Which is Best For You?
These are two very popular, well-known diets that deliver specialized meals to your home.
They’ve both also been around for over 30 years and both of them have excellent track records.
Both diets emphasize high protein and low glycemic or “good” carbs and have special programs for diabetics and vegetarians.
Also, both diets give you online support and both have transition programs you can use to transition off the diet when you’ve lost the weight you want.
So how are they different? And which is the best diet choice for you?
Let’s compare them here to help you decide.
Nutrisystem vs Medifast
#1 Price Per Day
Nutrisystem comes in starting around $9.82 a day for the basic plan and ranges up to $12 for the Gourmet plan (called Uniquely Yours).
Medifast currently has two plans and they both start around $10.60 per day (with the current sale). They range up to about $11 per day from there.
However it is fair to note that with Medifast you’re providing fruits and veggies as snacks (just like you do with Nutrisystem) AND you’re also providing at least 1 if not 2 lean and green meals yourself (which you don’t have to do with Nutrisystem).
So when you price in the extra meals you have to add with Medifast the cost per day pushes it higher than the cost per day with Nutrisystem. Plus there’s more work involved (shopping, preparing food, etc.) which you may not have time to do.
Nutrisystem has over 150 meals to choose from whereas Medifast doesn’t have as many options – only 65 meals to choose from.
Plus while there are a lot of similarities (bars, smoothies and shakes are in both plans), the meals with Nutrisystem are a bit more gourmet than with Medifast. You have more gourmet options like Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza, Chicken Parmesan and Roasted Turkey with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes.
To be fair you do have the option to buy extra pre-made “lean and green” type meals with Medifast that are a lot more hearty than standard Medifast meals. These are called “Flavors of Home” and some examples include Chili Lime Chicken, Beef Stew and Turkey Meatball Marina. But overall the variety is better with Nutrisystem.
If you want to compare the menus yourself use the links below:
#3 The Plans
Both plans emphasize good carbs and high protein to keep you full. The diet plan structures are similar – but the amount of work you’ll do for each diet is a bit different.
So for Nutrisystem you’ll eat around 6 times a day – 5 Nutrisystem meals or snacks and 1 snack of fruit or veggies that you provide yourself (which is not too hard to do).
With Medifast, depending on the plan you choose, you’ll eat around 6 times per day. But you’ll eat 4 or 5 Medifast meals along with 1 or 2 lean and green meals and possibly a snack of fruit. The lean and green meals, if you choose to make them yourself, will require some work on your part.
#4 Weight Loss Results
Both diets have years of weight loss success stories to their credit. But how much can you expect to lose with each?
Well, according to Medifast you can expect to lose up to 4 pounds in your first week and 1 – 2 pounds every week after that. Not bad.
Nutrisystem is similar – except for their weight loss starter promotion called Lean 13. The Lean 13 jump-start program is specially designed to help you lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches overall in your first month. So at least in your first month, you might lose a bit more with Nutrisystem.
At the end of the day though, your weight loss results will really depend on how closely you stick to the diet, your current weight, gender and activity level.
One thing the Medifast does have that I like is the 14 day starter kit. So while you can get a 30 days program with both Medifast and Nutrisystem, you can’t do a two week Nutrisystem program (yet).
So you can sample the Medifast diet to see how you like it. However keep in mind that you can’t actually choose the meals on the 14 day kit – they are chosen for you. So if you want the option to customize the meals, then you may want to choose the 30 day options with either diet.
One more difference that the Medifast diet has that Nutrisystem does not is that they have a few more “specialized diet” options. Medifast has programs for nursing moms as well as those who need a gluten-free diet program. Nutrisystem currently doesn’t have these options – only the vegetarian and diabetic plans.
So which diet is better for you? Well this depends on what is most important to you.
Personally the reason I went with Nutrisystem over Medifast was that I wanted more meal variety – and I wanted the gourmet frozen meals and desserts that Nutrisystem has. Their meals just seemed to look and taste better.
Basically, I really just wanted as many options as I could have to find delicious meals. And I felt Nutrisystem was the best option for this.
They also had more chocolate options – and I’m a total chocolate junkie – which was also a deciding factor and it may not matter to you.
However I do know people who have had a lot of success with Medifast as well. And they have more specialty diet options like the gluten-free plan. So again, it depends on what you’re looking for.
Regardless of what you decide, you’ll find links to a special discount page for either diet below – so you can save money on whichever diet you choose!