You want to lose weight. You want to eat right, be healthier, and look better.
You’ve promised yourself a dozen times that you were going to do it. Every year is the year you’re going to eat healthier and get more exercise. You put a lot of emphasis on health, but you also just want to look and feel better in your clothes. You want to be thinner.
Admitting it can be hard to do, but achieving it is even harder. Temptation is everywhere, your time is limited, and your body, just like everyone else’s, is stubborn.
It’s no wonder that there’s a long history of weight loss companies who aim to capitalize on this frustrating human condition. They make outrageous claims and run infomercials around the clock. They introduce crazy diets. You can eat your weight in potatoes, or ice cream, or bananas and somehow slim down.
Many of these companies come and go pretty quickly as do the fads they represent, but some have more staying power. In fact, some weight loss companies seem almost credible.
Can that be true? Are there actually ways to lose weight quickly and easily without turning yourself over to a personal trainer for 22 hours a day?
How Nutrisystem Can Possibly Help You
The people at Nutrisystem certainly seem to think so. Nutrisystem reviews are responsible for consistently ranking the program highly by the US News diet ratings system for the past 8 years. It has a money-back guarantee, and it claims customers can lose an average of nearly 12 pounds in the first month.
When you watch their commercials peppered with an array of celebrities with their now oversized pants, it’s easy to assume it’s just another diet scam.
Sure, Marie Osmond lost weight, but she also has a fortune at her disposal. If you had those kinds of resources available, you could lose a lot of weight too.
So, you’re right to be skeptical. You’ve been burned before, and you know better than to put your faith and your health in the hands of people who are trying to make a profit.
Digging into Nutrisystem Reviews
And yet, you’re also still curious. You’ve heard about other people losing weight on meal plans, and you’re starting to think they are onto something. You’re seriously considering checking out Nutrisystem, but you need a little background information first.
So before you invest your time, your money, and most importantly, your hopes, into Nutrisystem, take a look at everything you need to know about the program to decide for yourself if it’s worth a try.
Pick a Plan
Nutrisystem has several varieties of plans based on various health and nutrition concerns, and it also has several levels of plans to choose from. The first step is to choose the plan that’s right for you. To do this you can use their free diet analysis calculator by imputing some personal information, or you can read up on the plans for yourself.
Choose from specialized plans for men, women, individuals with diabetes, and vegetarians. Once you’ve selected from those options you’ll need to pick between the levels of plans.
The plan levels are differentiated by the variety of food they offer, the level of professional support, and the addition of snacks and shakes. They’re also priced differently.
The Basic Plan is the least expensive per day, and it includes their most popular foods. It doesn’t have as much variety as the other plans, and you do not have access to online professional support.
The Core Plan gives you over 100 different foods to choose from and access to online counselors, dieticians, and fitness trackers. The Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Plus Plans come with even more food options, including unlimited meals and snacks, and the Uniquely Yours Plus also includes 4 weeks’ worth of Turbo shakes that are designed to boost your weight loss.
To pick the plan that’s right for you, you’ll have to decide how important variety is and how much it will affect your weight loss goals. Will eating the same food repeatedly drive you to stray from your diet and indulge in foods that will sabotage your success? If so, then spring for the more expensive packages that make variety their goal.
And if you’re okay with eating the same foods as long as you do actually get to eat food, then starting with the Basic Plan makes the most sense.
What to Expect from the Plans
Regardless of what plan you choose, you’ll get a combination of 6 meals and snacks for each day. The program is designed for you to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Nutrisystem believes that eating small, healthy meals throughout the day can help you boost your weight loss.
You also don’t have to worry about counting calories, or points, and you won’t feel like you’re starving yourself. In fact, the prepared meals are high in both protein and fiber to help you feel fuller, longer.
Each plan starts off with what Nutrisystem calls a Turbo Takeoff. It’s combination of meals, shakes, and snack bars that help rev up your metabolism and get your weight loss started. Even with the pre-set meal plan you’re encouraged to start mixing in fresh vegetables.
As the program continues you’ll enjoy your combination of snacks and meals, and continue to mix in fresh grocery items that promote weight loss, like lean meat and fiber-rich fruits.
Nutrisystem also allows for flex meals, which are ways that you can work in a favorite home cooked meal, or a trip to a restaurant. These flex options are part of what make the system reasonable and doable.
It’s ridiculous to think that you’ll never eat out again, and it’s also ridiculous to consider eating out a self-sabotaging act. All that does is bring up feelings of guilt and failure, and it makes food and restaurants the enemy. These things are not your enemies.
Food is wonderful, and being able to prepare it or enjoy it out with friends is one of life’s great pleasures.
Nutrisystem gets that.
It simply aims to balance your love of food with your need to make smart choices and eat healthy sized portions.
