Nutrisystem is a weight-loss meal delivery service that promises a steady loss of one to two pounds per week.
You get four weeks’ worth of shelf-stable and ready-made meals, probiotic shakes, and snacks that are low-glycemic and low in calories while being high in fiber, lean protein, and other vital nutrients. There are also vegetarian, diabetic, dairy-free, and low-sodium options.
Along with the Nutrisystem meals and snacks, you’ll get access to its NuMi app. This app is like your own health coach, giving you reminders to drink enough water, directions to prepare your own supplementary meals, and great tips on weight loss and eating well.
I took a closer look at Nutrisystem to see if it lives up to its rave reviews.
Diabetes-friendly and veggie options
Cheaper than other weight loss plans
Too many upsell attempts
An overwhelming choice of plans
Lots of processed food
People who want to eat their favorite foods while losing weight
People who don’t want to cook
People who like eating often, even on a diet
I have to be honest, diet food doesn’t usually appeal to me. Even more so when it’s slated as “healthier versions of your favorite food.” But Nutrisystem surprised me. I knew that the meals wouldn't include a full-fat, calorific hamburger, but I was impressed by just how delicious the meals sounded.
Here’s what was on my personalized menu:
You still get to have the foods you love – just look at those desserts! – but without some of the more fattening ingredients they’re usually made with.
The menu provides pictures of each meal, as well as nutritional information, testimonials from other customers, and cooking instructions.
Many of the meals on display are frozen or ready to eat after a few minutes in the microwave. Some, such as soups and mashed potatoes, just need boiling water added. It’s not quite cooking, but still a bit more effort than prepared meals, like the ones from BistroMD.
If you’re comfortable with shelf-stable foods making up some of your daily meals, you won’t mind the way Nutrisystem works. Foods like oatmeals, soups, and stews come dry, with spice packets. Just add hot water and let it stand.
It’s not the most glamorous way to eat, but if you have a busy lifestyle, this is an extremely effective way of sticking to a weight-loss diet.
As you might expect from a diet-focused service, a lot of the portions are on the smaller side. BUT, the NuMi app gives great ideas on how to bulk up the meals in a healthy way. For the bean chili, for example, you can steam a bunch of broccoli to serve on the side.
I really liked the sound of turkey medallions and these could be paired with steamed veggies, too. But some of the meals, like the pizzas and burgers, didn’t look diet-y at all.
I mean, does this look like 260 calories to you?
Or this lunch, which seems pretty close to what I’d eat for takeout:
Even breakfast had a delicious-looking cinnamon roll on the menu:
These all come frozen, by the way, so you won’t need to prepare anything for any of them. With no cooking or planning involved, Nutrisystem makes reaching for low-calorie foods easier than ever – especially as it doesn’t feel like you’re trading in tasty treats for boring salads.
Here’s a quick summary of Nutrisystem’s pricing and the dietary needs it best accommodates:
From $8.54 per day
Meal plan options available
Weight loss, balanced, pescatarian, diabetic-friendly, wheat-free, vegetarian
Free on monthly plans
Since Nutrisystem is designed to work long term, its plans take into account your body’s transformation as you change your eating habits and start to lose weight. This is why your first delivery will include different food for the initial week, which will help your body get comfortable with your new lifestyle.
In your first box, you’ll also receive a Quick Start Guide to follow for week two and beyond, and access to the tons of resources provided via the NuMi app.
As for the packaging, you'll receive a big cardboard box containing each of your meals for the month, which are mostly packaged in either cardboard or plastic containers.
Because you’re getting a month’s worth of food, most of the meals come frozen, while your first week of meals come chilled. That means the boxes have to be well cooled and insulated. To solve this, Nutrisystem adds in a frozen pack, which is 92% biodegradable, meaning you can recycle or simply throw it away.
So on the recycling front, Nutrisystem definitely gets an A. It's a similar all-encompassing recyclable approach to Veestro.
Nutrisystem works via an auto-delivery system, with a delivery arriving at your doorstep every four weeks.
This is pretty unusual. Diet-to-Go and Veestro have similar automated subscriptions, but this is one of the few times I've seen the monthly drop-off as the only option. I suppose for the program to be successful, it has to be made as easy as possible so that people stick to it.
Because Nutrisystem wants you to sign up for more than a month at a time, you get a 45% discount for auto-delivery. That means your order will be set to repeat every month – unless you go in and edit, pause, or cancel your order before the cutoff date. If you have long-term, weight-loss goals, auto-delivery might be the right choice for you.
