Nutrisystem has been around for decades, making them one of the more established diet programs available for weight loss. The program focuses on the glycemic index – the likelihood of different foods to increase your blood sugar – to help people lose weight. (Low glycemic-index foods promote weight loss better, while high-glycemic foods prevent weight loss or cause you to gain weight.) The convenience of the plan’s pre-packaged meals, which are delivered to your home, makes following the plan much simpler than programs that require you to count points or calories.
The Good News
- Lots of meal choices give you a good variety to keep you from getting bored with your food
- The plan is easy to follow and you don’t have to count calories
- Useful online tools provide support during your diet
- Nutrisystems offers separate plans for men, women, and even diabetics
The Bad News
- People with allergies need to carefully watch food ingredients, especially if Nutrisystems substitutes foods in your order (which they reserve the right to do)
- Transitioning from the Nutrisystems’ prepared food to cooking your own healthy meals introduces a new step to learn and a possible point of failure
- Certain prepared foods, while following the plan, would not be considered healthy if preparing or purchasing outside of the Nutrisystem plan in later phases
How Nutrisystem Works
To get started losing weight with Nutrisystem, you choose from among personalized plans offering one month (28 days, to be exact) of prepared foods. Available plans include pre-selected favorite foods, or you can handpick your meals. You can also sign up for additional months using their auto-delivery feature, so you don’t have to remember to reorder food when you get close to running out. Then follow the daily plan using prepared foods and additional fresh food from your local supermarket as specified by the plan.
Nutrisystem also focuses on exercise to boost calorie burning. Couch potatoes can begin easily with their My Daily 3 plan. Online tools help you track your food, fitness, and progress. Finally, when you’ve lost your desired weight and are ready to enter a maintenance phase, Nutrisystem teaches you how to put what you’ve learned into practice, applying their nutritional information to meals you prepare yourself instead of their pre-packaged food. Continued access to their online tools and community help you keep off the weight that you’ve lost.
The food chosen by Nutrisystem meets certain criteria that’s important to healthy eating.
- Low Glycemic – These “good carbs” are slow to digest, helping you feel full longer and maintaining more even levels of blood sugar. This helps you avoid sugar highs and crashes, which are a common cause of weight gain.
- Protein Rich – proteins help you feel full and prevent hunger, so you know when to stop eating and you feel fewer cravings for snacks between meals. Protein also helps you maintain muscle mass while dieting, which is good because you want to lose fat, not muscle. (Plus, simply maintaining muscle requires your body to burn calories!)
- SmartCarbs – low-glycemic carbs provide vitamins and minerals important to your normal body functions, and give you fiber to help you feel full, to keep your digestive system regular, and to help you maintain a healthy heart
- PowerFuels – essential amino acids help you build and maintain muscle, and healthy plant-based fats balance out your diet without increasing cholesterol or tending to prevent weight loss. Slowly digested PowerFuels also help you feel full longer.
What is My Daily 3?
My Daily 3 is the exercise portion of the Nutrisystem plan. Many dieters are not used to exercise, and trying to do to much can lead to injury. Adding exercise to an already busy schedule can also be difficult. With My Daily 3, you’re encouraged to add just 10 minutes of exercise, 3 times a day. So three 10-minute brisk walks can complete your fitness requirements, and it’s easy for most people to find 10 minutes of spare time in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon, and/or evening.
My Daily 3 is based on published exercise standards for Americans, and personalized plans make it easy to include exercise regardless of your fitness level. The goal is to make fitness activities a normal part of your daily routine, without allowing them to become a burden. Adding exercise to your diet plan increases your chance of success. And you don’t have to walk – the guidelines give you many different activities to choose from.
Open the Box, Eat the Food, Lose the Weight!
With the new 2013 program from Nutrisystem, you get the simplest weight loss program with a discount based on sticking with the plan. Start out by saving 35% on our most popular plans, then get an additional 5% discount for each extra month on the plan. You could save 50%!
More Diet Plan Reviews
Trim Up Slim Down is your official source for the best diet reviews on the web, so if you’re looking to compare plans, click here for comprehensive reviews on other diet and weight loss programs, including Nutrisystem.