Does Nutrisystem work? You’ve seen the commercials, heard the celebrity endorsements, but may be wondering, “What is Nutrisystem?” Does Nutrisystem work? Should I try Nutrisystem? First, here’s an overview of how it works:
Intro to Nutrisystem
Nutrisystem is a balanced diet plan that provides a balance of protein, carbs, vegetables and dietary nutrients. Like TV dinners, Nutrisystem is easy because it relies mainly on heat and eat style options. Unlike other diet plans, Nutrisystem includes a variety of foods, including carbs, because the plan relies more on calorie restriction and portion control through their prepared meals.
In contrast to Weight Watchers, the reliance or prepackaged foods make options for dining out limited, but the plan is mainly intended for short-term use rather than changing eating habits over the long-term, so the restrictions aren’t insurmountable. Nutrisystem includes a variety of plans for different aims, including diabetes control and vegetarian options and other specialty plans for specific goals and diets.
The basic premise of Nutrisystem is that most diets fail because meal prepping and planning is too hard to do on your own. Nutrisystem takes much of the burden off the consumer by providing meals that are pre-calorie counted, premade and scheduled so that you know exactly when and what to eat without thinking about it first.
- Nutrisystem’s strength is its convenience; It generally works well for busy people who don’t look forward to cooking
- Nutrisystem’s weakness is that it restricts what you can eat, relying on pre-package, portioned foods delivered each month
In fact, in a rating of all diets by U.S. News, Nutrisystem is ranked #5 overall for “Best Commercial Diets,” and scores highest in the “Easiest to Follow” (#11) and “Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets (#14) categories.
Nutrisystem focuses on the glycemic index so that your blood sugar levels remain steady through a diet that is high in protein and complex carbohydrates, including vegetables and whole grains. By eating a careful balance of protein and “good carbs,” you won’t feel hungry.
Unlike other diet plans, one of the perks of Nutrisystem is the ability to adapt to a modern lifestyle. Nutrisystem offers apps, digital programs and the Leaf website, amongst other options and add-ons to help dieters meet their goals using a variety of tools that work for them. Counselors are available via phone for any questions and guidance that consumers may have.
Overall, Nutrisystem tends to be an affordable dieting option, although there are additional costs on top of the meal plan, due to the required fresh groceries.
In fact, they usually offer significant discounts and coupons to get you started on their meal-delivery plans.
Does Nutrisystem Work? Let’s Look at Reviews
Because the Nutrisystem success rate isn’t published, one good way to determine whether it works is to compare positive reviews against negative reviews.
Let’s look at the 282 customer ratings for “overall satisfaction” at consumer affairs.com:
- 224 Postitive Ratings, (4-5 Stars): 83%
- 11 Neutral Ratings, (3 Stars): 4%
- 36 Negative Rating: (1-2 Stars) 13%
So, based on that sampling of nearly 300 people willing to review and rate Nutrisystem, an impressive 83% rated Nutrisystem positively.
Customers tend to overall be very pleased with their results on Nutrisystem. Less favorable reviews occur when people are unable to customize their options according to personal preferences.
For example, not liking a particular ingredient can reduce the number of prepared foods you can enjoy, making weight loss seem more tedious before reaching a goal weight. Those that eat a variety of foods tend to enjoy the program more and experience better results overall.
Other issues with Nutrisystem include adjusting to smaller portion sizes than you may be accustomed to.
Scouring through the reviews, a number of customers also felt that Nutrisystem is too time consuming (eating multiple times a day and exercising), the results are too slow, and a number of people were angry about the early cancellation fee.
The Claims About Nutrisystem
The latest Nutrisystem Plan, Lean 13, promises that women can lose as much as 13 pounds and 7 inches during the first month on the plan and men can lose as much as 15 pounds and 7 inches.
Nutrisystem includes a fast start program to kick off your weight loss by restricting calories to only around 1,000 a day through preselected meals, shakes and snacks. After that, you get a little more leeway to customize your diet according to your age, sex and specific needs and goals. You can further customize your plan with some of the updates that Nutrisystem has made over the years.
Many of the studies about the success of Nutrisystem have been conducted by the company itself. However, a short-term study of commercial weight loss programs found that people on Nutrisystem lost more weight than people who received education and counseling alone.
In many of the studies conducted both by the company and independently, Nutrisystem dieters tend to lose more weight than control dieters or dieters following other plans.
Much of the success of Nutrisystem is likely due to the calorie restriction and portion control. Although basic tenants of weight loss, they tend to be overlooked in favor of other factors and more holistic approaches that don’t include supplements like meal replacements.
Does Nutrisystem Last?
“Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last” – 1999, Prince
Overall, it doesn’t seem like the initial weight loss that most customers enjoy from Nutrisystem lasts long-term.
In fact, keeping the weight off seems to be the Achilles heel of most diets in general, (like Medifast) and that need for support, accountability, and encouragement might be why Weight Watchers recommends adding meetings
The average person seems to stick with the diet for a few months, to jumpstart weight loss or to lose weight for a specific occasion., like a wedding or for the Summer.
People that have lots of weight to lose may stay on the plan for a year to reach their goal weight. Those that lose the most weight tend to be the most motivated to keep it off and learn to count calories and practice portion control as well as adopt other habits encouraged by Nutrisystem, like drinking lots of water and getting some form of exercise each day. Adopting the Nutrisystem lifestyle to real-life means that the results last for longer.
Although some people quit Nutrisystem, the majority seem to stick with it. Because the plans are for four weeks, starting and stopping is easy. The only caveat is that subscriptions automatically renew so once you call to cancel, you should make sure that the cancellation went through so that you won’t continue to be billed and you are also responsible for sending back any food that you don’t use.
(Apparently, much easier than quitting match.com!)
Should I Try Nutrisystem?
Diets are a bit like presidential candidates, in the sense that they all have their weaknesses, and it’s not possible to please everyone.
Really, you have to find a diet that fits your lifestyle and needs. Think of a diet as a “tool;” if your life is imbalanced, you don’t exercise regularly, or you lack discipline in following through with what is required, you are going to have trouble finding success with any diet.
If you don’t like the idea of certain foods being off-limits, or need the extra support of in-person meetings, then Nutrisystem probably won’t work as a long-term weight loss solution for you.
Considering trying it? You can check out today’s best deal for Nutrisystem here.
Have you tried Nutrisystem? If so, let us know if it worked for you by commenting below!