Doesn’t The Nutrisystem Plan Allow And Provide Snacks? Why Do I Have To Add Something In?

June 24th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I sometimes hear from people who don’t understand why they have to add groceries to their nutrisystem meals when their package already came with desserts and snacks.  I might hear a question like this one: “I’ve been looking at the instructions on the nutrisystem website and I am kind of shocked that they want me to add in food with every meal.  Why am I having to eat snacks with each meal when nutrisystem provides me with snacks and desserts?  This just seems redundant.”

It might help to know that nutrisystem classifies the grocery additions differently than the snacks.   The idea of the groceries is that they provide fresh, healthful food, that when added to the prepackaged foods, make a very nutritionally complete meal.  It’s not a snack that you are taking in with these meals.  It is just adding something to complete the meal.  And, the serving sizes for these additions are extremely small.  It might be as simple as adding milk to the cereal (for a dairy add-in) or adding fruit to the top of your waffle.  This is very different from eating a separate snack. For example, the serving size for almonds used as a grocery addition is two tablespoons.  That’s pretty much a topping as opposed to a snack. For grapes, it is one cup.  If you’re having apples, it is one medium apple. For milk, it is one cup on the non-fat variety. These small additions simply complete your meal.

But this is very different than eating, say the nutrisystem popcorn, pretzels, or cheese puffs and as your daily snack.  Besides, having both the grocery additions and the snack / dessert option allows you to eat more so that you are not nearly as hungry. Many people resist grocery additions because they think that it takes more work and costs more money.  Honestly, it isn’t as difficult as people sometimes make it out to be.  Many times, you can use food you already have at home.  We are not talking about a lot of food here.  You probably already have low fat milk, cheese, and fruit for the rest of your family.  You probably already have yogurt and cottage cheese.  I don’t think that you need to make a special trip or buy a lot of additional items to make this work.  Because the serving sizes are pretty small and it is not specialty or expensive foods that they are asking for. Plus, it means that you are getting fresh food with every meal and are taking in a wide variety of different types of foods. The snacks provided by nutrisystem are meant to be a treat and to also allow you to eat between a meal if you are hungry. This is different from the groceries that you add in and at AT THE TIME of your meals.  I hope this article helped.  But having both snacks and the add ins really are for your benefit and they really do make the diet easier. You can see the latest nutrisystem coupons here. You can see the grocery guidelines on the nutrisystem website here: NutriSystem, Inc.

How To Do Nutrisystem Step By Step

May 29th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  This is the time of year that many people are motivated to get healthy.  It’s also the time of year that people are researching nutrisystem and trying to figure out the best and easiest way to place an order.  This article will outline the steps of this process to make things a little easier when getting started.

Step One: Chose The Right Plan For You:  The first step is deciding on your plan.  They offer plans for men and women.  After that, they offer: regular, traditional plans (men’s and women’s core, basic, and select;) options for people with diabetes (nutrisystem D;) and plans for people over 65 (nutrisystem silver.)  Once you’ve narrowed it down that way, you’ll have to choose between what types of food, support, and selection you want.

You’ll be choosing between the core, select, and basic lines. To make that decision, first ask yourself if you think that it is worth it to pay extra for the gourmet, frozen items, which make up the “select” menu.  Some people will answer a definite yes. And if this describes you, then you will want to chose the select plan.

Others will figure that there are some great options for the cheaper non frozen line.  If this is the case for you, then you’ll want to chose between the core and basic plan.  The difference between the two is that with the core plan, you get to hand pick your foods, get free shipping, and get access to counseling.  This plan costs a bit more than the basic, but you get to choose the foods you know that you will like.

The basic plan is the cheapest plan and there are some great food choices in there because it’s a sampling of popular foods.  You don’t get the free shipping or the counseling, but you still get all the free, online resources. And for some people, this is more than enough for a great price.

Choose Your Special Offer Or Applicable Discount:  Frankly, you should never order nutrisystem without looking at the specials.  Sometimes, it’s possible to go on the select plan without paying more simply because that plan is on special offer.  Sometimes, they deep discount all of the plans.  Other times, they offer a special, premium plan at a very low price (like the fast five promotion going on right now Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!)  Before you buy any plan, see what is on special.  You can save ALOT of money that way.

Line Up Your Sides:  I find that people tend to over-think this part.  People assume that you have to buy tons of specialty groceries.  You absolutely do not.  These sides are small and easy.  You may add in a piece of fruit.  Or a cup of yogurt. Or a handful of nuts. This is generally healthy snacks that you might be buying anyway for the rest of your family.  So you should not need to spend a lot of extra money here.

Check Out The Free Resources And Get The App:  I am always surprised at the people who have only used the nutrisystem website for their order and have never visited again. If you do this, you are missing out on so many features that will contribute to your success.  You can get recipes, track your progress, get tips, or share with others with the click of a mouse.  Yes, the counseling is great.  But sometimes you want to interact with other dieters.  There is also an app option for your phone.  (You can hook up with all of that on the company website here: NutriSystem, Inc.)  Studies show that people have more success when they have support and when they track what they are doing.  Nutrisystem has made this possible and easy and free.  Make sure you take advantage of this.

Choose Your Exercise And Remember It’s Only 30 Minutes Broken Up Any Way That You Want:  People tend to over-think this also.  They believe that they have to suddenly become athletes or learn a new work out regimen.  To be quite honest, nutrisystem does not ask a lot of you in terms of exercise.  All they are asking is thirty minutes of movement.  This could be two brisk 15 minute walks.  This could be three ten minutes sessions of roller blading.  Whatever you enjoy doing, do it in whatever combination gets you to thirty minutes per day.  It really is that simple.

Give Yourself Some Credit:  Many people have good experience in the beginning of the diet.  It’s designed to have you seeing results quickly. Many people are happy right out of the gate.  But of course, we all hit plateaus and have periods in our lives where it’s harder to be in compliance all of the time.

When you struggle, do not quit.  If you cheat, get back in compliance as soon as possible and don’t get mad at yourself.  This is normal.  You do not have to be perfect on this diet.  And you likely won’t be.  Do the best that you can and give yourself credit for stepping up the plate.  Nothing worthwhile is without effort.  But this is designed so that your efforts are rewarded.

A Typical Day On Nutrisystem: Examples Of Foods, Exercises, Etc.

May 26th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  I sometimes hear from people who are very intrigued by or interested in the nutrisystem diet, but who just can’t envision how their lives would work once they were on it.  They might know that they eat some of the diet meals and some fresh groceries. And they might know that they should throw in some exercise.  But they don’t know how much of each component is required and when it is required.  They’d like to know what would be expected of them and what their experience might be like.  It’s hard to envision this unless you have some concrete examples.

So in the following article, I’ll outline an entire day on nutrisystem, including all major meals, snacks and dessert, plus exercise.

8:00am: Breakfast:  There are so many good choices for breakfast, but I have to pick just one. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to chose the biscotti bites.  They are fabulous and have over 500 positive reviews on the company’s website. (To keep things simple, I’m including only things from the core and basic menus.  There are some wonderful foods from the select / frozen line, but not every one is going to pay more money for them.  If you’re interested in what this offers, you can look at that menu on the nutrisystem website here )

10:30: Midmorning snack – Let’s pick yogurt with fruit.  Here is where you’ll add in those groceries. A lot of people find it very helpful to combine different food groups in one snack.  In this example, you’re hitting the categories of both dairy and fruit.  Another example of combining two would be carrot sticks with low fat ranch dressing.

12:30 Lunch: Fettuccine Alfredo plus green salad.  I’ve chosen this because it’s one of the highest rated lunches that isn’t frozen.  The fettuccine comes from the diet and the salad is one of those fresh add ins that you’d provide yourself.

Exercise:  I find that this is a the time of day where many people can fit in 10 minutes of exercise (the daily 3 exercise plan on nutrisystem suggests 3 ten minute sessions, although you can complete this in any time chunks which are most convenient.  In this example, I’ll include power walking for ten minutes because most people will be at work here and this is something that requires no special equipment.

3:30: Afternoon snack: A nice option would be string cheese and tomato slices. Again, here’s an example of dairy and healthy fat plus a vegetable.

5:00 Exercise: Let’s pick biking.  I find it really best for my schedule to get the exercise out of the way at this point.  How much I’d do here depends on if I got anything done earlier in the day. If not, I’d set aside half an hour.  But in terms of this article, we did ten minutes at lunch, so we’d do twenty minutes here.  Again, they suggest three sessions of ten minutes each, but if one half hour session works better, that’s fine.

6:30 Dinner: Chicken pot pie with pear slices and cottage cheese.  The chicken pot pie comes from the diet.  The pear slices and cottage cheese would come from your grocery add ins.

7:00 Dessert.  The diet provides prepackaged desserts.  These are not part of the grocery add ins.  I’ll choose the chocolate cake simply because it’s fabulous and it’s a classic that most people like.  You could also have one of the diet snacks if you feel like that instead.

So there you have it. In this example, it’s 7:00 pm and all of your meal plus snack requirements plus exercise is out of the way, freeing you up to enjoy time on other things.  As you can hopefully see, this isn’t too difficult, and you’re eating pretty decent food as part of a normal life.  I hope this gives you an idea of what a typical day on nutrisystem might look like. Here’s the current nutriystem promotion: Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!

Does The Nutrisystem Fast Five Work?

May 23rd, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I’ve been getting a lot of correspondence asking about nutrisystem’s new fast five. People sometimes wants to know what it’s about, what it includes, and how it works. If that describes your questions, you can read more here.  But mostly, people get the general idea of what it is (and how could you not with nutrisystem aggressively advertising it on TV so often right now?) but what most are more interested in is whether or not it actually works.

Since it’s new, you really just have people’s personal experience to go on. It’s so new that I haven’t yet seen any studies regarding it. I’ve heard good feedback on its aggressive pricing, money back guarantee, and all that is included for free. I’ve even seen some posting on forums where the posters outline that they’ve had good initial results.

I think that this makes sense, when you think about it. Most people do find that, so long as they follow the instructions, the first couple of weeks on any diet is pretty encouraging. Sure, it may be an adjustment for your body. But in terms of results, the early days often mean that you haven’t yet reached a plateau and your body isn’t used to the diet yet.

But in addition to this, the fast five plan takes this a step further to ensure that you are going to have an easier time succeeding. They give you the appetite suppression shakes to help you with hunger. They give you the metabolism shakes to help you have a higher burning metabolism and they give you a money back guarantee so that you don’t have as much anxiety going into the process.

In that sense, they have tried to address the thing big concerns that most dieters have – hunger, effectiveness, and cost. I think that this was very smart. Because it gets people trying the plan and the hope is that once those same people see the results in terms of weight loss and how they look and feel, they will continue along.  Plus, most of us are going to be much more encouraged when we have fast and dramatic results.

It’s my guess that the fast five would work in that you would most definitely be taking in fewer calories and you would have an easier time than you might other wise have. Plus, by offering the money back guarantee, they’ve made it so that you have very little to lose. If you don’t like it or you don’t get results, you can get your money back. But many people (especially at this time of the year) think it’s definitely worth a try.

And the shakes are getting great reviews for taste and for how filling they are. The shakes aren’t always included in this diet. (You often have to pay for them separately at other times during the year.) So I would suggest that if you are interested, the fast five works out to be a very good deal at a very good time to try nutrisystem. Here is a link to that offer. Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!

What If I Have A Lot Of Weight To Lose. Would Nutrisystem Still Work? Would I Get Less Food?

May 20th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I sometimes hear from people who are fully aware that they have a long weight loss journey ahead of them. They’d like to make the process easier by trying one of the prepackaged diets where the work is mostly done for you. But many wonder if this is going to get the job done when there is so much weight to be lost.

I might hear someone say: “honestly, I have over one hundred pounds to lose. I’d like to try nutrisystem but I don’t know if it would work for someone in my situation. Does nutrisystem make a program for someone such as myself? If so, how does it work? Does someone like me get less food? Is the diet more severe, considering the high amount of weight that must be lost?”

It is my understanding that nutrisystem is designed to work for all dieters, although the amount of time on the diet will vary. You may want to confirm this by contacting the company on their website. (Here’s a link to the website, which will explain more in depth how the diet works and how long it might take: Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!

And, it’s my understanding that the diet is the same regardless of your starting weight. What I mean by this is that someone who has one hundred pounds to lose doesn’t get different food than someone with thirty pounds to lose. Nor are there more meal times for the thinner person.

Essentially, every one uses the diet as directed (three meals per day plus fresh food add ins as well as desserts and snacks.) There is no commitment with this program. Most people order their food by the month and then if they still have weight to lose when their food is getting ready to run out, then they will order some more.

Obviously, if you have more weight to lose, then you are going to place more orders than someone with just a nominal weight to lose. But, the diet works in the same way, with the same number of meals and snacks. Sure, you may well be on the diet for a longer period of time because it will take you more weeks and months of weight loss to meet your goal. But you would participate in the program like anyone else.

