Nutrisystem Weight Loss Plan Review
Nutrisystem is a weight loss meal plan program that has been around for a few years as I'm sure you've seen their ads on during commercial breaks. I was curious about this weight loss plan stood out to me because they weren't just telling you what you should and shouldn't eat, they were actually providing you with the meals.
I've tried diets before that have been quick to fail because they provided guidelines and recipes but it was up to me to go out for groceries, make time to prepare 3 or more meals a day, and then work up the will power and actually make my food.
It might not sound like that big of a deal but when you have school, full time job, and a social life to maintain you are already stretched to your limits. This is why the normal "guideline" diets failed. Soon after starting I would run short on time and grab a "quick fix" to my hunger problem rather than stick to the diet.
With Nutrisystem, my whole diet was delivered to my doorstep. I no longer could use the excuse of not having time to stick to a diet!
My Nutrisystem Plan
The plan that I choose to try out was the "Core" My Weekends My Way plan with a custom menu. I placed my order on 03/2/2017 and it arrived quickly on 03/7/2017.
Here is a photo of the food that my 4 week plan included, it was very exciting opening the package - felt like a food Christmas gift! I liked the custom menu option because then you can select exactly what foods you like and you're not stuck eating something that you don't like. Once you select your plan you will be walked through how to pick your foods and you will also see what other people rated the food items. The food item rating where really helpful when I was choosing my menu. If you are curious to see which food items I picked out for my breakfast, lunch, dunner and snacks, I've uploading my order summary.
Nutrisystem Plan Options and Price
Nutrisystem has a few options you can choose form, they are as follows:
Basic Plan - $9.82 per day
- 4 week plan with pre-selected foods
- Free FedEx shipping
Core Plan - $10.54
- 4 week meal plan with custom food menu
- Over 100 meal options
- Unlimited access to expert counselors and dietitians
- Free shipping
Uniquely Yours (includes frozen) - $11.96 per day
- 4 Week meal plan, choose your own meals
- Over 150 meal options
- Includes frozen foods
- Free shipping
They also have different meal plans available if you have dietary restrictions like being a vegetarian or diabetic. They also have specific meal plans for both men and women. Now there are a few issues I have about these prices and the plans in general.
Issue 1: Nutrisystem Menu Items
OK, you get to pick out your meals depending on the plan option you choose. Here is where I have a serious issue with this program! The meal options are not well balanced in terms of the nutrients you should be getting. There are WAYYY too many sweet "junk food" options. You can set it up so that your day looks like this:
- Breakfast: Double Chocolate Muffin
- Lunch: Double Chocolate Caramel Bar
- Snack: Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Dinner: BBQ Seasoned chicken (finally actual food)
This is ridiculous, how can this even be considered a healthy day's worth of food. There are too many chocolate foods, you are not going to get the proper nutrients from these meals. Based on a day like this you clearly need to be buying groceries and eat food to fill the huge nutritional gaps.
Issue 2: Nutrisystem Cost per meal
So the meal example gave above is from the Core plan that I picked. Those 4 items cost $10.54 for that day. If you take this figure and divide it by 4 (for each meal), it comes down to $2.63 per meal. Which if you look at what you get, you'll quickly realize that it's not worth $2.63.
$2.63 for a breakfast muffin that is smaller than the size of my palm.... and I have pretty small hands. A Double Chocolate Caramel Bar for lunch is $2.63, that's a rip off. You can buy healthier bars at the grocery store for a fraction of that cost. If these were actual nutritious and healthy meals for $2.63 then it would be worth it, but not for a handful of chocolate covered pretzels!
Issue 2: Nutrisystem AUTODELIVERY
The prices listed above are assuming that you enroll in the Auto delivery program. Be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with that. They do have a money back guarantee with that program but if you don't plan on being on this program for at least two months then DON'T sign up.
If you don't want a second month's worth of food they will charge you a $125 FEE just for canceling!!! If you didn't like the system and call to return after you had it for 14 days you still have to pay the fee.
Cancellation Process: Nutrisystem offers a 14-day free trial whereby the customer can cancel and receive a refund (less shipping costs). However, if cancelling after the 14 days AND before the second month is shipped, a $125.00 fee is charged to the customer.
How Does the Nutrisystem Diet Work?
On this diet you will eat your preselected breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You also have the option of supplementing these with a list of other foods that you can buy from the store. These includes things like fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, etc. With the "My Weekends My Way" program you are responsible for the meals that you eat on the weekends. They include a eating guide to help you make the right choice.
Nutrients: The macronutrient combination will vary from plan to plan and depend on the individual. Macronutrients are split up with 50% from carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fats.
Limiting Calories: The calorie count is designed to help you lose a pound or two each week on this diet program. Daily calorie amounts vary from 1200 to 1500, depending on your plan and information you provide.
Smart Carbs are carbs that do not rise your blood sugar levels as much. You'll want to avoid eating bad carbohydrates that are high on the GI scale.
Nutrisystem Level of Effort
I would rate the level of effort needed to stay on this weight loss program moderate to low. The meals are prepackaged into correct serving sizes and delivered right to your door. You hardly half to cook, most meals you can eat straight out of the package or after microwaving it.
Technically you are not required to exercise and as long as your daily metabolic rate is higher than the calories you eat you will still lose weight. However, Nutrisystem does recommend you get 30 minutes of exercise a day. If 30 minutes is too much to commit, you can break it up into three 10 minute workouts a day.
The program does off you support with an online community and web-based tools, as well as help by phone.
Does Nutrisystem Work?
This is the biggest question. After everything is said and done, will nutrisystem help me lose weight? The short answer is Yes. They have done studies and if you follow the program you will lose weight. The amount and speed at which you lose weight will vary from person to person.
Now, just because you will lose weight it does not mean that this is a healthy program. You could eat 1,200 calories worth of Twinkies and you'll lose weight because at the end of the day it comes down to how many calories you consume vs. the number of calories you burn off. Yeah you'll lose weight but not in a healthy way.
I don't like the meals in the Nutrisystem program, they are not nutritious and well balanced meals at all! Too many sweet tooth options and not enough wholesome and quality foods. You can lose weight with any diet if you cut your calories enough, that doesn't mean that you should.
Nutrisystem Final Verdict..
I would NOT recommend this program for weight loss. Cost is cheaper than many other programs like this but you get crapy food and meals that are not high in nutrients. Plus they are very sneaky about the Auto delivery program. When I signed up, it was not made clear at all that I would have to pay $125 to cancel. I did not have a good experience with Nutrisystem, I ended up sending my program back and asking for a refund (still waiting to get me money back).