nutrisystem smart carbs and powerfuels list

Nutrisystem SmartCarbs & PowerFuel List

Nutrisystem is our top-rated meal delivery diet program, and that’s because their system works for people who want a fast and effective way to lose weight.

All of their meals and snacks a formulated with just the right amount of nutrients and ingredients to help you lose weight while preventing you from having those big hunger crashes throughout the day.

Just eat their food, follow the plan, and you will lose weight.

Powerfuels and SmartCarbs are huge part of the Nutrisystem program

While Nutrisystem is an awesome weight loss program, they know that no one plans or wants to stay on it forever. At some point, it will be time to transition off the Nutrisystem diet, and it will be up to you to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The good news is, they help you learn and practice healthy eating plans while you’re following the program, and that’s because they want you to develop the skills necessary to maintaining a healthy weight for life.

One of the ways they help teach you these important skills is by also incorporating some foods from the grocery store into your diet plan. That means, while you may be eating a Nutrisystem meal for dinner, you will also be making your own salad or side dish to enjoy with your meal.

You will also have the chance to make your own snacks too.

If you’re on a program that has “Flex” meals built in, you will also make your own meals on occasion, and can even go out to eat. Don’t worry, though, Nutrisystem has guides for grocery shopping and eating out, so they’ve got your back!

To help make grocery shopping and eating out easy, they break down their foods down into 5 easy to follow categories, which includes both SmartCarbs and PowerFuels. 

The Nutrisystem Healthy Food Catagories:

1. Nutrisystem SmartCarbs

a row of Apples, which make a great Smart Carb choice

With Nutrisystem, you don’t have to eliminate carbs completely, you just have to be “Smart” about which ones you eat, which is their term SmartCarb comes from.

So what are SmartCarbs?

These are a very specific type of carbs that are dense in nutrients, but come up on the lower range of the glycemic index.

That means, they are full of fiber, are digested slowly, and will help you stay fuller longer.

On top of all that, they are packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body craves and needs.

To meet the SmartCarb criteria, foods should:

  • 80-120 Calories per Serving
  • Low-to medium-GI Carbs

Example SmartCarb Foods

Here a just a few foods that fall into the “Smart Carb” category:

  • Hummus
  • Apples
  • Quinoa
  • Oranges
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Grains
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes 
  • Brown Rice

2. Nutrisystem PowerFuels

Pistachios are an excellent Power Fuel option

PowerFuels are foods that are packed full of high-quality protein, along with essential amino acids and healthy fats. Many nuts and nut butter fall into the PowerFuel category as well.

PowerFuels should play an essential part of your healthy diet because they take longer for your body to digest. That means they keep you feeling fuller longer, and are a great way to keep you “powered up” throughout the day.

To Meet PowerFuel Standards, Food Should:

  • Be 80-120 Calories per Serving
  • Include 5+ Grams of Protein
  • High-Quality

PowerFuel Examples

Here are just a few of the foods that count as Power Fuels:

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Nutrisystem TurboShakes
  • Nuts
  • String Cheese
  • Water-Packed Tuna
  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Edamame
  • 1% Cottage Cheese
  • Low-Sodium Turkey Breast

3. Nutrisystem-Approved Vegetables

a pile of non starchy veggies

When it comes to eating veggies on the Nutrisystem diet, they will be split into two categories:

  • Starchy Vegetables
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables

Many of the starchy veggies should count as SmartCarbs, so they’re kind of two in the same. This includes things like potatoes, corn, peas, etc.

Non-starchy veggies will include things like leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli.

4. Free Foods

Free Foods are going to be what you used to add flavor to meals or to spice things up a bit. These extras are optional and can be used as much as you want, and long as they’re under 10 calories.

5. Extras

Extras are also going to be used to flavor up meals or snacks – this will include things like salad dressings or dips. They should contain 11 to 35 calories per serving and should be used in moderation.

To stay within your calorie limits, Nutrisystem recommends limiting your “Extras” to just three servings per day.

When Do You Eat PowerFuels & SmartCarbs?

nutrisystem flex meals are a great time to eat approved carbs and proteins

If you’re a member of the Nutrisystem meal delivery diet program, they’ll have plenty of SmartCarbs and PowerFuels built in to the foods the send you, but you will also be buying these foods separately from the program as well.

PowerFuels and SmartCarbs make great snacks, side dishes to compliment the Nutrisystem meals, and you can also use them during your Flex Meals.

It’s a good idea to get to know these foods, and get to know them well! If your goal is long-term weight loss, these food groups are going to be essential as you’re transitioning off the Nutrisystem diet program.

Don’t worry, though! The awesome folks at Nutrisystem have your back, and they’re not going to leave wondering what foods you should be making after you’re done with your diet.

That’s why they send you all of the info you need when you sign you for the diet, and on top of that they have PDF lists of all of the PowerFuels and SmartCarbs that you will want to be eating during and after the Nutrisystem program.

The list is called their “Grocery Guide”, and it will be your go-to resource when you’re buying fresh fruits and veggies to eat alongside your Nutrisystem foods, and it will also serve you well for life after Nutrisystem, so be sure to use it! You can download the full PDF here.

Final Thoughts

Nutrisystem SmartCarbs and PowerFuels are awesome food choices for keeping you feeling fuller longer, avoiding huge hunger crashes, and to keep you powered up throughout the day.

If you’re ready to get started with your Nutrisystem journey, right now is a great time to join!

Want to See if Nutrisystem is the Right Weight Loss Program for You?

Read Our Full Review HERE