All You Ever Wanted To Know About Nutrisystem
People could read this expert review of Nutrisystem and find out all they need to know for an enjoyable, fulfilling and successful diet experience in 2021.
Losing weight (easily), feeling and looking good are the top reasons for joining America's No1 meal replacement home delivery diet program!
You will be sure to benefit from knowing all there is to know about it before you join.
I take a look at the benefits of the program and highlight where its strengths stand out. After that, I'll look at what the program consists of and how it works.
I look at the perceived positive and negative aspects (pros and cons) of the program, basing my findings on my own experiences as well as what real customers are saying in online forums and blog comments and those that write in directly to me.
I'll also look at aspects of the program that are not so well known or understood to help people get a better idea and understanding of what this diet program can do for them and why starting a Nutrisystem diet is a must if you're serious about losing weight and want to do it as easily and conveniently as you can.
Nutrisystem 50% OFF Sale: 2021 Promotion
The latest promotion to hit the market is the Nutrisystem 50% OFF sale, which means you only pay half price for the first month. When you select this option when ordering, you buy the first month at half the retail price and thanks to the marvel that is auto-delivery, you don't need to do anything as the second and subsequent 4-week plan shipments are automatically delivered to your door!
That's a spectacular deal, meaning you only pay full price for subsequent months, getting the first for half price!
Note: To qualify for the 50% Off discount, you just need to sign up via the big promotional image to the right featuring Marie Osmond. There is no promo code necessary. Just edit your delivery options and be sure to choose 50% OFF before you check out.
Let's start this full review of the diet by taking a look at the benefits of dieting with Nutrisystem's convenient style of weight loss solution.
The Benefits of Nutrisystem Diets
As already outlined on the front page of this website, there are some pretty compelling benefits to start to lose weight with the Nutrisystem diet plan of your choice. To recap, here they are again:
- Convenient with all your meals delivered to your home
- Time saving with no cooking or food preparation to do
- Healthy, nutritionally balanced, low calorie meals make losing weight a breeze
- Effective for so many people who have enjoyed a successful weight loss diet
- Inexpensive from less than $10 a day for all your food!
There are way more positive aspects to this dieting program that far outweigh any negatives (as listed below). The biggest plus points are all to do with the highly effective way it works for the vast majority of its customers while being simple to follow and easy to stick to.
For most customers who left their opinions online, the taste and quality of the food is surprisingly good when compared to similar meals sold at supermarkets (most of which it should be noted are not low in calories or necessarily as healthy to eat). Add to that the low cost of the meals and their incredible convenience at being ready to eat with no cooking or preparation aside from popping into the microwave and you have an effective dieting system that practically runs itself!
How Nutrisystem Works
The way that this diet program works is very simple, highly convenient and time saving in the extreme. You start by selecting the plan that best suits your needs and placing your order. In a few days, you accept delivery of the meals and store them as outlined in the instructions.
The bulk of the meals can be stored in a cool place like a pantry, some meals can go in the fridge and any frozen meals, the freezer. The actual volume of the meals is not as great as many believe and unless you live in a tiny one-room apartment, you will have space for storage.
Just follow the instructions,
eat the meals and lose the weight!
The next step is to get started eating the meals at the appropriate times of the day. You get a breakfast, a lunch and an evening meal with a small dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth. Plus you get two additional protein bars and a protein shake to use between meals. If you are happy with the size of the meals and don't feel hungry, that's all you need to do.
If, on the other hand you feel you need to eat some more, Nutrisystem provides a list of recommended additional foods that you can buy at the store, such as certain vegetables and proteins. These are optional and not obligatory, but you might find it useful to add some extra veggies to your evening meal to make it a little larger.
The rest is pretty straight forward. Just follow the instructions, eat the meals and lose the weight. If you just do that, you should expect to lose one to two pounds per week, or more depending on your starting weight.
If you want to lose more and get fit into the bargain, then you can start an exercise program as well. This is the best way to maximize the diet program because it boosts your body's metabolism and means you burn more calories and use up more of the stored fat that you need to shed.
The Negative Side
Nothing is perfect, at least no one has been able to come up with the perfect diet that is guaranteed to work for every single person that starts it. Nutrisystem is not perfect either. It doesn't suit everyone and here is where you will find most complaints being voiced.
The food that makes up the many and varied meals is the first place we'll look at here.
Makeup of the Nutrisystem Meals
The menus for the standard plans are made up of mainly processed meals or packaged, ready meals that are easily heated up in a microwave then ready to eat. There is a choice of breakfast cereals, buns or granola, lunches with soups, pasta or rice dishes for example and main meal dinners with a dessert. There are also low calorie snack bars to eat between meals to stave off hunger and protein shakes to boost protein intake each day.
The Uniquely Yours plan (formerly Select) comes with a large proportion of the meals as fresh frozen food. This is naturally of a higher quality but costs more. There are some people who are used to eating home cooked meals and while these people may not find processed meals to their taste, they may prefer the higher quality meals in the Uniquely Yours (and Uniquely Yours Ultimate) plans.
