By: Ava Alderman: Although many people are drawn to nutrisystem because of the convenience it gives you by providing you with the food you will eat, people also want some flexibility with this. Many of us want to have our cake and eat it too. In other words, we love the idea that nutrisystem will provide us with most of our meals – freeing us from having to shop or cook. But we also want some freedom to choose our own foods every once in a while. Still, despite this wish, we wonder if there will be a price to pay for all of this. If we eat on own foods from time to time, will we still lose weight?
Someone might ask the question this way: “I’ve looked on the nutrisystem website and many of the foods look pretty good to me – especially the frozen options. But I also have my favorite snacks at home. I love popcorn. I love bananas. I love yogurt, nuts, and pudding. I sometimes eat these things on a daily basis and I am worried about having to cut these things out of my diet. I have no problem eating the nutriystem food, as long as I can eat some of my own food also. Would this be cheating? And would it mean that I would not lose weight if I did this?”
First of all, you should know that nutrisystem actually encourages you to add in your own grocery items at each and every meal. Now, there is a strategy to this. You have to add a variety of healthy foods. The grocery items are broken up into four categories: smartcarbs, powerfuels, vegetables, and extras. You are to choose your sides from these categories. The foods that you have mentioned – the popcorn, yogurt, bananas and pudding all fall into these categories – although to have a balanced diet, you’d need to add some vegetables also. This would certainly not be considered cheating, as they want for you to add in fresh foods. And the diet is designed knowing that you are going to do this, so you should lose weight just as intended, since you would still be in complete compliance with the diet.
If you’re talking about eating entire meals of your own food, then that would require more care. There are certainly guidelines about eating out when on nutrisystem and I would think that if you followed those guidelines when preparing your own meals, you should still be OK. If you are in compliance most of the time, you should still be taking in far fewer calories than is normal. You just want to take notice of your results after you try this to make sure that you are still happy with your weight loss.
The last thing you want to do is to take in very high calorie meals that negates your compliance for the rest of the week. That would be defeating the purpose. But adding in grocery sides is more than allowed, it is encouraged. So that should not be a problem at all. I’d encourage you to reach out to nutrisystem counselor about this. (Follow this link to the nutrisystem site and hit the “support” link: A counselor can tell you exactly what would work and what wouldn’t.