First let me say I'm an organic and whole foods follower. So Nutrisystem -- for me -- was reverting to processed foods, which in my opinion are a fairly unhealthy choice. So I had no intention for using the program for an extended period. This diet consists of canned foods, dehydrated foods, and processed sweets.
However, a friend had lost nearly 60 pounds and that was the primary reason I gave it a go. That and it is also the least expensive of the meal programs. Roughly $10 per day. I cross compared them and chose Nutrisystem. I paid $300 for 35 days of food.
It's not the best program for kicking the sugar habit as a majority of the foods are sweet. Breakfasts are basically sweets. At least half the lunches are sweet too. Dinners are not, and then there are the deserts with only a few not being sweet.
So it makes it ideal for the person who likes sweets. Because the food is in small portions and ready to eat... the program is ideal for busy people who don't have time to prepare foods. Where this makes sense, is for people who are serious dieters, you know dieting can be a full time job. This is the "dieting for dummies" program, because of its simplicity and results.
I followed the program religiously for 6 weeks and lost 24 pounds. I consider that excellent results. I have been able to maintain that weight loss without regaining the weight. And I believe it is from the good habits picked up while on the diet. Those being smaller portions and using the online daily calorie schedule.
One of the best things from Nutri-System is the FREE online Daily calorie journal. This alone keeps you aware of what you're eating and gives you a bit of a conscious about were to look for trouble spots. Also helpful on when and where to use of your calories. I'm a night snacker, so I ate less during the day. Basically I skipped the breakfast meal, saving up those calories for the night, when their perfectly portions breakfasts made the ideal night snack. I never would have believed it, but it really worked.
What they don't tell you is how many calories to eat. I was surprised by this, because the foundation of the Nutri-System is counting calories. However, I found a simple calculator online to guide me to establish how many calories I should eat to lose, maintain or gain weight.
Here is that link. http:// nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutrition_guide.htm [remove spaces]
What is nice about this calorie intake calculator is that it gives you the exact specifics for you individually to reach your goals both with and without exercise, as well as, number of calories for rapid loss as opposed to moderate steady loss. Also it shows how many calories you can add to your diet if you include exercise as a part of your program. You'll want to return to it, because as you lose the weight your effective calorie intake changes.
I started out the first month without exercise, and then started walking the dog everyday, 30min to an hour a day. It's so silly, but this little bit of exercise makes it so much easier to maintain your weight.
Breaking a plateau. I hit a 10 day plateau after loosing 12 pounds. This was really frustrating so I looked it up online. All the pros said eat more for a 2-3 days then return to the diet. I added 500 calories for 3 days and then went back on the diet and yes, it broke the plateau. Plus it was a pleasant break to eat more.
Remember, you have to prepare yourself to be in diet mode, mentally that is, to have success with any diet. I was ready to take off the extra weight.
The canned lunches and dinners are okay. Since I stopped eating canned foods about 7 years ago, it took some getting used to. They are very salty.
I really liked the dehydrated foods, mostly lunches and some breakfasts. These you just add water to and microwave for less than 2 minutes. I liked them so well, I have them stocked up in my pantry even after I ended the diet phase.
I also thought the canned soups were very good.
The bars are simply handy. And I think primarily why the diet works, is that you eat 5 to 6 times a day, so you never get famished. And the bars, although sweet, are easy enough to take anywhere. And I mean, if you keep a couple of them with you, instead of going off your diet due to daily situations, you can grab a bar, curb your hunger and get on with it. This I applaud.
One of the best benefits of the diet, other than weight loss, is getting used to eating smaller portions. And for this I highly recommend it. We as Americans are used to super-sizing everything. The NutriSystem, helps you kick this very bad habit. You get used to eating these smaller portions and it's good training for a future without the program. An example, when eating out, ordering the 'half' sandwich or 'child' portion at restaurants. You realize this is enough food. Another example, from my own experience is 'toast'. I always used to make 2 pieces. Now I make one.
The variety of food is fairly good, however after 3 months I tired of the food choices and slowly phased out most of the canned items. I bought the food directly from Nutri-System, but have bought several lots here at ebay.
Buying on ebay.
After having both the fresh from Nutrisystem and the ebay lots. I have to tell you, everything I bought from ebay was cheaper, but also stale. There is a reason it's here at ebay for sale.... It's old. The taste is the same, but the condition and freshness are lacking.
This is an easy diet program if you're ready to lose weight. I recommend it. I wish they had an organic / whole food version of the program. I would have been willing to stay on the diet longer. I'm very pleased with my personal results.
Blessings, Max Rainet.
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My experience with NUTRISYSTEM = excellent results
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