Controlling your food choices and fitness is easier said than done, but with a weight loss program like Nutrisystem, all of these can actually be made easier for you.
On a Nutrisystem program, the majority of your food is delivered straight to you in appropriate portion sizes, so it's impossible to Fit up when trying to lose weight.
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What Is the Nutrisystem Diet?
Nutrisystem is a 28-day low-calorie weight loss program and meal delivery service.
The company provides you with a meal plan in the form of prepackaged meals which are delivered straight to your door and require minimal preparation. You may occasionally have to buy some fresh vegetables, but it's mostly very easy to follow.
Nutrisystem dishes aim to consist of roughly 50% carbohydrates, 25% fat, and 25% protein. This way, you feel full while eating fewer calories than usual.
They're also very big on so-called "smart carbs" which avoid raising your blood sugar too high.
There are many foods containing these carbs, including things such as oats, whole grains, wholemeal breads, brown rice, and more. These carbohydrates help to supply you with energy throughout the day and keep hunger pangs at bay.
The healthy eating company was founded in 1972 by Harold Katz. After starting out as a brick-and-mortar Nutrisystem weight loss chain, it adopted the online direct-to-consumer business model in the late '90s.
How Does It Work?
There are many different versions of Nutrisystem available depending on your age, gender, and many other factors.
We think this customization is good, because too many diet programs have a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to food.
If you ever read the diet reviews for other diets, you'll often see people complaining that they feel hungry all the time – sometimes they just aren't eating enough because they're following generic meal plans. With Nutrisystem, you get 3 meals per day which are tailored to your needs.
Women are also allowed to have 1 snack per day, while men are allowed to have 2 snacks per day. As unfair as this feels, men just naturally tend to use more energy on a daily basis.
There are different plans to choose from, although most dieters will start off with the "Turbo 13 Plan" which is designed for people who are just starting their weight loss journey.
This "turbo takeoff" will supposedly help you to lose 13 pounds in your first month, depending on your starting weight and gender.
After your "turbo takeoff," your Nutrisystem meals become more regular, aiming to encourage gradual weight loss in the long run.
Depending on the package you choose, you may be able to customize your menu options and use special online tracking tools and systems which allow you to monitor your results over time.
Nutrisystem foods are designed to be low-sodium and lower-glycemic foods, meaning that you're eating healthier foods for your body.
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What Foods Can You Eat?
While on the Nutrisystem plan, you're encouraged to eat three pre-packaged meals per day, in addition to some snacks. There are many healthy foods that you can eat on the plan, as well as "healthy versions" of junk food.
For example, choices include double chocolate muffins, margherita pizzas, and mushroom-stuffed chicken breasts.
These options are designed to be low in calories while being filled with nutrients, lean protein, and fiber.
If you want to snack or eat more than the meal plan allows for, you can increase your portion sizes with non-starchy vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes.
Dieters can eat as many of these low-calories vegetables as they like, and they're great for people with diabetes too.
As mentioned earlier, the system is also big on "smart carbohydrates" such as those found in beans, fruit, and whole grains. (1) There are diabetes-friendly protein bars available too for a healthy and delicious snack.
It also places a huge emphasis on lean protein, which allows you to lose weight and gain/maintain muscle mass while keeping your heart healthy.
What Foods Can't You Eat?
Now for the bit you don't want to hear… what you can't eat on this diet.
Seeing as this is a diet food delivery service with strict dietary guidelines and pre-packaged meals, you're not allowed to consume outside meals such as meals from restaurants and cafes.
You also need to greatly limit your alcohol intake over the course of the week, which may cause your problems if you're a regular social drinker.
It's generally advised that you avoid alcohol on most diets, and this is no exception.
Finally, we've got bad news if you like condiments… toppings such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and avocado are discouraged on the plan, as they add extra fat and calories to your meals.
- Foolproof – There's very little room for error with Nutrisystem, as you're literally being delivered your healthy food in the correct portion sizes. You cannot "accidentally" purchase junk food from the grocery store and absentmindedly eat it – you get given exactly what you need and there are strict rules in place to keep you in check.
- Customizable – Nutrisystem comes with several options for customization, so you can easily adapt your diet to your eating habits and lifestyle. For example, there are variations for diabetics and veggies, while more advanced users can request nutritional low-calorie meals which suit their palate.
- "Healthy" Junk Food – The folks at Nutrisystem understand that dieters naturally crave sugar, fat, and junk food. As a result, they have created several healthier versions of these snacks, such as popcorn, cupcakes, and pizza.
- Sticking To It – Most diets have some sort of leeway for eating food from outside sources, but Nutrisystem really demands that you stick to its own recipes and dinners if you want to sate your appetite. As a result, it can be hard to stick to the plan if you work long hours, have a hectic lifestyle, or just spend a lot of time away from your home where all the Nutrisystem-approved food is.
- Weight Loss Rate – some users have complained that it takes longer to lose weight with Nutrisystem when compared to other diets. This may be true for some people, but you should bear in mind that crash diets cause several health problems and losing weight too quickly tends to take its toll on your body.
This means that you can satiate your desires without going overboard.
It is generally advised that slow weight loss is better than fast weight loss because it gives your body time to adapt.
How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost?
Depending on your gender and the plan that you've opted for, Nutrisystem costs differently. For instance, the "Uniquely Yours" and "Uniquely Yours Ultimate" plans cost more money, but they allow you to customize your Nutrisystem meals according to your tastes.
At the time of writing, this is how the cost is broken down for a 28-day Nutrisystem plan - see below:
- Basic - starting at $8.57 a day
- Uniquely Yours - starting at $10.36 a day
- Uniquely Yours Ultimate - starting at $12.50 a day
- Partner Plan - starting at $10.36 a day per person
Men do usually have to pay more than women dieters. However, they also get a little more food/snacks included in their meal plans because men have greater caloric needs than women, so it all works out in the end.
Is Nutrisystem Worth Buying?
Nutrisystem has been in the industry for so long that people trust it more than other similar diet plans on the market.
The pre-packaged meals require minimal cooking and come in the specific serving sizes, which, to be honest, is quite small for an average meal. The rules are clear about what you can and cannot eat on the side. It may work, but it takes away the flexibility and variety to your daily menu.
If you're like we who likes a variety of flavors while sticking to your calorie restrictions, we suggest you check others diets plans instead.