Nutrisystem advertisements show wonderful success stories. Celebrities like Marie Osmond and Dan Marino appear on television telling about how well the program worked for them.
They look good and say they feel great. It sounds like a winning program. And yet...
Advertising agencies know how to make things look good. But how do you really know? Is it worth the investment of your time and effort?
Is Nutrisystem really the program that is going to help you to your weight loss goal? Does Nutrisystem work?
First, a review of the program by Dr. Dan. Then our reader's reviews.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for our reader's reviews.
I'll help you decide if this is the right program for you. I've reviewed the Nutrisystem program to give you an expert opinion of the program.
Did it measure up to the hype? Or was it a disappointment?
Nutrisystem is a weight loss program centered around pre-packaged food. When you join the program you buy food from the company, which is shipped to you.
There are meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. You are to choose one meal at the appropriate time each day. You are also supposed to supplement with your own fruits and vegetables.
The Nutrisystem program has some positive points.
If you actually follow the program, you will probably be cutting down your calories from your normal intake. That is the effect of portion control.
The meals are not overly large and do not contain excessive calories. This is what makes the diet work.
If you follow the plan and eat just what comes in the package you won't be overeating.
The thing that makes the diet work is also the downside of the program, namely that you only get to eat what is in the package.
What if you don't like the food? Then you not only spent money on food that you don't like, but it will be very hard for you to eat the food and feel satisfied. It's not likely that you'll stick with a diet when you don't like the food.
Further, you are eating frozen food all the time. After a while it's hard to eat frozen food. No matter how well it was prepared, it just doesn't compare to fresh ingredients.
I have some concerns about the foods that Nutrisystem offers. Take a look at the advertisements on their website. They literally advertise that you will be eating, "Pancakes, ice cream, cookies..."
Now, of course they have to try to sell their products. So they are taking the easy way out. If it's easier to sell their program by advertising cookies and ice cream, then that's what they are going to do.
But let's be real. You're not going to lose weight and you are not going to have a healthy, fit and trim body by eating cookies and ice cream.
So, Nutrisystem gets marked down for this advertising that borders on the fraudulent.
There are nutritional values for meals on the website. I took a look at some of them. For example, some of their "breakfasts" included apple granola bar, banana nut muffin and chocolate chip scone.
Now, if this sounds like "breakfast" to you, then you are a victim of a society that has completely lost any sense of what food is.
These things may be fine occasionally for dessert, but they are hardly breakfast. Why? Well, what are you eating?
The banana nut muffin has 170 calories with 28 grams of carbohydrate and only 7 grams of protein. The ingredient list -- and the ingredients are listed in order with the most abundant ingredient listed first -- start with: "WATER, SUGAR..."
Sugar is listed just after water as the most used ingredient. Well, the last thing you need after fasting all night is to pour sugar into your blood stream.
In fact, that is just what you should be trying to get away from. You probably tend to eat excessive sugar as it is, or you wouldn't be having as much trouble with your weight.
And then after that are listed: "ARTIFICIAL BANANA FLAVOR... ARTIFICIAL BUTTER FLAVOR... ALCOHOL... PROPYLENE GLYCOL..."
Artificial ingredients and unnatural ingredients on and on and on. These are not things that you should be eating.
Artificial flavors and sweeteners and preservatives are difficult for your body to metabolize. Eating these things is not the way for you to become healthy.
After breakfast it gets better. Some of the meals have a very good nutritional balance.
For instance, oriental steak with green peppers and noodles has 24 grams of protein. If you were to add some fibrous vegetables to this entree -- by supplying your own green beans for instance -- this 220 calorie meal would be a winner.
On the other hand you find macaroni and cheese in the list. Now, there's nothing wrong with macaroni and cheese. But diet food it's not. It's cheese and carbohydrate in a small portion. Do you need to pay Nutrisystem to make that for you?
Nutrisystem costs about $11.00 per day. You will have the expense of adding fresh produce to the foods that they send you.
On their website they compare this to their estimates of a typical day's expenses for food, which they add up to $22.00.
Well, $22.00 per day is about $660 per month. For a family of four that would be over $2500 per month for food.
But the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that a family of four typically spends between $524-$1014 per month on food. So their claims are a bit suspect.
You know it and I know it -- it's not a complete weight loss program without exercise. You might lose a few pounds with a diet. But you are never going to keep it off if you don't increase your activity.
Although they don't say it on their site, they realize that exercise is important. For example, they have section of their site with the headline: Cory G. lost 50 lbs.
You might think, well, if he can do it...
But look a little closer. They quote him as saying, "I have a very physically demanding job..." Cory is a firefighter. Firefighters stay active.
Further they note: "Individuals are remunerated." Meaning they got paid for their story.
And finally: Results not typical.
Translation: Cory lost 50 pounds, but we paid him for his results, and that can be an extra powerful stimulus. He gets a lot of activity as a firefighter, and that helps. And since his results are not typical, your results will probably not be as good.
The Nutrisystem program has some positive aspects. It can help you with portion control, and that is the main benefit. It doesn't seem overly expensive.
But it's not likely to lead to long-term weight loss, because it makes you dependent on someone else to chose you food for you. Ultimately you need to learn to do that yourself.
And since their is no exercise component, it will be difficult for you to maintain lean body mass. In other words, as you grow older, without enough exercise, you'll gain body fat even if you don't gain weight. So exercise is vital.
Now, take a look at some actual real-world results. This is what some of our readers have to say about their experience with the Nutrisystem program:
Click on the links below to see the full Nutrisystem Diet reviews...
Nutrisystem, The Ultimate Rip-Off
Nutrisystem was the most disgusting and discouraging experience I have ever had with dieting. When I went to order my food online I was amazed. Everything …
I guess I'll start with how I found out about Nutrisystem. I saw the commercial on TV and thought it has to be to good to be true, but I fell for it anyways, …
Mediocre Weight Loss From NutriSystem Not rated yet
I am a yo-yo in the weight-loss department. I have tried numerous weight-loss diets throughout my lifetime. The last program I tried was Nutrisystem. …
NutriSystem -- Why It Didn't Work For Me Not rated yet
From all I heard and saw, it appeared that Nutrisystem would be the perfect diet for me. I had to lose about ten pounds after a rather sedentary period …
Nutrisystem ....UMMMM Not Worth It!!! Not rated yet
I'm a 24 year college graduate that gained almost 50 extra pounds during undergrad. Talk about Freshman 15!! I couldn't stand being overweight. All …
Nutrisystem Torture... Not rated yet
I was on the Nutrisystem diet for a few months and I refer to those few months as torture. Nutrisystem worked for my grandmother even though she did end …
NutriSystem Isn't Forever Not rated yet
I signed up for Nutrisystem at a brick-and-mortar location, which is where I went weekly to weigh in, pick up food and attend the required support meetings. …
Mixed Results with Nutrisystem Not rated yet
Initially, the Nutrisystem diet seemed like it was going to be a great fit for me. I loved the convenience of having the food readily available without …
Nutrisystem Diet -- Not A Success Not rated yet
I kept seeing the Nutrisystem commercial over and over, with story after story of success. Well after spending $100's on every diet on the market …
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