The year 1972 was a good year for Nutrisystem. It was because it was the birth year of Nutrisystem. The company started as a brick-and-mortar weight loss counseling services in Pennsylvania. It went off to a great start.
The web became the next home of the company in 2000. It went all-out by advertizing to home shopping TV including toll-free numbers to call about their programs. Then the company started to display their products on big grocery stores. Finally, they acquired the South Beach diet.
A total of $2.5 billion was invested in weight loss programs by Americans in 2014. Nutrisystem did very well by grabbing most of it, at overall sales of 14%.
The company delivers on its claim to be # 1 home-delivery programs for weight loss. But that was way back in 2014. If so, how is Nutrisystem doing today?
Nutrisystem says it will make you lose 7 inches and 13 pounds during the first month. The “Lean 13” program they have been heavily promoting guarantees this huge weight loss for the first month. How can this be achieved? The company’s team of dietitians and nutrition experts has come up with meals that are packed with fiber and protein to fill you up while losing the weight. Blood sugar levels are also claimed to reach normal levels with the consumption of meals that contain low-glycemic carbs.
The prepackaged meals are guaranteed to be free from flavors, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Losing weight and keeping it off is through small frequent meals to cover an entire day.
Did Nutrisystem make good on their weight loss guarantee of 13 pounds and 7 inches? It actually exceeded the expected loss in inches but fell short in weight loss. A Nutrisystem funded study showed that the average weight loss for participants after the first month of the program is 8 inches and 11.6 pounds.
A quick look at the plan and ingredients in a Nutrisystem meal program
Becoming a member with any Nutrisystem diet programs requires eating every two or three hours. That includes breakfast, a Nutrisystem snack or fruit mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon snack approved by Nutrisystem, dinner, and an evening snack. All the major meals and snacks are supplied by Nutrisystem. Plan meal programs can either be specific for diabetes or vegetarian.
Approved fruits and vegetables to the plan are recommended to supplement the meals throughout the day. The usual recommendations for supplementary fruits and vegetables are the ones that have no high starch or sugar content. Complementing the Nutrisystem meals with grocery bought foods are allowed so long as they follow the nutritional and glycemic guidelines. This means no cake, muffins, and cookies.
The regular cost per month for most Nutrisystem food plans is $280. There are options for daily meal costs such as:
- The Basic Plan
Newbie to the Nutrisystem diet will like the Basic Plan that costs $275 per month. The meal plans included in the Basic plan are foods-on-the-go that is preselected for your needs. This includes all-time favorite food choices such as chocolate, pasta, and burgers. This is the most affordable Nutrisystem way of losing weight.
- The Core Plan
The plan has wider food selections costing a monthly rate of $295. The varieties of meals are all apportioned with controlled amounts of fats, calories, and carbs. They include everyone’s favorites from baked potatoes, pizza, and chocolate muffins. You are given the freedom to choose your own meals as well as unrestricted access to counseling and support.
- The Uniquely yours
Costing $335 per month, the uniquely yours includes a wider assortment of meals including the popular frozen food varieties. Some of the delicious meals you can add to your plan are the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and the Spinach Stuffed Shells.
The money-back guarantee from Nutrisystem could be a bit complicated. Terms to accomplish before you get your money back are:
- You pay for the shipping charges for the returned foods
- The foods have to be sent back on or before 14 days from delivery
- It applies only to first-time orders
The promised weight loss from Nutrisystem can be augmented by an exercise program to quickly reach the goal.
What does science say about the Nutrisystem diet?
- The Annals of Internal Medicine agrees with the controlled and portioned meals along with the recommended exercise program. However, the minute the member goes off the plan, what then? Sustainability of weight loss demands further research and study from Nutrisystem.
- In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine agrees that the formula for calorie-restricted and apportioned meals has been tested and proven true. The point is taken even when there was no specific mention for Nutrisystem.
- The study done in 2013 by the American Journal of Hypertension supports Nutrisystem’s promise of guaranteed weight loss in 3 months. The study comprised of postmenopausal women showed more than 10 pounds weight loss in 3 months. Incredible? Not really, considering that it was also found that it was a Nutrisystem-funded research.
With all this, can we truly say that Nutrisystem delivers the goods? That depends on your financial standing. If you can afford it, why not go for it. You have nothing to lose (except the pounds) and everything to gain (bad or good experiences included).