This week, I obsessed over every aspect of the Nutrisystem diet. Our in-depth review focused on the meal delivery system, pricing and auto-ship, customer service quality and clinical research. Plus, we read hundreds of testimonials and user experiences. Then, we summarized and condensed to give you the info you need.
What is the Nutrisystem Meal Plan?
First off, Nutrisystem is a commercially-available weight-loss plan that works with the meal delivery premise.  The diet focuses on portion control, balanced nutrition and frequent eating.  How you use the products, depends on the plan followed. One benefit is that the foods are shipped directly to your home.
Nutrisystem was founded in 1972 and initially offered weight-loss counseling services at select locations. It has been involved in a voluntary recall.  The available plans are sold through the official website and select ones are available at local stores. We like the longevity of the business and that we found some positive comments, but read on…
The Cost – “A Bit Pricey?”
The first concern mentioned in Nutrisystem diet reviews is the high cost. “There’s a wealth of information showing meal-replacement programs may help with weight-loss ,” said our Research Editor. “Some dieters may not be able to benefit from this eating plan when the 4-week plan starts at $275.”
“The $99 dollar cancellation fee just placed me in a [bad] situation. I was planning to continue the program after I get settled but after this, I wouldn’t want to,” said another.
According to some Nutrisystem reviews, cost wasn’t a concern.
“I made sure to call into Nutrisystem to clarify how the program works, the cost, or any extra fees I need to know about before purchasing,” said a customer.
Meal Options With Nutrisystem – “Could Get Boring”
Based on Nutrisystem reviews, the food choices could become stagnant over time. One user said, “I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I’m not thrilled about the amount of sweet ‘meals’ are in the package.”
“The portions are small in relation to the calorie content.  I haven’t eaten all of the products in the box, but the ones I have tried were [not great],” said a customer.
While some users didn’t like the options, we found customers that appreciated the variety with Nutrisystem kit.
“I needed…a program that was prepared for me, that had no alternative choices and was rigid and tasty enough to satisfy me. It was better than a self-sustained program ,” said a customer.
“The meals are packaged wonderfully and are very convenient. The portion control  helped me lose those extra pounds,” reported another.
Our research indicates that if there’s part of a diet program that’s difficult, like limited food choices, long-term success could be limited. If you use the Nutrisystem kit and don’t have variety, is it worth the price?
The Science – “Valid?”
We appreciate the customer testimonials and Nutrisystem before and after photos of those that have used the meal delivery diet. What we would have liked to see more of is scientific research showing this program helps you lose weight. There’s a wealth of solid science showing a link between portion control, eating balanced meals several times per day and weight-loss.  Unfortunately, the research simply isn’t presented on the official website, aside from information relating to short-term success with weight-management. At DietSpotlight, we like when there’s evidence a self-monitoring  weight-management plan is effective and has the evidence to back the claims.
The Bottom Line – Does Nutrisystem Work?
Will the Nutrisystem meal plan help you drop those pounds? There’s a chance you could see improvements, but we’re concerned that there’s no research to support the claims.  We also are a bit hesitant about this one because of customers are talking about the high price tag and the limited food choices.
If you’d like to jump-start your weight-loss, we suggest including a supplement that’s affordable, shown to work and supported by positive customer comments.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. It is made with a unique blend of four clinically-tested ingredients which have been shown to help accelerate metabolism and boost fat loss. There’s no chatter about harmful side effects and the talk online is about people seeing great results.
Also, the makers of Leptigen are so confident in their product, they’re offering a Special Trial Offer.
Previous Nutrisystem Review (Updated October 9, 2014):
What You Should Know About the Nutrisystem Diet
Nutrisystem is a diet plan that consists of planned meals, as opposed to many other diet programs, which offer oral medications that suppress hunger. The Nutrisystem dieting system can be broken down into seven different categories. First you have the "Women's Program," which is formulated to be low in fat and involves the "Glycemic Index." Second you have the "Men's Program." This program supposedly allows men to enjoy standard male eating habits, but lose weight at the same time. Next you have the "Silver" programs. These are formulated for senior dieters, and there is a program that addresses men and one geared toward women. These Nutrisystem diet programs include something called "Nutrihance," which works as a vitamin supplement for those over 60 years of age. Finally there's the "Vegetarian Program." Naturally this program aims to encourage weight loss, but with all vegetarian meals.
The primary marketed program from Nutrisystem is called "Nutrisystem Advanced." This dieting system offers 28 days of Nutrisystem food, a daily meal planner, an exercise DVD to assist with physical fitness, weigh loss counseling and a few online tools. Aside from weight-loss programs, Medifast is an alternate weight-loss program that offers specific foods to be consumed on a regular basis that include soups, entrees, bars, shakes in a four day meal plan. In case you were wondering, the complete Nutrisystem program is delivered to your home. It appears that each program sells for $300-$350 per month. Ideal Protein Phase 1 is a similar plan in many ways; they too offer tools, coaching and a somewhat strict food plan. With these Nutrisystem programs, you can choose from at least 120 different meal options. Essentially you select the meals and desserts you desire, as long as they apply to the program that suits you.
List of Ingredients
Not really applicable.
Nutrisystem is basically a diet program that's based on pre-planned meals, which are geared toward different types of dieters, male and female, young and mature. This system aims to reduce the user's body weight by incorporating low-fat meals with minimal carbohydrates and sufficient protein. Similar to how the Ketosis Diet aims to burn fat with a primarily protein based diet. The Glycemic Index is a key factor of Nutrisystem, which concerns "healthy carbs." As opposed to many diet supplements that consist of pills, Nutrisystem is a meal-based diet plan. The dieter can purchase a month or more of planned meals in advance to potentially lose weight.
Advantages of Nutrisystem
- The Nutrisystem official website explains how the diet plan works.
- Nutrisystem offers various plans that apply to different types of people.
- Nutrisystem can be easily and conveniently ordered via the official website.
- A prescription is not needed with Nutrisystem.
Disadvantages of Nutrisystem
- There is no manufacturer guarantee that the Nutrisystem diet plan will work for you.
- Nutrisystem may be rather expensive for the average consumer since it costs over $300 per month.
- The pre-planned Nutrisystem meals may get a bit tiresome for some dieters, who prefer greater variety.
- Other weight loss systems and dieting plans sell for less.
- Some users may prefer a simpler dieting plan that merely involves a pill or capsule that's taken once daily.
- Some find meals unappetizing. (See reader reviews.)
- The Nutrisystem diet may not curb hunger for all users, since portion sizes are non-negotiable.
While Nutrisystem is certainly an interesting diet program that makes daily meal preparation a cinch, it appears to be significantly higher priced than many other dieting programs. Nutrisystem would likely benefit dieters that wish to have their entire eating schedule planned out for them each day like in The 80/20 Diet and other books that outline healthy eating. However, that doesn't mean that Nutrisystem will absolutely assist you in the weight loss process. On the bright side, Nutrisystem does not have to be prescribed by a medical professional, but it may not look as appealing as some of the other convenient diet medications and programs currently available.
Nutrisystem Questions & Answers:
We sorted through hundreds of user comments about Nutrisystem and created this useful FAQ.
What are the side effects of Nutrisystem?
Nutrisystem side effects reported in some customer comments, include nausea, headache, upset stomach and constipation .
What is in Nutrisystem?
Nutrisystem ingredients will depend on which meals or snacks you are purchasing.
What is the active ingredient in Nutrisystem?
The active ingredient in Nutrisystem varies by product but includes vitamins .
Does Nutrisystem work?
According to the official website, Nutrisystem does work if you adhere to the plan. While the company provides before and after photos, there’s no research available showing you will lose weight.
How much does Nutrisystem cost?
Nutrisystem costs $275 for the 4-week program. The Core plan is $295, and Uniquely Yours is $335.
How do you take Nutrisystem?
Eat the meals and snacks as dictated by your plan.
Can I take Nutrisystem if I have a health condition?
Women who are pregnant or nursing, those with health conditions, anyone taking prescription medications or under 18 years of age should contact a healthcare professional before using any weight-loss program, including Nutrisystem.
What do users like about Nutrisystem?
Users like that they don’t have to spend time grocery shopping or preparing meals.
What do users NOT like about Nutrisystem?
Many users complain about the portion sizes, the price, and the taste of the food.
How do I contact the Nutrisystem customer service department?
You can communicate with the Nutri customer service department by calling 1-800-585-5483, writing Nutrisystem, Inc., 600 Office Center Drive, Fort Washington, PA 19034 or by emailing a representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I contact Nutrisystem through social media?
Is exercise required with Nutrisystem?
No, exercise isn’t required with Nutrisystem but recommended for better results.
Does the Nutrisystem menu offer vegetarian/vegan plans?
Yes, Nutrisystem offers vegetarian plans, but vegan options aren’t available at this time.
Does Nutrisystem offer a maintenance program?
Yes, Nutrisystem offers four transition and maintenance programs.
Does the Nutrisystem plan come with a guarantee?
Yes, Nutrisystem comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Do you know of any special deals or discounts on Nutrisystem?
There are special deals and discounts on the Nutrisystem menu listed on the official website, including free shipping and reduced pricing.
Nutrisystem Side Effects:
On any mission to lose weight, there can be some unanticipated hurdles along the way. Some weight-loss products have the potential to bring some uncomfortable, additional outcomes. Users of Nutrisystem menu have experienced a few issues, though they are not common.
Constipation occurs when bowel movements slow down or cease altogether. This inability to move the bowel can be extremely uncomfortable, bringing abdominal pain. Constipation can lead to infection and other serious complications.
What causes constipation?
There are many issues that can lead to constipation, including acute conditions, but the most likely causes are stress, dehydration, or a lack of fiber intake. Other common causes include changes in diet or medications.
Vomiting is the involuntary or forcible voluntary emptying of the stomach contents through the mouth.  Vomiting itself is not a disease but is a symptom of other conditions.
What causes vomiting?
Although there are many severe conditions that can cause vomiting, some as drastic as encephalitis, meningitis, blocked intestines and appendicitis, the most common causes include stress, motion sickness, food poisoning and changes in diet. 
A headache is any pain in the head and can occur in the front, back or on either side. Headache pain can be intermittent, spontaneous, or relentless and can be described as throbbing, crushing or squeezing. Headaches typically originate in nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissues.
What causes headaches?
Headaches can be brought about by an extensive list of triggers including stress, weather, fatigue, caffeine, alcohol, bright lighting, and smoke. More severe causes include high blood pressure, heart disease or a tumor. Another common culprit is a change in diet or medication, including supplements.
Bloating happens as a result of air or gas in the stomach, making the abdomen feel larger than normal and firm to the touch. Bloating likely will produce pain and discomfort.
What causes bloating?
While there are a few more severe causes of bloating, such as an obstructed bowel, the most common origins are less serious. Bloating is often the result of eating or drinking too rapidly, or can stem from the consumption of indigestible foods or food additives, sweeteners, and substitutes.
Nutrisystem diet plan users have reported side effects like headaches and bloating, among others, but they’re not often found. We always suggest seeking advice from a doctor before starting Nutrisystem plans, especially if you have a medical condition of any kind.
Nutrisystem is a meal-delivery system that takes the trouble and work out of cooking health foods and tracking macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fats. You order directly from the official website, or pick up a starter kit at some large retailers. Meals tend to be small and there have been reports that the taste is not ideal.
Nutrisystem Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Per Container: Varies
|Amount per Serving||% DV|
|- Cinnamon Roll||*||*|
|- Meal Replacement Bars||*||*|
|- Wraps (Pizza, Southwest, Steak and Cheese, etc...)||*||*|
|- Hamburgers / Chicken||*||*|
|- Stuffed Chicken Breast / Chicken Parmesan||*||*|
|- Flatbread Pizza||*||*|
|- Snack Bars||*||*|
Other Ingredients: None
Portion control is crucial for weight management, however, urging individuals just to eat less of all foods isn’t always the ideal approach as high energy dense meals disproportionately elevate energy intake in comparison to foods lower in energy density. A strategy that would prove more effective would be to encourage individuals to raise the proportion of foods that are lower in energy density while only consuming limited amounts of high energy dense foods. If people intake foods low in energy density, they can eat a meal, feel satisfied and manage their body weight. 
65 obese subjects were randomized [BMI (body mass index) ≥ 30 and < 40] to an intervention which included counseling by portion control plate or to usual care. Out of the participants, 42 returned to have weight observed at the six-month marker. Participants in the portion control group experienced higher percentage difference in weight from the start to 3 months (-2.4% ± 3.7% versus -0.5% ± 2.2%; p = 0.041) and an insignificant tendency in weight change from start to 6 months (-2.1% ± 3.8% versus -0.7% ± 3.7%; p = 0.232) in comparison to usual care. Almost a half of those given portion control diets reported that the interventions were beneficial and a majority of participants recommended it. In conclusion, the study indicates that a portion control intervention infusing dietary counseling could be a beneficial way for obese patients to lose weight. Portion control and intervention need further studies for evaluating weight control within a primary care setting. 
All subjects were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (n=54). Body weight reduced in both regimens (p<0.001), even more in the B2 group (−2.3 kg; 95% confidence interval −2.7, −2.0 kg for A6 versus −3.7 kg; 95% confidence interval −4.1, −3.4 kg for B2; p < 0.001).Hepatic fat content reduced as a result of treatment in both regimens (p < 0.001),even more for B2 (−0.03%; 95% confidence interval −0.033%, −0.027% for A6 versus −0.04%; 95% confidence interval −0.041%, −0.035% for B2; p = 0.009). C-peptide and fasting plasma glucose levels reduced in all participants (p < 0.001), even more for B2 (p = 0.004 and p = 0.04). There was a decrease in fasting plasma glucose present with the B2 regimen (p < 0.001), and it also elevated in A6 group (p = 0.04, p < 0.001, respectively). It was thus concluded that only breakfast and lunch decreased body weight, fasting plasma glucose, hepatic fat content, C-peptide, and glucagon. It also elevates OGIS. The results indicate that for those with type 2 diabetes on a hypoenergetic diet, consuming bigger meals at breakfast and lunch could be more effective than six smaller meals throughout the day. 
- 1. What is the role of portion control in weight management? (2014). International Journal of Obesity. December 15, 2016.
- 2. Portion control for the treatment of obesity in the primary care setting. (2011). BMC Research Notes. December 15, 2016.
- 3. Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomised crossover study. (2014). Diabetologia. December 15, 2016.