Testing out Nutrisystem diet food, is it any good?
Nutrisystem has been around for decades, so what's their secret?
If you're in North America, you might be familiar with the popular mail-in diet plan called Nutrisystem. For those who aren't, well it's just that - a diet plan of food that ships monthly to your home. All you have to do is eat the food and lose weight.
It includes every meal you need each day for one month: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. There are different levels of plans, but this article isn't to sell it to you (not a sponsor). I just want to tell you a little bit about what the food is like and provide some insight from a real dieter, my mom.
The first thing you notice about Nutrisystem (NS) food is that it's processed (frozen and non perishable), which may turn some people off, but it's all very low calorie and packed in small portions - a key to losing weight. And it's actually quite tasty.
You can eat cookies!
Eating a little of everything in moderation is a basic health guidance. NS is true to this and provides a wide variety of foods which the dieter can choose from. During the checkout process, we chose from over 150 meals and snacks - everything from pancakes, hamburgers, soups, chicken parmesan, mac and cheese, cupcakes, and so much more.
There's also protein shake powders (chocolate and vanilla) and one shake is allowed per day. I've had a taste and they're not bad, but there is a slight aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Still, it's sweet! You wouldn't think you're on a diet drinking one of them.
Week 1 is the most restrictive compared to the rest of the month, and you're permitted only NS foods, non-starchy vegetables, and plenty of water. Vegetables are unlimited, so you can eat as much as you like. Or as my mom said, "You'd have to eat a truck load of them to feel full." After dieters rough it their first week, NS provides an extensive list of approved foods and appropriate portion sizes to enjoy, even recipes!
A day's worth of food.
You can see every item is labeled for each meal of the day. How easy is that? These roasted turkey medallions for dinner tasted like literal Thanksgiving - it was shocking they were so flavorful. Compared to similar frozen entrees from the store, this one might be the best. It has a nice, full taste of real turkey, without all the excess additives to compensate.
Flavor is definitely not lacking, according to my mom who just completed Week 1. So far, nothing has been too bland or inedible; most has been pretty good. Some items were replaced that NS didn't have in stock, and she got things she doesn't eat normally like chicken alfredo, so I'll be the judge of those.
Get those veggies in with a nice salad and a light dressing
Her favorite thing so far? Hamburgers for lunch. They're about as big as a toddler's hand, but she swears they're delicious, especially piled high with crisp lettuce, a drop of mustard, and a couple small pickles on the side.
I had that chicken alfredo entrée and it wasn't bad at all, minus the fact they use the American-ized version of sauce made with cream (*shudder*). It's not 5-star restaurant dining, but again it's better than those frozen diet meals from the grocery store.
While NS food is processed, the ingredients lists don't resemble a university science test. There's less additives, salt, sugars, and none of that high fructose corn syrup found in...most packaged food in the U.S. I had a strawberry shortcake cupcake for dessert (another replacement she didn't like), and again - I liked it! I'd gladly eat it again.
All in all, the Nutrisystem food is pretty yummy and their plan makes it extremely easy to follow. Of course the big picture is that it's based on low-calorie intake and portion control, which can really be done on your own, regardless of a paid diet service's help.
However, not everyone has the desire, time, nor energy to put in to planning continuously healthy meals and controlling portions on their own, so a pre-planned diet where you simply eat what they give you can work! And it doesn't have to be cardboard food either.
Finally, I think it's a great way to learn portion control and it helps a struggling dieter transition from the NS food back into the not-so-scary-anymore world of infinite food.