Learning from Nutrisystem reviews & complaints: Nutrisystem is one of the most popular commercial diets, and generally people say it works, as it rates highly for convenience and short-term weight loss.
Even so, you can find a lot of online complaints about Nutrisystem, which are worth reading if you are considering signing up for their diet.
Remember, people are vastly different, and one-size doesn’t fit all. That’s the secret to assembling a good boy band, and why there are so many flavors of Doritos!
This healthy difference of opinion is what makes America great, and you always benefit by hearing both sides of an argument. So, if you are doing your homework on Nutrisystem, lets look at why people quit or don’t like it.
Before we get into customer reviews, here’s a quick explanation of how the diet works.
First, Nutrisystem Explained:
Nutrisystem is based on these three principles:
- Portion control, No need to count calories or points, each meal is perfectly portioned
- Balanced nutrition, The right mix of nutrients, high in protein, (good) carbs, and fiber
- Calorie restriction: The simple, proven concept that you need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.
The gist of the diet is that weight loss is easier when you don’t have to cook, count points, or make a lot of meal or recipe choices. You’ll eat 6 smaller meals and snacks a day, (every 2-3 hours) which helps to speed up your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar.
These “perfectly portioned” prepared meals are sent to you each month. They are high in lean protein, fiber, and low-glycemic (good) carbs.
Nutrisystem basically tells you what to eat and when, making it a favorite of busy people. Just heat and eat your meals, and supplement them with fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. You’ll also have the option of one sensible restaurant meal each week.
Nutrisystem Plan Options:
With Nutrisystem there are 3 plan levels to choose from. The main difference in these plan levels is that you’ll pay more for an increased variety of food:
- BASIC: Pre-selected foods with fewer options
- CORE: The most popular plan, choose from 100+ foods
- UNIQUELY YOURS: Best selection of foods (150+) including unlimited frozen foods
You’ll Start With “Turbo13”
When you join Nutrisystem, you’ll start your first month with “Turbo13,” for fast weight loss.
With Turbo 13 you’ll hit the ground running with:
- 6 healthy, smaller prepared meals / snacks per day
- NutriCurb® bars to curb your cravings plus probiotics to shrink your belly
- TurboBooster shakes to and rev-up your metabolism
- The NuMi® app for easy tracking, recipes, and 24/7 support
Turbo 13 is a big reason why Nutrisystem ranks highly for “fast weight loss.”
By default you’ll start our with their “chef’s choices” for meal selections for the first month. Want to change things up? No problem; both the CORE and UNIQUELY YOURS plan allow for easy menu customization.
Each meal option includes helpful customer reviews, nutrition facts, and ingredients like this:
Easily swap out meals that you aren’t crazy about with one of your favorites or something new. So, what does a sample menu look like?
Sample Menu: What a Day on Nutrisystem Looks Like
Here’s what the meals might look like on a typical day:
- Breakfast: Nutrisystem® Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal + 1 cup non-fat yogurt
- A.M. Snack: Celery sticks with peanut butter
- Lunch: Nutrisystem Double-Chocolate Caramel Bar + 1/2 cup vegetable juice
- P.M. Snack: Strawberries w/ whipped cream + 1 cup non-fat yogurt
- Dinner: Nutrisystem Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce + sauteed vegetables
- Dessert: Nutrisystem White Chocolate Chunk Cookies + 1 cup non-fat milk
Want to see a sample week’s menu for Nutrisystem? They’ve posted a sample menu here!
So, how do real people rate Nutrisytem? Let’s take a look at the reviews.
Nutrisystem: Customer Reviews
There’s a lot to learn from reviews of Nutrisystem, from inspiring success stories to angry complaints. So, what can we learn all these ratings and reviews?
After reading hundreds of reviews, I’d summarize Nutrisystem by saying, “busy people like Nutrisystem for it’s convenience, but some people are left wanting for more homemade or restaurant-quality meals.”
It’s really a personal choice. If you’d rather cook your own meals and count points, consider Weight Watchers instead. If you like the idea of a structured diet, read on!
Ok, lets look at both the good, and bad reviews!
*Exclusive: extra $100+ w/ our coupon!
Nutrisystem: Visualizing 260 Customer Ratings
The overwhelming majority of reviews for Nutrisystem are positive. In fact, about 80% of customers say it works, giving it a 4-5 star rating.
Here is a chart showing the star ratings that Nutrisystem got from 260 customers in the last year: (2017)
Now, NO diet has a perfect success rate, because people are very different, with different opinions and needs.
Keep in mind that the highest overall approval rating ever for a president was 70% (for JFK), which is lower than the 80% satisfaction rating for Nutrisystem. Not bad!
OK, so the good reviews outweigh the negative reviews, but let’s do some digging and see if this is the right diet for YOU.
First, Praise from POSITIVE Reviews!
As mentioned, Nutrisystem ranks highly for convenience, and is a favorite of busy people.
You don’t have to plan meals, as they are portioned and sent to you. You are told what to eat and when, and that is appealing to a lot of people who don’t want to count calories or points.
