my food arrives for my nutrisystem review

Nutrisystem Review: Pros, Cons, Menu, My Fresh Start Results

Every year dozens of new fad diets the market, which can make it hard to know which one to go with. With every fad that has come and gone in recent years, though, some plans are able to stand the test of time, and remain at the top of the pack, year after year.

One of these diets is Nutrisystem. Their system has been proven to work through years of clinical research (1), and is one option for you to consider when it comes time to pick out the right diet plan for you.

While Nutrisystem worked great for me, the question is, is it the right diet for you?

In this Nutrisystem review, we’re going to help answer those questions, and more, so you can be ready to make an informed decision about your individual weight loss needs.

What is Nutrisystem?

one of my favorite dinners while I was on the program

Nutrisystem is a meal delivery diet program that first hit the diet scene in the early 1970s, when founder Harold Katz first launched the program (2).

A lot has changed since the early beginnings – what first started as a diet mostly based around meal replacement shakes is now a full service meal program, that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks and shakes.

Meal replacement services can be an option worth considering for people who don’t mind eating heat and eat meals throughout the day (3), and who want a done-for-you program that is fairly simple to follow.

Nutrisystem has several plans to pick from, including options for vegetarians and people with type 2 diabetes. Their menu has more than 160 items to choose from.

How it Works

1. Pick a Plan

some of the best nutrisystem breakfast foods

For my latest run with Nutrisystem, I signed up for their Basic plan (4), and as you can see from my receipt at the end of this review, it cost me less than $300 for a full month’s worth of food. Compare that to your average grocery bill these days, and that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

You do need to buy some fresh vegetables on fruit when using the Nutrisystem diet, but even with that, the plan still is still an affordable way to reach your weight loss goals when you compare it your typical food costs.

Plus, they show you the exact system to follow to reach your weight loss goals – follow the plan they send, and you will lose weight.

2. Start First Week with Fresh Start (Formerly Turbo Takeoff)

one of my favorite nutrisystem snacks a fudge brownie

At the start of the year, Nutrisystem launched their brand new FreshStart program. Using this system they say you can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches during your first month on the program, but results will be different for everyone.

To get started they’ll send you a FreshStart box with your first order.

This is designed to help you jump-start your weight loss, and includes a selection of foods and shakes for your first week.

This last time I signed up, I had a weight loss goal of 10 pounds – with this new system I had pretty much hit my goal during the first week.

This means, I only needed to use Nutrisystem for 1 month, and then switched to their probiotic FreshStart Shakes for my second month, along with a healthy diet and exercise plan.

We’re more than halfway through the year now, and I’ve still been able to keep the weight off.

3. Continue Program Until You Reach Goal Weight

This may sound obvious, but I know a lot of folks are probably wondering if Nutrisystem actually works. The answer is yes – if you follow the program as they designed it. That means, sticking to their meal plan for however long it takes to reach your weight loss goals.

It’s really just as simple as that: Eat the food, follow the plan, and most people should lose weight.

CLICK HERE to see latest Nutrisystem menu and prices.

My Nutrisystem Story: Did it Work for Me?

norman schmidt and family

When I finally decided to sign on with Nutrisystem, my health was not in good shape. To be perfectly honest, I had been eating and drinking way too much, and in the span of about 3 or 4 years, I had easily packed on an additional 30 pounds of body weight – most likely all fat.

Before that, I had always been able to maintain a pretty healthy weight, and it had been pretty easy to manage most of life.

I typically felt:

enjoying time at the ocean before I lost weight with Nutrisystem
Enjoying time at the Oregon coast before I lost weight with Nutrisystem.
  • Healthy
  • Could keep up with my peers in sports
  • Never  really thought of myself as being overweight

But, that all changed once I hit my mid-20s. As my friends began settling down and starting families, I continued the partying and overindulgence of my college days, and as my metabolism slowed I really began to pack on the pounds.

Most of this was due to my terrible diet – back then I considered eating just one quarter-pounder with cheese and fries as being healthy.

The big wake-up call came when I finally decided to visit my primary care doctor. I hadn’t been since high school, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

The results of the visit came as a shock, to say the least.

In no particular order I found out that I was now:

  • Tipping the Sales at 200+ LBS for the First Time in My Life
  • Had High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Blood Work Came Back as “Abnormal”

My doctor didn’t hold anything back at that point:

You need a lifestyle change,” were his exact words and I left his office knowing that I had to take action to lose weight ASAP.

I decided to take action, which eventually led me to the Nutrisystem Diet Plan.

Why I Picked Nutrisystem

their money-back guarantee

What I found convinced me that not only did Nutrisystem work, but more importantly it would work for me:

  • It Was Affordable
  • It was Easy for Me to Follow
  • I Found a Large Body of Positive Testimonials
  • They Offered a Money-Back Guarantee

It was a Nutrisystem television ad featuring Dan Marino that first caught my eye.

After doing a little research, I decided it was right for me and decided to sign up. Less than a week later I received my first shipment of food and was ready to get started.

My Real Weight Loss Results 

Before we dive into how much weight I lost, it’s important to note a couple of very important factors to consider before you join.

First, weight loss results will be different from person to person. While I was able to lose weight using this program, it may or may not work great for you.

The second very important thing to consider is how sustainable this diet is for you. It can be hard if you’re used to overeating, and if you have a family to feed.

That said, it can work for helping you lose weight, but you have to follow the program closely, and it requires committing to their diet over the long term. If you think you can make the commitment, then it may be worth considering.

Here’s how it worked for me:

Key Takeaways

  • I Lost More Than 30 Pounds
  • Took Me Over 3 Months to Reach My Weight Loss Goal
  • Starting Weight: 210 Pounds
  • Ending Weight: 177 Pounds

Long story short, I lost 30+ poundswith the help of the Nutrisystem diet. I was probably around 210 pounds when I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon, and my weight was going nowhere but up at that point.

I’ll be totally honest too – when that first shipment of meals came and I actually began following the plan, things were not easy.

I had become accustomed to overeating at every meal, while also eating anything I wanted – lots of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and pretty much any other fast food option you can think of.

When I first began eating portions that were calorie-controlled, it was definitely a struggle. My mind and body gradually began adjusting, and by the start of the second week, I actually began to feel satisfied with their meals.

Since then, I have taken on a new approach to eating, with a focus on eating mostly vegetables, along with  protein choice for most meals. That may come in the form of chef salad for lunch, and salmon and salad for dinner.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide you path moving forward, and what works best for you when it comes to your weight management.

Nutrisystem Pros & Cons

When it come times to deciding if Nutrisystem FreshStart is the right program for you, there will be some pros and cons that may factor in to your decision.

Here are a few that I considered before joining.

Cons

  • Diet Food Isn’t for Everyone
  • Limits Meals Out with Family and Friends
  • More Meal Planning if You Also have a Family to Feed
  • Monthly commitment can be a deterrent for some
  • Early cancellation fee if you don’t stick with it for at least 2 months

Pros

  • Can Work Great for Most People: If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to lose weight, this is it
  • Support Available: If you ever need tips, advice, or get stuck Nutrisystem Counselors are on stand-by
  • Food Tastes Pretty Good: Yeah, it’s not 5-star quality, but it tastes good and works for weight loss!
  • Easy to Follow: It’s as simple as this: Eat the food, get some exercise, lose the weight!
  • Fairly Affordable: Basic plan is around $8 per Day.
  • Convenient

2019 Products & Pricing

nutrisystem snacks

When you sign up for Nutrisystem, you will have four main plans to choose from:

  • Basic
  • Core
  • Uniquely Yours
  • Uniquely Yours Plus

The Basic option is their most affordable plan and starts at around $8.75 per day. Core starts at $10.54 per day, and Uniquely Yours comes runs $11.96 per day. You can get a full pricing breakdown on our Nutrisystem cost page.

If you’re on a tighter budget, then the Basic will absolutely produce great results and is a plan that I have had success with.

Key Takeaways

  • Pick a plan that fits your budget dietary needs
  • If you have special dietary needs, they have plans for menvegetarians and diabetics
  • If you can afford it, Uniquely Yours and Uniquely Yours Plus give you access to their largest menu.

Nutrisystem Menu

boxes of nutrisystem pizza on my dinner table

When you sign up for Nutrisystem, it’s important to go into it with the right mindset: If you’re expecting 5-star cuisine, then this probably isn’t the diet for you.

But, if you’re realistic with your expectations, the food actually tastes pretty darn good.

There is a ton of variety, the meals are quick and easy to make, and they even have frozen options that take the quality up another notch if you sign up for Uniquely Yours or Uniquely Yours Plus.

Here’s a quick sampling of some of the foods they offer for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks:

Breakfast

  • Buttermilk Waffles
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Double Chocolate Muffin
  • Granola Cereal
  • Homestyle Pancakes

Lunch

  • Chicken Mozzarella Melt
  • Hamburger
  • Red Beans & Rice
  • Southwest Fiesta Melt
  • Tuna Salad

Dinner

one of my favorite dinners while I was on the program

  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Meatballs in Marinara
  • Lasagna with Meat Sauce
  • Thick Crust Pizza

Snacks

the chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite snacks

  • FreshStart / NutriCrush Shakes
  • Chocolate Brownie Sundae
  • Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Nut Bar
  • Chocolate Flavored Pretzels
  • Ice Cream Sandwich

This is just a small sampling of some of the foods you’ll be eating when on the diet. You can view their full menu at their website.

Nutrisystem Diet Review Summary

Nutrisystem is a full service meal delivery diet program, that may be a good choice for a lot of people when it comes to weight loss.

It requires a strict commitment to eating their heat and meals throughout the day to lose weight, which can be a turn off for some.

However, for those who prefer that style of dieting, it has been shown to work really well for a lot of people.

It’s important to remember that weight loss results will vary for everyone, but it should be a viable weight loss option, for those who are willing to commit to the program.

If it sounds like the right diet for you, then you may want to visit their website to learn more and check their latest prices:

Visit the Nutrisystem website here.

Sources

  1. Clinical Research, Nutrisystem News Room. Found here: https://newsroom.nutrisystem.com/clinical-research/
  2. Nutrisystem Diet Information, Chron. Found here: https://livehealthy.chron.com/nutrisystem-diet-information-2178.html
  3. Sara Elliott, Can delivery meal services help you lose weight? How Stuff Works. Found here: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/delivery-meal-service.htm
  4. Nutrisystem Basic Plan. Found here: https://www.nutrisystem.com/jsps_hmr/diet-plans/weight-loss-plans.jsp?plan=basic

PROOF OF PURCHASE:

a copy of my Nutrisystem receipt after buying the basic plan