Choosing the Best Weight Loss Plan Part 3: The 5 Reasons we Can’t Recommend Nutrisystem for Healthy Weight Loss

Nutrisystem is one of the most popular weight loss systems on the market, so we’ll cut to the chase. This is a weight loss system we would not recommend.

The program uses portion control via ready-to-eat meals. The plan delivers 1200 to 1500 calories per day, which should yield a 1-2 pound weight loss per week. And the foods contain 28 g of fiber, no more than 85 g of sugar, 170 mg of cholesterol and 2300 mg of sodium per day. So far so good since fiber deficiency and over consumption of sodium is common for many Americans. 

But here’s where the system falls apart.

  1. This program is strictly about calorie control, not health. Entrées range from Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza to Mac and Cheese with Turkey Sausage.
  1. Their marketing materials claim balanced nutrition but these foods are full of additives, artificial flavors and preservatives. And since you are eating these foods from morning to night, that’s deeply concerning. Here’s the ingredient list for just one item, the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza: 

CRUST (BLEACHED FLOUR [WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR], WATER, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, CHICORY, SOYBEAN OIL, SUGAR, SOY FLOUR, YEAST, SODIUM REPLACER [NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT], SALT, DOUGH CONDITIONER [WHEY, AMMONIUM SULFATE, L-CYSTEINE]), CHEESE BLEND(REDUCED FAT MOZZARELLA CHEESE [PASTEURIZED PART SKIM MILK, NONFAT MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, *MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, SALT, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, ENZYMES], SEASONING BLEND [SPICE BLEND {DEHYDRATED ONION AND GARLIC, SALT, SPICES, PARSLEY, AND SILICON DIOXIDE (ANTI-CAKING)}, PARSLEY, OREGANO]), CHICKEN(CHICKEN BREAST MEAT, WATER, SEASONING [MALTODEXTRIN, GARLIC POWDER, DEXTROSE, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, SPICE, PARSLEY, NATURAL FLAVORS {INCLUDING OIL OF GARLIC}, SALT, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, LIME JUICE POWDER {CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, NATURAL FLAVORS (LIME JUICE SOLIDS, NATURAL FLAVORS)}, GRILL FLAVOR [MALTODEXTRIN, NATURAL FLAVOR {CONTAINS NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR}, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, REFINERY SYRUP POWDER, BROWN SUGAR, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MOLASSES POWDER, CARAMEL COLOR]), GARLIC RANCH SAUCE (MAYONNAISE [SOYBEAN OIL, DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR, WATER, EGG YOLKS, SALT, SUGAR, MUSTARD FLOUR, ONION POWDER, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA {PROTECT FLAVOR}, NATURAL FLAVOR], PARMESAN CHEESE [{CULTURED PASTEURIZED PART-SKIM MILK, SALT, ENZYMES}, POWDERED CELLULOSE {ANTI-CAKING}], GARLIC PUREE [GARLIC, CITRIC ACID, ASCORBIC ACID], WATER, MILK, RANCH SEASONING [MALTODEXTRIN, BUTTERMILK, SALT, GARLIC AND ONION POWDER, LACTIC ACID, SPICES {INCLUDING MUSTARD}, YEAST EXTRACT, CARRAGEENAN, PARSLEY, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOR, SILICON DIOXIDE {ANTI-CAKING}], GARLIC POWDER, PARSLEY, SALT, BLACK PEPPER), TOMATOES, BACON PIECES (CURED WITH WATER, SALT, SUGAR, SMOKE FLAVORING, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ERYTHORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE), SPINACH. *INGREDIENT NOT IN REGULAR MOZZARELLA CHEESE. CONTAINS EGG, MILK, SOY AND WHEAT.

Whew.

  1.  The program is not teaching you how to eat better for the long-term, which is a requirement if you hope to maintain your weight loss. You’re certainly not learning to be a better judge of ingredient lists. It is hard to see how you can maintain weight loss once you finish the plan.
  1. You are required to eat Nutrisystem foods exclusively. No meals out, no family meals for the term of your diet. If you’re aiming to lose 50 pounds, that’s a commitment of almost a year. So even though it comes pre-packaged and pre-portioned, it’s not truly convenient. 
  1. The program costs between $240 and $300 per month and still requires you to buy fruits, vegetables and dairy items. 

When we designed Step One Foods, we thought a lot about how to make our program most impactful. We studied eating programs like Nutrisystem so we knew convenience was critical. We liked the pre-portioned and easy to prepare aspects of this eating system. But we were highly selective with our ingredients and used only those that promote health.

We focused not on weight loss, but on improving health because we know that the right food eaten in the right amounts leads to natural weight loss which is absolutely the best kind. And we elected to make our program super easy by limiting it to two servings per day, ensuring convenience and sustainability.

The bottom line: almost all weight loss programs miss the boat on health and sustainability. For a long and healthy life, those are the two most critical components.

Back To Blogs

PROUDLY FEATURED ON: