NutriSystem – A fool-proof solution to losing weight ?

When it comes to losing weight and getting into shape there is certainly no shortage of programs, diet plans and ‘secret techniques’ out there. In fact, it seems that everyone is pedaling some kind of program that offers to help you get ripped abs and a slimmer waist at the same time these days. And this would be great news if only all of them worked.

Unfortunately though, the quality of these products is very much variable and there’s no guarantee when you hand over your hard earned cash that the information you’re getting is actually going to help you achieve the results you. Some of these programs are full of the same derivative information that you could find with any Google search, some of them plain don’t work and others are even potentially harmful.

So how does ‘NutriSystem’ work? Does this one actually do what it promises? Let’s take an in-depth and objective look at the offer and see where it weighs in (pun intended).

You can jump right over to the official site of nutrisystem here if you are short on time otherwise let’s look more in depth at this program to see if it is what you are looking for a planned meal weight loss system.

What is NutriSystem?

balanced nutritionHere’s the first bit of good news: NutriSystem is not just a weight loss plan or a diet plan. In fact, that’s actually just a very small part of it.

Instead, NutriSystem is actually a service and a product. You get the eating plan but what you also get is the food and the delivery. It’s almost like a takeout mixed with one of the usual weight loss programs that you see on the web all the time.

You might now be wondering how precisely these two things could possibly go together. After all, we normally think of takeaways as being pretty much the antithesis of healthy eating. Pizzas, Chinese food and curry are pretty much as destructive to our diet as it comes. The only reason that many of us eat these foods then is that they are a) super tasty and b) super convenient.

So the question that NutriSystem posits is this:

What if takeaways were healthy?

What if you could order food that was affordable, that would arrive right at your door and that would taste really good that was actually really good for you and that would help you to lose weight?

And what if all the meals adhered to an underlying eating plan that brought it all together?

How NutriSystem Works

nutrition expertsSo here’s how it works. When you sign up for NutriSystem, you immediately get a diet plan just as you would with many of those other diets online. This plan is called ‘My Way’ and on its own it provides good reading that will teach you a lot about how to eat healthily in a convenient way that’s easy to maintain.

At the same time though, you also get ready made meals brought right to your door. This way you don’t have to cook yourself and you know that the meals are going to be tasty, low calorie and nutritious. This way, it takes all the guess work out of sticking to a diet, it takes all the effort out of cooking and it just lets you enjoy eating as you normally would while at the same time shedding pounds.

Payment Plans and Meals

So how much do you have to pay and how much food do you get for the money?

This all depends on which plan you choose to go with of which there are three main options. The most popular plan according to the NutriSystem plan and what they would consider the ‘default’ plan for most people is the ‘Core Plan’. There is also a ‘Basic Plan’ however which offers a cheaper jumping on point and a ‘Uniquely Yours Plan’ which is more customizable.

Here they are in a little more depth…

Core Plan

With the core plan you get:

  • 4-5 meals a day
  • Easy packaging for portability
  • An on-call counselor to answer all your questions
  • In-built tracking so you can log your diet
  • A simple diet plan
  • The option to change your orders with no fee
  • A built in ‘Fast 5+’ program utilizing shakes on your first week (‘lose five pounds or your money back’)
  • Free delivery on your first order

This all costs $279.99 for four weeks which you can break down to $10.00 a day.

Basic Plan

nutrisystem fast 5With the basic plan you get:

  • 3 x meals a day
  • Preselected foods (easier but less versatile)
  • Fast 5+ program
  • Easy packaging for portability
  • A simple diet plan
  • Automatic tracking

This one costs $259 for four weeks auto delivery, which breaks down to $9.29.

Note that both plans are currently discounted so these prices may be subject to change. At the moment though, the Core Plan clearly offers the best value for money. The only real advantage of choosing the basic plan is that you can choose pre-selected meals if you so wish.

Uniquely Yours Plan

The ‘Uniquely Yours’ plan is focused on versatility and gives you the option to select your own meals. This includes unlimited fresh and frozen foods meaning that you can choose as much food as you want or need and meaning that you can tailor the food precisely to your needs. At the same time, this weight loss program also comes with all the other benefits you’d get from the core plan including counseling and tracking.

Who is NutiSystem For?

Jason and Michelle resultsThis is particularly useful for a number of specific people.

For starters, it’s great if you are someone who is very busy and doesn’t have much time to cook. One of the most at-risk groups when it comes to weight gain and health problems are the busy ‘young professionals’ who are always staying late at work, who perhaps don’t have large kitchens and who perhaps have very active social lives. These sorts of lifestyles leave very little time (or energy for that matter) for cooking and as a result it’s very tempting to eat takeout meals or to just throw food in the microwave. With NutriSystem, all the effort and time is taken out of the question as the meals come to you ready made.

This is also very useful for single people living on their own. While this might sound like an odd demographic to focus on, the fact of the matter is that it’s hard to cook healthy meals when you live on your own. This is true because you’ll need to stay motivated in order to cook for just one person and because you’ll need to cook every night instead of sharing duties between you. What’s more, is that when you buy ingredients for one person, a lot tends to go to waste due to the sheer amount you need to buy in one go. For all these reasons, NutriSystem is ideal for someone who lives alone.