Taste of Nutrisystem's Meals
While the majority of dieters like the food in general and often say so in many blog and forum comments, those who do not like it will quite loudly claim it tastes terrible. Some even liken it to all sorts of derogatory things.
I've even heard people say it tastes like dog food, believe it or not. Although I'm not sure how they know what dog food tastes like, unless... um..!
The reality is of course that the food will never taste as good as home cooked meals. This is simply because they are packaged and in many cases processed and taste accordingly. They may not be amazing, but the majority of customers find the taste acceptable and often better than they expected.
Nutrisystem Meal Portion Size
The meals are understandably small in portion size, which some find disconcerting. This is simply answered with common sense.
This is a diet and the point of any good diet is to help you lose weight. That means you have to get used to eating less! Because it is the practice if eating too much that mad you overweight in the first place! Hope that clears that one up...
Nutrisystem and Gas (Flatulence)
Some people report excessive flatulence after eating some of the meals. This is a normal reaction to eating foods high in fiber, which the Nutrisystem meals are.
One of the main reasons for this is that your gut has to get used to eating more fiber, which is healthy and a great way to increase metabolism and the body's ability to burn more fat. At first this can cause more gas to be created in the gut but that will normalize as your digestive system gets used to the increased fiber content of the food.
Nutrisystem Bloating and Gas
If it happens you find yourself getting bloated and gassy on Nutrisystem especially early in the diet, contact their support and talk it through with one of their expert dietitians who will be able to help you and give you a professionally recommended solution.
Nutrisystem and Diarrhea
Does Nutrisystem cause diarrhea? Some customers report getting on of more bouts of diarrhea especially early on in the diet. The main reason this may happen is the same as the above (flatulence) where the body needs to grow accustomed to digesting healthier, high fiber foods that may not have been getting before starting the program.
This is nothing to be concerned about as the body's digestion is just getting used to dealing with fiber that has a natural tendency to pass through the gut more easily than low-fiber and processed foods. It will soon pass. It is worth noting that this is another reason it's not too often you'll hear of anyone getting constipated on Nutrisystem.
That just about covers the majority of negative aspects that some customers have mentioned when reviewing this program. One final problem some people have encountered is in understanding how the auto-delivery system works, which I'll explain in detail below:
Understanding Nutrisystem Auto Delivery System
Auto delivery perplexes some people who sign up for the program. Many new customers are attracted by the big money off deals that are promoted, but they fail to read the terms and conditions printed on the official website, or they read them but don't take note of the implications.
It sometimes happens where a person thinks they can order a single month of food, enjoy the discount and free delivery and then cancel before the next month's order gets auto-shipped to their home. Then they get a nasty shock when they are told they have to pay a penalty for early cancellation and they are also charged for the shipping.
The message here is to make sure you understand what you are signing up for!
When you sign up and take advantage of one of the promo deals, you agree to stay on the program for a minimum of two months. That way, you have to pay full price for the second month supply of food, but you keep your first month discount and free shipping. You can cancel before the third month is dispatched with no penalty. Make sure you do this in good time and it has to be done by phone.
What Else Do You Want to Know?
That pretty much covers the main concerns and queries concerning the Nutrisystem diet. Now that you know what the major benefits are to dieting with America's favorite diet delivery program, how the program works, its disadvantages and understand the perplexities of auto-delivery, we can look at some of the things that people want to know other than the mainstream questions that get asked.
How Much Weight Can You Lose with Nutrisystem?
Q: How come some of the promotional material shows people that lost 30-40-50 pounds or more on the diet when the website says to expect to lose only one or two pounds per week?
A: The people who lose a large amount of weight are real as are their achievements. In most cases, that weight was lost over several months of dieting. In some of the cases where people lost in excess of 50 pounds, they may also have done an exercise program in conjunction with the diet.
What Does Nutrisystem Cost?
Q: Is it true that you can eat a Nutrisystem diet for less than the cost of regular meals?
A: In many cases, it can actually work out cheaper to diet with one of the regular Nutrisystem diet plans. At 2021 prices (time of latest update to this article), the regular diet plans work out at around $10-13 per day for all your food, depending on which plan you choose. This is generally less than people spend on eating breakfast in a diner!
For a breakdown of the exact and most up-to-date costs of the various plans, please read my article dedicated to this topic at: "What Does Nutrisystem Cost Per Month" where I've been busy coalating the information from the official Nutrisystem website and presenting it in easy-to-read form all in one place.
How Many Calories Does Nutrisystem Allow Per Day?
Q: How many calories per day are allowed by Nutrisystem?
A: The three main Nutrisystem diet plans (Basic, Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Ultimate) provide from 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. This level is carefully calculated to place you in the optimum calorie intake range to help you lose a healthy and very sustainable average of one to two pounds per week.
Across the main plans, the calorie levels are slightly biased toward the lower figure for women and the higher one for men. This is achieved by adding an extra snack bar each day to the men's plans. The calorie totals are arrived at assuming you are not adding any extra protein sources like yogurt to the meals as they carry additional calories you may not want (the choice is yours whether to add to the meals or not).
For those that exercise/workout vigorously on a regular basis or those that need to lose more than 100 pounds, Nutrisystem may recommend that you add calories from SmartCarbs and PowerFuels to help you achieve the best weight loss results. Men should not exceed 2,000 and women 1,500 calories per day.
One last thing. If you're considering this question with the idea that you might be able to sneak a few hundred extra calories worth of treats, DON'T DO IT! Don't even think about it because it's a very, very bad idea.
Stick to the food that's sent to you and only add foods what Nutrisystem say you can add (if you really must) if you want to succeed. Cheating, even if you think it's only a small amount and no one will notice, will almost certainly wreck the diet.
Can Unused Food Be Carried Over to the Next Day?
Q: If I can't eat all the food provided on one day, can I save it for the next day and eat extra?
A: While this may seem like a great idea (and it's OK to do it occasionally), it's better to stick to the meals provided for each day. The reason being that each day's food is calculated to provide the right number of calories as well as the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates fats and fiber to cover all your body's nutritional needs. By missing out any of the food one day, then adding it to the next day, you effectively alter that balance.
If, after reading this review you believe that Nutrisystem might be the right diet for you and can help you achieve your weight loss goals in an easy, convenient and time saving way, then please go ahead and click your mouse on the image below. You can take advantage of their latest deal and in doing so, will automatically tell Nutrisystem we sent you, which is a great way of saying thanks to us for providing you with this review.
Imagine... how great you are going to feel losing weight this easily...
What Do People Say About Nutrisystem?
Reading an expert review is usually enough to help a person decide if they want to go for a particular diet program like Nutrisystem or not. But sometimes it helps to see what other people are saying about the product to get a rounder, fuller picture of what you are going to be undertaking with a program like this.
To help you there, I have included a section for readers to write in and voice their own stories and experiences on the program. Below, you'll find a collection of emails that readers have sent in to me here that I have published for everyone to see and gain some inspiration, confidence and motivation from.
Just so you know, while its fine to voice genuine concerns and add constructive criticism of any product, I am not including out and out complaints. So I'd appreciate it if you would please not write those in to me.
There are places you can do that which are read by those few who are, in truth, looking for excuses not to go on a diet. This is a positive place for the majority who DO want to lose weight and get feedback from real people who are really doing it. Here are their stories:
The first email comes from Dorothy, MN and here's what she had to say:
It was with some trepidation that my aunt got started on my new diet with a mind to lose some weight--my target was 30lbs--without having to put too much work into it. I chose the Nutrisystem core diet for women because I'd heard so many good things about it. When the first month's package arrived at my home and I opened the box, I was a little surprised at first. You see, the box is not as big as many people think it will be, despite the fact that it contains 28 days worth of food at three meals per day plus snacks and protein shakes. But I guess as they're all pre-packed and ready to go, once they're all stacked neatly in the box, it is surprising how small a space they fit into.
Anyway, I was determined to make this work. So I got started in earnest and that's when I got my second big surprise. I found that I actually liked the food! Now I know this shouldn't really come as a surprise because the food is really pretty good considering it is processed and pre-packed like it is. Sure, there are some people that complain loudly, which is how most complainers do it. Some say they hate the food.
But I also happen to know that the vast majority of customers disagree and like the food. And I'm one of them! I progressed through the first month of the Nutrisystem diet really well without cheating! I was pretty happy to lose 9lbs altogether, so I was stoked when my second month came. I lost 11lbs through the second month and in month 3, lost 8 lbs totalling 28 lbs. That was close enough to my target for me to celebrate. Just for the sake of your readers Natalie, I helped things along by drinking lots of water and getting out of the house for long walks in the fresh air every day. I'm sure that all helped. So, I lost almost all the weight I wanted to lose, so I was very happy I chose that particular diet system after all.
Thanks for your great review,
Here's the next email from Michelle, NJ and her story:
I wanted to share the experience of a family member who surprised us all with her new found ability to change. It was my younger cousin who was forever complaining about her weight. But she never really did much about it except let us all know how dissatisfied she was with the way she looked. And how she was unattractive to men who she would have dearly loved to date.
We tried to be diplomatic about it. But the truth was she was terribly overweight and lacked any confidence in herself. Then a friend, who was not so backward in coming forward told her about how the Nutrisystem diet had helped her to lose weight. She told her how it really didn't feel like she was even on a diet for most of the time. Well, we were all shocked when we found out that my cousin had actually listened to someone for once!
She signed up for a month long diet with Nutrisystem. She amazed us all after that month had gone by when she announced that she had lost a whole 12lbs in weight. And she had ordered a second month of the diet. Another month passed and she lost another 10lbs and had become visibly slimmer, although she still had some way to go. She continued on this diet for another two months and lost all the weight she needed to.
Now she looks great and has started dating again for the first time in a few years. Now that was certainly worth putting in the effort to get the result she wanted. Now she is far happier than I think I have ever known her to be! And it was all down to Nutrisystem making a diet she could stick with!
Now for an email from Steven, NY:
A few months ago, I wanted to make some changes to the way I looked, mainly because I had become a little overweight by about twelve pounds which was making me feel bloated and also more tired than usual. So I looked into the Nutrisystem plan for men for a solution. I have to say I liked what I was reading about it.
So I decided to give it a try. Well, when the box of food arrived at my home and I opened it up, my first impression was that it was just a pile of junk! In truth, I wondered how anyone could eat all that packaged stuff for a whole month.
But I guess I have a pretty determined spirit and seen as I had bought and paid for it, I was just going to have to eat it! I got started right away and after the first two days, I soon realized that the food actually was fairly reasonable considering it was all freeze dried, processed or frozen.
The snack bars were a nice extra and I soon found myself liking the desserts as well as the main meals. You know what? I stuck with the diet for the whole month, no cheating and lost 14 pounds! That was two more than I planned for and I was totally over the moon.
It was something of a revelation to me, because I never believed you could lose weight just by eating less. I always thought you had to workout like a demon to shed the extra pounds, but now I know better. I guess the best part about the diet was the variety of the meals, because I never really got bored with it at all. I guess that's why I now realize why most people stick with the diet all the way to the end.
I'd appreciate it of you could print this email on your site so that others can benefit from my experience.
Oh, and thanks for writing such an honest and true to life review,
This next email from Stuart, CA tells an incredible story and one I am really stoked about printing here:
Hi Nstuf Team,
Deciding on which kind of strategy is best for shedding some of the excess weight I have been accumulating for the past few months was turning into a major headache. I was saved when I found myself looking into the pros and cons of the Nutrisystem diets that had caught my interest from some ads I saw online. It seemed to me that this could be the kind of diet that would suit me right down to the ground.
I lead a pretty hectic life, with very little of what you might want to call spare time for anything, especially not for working on some diet or other. But after reading about the program that this diet home delivery company offers, my ideas changed somewhat. It looked like I would not need very much spare time to work with this one, because they do all the stuff I hate to do, like cook food, prepare all the food ingredients, weigh the food, work out portion sizes and never mind counting calories!
With this diet, I do not even need to go to the store to buy any of the food, which is a great time saver in itself. So my next step was to check their website again and check out all the meals that I wanted to include with my order and got to work on ordering my first week of work free diet meals and see how much weight I really could lose by doing almost nothing except eating!
I got a big surprise because I liked the food! Didn't think I would so much after reading that some people hated it, but I guess it's a case of everyone to their own. I stayed on the diet for a solid three months and lost what to me was an incredible 28 pounds in total.
After I went back to normal eating, I found that "normal" wasn't my old "normal" any more but I had gotten so used to eating smaller meals that it seemed unnatural to pile a load of food on my plate. So I literally halved the size what I used to think of as a normal meal and it has remained more than enough ever since.
I haven't gained an ounce since I stopped the diet and never went back to eating junk. Just home cooked meals for me and no sugar stuffed "good stuff" that I realized I don't even need any more. I can't recommend this diet enough to anyone who really means to lose weight and keep it off long term.
This really motivating email was sent by Susan, WA:
The thought of dieting or exercising like a lunatic to lose weight was a no go area for me. I needed some options to look at for my own needs. So I decided to find some decently written diet reviews to find out as much as possible as I could about the possibilities and came across your website.
I really wanted to see if Nutrisystem was the right diet for me to do and if it was actually compatible with my own personal needs and preferences. After all, I did not want to be stuck with a diet that I hated and was locked into some contract that would lose me money if I tried to get out of it. Some of these online diet delivery companies are like that.
They tell you great things in their ads and make it look like you get some great discount on a set period of diet food, but when you sign up you find out that you have to take an ongoing order that if you cancel, you lose your discount and get billed for the delivery, even though the ads say it is free.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out more about this diet from you and I admire your honesty in actually spelling out the way their autodelivery works and how people can get caught out. That made me intrigued to see if it would work for me and knowing what I should and should not do meant I could try this diet and not get ripped off.
I went for it, ordering my first month and paying the retail price, not the discount so I knew I would be free to quit if I needed to with no penalty. I tried it and I actually didn't mind the food at all. It wasn't great, but certainly good enough to eat and stick to.
I lost 9lbs in that first month and that convinced me to go for a second month. I lost another 8lbs and then decided to quit. I now watch what I eat and 2 months down the road I lost a further 6lbs all by myself!
