You’ve probably seen ads for Nutrisystem on TV and in magazines, since they frequently have spokespeople as varied as Marie Osmond, Melissa Joan Hart, and Janet Jackson. Read on to get all the facts and pros and cons behind this popular diet.
What is the Nutrisystem Diet?
The Nutrisystem diet is a low-calorie diet plan that requires that you purchase pre-made portion-controlled meals. The meals are all calorie-controlled to your personal profile (based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level), so you don’t have to do your own calorie counting or meal preparation. You order the food online and it is delivered to your house.
What Are You Allowed to Eat?
You eat the Nutrisystem meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. For frozen foods, you’ll probably reheat them in the microwave. You supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables that you buy yourself and you cannot drink alcohol. You are also discouraged from eating out while you are on the program.
Some sample Nutrisystem meals include: Butternut Squash Ravioli, Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla.
Will I Lose Weight on the Nutrisystem Diet?
Most probably, yes. It is a calorie restricting diet, so you will lose weight on their diet plan that most dietitians view as nutritionally sound.
The challenge really comes after you have reached your goal weight and you want to transition back to eating out, preparing your own food, or eating “real food”. Critics of the diet point out that during the program, you are not taught how to shop for, make, and prepare wholesome nutritious meals. The meal delivery system does all that work for you.
Should I try the Nutrisystem Diet?
If you want to lose weight, you don’t mind eating packaged and frozen meals, and you don’t have a lot of time to cook and prepare your own meals, then you might want to look into this short-term approach.
If you like to eat out a lot, then it will be impossible to follow Nutrisystem.
How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost and How Does it Work?
The program is about $300 for a month of meals. You’ll also have to buy some of your own groceries to supplement the pre-made meals.
You sign up and order through the Nutrisystem website. You can also order through QVC or buy at Costco. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, you’ll hopefully use their online tools to help with transition and maintenance, which include recipes, tips, and community support.