Most of all perhaps though, NutriSystem is a great fit for someone who struggles to stay motivated on a diet and who has failed in the past. There are two big reasons for this:

  1. NutriSystem is actually pretty lenient. We’ll get into the specifics in a moment but suffice to say this is a relatively ‘forgiving’ diet plan that doesn’t require you to starve yourself and which doesn’t leave out any large aspects of your diet.
  2. NutriSystem does the work for you and makes it easier to adhere to the diet than it is to cheat. This is the ideal scenario as normally it’s easier to cheat than it is to adhere. When you’re feeling lazy and the healthy option is there right in front of you, you’ll find yourself eating it for the convenience alone.

Why NutriSystem May Not be For You

Of course no plan is for everyone and there are a few reasons why NutriSystem may not be your thing. For starters, NutriSystem may not appeal if you’re someone who enjoys cooking or who likes eating hearty meals.

The whole point of NutriSystem is to negate the need to cook, so if you love making dinner for your family then this isn’t going to cut it. And while you do get properly cooked meals including pizzas, bolognaise etc. – they’re not really up there with the sorts of things your Momma used to make…

There’s also the issue of eating out. If you love going out to eat with friends and often find yourself going out for spontaneous meals with friends after work, then you might find that these diet plans are a little restrictive. As you’ll be ordering the meals in advance, you can’t simply choose not to get your delivery one day – and if you did then you’d find that you wouldn’t get the benefits of the plan anyway.

Additional Features and Considerations

There are a few additional features and considerations to bear in mind when choosing NutriSystem. Most of these can be found the FAQ page but a few bear mentioning here.

Diet Considerations

The first is that NutriSystem does offer provisions for those with special dietary requirements. If you are vegetarian then, if you have any allergies or if you have type 2 diabetes, you will be able to order foods specifically aimed at you. NutriSystem D is especially for those with type 2 diabetes in fact, while the vegetarian plan option is, of course, for vegetarians.

How about variety and flavor? Well, there are a total of 150+ items to choose from which ensures a lot of different things to eat. Most of these do not look or ‘feel’ like diet foods but nevertheless include the right ratios of protein to carbs and fats, lots of healthy nutrients and a low calorie count in each case. These meals include things like burgers even, cereal bars and stuffed pasta – all things that can be satisfying when you’re feeling hungry.

Calorie Counting

small mealsAnother big benefit of NutriSystem is that there’s no calorie counting and no ‘weigh ins’. Again, this makes the program much less stressful and time consuming than some others which require you to log every single thing you eat. At the same time though, you do get your money back if you don’t lose weight in the first week (five pounds specifically) which suggests that they’re confident about the potential to. There are a lot of very positive reviews to be found online, so it seems this really does work for the right kind of person.

Exercise

There are also a couple of additional negatives to bear in mind. One is that there’s not much here on exercise. As we mentioned earlier, NutriSystem comes with a conventional weight loss plan as well and this includes a basic exercise strategy centered around the idea that you’ll be doing 3x 10 minute sessions every day. This is based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. I would recommend a popular yoga program called PiYo to do along with this meal plan.  You could also consider bodybeast as a strength building optoin that would work too.

nutrisystem testimonialUnfortunately, this is one area where a little more time and thought could have been useful. While ‘micro workouts’ are increasingly popular at the moment, committing to work out three times a day is going to be a problem for a lot of people. What’s more, ten minutes really isn’t very long to work out unless you’re using HIIT (high intensity interval training) and in that case you’ll probably be dripping in sweat and panting by the end. That then means you need to shower and change at which point your ‘ten minute session’ actually ends up taking a lot longer out of your day. Exercise is probably more than half the battle when it comes to losing weight, so this is an unfortunate oversight.

A good suggestion would be to try combining NutriSystem with another workout program. And if you like your programs spoon fed to you, then you could do a lot worse than to try something like the Insanity Workout (though there are cheaper alternatives out there).

Conclusions

Overall then, is NutriSystem a good plan?

The answer is definitely yes – but only for the right kind of person.

meals delivery service to your homeThis is a program based around losing weight with exercise very much an afterthought. If you’re a bodybuilder trying to get big arms, forget it. Likewise, this is a program that isn’t for big families or people who love cooking.

But this program is for people who are busy, tired and struggling to stick to a good diet. It takes the work and the guesswork out of dieting and in that regard it’s a fantastic idea. For $10 a day roughly it’s good value for money too and certainly more-so than a lot of over hyped eBooks that will set you back several hundred dollars.

1 Comment

  1. shawn_jumbo on October 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I have lost 12 lbs in my first week on their program plus 15 minutes a day on my Bowflex Trainer Max. Last time I did their program 6 years ago I lost 40 lbs over 6 months. Their program works as long as you follow it. There are many ways to help keep the cost down such as buying Gift Cards at 20% off through Costco, do the auto-ship, and I can get you $30 off your first order with a discount code. Send me an email at and I will get you a code to kick off your journey.

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