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Is Nutrisystem worth it for weight loss?

Lana Bandoim's picture

Are you considering Nutrisystem to help you lose weight? Before you sign up, you may want to think about the following details.


Since more than two-thirds of Americans are categorized as obese, it is not surprising that miracle weight-loss firms, products and systems are doing well. The weight-loss industry is worth $60 billion, and this number continues to grow every year. Using a system to lose weight can be beneficial for individuals who are overweight or obese, but you do not want to get sucked into paying for a service that is more about the money than helping the customer.

Nutrisystem has been around for more than 40 years, and it is considered to be one of the top grossing weight-loss systems. It has been endorsed by Melissa Joan Hart, Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Jason Alexander, and other celebrities who have become famous for their significant weight loss with the help of Nutrisystem.

The service looks appealing based on the results claimed by its celebrity endorsements, but it is hard to know whether the success trumpeted by the tabloids can be honestly attributed to Nutrisystem alone. If you are intrigued by the potential of Nutrisystem, you may want to take a closer look at the program.

What is Nutrisystem?

Nutrisystem is a weight-loss program that sends you a combination of prepackaged meals and protein shakes. It also strongly encourages participants to exercise, but it claims this is not a requirement to get the benefits from the program. You eat 1200 to 1500 calories a day without starving yourself. The system allows five to six small meals and snacks per day, but you have to eat the food the company sends you in the mail. You can supplement the meals with fruits and vegetables from your pantry.

The pros

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One of the benefits is that the food comes right to your door. You do not have to go to the store and try to avoid the chips and candy aisle. It also cuts out the hassle of menu planning and trying to figure out how to eat healthy. Many success stories from this system have been reported. For the most part, people who stick to the diet as planned and do not splurge on extra calories enjoy good weight-loss results with the program.

It is also a healthy plan since you are encouraged to eat protein, fruits and vegetables. Your calories are not reduced to a dangerous level, so you should not have to deal with changes to your body or metabolism that can have dangerous and lasting effects.

The cons

One of the problems is that it is easy to cheat despite that fact that you are supposed to eat the food the company sends you. When you are around friends and family who eat their own meals and snacks, it is easy to splurge and ruin your diet. The program is also expensive. The basic plan starts at $10 per day, which is about $300 per month. You will not have to purchase groceries for that month, but $300 is a lot to spend on food for one person. If you have struggled with weight loss, it may be worth it, but it can be hard on your budget.

The final decision

Ultimately, people who have strong self-discipline and who can stick to their calorie goals may see weight-loss results. It is almost impossible not to lose weight if you cut your daily calorie intake and exercise. However, this level of self-discipline is not easy for many people. The portion sizes are small, and staying within your allotted calorie range is difficult to do for an extended amount of time.

On the other hand, the food the company sends you is healthy, and you can eat extra fruits and vegetables. Ideally, this kind of program teaches your body to love healthy food again, and if you can cover the cost and maintain your discipline, it can be a success.