After you place your order, you’ll receive an introductory email, complete with a tracking link for your delivery, and your set delivery date. Delivery takes 1-5 business days for the continental US, plus two-day air for the rest of the US. Deliveries take 4-10 business days for Canada.
Oh, that’s right – Canadians can order from Nutrisystem as well! So if you ever plan on vacationing for a few months there, you’ll be able to continue with your usual diet.
Nutrisystem offers support across three main channels: phone, email, and live chat.
All of these channels operate from Monday to Friday 8 am-8 pm EST and Saturday to Sunday 9 am-5:30 pm EST. There’s a variety of support available, including weight-loss counselors, nutrition support, program consultants, and straight-up customer service.
I appreciated this commitment to advising both current and potential customers. It’s the first time I’ve seen this with any meal delivery service I’ve reviewed.
To test it out, I contacted a program consultant via live chat to ask which program was best for me. I was connected to a representative within seconds, and after a few questions about my habits and preferences, I had my answer in less than five minutes. It was a really great experience.
Nutrisystem also provides on-demand weight-loss counselors to help keep you on track. For example, if you require a diet of less than 1,500 g of sodium per day, a weight-loss counselor can guide you to the meals, shakes, and snacks that are best for you.
Weight loss can be a challenging, and often emotional, journey. It’s more than just eating fewer calories. Nutrisystem seems to get that and offers support where possible.
Other meal delivery services may seem cheaper because they offer payment on a weekly basis. But when you look at the price per meal, I do think Nutrisystem works out to be pretty reasonable.
After all, for a $400.99 monthly personalized plan, you receive a lot of stuff. You get six meals a day, every day of the week, perfectly optimized for your weight-loss journey.
That stuff doesn't come cheap. In fact, compared to Diet-to-Go’s similar program (which costs $189.95 per week, plus $19.98 weekly shipping, so $839.72 per month), it's actually less than half the price.
Also, paying $8.54 per day is cheaper than what you'd be paying per portion with some meal kit delivery services where you have to cook the meals yourself. Even low-cost providers, like Dinnerly, have single meals starting from $4.69 – and that's just for one meal. With Nutrisystem, you get all your meals and snacks for the day for only double the price.
As for delivery, Nutrisystem has free shipping on all four-week plans in the continental US, whether it’s a one-time order or you use auto-delivery.
For à la carte purchases, however, shipping costs may apply depending on the size of the order and your location. Shipping also varies for orders to non-contiguous states and Canada.
It all starts with picking the right plan, and there are several to choose from.
First, there are the Women’s and Men’s plans, which come in three levels:
Basic – Ready-to-go food with a menu of over 100 options
Uniquely Yours – A mix of frozen and shelf-stable meals and snacks, with a menu of 150+ options
Uniquely Yours Max+ – This menu of 160+ items includes 10 new Hearty Inspiration™ premium frozen meals. You also get a personalized plan through the NuMi app which will be tailored to your body as you lose weight.
Each plan provides four weeks of meals and gives you the option to order food for five or seven days a week. All plans are designed to work long-term, although there are a few key differences between them, including how many items are available on the menu.
Nutrisystem makes some pretty bold statements about its four-week plans:
If you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see there are a few other plans on offer, too:
There was a separate link to the Men’s Plans, although I was a little confused why Nutrisystem had assumed I was female by default as I hadn’t added any of my details yet.
The Diabetes Plans are structured the same way as the standard plans above and are split into three options:
These diabetes-friendly meals are a great way to lose weight while managing type 2 diabetes. By balancing protein, low-glycemic whole-grain carbs, fiber, and healthy fats, they can help you lose weight, improve your blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower your A1C. Plus, you’ll avoid spikes because you’re eating something every two to three hours.
Not every diet meal service caters to vegetarians, but Nutrisystem does with its dedicated Vegetarian plan of 90+ menu choices.
Lastly, there’s the Partner Plan. This means that if you and another member of your household are dieting together, you can order meals for both of you with a single plan.
The Partner Plan also comes with the option of receiving your meals every two weeks, instead of once a month. You’re ordering double, so it makes sense in terms of shipping and ensuring you have enough space to stash everything that arrives. Otherwise, the Partner Plan works just like the individual plans in terms of offerings and prices.
I selected the Uniquely Yours Max+ Plan.
There was the option to go with the most popular dishes or to pick meals myself (and this was recommended for your first order), but what can I say – I’m a sucker for personalization!
Next, I answered six questions to help tailor my plan. I filled out my dietary preferences, how active I am, and what body shape I have.
The last question was really interesting. It gauges the kind of food you’re more likely to crave when you’re hungry or need a pick-me-up. I’d not seen this elsewhere – it’s a pretty unique approach to getting your food palate profile.
