Last Updated: October 19, 2020

a selection of nutrisystem meals used for the PatriciaandCarolyn review

What is Nutrisystem?

Looking for a Nutrisystem review you can trust? Let’s start here:

Nutrisystem is a home delivery diet that was invented by Harold Katz way back in the 1970s [1]. What first started as a “liquid protein drink program” has now become full service healthy meal delivery service, that supplies all of your meals, snacks, and shakes for the month.

The Nutrisystem diet claims that this makes weight loss easy and healthy, because with their plan you don’t have to think about what or when to eat every week. You also don’t have to do much grocery shopping each week.

Just eat the Nutrisystem foods, and drop weight, people say, but are these claims true?

In this overview of the Nutrisystem meal plan, we’ll take a detailed look at what the diet is really all about, what the science says about meal delivery programs, the price of the plan, the foods people will be eating, and the other key details you need to know before deciding if you want to choose this diet.

How it Works

If you’ve seen other testimonials about the Nutrisystem program and their healthy meal plan, then you know it is a diet delivery service that ships a 28-day supply of portion controlled meals, snacks, and shakes for you to eat every month [2]. Customers can look forward to eating 6 portion controlled Nutrisystem meals and snacks per day.

In addition to the healthy portion controlled foods that the Nutrisystem diet sends to eat, you will also enjoy fruits and vegetables, and some low-fat dairy. This comes in the form of side dishes to the Nutrisystem diet foods for you to eat, or extra snacks.

While the Nutrisystem weight loss plan certainly can make dieting easier, plus more affordable, it may not always the best choice for everyone. It can be harder if you have a large family and aren’t eating for just one, plus you also can’t dine out or make meals on your own as often while on the diet.

Weekly healthy Flex Meals for eating at home or eating out are one option, so there are times where you don’t have to eat Nutrisytem, just be sure to also factor in their prices.

They offer diet plans for men, women, vegetarians, and type 2 diabetics.

Women who are pregnant, children under 14, people with food allergies or gluten intolerances, or those with serious kidney issues should not sign up for Nutrisystem or eat their portion controlled food.

Foods: What You’ll Eat Every Week

a chicken sandwich with fresh veggies

For the most part, plan to eat Nutrisytem weight loss meals and snacks for the bulk of your food each day. These are a variety of frozen healthy Nutrisystem meals, prepackaged preservative free foods, and shakes, and there are all included in the monthly plan cost and what you will eat.

Nutrisystem has more than 160 menu items to eat on their frozen meal plan – here’s a small sampling of what a typical meal might look like each day.

  • Breakfast: The Nutrisystem breakfast plan includes items like preservative free options like cinnamon rolls, waffles, muffins, bagels, and cereal. A delicious way to start the day.
  • Lunch & Dinner: Lunch and dinner items for you to eat come from the same plan, and include entrees like hamburgers, pizzas, stuffed chicken breasts, sandwiches and more.
  • Snacks: The snack and dessert menu features foods like bars, ice cream sandwiches, cake, bars, shakes, and more. End the day with a yummy dessert to eat.

The Nutrisystem diet plan also has plenty of fruits and vegetables that you can plan on pairing with the Nutrisystem meals. This includes things like salads, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, watermelon, and much more. They provide a grocery guide for no extra cost that can help you decide what items to buy that are compliant with their plan.

Feedback from Nutrisystem customers indicate that most of these healthy preservative free foods are real tasty, plus nutritious.

Nutrition

All of the Nutrisystem foods are crafted using the same nutritional matrix. The diet is based around research on what makes meal delivery diets effective and healthy [3]. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Calorie Control: Nutrisystem meals are designed to help keep you in a caloric deficit, so you are primed to lose weight.
  • Low Sodium: While their meals are processed, they do go to extra lengths to keep them low in sodium.
  • Low Glycemic Carbs: People say they only use “good” low glycemic carbs in their plan, which helps avoid blood sugar spikes. This also helps make their plan work better for people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Balanced Nutrients: About 50% from vegetables, 25% healthy fats, 25% from protein.

Foods to Avoid on Nutrisystem Diet

Basically anything that isn’t provided by Nutrisystem, or on their list of approved foods for weight loss compose what you should avoid each day. Foods to avoid while following Nutrisystem each day will include things like junk foods, fast food, carbs, etc. Avoiding these will help bring your food cost down, plus that’s just another additional benefit to consider.

Nutrisystem provides a guide at no additional cost, that shows you exactly what to eat each day and what to avoid, so don’t worry about this part too much.

Is it Hard to Follow Each Week?

For the most part, our research on the Nutrisystem diet finds that it is very simple to follow, plus it’s also cost effecitve. As we mentioned above, having a large family, or if you prefer making your own meals, can make their plan harder to follow each day.