Definitely worth trying and if you can get used to eating small meals and not get tempted to snack, I figure if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Thanks for your great review Natalie,
I'm sure this email from Eva, IL will inspire some of you to get started on your own plan as soon as you can:
My story is not too different from many that I already read on your reviews page except I don't think I attained success quite so easily as some seemed to. I'm another one of those everlasting fat people that went to school and had kids make fun of me and never getting any thinner. As I got older, I just kept getting fatter and I sometimes wonder what was making me do it.
By the time I graduated, I was 210 pounds which for my 5 feet 3 height meant I looked like am overstuffed meatball! But I don't think I ever hated myself, I just didn't seem to notice I was so heavy and out of shape.
When I was 30 I met a lovely guy who didn't seem to mind my size at all and after about a year of dating, he proposed! For the first time in my life, I actually realized I needed to lose weight so I wouldn't have a bunch of wedding photos with a beached whale staring back at me.
I tried a bunch of diets and failed every time. I tried starvation diets and they made me lose weight alright but I felt awful and hated feeling hungry all the time. It worked well enough and I managed to get down to 160 pounds in four months of torture. My wedding photos were lovely and I'm glad I worked so hard to look good in them.
But soon after the wedding, I was eating my usual way and inside six months, I was tipping over the 200 pound line again. I stayed that way for the next ten years, gaining and losing a few pounds here and there but never really getting serious about it.
Then on my fortieth birthday, I just happened to get those wedding photos out again and felt a pang of guilt that I had not tried to keep myself looking as good as I did back then. I was suddenly filled with an overwhelming urge to get back to dieting and not to spend the next ten years just getting fatter and fatter.
I didn't want to go the starvation route again but needed some structure in my eating so that I'd still feel like I was enjoying my food but not piling on so many calories each day. A friend recommended Nutrisystem so I went online and did some research, which was how I found your site Natalie.
I decided to give it a serious shot and well, that decision was made six months ago. I stuck with the core women's plan for all that time and I'm delighted to report that I weighed in at 160 pounds last weekend and was so happy. I must admit that the last month was a struggle as I went into it weighing 163 pounds and found it tough to get those last three to leave my body! But I did it.
My plans for the future are to keep eating small meals like I have gotten so used to now and never go back to all the fatty and sugary stuff I used to gorge myself on. This time I am determined to do it and I believe I can because I'm enjoying eating this way rather than starving myself and feeling bad.
Sorry this email is pretty long winded but once I started writing it I knew I had to get all the important stuff down as much for myself as to help to inspire your readers. Thanks in advance for adding my story to the others on your great site!
I got a great email from a guy called Tom, WA who was really glad he didn't listen to his friends because they all thought Nutrisystem was just for women! Here is his story:
Like many people, I always believed that those commercial diet programs were all aimed mainly at women, as guys tend to want to eat something more substantial. In fact, I was put off trying this diet for the longest time because my friends all seemed to agree that it was only for women and men needed a "man's" diet! I needed to lose forty pounds--that was the target I set for myself in any case--but I just wasn't losing anything or I'd lose a few pounds then put them right back on again.
Eventually though, after I wasted a lot of years--yes years!--trying stupid guy's diets that didn't work for me, or in the case of Atkins, just made me sick, I caved in and decided I would try it and just not tell my friends. After reading your great review site where you actually cover the Nutrisystem for men side of the program, I was so impressed by what is possible with such a system that I just had to sign up.
I was a little nervous at first because even though I had read a lot about this dieting system, I was still not confident it would be as I expected it to be. But when it arrived a few days later, I realized that I had been fretting for nothing. I opened the box and was pleasantly surprised at the sheer variety of food that was in there.
Sure some of the pasta meals were freeze dried but then I'm used to eating that kind of thing normally, so it was no great downer for me. What did impress me were the fresh frozen meals that made up a proportion of the order. Luckily I was prepared and had already cleared space in my freezer, so it was no problem to get those packed away safely first.
The rest went into my kitchen pantry and then I started on the food next day at breakfast so it would all be in order and a clean start. I loved the food--I don't get why people complain about it cause its not so bad at all. There were a few things I wanted to change, so I tweaked my next month's order to get it just so. You know, I went on for another two months before I cancelled because I'd reached my weight loss target--40 pounds lighter--before I finished all the food for the last month! Was I impressed? You bet!
Natalie, if you publish this email--and I hope you do--I hope this gives some hope to guys like me who spend too much time listening to friends advice when I should be listening to my own!
This email is from Valerie, WY who has some nice things to say about how she managed to afford the cost of the Nutrisystem diet plan she chose:
When I first heard about Nutrisystem and the way they send you all your food, I was not very impressed by it. I just couldn't get the idea of having all that food stored in my home and had visions of piles of food containers spilling out of every closet and drawer in my home! Of course, after I read up on it some more, I realized that wasn't the case and it was pretty obvious a lot of people were having good success with this diet.
