One of the questions I get asked a lot on this blog is “How does Nutrisystem work?”
Nutrisystem is one of the most popular diet delivery programs in North America today.
They have a long history of helping people lose weight in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
But there is some confusion as to how Nutrisystem works exactly.
Not surprising – since Nutrisystem tends to update their diet foods and meal plans about once a year.
So there can be a lot of conflicting information out there – including stories of people who did Nutrisystem years ago with completely different foods.
With that in mind, I decided to do a post trying to answer the question ” How does Nutrisystem work? ”
You’ll learn about what you can expect, why the diet works – and even some of the science and principles behind it.
And if you need more inspiration?
Check out the before-and-after pictures included throughout this article of people who have lose weight on the Nutrisystem diet!
How Does Nutrisystem Work?
Nutrisystem is a diet that relies heavily on portion control and a healthy balance of carbs, proteins and fats.
This is not a low carb or a low fat plan. They don’t have you cutting out entire food groups and they even let you continue to have treats. The power of this diet really comes from portion control.
Portion control is a proven reliable method of losing weight.
For example, a study published in June 2016 in the journal, Obesity, found that over a 12-week period, people who used portion controlled, prepackaged meals like those you get with Nutrisystem lost a lot more weight (18 pounds on average) than those who followed a self-selected diet (13 pounds on average).
That’s not really surprising. With Nutrisystem almost all of the work is done for you.
You don’t have a lot to do except to add in your own veggies, fruits and snacks. So it’s super-simple to follow.
And when it’s that easy, most people (even ones with the busiest lifestyles) find they can stick with the program and get superior weight loss results.
Retrains Your Eating Habits
But it’s not just about the eating the Nutrisystem meals. On this plan, you’ll also be adding in your own snacks according to specific Nutrisystem guidelines.
These are called SmartCarbs and Powerfuels. You’ll get a list of examples of these food items with your starter package.
Smartcarbs, as the name suggests, are complex or “healthy” carbs like whole grains, fruits or beans. These are carb foods that won’t spike your blood sugar or insulin levels. They can give you fibre and a range of nutrients.
Powerfuels are quality proteins like eggs, lean turkey, tuna, chicken or a Nutrisystem Turbo Shake. These help to keep you full, stave off hunger pangs and give you steady energy throughout the day.
You’ll also get instructions about adding non-starchy veggies to your meals or snacks like salads, grilled asparagus, zucchini, baby carrots and more. (You can have unlimited non-starchy vegetables on the Nutrisystem diet).
Why does Nutrisystem do this?
Because from the start of this diet, they want to help you retrain your eating habits.
By the end of the diet, you’ll have retrained your appetite to want healthy snacks when you’re hungry.
These are the kind of snacks that have a great mix of protein and healthy carbs – snacks which will fuel your body but not put on extra weight. This in turn will help you keep the weight off as you have been practicing these new healthy eating habits since day 1 of the diet.
You’ll come out of the Nutrisystem diet leaner, thinner – and with new healthier habits that will KEEP the weight off!
How Does the Diet Work?
On this diet, you’ll be eating 6 times a day, every 2 – 3 hours. This keeps your metabolism revved on high and keeps you from getting too hungry.
You’ll be eating 4 – 5 Nutrisystem meals and 1-2 snacks every day. Most people choose to have their Smartcarbs and Powerfuels for one or two of these snack times. Other people add them into their mealtimes.
You’ll also get a full Starter kit, shopping list, meal tracker and everything you need to do the diet successfully.
It’s really that simple. All the meals are easy to prepare and come with full cooking instructions (if applicable). Plus they’re color-coded (i.e. breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks) so you know what to eat when.
While there is an exercise component to the diet – I’ve heard from many people who, for one reason or another – did not exercise on this diet, but still lost weight anyways.
There are a few other things that make this diet simpler than other diets:
- No Weekly Meetings
- No Embarrassing Weigh-Ins
- No Initiation Fees
- No Counting Calories, Points, Carbs or Fat Grams
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
According to a study done by Nutrisystem using their special kick-start program (which is included in any Nutrisystem monthly meal plan), dieters lost on average 11 pounds in one month. Some dieters even lost up to 13 pounds and 7 inches – which is amazing!
And men lost even more. Men on Nutrisystem can lose up to 15 pounds in their first month.
Results like this are another reason Nutrisystem works. When you see how well the diet works, you’re much more likely to stick with it and reach your final goal.
So hopefully that helps to give you an answer to the question How Does Nutrisystem work?
For more information, check out the Nutrisystem Plans Compared page here or see a full list of the latest Nutrisystem menu items using the link below.