Nutrisystem Diet Review

One of the most difficult aspects of starting a new diet seems to be deciding which one to start. The choices are endless and each plan comes with its own set of strategies and promises.

With almost 50 million people around the globe starting new diet plans each day, the question most should be asking themselves is, "Which one is best suitable for my weight loss goals?"

This Nutrisystem diet review covers this particular program.


One of the most popular and best known meal replacement home delivery diet programs on the market is Nutrisystem. This company has been in existence for well over 40 years; helping millions of dieters to lose weight and to improve their overall health. The company was originally founded in 1972. It entered public trading in 1999.

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Nutrisystem started out as a dieter's center, similar in many ways to Weight Watchers. It was a place that dieters could visit regularly for support and gain information about the program.

Today, there are no more of their physical centers around, yet that has not had any effect on the company's incredible growth. The program is now administered completely via their own interactive website and is promoted and advertised nationwide through TV infomercials, commercials and in magazines, newspapers and online.

Some high level celebrities have served as company spokespeople and actually lost weight themselves on the program.

Marie Osmond, Janet Jackson, Belinda Carlisle and Jillian Reynolds all credit Nutrisystem with helping them lose weight, from 20 and 45 pounds. The main concept of Nutrisystem is being a home delivery meal system comprising of pre-planned, pre-made meals that customers receive at their homes.

It takes the guesswork out of figuring out what you should be eating and it helps you to stay on course by telling you what to eat and actually providing each and every meal for you. Unlike many diet plans, when you go on the Nutrisystem program there is no need to worry about counting calories, figuring out points, measuring carbohydrates or fats or dabbling in the realms of nutrition.

There are no weekly weigh-ins, as with Weight Watchers. The meals are sent to you and all tracking is done online via the member’s interactive website.

Nutrisystem is unique as it provides several different eating plans and matches you with the right plan for you. It provides plans aimed specifically at women, men, seniors, vegetarians and diabetics. The plans can cost as little as $10 per day and increase up to around $14 per day. The actual Nutrisystem price you pay depends on which plan you choose and the plan's level you opt for. Plans and their levels are described in more detail below.

When you are on this diet, the general expectation is to lose between 1-2 pounds per week. This is considered by experts to be the safest and most effective rate to lose weight and maintain it in the long term. One of the really popular aspects of Nutrisystem meals is that the entire menu and all of the meals are free of preservatives.

All the meals are within the USDA daily sodium intake target and the program was created in its entirety with optimal nutrition foremost in mind. The company prides itself in offering foods high in protein and fiber, yet lower in sodium, zero trans fats, low saturated fats and low-glycemic foods that help prevent insulin spikes. Low glycemic foods are known to keep blood-sugar levels stable and help the metabolism work throughout the day at an optimal rate.

How the Nutrisystem Plan Works

When you begin the Nutrisystem diet, you will have to choose between their main four plans, the Women's, Men's, Vegetarian and Diabetic's Plans. Each of these plans is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individuals targeted in them.

Women's Plan

The Women's Plan is lower calorie and specifically aimed at providing women with balanced nutrition for physical and mental health. This is a convenient diet made simple and easy to follow to help dieters to stick with their diets and achieve success.

Men's Plan

The Nutrisystem for Men Plan is higher in calories compared to the Women's Plan since men require a higher daily caloric intake in order to maintain. Due to the fact that the Men's Plan includes more calories and more food, it is also slightly higher in cost.

Vegetarian Plan

Although many believe that vegetarians miss out on important nutrients due to the lack of animal products consumed, Nutrisystem provides a balanced diet with a wide array of meal options and plenty of protein.

Diabetic's Plan

Conceived especially for those suffering with diabetes, this plan provides specialty foods that are purposely free of sugars, comprising low glycemic carbs, protein, healthy fats and fiber to best maintain blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes.

Choose Your Menu

Once you have chosen your plan, you will choose from Nutrisystem's foods to handpick your menu for each day. You will choose foods for each meal and a few snacks to eat throughout the day as well. For convenience or if you are not sure where to begin, you can opt for the Favorites Pack. This features selections of the most popular menu choices available on the plan.

If you prefer to handpick each item, you can do that as well and select each and every meal from Nutrisystem's diverse menu. After you have selected your daily menu for the first 28 days, you will sign up for an auto-delivery plan. If you sign up for recurring monthly deliveries, you will save have additional savings for the next five consecutive months that you continue on the plan.

Clean Out Your Pantry & Stock Up on Smart Carbs and Power Fuels

Prior to beginning Nutrisystem, it is advised that you empty your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to store the meals that will be delivered. You should also do some grocery shopping for Smart Carbs and Power Fuels to supplement your diet plan.

Smart Carbs are fruits and healthy whole grains that are low on the glycemic index. These foods help satiate you for a longer period of time while also keeping your blood sugar stable. Some examples of Smart Carb fruit selections are two peaches, half an apple, a banana or a cup of cantaloupe, blueberries or pineapple.

Smart Carb whole grain examples are half a cup of whole oats, a slice of whole wheat bread, a small pita or a half cup of quinoa. The purpose of Smart Carb whole grain selections is to choose foods low in calories but high in fiber. These foods help keep you full faster and your digestive system working effectively while on the plan.

Power Fuels are the other aspect of foods you will supplement your diet plan with. They are the lean, high quality proteins you will need to have readily available at home. Some examples of Power Fuels are fish, turkey, shrimp, lean ham, low fat lunch meats and low fat cheeses. Ideally, you should aim for two ounces of lean proteins with respect to fish, poultry and beef and one serving of low fat cheeses.

Nuts can also help you meet your daily Power Fuel requirements but, because of their high fat content, you should make sure to keep nuts to a minimum by consuming no more than two tablespoons of almonds, natural butters or pistachios. Some quick snacks you can have on hand that can qualify as Power Fuels are also Nutrisystem protein shakes or pre-packed yogurts.

Each of the 28 day plans includes 28 protein shakes as part of the meal package. There are four different flavors of protein shakes and they can be blended with fruits and yogurt for added flavor.

Free Online Tools and Support

After you have selected your menu and stocked your pantry and refrigerator with plenty of Smart Carbs and Power Fuels, it is time to create a member profile online so you can benefit from Nutrisystem's free online tools and support program. Nutrisystem has built a member site packed with tools to help guide you through your weight loss journey.

There are interactive tracking tools, chat rooms, discussion boars, blogs and member pages. All of these tools help you track your progress and share your experiences with others on the same weight loss journey.

In addition, the member site also offers Nutrisystem recipes in the Recipe Corner. There you will find thousands of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts that will have you doubting that you are eating diet foods.

In addition, the Recipe Corner also features a grocery buying guide, a dining out guide and a special section to submit your own recipe. The dining out guide is essential since eating out with friends for dinners and special occasions is almost unavoidable. These meals do not have to be diet pitfalls anymore. With the dining out guide, you can eat out and still remain on your diet plan.

In addition to getting support online, you can also download the Nutrisystem Mobile App. It will help keep you on track even when you are not able to access the online website.

Incorporate Fitness

After you have chosen your plan, selected your foods, stocked up on your grocery additions and created your profile online, it will be time to incorporate fitness into your routine. When on the Nutrisystem plan, you will be taking part in the My Daily 3. My Daily 3 is a fitness plan that gives virtually everyone a way to fit exercise into their daily schedule. The plan suggests that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

In order to help you fit the 30 minutes, regardless of a hectic work schedule or family needs, you can break up the 30 minutes into three 10 minute or two 15 minute workout sessions. These small bursts of exercise can be done before, during or after work so that you ensure you get your 150 minutes of activity or more each week.

In order to keep track of your fitness goals, it is helpful to log your workouts online. After each week, you will get a quick snapshot of what you have accomplished and what you can do to increase your activity the following week.

Nutrisystem Plans

In addition to the five Nutrisystem plans, the company also offers three different types of menu plans for each of the five options. The plans are the Basic, Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Max+.


The Basic includes the pre-packed, ready-to-go food, unlimited access to the member site, exclusive auto-delivery discount and free shipping to your door. With the Basic plan, you will receive 28 of each of the ready-to-go breakfasts, lunches and dinners. That is a total of 84 meals. In addition, you will also receive 56 ready-to-go desserts and snacks. The basic plan costs approximately $10 per day or $280 per month.

Uniquely Yours

The Uniquely Yours plan includes all of the features within the Basic, as well as priority order processing, phone access to trained counselors for instant advice and Chef-inspired frozen cuisine and also frozen menu customization. The Uniquely Yours program costs approximately $12 per day or $360 per month.

Uniquely Yours Max+

The most comprehensive plan available is the Uniquely Yours Max+ plan. It includes all of the aspects within the Basic and Uniquely Yours plans, as well as Chef-inspired frozen cuisine, frozen menu customization plus protein shakes each day. Instead of receiving 84 meals consisting of ready-to-go breakfast, lunches and dinners, there are over 160 fresh frozen meal choices.

However, with the Uniquely Yours plans, you will receive 18 days of ready-to-go breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts and an additional 10 days of chef-inspired frozen breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. Nutrisystem began selling fresh, frozen meals in 2011 in order to compete with other diet plans offering similar meals, such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.

Prior to introducing frozen meals, Nutrisystem meals consisted of meals that required water to be added and a microwave to heat them up. These meals are still available with the program, commonly referred to as the ready-to-go meals, but the option for frozen meals as well appeals more to consumers looking for more variety. Being the most diverse and comprehensive plan, the Uniquely Yours is also the most expensive. The Uniquely Yours Max+ costs approximately $13-14 per day or $390 per month.

A La Carte

If you decide you want to try the plan but do not want to commit to a full 28 day meal program, you can opt to order a la carte menu items. This option is more expensive, but will allow you to try the program without such a high cost commitment. Prices for meals a la carte vary but range from $2 to $7 per meal. When taken into consideration the cost of an average fast food meal, the cost is still reasonable since a typical lunch or dinner will cost you the same amount.

