What is Nutrisytem?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Nutrisytem?
- 2 How Nutrisystem Fresh Start Plan Works
- 3 What You Get to Eat
- 4 Pros and Cons
- 5 Nutrisystem Review Summary
Nutrisystem has been in the weight loss business for nearly 50 years now, which means there are a lot of reviews on how well their diet can work for people trying to lose weight.
But what is it exactly and how does it work?
In this Nutrisystem review, we’ll help answer those questions, and more.
In the most basic sense, it’s a diet delivery diet, that sends you portion-controlled meals to your home or office every month.
The pre-made food is designed to help you lose weight, but restricting calories and providing you with a system that’s easy for most people to stick with.
They have a number of different plans and menu options for men and women to pick from, including folks with Type 2 diabetes and even vegetarians.
Nutrisystem is focused on a nutritional blend of the “right” carbohydrates. and lean proteins. Most of their food is low on the glycemic index, so customers shouldn’t experience intense hunger pains as they adjust to the Nutrisystem Fresh Start diet.
There’s a small amount of grocery shopping that is required to have success on the diet. Most of the time, this includes fresh produce, like fruits and vegetables, as well as some lean protein and low-fat dairy options.
These can be used as side dishes to their frozen entrees, or as ingredients for the weekly flex meals that customers make on their own.
In addition to the food, support is also offered by registered dietitians, who can be messaged or called at scheduled times.
Reviews by Health Professionals About Nutrisystem:
Controlling calories and portions and eating regular meals is a healthy formula that should result in weight loss while on the plan. If you can stick to the prepackaged meals and add only healthy foods, research to support the program suggests you will lose weight. -Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD 
Nutrisystem  first debuted as a publicly traded company in 1981, but the concept actually began almost 10 years earlier .
In 1971, Harold Katz, opened his first weight-loss center on the outskirts of Philadelphia, called Shape Up. Less than a year later, he had franchised his concept, and Nutrisystem was born.
While it started as meal-replacement program, that featured mostly diet shakes, by the early 1990s Nutrisystem’s full meal delivery and support program had been launched, and according to reviews, it resembled pretty much the same program they offer today.
How does it work so well?
If you eliminate meal planning and prep from the equation, it’s a lot harder to make mistakes. According to reviews, they send you the food you need to be successful, so as long as you stick to their plan and utilize their support system, you should lose weight.
This also saves you time, and makes the weight loss journey much easer for a lot of people.
Does it really work? Here’s what one research review said:
According to research reviews, Nutrisystem does work for those who follow it correctly. In fact, a 2013 study from Florida State University , found that Nutrisystem improved the arterial function in obese, post-menopausal women.
How Nutrisystem Fresh Start Plan Works
If you’ve read any Nutrisystem reviews, then you probably know they just launched a brand-new program , and it’s called Fresh Start. Their new diet is chef-designed and focuses more on clean and healthy eating.
On all of the plans, men and women will eat 6 times per day. This pencils out to every 2 to 3 hours. Most of the time, this includes 2 to 3 Nutrisystem meals, and 2-3 snacks also provided by Nutrisystem.
When you sign up, you have the option of picking your own menu, or you can go with their “Chef’s Picks”, which allows them to build a menu for you. One review indicated that this option is recommended for first-time customers.
All plans will the Fresh Start program, which is a box of pre-selected food to get you started. During Fresh Start, you’ll eat 5 times per 24 hours; the program is designed to help jump start your weight loss as you’re starting their diet.
Nutrisystem claims that you can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches during your first month of their diet plan, which is helped by the boost you should get during Fresh Start week 1.
They currently have 4 different plans to pick from:
- Basic: This is Nutrisystem’s most affordable plan to pick from, and one of their most popular based on many reviews. They’ll pick your menu, and it doesn’t include any of their frozen food menu, which is considered to be their premium-level food. Get things started with the FreshStart plan.
- Uniquely Yours: This plan gives you access to everything in Basic, but features a larger menu, and access to their frozen menu.
