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!

Does The Nutrisystem Fast Five Work?

April 9th, 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!

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.

Can You Use Nutrisystem Fast Five For More Than A Week?

March 17th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  There’s no question that nutrisystem’s fast five plan (and the fast five plus that came later) have been extremely popular.  That is why you see the program still running.  And there’s a lot to like about this plan.  That first week allows you to “jump start” your weight loss and lose five pounds and up to one inch off of your waist.  And they allow a money back guarantee if this doesn’t happen.

Needless to say, many people who were on the fence about nutrisystem find this the perfect time to try it – with that incentive offered up.  But many people want to keep the good times going – in other words, they would like to extend their fast five “jump start” week into the rest of the month.

They might say: “I really have liked the whole fast five experience.  I’m very happy with my weight loss and I have really enjoyed the shakes.  But my understanding is that this was all for the first week only.  But what if I want to do the fast five beyond that first week? What if I want to continue it?”

I would be surprised if you still have some of the fast five foods and shakes left over in order to keep going.  They typically give you just enough to make it through the first week.  However, frankly the food is not unique to fast five.  They give you entrees that are on the menu otherwise.  The shakes are what is truly different.  They come as part of this promotion and haven’t typically been included in packages.

However, if you really like them and want to continue on, you’d have a couple of choices. (And you’d want to run all of this by a nutrisystem counselor.  I will tell you how to do that at the end of this article.

You could finish out your month’s worth of food and then place a new order for fast five when your food is totally depleted.  Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, you can go to the nutrisystem website and buy some more shakes from the a la carte menu. The easiest way to do this is to follow this link to the nutrisystem site NutriSystem, Inc.

and then go to the search option on top of the website.  Type in the type of shake you are looking for and you should then see it in the search results. You can click on whatever result you are interested in and then you will see it available for purchase.  You typically get a box of 7 shakes for around $12.99.

And while you are there, you may want to reach out to a counselor.  Because this was truly designed only on your first week.  You want to ask a counselor if this is a good, safe idea. You can do that by clicking on the “support” tab at the top of the website.

What If I Have Those Last 10 Pounds To Lose? Would Nutrisystem Help Me? Am I Silly To Worry About It?

March 17th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  I’ve noticed something funny about people who mention a specific goal when it comes to weight loss.  No matter the weight loss goal – whether it is relatively small or relatively large – people are somewhat embarrassed to ask it.  Those who have what they consider a large amount to lose will almost be apologetic or embarrassed about asking about their specific weight loss number.  And those who have a small amount will sort of sheepishly say they “only have” ten or so pounds to lose and they also say it in an apologetic way, almost as if they are selfish or petty and don’t have real issues like those who need to lose more weight.

For example, I might hear a comment like: “For the last three months, I have started a work out routine.  It has been challenging but also invigorating because I am getting really good results.  I don’t like the idea of dieting.  I never have.  I didn’t have any weight problems before I had kids.  But after my children, my body changed and seemed to cling to weight. Whereas before I could just cut out desserts for a bit and lose weight, that was no longer possible.  So for the first time in my life, I’ve exercised.  And I finally mostly got the results that I wanted.  My body is almost back to normal – except that I’m holding onto the last ten pounds.  And despite bumping up my work out routine, I just can’t lose those ten pounds.  I’ve been looking at nutrisystem and I like it because it doesn’t seem like you’re on a diet.  But I’m wondering if it’s designed for people who don’t have to lose that much weight.  I’ve been on the forum but I don’t want to post because I would feel silly posting about my measly ten stubborn pounds.  I feel like maybe I’m asking too much.”

I understand this.  But I don’t think that anyone on the forums would be anything but encouraging.  If you think about it, no matter where we start out, we all eventually have those last ten pounds. So we are all eventually in the same boat.  And, don’t feel petty.  If you have set a goal for a healthy body and have not met it, what is wrong with trying to find a way to make that happen for yourself? I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

As far as if nutrisystem will work, I do believe that taking in less calories is a reasonable strategy.  And nutrisystem is a diet where that goal feels pretty effortless because you get to eat nice foods like pizza, burgers, and cake.  The end result though, is sustainable weight loss at up to two pounds per week.  At that rate, you’d be at your goal in a little over a month, which isn’t too bad.  So yes, I think that nutrisystem would help because you would feel like you are eating regularly, but you would be taking in fewer calories and could continue on with your exercise.  This diet really is the same regardless of how much (or little) you have to lose.  You are just on it for a shorter period of time if you don’t have much to lose.

Sometimes, changing your diet is what you need to get over the hump.  I recently read an article about Kelly Ripa and how she maintains her body.  She said that she loves to exercise, but she hates to diet.  Unfortunately, her trainer told her that her body was about 70% due to diet and about 30% due to exercise.  I think that many of us hit a certain age and point in our lives where we unfortunately have to focus on both diet and exercise to get the bodies we want.  Even though you will only be on the diet a month or so, buying a package would be the cheapest way to go.  Here are coupon codes for those.

Is Nutrisystem A Fad Diet? Let’s Take A Look

March 4th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  I sometimes hear from people who are intrigued with the nutrisystem diet, but who fear that it is a fad diet that is unrealistic or ineffective. A sample question that you might hear is one like this: “I am fascinated by those nutrisystem commercials that I see. Some of the people look totally different in their “after” shots.  And I like that you can eat pizza and ice cream.  But I wonder how realistic and safe all of this is? Do people consider nutrisystem to be a fad diet?”

I will try to answer this as best as I can, but this is only one person’s opinion.  I’ll tell you the attributes which I think constitutes a fad diet and see if nutrisystem has those attributes.

Fad Diets Come From Fly-By-Night Companies That Don’t Have A Solid Reputation:  Many of the fad diets come from companies that tend to pop up and then go away just as quickly.  They come and go.  And sometimes, this is because they are not as effective as they claim or they are found to be dangerous.  Nutrisystem has been around for almost forty years.  So it is not a fly-by-night company.  It also conducts clinical testing on its diet to ensure the safety of its users and to ensure its effectiveness.  So in this respect, it passes.

Fad Diets Promise Unrealistic Results That Are Dangerous:  We’ve all seen the ads that promise us a twenty – fifty pound weight loss or even more in some weeks or just a month.  Every one wants to believe this, but in order to get that type of weight loss (assuming it was even possible) you’d have to deprive your body of the food it needs or over exercise, which is potentially dangerous.  Some of the diets with these type of unrealistic promises contain stimulants or lots of caffeine.

Nutrisystem’s results are sensible.  After the first week of weight loss (which is often pretty rapid,) the range is 1 – 2 pounds per month.  They do encourage moderate exercise, but only half an hour per day that can be broken up into three 10 minute segments.  And their foods contain no high degree of stimulants or dangerous additives.  They take a very moderate approach that is considered safe.

Fad Diets Promise You A Drastic Amount Of Weight Loss With Almost No Effort:  These type of fad diets make promises that seem too good to be true.  “Lose tons of weight without diet and exercise.”  “Never have to diet again.” “Take a pill and the pounds melt off.”

This isn’t true of nutrisystem.  In order to be successful on it, you’ll need to eat the provided foods as directed and add more movement into your life style.  In other words, you have to put in some effort, although this diet is easier than many.  And no one is going to promise you that you’ll keep the weight off with no effort.

Nutrisystem has a transition plan where you ease of the diet while you’re learning to make good choices for yourself.  The diet is all about teaching a new lifestyle that is realistic enough for you to be able to maintain it for yourself once you have lost the weight.

The spokeswoman Marie Osmond has done this for years in the public eye.  It wasn’t a fleeting fad for her. So to answer the original question, I don’t think nutrisystem is a fad diet at all.  They are not offering you anything silly like a pill or patch.  They are offering you modified food that you need to eat in a certain way.  They are encouraging you to move more and to be aware of your lifestyle.  And in the end, they are promising you sensible, but meaningful and steady weight loss in return for changing your life style.

Still interested in nutrisystem? You can see the latest coupons here.

How To Do Nutrisystem Step By Step

March 1st, 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.

How Do The Shakes Work On Nutrisystem?

February 5th, 2015

By: Ava Alderman:  Of all of the foods that I’m specifically asked about on nutrisystem, the shakes are one of the most common inquiries.  People want to know how they work and what is their intended purpose.  They want to know how to get them.  And they want to know what are the differences between all of the shake offerings.

The shakes are relatively new to nutrisystem.  They were very well received and seem to be here to stay.  They are not always offered with packages.  Sometimes (like now with the fast five plus promotion – Get Fast 5 Plus and lose 5 lbs in your first week!) a version of them are offered free with your order.  Other times, the only way to get them is to order them a la carte.

The Energizer And Craving Crusher Shakes: It’s important to note that depending on where you get the shakes and what promotion they come with, they are a little different.  For example, if you place a fast five plus order, you get free energizing and craving crusher shakes (7 of each type.)  Most of the time, these come in the chocolate flavor.  The craving crusher is very high in protein and fiber to keep you full and less susceptible to cravings.  The energizing shake contains caffeine and green tea to keep your energy levels up.  Sometimes, you can only get these with a package order that includes fast five. However, as of this writing, I see them available in the a la carte section priced at $19.99 for 7 shakes. Obviously, it’s more cost effective to get them for free.

The energizing shake is only 120 calories and has a whopping 15 grams of protein.  The craving crusher shake has 160 calories and 13 grams of protein.  I suspect that those few additional calories help to keep you full.

The Regular Protein Shakes: Additionally, nutrisystem does offer some protein shakes on the a la carte menu as well.  They are protein shakes that come in the flavors of coffee, strawberry, chocolate, and banana.  They have about 120 calories and 15 grams of protein.  They are similar to the energizer and cravings crusher, but they don’t contain the caffeine and green tea like with the energy shake and they are lower in calories than the cravings crusher option. A 7 pack of the regular protein shakes mentioned about is $12.99.  Or you can get a sampler pack of 28 in a sampling of flavors for $51.50.  To find these items a la carte, follow this button NutriSystem, Inc. and go to the search engine at the top and type in “a la carte.”  This is the easiest way to find them because the a la carte link changes location from time to time.

If you are using the shakes with fast five, they are meant to be used during that first week only.

If you are using the regular shakes as part of your program, they count as a power fuel.  But I’d suggesting asking a counselor on the nutrisystem site to be sure.