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What is Nutrisystem?
Nutrisystem is a food delivery program that was invented by Harold Katz way back in the 1970s . What first started as a “liquid protein drink program” has now become full service meal delivery service, that supplies all of your food, snacks, and shakes for the month.
They claim that this make weight loss easy, because with their plan you don’t have to think about what or when to eat. You also don’t have to do much grocery shopping.
Just enjoy their foods, and lose weight, they say, but are these claims true?
In this review of Nutrisystem, we’ll take a detailed look at what it’s really all about, what the science says about meal delivery programs, the cost of the plan, and the other key details you need to know before deciding if you want to choose this diet.
How their Personal Plans Work
If you’ve read other reviews about Nutrisystem, then you know it is a diet delivery service that ships a 28-day supply of meals, snacks, and shakes to you every month . Customers enjoy 6 Nutrisystem meals and snacks per day.
In addition to the food that Nutrisystem sends, you will also enjoy fruits and vegetables, and some low-fat dairy. This comes in the form of side dishes to the Nutrisystem food, or extra snacks.
While the plan certainly can make dieting easier and more cost effective, it’s not always the best choice for everyone. It can be harder if you have a large family, and you also don’t get to dine out or make meals on your own as often while on the diet.
You do get weekly Flex Meals, however, so there are times where you don’t have to eat Nutrisytem, just be sure to factor in their cost as well.
They offer 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.
Foods: What You’ll Eat
For the most part, plan to use Nutrisytem meals and snacks for the bulk of your food each day. These are a variety of frozen meals, prepackaged foods, and shakes, and there are all included in the monthly plan cost.
Nutrisystem has more than 160 menu items to pick from, but here’s a small sampling of what a typical meal might look like.
- Breakfast: The Nutrisystem breakfast plan includes items like cinnamon rolls, waffles, muffins, bagels, and cereal.
- Lunch & Dinner: Lunch and dinner items come from the same menu 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.
The 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.
Reviews indicate that most of these foods are real tasty, as well as nutritious.
All of the Nutrisystem foods are crafted using the same nutritional matrix. It’s based around reviews and research on what makes meal delivery diets effective . 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: They only use “good” carbs in their plan, to you don’t get blood sugar spikes. This also helps make their plan work for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Balanced Nutrients: About 50% from vegetables, 25% healthy fats, 25% from protein.
Food to Avoid on Nutrisystem
Basically anything that isn’t provided by Nutrisystem, or on their list of approved foods. Foods to avoid will include things like junk food, fast food, carbs, etc. Avoiding these will help bring your food cost down, which is an additional benefit to consider.
They provide a guide at no additional cost, that shows you exactly what to eat and what to avoid, so don’t worry about this part too much.
Is it Hard to Follow?
For the most part, our review of Nutrisystem finds that it is very easy to follow, as well as 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.
If you’re the type of person who can follow directions and stick with a plan, though, then the Nutrisystem plan may be a good fit for you.
As long as you use the food they send, and use their grocery list as a guide, and follow their plan, you shouldn’t have many problems losing weight should you choose to follow their program.
When you choose to sign up for Nutrisystem Fresh Start you have the option of picking your own menu items for an additional cost, or you can have them do it for you.
If you’re brand new to their service, they recommend letting them pick your menu for your first month’s shipment, and it’s also an easy way to keep the total cost down.
How Flex Meals Work
The addition of weekly Flex Meals to the Nutrisytem program, means you have the opportunity to prepare your own home-cooked meals, or dine out if you choose. Of course, plan to budget for the cost of this food as well. They have food guides to show you what to make, including a grocery lists.
They also have restaurant guides, so you know what to order when dining out, and other reviews have pointed out that these are big help.
How Much Exercise Do You Have to Get?
You don’t have to exercise to lose weight on Nutrisystem, but they recommend getting at least 30 minutes of activity per day . Other reviews we’ve read suggested that they were able to get better results when incorporating moderate exercise, which is something to keep in mind.
Physical activities 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?
Nutrisystem has special plans for men, type 2 diabetics, and vegetarians (not vegans). These food plans cost the same per month as their traditional offerings.
Nutrisystem Pros & Cons
The aim of this Nutrisystem review 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, 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:
- Nutrisystem Cost: Less Than $9 per Day
- Proven to Be Safe and Healthy
- Lose up to 13 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
- Mostly Positive Reviews
- Money-Back Guarantee
- 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 it Work?
There are plenty of reviews suggesting that Nutrisystem and the new Fresh Start Program does, in fact, work for a lot of people who choose try it. How well it will work for you, depends on your level of effort, and how well you stick to the 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 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 , so that may be something you want to consider when the diet ends.
Right now, Nutrisytem says you can lose up to 13 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 program.
Real Customers: Good & Bad Reviews (Complaints)
There are plenty of reviews of Nutrisystem for you to read, 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 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 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 of Fresh Start, we’ve selected a few of the top Nutrisystem reviews we’ve read – 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.
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.
Most of the bad reviews we’ve read about Nutrisystem, 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.
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 of 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.
If you think Nutrisystem sounds like the right diet for you, you can learn more and check their latest prices here.
- Nutrisystem Diet Informaiton, Chron. Found at https://livehealthy.chron.com/nutrisystem-diet-information-2178.html
- How the Nutrisystem Diet Works, Nutrisystem.com. Found at https://www.nutrisystem.com/jsps_hmr/how_it_works/index.jsp
- The Effect of Nutrisystem Meal Provision on Weight, University of Kentucky. Found at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01252303
- 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
- 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: