PROS / The smartphone app helps you stay on track wherever you are.
CONS / Unlike most online diet services, this one doesn't offer many exercise help features.
VERDICT / Nutrisystem provides a convenient diet plan that requires minimal effort, though it doesn't help as much with the exercise component.
Similar to other popular commercial diet plans, Nutrisystem takes a heat-and-eat approach to weight loss. Prepackaged meals are a fundamental part of this online diet service's approach, and while some experts tout them as nothing more than glorified TV dinners, the meals provide convenient portion and calorie control. This is a helpful program for individuals who don’t have the time to really concentrate on each step of a weight loss program. However, having all the food provided does make this diet plan costly compared to other online diet services.
Nutrisystem is a low-glycemic diet program that combines fueling carbohydrates with plenty of protein. The intent is to boost appetite control and decrease hunger between meals. While most of your diet will consist of the program's food, you'll still need to supplement it with fresh produce and dairy products from the supermarket. There are different plans for different individuals, including separate plans for men and women, a diabetic plan, a vegetarian plan, and a plan specially formulated for seniors.
The Nutrisystem website offers some supplementary tools beyond basic recipes and simple dieting tips. It has a dining guide to help you stay within your calorie consumption range when you go out to eat. It also has some portion control tools that let you see and compare food options. These tools can help you develop basic guidelines to follow when you return to eating regular food in order to keep the weight you've lost off.
Since the program is primarily focused on diet, the website offers few fitness features. There is an exercise log where you can track your daily physical activity, though. We particularly like that the log displays how many calories you burned when you input an exercise or activity. You can access this journal either through the Nutrisystem website or via the mobile app, which is convenient for logging exercise activity while you’re out. You will have to find the motivation to work out on your own because, other than a few tips, there isn’t any real exercise program with this service, such as suggested exercises for your body type, workout videos or tutorials, which you'd find with higher-ranked weight loss plans.
When it comes to community features, Nutrisystem proves mediocre. There aren’t any message boards on the Nutrisystem website itself, but you can connect with other users through its social media pages. The blogs posts are user testimonials that show before, during and after photos of people who have used the Nutrisystem program and found success.
One important feature Nutrisystem does have is trained weight loss counselors. These individuals are available to provide you with constant support as you strive to lose weight, and they can offer useful tips and guidance as you move back to eating normal food.
Nutrisystem's convenient packaged meals make it easy to drop pounds in the short term, thanks to their controlled portions and restricted calories, though the food it provides you for each meal of the week does make this diet plan costlier than most. There is so much emphasis on eating correctly that this online diet program doesn’t provide a lot of tools and support for exercising.