After a change of heart, I decided I would try it after all. I wanted to find out more on what it would cost overall to pay for a Nutrisystem diet direct from their website as it seems to be the most obvious way of doing this. I like that it is laid out in a pretty simple way, because if there is one thing I really dislike and that is filling out lengthy forms for anything. Not only that, but I firmly believe that the more boxes you are given to complete, the more chance there is of making a mistake and then having to go back and do the whole thing all over again. Not so with this diet, as their sign up process is pretty straight forward.
What I also think may make a big difference to me and the way that I eat is that this kind of diet is very structured and well planned. It means I'll have to knuckle down and eat right instead of eating haphazardly. I tend to eat a large meal here, a snack there, a really stupid blow out every so often and all the candy bars and other sugary treats filling in for the times when I wasn't even hungry, but just bored.
This diet should put a stop to all of that because not only are the meals all there for each day, but the very fact of having to pay for the diet means I am certainly not about to ruin it by heading to the store to buy candy bars! So my first delivery arrived three days ago and I got started at once.
The meals are actually better than I expected, a real plus! So far I've stuck to the meals only and bought some additional green veggies and protein (low fat yogurt) as recommended in the literature to add to them. So far I'm doing just fine and will weigh in after the first week is done. I'm really excited by this, not only that I'm enjoying the food but that I'm really doing it--for real!
Wish me luck... yours,
This email comes from Joe, MN who wrote in to say:
I have mixed feelings about this diet. I went 4 months last year through spring/early summer and dropped 24lbs in total to get to 160, which is comfortable for my height of 6 feet. It meant I could get my clothes off at the beach and not feel like a tub of fat for the first time in years! I was a good boy for the rest of the year and watched what I ate. I didn't gain any in all that time.
Then over Thanksgiving and Christmas something went awry in my brain and I just reverted back to eating loads of cakes and cookies, which was my downfall before! By Jan 1, I had regained every single last pound and felt terrible. None of my new clothes I'd bought to celebrate my new look fit anymore. I had to go with a heavy heart to buy larger size clothes and it hurt! I knew I had to do something fast before I got out of control and got any bigger, because I was getting depressed and you know how it is when that happens. You eat more for comfort!
I signed up for another go with Nutrisystem a week into January seen as how it had really helped me before. I was all fired up and ready to go again. I guess just taking that positive step really helps. The first month was amazing. I lost 6lb in the first week and was already feeling great again. By the time my second month of food had arrived this month, my weight was down to 174 - 10lbs lighter!
But in the first two weeks I only lost a further 2 lbs, so I'm starting to worry I might not get back to 160 as easy as I did the last time. Am I doing something wrong? I'm only eating the food they send plus a few grocery items they recommend. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I wrote back with some advice for Joe and for anyone else out there that's worried they are losing weight too slowly, here's what I wrote:
Losing weight at the rate of 1-2 pounds per week is accepted by most experts as the correct rate of weight reduction. So don't feel like you're going too slowly, because you're really going at the right speed! You can help the process along by taking light daily exercise such as walking or swimming as this helps increase your metabolism and you'll burn more calories each day resulting in more fat being used up.
If you have any concerns, don't be afraid to pick up the phone and talk with Nutrisystem support about it. They're very helpful and can usually steer you past any obstacles that might be making you feel you're not quite on track. Whatever happens, keep with the diet and stay positive and you'll succeed!
I got this great email yesterday from Andrew, TX who wanted to share his story, even though it wasn't directly about him. Instead he related a story of a good friend who we shall name Cathy to keep her true identity secret:
Even though it's not about me, I wanted you to share this story of my very good friend who proved that even against the odds, a person with enough determination and willpower can make their dreams come true.
It's a fact that anyone who has a mind to succeed with the diet program like this one can achieve that success with the right application of determination and positive mental attitude. So here is the story of my friend who did just that!
After many years of being overweight and really getting tired of buying outsize clothes, Cathy decided that she was going to make a real effort to lose weight and finally get rid of her tent size wardrobe of matronly looking clothes. She knew that she needed to do something pretty drastic because she had never really tried dieting with any sense of need before and had always believed that she was a fat person and would always be one. After talking with an old friend, her views had been changed and she came to realize that she did not have to remain trapped in her oversize body any more if she did not want to.
It was a pep talk that was to change her life. The friend suggested that Cathy try a Nutrisystem diet plan, because she herself had been very successful with one a year or so previously and she was certain that Cathy could be successful too. Well, that was all the convincing that Cathy needed and she signed up for the women's plan and eagerly awaited her diet meal package to be delivered to her home.
She was pleasantly surprised at how good the food tasted and she really enjoyed eating the meals. She loved the convenience of not having to cook or even to prepare any food and soon started losing weight in a way that she had never before thought possible. Cathy lost all of the excess weight over the next few months and got her wish of a new wardrobe of regular size clothes for her new slim and great looking figure.
I just received this question from Margie:
I don't understand how Nutrisystem meals last that are on the shelf at WalMart. There certainly can't be frozen things in there.
