Comparing Nutrisystem And Lean Cuisine Meals: Why They Aren’t The Same In Terms Of Effectiveness And Price

November 1st, 2017

I sometimes hear from people who want to know if lean cuisine is the same thing as nutrisystem.  I often hear comments like “if nutrisystem and lean cuisine is really the same thing, what’s to stop me from just buying lean cuisine at the grocery store and paying less?” Or “is lean cuisine just the grocery store version of nutrisystem?”

The thing is, these are very different companies and very different foods.  In my opinion, lean cuisine isn’t the same as or even remotely as effective as nutrisystem.  (And it also isn’t any cheaper.)

But you don’t have to and shouldn’t take my word for it.  In the following article, I’ll offer some comparisons between lean cuisine and nutrisystem in terms of nutrition, effectiveness, and price to show you that they really are very different.

Differences Between Nutrisystem And Lean Cuisine’s Effectiveness In Terms Of Calories And Carbs:  First of all, if you were to try to duplicate nutrisystem, you’d have to replace five of your daily meals with lean cuisine.  This would be difficult for breakfast, desserts and snacks since lean cuisine mostly offers lunch and dinner entrees.

But within those lunches and dinners, there’s a huge difference in the meals in terms of calories, fat, carbs, and proteins (particularly calories and carbs)  and these things can really affect the results that you get.

As an example, I’ll look at both of these diets’ chicken fettuccine and chicken Alfredo dishes respectively.

First up, is Lean Cuisine’s chicken fettuccine.  It has 330 calories and a whopping 42 grams of carbohydrates.  It is rated 3 stars by it’s users.

Now, let’s look at nutrisystem’s chicken Alfredo.  It only has 260 calories and only 32 grams of carbs. It’s rated almost 4 stars by users.  So, if you eat the nutrisystem option, you are saving 70 calories (almost a third) and 10 grams of carbs (again almost a third.)  This is pretty significant, especially when you consider that you’ll see these types of differences with each of your five meals.

Now, I’ll look at the chicken quesadillas for both diet meals.  Lean cuisine’s baja chicken quesadilla has 280 calories and 35 grams of carbohydrates.  It’s rated about 4 stars by users.  Nutrisystem’s chicken quesadilla has only 220 calories and 35 carbs.  It was also rated 4 stars by dieters. So, you are saving 60 calories on two foods that are very similar.  (Again, this is approaching a third.)

This might not seem huge for one meal, but if you have that kind of savings over 5 meals, you’re looking at 300 calories per day, which is significant. 300 calories is really enough for an entire extra meal.

Over a weeks’ time, this is around 2100 calories, which could truly make quite a difference in your results and in your bottom line.

Is There Really That Big Of A Price Difference Between Lean Cuisine And Nutrisystem:  A lot of people ask about lean cuisine because they want nutrisystem like results that they can get at the grocery store.  They think they are saving a lot of money this way.  Well, many lean cuisine meals (at least in my grocery store) cost anywhere from $2.79 to $3.00 each.

And actually, if you buy a package and use the latest nutrisystem coupons, (like this one you can get nutrisystem for significantly less than that – at around $2 per meal.  So not only are you taking in more calories and usually more carbs with lean cuisine, but you aren’t saving any money. In fact, if you consider coupons, you’re paying a little more  if you’re using cost per meal. Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!


Does The Turbo Takeoff On Nutrisystem Have A Metabolism Booster? Are There Stimulants In The Food?

October 26th, 2017

I sometimes hear from people who wonder how the turbo take off in nutrisystem programs like lean 13 and fast 5 or turbo 10 help you to lose weight quickly within your first week.  Many assume that the first week of foods that nutrisystem provides must have some sort of stimulant in it in order to boost your metabolism.  Someone might ask: “does the takeoff week in lean 13 work because there are stimulants in the food?”  I’ll give you an answer to this, but keep in mind that I’m not a nutrisystem counselor (you can reach out to one here: Lose up to 13 LBS & 7 Inches overall in your first month with Lean13 at!)  However, I did research this question.  According to the company’s newsletter “The Leaf,” nutrisystem’s foods DO NOT contain stimulants. To quote the newsletter directly, it says that “the foods do not contain any form of stimulants or appetite suppressants. Nutrisystem will not use any chemical substances to alter your appetite or energy levels- just good, clean diet food.”

From my research, the take off period is effective because the only additions that you add in with your nutrisystem meals are special shakes (with probiotics added to boost digestion) and special bars to replace your regular snacks and desserts that you will resume on the second week of the program.  You ARE supposed to add in four servings of non starchy vegetables each day.  But for the first week, you only worry about eating your nutrisystem meals, along with the shakes / bars and your four servings of vegetables.  This is a paired down schedule because typically you are allowed to add in powerfuels, smartcarbs, and extras, plus the vegetables.  In addition, you are able to add in the nutrisystem desserts and snacks.  So in the first week, you will be taking in less extras and sides than normal and you will be choosing low glycemic vegetables rather than fruit, dairy and the desserts / snacks that are allowed into the diet in the second week.  So no, there aren’t stimulants or appetite suppressants.  But there is a restrictions on the side items that are adding in.   This helps your body more efficiently burn fat.  As your body reaches momentum and you see that the program can work very well to help you lose your goal weight, you can then add in the other sides in the second week because your body is already efficiently burning fat.  But you can rest assured that the first week’s food isn’t modified and doesn’t contain stimulants.

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How Hard Is It To Change Your Nutrisystem Plan?

October 17th, 2017

Many people who are just starting nutrisystem (or those who are researching different plans) aren’t sure which plan is right for them.  There are several factors to consider when making this decision including cost, the ability to customize your menu, and the inclusion of the gourmet and frozen foods.  As a result, people often wonder if they are stuck with their initial choice.  For example, if they chose the cheapest, most basic plan at first, does this mean they have to keep ordering the same package? Additionally, sometimes health issues or dietary concerns come up where you may need to consider another plan.  For example, someone might have a check up and decide that they want to move to the diabetic plan or someone may decide to try a vegetarian lifestyle for a while and then want to switch to the vegetarian package.

A concern might be something like, “I want to try nutrisystem, but I’m not sure if I’m going to like it.   So I’ve decided to just to go with the cheapest plan this first time and then if that goes well, I might consider going with the more deluxe frozen plan (the uniquely yours.) Is this going to be possible?  Or do I have to stick with my original choice?”

You actually don’t.  That’s one nice thing about the flexibility of nutrisystem.   You only place food orders when you need them with no obligation. There’s no contract or agreement.  You order your chosen plan each month as long as you need it.  When you lose the weight and have completed your transition, you can stop ordering.  You can order the basic plan in January, the core in February, the uniquely yours in March, the vegetarian in April, and so on. Now, things can be a little different if you sign up for auto delivery.  If you choose to sign up for it (and many people do because it’s the best deal,) then you can still change, but you’ll only get credit in terms of pricing for the model that you chose when you signed up for auto delivery, at least as I understand it. I’d encourage you to look at nutrisystem’s terms and conditions (you can easily google this) which basically says that you can switch your plan at any time, but that pricing and promotions will be adjusted accordingly if you are on auto delivery.  You can change your product selections and your delivery by 6:00pm before any order is shipped.  I want to stress that I’m not an employee of nutrisystem and I’d suggest calling them or even live chatting on the nutrisystem site (via “contact us”) if you want the official answer to this. (You can link up here Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!) I’m merely reading the terms of service.   But since you aren’t under contract for any length of time, you would simply just place an order for the package that you want for that month.  If you’ve done auto delivery, you’d need to go in and change your selection before the next month ships, with the understanding that if you chose a more expensive plan, they’ll adjust accordingly.  At least this is the way that I understand it, but I’d suggest contacting nutrisystem to be sure.  Auto delivery can be canceled once you lose your target weight or just change your mind, as I understand it.

What Kind Of Food Can You Eat On Nutrisystem?

October 4th, 2017

I sometimes hear from people who are considering the nutrisystem diet, but who are trying to get a better feel about what their experience might be like.  Specifically, they want to know about the food because, let’s face it, what you eat has a huge impact on how much you’ll like the diet.

Many people imagine that they’ll have to eat tons of salads, raw vegetables, and bland snacks.  While vegetables are certainly encouraged on any diet, I think that many people are pleasantly surprised at how much normal food is offered as part of this diet.  Below, I’ll go over some typical offerings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts / snacks so that you will get an idea of what you’ll eat.  This list doesn’t even include the side items that you will be adding in for yourself. Plus, these lists are not exhaustive.  They are just examples to give you an idea of what you might eat in a typical day.

What’s on the nutrisystem menu does change from time to time.  The menu has certainly evolved over the time that I’ve been writing about it, but they’ve always done a good job of offering foods that are popular and desirable.

Here’s a sampling of what is on the breakfast menu right now: biscotti; waffles; cinnamon rolls; chocolate muffins; bagels; french toast; oatmeal; cold cereal; breakfast sandwiches; and omelets.

On the lunch menu, you will find items like: a hamburger; a grilled chicken sandwich; a variety of soups; a variety of melts (sandwiches;) red beans and rice; pulled pork; macaroni and cheese; loaded potatoes; cheese tortellini; and Chinese noodles.

For dinner, you will find things like: meatloaf; meatballs in marinara sauce; chicken parmesan; ravioli; mushroom stuffed chicken; turkey and mashed potatoes; lasagna; many varieties of pizzas; grilled sausage and peppers; chicken enchiladas; stuffed shells; Salisbury steak with macaroni and cheese; and chili.

The snacks and desserts are truly fan favorites, with options like: popcorn; nachos; chocolate covered pretzels; jumbo soft pretzels; chocolate ice cream; ice cream sandwich; chocolate cake and cupcakes; a variety of cookies and brownies; and many dessert flavored protein bars.

As you can see, this diet goes far beyond salad and raw vegetables.  They do a good job of allowing you to feel as if you are not dieting.  I don’t know many diets where you could have french toast for breakfast, a burger for lunch, a pizza for dinner, and a cookie for dessert.  Not only that, but you do get to add in fresh sides for each meal, so not only is the variety nice, but the serving sizes aren’t too bad either.  Most people are pleasantly surprised at all of the desirable choices offered.  Here is the latest coupon: Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!

The Difference Between Nutricrush Shakes And Turbo Shakes

October 1st, 2017

There’s no question that the nutrisystem shakes have become quite popular.  They really caught on with programs like fast five, turbo 10, and lean 13.  And because of their popularity, they have been expanded.  This expansion, however, can create some confusion as how the shake choices are different.

For example, someone might notice that a nutricrush shake and a turbo shake are offered.  They might wonder if there is any substantial difference between the two and which might be better for their needs.  Nutrisystem has included both nutricrush and turbo shakes in packages in the past.  As of this writing, the biggest difference is that you are able to buy turbo nutrisystem shakes in bulk.  You can buy a tub of powder that makes either 14 or 28 turbo shakes.  However, the nutricrush shakes only come in a box of 7.  They two different shakes are similar in price when you figure out the costs per serving.  In terms of nutrition, there is not a huge difference, although the turbo variety is a bit more diet friendly.  The nutricrush has 150 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 13 grams of protein. The turbo shake has 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 15 grams of protein.  As of this writing, I’m only seeing a chocolate flavor available in the crush shake, although it’s possible vanilla that is sold out.  Both shakes are rated very high by users (for taste and texture,) with the crush being rated slightly higher (at 4.5 stars vs 4 stars for the turbo.)  However, to be fair, the crush has been around for longer and therefore has more reviews from which to draw.  It appears that the biggest difference here is that you can get the turbo in more quantity and it has fewer calories.  So if you’re going to consume a shake every day (and not just for the first week) then the turbo might be easier since you get a big tub with a lot of shakes and you’ll be saving 20 calories and one gram of fat each day.  But both options appear to be a sound choice and both shakes have received high reviews for their taste and texture.  Much of the time, if you order a package, you will get some shakes thrown in for free, as is the case for lean 13.  Here is a coupon: Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!

What’s The Difference Between Nutrisystem Weekends My Way And The Basic Plan

September 30th, 2017

By: Ava Alderman:  If you’ve just started to research nutrisystem, chances are you thinking about getting into the program in the cheapest way possible. The two cheapest plans are the basic monthly plan and the nutrisystem “weekends my way” plan.  Both of these plans are inexpensive, but there are some key differences which I will discuss in this article.

The Weekend My Way plan is really designed for people who intend to go off of the diet on the weekends.  Because of this, you will get less meals on this package.  Specifically, you will get enough food for 20 days.  However, you do get your choice of 10 days worth of frozen foods (which are more expensive) and ten days worth of non frozen foods.  The base price for this is around $285.  Keep in mind though that you will be supplying your own meals on the weekends at an additional cost.  Most people don’t mind this though in exchange for the flexibility to enjoy their own food and choices sometimes.

