Are Nutrisystem's meals good for health?

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First question I have is Are Nutrisystem's meals good for health? Thanks in advance for any answer. Second question.. Yes I still have 30 plus pounds to go and will probably adjust my goal lower again. Who would ever thought I could lose so much, so fast and so easy..

Well dam it, I want to keep it off, Ive lost 500 or more pounds over my life and also gained it back plus some each time. So this time I want to keep it off. Ive gone thru the maintenance threads here and know most of the stuff, (lets face it Nutrisystem is just portion control, using right size portion, calories, carbs etc). Not new to most of us whom have had a weight problem all our lives..

I dont have an under active thyroid, and/or any other health problems that make me fat. Im fat (or was fatter prior to NS) cause I ate and drink too much of the wrong stuff..

The folks on maintenance seem to talk all the same stuff we see here; i.e. unexpected drive for 12 hours, vacations, work travel, business lunches/dinners, parties, whatever..

In the world theres food. That food will make you fat if you dont make the right choices. I want and need to embrace the real world food scenario/philosophy and how to continue my new life style..

Im leaning toward doing Nutrisystem forever. Dont laugh; I believe Ill probably always have Nutrisystem food here at home as it's convenient and very structured. Once I hit whatever my goal is, Ill go out in the real world and eat on the economy and make smart choices. When Im home and not entertaining, Ill eat NS..

How about it, what are you plans?..

Comments (33)

Ye, but you might wanna make sure and wait for someone else to confirm my answer as I am not very confident. Better yet, why don't you e-mail the Nutrisystem guys because they can give you help better...

Comment #1

As I get closer to 240# I'm thinking it's still heavier than I want my Goal Weight to be so I'll probably re-evaluate soon - but that's not what you asked. What are my plans for Maintenance?.

Staying at my final Goal Weight for 10 years without NutriSystem!.

Losing weight with Nutrisystem is simply a means to an end for me (Phase 1). I'm going to eat right, exercise, and live the life I should have been living for the last 15 years for the rest of my life..

NS will be a memory (a good one I'll admit) when I'm old and gray, but I won't consider it a SUCCESSFUL experience unless I can learn enough to stay at my Goal Weight for 10 years after my last Nutrisystem meal. I figure getting off the plan will take several months of learning to substitute Nutrisystem meals with my own food, one meal at a time, but at the end of THAT process (Phase 2) I should be prepared to start the next phase..

For me, anything less than a full decade without Nutrisystem will be a failure. That is Phase 3 and the final step in my plan. I figure if I can stay at my healthy weight for 10 years while eating my own food, it should be a pattern that I can keep forever..


That's just my opinion - take it for what you think it is worth. This is just how I view MY PLANS for Maintenance. It should have NO impact on how YOU view your Nutrisystem experience or Maintenance goals!..

Comment #2


I'm just about there and am fretting it - maybe a bit more than I should but I know myself. I've lost over 90 lbs but every time that I slip even a bit I can feel my belt tighten about my waist.

I've spent this past week trying to grab hold of what my maintenance plan should be. It's not easy to figure out. One of the comforts I got out of NutriSystem is that I figured out a daily menu that worked for me and as I followed it, the weight flew off. Now, as I look at the maintenance plan.


I worry that I'll flounder, get frustrated and voila, I'm back to blimpdom..

So, my first step strategy was to contact the Nutrisystem dietitians and ask them to send me the maintenance plans, which they did. I read it and my head started to spin. There were too many options for someone with as thick a skull as me. So, my next thought was to continue with the regular Nutrisystem diet and just add the.


Additions to keep me slim and trim. Getting the info that describes what that means has not been easy. From what I remember reading it meant adding a protein, 2 carbs, a fruit and a dairy serving (this may not be right so don't quote me!)..

The second choice is to go 5 days on and 2 days "slighlty" off. This could work too and I would use the weekends for my "off" days..

Since I'm in the planning stage for maintenance, I'm really interested in reading what others have done and are planning...

Comment #3

Even though I still have a long road to travel, I have begun incorporating non-NS foods. Have gotten 1 auto delivery in the last 3 months. I still use Nutrisystem lunches and dinners but I have stubstituted other items such as oatmeal packets for breakfast, South Beach bars for mid-morning snack, Atkins Advantage bars for mid-afternoon snacks and Fiber One bars for my dessert..

I know there are other choices for these as well as for lunch and dinner. For example for dinner, I'll sometimes have a lasagna serving from Fresh & Easy or 4 oz of either salmon or chicken breats along w/ my veggie and low GI carb and salad. I find the fat loss remains consistent as long as I match NS' numbers, caloric and nutritional. I have chosen this approach because I didn't want to be at goal and then find myself saying, "now what?"..

