Nutrisystem Review 2020: Full Scoop On How This Diet Works

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  • Written by: Felicity Kay on Oct 27th, 2020

    Nutrisystem in a Nutshell

    A huge range of monthly delivered meals designed to help you lose weight, with amazing results. 

    What I Liked

    • Lots of tasty choices designed to help you lose weight

    • Cheaper than other weight loss plans

    • It really works! 

    What I Didn’t Like 

    • Too many upsell attempts

    • An overwhelming choice of plans

    • Lots of processed food

    Nutrisystem Overview

    Nutrisystem is a weight-loss meal delivery plan that promises a steady loss of one to two pounds per week. You get a mix 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. They have 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 supplemented meals, and great tips on weight loss and eating well.

    I took a closer look at Nutrisystem to see if it’s the real deal or just another fad diet. Here’s what I found.


    How Nutrisystem Works 

    Nutrisystem offers a range of plans to cover the number of meals you want each week and to accommodate different dietary needs. 

    Each of the plans on offer covers you for four weeks of food, and there are a few key differences between them, which I’ve highlighted above. The most expensive, “foolproof” plan, covers all seven days a week, rather than five. 

    I wasn't sure if this was too good to be true. Nutrisystem makes some pretty bold statements:

     

    But wait, there’s more! Scroll down a little bit, and you’ll see there are a few other, more specific plans on offer: 

    I was impressed there was a diabetic plan, but I was a little confused as to why Nutrisystem had assumed I was female by default as I hadn’t added any of my details yet.

    After I selected the Uniquely Yours Ultimate Plan, I got to choose my menu. 

     

    There was an option to go with the most popular dishes or to pick meals myself, but what can I say – I’m a sucker for personalization! I also checked there weren't any price differences between the Chef’s Choice and the Personalize It options. 

    I decided to leave the shakes out this time. Maybe I’ll cover them in a future review if I revisit Nutrisystem.  

    I then answered six questions to help tailor my plan. They were quick and a little personal, but that's how Nutrisystem works best. 

    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 or go for when you’re hungry or need a pick-me-up. This is a unique approach to getting your food palate profile. 

    After my plan was calculated, I was given a specific menu that I could either purchase or edit. 

    It looked pretty good, so I continued to the purchase screen. After putting in my personal details (including my height, current weight, and goal weight), I was taken to pay. Nutrisystem accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, and PayPal credit, which was a nice array of payment options. 

    During the payment process, you’ll keep seeing 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 point. 

    Once you’ve paid, you'll then receive a date for your delivery. Now all you have to do is wait.

    Nutrisystem Prices

    There’s no way around it, losing weight on your own can be challenging. But on the other hand, paying for an effective weight-loss program can be expensive. With Nutrisystem, you’re getting specialty weight-loss meals, which are nutritionist-approved, chef-prepared, then delivered to your door. This is a premium service, and the price will reflect that.

    Although the packages start from just $8.57 a day (for Basic) and go up to $12.59 a day (for Uniquely Yours Ultimate), you're paying for a full month at a time, and that adds up. 

    Other meal delivery services seem cheaper because they might offer payment on a weekly basis. But when you look at price per meal, I do think Nutrisystem works out to be pretty reasonable

    After all, for the $359.98 I paid for my monthly personalized plan, I received a lot of stuff. I had six meals a day, every day of the week, perfectly optimized for my weight-loss journey. That stuff doesn't come cheap. In fact, compared to Diet-to-Go’s similar program (which costs $179.99 per week, plus $9.99 shipping, so $719.96 per month), it's actually about half price. 

    Also, paying $8.57 per day is cheaper than what you'd be paying per portion at some meal kit delivery services that you have to cook yourself. Even low-cost providers, like Dinnerly, have single meals starting from $6.99 – and that's just for one meal. With Nutrisystem, you get six a day for a similar price

    Nutrisystem Menu


    I must be honest: diet food usually doesn’t appeal to my taste buds. Even more so when Nutrisystem promises to create “healthier versions of your favorite food” – it sounds like a recipe for something I don't want to eat. 

    Hey, that’s just what I do in the name of reviewing. 

    But Nutrisystem did manage to surprise me. Obviously, I knew that the food provided wouldn't be as tasty as, say, a full-fat, calorific hamburger, but I was really surprised at just how delicious the meals were (more on that below!). Here’s a teaser of what was added to my menu based on the information I gave them:

    I still got to have the foods I love – just look at those desserts! – but without some of the more fattening ingredients they’re usually made with.

    Here’s a quick summary of Nutrisystems’s pricing and the dietary needs it best accommodates:


    Pricing

    From $8.57 per day

    Meal plan options available

    Weight loss, omnivore, fish, diabetic-friendly, wheat-free, vegetarian 

    Shipping costs

    Free/$9.99 “packaging”


     

    Nutrisystem Delivery 

    Nutrisystem works via an auto-delivery system, with a delivery appearing magically at your doorstep every four weeks

    This is unlike any meal delivery service I’ve tried yet. Freshlogy, Diet To Go, and Veestro have similar automated drop-off options, but this is one of the few times that I've seen the monthly drop off as the only option available. 

    I suppose for the program to be successful, you have to make it as easy as possible not to stray from it. Nutrisystem really hammers home the auto-delivery aspect on the pricing screen, too:

    Because they want you to sign up for more than a month at a time, you get a 45% discount just for auto-delivery. That means your order will be set to repeat every single 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 actually be the right thing for you.

    Note that there’s a $9.99 charge for packaging (but not for shipping). Interesting.

    Once I’d placed my order, I received an introductory email, complete with a tracking link for my delivery, and a date set for four days’ time. It could be that I was just located in the right place, but that’s a pretty decent delivery time.

    Nutrisystem Unboxing

    I wasn’t holding out much hope for a super recyclable delivery from Nutrisystem, considering that all the meals are individually packaged, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

    You'll receive a big cardboard box holding each of your meals for the month, which are mostly packaged in either cardboard or plastic containers. So far, so recyclable. 

    Now, 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 (after a bit of digging) I discovered was made of 65% recycled content. That’s nice, but it wasn’t clear just how I was to recycle it.

    On the recycling front, Nutrisystem definitely got an A for effort. It's not quite the all-encompassing recyclable approach of Veestro, but it’s a good start. 

    Favorite Nutrisystem Meals


    Like I said before, I’m not particularly a fan of shelf-stable foods making up such a big part of my day. Foods like oatmeals, soups, and stews come with dry, with spice packets. Just add hot water and let stand. It’s not the most glamorous way to eat, but if you do have a very busy lifestyle, this is an extremely effective way of sticking to a weight-loss diet. 

    A lot of the portions are on the smaller side, too. BUT, the NuMi app gives great ideas on how to bulk up the meals. With my chili with beans meal, for example, I steamed a bunch of broccoli to serve on the side. The chili was actually so tasty, that I mixed it in to spruce up the broccoli! The turkey medallions were also one of my favorites, and goes great with steamed veggies, too. 



     

    Nutrisystem Customer Service


    Nutrisystem offers support across three main channels: phone, email, and live chat. 

    All of these channels operate from Monday-Sunday 8 am-8 pm EST, and there’s a variety of support available, including weight-loss counselors, nutrition support, program consultants, and straight-up customer service

    I really appreciated this commitment to advising both current and potential customers. It’s the first time I’ve seen this at 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 linked 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 weight-loss counselors to help keep you on track. 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. 

    Alternatives to Nutrisystem

    If Nutrisystem’s main plans, or its vegetarian, diabetic, or plan for men doesn’t have you covered, Diet To Go offers weight-loss meal plans for more specialty diets. Its Carb-30 keto plan is tailor-made to keep you in ketosis while helping you lose weight. 

    If you’re looking for clean, unprocessed weight-loss meals, Sun Basket’s Lean & Clean weight-loss meal plan sends you meal kits of organic produce and responsibly sourced proteins. This is also ideal if you want to do most of the food prep yourself.

    The Bottom Line 

    Nutrisystem was pretty much everything I wanted in a weight-loss meal service. From the ease of receiving my order to the range of prepared meals and snacks on offer, it didn't feel like I was really dieting that hard. I was very pleased with the entire service, and the results, too! 

    There was a bit of an adjustment to eating five to six times a day, as well as the system as a whole. Nutrisystem tries to get you eating healthier by giving you a pared-down version of the foods you’re craving, but I know that I would find it tough to continue this type of eating if I were doing it without the meal delivery service. 

    I think Nutrisystem is a great meal delivery service for people looking to learn how to eat properly and lose weight. However, if you're looking to lose weight while following stricter diets like keto, organic, or vegan, or you simply want to cut down on the processed foods, you might want to shop around a little more. 

     


    About The Author

    Felicity Kay

    Staff Writer, Delivery Rank

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

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