Which Plan is Best For You?
Trying to compare the Nutrisystem diet plan vs South Beach?
Wondering which weight loss program is best for you?
Well, both of these programs have plenty of fans and success stories all over the world.
They’re also two of the most popular diet delivery services on the market.
On the surface they look quite similar.
They both send specialty weight loss breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to your door so you can lose weight in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
They both encourage you to eat 6 meals a day – a mix of their specialty meals and a few grocery items that you add in yourself. They both have online support and free apps you can use.
And they both give you very fast weight loss results – which is super motivating.
So how are they different?
And which is best for you?
Let’s look at some of the main differences between Nutrisystem and South Beach.
(Note that I’m comparing Nutrisystem against the South Beach Diet Meal Delivery service here. If you’re planning on making the meals yourself for South Beach, that’s a whole new post – although a few points made below will still apply).
Nutrisystem vs South Beach Diet – The Cost
While both diets have several different plan options at various price points, most people just want to know the bottom line on cost.
And Nutrisystem technically has the edge here. You can find plans starting from $8.75 per day plus Free Shipping here.
However South Beach is also pretty affordable. You can find plans starting from $9.46 per day plus Free Shipping here.
Ultimately it comes down to which plan you decide to go with at the end of the day (more on plans below). But just as a head-to-head cost basis, Nutrisystem is currently a bit cheaper.
Diet Plan Differences:
While both diets emphasize lean protein and portion control there are a few key differences between them.
South Beach, as you may or may not know, works in 3 different phases.
The first phase is the most intense. It cuts out sugar and refined carbs. You eat foods high in lean protein, plenty of vegetables and healthy fats.
This encourages your body to start digging into your fat stores for energy. It also helps, according to the diet’s founder, to curb your sugar cravings and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Basically phase 1 of this diet is quite low carb or keto – which can be tough for some people. However you can lose quite a bit of weight on your first week.
Phase 1 of the diet only lasts about a week. After your first phase you go on to phase 2 which lets you start to add in some “good” carbs like fruit, whole grains, starchy veggies and more.
You’ll stay on this phase for steady weight loss until you’ve basically achieved your weight loss goal.
The third phase is when you have achieved your goal and have relearned healthy habits. This is the maintenance phase.
There are other little differences between phases and the South Beach diet can sound a bit complicated. But that’s the beauty of the South Beach meal delivery service – they figure it all out for you.
You don’t have to do a thing but heat your meals and eat.
Nutrisystem doesn’t have these 3 phases. They are more of a portion-control diet. And while they emphasize higher protein and good carbs, they aren’t as low carb as the South Beach diet.
They do however have a 1 week intro kick-start plan – which is designed (like Phase 1 of South Beach) to kick-start your weight loss and give you super-fast results. However again, it’s not as low carb as South Beach.
I also find they don’t limit sweets on the Nutrisystem plan as much as South Beach does. There are a lot more desserts and sweet treats allowed on the Nutrisystem plan – a huge bonus if you’re like me and you can’t go without your chocolate.
Diet Plan Options:
Both diets give you 3 different plan options. They’re as follows:
Silver – This is the most affordable plan at under $10 a day. This gives you breakfasts, lunches and dinners with no snacks or shakes. Menu is limited.
Gold – This is the most popular plan around $11.21 a day. This gives you breakfasts, lunches and dinners with snacks but no shakes. Choose from a larger menu than Silver.
Platinum – This is the premium plan at around $12.20 a day. This gives you all meals plus snacks and protein shakes. Choose from the largest menu including frozen entrees.
Basic – This is the most affordable plan at around $9.00 a day. You get ready-to-go meals only – no frozen entrees. You get all meals plus a snack/dessert every day.
Meals are chosen for you based on “customer favorites”.
Core – This is the next plan up at around $10 a day. You get ready-to-go meals only – no frozen entrees. You get breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack/dessert every day.
However you can choose the meals yourself to make sure you get your favorites.
Uniquely Yours – This is the premium plan at around $12 a day. You get ready-to-go meals and fresh-frozen entrees/desserts. You get breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack/dessert every day.
You can customize your menu and you also get more online and phone support.
Note that you can also save on any Nutrisystem plan with this discount link (which will cut down the price per day and also give you Free Shakes and Free Shipping).
As you can see, the plan options are similar. However the Nutrisystem plans (even the Core plan) do give you a snack whereas you only get snacks with the Gold and Platinum plans on the South Beach Diet.
What About the Food? Comparing Menus:
I found that the menu on Nutrisystem was much larger than the menu selections on South Beach. Nutrisystem has about 160 meals to choose from whereas South Beach has a little over 80 meals.
However South Beach does have some delicious looking meals. Some of the highest rated South Beach meals are:
Turkey Sausage and Egg Muffin
High Protein Pancake Mix
Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
Garlic Cheese Flatbread
Homestyle Chicken and Brown Rice
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Dark Chocolate Nut Bar
Some of the highest-rated Nutrisystem Meals are:
Italian Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza
Spinach and Cheese Pretzel Melt
Baked Banana and Chocolate Oatmeal
Roasted Turkey Medallions
Chocolate Brownie Sundae
Red Velvet Whoopie Pie
Lemon Zest Cake
As you can see Nutrisystem tends to have more sweets and comfort foods on the menu whereas South Beach meals emphasize less sugar and “healthier” carbs.
“How Much Weight Can I Lose?”
Both diets will help you lose weight quickly. And both diets have done the homework with studies to prove their results (unlike a lot of other diets on the market today).
Average weight loss according to a South Beach diet study was about 7 pounds and 2.5 inches in 2 weeks.
They claim (based on their studies) that you can lose up to 9 pounds and 3 inches in your first 2 weeks (and 1 – 2 pounds per week after this). This is pretty amazing as you’ll be seeing results in the mirror very quickly with this diet.
Nutrisystem has also done the studies to back up their weight loss claims. Average weight loss in their study was about 11.6 pounds and 8 inches in the first month.
They claim (based on study results) that you can lose up to 13 pounds and 7 inches in your first month (and 1 – 2 pounds per week after that).
So when you add up what you could potentially lose on South Beach and compare it to Nutrisystem, the results are very similar (up to 9 pounds in your first 2 weeks plus 2-4 pounds in the 2 weeks after gives you about 13 pounds in one month – similar to what Nutrisystem claims you can lose in the first month.)
So there’s no clear winner here – they both help you lose weight very quickly.
So which is the better diet for you when comparing Nutrisystem vs South Beach diets?
They both give you fast weight loss and send you everything you need to lose weight in the comfort of your own home.
I think the real difference is in what kind of meal plan you prefer. For example, if you’ve found you get the best results and feel best on a low carb diet, then South Beach is the better option.
If however you don’t feel great on a low carb diet and you need your sweets and comfort foods while slimming down, then Nutrisystem is the better choice. Nutrisystem also has more meals to choose from – and comes in slightly cheaper.
Want to learn more? Click the links below to get a special discount code on either plan!