NutriSystem Review

What is it?

The weight loss industry has discovered convenience in a big way. Along with Jenny Craig, NutriSystem is one of the leaders at providing easy-to-follow weight loss programs that take the thinking, calculating and measuring out of dieting. After signing on and informing the delivery department where you live, all you really need to do as a NutriSystem member is keep supply of fresh veggies and dairy products in the fridge and a clean fork in hand.

NutriSystem got its start as a traditional weight loss program with a network of local community outlets. Several years ago, it made the switch to being an online service, although it has also purchased a line of fitness centers known as Slim and Tone. One of the main advantages NutriSystem has over some of the other portion-controlled weight loss programs is its price. NutriSystem is affordable by comparison.

How it works

NutriSystem’s six different “Advanced” weight loss programs for men and women (including options for diabetics and vegetarians) are all based on the glycemic Index. Under this approach, carbohydrate foods are considered good or bad depending on the speed with which they break down in the body. Carbohydrates that break down slowly are rated low on the glycemic Index, which is a good thing, while those that break down quickly are rated high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly encourage stable blood sugar levels. Those that break down more rapidly cause insulin levels to spike, encourage the body to store fat and result in feelings of hunger soon after a meal. Foods high in protein and fiber are superior sources for low glycemic food.

NutriSystem’s prepared meals emphasize good carbohydrates and are also low in fat. All meals are either ready to eat, can be prepared in the microwave or you complete them by adding boiling water. Each day’s food lineup consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Daily calorie amounts range between 1200 and 1500. The macro-nutrient ratios are about 55 per cent carbohydrates, 25 per cent protein and 20 per cent fats. Once you’ve joined the program, you receive a 28-day meal supply.

At sign up, you undergo an online analysis to determine your daily calorie needs. NutriSystem uses this information to design your individualized meal plan. The goal of the diet is sustained weight loss of about two pounds a week. The website offers recipes, lots of dieting information and an active dieting community. One-on-one counseling is available through email and online chat. An appealing feature of the program is that everyone who subscribe to one of the food plans gains access for free to all areas of the site.


NutriSystem’s prepared meals for different times of the day include the following:


* Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
* Blueberry Flavored Pancake Mix
* Lowfat Granola Cereal
* NutriFrosted Crunch Cereal
* Peanut Butter Granola Bar
* Scrambled Eggs with Veggie


* Beans & Ham Soup
* Cheesy HomeStyle Potatoes
* Chicken A La King
* Fettucini Alfredo
* Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
* Tomato and Clam Chowder


* BBQ Sauce over Beef, Beans and Rice
* Cheese Ravioli with Basil Tomato Sauce
* Flatbread Pizza
* Mushroom Gravy with Rice and Salisbury Steak
* Teriyaki Sauce, Rice, Beef and Vegetables
* Wedged Potatoes with Sliced Beef Steak


* Almond Biscotti
* Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti
* Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks
* Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
* Sour Cream and Onion Soy Chips
* Strawberry Shortcake Bar


The NutriSystem program recommends physical activity. Members can access an online exercise module, offering beginner, intermediate and advanced workout plans.

The good

NutriSystem’s structured diet program is comprehensive yet simple. This is a weight loss plan that covers off shopping, cooking, counting and measuring and even thinking about what foods are good for you and what are not. Unlike Jenny Craig, the program that it compares to most closely, NutriSystem does not require a contract or membership fees. Meal plans are designed based on a convenient online analysis of calorie needs, and one-on-one counseling is available with meal purchase. The lineup of counselors includes dietitians, LPNs, RNs, CNAs, health educators, aerobic and fitness instructors, customers successful on the program.

The bad

There’s no getting around the compromise in freshness and tastes that comes with prepackaged diet meals. Another downside of prepackaged foods is they can be high in sodium content. Dieters use programs like NutriSystem to start losing weight and get on the path to reaching their long-term goals. The transition back to preparing one’s own meals is a challenging. The solution is to be sure you incorporate healthy eating habits into your post-diet routine or you could wind up putting the pounds back on.

The cost

The company’s 28-day At Home Program costs about $US280 a month. You may cancel or change your order at any time.

The bottom line

NutriSystem is intended to provide a healthy portion controlled diet for a short time period. If you follow a strict 1,200-to-1500-calorie diet, you most likely will lose weight. But you also will need to move on from the diet once you’ve reached your goals within the program. At that time, it will be up to you to begin making good food choices. Be committed to learning about nutrition and managing your diet. Grocery store aisles and restaurant menus can be treacherous, so the more you know and the more determined you are, the easier it will be to stay on track.

Learn more about NutriSystem.