food as you want, in case you want to store some food for longer periods of time.
NutriSystem also offers specialized plans, in addition to its three main plans, to accommodate people following diabetic friendly diets or who have adapted to a vegetarian lifestyle. In short, NutriSystem is a diet system that most people should be able to follow depending on different dietary needs and preferences.
Now that you know more about NutriSystem, how it works and the kinds of options that are available to subscribers, let us break down a sample meal plan based on different food options available under the NutriSystem diet brand.
Menu and Meal Planning
NutriSystem’s ‘food philosophy’ ensures that you will receive only the best, most nutritionally beneficial foods available. Meal plans are high in fiber and protein, lower in carbohydrates (called “SmartCarbs”), relatively low in sodium and free of preservatives. As to be expected, this diet also completely eliminates trans fats.
One major benefit of NutriSystem is that you are able to purchase entrees and snacks, but you are also given helpful suggestions of healthy foods to buy to add to those entrees. For example, NutriSystem provides bagels, but cream cheese appears on the grocery shopping guide, letting you know that it’s still healthy to add things to basic items you might receive in the mail.
Here are a few examples of menu items you can order depending on your NutriSystem plan. You can view the detailed descriptions of each item for suggestions on what to purchase separately to add ingredients for more flavor or to make a full meal. For example, NutriSystem offers a flavored beef patty, but it does not come with a bun provided in your order.
- Wheat bagel
- Apple cinnamon oatmeal
- Black beans and rice
- Chicken fajita melt
- Hickory smoked beef burger
- Macaroni and cheese
- White cheddar popcorn
- Chocolate sandwich cookies
- Whole grain soft pretzels
- Snack mix
Grocery Shopping Guide
On its website, non exclusive to its subscribers, NutriSystem offers a grocery shopping guide to help you include fresh foods like fruits and vegetables in your new diet. You never again have to guess what’s healthy and what isn’t. Foods are divided up into four categories: SmartCarbs, PowerFuels, Vegetables and Extras.
SmartCarbs are foods that contain nutrient rich carbs with a low glycemic index score. PowerFuels are foods that are high in protein. Vegetables include familiar non-starchy vegetables, generally your green, orange and purple plant foods (starchy vegetables, like potatoes, are listed as SmartCarbs under NutriSystem). Extras include things you would typically add to foods that do not come with NutriSystem orders, like spreads, dressings and various spices.
Here are a few examples of items suggested on this list:
- SmartCarbs – items such as corn, hummus, lentils, pineapples and potatoes.
- PowerFuels – items like chicken breasts, eggs, milk, salmon and yogurt.
- Vegetables – such as beets, broccoli, carrots, eggplant, squash and zucchini.
- Extras – foods like cream cheese, honey, maple syrup and salad dressings.
Does NutriSystem Work?
NutriSystem promises that if followed, you can lose a minimum of one to three pounds per week on average for as long as you stick to the plan, or until you have reached a goal weight or are at a point where you should not or do not need to lose any more weight.
While this might not seem like much, this is actually the average amount of weight experts recommend people should lose in a week’s time. Too much more than that can result in negative health consequences like muscle loss, malnutrition and fatigue. Down to its most basic concepts, NutriSystem encourages healthy weight loss, and supports the idea that gradual weight loss through changing your dietary habits is the right way to go.
What other benefits can NutriSystem offer its subscribers? Let’s look at how this diet system has helped people lose weight and live healthier in just the first four weeks.
Reviews and Weight Loss Results
“I started on NutriSystem February 8th, 2016 so it’s been almost one year. To date I have lost 75 pounds. I’m not sure on inches as I did not take “before” measurements, but I can say I also went from a pant size 20/22 down to a size 10.
The easiest part about the diet is there’s no prep-work and it works even if you don’t do any working out. Everything is color-coded and it’s really a no-brainer! The hardest part about the diet is staying on track if you travel a lot for work. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy to take the dinners with you as they are a little bulkier. NutriSystem accounts for this by giving you plenty of guides and tips for eating out on your own.
I’ve personally tried countless diets in the past as I’ve struggled with my weight nearly all my life. NutriSystem is the one plan I’ve found that works for me consistently. Other diets may work for a couple of weeks, but life gets in the way. NutriSystem fits into my life making easy for me to stay on track and the results speak for themselves!”
Before and After Success Stories
“I started NutriSystem in June. I started on my own in January and only lost 10 pounds. Once I started NutriSystem, I lost 29 pounds between June and August.
The most difficult part of the diet is the PF and SC. I still don’t know what they are I just eat and exercise.
The diet takes time; be patient, drink water, exercise, get plenty of sleep, eat your veggies and you’ll see change.”
If you are looking for a diet system that offers convenience, healthy food and the chance to lose weight the healthiest way possible, NutriSystem may be something you might want to consider trying this year. The nice thing about this program in particular is that you aren’t required to make any long term commitments. Each plan lasts only four weeks, so if you try it for a month and you find it is not working for you, you are under no obligation to continue.
Some people really do find that having food delivered to them makes it easier to stick to a healthy diet. All the food you need is right there in front of you, so there’s much less of a temptation to eat what’s not included in your plan. Also, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on good food. There are recipes that include chocolate in there … lots of them. If this ends up being a diet that works for you, you’ll be pleased to learn that it IS possible to eat the foods you love and still lose weight and be healthy.