Nutrisystem Cost Breakdown

When looking at the varying costs between the Nutrisystem plan options and levels available, it may seem expensive at first but, when compared to your average grocery bill, it is actually very reasonable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends a little over $500 per month on groceries.

With the most comprehensive Nutrisystem plan costing in the region of $360 per month, you would be spending less on Nutrisystem than by doing your own grocery shopping and, most likely, not losing weight or improving your health.

Adding the added Smart Carbs and Power Fuels would increase your cost to about $500 per month, making the monthly cost similar to and comparable to your average monthly grocery expenditures. When you look at their plans this way, it seems not only reasonable but a smarter option.

The food is not only healthy and preservative free, it is also delivered to you free of charge and is ready-to-go, with minimal preparation. All you need to do now is decide where to get Nutrisystem, whether from a third party store or direct online from the official website and then get started right away.

Nutrisystem Discounts

One of the main discounts offered by Nutrisystem is a savings of up to 50% when you enroll in recurring deliveries (Auto-Delivery). With each recurring delivery after your initial 28 day program, you will receive an additional 5% discount applied to each for the first five consecutive deliveries.

In addition to the discounts provided by the company, you can also purchase a 28 day program or a Nutrisystem Gift Card through Costco Wholesale. You can get the Nutrisystem Success 28 Days "Weekends on Your Own" Customized Meal Plan. This plan has you eating Nutrisystem's foods 5 days of the week and allows you the flexibility to eat foods you make or purchase the other two days on the plan. The plan features 20 days of Nutrisystem food and protein shakes. You will receive 20 breakfasts, 20 lunches, 20 dinners, 20 desserts and 20 protein shakes.

You can select your menu items from the list of ready-to-go foods and you will also have access to a variety of free tools to help guide your weight loss journey. You will receive a free at home tool kit to help you create your own homemade healthy meals, a free online membership to the Nutrisystem interactive website, free access to dietitians and weight loss counselors online and free delivery to your door.

Once you order the program via the Costco Wholesale website, you will receive a Nutrisystem Weekends On Your Own card in the mail. After receiving the card, you can log onto the Nutrisystem website or call 1-800-727-7549 to proceed with ordering your foods. This is all for under $200.

In addition to discounts and buying the program online, the company also offers a money back guarantee to ensure that you pay nothing unless you are 100% satisfied with the program. Nutrisystem provides a free 14 day trial period.

If, within 14 days of receiving your first shipment you are not satisfied, you can return the remaining weeks of food and receive a full refund of the purchase price. They will even pay the return shipping fees and allow you to keep the protein shake shaker cup and any frozen foods.

Nutrisystem Pros vs. Cons

With every program, there are reasons why it would work for you and why it may not. These are all factors you should consider when comparing diet plans and whether it would be something you could be successful with.





Overall, most people have experienced much success with this meal replacement dieting plan. It is fairly easy to do with meals arriving at your door each month and the ongoing support online is hard to beat. Below are a few accounts of Nutrisystem users and a brief synopsis of their experience with the program.

"I have tried countless diets since graduating from college. Most of them involved specific portions of food that required me to count calories, weigh my portions and keep my calorie intake below a certain amount. The plan would work for about a week and then I'd get sick of it. Planning meals and pre-packaging my lunches for the week became something that I just didn't have the time for with a family and a full time job. I decided to start Nutrisystem after a co-worker lost 23 pounds in less than three months on the plan. I've been on Nutrisystem now for a little over two months and I've lost almost 18 pounds. It has been easy for me to follow because I don't have to worry about what I am going to eat tomorrow for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I make my family their meal and I eat my Nutrisystem meal right beside them. I honestly could not be more satisfied with a plan. The cost is reasonable and it's effective in helping me lose weight."

Regina Lozano

"Being a vegetarian makes it especially difficult to follow a diet. Most diets do not have a vegetarian option and they include lean poultry or fish in most lunches and dinners. I was very happy to see that Nutrisystem has built a plan specifically designed with a vegetarian diet in mind. It has such a variety of foods and all of the meals are aimed at helping me get a balanced daily diet. In all honesty, I think my diet is more varied now than it was prior to starting Nutrisystem. After being on it for three months and losing 27 pounds I wanted to lose, I have seen three other family members start the plan and have success with it. I highly recommend it to anyone needing to lose weight and wanting to do it the right way."

Sarah Lafferty

"After retiring in 2009, I slowly gained weight and ended up almost 30 pounds heavier than I was on the last day I worked. As a senior citizen, I worry about my health and want to make sure I take care of myself so my wife and I can enjoy our golden years. After she decided to start Nutrisystem with a friend, I decided to join her since I had plenty of weigh to lose myself. My doctor approved the plan and thought it would be a great idea. Five months later, I have lost the 30 pounds I gained and my wife and I are happier than ever. It's comforting to know that Nutrisystem created a plan with a senior lifestyle and dietary needs in mind."

Ramona White