- Uniquely Yours Ultimate: This is their newest and best plan to date. Features everything Nutrisystem offers, including full access to the frozen foods. This is the biggest menu plan, with more than 160 items to pick from. Also includes additional snacks and shakes.
The Vegetarian and Diabetic plans, both start at the Uniquely Yours level, so basic isn’t an option on those ones. You can upgrade to their frozen offerings, however.
Reviews indicate both these meal plans are solid choices for people with special diets, and most seem to enjoy the foods as well.
Once you’ve picked the right plan for you, they’ll ship out your order via FedEx.
Online customers can get free shipping and save on the overall cost of their plan and foods if they enroll in the auto-delivery program. With this option, they’ll atomically ship your food every month, until you cancel. You have to be on the plan for at least 2 months to avoid paying an early-cancellation fee.
I recently had a chance to review the new Fresh Start plan and foods…Here’s how it went for me:
Think the Fresh Start Plan could be helpful on your weight loss journey?
What You Get to Eat
Food You Can Eat
- Anything sent by Nutrisystem
- Fresh Produce
- Low Fat Dairy – Snacks, with cereal, cream cheese, etc.
- Lean Protein
- Use the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide & Food List for Guidance
Food You Can’t Eat
- Most Fast Food
- Most Restaurant Meals (Check the app for foods you can eat when dining out)
- Foods with Added Sugar – Basically any “Junk” Food or Desserts that aren’t provided by Nutrisystem
- Alcohol (Not recommended while dieting)
Reviews say, signing up with the Nutrisystem plan is supposed to take all of the confusion out of your meal prep and planning, so really the foods on our “can eat” and “can’t eat” list are there for your general information. For the most part, you won’t have to worry about this, because Nutrisystem is going to supply you with almost all of the food you need to eat for the month.
The only decision you’ll have to make when it comes to food outside the Nutrisystem pre-packaged foods, is what to have as your side dish or snack, and for the most part that will be fresh fruits or vegetables.
They also added weekly “Flex” options to their program recently, and for these, Nutrisytem provides a guide to show you exactly what foods you can and can’t eat, so be sure to utilize these when needed.
Either way, the majority of reviews indicate that this has been a positive addition to their plan, and a great way to enjoy foods outside the plan on occasion.
A lot of reviews say, the one drawback with this way of eating is that most of the Nutrisystem foods are processed, which can make your transition off the diet a bit harder. Other reviews have indicated this as a potential problem area as well.
Over the long term, if you focus on clean and healthy eating, you should have a better shot at maintaining the weight loss, however .
How Many Calories Do You Eat Every Day?
Because calorie control is the key component to Nutrisystem’s success, you’ll be operating at a caloric deficit when following their plan.
This can be hard for people at first, but as your body adjusts their eating plan, it should become easier.
During the first Fresh Start week, expect to eat about 1,000 calories per day. This helps boost your weight loss results as you get started.
After that, men will eat about 1,500 calories every day, and women will take in about 1,200 daily calories.
Because the Nutrisystem plan is low-glycemic, you can expect about half your daily calories to come from carbohydrates each day. The other half is broken into quarters, with one quarter coming from lean proteins, and the other quarter coming from “healthy” fats.
Some reviews have indicated that sodium is a concern for a lot of people when it comes to processed foods .
Guides & Tips for Success
You can get all of the resources and tips you need, including their full menu, grocery and restaurant guides, and more on Nutrisystem’s website.
Pros and Cons
By all accounts, and other reviews available, there’s plenty to like about Nutrisystem, but there are some potential downsides for you to consider. If you do your research, and read enough reviews, you should see good and bad feedback about the plan.
For the most part, though, the reviews we’ve read, tend to be on the positive side when it comes to the Nutrisystem plan.
Here’s a quick look at both.
A few reviews we’ve researched have touched on some potential downsides for Nutrisystem. According to these reviews, these can include things like the price, the processed foods, and it’s not always on option for people with food allergies.