Now, the basic plan is more of a full time plan. And you get more food as a result of this. You get enough food for the entire month (because you aren’t taking weekends off.)  And this plan is actually a bit cheaper than the weekends off plan.  Right now, at least as of this writing, it is on sale for $269.99.  Plus you get the turbo ten shakes included. Get $50 off plus Turboshakes and Fedex Shipping Free

So why the difference in price? Well, a couple of things.  The basic plan doesn’t include the frozen entrees and it also does not include the counseling – although you do have access to online resources that answer many questions.

I guess which plan makes more sense for you is going to depend on how much you value the frozen foods and the counseling. Because theoretically, you could buy the basic meal and simply take off on the weekends if that is what you wanted to do. Other than the omission of the frozen items, the food choices are similar.  There are not separate foods for the weekend plan.  The menu is not vastly different other than the frozen items.

If your main criteria is cost and value, you are getting more value for your money with the basic plan because you are getting more food for less money.  However, you aren’t getting the frozen items or the person to person counseling.  And only you can decide how important this is to you.

Is Bacon A Power Fuel On Nutrisystem?

September 26th, 2017

I sometimes hear from people who would like to eat bacon on nutrisystem.  They wonder if they can eat it, exactly how much of it can they have, and when they can have it. They also wonder how it is categorized and whether or not it’s in fact a powerfuel.

When I was researching this article, I understood the confusion because I did not find bacon listed on the grocery guide.  It was not listed under the powerfuel or “extra” categories.  However, I continued to search and I did find an article in “The Leaf” (which is nutrisystem’s newsletter ) which outlines the favorite snacks of dieters who have had success on nutrisystem. Turkey bacon is mentioned in the article.  To be clear, to satisfy the requirements and to fit into the category of a powerfuel, a food needs to contain only 80 – 120 calories and have at least five grams of protein.  One of the dieters that is highlighted in the article lists turkey bacon as one of her favorite powerfuels.  I would urge you to contact a nutrisystem counselor to be sure about this, but I would think that this article would suggest that lean bacon (like turkey or Canadian bacon) would be considered a powerfuel.  Unfortunately, there is no serving size listed.  However, you could probably look at the nutrition label on whatever bacon you want to consume and make sure your serving size contains only 80 – 120 calories.  That should be easy enough to figure out.  Obviously, the lower the fat and calorie content of the bacon, the bigger your serving size might be.  Again, I’m not a nutrisystem counselor and I only researched this topic in order to answer this question and to help.  You could ask someone from nutrisystem to be sure (by going to the website here: ) Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING! But based on the article in “The Leaf,” I’d say that you could make an educated guess that a very lean bacon in a small serving size could be an acceptable powerfuel.  You probably wouldn’t want to go with full fat bacon, because your serving size would have to be very small in order to get under 120 calories.

Nutrisystem’s New Lean 13 – On Sale And Discounted For 2017

September 20th, 2017

It’s the time of year again when people are heavily invested in losing weight.  It’s also the time when many companies roll out their very best sales in order to make their diet too attractive to resist.  In 2017 nutrisystem has rolled out its new lean 13 plan.  If you’ve been following nutrisystem for a while, you know that this plan is a refresh of the very popular fast five and turbo 10 plans.  Essentially, nutrisystem packages these popular plans specifically to jump start weight loss quickly.  The idea is that you get early success to continue to be motivated.  They also include a lot of nice extras to make things extra enticing – like the free shakes, the free bars, and free fed ex shipping.  Here are the particulars of the current lean 13 plan:  It is designed so that you can lose 13 pounds and 7 inches in the first month.  In addition to food for the entire month (including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks / desserts,) they’ve included 7 free shakes, 7 free bars, and free fed ex shipping.  The price itself is attractive and they are running specials on top of that.  For example, the current price (as of this writing) is: the basic is running $274.99, the core is $294.99 and uniquely yours (with frozen meals) is$334.99.  You may already know this, but the main difference between these three plans is the frozen options on uniquely yours and the customization options with the core (and also with uniquely yours.)  The basic includes very popular foods and is a great value if you are looking to try nutrisystem at a very low price point.  But all of the options are discounted and are very nice deals when you consider what you are getting and how much food is offered. They are offering the following specials, making this a great time to try any of these plans. Get $50 Off Your First Order + Free Bars, Shakes, and Free Shipping at! Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!

What Does The Second Week Of Nutrisystem Look Like? Do You Eat Only Their Foods?

September 19th, 2017

I sometimes hear from people who understand that the first week of nutrisystem is reserved for the “kick start” or “turbo takeoff week” -where you eat the specially designed meals that are meant to boost your weight loss. During this first week, you don’t have to add in any other foods. You just eat the prepackaged snacks and meals that have been provided. But what happens in the second week? Do you continue to eat the provided foods? Or do you get to add in some side items? That really does depend on your package (which is why I’d recommend reaching out to a counselor on the company website here: Lose up to 13 LBS & 7 Inches overall in your first month with Lean13 at!) But generally speaking, the takeoff week is only that – just one week. It’s not considered healthy to take so much weight off at one time. Research shows that steady weight loss is the key to keeping it off. So on week two (at least for most plans) you’re going to start adding in additional foods. During the take off week, you likely were only adding in non-starchy vegetables. By the second week, you can begin to add in smartcarbs and power fuels (which you buy and provide yourself) as side items. Also, many of the plans offer the option of flex meals – which means that you will typically be allowed one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week off of the plan. This allows you to eat out if you choose your meals carefully or it allows you to plan and prepare healthy meals. It also allows you some variety.

So yes, the second week looks very different than the first week on many plans because you will be eating more side items, snacks, and flex meals. The company’s grocery guide, tracking app, and the counseling can all explain how much of each type of food you can have (and when.) Generally, the less starchy or sugar-filled the food, the more of it you can have. Some vegetables are unlimited and others have large serving sizes, but fruits and proteins generally offer a serving size of at least a half of a cup. Plus, keep in mind that most packages offer a wide selection of prepackaged snacks and desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth or salt cravings so that you don’t have to burn your side items on this. But yes, to answer the original question, you definitely have more flexibility on the second week of nutrisystem most of the time. They want you to have quick weight loss initially, but then they want you to have sustainable, healthy and gradual loss (so that it stays off,) which is why you get to make more choices on the second week, at least for many of the plans.

What Is The Turbo Take Off Kit From Nutrisystem? What’s In It?

September 17th, 2017

People sometimes ask what is the turbo take off kit from nutrisystem and what, exactly is in it?  It is basically a kit with the first week of meals (and instructions) which you are sent when you order nutrisystem’s lean 13 plan.  The kit in is in addition to the food for the remaining weeks of the month. It is kept separately for a reason.  Basically, this plan is designed to help you achieve weight loss quickly.  The first week works a bit differently than the rest of the month because it’s meant to “kick start” fast weight loss.  The first week’s foods are kept separately from the rest of the package because the foods are specifically chosen for the this first week.   One thing that’s very different about that “kick start” week is that you don’t need to worry about adding in smart carbs or power fuels during that week.  You’ll be doing this on weeks 2-4, but for the first week, you just have to worry about consuming only the meals in the kit.  (They do also encourage you to add in four servings of non starchy vegetables to help you to feel full.)  So what’s in the kit?  7 days of specially chosen breakfasts, lunches, and dinners plus 7 turbo shakes and 7 nutra crunch bars.  You will be using the bars and shakes in place of your smart carbs and power fuels for the first week only.   Both the shakes and bars are supposed to help you stay full and the shakes contain probiotics to aid in digestion and to help with abdominal bloat and discomfort.  The shakes are usually chocolate flavored and the bars are usually peanut butter and chocolate flavored, but this can certainly vary.  You’re also given access to a daily tracker log (to keep track of your movement) and an app for recording and maximizing your results.  I hope I’ve made it more clear as to what you can expect in your kit.  It will be set apart from the rest of your package and it is intended to make that first work easier and more effective.  Basically, you just eat the meals provided and add in a shake and bar each day along with four servings of non starchy vegetables.  You can use the tracking tools if you like, but there’s really nothing to calculate or figure out.  These are just meant to help you visualize your efforts and results.  They’ve done the calculations for you and they’ve already picked and provided the combination of meals that are meant to give you the best results.  Here is the latest special for lean 13: Get 40% off every order + Free bars & Shakes and FREE SHIPPING!