nutrisystem reviews and complaints

Nutrisystem Reviews: Good & Bad + Top Customer Complaints – 2018

nutrisystem logoLearning from Nutrisystem reviews & complaints: Nutrisystem is one of the most popular commercial meal-delivery diets for both women and men, 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.

diets are like boy bands

…But, I think JC is the best!

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. If you’re interested, we can cut the cost with out exclusive coupon for a 40% discount + an extra $30 off!new

How Nutrisytem works | Expert Reviews | Customer Reviews | Food Reviews

First, Nutrisystem Explained: (In 30 Seconds!)

*Actually, don’t click on the video, because the homepage doesn’t give you the best deal. Best price is below: 

nutrisystem save40 couponFeatured new customer promotion or, view all coupons

Nutrisystem is based on these 3 principles:

  1. Portion control, No need to count calories or points, each meal is perfectly portioned
  2. Balanced nutrition, The right mix of nutrients, high in protein, (good) carbs, and fiber
  3. 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) and drink at least 64 oz. of water each day which will help speed up your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar.

These “perfectly portioned” prepared meals are delivered monthly. 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, and track everything on their Numi app. (included) You’ll also have the option of several sensible “flex meals” on your own each week.

*More: how Nutrisystem works (and does it really work?) 

Plan Options:

funny diet ecard

Sorry, that’s not one of Nutrisystem’s plans!

With Nutrisystem there are 4 plan levels to choose from. The main difference in these plan levels is that you’ll pay more for an increased variety of food:

  1. BASIC: Pre-selected foods with fewer options
  2. CORE: The most popular plan, choose from 100+ foods
  3. UNIQUELY YOURS: Best selection of foods (150+) including unlimited frozen foods
  4. UNIQUELY YOURS PLUS: All the features of Uniquely Yours plus 28 protein shakes each month

Each plan level also has personalized options for men, diabetics, and vegetarians, and they all start with Turbo 13 in the first month.

*Update 11/25/18: Nutrisystem now also offers an optional DNA Body Blueprint test kit with any plan, or purchased a la carte.

You’ll Start With “Turbo13” – Here’s How:

turbo13When you join Nutrisystem, you’ll start your first month with “Turbo13,” for fast weight loss.

During this first month women aim to lose 13 poundswhile men  lose up to 18 pounds! (In a study, women lose an average of 11 pounds the first month, while men lose about 15)

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.” 

Here’s what you get in your first shipment + a helpful & quick overview of the program:

Now, let’s take a look at how the experts rated this diet:

Expert Reviews / Ratings:

U.S. News recently asked a panel of diet experts and specialists in diabetes and heart disease to review Nutrisystem and rate the diet. Here’s an infographic on how it scored:

nutrisystem expert reviews

Nutrisystem ratings from expert reviews

As you can see, Nutrisystem was rated highly for “short-term weight loss” and “healthy,” but mediocre for “long-term weight loss” and “easy to follow,” presumably because many people eventually tire of their food regimen. Here’s how customers reviewed the diet:

Customer Reviews:

There’s a lot to learn by reading the plethora of online reviews for Nutrisystem, and they include a wide range of opinions. You’ll find inspiring success stories and testimonials as well complaints from angry customers demanding a refund.

In both the good and bad reviews there were some common themes that repeated. So, what did we learn after reading all of these user reviews and expert ratings? 

Here are the pros and cons of Nutrisystem:

Nutrisystem Reviews: BAD!

complaints about nutrisystem

Nutrisystem is expensive, and we prefer home-cooking. Let’s all write bad reviews!

review badOn, Nutrisystem gets an impressive 4/5 stars, but not everyone rated it highly. I find that you can learn a lot from reading customer reviews; especially the bad, or brutally honest ones!

Before I buy or sign up for something, I always try to find negative reviews. so that I can view the product objectively. No single movie can hope to get a 100% approval rating, and the same goes for weight loss programs.

nutrisystem fee bad review

Here are the top 5 complaints about Nutrisytem:

  1. The cancellation fee: Anger about their cancellation fee is the biggest complaint in bad reviews! A lot of customers were shocked at being charged a cancellation fee after quitting. If you want to quit, you have to cancel in the first 14 days or after your second shipment. Here’s the details of their cancellation policy
  2. Food taste and variety: Switching from complete menu freedom to a structured diet of pre-packaged meals is not easy for some people. One review criticized Nutrisystem’s menu as being, “the return of the tv dinner.” Other users complained that there isn’t enough variety of foods, especially if you choose their vegetarian or gluten free foods.
  3. High In Sodium? A lot of reviews complained about high salt content, which seems to be true of all packaged foods. In Nutrisystem’s defense their daily sodium content of 2300 mg per day is within the FDA’s recommended amount, and much less than the 3400 mg per day that average American consumes. If you have diabetes, their Nutrisystem D plan has less sodium and sugar, but also less food variety
  4. The Cost: All meal delivery plans seem expensive, as you are usually paying for a month of food at once. Nutrisystem (cost) is actually relatively inexpensive compared with other diets like Jenny Craig, (cost) but you still get hit with a $300 monthly charge on your credit card. The best way to drop the price is by using a coupon
  5. Price Increase: Here’s an important one. Some promotions, including their $100 off seasonal promotion do not lock-in the promotional rate. These coupons only apply to your first 3 months, and by month 4 you may be paying up to $50 more than you did on your first month. The best deal is their 40% off promotion which locks in the introductory rate forever. (You can also find a code for up to an extra $50 off your first order here!) 

Ok, so Nutrisystem must be an expensive diet that delivers salty, bad-tasting food with an unfair cancellation policy, right? No, those are just complaints from bad reviews.

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.

Now, let’s look at praise from good reviews.

Nutrisystem Reviews: GOOD!

nutrisystem positive reviews women

Nutrisystem worked! Let’s all go online & write positive reviews!

review goodOk, time to look at what has made Nutrisystem one of the top commercial diets over the last 40+ years (Since 1972!) including it’s position as the #5 “Best Commercial Diet” according to U.S. News. Nutrisystem is generally rated highly, and the program works for most women and men.

Here’s what both customers and experts like most about Nutrisystem:

  1. Fast weight loss: Nutrisystem has you hit the ground running with their Turbo 13 plan and the goal for women to lose 13 pounds in the first month (men can lose 18). Nutrisystem achieves it’s highest ratings in this category, and is consistently ranked as a top “fast weight loss diet” by U.S. News
  2. Convenience: Nutrisystem delivers you pre-packaged, pre-portioned meals every month and tells you what to eat and when. There’s no need to count calories, carbs, or points, and if you follow the program, the math says you’ll lose weight. This makes the program a favorite of busy people, and may appeal to the 50% of Americans who say they hate to cook
  3. The Cost: Wait, I thought that was a complaint? True, but let’s do the math. The average person with a moderate budget spends $250+ per month on food, and most of us spend a lot more; we just don’t realize it. At a cost of about $300 per month, Nutrisystem may be less than you are already spending, especially if you eat meals out which cost an average of $12.75 per person. So, you could say the cost of Nutrisystem is the same or less than the meals its replacing
  4. Healthy: Nutrisystem’s nutritional content is within the recommended daily amounts, and exceeds the daily recommendation of protein and fiber which helps curb cravings. They also refuse to jump on the “low carb” bandwagon, encouraging you to supplement their meals with fruits and non-starchy vegetables which are high in “good” carbs.
  5. Highly-Rated: Nutrisystem ranks relatively high with its users who often praise the diet for bringing control back into their lives. We took the customer satisfaction ratings from a few top sites and compiled them below:

Nutrisystem: Visualizing 3000+ 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 (2018) on

nutrisystem reviews ratings

Nutrisystem: Enhanced customer review technique

And, here’s the distribution of 2780 ratings from verified customer reviews from

nutrisystem customer ratings

Customer reviews from

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 now let’s look at reviews of the food:

Nutrisystem Food Reviews: What’s Good and What’s Bad?

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; while you can’t change the menu with the BASIC plan, 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:

nutrisystem food nutrition

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?

Customer reviews for each food: You don’t even have to be on Nutrisystem to read consumer reviews of the food. Just visit their site and click, View Menu at the top.

Then, select a meal (breakfast, lunch, etc) and you’ll get a sortable list of foods. By default you’ll see them listed by “top-rated,” but you can change that:

food reviews nutrisystem

Real customer reviews of every meal and snack!

Click on any food and you can read all customer reviews including the bad ones. For example,  the Cinnamon Roll is highly rated at 4.7 stars (out of 2356 reviews).

The worst Nutrisystem food to avoid? That would be the strawberry cheese crepes with a 2-star rating and comments like, “This was awful – no taste and mushy when microwaved; do not recommend!”

Ok, definitely skip the crepes! That’s why whether you are a customer or not, you should definitely read food reviews before ordering.

Sample Menu: What a Day on Nutrisystem Looks Like

cost nutrisystem meals

Here’s what the meals might look like on a typical day:

  1. Breakfast: Nutrisystem® Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal + 1 cup non-fat yogurt
  2. A.M. Snack: Celery sticks with peanut butter
  3. Lunch: Nutrisystem Double-Chocolate Caramel Bar + 1/2 cup vegetable juice
  4. P.M. Snack: Strawberries w/ whipped cream + 1 cup non-fat yogurt
  5. Dinner: Nutrisystem Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce + sauteed vegetables
  6. 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!

Nutrisystem FAQs:

This short video will answer these frequently asked questions about Nutrisystem:

  • How much weight will I lose on the program? Generally you can expect to lose about 1-2 pounds per week, with more weight loss probable during your initial TurboTakeoff week. Individual results are dependent on your starting weight and how much you follow the program
  • Are you required to add vegetables? Yes, Nutrisystem requires at least 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day like tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and more
  • What are Flex Meals? Flex meals are healthy meals that you prepare or order on your own  w/o anything from your Nutrisystem shipment. After completing TurboTakeoff Week, you will have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack per week.
  • Can you have alcohol? An occasional glass of wine or beer is ok, but the empty calories in alcohol can slow down weight loss and encourage food cravings, so it’s best to avoid alcohol.

What I learned by reading so many honest customer reviews

woman learnedAfter 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.

Although it seems expensive, the cost of Nutrisystem is about the same as the cost of Weight Watchers and what you spend on Medifast once you factor in the food you buy at the grocery store.

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.

nutrisystem save40 coupon

We put together this fancy video, if you’re more of a visual person!

Your Own Nutrisystem Review?

If you’ve tried Nutrisystem, please rate it and share your own honest review with us by commenting below!

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25 thoughts on “Nutrisystem Reviews: Good & Bad + Top Customer Complaints – 2018

    1. Les

      I’ve been on Nutri-System twice in the past 10 years. Both times I lost significant weight (around 20 pounds) over a two month period. Both times, I cancelled after two months. Both times, about 10 of the 20 pounds came back quickly. I didn’t radically change my diet when off Nutri System. The pounds just returned despite my best efforts. I think a Weight Watchers plan which uses food you choose and makes you count the calories is a much better long term plan. But, if you want to lose weight quickly, at least for awhile, Nutri System works.

  1. Jean C

    I tried it and I want to caution people about the 13 pound weight loss guarantee. So, in order for you to get a refund, you have to ask for it within 14 days of receiving your order. HOWEVER, there’s no way for you to know that you’ll lose 13 pounds AND 7 inches overall in 14 days! A person would have to be losing at least 3.5 pounds a week AND sustain that unreasonable weight loss rate for 4 weeks, which is not possible for 99.9% of human beings. It doesn’t make sense, it’s not realistic, and it seems highly dishonest to publicize this “guarantee.” Better to devise your own low calorie, low fat diet than pay for this average quality food.

  2. James and Sharon Wright

    I feel that NutraSystem takes advantage of anybody when you order over the phone and when I ordered one for me and one for my wife I was never informed of any charges for returning my order like $125.00
    Per box, that’s and absolute rip off! I called before hand to stop it from being shipped and they told me they couldn’t stop it which they actually could have! The bad part is we are on a fixed income yet they automatically charged us anyway and shipped it anyway! BBB WILL BE INFORMED!

  3. Kathy M

    I think the negative reviews here are interesting to read, but are over-weighted (no pun intended) in this post. Remember that, as u say, there is an 80% success rate (satisfaction) based on customer ratings. I lost 20 pounds with Uniquely Yours, and really liked the convenience of having my meals already planned. A lot of people give nutrisystem a bad review because it’s “expensive,” but if you carefully look at the cost, you should know what you’re getting into. It’s also incredibly expensive to eat at restaurants several times a week, but when you buy 28 days of food at once it looks like you’re spending more.

    1. Missy Woodruff Post author

      Good point, Kathy! We welcome ALL honest reviews here. Like I said, I think you can learn a lot from both the god AND bad ones, then make your own informed decision

  4. elizabeth

    This is false advertising. It is a hoax. I could not eat the food, it was so bad. They give you 14 days for you to decide if you want to keep it that is not long enough. It makes me nauseous to see advertisment. I gained weight, because I tried to eat the food, I would go to kitchen and eat more. Folks please don’t be fooled by nutristem.

    1. Les

      You have to stay on Nutri System food. If you are used to good home cooking, Nutri System pales in comparison. You really have to commit to lose weight by limiting food consumption and sticking to the plan.
      I understand Elizabeth’s situation. It can be tough to eat commercially packaged diet food. If you do try Nutri System, you need to afford the more expensive plans which have mostly frozen entrees. Frozen is much better than the shelf stable stuff.

  5. madelyn Kuthy

    My review? Nutrisystem is a scam. First they renew your order without asking or at least hide the info – the food tastes dreadful and way overpriced I should have known it was a fraud since Marie Osmond who lied about losing the weight on Nutrisystem continues to tell the lie She lost weight on Dancing with the Stars and she deceives a lot of people with her “sunny attitude” or is it her “Money attitude.” I know her Mormon parents wouldn’t be that happy with her deception. Nutrisystem is way too expensive for what you get

  6. Dawn ayres

    Their ads make me angry as they are untrue, I have tried it Nutrisystem several times and haven’t lost any weight, beside that I never received my money back as advertised although I did ask.

  7. Beata farber

    Agreed, nutrisystem is a scam and very unhealthy diet. When I counted the sugar in one day recommended diet, it was 38 grams, way over the FDA recommendation which is 20 grams, and on top of it they want you to eat vegetables which also gave sugar. My kids’ honey cheerios have less sugar. This is a very unhealthy diet!

    1. Liz

      My review – You may not like Nutrisystem — different strokes for different folks — but that doesn’t make it a scam or unhealthy. I am 61, and have been significantly overweight since before my teens. I also have had significant trouble getting my blood sugars below 200, despite taking two different diabetic medications.

      So far on Nutrisystem, I’ve lost 47 pounds, and my morning blood sugars are now consistently in the 90-100 range. I’ve been able to eliminate one diabetic medication, and cut the dose of the other in half. My blood pressure is back in the normal range and I have learned simple, healthy habits like portion control, eating more vegetables, drinking water rather than soda or diet soda, and eating smaller amounts more frequently to stabilize my metabolism — all of which I’ve known about for a long time, but which I found I could not adapt without the structure Nutrisystem provides.

      I still have a way to go, and I don’t simply assume that Nutrisystem is a panacea for everyone. But if my ability to stay on the program ended tomorrow, that wouldn’t make it a “scam” designed to get my money. Rather, it has produced precisely the effects it promised, at the cost promised, with the amount of effort promised.

  8. Carol Lakey

    I ordered Nutrisystem Basic. All I received for lunch and dinner were pastas, beans and potatoes. No meat. Full of salt. No happy. Carol

  9. Judy

    I have lost 32# following the Nutrisystem diet and have been very pleased with the plan! I am on the Uniquely yours plan which offers the best variety of frozen foods which are quite tasty.

    I read the negative reviews and I think really? Everywhere on the website it talks about the early cancellation fee. Regarding the portion sizes- the portion sizes are smaller so you can lose weight! Eating all the snacks and adding extra veggies to your meals help so much with feeling full not counting the extra nutrition. Eating more fiber helps with weight loss. The price of the meals do add up but it is so worth it! I have more weight to lose but am determined to stick it out! Tracking your food intake helps me to be accountable

  10. Lee

    I love Nutrisystem!!! I’ve had no problems with them at all! Just read through every thing and make sure that you understand it, that way you can’t blame the company. The plan is basic and simple, no scam! The food is really good and I don’t find it expensive at all!

  11. Edi

    With my salary I’m raising twins. I am traveling a lot because my work sends me overseas often. I ordered several times from NutriSystem. They are a good diet until you ask to cancel. At that moment you have two options:

    1. To buy smaller order (they want to steal money from you)
    2. To pay $125 as cancellation fee (stealing again).

    They don’t care that i told them on the phone that i will write bad reviews about them. People, instead of ordering from NutriSystem. Just eat half portions, drink a lot of water, don’t eat junk food, and there you go, you got your own NutriSystem.

  12. Rich Vasko

    I HATE Nutrisystem! They TRICK you into buying a plan to get the $50 off (somewhere they say there was fine print.) Very deceptive! Nowhere did I see there was a $125 charge if you quit. I had allergic reactions and consequently had to see medical help. Still Got Slammed for the $125. Ripoff!

  13. Bernice

    When i ordered Nutrisystem, I was specific and told the Customer Service Rep that I only wanted to try this program for two months. I was assured that this is only what I will get. Today a third months order has been delivered to my door. I called and was told there was no such thing as a two month order and no such thing as returning the frozen food even though it was just delivered and not opened. I would not recommend any one to order this product unless they have money to waste .

  14. Heather Donovan

    My honest review? Nutrisystem is a WAIST OF MONEY! Didn’t loose any weight, the food is gross and they charge you $125 TO CANCEL! I’m dun with diets.

  15. Jennifer Mamucud

    I only lost 7 pounds in two months on this diet. I followed it perfectly and still only lost 7 pounds. This is including the Turbo Take Off week. The pasta meals were mushy. The nutrisystem frozen meals were not too bad, but not worth the hassles.

  16. Shelley

    I have been on Nutrisystem for 7 weeks and have lost 10#. The food is not nearly as bad as everyone says it is. There are some things I don’t like but I did not order them again. The program is only as good as you are. If you stick w/ nutrisystem and learn portion size it works. I have had to travel and eat lunches and dinners out – I did not gain weight – still lost. If you learn from this it is a lifetime eating plan – if you go back to eating like you did before you will gain it back. NOW I do agree about the poor customer service – it is horrible and the weight loss counselors are a joke – they read from a script so don’t bother calling them. We are all different and one size does not fit all – you may need to tweek it a bit for you.

  17. J. Matthew

    Decent program, certainly takes time and effort but overall I’d say it works. Got a great deal on Groupon and did a months worth with the frozen meals added. Managed to drop 25 lbs in a little over a month on my way to a 45 lb weight loss. I changed NOTHING about my level of physical activity, just followed the Nutrisystem guidelines and added fruits and vegetables to all of my meals to help satisfy hunger. The only complaint I have is some of the non frozen meals with meat tend to have a bit of an off texture but that may just be me. Frozen foods are better. I would recommend this program for someone who is stuck in their food ways and needs to make serious changes regarding portion control, after a month or two of Nutrisystem you should be well on your way to lasting changes and weight loss.

  18. Bob Garrison

    I am an 82 year old male that needs to lose about 25 lbs. I am now 2 weeks into the plan and feel very satisfied with results on Nutrisystem so far. I started at 202 and now at 193. After the first week I hit a plateau at 195 and sat there for a couple of days and have now moved on. Granted, most of this is probably water. But I expected this. As far as cost is concerned I doubt the average person spends much less than $307 per month on food plus we are trying to get healthier so there is a cost for that. For those who hated the food but couldn’t decide in 14 days whether they liked the program or not? Think about it. Hate food! Like program? The next selections aren’t going to get any better sitting in the box. Further, the first 7 days are a lot of chocolate snacks. How can that be bad? I suggest a person go 13 days and then make a decision. That way you will get past the chocolate phase and taste some of the other food. I was advised to sign up for the Ultimate program because the way the programs are priced it isn’t that much more expensive and the food is supposed to be better with more selection. All of the food is not great but I would say 90% is quite good and I haven’t thrown anything out yet. But, if you are not being advised about the cancellation cost that is a rip off! For me, as someone who likes to eat, I have not had any cravings. I joke with my wife about the portion sizes but I also know that is part of the deal. A 3 egg omelet with bacon, hash browns and toast is not a diet program. Unless, of course, you put sugar free jam on your toast. Good luck!

  19. Andy B

    I am that guy that’s ‘tried it all.’ Almost 4 weeks into Nutrisystem and I have lost 18 lbs. I really like the convenience of the pre planned and portioned meals that I don’t have to spend all day making for the coming week. I customized my 2nd month’s order and was able to drop the stuff I didn’t like (most of the pasta dishes). I spent way more money on 4 weeks of groceries and eating out than the cost of Nutrisystem. The plan works if you follow it. Drink the water, eat the food, add the veggies and get off the couch! You’ll never lose weight and keep it off unless you change your daily habits of eating and activity.


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