- Can be an Adjustment if You’re Used to overeating
- Not everyone likes the frozen diet food
- Can be harder if you have a family
- Requires a commitment not everyone can keep
- Some reviews don’t like that the menu features processed foods
While some may find the cost of Nutrisytem to be too expensive to commit to, most reviews indicate it’s actually pretty affordable when you bring down by price per day.
It starts at about $9.00 a day, which actually makes it pretty affordable, depending on your budget.
Other pros include the convenience of having most of your meals shipped to you each month, a plan that’s easy, and a program that has nearly 50 years of research supporting it.
- Affordable: 28 Day Supply of Meals, Snacks and Shakes for Less Than $300 a Month
- It Works: If you follow the program correctly, you should lose weight 
- It’s Safe & Effective: Nutrisystem has been proven to be a very safe way to lose weight.
- Easy: Just Eat the Food, Follow the Program, and Lose Weight
- Convenient: Most of Your Meals and Snacks are Sent Right to Your Door
- Flex Meals: Eat out or make meals at home
- Teaches You Strategies to Maintain a Healthy Weight Moving Forward
- Large Menu with Ample Variety
- Large Body of Positive Reviews
How Well Does it Work Against the Competition?
According to many reviews, Nutrisystem is one of the most popular diets in the world, and they have nearly 50 years of success proving that their program works.
The reason so many reviews we’ve examined, endorse it? It really does make weight loss easy. Their grab-and-go meals can be eaten anywhere, and you hardly ever have to worry about prep or grocery shopping. Just heat your meals, and they’re ready to eat.
When you compare Nutrisystem to other diets, it’s actually one of the most affordable options out there. Even so, it’s not always the preferred choice for everyone, so here are a couple of competitors for you to consider.
South Beach Diet
- How it Works: Comes from the same company that makes Nutrisystem, and works in a very similar way. 6 meals per day, moderate exercise encouraged, very little grocery shopping (see how they compare). Their menu is low-carb, and also has keto-friendly options. Also has lots of positive reviews.
- Price: South Beach Diet is a bit more expensive than Nutrisytem, starting at closer to $10 per day.
- Menu: The biggest difference between Nutrisystem and South Beach Diet? It’s probably the menu. South Beach Diet has more of a focus on international cuisine, while Nutrisystem’s menu is more American.
- How it Works: Jenny Craig also offers diet delivery, and you also eat 6 times a day on their program. The biggest difference between Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem comes down to coaching (see a comparison of the two here). With Jenny Craig, you get access to a one-on-one coach, which is a valuable addition for a lot of people. You also have the option of in-person support groups, if you have a Jenny Craig weight loss center in your town.
- Price: Jenny Craig is more expensive than Nutrisytem, as you’re paying more for the coaching they provide. It costs closer to $24 per day.
- Menu: The Jenny Craig menu is smaller than Nutrisytem’s, but it has similar food styles.
- How it Works: Medifast is another diet delivery program, that also features several small meals and snacks over the course of the day. Their menu would be considered to be more low-carb than Nutrisystem’s, however (see a side-by-side comparison of both diets).
- Price: Medifast is more expensive than Nutrisytem’s cheapest plan, but their mid-level options are pretty similarly in price.
- Menu: Medifast provides most of your meals for the day, but you also get to make your own “Lean & Green” meals each day. This is good for those who want to learn what healthy meal prep looks like. Their menu style is pretty similar to Nutrisytem’s.
Nutrisystem Review Summary
Nutrisystem is a great weight loss choice for a lot of people. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet out there, they offer a plan and menu that works for a lot of people.
If you don’t want to count calories, do a lot of meal prep, or go grocery shopping, then Nutrisystem may be a good fit.
It has a large body of positive reviews, promises 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss each week, and has nearly 50 years of research supporting how well it works.
If you want to give Nutrisystem a try, you can visit their official website below: