What is Nutrisystem?
The Nutrisystem diet is a portion-controlled eating plan centered on prepackaged foods delivered to your home. Some of the meals emphasize lean protein and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains and non-starchy vegetables.
In addition to pre-packaged foods, which are often frozen and/or processed, those who follow the diet are encouraged to add vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and protein from the grocery store to their meal plan.
Nutrisystem was created in the early 1970s by entrepreneur Harold Katz, who was inspired by watching his mother’s repeated attempts at weight loss.
The diet is based on the idea that it can be easier to lose weight if you don’t have to plan and prepare meals. Many people have found the convenience factor of ready-made, pre-portioned meals and snacks an appealing option to keep daily caloric intake low. However, the cost of these meals can be prohibitive for some.
The premise of the diet is simple: eat six small meals per day to help prevent hunger. By limiting the calories in your meals, you can lose weight via calorie restriction.
To make this process easier, it also provides premade meals. These meals are either frozen or shelf-stable but fully cooked and only require reheating. Nutrisystem also provides shakes that you can use for snacks.
The program boasts that it can help you lose up to 18 pounds (8 kg) in 2 months, and some people have reported weight loss success from the diet.
How Nutrisystem works?
Nutrisystem is a 4-week program. However, you can repeat the 4-week program as many times as you would like.
On Nutrisystem, you should aim to eat six small meals per day — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and three snacks. Several of these will be frozen meals or shakes provided by them.
Week 1 is a little bit different from the remainder of the program.
During this week, you eat three meals, one snack, and one specially formulated Nutrisystem shake per day. This supposedly prepares your body for weight loss success.
However, during the remaining 3 weeks, you should aim to eat six times per day. For meals and snacks that are not provided by Nutrisystem, the company recommends choosing lean, low calorie, and low sodium options.
Each week, you are allowed a total of up to eight “Flex Meals”. This includes two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and two snacks — to account for
meals that may not be ideal for weight loss but may be part of a holiday or special occasion.
You can also use the free NuMi app provided by Nutrisystem for meal planning guidance.
What to Eat during the diet?
Prepackaged meals and snacks from Nutrisystem
Lean proteins (limited)
Some condiments, seasonings, spices
Beverages (including alcohol)
So, is Nutrisystem good or bad for you?
No indications of serious short-term risks or side effects on the Nutrisystem have surfaced. But the company does not recommend its program for people with certain health conditions or dietary restrictions.
Pregnant women, who generally require additional calories, should not follow the diet plan.
Anyone under 18 should not be on Nutrisystem generally, as children and teenagers are still growing.
There is a special meal plan available for teens 14 to 17 years of age, which will require physician approval to start the Nutrisystem program.
Nutrisystem’s program won’t suit people with peanut or soy allergies. Since these ingredients are found in Nutrisystem meals. Those individuals with latex allergies are also not eligible for the program. As latex is used in food handling.
Women breastfeeding an infant who is younger than 4 months or who has not yet begun solid foods, also aren’t appropriate Nutrisystem dieters, though there’s a higher-calorie plan for women nursing an infant who is older than 4 months and has begun solid foods.
Nutrisystem won’t suit people with certain health conditions, such as celiac disease, individuals on dialysis or those requiring a ketogenic diet.
Individuals with a body mass index less than 19 are also ineligible for the diet.
Thus, Nutrisystem is not a harmful diet to undertake and try as well. It has not shown any drastic side effects on the health of people. But Nutrisystem can be expensive, restrictive, and unsustainable over the long term.
Know more about diet tips here.