Nutrisystem Diet Review

NutriSystem Diet Review:

Instant Diet Food That Does Not Taste Very Good But At Least You Never Overeat.



Dr. Pearsall’s Scorecard (2 out of a possible 10)

Web Customer reviews: 49% approval out of 65 reviews 5  
Accuracy and quality of the nutrition information 4  
Reasonable cost 3  
Uses a holistic weight loss approach, addressing the body, mind, and spirit 2  
Sensible meal plans and tasty, healthy quick recipes 2  
Emphasis is teaching healthy lifestyle changes instead of selling products 1  
Provides a detailed functional approach to weight training and cardio fitness 0  
Easy to follow for life 0  
Offers effective weight loss products e.g. supplements, videos, techniques 1  
Advice on other weight factors (hormones, food allergies, toxicity, lifestyle) 0  
Advocates a diet of foods that are whole, natural, clean, organic and 50% raw 0  
Advises how to individualize the program for your unique dietary needs 0  
Counselors are credentialed professionals such as registered dieticians 0  
Research and statistics support the efficacy of the program 0  

Grade: D Although this food is convenient, it is processed food that is not healthy and is not a long term solution to permanent weight loss.


NutriSystem, Inc. began in 1976 and became a publicly traded company in 1999. In that same year, in conjunction with its network marketing division of nationwide consultants and direct sales, known as NutriSystem Direct, the company launched its website — which allowed for live counseling, both online and via telephone, and replaced traditional visits to brick-and-mortar centers.

With the addition of an exclusive contract with the QVC network in 2001, NutriSystem has dramatically increased earnings and brand awareness. In 2005, NutriSystem generated total net revenues of $213 million, an increase of 459% from the previous year, and net income of $21 million.

Program Summary:

With NutriSystem, dieters can order meal plans by phone or the internet which includes 5 weeks of packaged NutriSystem food. Clients just log-on, decide on a recommended meal plan (1,000, 1,200 or 1,500 calories-per-day), order their food, and once it arrives, they're ready to go. NutriSystem also offers vitamins and dietary supplements to clients. NutriSystem works by providing calorie-controlled, portion-controlled eating. The diet consists of already-prepared food portions that are supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. It is recommended that you also eat an unlimited-in-size salad (lettuce, spinach, hot peppers, green onions, mushrooms, celery and cucumbers) with both your lunch and dinner meal.

Plan For Women:

Breakfast: NutriSystem Breakfast Entrée, 1 Fruit, 1 Dairy or Protein

Lunch: NutriSystem Lunch Entrée or NutriPeptide (Bar or Shake), 1 Dairy or Protein, Salad Vegetables, Fat-free dressing

Snack: 1 Fruit, 1 Dairy or Protein

Dinner: NutriSystem Dinner Entrée, 2 Vegetables, 1 Salad or Fruit, 1 Fat, NutriSystem Dessert


Joining NutriSystem is free and supposedly includes support from a counselor. The cost of the meals is $290-$338 per month But unlike many other weight loss programs, which require a yearly membership, you can cancel NutriSystem at any time.


1) Convenience and Privacy

All the food is shipped to your house and the “counseling” is done over the phone. It's also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2) Food Preparation Is A Snap

All you have to do is tare off the lid, sometimes add water and heat in the microwave.

3) Easy


Karen: I've been on NS for 1 week shy of 3 months. I have lost 28 pounds. In honesty - it is a very easy program, the food is tolerable and the online tools are fantastic.

4) Provides Structure

With NutriSystem you have a set menu of what you eat every day. You don’t have to worry about overeating or counting calories or points if you simply follow the menu.

5) It Works For Some People


Kristina: I lost 80 pounds with NutriSystem. I now find other convenience foods that are similar to NutriSystem and eat the same "extras" -vegetables, fruits, etc. I am still losing weight all though not as fast. Also there is a book to make your own food if you prefer. Also if you use the message boards you can learn how to stay on the diet without the prepackaged foods. I got kind of tired of the dehydrated lunches and could find cheaper alternatives to the breakfasts. However I loved the dinners. Also the nice thing is when things are prepackaged they are portion controlled. If I cook for myself I tend to eat more.


1) Unpopular Program

Nutrisystem only had a 55% approval rating on and a 35% approval rating on another diet forum. (Weight Watchers approval rating was 96%.)

2) 5 Weeks of Crappy Dehydrated Boxed Food

A friend of mine ordered the 5 week supply of NutriSystem food. The food sits in his garage untouched after 3 months. He said he didn’t care for the food.

The products contained artificial, unhealthy ingredients like sucralose (Splenda), and hydrogenated oils. In line with the low-fat diet myth, the food was very high in carbs and low in fat. The meals included granola bars, muffins, frosted flakes, pancakes, snack bars, shakes, pasta, pizza, puddings, dessert bars. None of this food is nutrient dense and is exactly the kind of food overweight people should avoid at all costs!

Read these Epinions comments by NutriSystem users:

The main problem I ran into with the dinner meals was that nearly every time I opened up a meal (which mainly look like Lean Cuisine frozen dinners but are not frozen) that contained beef, I was faced with low-quality beef. How did I know it was low quality? Because there was connective tissue, veins, gristle, etc. in every bite. Not only was this extremely unappetizing, but it's hard to pick through the beef to rid it of the veins, gristle, etc. - more often than not, I would not eat one bite of beef and it would be in the trash.

(Ok, that is just plain nasty.)

Chris: I tried NutriSystem for months, and even though I admit I lost weight, the food was so foul tasting that I couldn't stomach it any longer. Everything tasted like chemicals. Who needs that? For anyone thinking about using this diet, you should either have absolutely no taste buds or you will end up hating the food and wasting a lot of money. Do yourself a favor, if you can cook, use the internet to find good, healthy recipes and use them and forget about the chemical factory!

Evelyn: I ordered the food from NutriSystem and frankly I think it tastes like dog food. I have never tasted dog food--so I am left to wonder if dog food tastes better. It may be convenient, but that all it is. I'm going back to making my own food and good old fashioned portion control.

3) NS Food Made Some People Sick

Eunice: I began using NutriSystem last week and my rectum started to bleed almost immediately. I am a little scared about it. The food tastes okay, but the spicy food really burns my hiney. The flatulence has been pretty rough too.

Karen Koch: I started NS 8/7/06 I was on it about a week and started to get Migraines and sweats. I believe there is something in the pre package food that is causing the migraines and sweats. I tried from 8/7 to 8/23 I stopped on 8/24 and I do not have a headache but still do have the sweats. I believe these will also go away as my body cleans out from the ingredients in the pre packaged food. I did feel that the salt also was not good for me.

Matt: I'm 6'2" and start NS 10 days ago at 217. I have lost 4 lbs. I think most of the food is good, though I am not a picky eater. The muffins are the worst though... blech. I have had awful gas problems as well.

The biggest problem I have is that you have to supplement so much. I don't mind supplementing with some fresh fruits and salad, but the convenience (and reasonable expense) is lost with all the supplements required. I find myself staying VERY hungry (not sure they have this diet well planned for a guy of my size).

4) Counselors Are Worthless

Pam: I had trouble getting in touch with my counselor. I emailed her once and never received a reply. I also heard from her only once - and that was when I first joined up with the plan.


I'm a big fan of the healing power of nature, so much so that I sacrificed 10 years of my life to become a natural health physician. So I can't recommend the processed "food" in a box from NutriSystem.

At the same time, I completely understand why people would resort to such a system. Who likes to cook and clean for hours every day? Who wants to continue to be overweight despite trying everything? I know what that is like as I used to be frustrated and fat and had no control around food.

Only by returning to Mother Nature was I able to heal my dysfunctional relationship with food. I got the sugar and refined foods out of my diet, I discovered how to eat the diet suited for my own metabolism, I learned how to exercise in an efficient and fun way, I discovered techniques for addressing my emotional wounds and so much more.


About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)