If you’re the type of person who can follow directions and stick with a diet plan, though, then the Nutrisystem weight loss plan may be a good fit for you.

As long as you use the weight loss foods Nutrisystem sends each day, utilize their grocery list as a guide, and follow their diet plan, you shouldn’t have many problems losing weight should you choose to follow their weight loss program.

Menu Choice

When you choose to sign up for the Nutrisystem diet you have the option of picking your own healthy foods for an additional cost, or you can have them do it for you.

If you’re brand new to the Nutrisystem diet, they recommend letting them pick your menu for your first month’s shipment, and it can also be a nice way to keep the total cost down.

RELATED READING: How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost?

Nutrisystem Flex Meals

The addition of weekly healthy Flex Meals to the Nutrisytem weight loss program, means you have the opportunity to prepare your own home-cooked meals, or dine out if you choose. Of course, plan to also budget for the cost of this food. Nutrisystem has food guides to show you what to make, including a grocery lists.

The Nutrisystem diet also has restaurant guides, so you know what to order when dining out, and customers have pointed out that these are big help to making healthy choices.

Do You Have to Exercise?

How much exercise do you need to get on Nutrisystem? You don’t have to exercise every day to lose weight on the Nutrisystem diet, but they recommend people get at least 30 minutes of activity per day [5]. Other testimonials we’ve examined suggested that they were able to get better results when incorporating moderate exercise, which is something to keep in mind.

Physical activities they recommend for staying healthy, include something as simple as going for a walk or bike ride.

Do They Offer Counseling or Meetings?

Nutrisystem doesn’t have in-person meetings, like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, but they do offer counseling from dietitians or health coaches at no additional cost per month.

Plans for Special Diets?

The Nutrisystem diet has special weight loss plans for men, type 2 diabetics, and vegetarians (not vegans). These healthy weight loss food plans cost the same per month as their traditional offerings.

RELATED READING: Review of Nutrisystem for Diabetics

Nutrisystem Pros & Cons

The aim of this Nutrisystem diet overview is to help you decide if their diet food is right for you. We think it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of the Nutrisystem diet, the cost of the plan, as well as whether or not their food is right for you, before joining.

Here are a few additional factors for you to consider:

Pros

  • Nutrisystem Cost: Less Than $9 per Day
  • Proven to Be Safe and Healthy
  • Lose up to 18 Pounds in first Month
  • Plans that Are Easy to Follow
  • Cuts Down on Grocery Shopping & Other Food Costs
  • Large Menu: 160+ Food Items to Choose Each Month
  • Plans for Special Diets
  • Meal & Diet Support Specialists Available
  • Many Positive Customer Ratings
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • Low prices

Cons

  • Processed Food
  • Frozen Meals Aren’t for Everyone
  • Harder to Follow if You Have a Family, or Like to Dine Out a Lot
  • Some Negative Reviews, Typically About Canceling Auto-Delivery
  • Have to Commit to at Least Month’s Worth of Food

Does their Diet Work for Weight Loss?

There are plenty of customer testimonials suggesting that the Nutrisystem diet does, in fact, work for a lot of people who choose try it. How well their diet will work for you, depends on your level of effort, and how well you stick to the diet plan each month.

Some reviews indicate that keeping the weight off for good can be a bit harder, unless you’re committed to following the diet plan and making lifelong changes, and can make healthy eating and exercise choices after you’ve stopped the diet. It turns out, eating at home is generally considered to be healthier [4], so that may be something you want to consider when the diet ends.

Right now, Nutrisytem says you can lose up to 18 pounds during your first month following their diet plan. Average weight loss results are about 1 to 2 pounds per week for those who eat their food and choose to follow the diet program.

This can help calculate how long you will need to follow their diet as well. Assuming you’re able to lose 10 to 18 pounds during month one, and then 1 to 2  per week after that, you can get a could idea about how long it will take to reach your goals.

That said most people don’t need to stick with the diet for long (typically 2-3 months) to reach their goals. Wondering how long it may take to drop pounds? Learn more at the Nutriystem website:

How to Maximize Weight Loss on Nutrisystem

If you want to maximize your weight loss results when following Nutrisystem, the best course of action is to follow the program as closely as possible.

They make this easy, by sending you everything you need to be successful after joining. Make sure to read through the materials they send, utilize the NuMi app as your guide, and connect with a Nutrisystem counselor or support specialist if you have any issues or aren’t sure about something.

RELATED READING: Nutrisytem for Men Review & Menu

Real Customer Testimonials + Complaints?

There are plenty of reviews of Nutrisystem for you to consider, and if you’ve done any research, then you may have noticed that most reviews tend to be on the positive side.

As already noted, Nutrisystem has been in the diet business since the 1970s, and it’s hard to stay around that long, unless you have a product that works.

Because of their more than 40 years in the diet industry, there are lots of reviews about Nutrisystem for potential customers to read, should they choose to do so.

For the purpose of our review, we’ve selected a few of the top Nutrisystem diet customer testimonials we’ve examined – both the good and a few complaints – to share with you here.

We utilized Consumer Affairs, a third party resource for gathering verified customer reviews about Nutrisystem, to find an accurate representation of what real reviews are indicating about the program. Here’s what we found:

Let’s start with the positive reviews.

Positive Reviews

Teresa, a verified Nutrsistem review from St. Paul, Minnesota, appreciated the convenience and results that it provides:

I have been using Nutrisystem for almost a year and I am very pleased with the food and the results. My food always arrives fast and tastes amazing… Nutrisystem is flexible and offers me the convenience I need.

James, from Goldsboro, North Carolina, shared a real review of Nutrisystem Fresh Start. He says he learned what it takes to keep the weight off for good this time:

I lost 60 pounds on NutriSystem! I want to share my success story in having lost the weight I needed to lose. I went on the plan, followed it, added exercise to my daily routine and lost the weight. I have been off of the plan for two months and have kept the weight off. I believe I have learned to eat the right amount of portions as well as the right kinds of foods.

Kim, a verified Nutrisystem reviewer from Clermont, Florida, said she appreciated their excellent customer service:

My frozen item came in I couldn’t get home before midnight and I opened my package and everything that could melt did. There was no dry ice. I emailed last night and customer service had a new order out this morning. Thank you for the quick prompt service.

As you can see, these reviews indicate a very positive experience from real people who have used Nutrisystem. Most of the reviews we’ve read lean on the positive side, but there are a few complaints for you to consider as well.

Nutrisystem Complaints

Most of the bad reviews we’ve read about the Nutrisystem diet, seem to center around two main issues: These reviews didn’t like the portion sizes or diet food, or those who didn’t fully understand the auto-delivery plan. We’ll discuss these issues below, but first here are a few of the bad reviews we found:

Robert, a verified customer from Upper Sandusky, OH, didn’t like the cancellation process:

I am completely dissatisfied with the process for cancelling my Nutrisystem program. I ordered the program without having to talk with someone. I should be able to cancel the program the same way. The program did work when I stayed with it and I may try it again.

Scott, a verified reviewer from Fort Myers, Florida, also had issues canceling:

I used gift cards and a discount code to get 50% off, as advertised on their website. Apparently, in the terms and conditions, it states $125 cancellation fee is due at time of cancellation if you fail to cancel before the next shipment is sent out. You cannot cancel online, you must call in person.

A few things to point out about these negative reviews:

The first is, Nutrisystem gives you a discounted rate if you enroll in their auto-delivery program. If you decide to cancel early, you have to pay a fee of about $125. You only have to pay the fee if you decide to cancel before your second month of food has been shipped.

This means, if you plan on following Nutrisystem for at least two months, you won’t have any issues with canceling your subscription.

As some of the negatives reviews point out, you do have to call in order to cancel your shipment. Even so, every time I have had to call Nutrisystem, they have been extremely easy to deal with, and were very helpful.

As long as you keep this factors in mind when joining, there shouldn’t be any surprises.

See more Nutrisystem testimonials and check latest prices here.

Summary: How to Join

Nutrisystem is one of the best-selling meal delivery diets in the world, and can be a good meal plan for people who prefer a done-for-you style diet program.

Their processed meals and snacks aren’t for everyone, but if you’re OK with eating that type of food, then Nutrisytem can help you lose up to 13 pounds in the first month.

It’s safe for most people, is easy to follow, and has more than 160 menu items to pick from.

Ready to get started? If you want to buy Nutrisystem, the best place to get started is at their official  website. At last check they were offering a 50% discount plus free shipping.

If you think Nutrisystem sounds like the right diet for you, visit their website below:

Citations

  1. Nutrisystem Diet Informaiton, Chron. Found at https://livehealthy.chron.com/nutrisystem-diet-information-2178.html
  2. How the Nutrisystem Diet Works, Nutrisystem.com. Found at https://www.nutrisystem.com/jsps_hmr/how_it_works/index.jsp
  3. The Effect of Nutrisystem Meal Provision on Weight, University of Kentucky. Found at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01252303
  4. Cooking at home tonight? It’s likely cheaper and healthier, study finds, University of Washington health Sciences/UW Medicine. Found at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314150926.htm
  5. Carla E. Cox, Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance, American Diabetes Association. Found at https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/3/157

Additional Nutrisystem Articles:

See some of our other Nutrisystem articles for more information:

Megan Ayala