I notice that a number Nutrisystem reviews specifically mention the diet helps them get “in control again,” as their eating habits had gotten chaotic and unhealthy.
Here are some highlights from positive reviews:
- “I have used Nutrisystem (for men) in the past and just finished two months. My goal was 25 pounds and I did meet my goal. I find the plan to be very easy to follow and have gotten to know which meal selections I like… I would recommend the plan to anyone.” – Thomas of Green Valley, AZ
- “The food is delicious; very reasonably priced and counselors are always available to offer assistance. I’ve been a lifetime member with Weight Watchers… but now that I’ve tried Nutrisystem, I have to say I prefer Nutrisystem over Weight Watchers, as it’s easier and the weight loss was much quicker.” – Charla of Irwin, PA
- “I found the food tasty and the most important thing to me was I knew exactly what I was supposed to eat each day. It was all planned out and required no research or work on my part.” – Karen of Biloxi, MS
- “…the program reminds me of the importance of portion control and the need for more water in my life… Thank you again for helping me get in control again.” – Debra of Newell, SD
- “The food wasn’t bad and the simplicity of eating a meal that was nutritious and portion controlled helped me get back on the road to a more healthy lifestyle.” – Jenny of Bakersfield, CA
- “I have been a Nutrisystem member for several years and I can promise you this. “If you follow the plan, it works.” I would recommend Nutrisystem to anyone who wants to lose a small or large amount of weight. It is a healthy and disciplined way to reach your goal.” Diane of St. Cloud, FL
Now, the NEGATIVE reviews:
You can learn a lot from reading customer reviews; especially the bad ones! Before I buy or sign up for something, I always try to find negative reviews. It seems you can learn more from the bad reviews than the good ones, which are never quite as interesting.
However, with products that generally rated highly, like Nutrisystem, you can learn a lot by finding common customer complaints and then imagining if you would have the same issues.
Looks like 33 out of 260 people rated Nutrisystem “unfavorably”, (less than 3 stars) so let’s see what negative things people said about the diet!
Common Complaints About Nutrisystem
On ConsumerAffairs.com, Nutrisystem gets an impressive 4/5 stars, but not everyone rated it highly. First, let’s throw out the bad reviews that aren’t helpful or constructive.
That includes the negative one-star review I read from a man who kept Nutrisystem’s (frozen!) meals in his refrigerator for 2 weeks, then complained that they went bad:
- “I put them in refrigerator and they were spoiled when I tried to eat.” – John – The Villages. FL
It also includes the bad one-star review from an angry woman who opened the box of meals upside-down, then complained that everything fell out:
- “…that idiot delivered it upside down and there was no arrow saying ‘this side up’ or anything. I am very unhappy as it all was scattered across the floor and I had a mess.” – Karla – Richfield, UT
Ok, Karla… Well, if you were standing on your head, it would have been right-side up! Also, that’s kind of the deliver-guy’s fault, right?
There are also a number of people who complain about the price in their bad review, so we did our homework and broke down the daily and monthly costs of each plan for you, including the current promotions. Remember, you can save an extra $100+ if you use a coupon., and lock in a lower monthly price!
It’s worth noting that Nutrisystem pays close attention to the negative reviews on sites like Consumer Affairs, so it’s common to see them respond to each individual bad review. In fact, they follow-up with most unhappy customers to resolve the complaints, and this often results in the customer significantly increasing their star-rating in their review at a later time.
If you do have a problem, it’s best to contact Nutrisystem directly from their website, as they wish to avoid negative reviews at all costs, and will try to resolve any problems that you are having.
Complaint #1: It can be difficult to customize orders
So, what are the other common complaints in negative reviews, and what can we learn from them? Let’s look at what people lament and bemoan about Nutrisystem:
- “I had tried and tried to manage my auto delivery a la carte order and I was not able to customize my order. After several failed attempts and emails to customer service, it was still not possible for me to customize my order…” Mark – Visalia, Ca
If you have specific dietary needs, like Diabetes, the very first thing that you will want to do is customize your order. Of course, it’s essential that you get a plan that suits your taste and needs. This is one of the areas in which Nutrisystem supposedly pride themselves.
Despite this, one of the things that people seem to struggle with is the customizing system. If you flick through the many reviews online, there are a load of customers who say that this is a tricky service and, unfortunately, not one they would recommend.
There was also more than one customer who complained that food selection was limited, especially in the least expensive “Basic” plan.
- “Well, when I went to choose my food I noticed that for this plan they greatly reduced the options for all meals! I am not certain if it was because I used a Groupon or because it’s the type of plan but I think it’s not appropriate. The choices should be the same regardless of how much you pay!” – Karla Morristown, NJ
Complaint #2. There’s too much sugar and salt (sodium) in the meals
- “Everything is loaded with sodium and sugar. Another problem, everything needs to be microwaved – I don’t own a microwave and don’t plan on ever owning one.” – Valerie of Thornton, CO
Eating healthy is a top priority for most people looking to start a diet, and some people feel that Nutrisystem’s pre-packaged meals have too much sugar and sodium content.
In Nutrisystem’s defense, their plans provide about 2,000 mg of sodium per day, which is actually less than the FDA recommended sodium intake of 2,300 mg per day, but apparently still too high for some customers.
