Nutrisystem Nutrisystem
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3.5 5stars

Nutrisystem Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Most budget-friendly diet program; easy to follow and convenient plans with bland food; small portions and must add your own fruit, vegetables and dairy

Full Review:
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Nutrisystem's plan focuses on the glycemic index, using a mix of proteins and slowly digested carbs to stabilize your blood sugar, which helps you avoid cravings and encourages weight loss. It offers the convenience of shelf-stable prepackaged foods, including a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert options. You also have the option to order frozen foods for a slightly higher price tag. The program strongly suggests that you also add your own fruits, vegetables and dairy to the diet — something we also recommend, as the food comes in small portions.


How Does It Taste?

One of the main reasons dieters quit is because they don't like the food or they get too hungry between meals. Since the most important consideration of any diet plan is whether you'll stick with it, we wanted to make sure Nutrisystem provided tasty food that doesn't leave you wanting more. So we had an impartial panel of 14 taste testers participate in a blind taste test and rate the appearance, taste and serving size of Nutrisystem's meals. We then compared these results against all of the other meal delivery diet programs we included in our annual taste test. This year, Nutrisystem came in third place, tying with both Diet-to-Go and bistroMD with an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars on the taste scale. Nutrisystem also ranked fairly well on the appearance and satisfaction/serving size scale, with tasters making comments like, "I would eat this every morning!" on the Turkey, Sausage and Egg Muffin breakfast (see photo below).



Plans and Pricing

Nutrisystem offers several different meal plans for both men and women. For women, the Basic Plan costs $253.84 with the discount (or $423.06 without it) and provides tracking and support tools in addition to its meals. The Core Plan includes everything from the Basic Plan as well as more food options to choose from and access to expert counselors. This plan costs $272.30 with the discount or $453.83 without it. The Uniquely Yours Plan gives you the option to select from its more "gourmet" frozen foods and costs $309.22 with auto-delivery or $515.37 without it. All of these plans are four-week programs that include three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) plus one snack for seven days/week. They feature Nutrisystem's "favorites pack," however you can select a custom menu, but at a slightly higher price — typically costing a little more than $1/day above the "favorites pack" price.

All of these plans offer the same thing for men but with a slightly higher price tag. The Basic Plan costs $290.76 (or $484.60 without the discount), the Core Plan costs $309.22 with auto-delivery (or $515.37) and the Uniquely Yours Plan would be $346.15 discounted, or $576.91 otherwise.

In addition to the meal plan costs, both men and women will need to buy your own fruit, vegetables and dairy to supplement the Nutrisystem meals. Based on our food prices, we estimated this to be approximately $60/week. However, San Francisco's food prices are notoriously high, so it's likely your supplemental food cost will be less expensive.


Meals

Nutrisystem has meal programs designed specifically for men, women, diabetics and vegetarians. Its diabetic program has shown to help those with type 2 diabetes lose weight, control their diabetes as well as lower blood sugar, cholesterol and A1C. Diabetic customers also have access to diabetes-specific support tools, such as Certified Diabetes Educators. This service can also cater your meal plan to a specific need, such as a food allergy or dairy intolerance.


Many of Nutrisystem's foods can be stored at room temperature and prepared easily in a microwave. NutriSystem's Uniquely Yours Plan is the priciest in its offerings, as you can see in our pricing chart, but it does offer frozen food items like the other meal delivery diet programs that ranked higher in our taste test.



Support and Fitness

In addition to the meal delivery service, Nutrisystem also offers online classes, bulletin boards and chatrooms as well as weight loss and fitness diaries. The food is color-coded, which makes it easy to differentiate between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. All you need to do is find the packages with the correct color, pick a meal and then either manually write it down in the included Meal Planner, or use the online tools to keep track of what you're eating each day.


In terms of the fitness component, Nutrisystem provides an online Fitness Diary where you can log what type of exercise you did each day. It then automatically calculates how many calories you burned based on the measurements you enter and the amount of time you did each activity. It's a nice feature for keeping track of your workouts, which also works as a motivational tool. This fitness program is a do-it-yourself routine without additional guidance or coaching.

A variety of phone and email support options are offered, depending on what you need. Weight loss counselors can be reached by phone seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET. If you need to make plan adjustments or talk about a specific dietary need, you can call dietary services Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET or Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Finally, general customer service hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Conclusion

Overall, Nutrisystem is a well-rounded program that encourages a healthy attitude about your body while providing an easy-to-follow routine for busy people. While it doesn't include a fully comprehensive diet program like some of the other services we review, our taste test found it to provide tasty meals that looked appetizing and were generally filling. We recommend this program more for on-the-go people who want a simple, cost-effective and practical way to lose weight.

Sign up for Nutrisystem | Compare to Other Diet Programs

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Service Details

Cost:$9.07 - $13.39/day, depending on plan
(excludes cost of added food)

Free shipping
Diet Types:Low glycemic index (GI) meal delivery diet; diabetic and vegetarian options
Support Types:Phone and online counseling; newsletter; classes; online forums
Fitness Diary:
Taste Component:

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