Sometimes, I find that people have hesitations when they are in this situation with a long weight loss journey ahead. They psyche themselves out before they even start, thinking that the diet won’t work for them. It doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, it won’t be immediate. But like with anything else, you put one foot in front of the other and you take it one day at a time. Eight pounds lost in one month might be sixteen pounds the next month and it may be almost 96 months over the course of a year. So that in twelve months, you’d have entirely new body and likely a life that looks a little different than it does right now.

The Nutrisystem iPhone or Android App: How Does It Work? Is It Useful?

May 5th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  With today’s technology, it would be unusual for a company that you do regular business with not to offer a corresponding smartphone app.  Most of us use our smartphones every bit as much as we use our computers.  We want to be able to connect and be productive even if we are not at our desk or home computer.

Very smartly, nutrisystem has capitalized on this expectation, offering a weight loss app for android and iPhone users.  If you’re already a nutrisystem member, you will probably find the app to be very similar to the support that you’re already getting on the user site.

The app allows you to keep track of what you’re eating, how much water you’re drinking, how much you are exercising, and what sorts of results you are seeing.  Essentially, you enter in your food and water intake, your exercise, and the weight loss you are seeing, and it will let you literally see your results in pretty graphs and charts.

It will show you the amount of calories you have taken it (since it knows how many calories each nutrisystem meal contains) and also approximately how much you are burning.  There is also an area to keep a journal.

I honestly find it incredibly motivating to see and track my progress.  There is just something very psychologically pleasing to see charts and graphs in order to stay motivated.

If you are someone who regularly uses productivity apps, you are very likely to love this one.  The thing that I like best about the app is the measurement feature which shows you exactly where you are losing the most weight.  This is very motivating when you’ve had a week where the weight didn’t come off in the way you wanted.  One look to see how many inches you’ve lost (and where) might be all you need to get your spirits back up.

However if you are someone who isn’t good about tracking and find many productivity apps to be a lot of work, then you’ll have to get used to the process of logging in.  And if you find it a little cumbersome, know that research tells us that support and motivation are tied in with long term success.  If taking a few seconds to enter in some numbers and measurements keeps you motivated and on track, then I would say it’s more than worth it.

You can see the latest nutrisystem specials here.

Is It Realistic To Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Months On Nutrisystem?

April 16th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I have to admit that much of the time when I am asked how realistic a certain short-term weight loss goal is, the goal in question is usually extremely ambitious.  What I mean by this is that I’m often asked about losing 10 – 15 pounds in a week or some other similar unrealistic goal.  Nutrisystem is a very effective diet.  But it isn’t a dangerous one.  And regardless of the diet, that sort of goal just isn’t a great idea.

That’s why it’s very refreshing when I hear from someone who asks about a goal that isn’t unrealistic.  An example is the person who recently asked about twenty pounds in 3 months time.  I’m paraphrasing, but the conversation went something like this: “is it realistic for me to think that I can successfully lose 20 pounds in 3 months on nutrisystem?”  I know that this isn’t necessarily considered quick weight loss, but I tend to lose weight slowly no matter what I do.  And the few times that the weight has come off a little more quickly, I’ve gained it back just as quickly.  I have an event to attend where I want to be twenty pounds lighter.  It’s four months away.  That gives me an extra month to choose the right time. And I don’t want to be in a huge hurry.  Is the 20 pounds in 3 months plan realistic?

I definitely think that it is and I will tell you why.  With the new fast five plan, the weight loss in the first week is said to be about five pounds.  Now, that might seem alarming, but you will be eating three meals plus snacks or desserts.  This is real food that we are talking about, not just liquids.

The foods are hand-picked to take the pounds off pretty quickly in the first week.  But after that, as you would expect, the pace tapers off a bit.  Then, the range is 1 – 2 pounds per week.  So you’re looking at 9 – 11 pounds in a month; 18 – 22 pounds in two months or 27 – 33 pounds in three months.  Assuming that you are at the lowest end of the range (which is absolutely fine,) you would still make it in three months with seven pounds to spare, which means you might reach our goal earlier than three months.

And, you would have food left over that you could use to help maintain your weight loss.  I’d strongly encourage you to ask a nutrisystem counselor to be sure, but yes, 20 pounds in 3 months is a very nice, realistic pace.  Here is a link where you can hook up with a counselor (under the support tab – and save some money on fast five: Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!

Do You Have To Order Nutrisystem Every Month?

April 9th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I hear from a lot of folks who seem to be a bit confused as to what type of commitment is required when you try to begin the nutrisystem diet.  Many people are reluctant to make any type of commitment.  This is absolutely understandable.  After all, it’s difficult to know how you are going to do on the diet and how long you are going to need to be on it.

Many us begin a diet thinking that we want to get it over with as soon as possible.  Honestly, nutrisystem is one of the most pleasurable diets that there is.  But I understand the reluctance going into it.  Many people ask if you have to sign a contract or commit to say 3, 6, or even 12 months.

You do not.  People are sometimes skeptical when I tell them this, but it is absolutely true.  It is set up so that you can just order the food in any amount that you like.  They will even allow you to order the foods separately or a la carte if you do not want to order a monthly package – although the monthly packages are more cost effective, especially when you consider the coupons. (You can find the latest coupons here.)

There is no commitment when you make a purchase. You will get a membership that allows you to use the resources on the website here:  Granted, you do have to buy a monthly package to be able to use the counseling, but many of the resources are open to every one, regardless of the amount purchased.

Sometimes, there is confusion about the VIP membership – where you essentially are offered benefits and discounts if you sign up to get the food auto shipped to you.  This does imply a commitment, but if you meet your weight loss goals before you anticipated, you can cancel that at any time.

And you’re never pressured to order anything.  You can basically go on the website at your leisure, shop around to see which foods or plan might be right for you, and then make your purchase.  You can do this online without needing to talk to anyone.  You could stop at this point and only place one order if you are happy with your results once you run out of the food.  If you still have some weight to lose or you like the diet, then you can place another order once you run out if you like, but no one is going to force this on you.  So to answer the question, no, you absolutely do not have to place an order for nutrisystem each month.  You just order as long as you need or want it, but only then.

What Is Included In Nutrisystem? What Do You Get When You Place An Order?

April 7th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman: I sometimes hear from people who are considering nutrisystem but who are wondering if placing an order is going to give them everything that they need.  They wonder how much additional money they are going to need to spend outside of the amount that they have already spent on their nutrisystem food.

Someone might ask: “I am considering a nutrisystem package.  What will I get when I place this order?  Will I need to buy any additional tools, food, directions, or specialty items?  Will I need to pay to become a member? What do I get with my order?”

You don’t need to pay to be a member. That is free.  (You can sign up to become a member here: The food is essentially all that you need to pay for, but you will also need to buy a small amount of groceries. The reason for this is that although you are given enough breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts to last you for 28 days, you are asked to add in fresh sides consisting of fruits, vegetables, and dairy items.  This does not need to be elaborate. We are talking about additions like adding bananas to breakfast cereal.  Or a cup of yogurt with lunch.  These are small sides that shouldn’t require a huge grocery haul.

As far as instructions, in my opinion, you are given everything that you need.  And if you should still have questions, there are tons of resources on the nutrisystem website.  Plus, you have access to a counselor if you need one.  With your membership, you have access to all of the following: grocery guide (to instruct you about your side items;) community; forums; recipe center; dining out guide; daily dose; and the nutrisystem newsletter. The website is full of information and tips – so much that you have to give yourself time to go through it all. And although you have access to a counselor, many people find it helpful to also reach out through the forums.  Other users can often share their experiences and give you tips that you may not have thought of without a lot of trial of error.  This saves time and makes things easier.

As far as exercise, they encourage you to do half an hour per day of activity.  This can be broken down however you like. Like ten minutes three times per day.  Two sessions of fifteen minutes. Whatever works for you is fine. You should not have to pay for a gym or spend money on this.  It’s as simple as walking, roller blading, riding your bike, or any other physical activity you already enjoy.

The meals themselves don’t require special equipment. You just need a way to heat them up.  Except for the frozen items, they don’t require refrigeration.  You just need room in your kitchen or pantry to store them.

Basically, you’ll just pay for your package and a small amount of groceries for sides.  There is no charge for counseling or support.  And there is no charge to use their very extensive website.  You’ll never have to pay a membership fee or anything like that to use the resources.  Purchasing a package gives you access to all of the goodies.  Before you buy a package though, check out the latest coupons here.

If You Add Additional Food Into The Nutrisystem Diet, Will You Still Lose Weight?

March 25th, 2015

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: NutriSystem, Inc. A counselor can tell you exactly what would work and what wouldn’t.