This review is going to take a close look at Nutrisystem, one of the most popular meal replacement programs out there. With all of the weight loss programs on the market today, it can be very difficult to know what to choose, particularly because so many of them seem to be the same. But that’s exactly why we have done the deep research for this review, because it isn’t enough to know that Nutrisystem is popular program. You need to know if it is actually going to give you the results that you want. We’ll take a look at all of the facets of this meal replacement program, from the ingredients, to the science behind the product and of course, the results that others have experienced.
If you own a television, you’re probably already a little familiar with Nutrisystem. The company has Marie Osmond as a spokesperson, and their commercials are everywhere. One of the first things that impressed us about this program was that they cited an actual research study that was done on their product and showed positive results. There have been a couple of other big companies that claim that their product advertising is backed up by actual research, but when you dig into the study, you’ll find that they weren’t talking about that product at all, but something similar. In this case, Nutrisystem is mentioned by name.
So, this is a meal replacement program, and not too unique as far as that part of it goes. You replace your regular food with the meals that Nutrisystem sends you, plus you get to fend for yourself four meals a week, so that you can learn to eat healthy on your own and wean yourself off of the Nutrisystem plan eventually.
Another impressive thing about Nutrisystem is that it isn’t a starvation plan. Programs like Shakeology and Ideal Protein replace your meals with shakes or bars, which provide very few calories. You might lose weight on these plans or you might not, because your body goes into starvation mode and doesn’t want to burn fat. Plus, when you’re only eating 1200 calories a day or so, you have no energy to work out, and fitness is part of any good weight loss plan.
Nutrisystem provides you with three meals a day and a dessert on most days. You are allowed to supplement the food from Nutrisystem with healthy stuff like fruits and veggies. However, you aren’t supposed to eat out on the plan, nor are you supposed to drink any alcohol. Around 50% of the calories in your meals come from carbohydrates, around 25% are from protein and the other 25% are from fat. This is a really good balance, particularly because the calories in these meals are “smart calories,” which maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Nutrisystem Inc. is a solid company with a good reputation and markets weight loss products online and through various retailers like Wal-Mart. The online profile of Nutrisystem with customer complaint websites is pretty good, with the company responding to most complaints and trying to resolve them. They have a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars at the Better Business Bureau website, which is pretty good considering that happy customers usually don’t post reviews and the average is definitely slanted in favor of people who have had a bad experience.
Because of the variety of the prepared foods that Nutrisystem offers for a 28-day plan, it would be impossible to cover all of the ingredients that these foods contain. However, the company does obviously care about what they put in their foods, because they make it a point never go add high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, hydrogenated oils or aspartame into any of their foods. Many diet companies do add these products, often to cut corners or raise profits, and it is a good sign that Nutrisystem stays away from them.
Science behind Nutrisystem
The science behind the Nutrisystem meal plan is actually one of the most impressive things about the products. Most meal replacement programs are based around the science of calorie reduction – and in most cases unhealthy calorie reduction so that they can get fast results. But Nutrisystem sticks with the doctor recommended weight loss plan of 1-2 pounds per week, allowing you to eat enough not to send your body into starvation mode but still have a small calorie reduction. In addition, you are getting the right nutrients and minerals from your food, because Nutrisystem designs their meals that way. Finally, the meals themselves are quite balanced, with about half of the calories coming from smart carbs, about a quarter from protein and the rest from fat.
What Results People Get
It boggles the mind that you can go to a weight loss website and look at their results page, only to find that they have two or three testimonials that don’t even appear to be real. That’s not the case with Nutrisystem. In fact, we were blown away with how many success stories were listed on the Nutrisystem website. They had several in nearly a dozen categories, based upon the amount of weight lost, from about 20-40 pounds all the way up to 100+ pound losses. There seemed to be a lot of happy customers with pretty significant weight loss thanks to Nutrisystem.
No side effects have been reported with the Nutrisystem foods. It is worth mentioning that the food that comes with the Nutrisystem plan is packaged and processed, but there is no danger of this. You would basically be getting the same chemical composition (albeit a much healthier profile) as if you heated up a frozen TV dinner.
Value & Pricing
The pricing on the Nutrisystem 28-day plan varies, because it depends upon the food that you eat. If you want a ballpark estimate, you can expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $350 a month. This might be one of the priciest plans that we’ve reviewed, but it is also the very best of all of them, and instead of getting 60 shakes for $250 a month, you get 28 days’ worth of really great meals and desserts. Plus, at the time of this writing, Nutrisystem was offering 7 TurboShakes, 7 NutriCrush bars and shipping costs for everything completely free. Plus, they offer a refund on the food (even if you’ve eaten some) within the first 14 days.
The bottom line is that you cannot beat Nutrisystem. The plan is just terrific all around. The only thing that could be better about the Nutrisystem program is the price, but it’s well worth it for you get. With real science backing up the foods, real clinical trials that show actual results, and pages upon pages of happy customers, it is quite easy for us to recommend Nutrisystem as the best meal replacement weight loss plan out there.
So, give Nutrisystem a try, especially because they are offering free food and free shipping with your 28-day plan. If you don’t like the food and you aren’t losing weight as promised, you can return it within the first 14 days and get your money back; that’s a pretty good guarantee of success.