Since 1974, Nutrisystem has helped millions of people lose weight. If you’re wondering whether this time-tested diet plan can help you shed unwanted pounds, then you’re in the right place.
I’ve researched Nutrisystem’s menus, weighed and measured its different dietary options, and studied its ingredient lists to bring you this review of Nutrisystem’s plans. And I’ve even found the latest active deal so you can try it out for less – $30 off weight loss plans.
If you stick to the Nutrisystem plan, it can definitely help you lose weight in the short term. And if you make the dietary changes recommended by Nutrisystem’s counselors, you can keep that weight off in the long term. Keep reading to learn how Nutrisystem can help you hit your weight-loss goals.
|Good value||A lot of processed food|
|Diabetes-friendly and vegetarian options||Geared toward short-term weight loss|
|A long track record in the industry||Not suitable for vegans|
|Current deal – $30 off weight loss plans|
Nutrisystem’s menu and plans can be a bit complicated, so I’ve broken it down for you below.
You’ll be eating nothing but Nutrisystem meals during the first 7 days of the diet, no matter which plan you choose. The 1st week is designed to kick-start your metabolism and get your body in a fat-burning mode. After that, your choices depend on the plan you’ve chosen.
The Nutrisystem menu is largely standard American fare, but there are some Chinese and Italian options (including surprises like a low-calorie Fettuccine Alfredo!).
On Nutrisystem’s Essentials plan, you get 5 days of meals and snacks, but you’re on your own for your weekend meals. Nutrisystem’s lowest-priced plan gives you a choice of Nutrisystem’s frozen meals and convenient pantry meals. These items are prepared and packaged using a “soft-canning” method and don’t require refrigeration.
The Essentials Plan gives you plenty of menu choices. For example, there are around 30 dinner choices, so you’ll have something different to try almost every day. During checkout, you also have the option of purchasing 28 days of protein shakes to help you feel full all day long.
Nutrisystem’s Uniquely Yours Max+ plan provides 5 or 7 days of meals per week. It also includes sweet and savory snacks to satisfy you between meals as well as Restaurant Faves like Bistro-Style Toasted Ravioli (pictured above).
Uniquely Yours Max+ is Nutrisystem’s most popular plan because it gives you more choice. You get access to the high-protein Hearty Inspirations meals like Cajun-Style Chicken and Shrimp, as well as the Quick9 plan. This aims to help you lose up to 9 lb in the first 2 weeks by eating 1 week of Nutrisystems meals, snacks, and shakes exclusively for the first week.
The Complete 55 plan is designed specifically for those over the age of 55. A men’s and women’s plan is available. For women, the Quick9 plan and the protein shakes are optional with the Complete 55, and you receive 7 days of meals and snacks per week. The men’s plan is called Complete 55: Max Vitality, and men also receive 28 protein shakes per shipment due to their increased calorie needs.
All of the plans listed above are available as Partner plans. This means couples can save 15% of the cost by starting a Nutrisystem diet together. Whether it’s your roommate, partner, or best friend, studies have shown that you are more likely to lose weight in a group compared to individually.
Nutrisystem has separate plans for men and women. This is common with weight loss meal delivery services, as men and women have different caloric and nutritional needs. On most Nutrisystem plans this means men get an extra daily snack, but there are more differences between the men’s Complete 55: Max Vitality and women’s Complete 55 plans.
The Complete 55 for women is tailored for weight loss in women who are going through menopause. The Complete 55 plan front-loads carbs during the day to avoid belly fat while Nutrisystem’s NuMi app offers activities to suit all fitness levels.
The men's Complete 55: Max Vitality plan has 20% more protein than the women’s Complete 55 plan. This high-protein diet is intended to keep testosterone levels up and boost lean muscle mass in men over 50.
Nutrisystem also offers a Diabetes plan, which features high-protein, high-fiber meals with a restricted amount of carbohydrates to avoid blood sugar crashes. Losing weight can help you lower your a1C levels, improve your blood sugar, and reduce insulin requirements. (But make sure to check with your physician before starting any diet plan!)
Alas, there are no options to customize individual meals or swap out one protein for another although this isn’t unusual when it comes to prepared meals.
Nutrisystem has a good selection of filters that’ll help you avoid common allergens like wheat, milk, and tree nuts as well as spicy foods, shellfish, or other ingredients. You can even exclude things like chicken, pork, and beef. However, filtering out your problem ingredients can leave you with very few choices.
Only 8 of Nutrisystem’s 52 dinner entrees are suitable for people with lactose intolerance and only 9 entrees are safe for people with wheat sensitivities. If you’re both lactose and gluten-sensitive, you’re going to spend the next 28 days rotating between 5 dinners!
Nutrisystem offers a few vegetarian meals, but there’s nothing for vegans or people on specialized diets like keto or paleo.
Nutrisystem sends its boxes out monthly, so you’ll need to make space in your freezer and cupboards before your order arrives. Most meal delivery services send out a weekly box, but having a monthly box means you’ve got everything ready and can plan meals ahead.
Nutrisystem has recently switched to more environmentally friendly packaging, including recyclable and biodegradable coolers. There’s lots of plastic in your order, but it’s all recyclable, so you don’t have to worry about your carbon footprint.
All Nutrisystem products have a production code showing when they were made and a labeled shelf date, which is typically between 6 and 18 months.
Nutrisystem’s color-coded packs make it easy to tell the difference between meals. Because you’re eating Nutrisystem food for every meal of the day, you’ll want to keep your meals sorted.
Most Nutrisystem meals arrive prepared and ready to be heated and eaten (many don’t even require heating). Nutrisystem’s shake powders need to be mixed with water or nonfat milk, then shaken or stirred.
All Nutrisystem meals come with storage instructions and expiration dates. Frozen meals can go straight from the freezer to the microwave, oven, or skillet.
Nutrisystem provides multiple small servings during the day. You get something to eat every couple of hours, which keeps you from getting so hungry that you turn to unhealthy food.
Nutrisystem’s meals are fine for diet food and more filling than you might expect from a restricted-calorie diet plan. But it is diet food – a means to an end and something that’s tolerated rather than loved.
Nutrisystem’s Blueberry Muffin comes in at 150 calories and just 3 grams of fat. It’s sweetened with xylitol and maltitol, so it’s even safe for diabetics. You can enjoy it at home or bring it with you to the office in its sealed packaging.
This muffin has about 25% of the calories of a coffee shop muffin and offers you a lot more than 25% of the flavor. I won’t lie and tell you it’s as good as the icing-slathered heap of sugar they sell in your local coffee shop. But it’s a low-calorie breakfast that’ll help you resist the temptation of an unhealthy one.
Nutrisystem’s Spicy Kung Pao Noodles has only 190 calories and just 480 mg of sodium! Nutrisystem brings together shallots, noodles, green onions, and a sprinkling of peanuts for a Chinese meal that will liven up your lunchtime without expanding your waistline.
This entree and the Blueberry Muffin above are from Nutrisystem’s pantry meals line. They don’t require refrigeration so bringing them to work is easy.
On the Nutrisystem diet, you eat 6 times a day! Eating multiple meals during the day cuts down on those bleak hungry times when you’re watching the clock and thinking about dinner. That makes it much easier to follow this calorie-restricted diet.
The White Cheddar Popcorn is a great snack and a habit worth getting into. Popcorn is an excellent food for dieters. It’s lower in calories than most junk food and surprisingly filling, too. Nutrisystem’s White Cheddar Popcorn has just 140 calories and will tide you over until your next meal.
This supper combines flame-broiled chicken with edamame beans and peppers tossed in a teriyaki sauce. Brown rice gets a protein and nutrient boost with the addition of lentil beans and farro.
Nutrisystem’s dinner entrees are a bit larger in size than its lunch entrees, as Nutrisystem believes supper should be the biggest meal of the day. But though this entree may be bigger in size, it still comes with just 240 calories.
Nutrisystem’s Chocolate Cheesecake is a snack suitable even for diabetics. While cheesecake is notoriously unhealthy, this 140-calorie sugar-restricted treat is a guilt-free way to satisfy your dessert craving.
Nutrisystem’s Chocolate Cheesecake isn’t available on the Essentials Plan. But if you like cheesecake (and who doesn’t?), it might just be worth the upgrade.
Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)
$11.43 per day
Essentials for Women
Free when you pre-pay;
$11.43 per day
Essentials for Men
Free when you pre-pay;
$13.21 per day
Uniquely Yours Max+ for Women
Free when you pre-pay;
$14.82 per day
Uniquely Yours Max+ for Men
Free when you pre-pay;
$15.00 per day
Complete 55 for Women
Free when you pre-pay;
$17.14 per day
Complete 55: Max Vitality for Men
Free when you pre-pay;
Nutrisystem’s cheapest 5-day Essentials Plan starts at $11.43 per day for both men and women. But this doesn’t take into account our Delivery Rank Nutrisystem discount: $30 off weight loss plans.
You can also get additional Nutrisystem discounts by paying for monthly boxes in advance. If you pay upfront for 3 months of monthly shipments, that cost drops to $9.77 per day, which works out at $1.63 per serving.
While Nutrisystem offers one-time orders, they come with a hefty penalty. A 28-day Essentials Plan box for women will cost you $581.80 as a one-time order – more than double what you’d pay if you order a 3-month prepaid subscription. And while pre-pay members get free shipping, a la carte shipping fees range start at $7.99.
Nutrisystem gives you many opportunities to add extras to your order. If you have a history of cheating on your diets (that might be why you’re looking at a delivery service like this in the first place), having low-calorie Nutrisystem snacks on hand may well be worth the additional money.
After you place your order, it’ll take between 1 and 5 business days to arrive. If you’re outside the continental US, the order will take an extra 2 days by air. Nutrisystem even delivers to Canada, though those packages will take 4 to 10 business days to arrive.
Nutrisystem sends an introductory email after your 1st order, with a tracking link for your delivery, and your set delivery date. Frozen Nutrisystem meals may arrive on a different day than non-frozen items. This is because frozen meals need heavy insulation and dry ice for transit, so they’re shipped separately.