How do they stay fresh?
I haven't visited WalMart in quite a while, so you got me there. Nutrisystem's frozen meals come from Schwan's so I'm not sure that WalMart stock them these days. If on the other hand they're the regular packaged meals there on the shelf, they'll have a limited shelf life and "best before" date stamped on each one. That's how you can tell if they're fresh or not.
I just got this email from John, CA that is well worth adding to the list here:
This is a great article and since we're both highly knowledgeable about the program, I hoped you would be so kind as to add this resource to your page to provide your readers with additional information if they require it. That resource is my own Nutrisystem reviews and cost article accessible by clicking that link.
Being a family doctor for the entirety of my working life and helping so many people to manage their weight more effectively over the years, I had not come across a diet program as comprehensive and successful as this before. That's not to say it's the healthiest I've ever seen, since a large percentage of the food comprises processed meals.
But for the sheer effectiveness of getting so many people to lose weight that would otherwise have become unhealthily obese through failing at more complex dieting strategies, this program does the job best of all. The thing I like most about it is that there is the recommendation to add healthy fresh vegetables to the main meals, thereby adding few additional calories while vastly improving the healthfulness of the meals by the addition of added fiber and the nutritional goodness that is contained in fresh vegetables.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world and further thanks in advance for sharing mine too.
Dr John Cook
This just in from a really determined reader, Laurie, who saw Dr Cook's entry and wanted to add her own point of view to his wisdom:
I was reading through the comments of your review article and saw Dr Cook's entry. What an insightful man! From my own experience I have to wholeheartedly agree with his opinion that while Nutrisystem might not be the healthiest food, it gets people to lose weight. It absolutely worked for me and I am exactly one of those people who was failed by other diets time and time again.
I'm no spring chicken, but still want to feel young at the tender age of 64. Yet I was almost ready to give up and accept my own doctor's advice to check into a nursing home because my type II diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure were going to finish me off otherwise. Then I heard about Nutrisystem from a friend and decided it was my final throw of the dice. It was either lose weight or say goodbye to my life as I know it with nothing to look forward to but a future inside the grounds of a care home.
At first I did not like the food one bit. It tasted OK but I was not used to eating "ready meals" and that tainted the way I viewed them. But as this was my final attempt at the impossible task, I soldiered on. I was too afraid to weigh myself after the first week so I didn't go near the scales until the end of week 2. I was shocked to see what I weighed... I had actually lost six pounds. No way, I told myself. The scales must be broken or something!
I went around to my friend's home (the one who had recommended Nutrisystem to me) and used her scales. They read the same. I really had lost weight!
I was galvanized into action. I stuck that diet out for three full months and in that time lost an incredible 32 pounds! My doctor was also stunned and after tests declared I no longer had type II diabetes, my blood pressure and cholesterol levels had normalized and I was healthier than I had been for decades!
For anyone who likes to complain when their food doesn't taste so great or moans they're not losing enough weight because they're secretly cheating or whatever, I'm living proof that this is good medicine. It does work, it worked on me and if I can lose weight, I firmly believe anyone can if they truly mean to with the help of this diet.
Thanks for letting me have my say, Natalie,
This email arrived last night from Geraldine, VA who had some nice things to say about the diet and how great she was doing with it:
I just had to write you after reading your great article two months ago and then going for Uniquely Yours with my husband, Alan. We were both about 30 pounds heavier than we should've been. Because we are both real busy with our jobs, neither of us had the time or inclination to do a diet. But we knew we both needed to lose weight and when I read what you wrote about it being easy even for busy people like us, we both decided we should do it.
Well... amazing isn't a good enough word for what happened! The first week we both lost 5 lbs each and after that I settled in to dropping about 3 lbs a week while Alan kept dropping 4-5 lbs each week. After the first month, I lost exacly 14 lbs and Alan, 19 lbs! The food is actually pretty good despite what I've been reading from some folks who say they hated it. What's to hate? I think choosing a lot of fresh-frozen meals has helped some. It was definitely worth spending a little more for the best plan for us both.
We have auto-delivery so the next four week package arrived two days before the first pack of food ran out. Great service! After month 2, which is now, I lost a further 12 lbs for a total of 28 lbs. Alan lost another 15 lbs for a total of 34 lbs!
We are so stoked, we wanted to make sure we didn't go back to old habits. So we allowed the month 3 delivery to come. We've already started it. Another thing, we used to do a lot of cycling when we were younger--we're both in our 40s now. The bikes got stored in the garage 10 years ago, so I got them out last weekend, cleaned them up and we both started cycling again. That's thanks to having confidence again, looking better than we have done for years and wanting to look even better and get fit again.
This is all thanks to Nutrisystem and your article and recommendation. Thank you so much Natalie, you gave us our lives back!
The latest comment came in an email from Hilary, FL with a message that was surprising as it was interesting:
I read your review with interest because I have been wavering on the brink of trying Nutrisystem to lose 20 pounds and wanted to know more about the food itself. Not so much what it tastes like or how small the plates are, but what's in it.
More precisely, what additives are in that food!
I've become interested in learning about the artificial components of foods that are either processed or packaged for our "convenience" as I have already lost two family members to cancer. I suspected their diets played a big part in their ill health, much of it made up of processed food. Neither of them could or would spend any time preparing or cooking food for themselves or their families.
I believe the incredible rise in junk food consumption is closely linked with the rise in obesity, diabetes and cancer. Not the food itself, but the additives that go into it. I personally no longer buy any food that comes in a can, jar or packet from the store because it nearly all contains one or both of these two additives:
1. The sweetener HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) which has many aliases.
2. The flavor enhancer MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) which also has many aliases.
Both these additives lead to impacted liver function. The liver is a vitally important link in the digestive process as it filters out toxins and processes sugars. When it is working at full capacity, we will not gain any weight because almost all of the excess sugars are correctly dealt with.
It is when the liver is underperforming that more of the excess sugars are stored as visceral fat. These two additives reduce the ability of the liver to do its job to the full, which is why they should be avoided at all costs.
MSG is toxic to the liver. Ask any medical expert and they'll explain why that is much better than I can. HFCS is a sweetener that is not recognized by the liver the same way it recognizes sucrose (sugar) and it tries to deal with but cannot, leading to fatty liver and a rise in the level of stored visceral fat.
I believe, as do many others that this increase in visceral fat is a major contributor to various forms of cancer as well as diabetes.
I also believe that it is the reduced liver function caused by ingestion of these two substances (among others) that allows visceral fat to increase in volume and mass. Now to drop my bombshell:
If packaged diet foods like Nutrisystem also contain HFCS and MSG, how can they ever help people to lose weight when they impact liver function leading to increased fat storage?
Could it be that such diets are produced by manufacturers that are well aware of this point? Do they sell the diets to people who might lose some weight in the short term, but are being set up for further weight gain through reduced liver functionality?
A situation would be created where former customers come back for further rounds of dieting (for which they must pay)!
Perhaps you can set my mind at ease by confirming that there is absolutely NO trace of HFCS or MSG in any of the Nutrisystem meals, shakes or snacks?
I did some checking of my own and came up with some interesting information:
Thank you for your fascinating email and straight-to-the-point questions about food additives in Nutrisystem foods. I have your answers straight from Nutrisystem themselves!
MSG: There is NO Monosodium Glutamate in any Nutrisystem food product - period!
HFCS: Nutrisystem food products do NOT contain High Fructose Corn Syrup!
That's great news for anyone concerned about aspects of food other than just calories. Another added bonus for you health conscious dieters, there's absolutely NO Aspartame in the food either.
This message came in from Josie, NYC:
I have trouble dieting for many years, nothing works. I always eat large meals followed by big desserts all home cooked from recipes passed down from my mother. I am 45 years old, weigh 190 pounds and 5ft 3in tall but look like fat pudding!
A friend said try Nutrisystem so I look at it online but I don't think I like processed food. I read your review and I think I can do it. I chose Uniquely Yours because meals look better and I have plenty space in freezer. So much food arrived! I start diet on August 2 but still cook normal food for family while I eat special meals. The food is not as nice as my own, but its OK. I do what is said to drink more water and add lots of vegetables to main meal so I do not feel hungry. Not as full as after one of my own meals, but OK.
After first week I weigh myself only 184 pounds and feel so positive. How can this be? I write this down in diary. After second week, I weigh myself 181 pounds. After third week, 178 pounds. This is all so amazing to me. I just weigh after week 4 and now 175 pounds. I order second month of food to continue.
My goal is 160 pounds but I think maybe I can lose more? I will see. Thank you for your review that convinced me to try and have such good success!
This message arrived yesterday from Hayley, CO that needs to be seen by others:
I just got through reading your great review of Nutrisystem. I wanted to write you to say I started 2 months ago on the Core plan. The food was so-so and to be honest, I wasn't really inspired to continue. I like to eat good food and in my opinion, what I was getting from the packets was not what I'd call "good" for most of the meals anyway.
I nearly gave up but a friend managed to dissuade me by telling me she had started the same way but switched to the Uniquely Yours plan on month 2. She said I'd like the food a whole load better. So I took her advise, got all the way through month 1 on Core and ordered Uniquely Yours for month 2. I was much happier with the food and now I'm getting ready to go to month 3 on the same plan.
So far I already lost 16 pounds and I'm really proud of myself. I always struggled with diets before and never managed to lose more than a pound or two. So this is a really amazing thing for me. My simple message to anyone else struggling with the food on the cheaper plans is CHANGE IT UP! Uniquely Yours is much better and so worth the extra cost for the better quality meals.
I'll be publishing more readers' emails as they come in. Thanks to everyone who wrote in and if you have a story to tell, please send me an email using the address printed in my "contact" page.
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