What is the Nutrisystem Diet? A Detailed Beginner’s Guide

Nutri-system is a commercial weight-loss diet that consists of following a meal plan comprised of the company’s packed and portioned meals and snacks. It also includes frozen and shelf-stable alternatives sent to you, complemented with some veggies and other supermarket goods purchased separately. You won’t have to worry about portion control, meal prep, or meal timing if you outsource food preparation. However, you may grow tired of heat-and-eat meals and small quantities.


According to Nutrisystem, you can expect to lose up to 2 pounds per week. The program claims that women can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches in their first month on the Personal Plans. Men can lose up to 18 pounds and 8 inches in their first month, which isn’t surprising given that the program promotes guaranteed calorie restriction, a tried-and-true weight-loss strategy.

Nutrisystem’s high-protein weight reduction diet is based on glycemic index science and individualized nutrition to help with weight loss. The regimen is meant to kill the hunger and burn stubborn belly fat by providing at least 75 grams of protein every day. It features an entirely new menu featuring restaurant-inspired classics and hearty skillet dinners with additional protein and vegetables. Supplements, one-on-one weight-loss coaching, and a mobile app for assistance are also included with Nutrisystem.

You’ll eat five to six times a day, depending on your plan (there are gender-specific tracks for adults, vegetarians, and persons with diabetes). A partner plan is also available for two people living in the same household. Most programs can be modified to include a lower salt (approximately 1,500 mg/day) alternative.


Low-Calorie Diets

Low-calorie diets promote rapid weight loss by forcing your body to expend more energy than you ingest, with the goal of burning the energy stored in your body as fat. The majority of low-calorie diets restrict daily intake to less than 1,200 calories. While low-calorie diets can be helpful in the short term, they are not sustainable in the long term. You can start a low-calorie diet to lose weight quickly. However, most experts recommend converting to a balanced diet with a calorie deficit to incorporate long-term healthy eating habits. Because low-calorie diets may deprive your body of crucial nutrients. It’s critical to consult with a doctor or qualified dietitian before embarking on one of these plans. The following diets are classified by U.S. News.

U.S. News Best Diet Rankings

The Nutrisystem Diet was ranked #24 in the Best Diets Overall category. A panel of health professionals provided feedback on 40 diets. Here’s how we rank diets.

How does Nutrisystem Diet work?

To begin Nutrisystem, you must sign up for a certain program, choose your meals and snacks from a menu (for example, turkey sausage breakfast sandwich and flatbreads), and wait for your meals and snacks to come. Then, if you’re enrolled in the Uniquely Yours program, for example:

  • Your program’s first week is specifically intended to kickstart your weight loss. You’ll receive seven days of Nutrisystem breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, seven between-meal snacks to curb cravings and keep you feeling full, and seven protein-packed shakes to help regulate appetite.
  • After your first week on the program, you’ll be able to make Flex Meals. This involves preparing two nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Also including snacks every week so you may practice healthy cooking and prepare for life after the Nutrisystem diet. In addition to Flex Meals, the firm claims that consumers can eat Nutrisystem breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks of their choice. (Such as a red velvet cupcake, at regular intervals, or five times per week.)

Check out NuMi, a digital tool for do-it-yourself dieters that connects with wearable fitness devices. Usually, health platforms like Fitbit and Apple Health provide challenges to encourage weight-loss achievement. Nutrisystem also has a website called The Leaf, which offers recipes, ideas for jazzing up Nutrisystem meals, fitness advice, and other resources.

Coaches are available seven days a week by phone, chat, or NuMi (Mon-Fri 8 am-10 pm ET, Sat-Sun 9 am-9 pm ET). When you’re ready, those same coaches (together with Numi) can assist you to wean off the program by offering you ideas on how to get back in the kitchen and in front of the stove without damaging your weight loss.

How much does Nutrisystem Diet cost?

Depending on your existing grocery bill, Nutrisystem’s diet may be pricey or inexpensive. On average, you should pick the “core” four-week plan. It includes either a pre-selected selection of popular foods or your choice of more than 100 foods. (Plus shipping, starts at roughly $9.29 per day.) If you want more variety or extra protein shakes, you can spend a few dollars more per day.

Remember, you still have a monthly grocery expenditure to consider. Your bill will vary depending on the produce you buy. Which includes the protein you choose, and the “smart” carbs you choose (whole-grain pasta and beans won’t break the bank).

Will Nutrisystem Diet help you lose weight?

According to research, the vast majority of which is company-funded, you will most likely lose weight on Nutrisystem. However, no new research on the Nutrisystem diet has been undertaken in recent years.

  • The Nutrisystem meals were used as part of a “toolbox” strategy for patients who were interested in adopting them in a 2020 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looking into the effectiveness of treatment for obesity administered in primary care settings. The intensive-lifestyle group’s weight loss target was 10% body weight, with the intervention initially focusing on portion-controlled foods and the provision of prepared foods and meal replacement shakes, including Nutrisystem meals and snacks. As part of the “toolbox” strategy, patients continued to have access to Nutrisystem meals and snacks after the first month. “A high-intensity, lifestyle-based treatment program for obesity provided in an underserved primary care population resulted in clinically substantial weight loss at 24 months,” the study stated.
  • According to a 2015 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that compared another commercial weight-loss program. Nutrisystem users dropped at least 3.8% more weight after three months than a control group that received instruction and counseling. Diets like Nutrisystem, according to the scientists, are “promising,” but further research on their long-term consequences is needed.

What Researchers Found

  • Researchers reported in a Nutrisystem-funded study of 69 obese and Type 2 diabetic participants published in the journal Postgraduate Medicine in 2009. Those assigned to eat meals on the Nutrisystem D diabetic track lost an average of 18 pounds after three months. Comparing to 1 pound for the control group, who attended educational sessions on diabetes management and nutrition. At six months, the Nutrisystem dieters had lost an average of 24 pounds. Also, the controls had lost 13 pounds after switching to Nutrisystem meals halfway through the research. In a comparable study published in Nutrition Diabetes in 2013, 50 Nutrisystem dieters dropped an average of 22 pounds over six months, while 50 control dieters lost only approximately 5.
  • Researchers evaluated self-reported weight diaries of Nutrisystem customers who were overweight or obese and started the diet between 2008 and 2010. They utilized an online tracking tool to record their weight in another unpublished study financed and led by Nutrisystem. Data from over 100,000 consumers revealed that after three months, 79% had reduced at least 5% of their starting weight and 33% had lost 10% or more. (A 5% loss can help prevent some disorders.) By six months, when 32,000 of the dieters were still keeping track of their weight loss. (86% had lost 5% of their starting weight, and 63% had lost 10%.)
  • According to a 2013 research published in the American Journal of Hypertension, individuals on a Nutrisystem diet lost an average of 12 pounds in three months, including roughly 10 pounds of abdominal fat.

How easy is Nutrisystem Diet to follow?

Can you limit your eating out? Can you resist the urge to eat what the rest of the family eats most nights of the week? While Nutrisystem makes dieting simple – you don’t have to count calories, preportioned food is delivered directly to your door, and you know exactly what and when to eat – you may still need the willpower to stick to it.

Fortunately, you get two “flex” breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack meals per week. (Which might help you maintain social engagements or satisfy cravings.) You shouldn’t get bored with your menu options in the near run, as Nutrisystem offers more than 160 options on one of its most comprehensive plans. (“Uniquely Yours Max+.”)

Reasons Why Nutrisystem Diet Is Good

Nutrisystem is intended to be user-friendly. Main courses can be ordered with a mouse click, although restaurant meals are only permitted on rare occasions.

You won’t need many recipes while on Nutrisystem, but when you do, they’re easy to discover. If you want to get away from frozen and cupboard foods, Nutrisystem features a few member- and company-generated recipes online, notably on the website The Leaf.

On Nutrisystem, eating out is limited yet feasible. Simply ensure that any restaurant meal counts as one of your six “flex” meals per week. The company offers a “dining out guide” with restaurant recommendations divided into cuisines such as Thai, Italian, and French. The list also recommends diet-friendly cuisine at 30 of the country’s most popular restaurants.

Because it emphasizes prepared meals, Nutrisystem saves time. It is simple to select a food plan and order meals. While you can hand-pick every meal you eat, if you’re not picky, the predefined “favorites package” is just a couple of clicks away. You can also set up automatic billing and shipping for your food orders.

Shopping trips for fresh produce, dairy, and protein should be quick and can be led by Nutrisystem’s list of popular options and recommended servings.

Nutrisystem has a plethora of other materials and tools. You can, for example, track your meals, exercise, and weight reduction online or through the NuMi app, and get help from a Nutrisystem coach. Some wearable fitness devices can even be synced with NuMi, which also serves as the official Nutrisystem tracking tool. When you’re ready to leave the program, Nutrisystem provides recipes and coaches, as well as transition and maintenance programs that feature a portion control container system that you may use to prepare meals on your own. Online resources are both free and beneficial.

How much should you exercise on Nutrisystem Diet?

Nutrisystem encourages but does not require exercise. Dieters are encouraged to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day, which can be divided into three 10-minute intervals.

Nutrisystem provides several starting points. Online, you can search for beginning, intermediate, and advanced workout regimens that include extensive descriptions of stretches and exercises. For added encouragement, you can log every pickup basketball game and bench press on the website The Leaf. There’s even an option to read fitness suggestions.