NutriSystem: Weight Loss is All in the Planning
Beef Stroganoff with noodles…basil chicken with tomato sauce…tuna
casserole…turkey with dumplings. These might not sound like diet foods, but they are,
according to the NutriSystem diet program. The program offers separate pre-packaged
food plans for women in general, men in general, diabetics, and vegetarians. And,
according to medical research, dieters who use a plan such as NutriSystem lose 30
percent more weight over a period of four months than people who follow other weight
Visit the NutriSystem website at www.nutrisystem.com, and you’ll find a number of
testimonials from successful dieters. For instance, there’s Janet Z, who lost 24 pounds
and is quoted as saying, “My favorite thing about the NutriSystem program is the
convenience of it all, the variety of food, and the fact that this Italian girl can eat pasta
every night if she wants to!”
And then there is Nicole S., who lost 28 pounds. Nicole states, “I thought it was
extremely easy. I carried them in my bag and there were plenty of choices. I never got
bored and I’d say that it’s foolproof.”
The NutriSystem plan offers you food that ranks at the low end of the Glycemic
Index, which determines the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar. Those foods that
lead to stable blood sugar have a low Glycemic Index ranking. The idea is that, by
following the NutriSystem program, you will end up burning fat. The plan requires you
to eat five times a day in order to speed up your metabolism.
Originally, Dr. Jay Satz began the NutriSystem program as a diet plan which
offered dieters only 400 to 500 calories per day of nutrition. Today, the calorie
allowance at NutriSystem is much more generous. The program offers 140 different
meals, from pancakes to fettuccini alfredo, and from cheesy potatoes to chili with beans.
Satz himself is partial to the chicken marsala for his main entrée and chocolate crunches
Backers of the NutriSystem program say that it offers appropriate nutrition,
enabling an individual to lose weight without sacrificing valuable nutrients. The food
portions are determined for you, so you do not have to worry about eating too much.
Also, since the food is sent right to your home, the program receives high marks in the
There is no need to visit a NutriSystem center, although you can call a weight loss
counselor for support. Membership is free and includes unlimited counseling,
newsletters, online classes, a computerized weight control diary, and online chat rooms.
Also, when you enroll in the program, you will receive a complimentary diet analysis.
With the NutriSystem program, you end up eating 55 percent of your calories from
low-glycemic carbs, 25 percent from protein, and 20 percent from fat. The plan is low in
sodium and derives less than five percent of its calories from trans and saturated fats.
The meat tends to be lean and low-fat, while whole grain foods are also plentiful in the
meal plan. Under NutriSystem’s guidance, you’ll eat more than four cups of fruits and
vegetables a day—the amount advised by federal health officials.
Another advantage to the NutriSystem program is that it enables you to plan meals
far in advance. Generally speaking, you begin with four weeks’ worth of products,
enabling you to have enough meals and snacks for a full 28 days. If you choose,
however, you can order as much as ten weeks’ worth of food.
Primary advantages to the NutriSystem plan include the fact that it is highly easy to
use, since you will have food delivered directly to your door. The menus also tend to be
rich in nutrients, making the meals a healthy choice. One of the major disadvantages,
however, is that you will not learn how to shop for healthy food or learn how to prepare
it, since the choices are made for you. Also, you may not like the NutriSystem food,
which may make it difficult to stick with the program. In addition, the program can cost
you hundreds of dollars—an investment you might not be prepared to make. Moreover,
some health experts say that you are far better off working with a registered dietician than
trying to follow a prepackaged meal plan.