by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
The NutriSystem diet has you eat their prepackaged meals until you get to the weight you want to be at. It will cost $360 to $420 to get 28 days worth of entrees, snacks, and desserts sent to your home. Most people lose 2 pounds each week and stay on the program for 10 weeks.
How Might This Work?
You will eat a set amount of foods with a low-glycemic index to lose weight. NutriSystem is made up of about 50% low-glycemic carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 20% fat.
What Do I Have to Do?
You will eat mostly NutriSystem meals, such as entrees, snacks, protein shakes, and desserts. You will also need to eat your own dairy items, fruits, and veggies. You will be eating 5 times a day.
You start by picking a program: Women’s, Men’s, Silver for Women, Silver for Men, Diabetes, or Vegetarian. You can let NutriSystem pick your meals or you can do it. You can pick from over 300 meals in the Men's and Women's programs. Other programs do not have as many choices. The meals are quick and easy and do not need to be kept cold.
The plan also offers:
What Does the Research Say?
Research has found that eating foods with a low-glycemic index can help you feel full longer. Studies have also found that programs with meal replacements can help people lose weight and keep it off. But keep in mind that the best diets are the ones that you can stick to over time. This one is only used for a short time.
Are There Any Problems?
NutriSystem is healthy and may help you lose weight. The key will be to keep it off when you are no longer using the program.
You will need to have healthy eating habits to keep the weight off. This means you will need to know how to choose and make foods and know about serving sizes. People do not learn this when they eat prepackaged meals. Many people end up gaining the weight back when they go off the program.
NutriSystem may be hard to stay on if you mostly eat meals with other people in your family or you like to eat out. NutriSystem is also costly. You will need to think about the money you would spend on groceries and eating out.
The program may be right for you if you like the ease of these meals over the freshness and flavor of ones cooked at home. The hard part is that you are on your own again after the program ends. People on this program should work with NutriSystem counselors to learn how to keep the weight off when they eat and cook on their own again.
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Dietitians of Canada
Diets for weight loss. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscoh.... Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2019.
How NutriSystem works. NutriSystem website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 14, 2019.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Last Updated: 3/14/2019
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