A traumatic event in my life, along with recovery from a medical procedure, had me 20 pounds heavier. Looking desperately for a fast way to lose weight without starving, Nutrisystem (also known as Nutrasystem) seemed like an ideal choice.
Most of the food is edible. If you are looking for gourmet French, certainly this is not your best option, but the quality of the meals is very similar to those served on airplanes (some people find these meals disgusting, but I am fairly tolerable of them).
Dinners, in fact, are very similar to airplane meals in that they are in small plastic containers almost the same size as airplane meals. In fact, all of the portions are tiny, and it makes one realize that if one is eating such small portions, one will naturally lose weight.
Some of the food was totally inedible, even for someone who doesn’t complain about cafeteria food, so it all depends on which menus you choose. Chocolate, for instance, was very irregular in its quality. The cocoa, for instance, was a very weird taste about 10% similar to chocolate, as was the chocolate cake. I threw out packets of coca and chocolate cake powder. The chocolate in the snack bars, however, was quite good and reminiscent of real chocolate. My favorite was the mint chocolate crisp snack bar.
Nutrisystem basically controls the carbs and proteins you eat during the day, so the pre-packaged food that you eat for three meals is the average intake. The meals are very low-calorie so only eating Nutrisystem food won’t exceed 700 calories. You are also allowed to drink as many no-calorie drinks and eat as much salad as you want. As for other food that you want to add, it’s entirely up to you.
Strictly adhering to the basic Nutrisystem plan and eating only salads (with no dressing) and beans, I was able to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, combined with a 40-min. exercise session four days a week. It felt great and I was looking better, and I was able to maintain that weight for two more weeks, adjusting Nutrisystem food with regular food.
Switching back to regular food, however, I found it hard to apply restriction on the choice of food and portions. Although I was still exercising, increased portions of regular food and occasional snacks made me regain those pounds I had lost.
Dieting is a never-ending story, so if you want to get off Nutrisystem, you have to stick to the same “rules” of eating tiny portions. Because there is only a limited range of choices you have in menus, one can get tired with a long-term plan, but the program is quite effective for short-term diets or losing a few pounds. The bad thing is that once you get off the program, you can slip out of your ‘diet mentality’ and wreck havoc with your body again.