The portion control that Nutrisystem provides is one of its greatest assets and something that believers in the system really benefit from. Portion control is something a lot of people struggle with. It’s hard to open a box of crackers, or a bag of chips and stop yourself before you get to the bottom. It’s a lot harder than it should be.
But when snacks and meals are pre-packed in healthy portions it is easier. You can’t go back for seconds. You don’t get another scoop, or another spoonful, and there are no leftovers calling your name from the fridge around midnight.
The Expectations Are Reasonable
Nutrisystem predicts that you will lose 1 to 2 pounds a week following the first week of accelerated weight loss. That is a reasonable goal, and it will help you to make steady progress. Diets that claim you can lose any more than a pound or 2 a week are not being reasonable, or truthful.
Losing any more than a pound or so a week is just losing water weight. You’ll put it right back on as soon as you stop restricting your food so drastically and then where will you be? You’ll be no better off, and what’s more, you’ll be disheartened.
To lose weight successfully you have to battle your emotions as well as your belt buckle. If you feel defeated then how can you be motivated? If you set expectations for yourself that are unattainable, then aren’t you setting yourself up to fail?
With Nutrisystem you get the gentle approach to weight loss. You make small changes in your nutrition, and you see small changes on the scale.
But that means you have to stick with it.
You can’t just give up because you didn’t morph into a super model overnight. That’s where it gets hard. You have to make the choice to eat healthy, and that means making choices for the long term.
Slow and steady wins the race, and that’s part of why Nutrisystem seems to work so well for people.
It’s a Meal Plan, Not a Diet Plan
It might seem like splitting hairs, but there is a difference between a diet, and a meal plan.
Dieting is denying yourself. Dieting is cutting your caloric intake drastically. It means going hungry. It means cutting out a bunch of things you love for as long as you can possibly stand it, and then starting again at the same spot. Dieting is not maintainable.
Meal plans are different.
They force you to look at the foods you eat and make reasonable changes. Lots of the Nutrisystem foods are simply healthier versions of the foods you love.
You don’t have to give up sweets or carbs.
Because you can’t maintain that.
What, are you never going to eat bread again? What kind of life would that be? But you can eat healthier bread, right?
Nutrisystem meal plans aren’t about denying food, they’re about improving food.
For Nutrisystem hassle-free has many meanings. To begin with, you can get your meals delivered right to your door staring anywhere from 4 to 10 days of when you sign up. You don’t have to go to the grocery store, or pay for other food on top of what you order.
And if Nutrisystem isn’t right for you? Call their customer service line within 14 days of your first 4-week order. You return the reminder of your meal plan, and you get a full refund minus the cost of shipping.
Of course, 14 days isn’t a very long time to assess a weight loss plan. You might feel compelled to give the program just a little longer to see those results, but it is enough time to assess whether you like the quality and variety of the food.
It’s also hassle-free because it doesn’t require a lot of thought, or preparation on your part. You don’t have to cook extra meals unless you want to, and you can eat on the go and even travel with the meal plans with very little trouble.
And it takes the guesswork out of eating. You’re not a nutritionist. You do your best to read labels and keep up with nutrition trends, but it can get confusing. What’s a good carb? What’s a smart carb? You have too much going on in your life to spend time calculating out each crumb of food you eat. Nutrisystem takes over for you and gives you more time for all the other important stuff in your life.
Is There a Catch?
Nutrisystem reviews suggest that it can help you lose weight. It has a program that is easy to follow, and the food is generally considered to be healthy and good for you. The expectations are reasonable, and the weight loss seems to be legitimate.
So what’s the catch? There has to be a catch, right? There are a few, but these snags might not be enough to deter you from at least giving the program a try.
The first problem is the price.
If you’re on a budget, this is not the weight loss plan for you. The lowest priced plan starts at about $10 a day. That works out to nearly $300 a month to feed just one person. That’s also for the plan with the least variety, so you’ll likely end up at the store purchasing additional fruits and vegetables.
It’s also not a great program if you actually enjoy cooking and preparing your own meals. If you don’t want to eat out of a package, then you won’t like Nutrisystem.
You also need to think about your weight loss goals and what you will do when you achieve them.
Yes, meal planning is a lot different than dieting, but what will you do when you want to break away from the perfectly portioned foods?
Will you have the skills and the willpower to continue to eat in a healthy way without the packaged foods on your side?
What Nutrisystem Can Teach You
From reading Nutrisystem reviews, it appears that the program can help you lose weight in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of effort on your part.
You pick a meal plan, and all you have to do is follow through on it.
You get healthy meals that are perfectly proportioned, and you even get a little freedom to choose some meals of your own.
The hard part is learning the lessons that Nutrisystem has to teach you about nutrition and portion control and carrying those lessons over into the rest of your life.