Nutrisystem works via an auto-delivery system, with a delivery arriving at your doorstep every 4 weeks. If you need to reschedule a delivery, you can do so on the phone or by logging into your Nutrisystem account.
While Nutrisystem’s description of its various plans can be confusing, signing up for Nutrisystem is fairly simple. I’ll walk you through it:
Choose and customize your plan. Once you’ve selected your main plan, you can then choose between the men's and women’s variations, your menu, the type of delivery, and whether you want to add additional weight-loss shakes to your monthly box.
Read the small print. This is to ensure Nutrisystem is right for you. It won’t suit people with soy, peanut, gluten, or latex sensitivities. It’s also not intended for children under 14 or for people with certain illnesses. Women weighing over 400 pounds and men over 450 pounds will require doctor approval before signing up for Nutrisystem, but it’s always best to speak with your doctor before changing your diet or beginning any weight loss plan, regardless.
Enter your height, weight, and shipping information. Along with your shipping information, Nutrisystem asks for your height and current weight. NuMi will later use this information, along with the target weight you enter into the app, to help guide your weight loss journey.
Choose a payment option. Nutrisystem accepts credit and debit cards from Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and Diner’s Club and also offers Paypal and Paypal Credit options.
Once you make that payment, Nutrisystem will send you your first delivery date. And that’s it!
If you need to delay or customize your auto-delivery order, you can call 1-800-585-5483 or log into your account at www.nutrisystem.com and click My Account > Edit Next Order.
All changes to your order must be made by 6 pm Eastern Time on the day before your order begins processing.
Nutrisystem delivers meals for weight loss, so its customer support is really important. To lose weight, you need more than just to eat less. In my view, the best diet meal delivery services should offer coaching and help.
Nutrisystem’s NuMi app is an automated diet coach that reminds you to track your meals, drink water, work out, and more. You can track Nutrisystem (and non-Nutrisystem) meals on NuMi, or sign up for NuMi-exclusive contests, prizes, and special offers. No matter where you are in your Nutrisystem journey, NuMi has articles, tips, and recipes for you.
Whatever plan you choose, you have access to Nutrisystem’s weight loss coaches. They can answer your questions and provide moral support. Apps are great, but sometimes you want that personal touch.
Nutrisystem definitely has you covered when it comes to diet coaching. But if you have questions about your order or you want to cancel your subscription, you can cancel your auto-delivery program by calling 1-800-585-5483, then pressing option 1 followed by option 6, and you can also cancel via chat. All cancellations must be made before 6 pm Eastern time on the day before your order is scheduled to be processed.
Nutrisystem offers a full money-back guarantee (minus shipping) on your 1st order if you call within the first 7 days and send the remaining food back. This guarantee doesn’t apply to a la carte orders, nor to any orders after the 1st box. If you cancel your subscription more than 7 days from the date your first box arrived, but before you’ve paid for your 2nd shipment, Nutrisystem will charge your payment method $125 for the auto-delivery discount you received on your 1st shipment.
For more information about canceling your Nutrisystem subscription, check out our detailed guide to canceling Nutrisystem, which includes a step-by-step guide.
Nutrisystem vs BistroMD: BistroMD’s flash-frozen prepared meals receive more favorable reviews than Nutrisystem’s entrees, and BistroMD has menus for some medical conditions not handled by Nutrisystem, but BistroMD is considerably more expensive.
Nutrisystem vs Factor: Factor’s prepared meals are more appealing than Nutrisystem entrees, and Factor has a “Calorie Smart” menu, but Factor doesn’t offer a complete weight-loss meal plan like Nutrisystem.
Nutrisystem vs Trifecta: Trifecta sends prepared meals and offers calorie-restricted menus, but it's aimed at a fitness-conscious audience where Nutrisystem is better for less athletic people seeking to lose weight.
Nutrisystem could be a good choice for you if you need to lose some weight for an upcoming event or need a structured meal plan to help you stick with a low-calorie diet in the short term.
Nutrisystem’s dietitians ensure that your low-calorie diet is nutritionally balanced, and its 6-meal daily plan means you’ll always have something to eat so you aren’t tempted to binge.
The meals aren’t mind-blowing in the flavor department, but that’s not surprising, as Nutrisystem focuses on weight loss. Its focus is on meals that are convenient, nutritionally balanced, and filling.
As you lose those pounds, you’ll transition back to eating regular (and hopefully healthier!) meals. When that happens, you might like to check out our shortlist of this year's best meal delivery services.
When I researched Nutrisystem’s pricing, I found that the least expensive plan costs $319.99 per month with monthly auto-delivery. If you purchase that same plan on a one-time a la carte basis, it’ll cost you $581.80. Prices for each plan vary based on your gender and your willingness to buy multiple boxes up front.
All of Nutrisystem’s plans offer a diabetic menu for those who need to control their blood sugar as well as their weight. Meals on Nutrisystem’s Diabetic plans have low glycemic indexes to ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable.
You’ll be charged a fee starting at $7.99 for a one-time order with Nutrisystem, depending on your location and whether or not you ordered frozen meals. Nutrisystem members get free shipping on all prepaid orders.