In Nutrisystem’s defence, the average American does consume about 3,400 mg of sodium, which is 50% more than the FDA recommends! That means that in theory, if the average person signed up for Nutrisystem they’d actually be significantly reducing their sodium intake.
Do you on the go? Here’s some food for thought about sodium and sugar:
- A Burger King chicken sandwich with fries has 1740 mg of sodium!
- Add a large Coke, and you’ll be consuming 102g of sugar (yikes!)
Yikes! Sodium and sugar levels are especially important to diabetics who try to limit salt and have to constantly monitor their sugar intake. The relatively high salt and sugar content of Nutrisystem’s prepackaged meals are a big reason why the diet was not ranked as one of the Best Diabetes Diets.
*We should note that Nutrisystem does comply with the FDA’s suggested daily allowance of sodium. (under 2400 mg/ day)
Also, you can customize their plans to a lower sodium intake of 1,500 mg per day, and also offer plans specifically for diabetics called “Nutrisystem D”.
Complaint #3: There’s a cancellation fee
- “I called to cancel my order and had to spend 10 minutes on the phone with Katelyn telling me why I shouldn’t and that I would be charged a $125 cancellation fee. I feel I have been scammed.” – Shaina of Denver, CO
Nutrisystem offers a money-back guarantee, but you have to cancel in the first 14 days and mail your unused food back for a refund. Here’s what they say on their site:
- “If you cancel after the first 14 days and prior to paying for your second 4-week plan shipment, your payment method will credit Nutrisystem $125 for the auto-delivery discount received on your first shipment. You may cancel after the second 4-week plan shipment with no charge whatsoever.” – Nutrisystem.com
Tips about cancelling Nutrisystem:
- You are on the hook for 2 months of auto-delivery unless you cancel in the first 14 days
- If you cancel after your second delivery, no problem. Just make sure it’s before 6pm EST on the day before your next scheduled delivery date
- Your next order ship date can be found by clicking Manage My Next Auto-Delivery Order in your account
While Nutrisystem for states that you have to commit to auto-delivery of meals (or face a cancellation fee), some customers are unhappy with this issue.
There are actually a great many reviews which state that people were surprised by the cancelation fee and did not want to pay it. Before you sign up to the service, be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly to avoid any nasty shocks!
Complaint #4: The customer service can be bad
- “It’s just a shame that it took several dead end calls and emails to finally get my situation resolved. That’s customer service at its absolute worst. I sure hope I don’t have a replay of this if I have another question or problem.” – Donna of Plainfield, IL
When it comes to choosing a diet plan, one of the things that is sure to be a deciding factor is the customer service. We did see a lot of reviews that extolled their good customer service, but a number of negative reviews of Nutrisystem did mention that certain customer service reps were unfriendly or unhelpful in certain cases. This was common with people who wished to quit the diet, but did not want to pay the hefty cancellation fee.
In Nutrisystem’s defense, they did respond to every single negative review that we could find on top review sites, which is a good sign. They even offered a $20 off coupon to anyone reading the bad review, and didn’t try to hide anything.
Complaint #5. The taste of the food
- “Finally received the food, tasted it and was completely disgusted by it. The food was so inedible that after a single spoonful the food ends up in the garbage.” – Samera of Freehold, NJ
- “Upon receiving the food, the food was very stale, tasted horrible and loaded with tons of sodium. I tried to stick it out and see what the results would be, but I just couldn’t take it anymore” – Anna, Edmonton, AB
Wow, tell us how you REALLY feel! The taste of the food was a major source of debate in online reviews. For every negative review we found that complained about the taste of the food, we probably found two or more reviews from people who enjoyed the taste:
- “Nutrisystem worked for me because the program is easy to follow, the food tastes great, and it gave me the structure I needed to accomplish my weight loss goals. So far I have lost 105 lbs and I feel great!” – Stephen, Charlottesville, VA
Taste is, of course, very subjective, so it’s really a personal preference. As we mentioned, Nutrisystem scores highly for convenience, but it seems that some people just don’t like pre-packaged food in general, and miss home-cooked meals.
What I learned by reading so many Reviews
After reading scores of positive and negative reviews, I feel that they support the ratings given to Nutrisystem by trusted sources like U.S. News.
The diet is very convenient, and scores well for short-term weight loss. Generally the portion control is effective and meal delivery works well for busy people who don’t mind microwaving most of their meals.
While there are other popular commercial diets that offer pre-packaged meals (like the shakes offered by Medifast), it seems that eventually many people miss grocery store meals and restaurant food.
- View today’s featured promotion for Nutrisystem, or all Nutrisystem specials here
- See our Nutrisystem for Men review here!
- We compare Weight Watchers vs Nutrisystem
- If you don’t like the idea of packaged food or limits on what you can eat, consider Weight Watchers instead! Also, check out our reviews for the Medifast diet here
We put together this fancy video, if you’re more of a visual person!
Please Share Your Own Nutrisystem Review!
If you’ve tried Nutrisystem, please share your honest review with us by commenting below!