Comment #4

All you old timers keep posting what you do here, please! This is some very important information for the rest of us if we are to break that yo-yo's string...

Comment #5

This question is for all you who are adding substitutes for Nutrisystem food, example Michael's bars etc. Why bother to sub? Is it cheaper? Quite frankly Nutrisystem is quick easy and not that expensive..

And I'm lazy.

, therefore just sticking to the Nutrisystem food is easy..

Why I like the program, I'm not counting anything. Maybe I'm fat because I'm lazy. (However, you can find lots of Nutrisystem out there from folks who quit the program and want to recoup some of their costs. The best I've done is $100 for 6 weeks of advanced food [yes six and that was today], true I don't select the items, but I don't care.).

I'm trying to figure what works for me and not judging and/or criticizing you. After all, I am reading labels in the supermarket, never did that before. Yea, I stepped into one of those, mistook it for the package store...

Comment #6

I'm with you Steve. I have NO plans to give up Nutrisystem food. It's good, it's healthy, it's convenient, it works for me. The expense is not an issue, because I KNOW I'm not spending any more on Nutrisystem than I was on food before. I have no plans to give up Nutrisystem food. Yes, I do eat other food on occasion.

I have special occasions and vacations. But on a daily basis I'm sticking with NS. Why mess with a good thing? Nutrisystem food is REAL food. How is it any different than lean cuisine or LUNA bars or whatever? People think I'm a freak when I say I'm doing Nutrisystem forever. I'm glad you posted your thoughts...

Comment #7

Hey Steve,.

I am about 7 lbs. from goal, and have been transitioning to other foods for about the last three weeks or so..

While I have been generally satisfied with the Nutrisystem foods, I think once you learn about portion sizes etc., you really can find less expensive options out there. Such as Kashi cereals, South Beach Cereal Bars, Healthy Choice dinners, etc. Not to say you can't mix in some Nutrisystem stuff as well..

I'd say whatever works for you is good. I'm actually very happy there are equivalent options out there we can transition to. I'd hate to be locked in to just NS..



Comment #8

DaOneth- I have lost more than 50 pounds several times only to regain it. This time my plan is simple: buy clothes that fit at my goal of 165 pounds, then lose 5 more. After that, if I gain 5 pounds, I'll go on Nutrisystems for 1 month. Psychologically, that should work well for me because of the expense. Like Roger_O, exercise is going to be a big part of maintenance for me. In the past if I jogged for one hour I didn't have worry about gaining weight.

I plan on continuing to post to this thread at least every 3 months to tell you how my initial plans worked and if I had to modify them...

Comment #9

The idea of subs is applying what you have learned from Nutrisystem to the real world. Frankly, the subs are cheaper and if I can get the came caloric and nutritional value from something I can get from Sam's Club at a fraction of the price, I do it. More importantly, I'm using what Nutrisystem has taught me for everyday living. Same goes for leaning how to make your own meals or knowing what to order when dining out. I do not think less of anyone who plans on staying on Nutrisystem for perpetuity. But for me, the knowledge Nutrisystem has given me is even more valuable than the actual food they ship me...

Comment #10

Why am I not considering staying on Nutrisystem forever?.

Because it's a crutch. Nutrisystem is teaching me portion control, the value of fruits and vegetables, how to distribute caloric intake throughout the day, and a whole host of other valuable lessons I need to live a healthy lifestyle..

THAT is why I joined Nutrisystem - to learn those things. And to help me get to a weight where I could apply them in a maintenance role, so I wouldn't be doing it all at once - and alone..

But someday the training wheels have to come off..

That's how I see Nutrisystem - a set of training wheels on a bike I have not ridden in a long, long time (and never really rode properly anyway). So for me they will come off someday. Living a healthy lifestyle without Nutrisystem in it is my REAL goal. Not because it's cheaper, or because I don't like the food (I do) or any other reason along those lines..

It's because that's how I want to do it..


Comment #11

I'm not going to be on NutriSystem forever but (to steal an analogy) I'll be taking those training wheels off slowly...

Comment #12

I'm getting awfully close to goal too and have thought about how I will handle maintaining for a while. For me, I have plenty of food left, so I'm going to keep on plan until I'm 5 pounds under goal. Mostly because I haven't seen 175 since 10th grade 27 years ago, but also because I think mentally it will give me a little breathing room from the 180 I want to stay at..

Who knows, maybe once I get to 175 I'll decide to keep going, but once I do decide to stop, I will go completely off Nutrisystem because I feel I have learned many valuable life lessons these past 4 1/2 months that will allow me to continue on without it..

One thing I plan on keep doing is the daily meal planner. It has really helped me stay on track. I'm sure I will occasionally allow myself to eat badly and having the planner to go over will keep me in check. Continuing to exercize will also be very important for me to keep the lbs off..

Another thing I will continue to do is lurk and even post once in a while on this board. No way I lose this weight without pouring over the posts here daily...

Comment #13

Well, I have to confess to a lousy 3-4 week stretch for me..

Started when my brother pulled an ambush visit at the end of July...too much booze, golf & food for 7 days. Then I hurt my shoulder (not bad - just tweaked it) so I had to stop swimming & lifting weights for a couple weeks..

Then my parents came out, and good god, do they eat. My mother is severely overweight, and her whole day revolves around food. 7am, bacon & english muffins. 10am, "breakfast". Lunch at 1. Food, food, food.

Anyway, bottom line = 8lb gain in 4 weeks. I could have been better (and I did make some good choices over that span) but it just goes to show ya that this is lifelong change; it's not something you can "go on " and "go off". The good news is, I started working out, bike riding & swimming last week & I've already lost 2lbs, hopefully I'll be back at 190 for official weigh-in tomorrow.....

Comment #14

I'll second that full stop. My plan is to bounce between 175 and 180, give me room to breathe but warnings on either end. I'm working on transitioning from Nutrisystem but plan to keep Nutrisystem as a significant part of my future plans. Crutch, training wheels, whatever... beats the hell out of the food I was using as a crutch before NS..

Do a search through the forums for maintenance and you'll find a pretty significant level of dissatisfaction. Once I hit goal there was a definite sense of WTF? What now? Fortunately, there is the maintenance thread with some good info and discussions like this. Seems like there should be a forum dedicated to this subject and that Nutrisystem is missing a market segment by not offering some sort of maintenance plan. One thing for certain, the boards are a major part of my continued learning and motivation...

Comment #15

Thanks for posting, guys. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has concerns. I am still about 30 lbs away but hope to be at goal (or below) by Thanksgiving. I too have lost and gained back enough weight over the years to make a couple of normal sized people. Losing the weight is the easy part, really keeping it off is hard. As long as I have a plan I can succeed so it's never too early to plan out what is going to happen after I reach goal...

Comment #16

After chowing down a half a jar of peanuts watching football last night, I see I must modify my maintenance plan above. I reread the "Mindset Makeover" pamphlet and realized that I had failed to incorporate much of the Week 2 lesson. In preparation for maintenance, I will now eat only at the kitchen table and consume at a much slower pace...

Comment #17

I'll post this information on some other board so the congratulations that I so richly deserve can happen there. I like this board because it's quiet and purposeful - so far no one has felt the need to post their innermost fears and failings every 10 minutes in giant sparkeling purple letters and I appreciate that fact. I'll post again in 2 months- sooner if I make changes to my maintenance plan of lots of exercise and modest behavior modification..

I'm looking forward to seeing many more of you reaching your goals in the upcoming year. Losing 75 pounds seems like nothing compared to what some of you are accomplishing...

Comment #18

My weight is now 165 pounds. I attended a conference with food in abundance for 5 days at the beginning of November. I swear I was in control but still managed to go from 160 to 168. I was pretty sure 5 pounds was salt + water but maybe not because it's taken 2 weeks to drop 3 pounds and I'm guessing another couple of weeks to get below 163. The good news is my clothes fit fine and by taking in extra calories I have felt great exercising..

My Nutrisystem behavior modification still doesn't extend to not snacking to excess after 8 PM. If I could cut that out, I would have no trouble maintaining. I also haven't lost the urge to feel really full. Perhaps someday that will pass like my urge to smoke did after 5 years of abstinence...

Comment #19

Where do you find this? Certainly not in these forums...I can't imagine N$ would allow that...

Comment #20

Not sure where you are in PA. Here's what's in the Philly area on Craigslist:.


Comment #21

I had a similar experience and couldn't say no to the 16 oz bone-in filet mignon at a top flight steak house. The garlic mash, creamed spinach and 3 glasses of really good Merlot was just the cherry atop the sundae on the business trip. I was up 8 lbs in just 3 days!.

Fortunately I dropped 5 lbs after going back strictly on plan. I'll be back to where I want to be by next week. I guess a splurge is OK if you're OK with going back on plan for a couple of weeks after..

YES! Late night is toughest..

