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LAST UPDATED: May 24th, 2023

Nutrisystem began as a weight loss counseling center in 1972. Over the next three decades, it transitioned to selling products and programs online. Today they provide customers with balanced, frozen meals designed for weight loss and weight management. While it claims that you can lose one to two pounds per week on average, it has not been proven sustainable. A company-sponsored study, found that average weight loss was 15.4 pounds and 9.8 inches in the first two months. 

As with many diet meal plans, prepackaged foods may not be sustainable for those who need to lose a lot of weight and want to keep it off. Still, many people in the United States and in other countries have reported that Nutrisystem is a great product for losing weight and getting back on track. Those who follow the system will most likely experience weight loss. 

The company aims to provide nutritionally balanced meals. Through individualized counseling, custom meal plans, quality foods, and support they help Americans lose weight and get healthy. Its focus is to create healthier versions of customers’ favorite foods. Nutrisystem meals focus on providing the right mix of nutrients and include healthy, lean protein, high fiber, low-glycemic carbs, and no artificial sweeteners or flavors. 

Its meal plans are based on research that suggests that eating smaller, balanced meals throughout the day promotes greater weight loss and maintenance. On Nutrisystem, customers eat every two to three hours (six times per day) and can choose from a variety of Nutrisystem® breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Customers also add in fresh grocery foods and Flex™ meals for balance and variety. The company tells customers they can expect to lose one to two pounds per week on average. 

A sample day on a Nutrisystem meal plan will mean you eat six times in a day: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack. It provides the following menu as a sample:

  • Breakfast — Nutrisystem® Cranberry Orange Muffin, mixed nuts and coffee
  • Morning snack — Low-fat plain yogurt
  • Lunch — Nutrisystem® Hamburger and a side salad
  • Afternoon snack — Apple slices with almond butter
  • Dinner — Nutrisystem® Roasted Turkey Medallions and green beans
  • Evening snack — Nutrisystem® White Cheddar Popcorn

Nutrisystem offers several plans that provide a different number of meals or menu options, including the following:

  • Partner Plan Basic — $8.21 per day
  • Uniquely Yours — $13.57 per day
  • Complete 55 for Women — $13.93 per day
  • Max Vitality for Men — $15.32 per day

In addition, it offers plans specific to those on a diabetic diet as well as a men's specific plan. 

Plan subscribers get access to the free NuMi app. The app provides one-touch tracking for Nutrisystem meals and other non-Nutrisystem foods and meals. Customers can set up smart reminders to track meals, drink water, work out, and more. It also includes contests, prizes, and special offers.


The Good

  • Healthy Eating Focus
  • Options for Different Tastes and Diets
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Money-Back Guarantee

Healthy Eating Focus

Nutrisystem is a great way to kick off any diet plan. This program is not designed for long-term use, but rather as a starting point to teach people which foods they should be eating. Unlike other diet plans that offer low-calorie, pre-packaged foods without any long-term lifestyle changes, Nutrisystem includes meal-planning assistance and goal tracking via its NuMi app. The pre-packaged meals have two benefits for customers: They can see what serving sizes actually look like and feel free from worrying about counting calories. 

Options for Different Tastes and Diets

Consumers have more than 130 menu options to choose from, so they'll never get bored with meals. While taste is wildly subjective, Nutrisystem customers report that overall they find its meals taste good.

Nutrisystem also works for a variety of dietary needs including diabetic and vegetarian diets. If a customer needs a low-sodium diet, any of the Nutrisystem plans should work because all plans meet or are often below the USDA’s recommended daily sodium intake of 2,300mg or less for the general population. The company's weight loss counselors can help those needing to limit sodium to 1,500mg per day customize a menu. 

For those with special dietary restrictions or food allergies, Nutrisystem posts a nutritional breakdown of all its menu items online to help select a menu that will work.  

Quality Ingredients

Many meal-planning services provide weight loss meals that may work but often include loads of awful, processed ingredients. Nutrisystem uses low calorie and low glycemic options that avoid any artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors. It also does not include hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and MSG in its meals. 

Money-Back Guarantee

Nutrisystem offers a 7-day money back guarantee that applies to all first-time four-week orders for certain plans. If you’re not satisfied with your first order you can call within the first 7 days and send the remaining food back for a full refund (minus shipping costs). This guarantee is only on your first order. 

After the guarantee period, and within thirty days of delivery, customers are able to return any unopened Nutrisystem non-frozen food items for a refund (minus return shipping costs). Frozen foods are not returnable or refundable except under the money-back guarantee.

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The Bad

  • No Trial Period
  • May Not Lose Weight as Quickly

No Trial Period

Nutrisystem may be a good way to shed extra pounds, but it is not a long-term solution. The shortest program of four weeks is usually what most people prefer. And Nutrisystem requires each individual to sign up at least for a four-week program without being able to test the product. The company doesn't give dieters the option of trying out a few meals or only ordering a week's worth of food at a time. 

May Not Lose Weight as Quickly

Other meal systems that offer lower-calorie plans may help you lose weight more quickly. However, these plans typically do not emphasize teaching healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes that promote long-term weight loss. Nutrisystem promotes long-term weight loss and supports the creation of healthy eating habits. 


The Bottom Line

Nutrisystem is great for people looking to lose weight in a short amount of time. It says you can lose one to two pounds per week on average. Although you won’t be able to try out its product before buying, it does offer a 7-day money-back guarantee. Most individuals have been happy with the taste of the food, the variety of meal options, and that the program is generally simple to understand and start off with. While most do seem satisfied with the meals’ taste, we did notice some reviewers using adjectives such as "too-sweet," "too-salty," and "cardboard-y." We recommend that you try the meals and keep in mind you have 14 days to return meals and cancel your plan if you are unsatisfied. 

Like most meal plans, it isn't sustainable for long periods of time, but the hope is that it teaches portion control and helps get your health back on track. And while Nutrisystem meals are relatively cheap compared to other meal plans, it would be expensive if you did this diet long term. 

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Courtney Indianapolis, IN

I just finished week 2 of Nutrisystem. I'm a 33 year old female, I was 151.6lbs when I started, I'm down to 148.6. I've been working out roughly 3-4 times a week for 30 min too, but it's sporadic. On the weekends I've been going out for dinners and had some wine too so I think it's working absolutely fine for what I need, which is thoughtless dieting. Pros: 1. It's awesomely thoughtless. I just grab what I need for the day and go. 2. Everything is labeled Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack. BAM, simple. 3. It has helped me narrow my food intake by alot, without having to really "count" calories. 4. NO COOKING. There is either heating it in the microwave or eating it out of the package 5. Most things are decently tasty considering it's food that's packaged with a long shelf life. 6. I travel ALOT, so it's helped me streamline not eating out or having something on hand 7. I can carry it anywhere. No frozen mess, no refrigeration needed. Cons: 1. The daily plan is kind of confusing. They spend more time emphasizing things like NuMi than they do really going over what you should be eating - because it says on top of their food you're supposed to be getting veggies and some protein. I just eat the meals and if i can find a good supplement veggie or meat i add it, if not then oh well. 2. It is the MRE of food. If you're a health nut, don't look at the ingredients because it's all preservatives (I still think it's worth the trade for convenience for someone like me that doesn't have time to find things like "quinoa" and spend 45min making a one course meal) 3. They auto order for you. So you can choose to 'delay' an order online but you have to call them to stop it. I didn't even get a chance to try everything so I would know what I liked and didn't like before the second order came in, which was kind of annoying. Oh and be ready for the auto $260 charge. 4. Not enough snacks per plan. Eating 2 a day I ran out by the end of week 2. You're "supposed" to find healthy snacks to supplement but I'd rather have the appropriate amount of 2x/day snackage.

6 years ago

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Alicia Holman Gilbert, AZ

I've used this program several times and my biggest issue is the food isn't fresh enough. I don't mind having prepackaged dinners, but I wish they had the option for fresher ones. I also think they need to flavor the food a little without adding calories.

4 years ago

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Shari Evers Lehi, UT

I love idea of nutrisystem, but the food is unrealistic. It’s something that helped and was torture during its use, but wasn’t something I could continue using.

4 years ago


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Sarah VanLeuven Orem, UT

Ordered a kit for a month received food for a week. Pretty disappointed in variety, quantity and communication.

1 year ago


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KS Orem, UT

It didn't work for me. It's too expensive. The meals and shakes are nasty!

1 year ago