After my plan was calculated, I was given a personalized menu that I could edit or buy.
If you choose to continue to the purchase screen, you need to put in your personal details (including your height, current weight, and goal weight), and then you’re taken to payment. Nutrisystem accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, and PayPal credit, which is a nice range – other services I’ve tried don’t accept Paypal.
However, during the payment process, you’ll see Nutrisystem upsells everywhere.
This is a little much for someone like me who would fall at the first hurdle when it comes to desserts. But maybe that’s the business plan – to tempt people into buying more!
Once you’ve paid, you'll receive a date for your delivery. Then all you have to do is wait.
If you want to test the waters first and not jump into a monthly subscription straight away, there’s also an à la carte option. This means you can add as many meals and snacks as you want to your cart, for a one-time, commitment-free order. Just keep in mind that you won’t benefit from the same deals as with the four-week plans (e.g., no free delivery).
You can also buy some popular items in bulk (30 pieces) from the à la carte section, such as sandwiches, and store them in the freezer for later. I thought this was an unusual option, but if you’re the kind of person who likes consistency and eating the same thing, buying your favorite staples in bulk is a good way to save money.
In case you do end up ordering from Nutrisystem, this blog post shows you how to pause or cancel your orders without incurring a fine.
Here’s how Nutrisystem compares to similar weight loss delivery services on the market:
Alternatives to Nutrisystem
$8.54 per day
$8.24 per serving
$4.60 per serving
$7.16 per serving (for the weight loss plan)
Basic, Uniquely Yours, Uniquely Yours Max+, Partner Basic, Partner Uniquely Yours, Partner Uniquely Yours Max+,
Standard, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy, Diabetic, Menopause
Balance, Balance Diabetes, Vegetarian, Keto-Carb30
Weight Loss, A la Carte
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner + snacks, five or seven days a week
Breakfast (optional), lunch, and dinner, five or seven days a week
Breakfast (optional), lunch, and dinner, five or seven days a week
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, five or seven days a week
Prepared (frozen + shelf-stable)
Prepared meals (frozen)
Monthly or biweekly for the Partner Plans
100-160+ depending on your plan
150+ at any given time
15+ per week per plan
40+ per week
If Nutrisystem’s plans don’t have you covered, Diet-to-Go offers weight-loss meal plans for more specialty diets. Its Keto-Carb30 plan is tailor-made to keep you in ketosis while helping you lose weight.
If you’re following a vegan diet and can’t find a weight loss meal delivery service that accommodates plant-based choices, the Weight Loss Plan from Veestro is your best bet.
Meanwhile, BistroMD offers doctor-approved weight-loss prepared meals. Nutrisystem is great for those with diabetes, but BistroMD caters to those with other health conditions with Gluten Free and Heart Healthy plans.
Nutrisystem is pretty much everything you could want in a weight-loss meal service. You can cover every meal during the week and its prepared meals and snacks barely need any prep.
Nutrisystem gets you eating healthier by giving you low-calorie versions of the foods you’re craving, but it can be tough to continue this type of eating long-term without a meal delivery service.
I think Nutrisystem is a great option if you want a foolproof way to lose weight that doesn’t rely on willpower or cutting out certain foods. However, if you're looking to lose weight on stricter diets like keto, paleo, or vegan – or you simply want to cut down on processed foods – you might want to shop around a little more.
The Basic Plan starts at $8.54 a day and includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. The price varies depending on which plan you choose, although shipping is always free on monthly plans.
Nutrisystem offers healthy food designed to help you lose weight – fast. It’s low-carb and high in fiber and protein to help you feel fuller for longer. The Nutrisystem philosophy also recommends eating every 2-3 hours, or six times a day!
There's also a focused Diabetes Plan that can help prediabetics or those with type 2 diabetes to lose weight and keep their blood sugar under control. If you don’t eat meat, there’s also a plan with more than 90 healthy vegetarian options.
If you want to lose weight without spending a ton of time cooking or planning, Nutrisystem is absolutely worth it. You get six different meals and snacks daily to keep the cravings at bay.
There's also the helpful NuMi app, plus free weight loss and nutrition counseling.
Canceling your Nutrisystem plan is easy. You have until 6 pm ET the day before your next auto-delivery ship date to cancel. Just call customer services, hit a couple of buttons, and you’re done.
Don’t try to cheat the system, though. If you get the autopilot discount but try to cancel before paying for your second delivery, you’ll be charged the full amount for your first box. Find out more about avoiding fines in our blog post on canceling your Nutrisystem plan.