It occurs to me that if I find something to do outside the house (instead of sitting in front of the tv) that I wouldn't have that problem...

Comment #22

Winter is a killer for that. It's dark now by 4:30 which sucks. Bike to work in the dark/rain, bike home in the dark/rain... I never used to care because I'd just drive home to sit in front of the TV and eat. It's harder to be good in bad weather...

Comment #23

I don't really have a problem with night - I'm an afternoon guy. I eat my snack at 2 or so and then the dessert at 4 before dinner!.

I'm going to a conference for 3 days next week, so I'll see how I do. I was thinking of taking some food with me, but I don't really want to drag it around. I know there will be lots of beer drinking too. I'm not sure how I'll do on that now. I think I've only had 1 or 2 beers since starting the program..


Comment #24

Happyhoward, I notice that you quoted yourself. Nice move! Is that akin to going third person?.

As for weight loss, I now know that the real issue is our mindset that allowed us to get out of shape in the first place and that conquering and changing said mindset is the key to success. For that reason, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who takes this area of self-improvement head-on, whether the amount that needs to be lost is 35 lbs or 350 lbs. At the end of the day, thinking about how to prepare for life on maintenance is the conclusion of all things, so to speak...

Comment #25

Michael - I have no idea why I quoted myself when it was the most recent post..

I'm bringing this thread back because I think there are useful comments on it. The last time I posted in November I weighed 165 and I found it necessary to return to 80-90% Nutrisystem to drop the 18 pounds I put on over the winter..

The two problems I need to overcome are snacking after dinner and enjoying that feeling of being really full...

Comment #26

It's important for everyone who's trying to lose weight to consider next steps. I'm doing lots of reading about how to control my weight as I do the Nutrisystem plan. I've already switched to the Flex plan so I'm eating non-NS foods on the weekends. I'm looking at resources that both agree with and disagree with the plan as laid out by NS. The things I see that have wide support are the idea of eating several (6 is ideal) times a day, increasing the percentage of protein to as close to 40% as you can get (that's tough but making the effort keeps my focus on eating quality calories) and drinking water (8X8 is probably not really enough). Add in a consistent, thoughtful exercise plan that includes both cardio and resistance training and that seems to be the formula for long term success..

My experience is like lots of others. I lost 85 pounds in prelude to my kids' weddings (about six months apart). I ran lots and actually completed two marathons. Once all of those goals were met, I lost my focus. My challenge will be to maintain my focus. I must have specific, written goals that demand discipline to achieve..

I felt so good when I was at my previous low weight (June 2007 - 175). I'm moving toward that point again and I'm seeing results and feeling the rewards of achieving those goals. I think the one missing piece for me now is to allow myself to see me as a thin person. I know that is one thing I never did the first time. I'm looking forward to the new "new me"...

Comment #27

Thanks for kicking this thread back up. I missed it first time around..


Comment #28

We were watching "Real Time" with Bill Maher yesterday and he had a guest on that has written a book. It's called ".

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.

" by David Kessler. He's a former FDA commissioner under Bush and Clinton. The book has gotten great reviews..

I'll post more on it once we get it and have a chance to look it over...

Comment #29

Here is a link to an article about Kessler and Kessler's book that appeared last week in the Washington Post. He talks about his food addiction and how foods high in fat, salt and sugar release dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain..


Comment #30

Thanks Howard. That just makes me more anxious to get his book and read it..

Did you know about him previously?..

Comment #31

Just ordered it. I will let you guys know if it is any good...

Comment #32

I take the Washington Post and it was a front page article. I briefly dated his FDA speech writer but I never met him...

Comment #33

Hey guys,.

Just catching up on the threads as I haven't spent much time online (here anyway) lately. Since this is a maintenance discussion, I figured I would stop and chime in....

My original goal when I started Nutrisystem was 175. I met that Feb 25th and after seeing myself at that weight, saw that I could stand to lose 10 or 15 more. So I reset my goal to 165 with a more discrete personal goal of 160 as I plan to continue my workouts and build some muscle mass..

Well, I hit 168 and have pretty much leveled off there. I delayed my last BBB for 30 days to test the waters, moving back into a standard non-NS regiment..

My concern has been variety, as that's one thing Nutrisystem is very good for. I've pretty much decided to stop my auto-delivery and just see how it goes and test my cooking skills..

Although 168 is comfortable for me, I still want to (and think I can) shed those last few pounds on my own, taking the lessons Nutrisystem (AND YOU ALL) have taught me..

So with that said, thanks everyone for the information and support you have all given. I will continue to read and post here..

Catch you later!..

Comment #34

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.