Nutrisystem: Reviews and Cost

By Jim F

Nutrisystem is arguably the most affordable diet delivery program, but does the lower cost mean a less effective weight loss program?

We examine the Nutrisystem program and outline some of the issues you need to be aware of.

What You Get For Your Money

Nutrisystem is a diet delivery program that includes both fresh-frozen foods and well as their traditional re-heat meals. Costs are between $8.90 and $11.04 per day (around $240-$300 per month).

  • Basic Plan – Pre-selected ready-to-go food.
  • Core Plan – An additional 100 foods available (choose your own).
  • Uniquely Yours Plan – An additional 150 foods available (choose your own – including frozen foods).

With each plan:

  • Orders are placed on their website and food items are shipped your door free of charge.
  • 24-7 phone access to nutrition support and counseling (not available with basic plan).
  • Access to online tools and community.
  • Transition plans also available after reaching goal weight.

Cancellation Process

Nutrisystem offers a 14-day free trial whereby the customer can cancel and receive a refund (less shipping costs). However, if cancelling after the 14 days AND before the second month is shipped, a $99.00 fee is charged to the customer.

Does Nutrisystem Compare?
With the 28-day autoship option, it is cheaper than Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and significantly cheaper than other diet delivery options.

Nutrisystem Programs

  • Women’s Programs – 28 day plan
  • Men’s Programs – 28 day plan
  • Nutrisystem D – Diabetic Plan – 28 day plan for managing Type 2 Diabetes (Men’s and Women’s version available). See more about Nutrisystem D here.
  • Vegetarian

NOTE: Nutrisystem Flex is still available but is no longer promoted. Flex supplies 20 days of meals per month – leaving weekends for you to choose your own food.

Turbo 10

The first week always includes set meals, and two shakes (per day). This is a stricter first week to kickstart initial fat loss.

40% off

Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem

Both of these diets are about pre-packaged foods and portion-controlled weight loss. Jenny Craig prices do vary and are often difficult to obtain.

Nutrisystem Jenny Craig at Home
Description 28 Day Auto Delivery One month Premium Success
Content Varies 12 days ready-to-go food and 16 days of frozen.
Shipping Costs Free (*with 28 day order) $130.00
Membership Fees Free $50.00
Food Costs $240-$300 $572.24
Counseling Support Yes – Telephone Yes – Telephone and in-person

What You Need to Know

The average customer stays for 9.5 weeks.

Nutrisystem conducted a trial of 161 people. Dieters lost 8.3 pounds in a month (compared with only 2.8 pounds on a self-directed weight loss diet).

Nutrisystem will help you get back on track, but is not a permanent answer. After finishing your stint with Nutrisystem you still must learn to eat healthy.

Food Options

As long as you are on a self-selection plan, the food options are huge. However there is a great rating system where you can see how others have rated each meal. It’s important to understand the part of the program is the addition of your own vegetables and fruit.

nutrisystem-entree

The taste of the food seems to be… well… a matter of taste. Some people are happy with it, while other (typically more vocal customers) do not think much of the taste.To be honest, given the price of the food, be aware of how high you set your expectations. Other popular food delivery programs start at $675 per month!

Nutritional Aspects and Criticisms

The Nutrisystem is based around metabolic type.

Daily calorie amounts vary from 1200 to 1500, and each days food consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks. The macro-nutrient ratios are approximately 55% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 20% fats.

In recent years there has been considerable improvement in food quality. None of the meals have any trans-fat or high fructose corn syrup. Nutrisystem have been criticized for the amount of sodium in their food. They have addressed this in recent years and customers can expect around 2000mg/day sodium if on a Nutrisystem plan. This is consistent with current dietary guidelines that suggest a maximum of 2300mg/day.

Alcohol should be avoided, but tea, coffee, and diet sodas are okay.

Exercise is fully recommended with beginner, intermediate, and advanced workout plans available.

So… Will You Lose Weight?

Yes.

The diet is reduced calories, and clinical trials undertaken by Nutrisystem have shown significant weight loss (on the newer programs using the Turbo 10 start).

Most diets eventually reach a plateau, but there some simple tricks you can use to break the plateau.

Nutrisystem is an economical way of losing weight, with very little time investment. However if the taste of food is not to your liking, be prepared to pay around 2-4 times more for other delivered diets.

Comments have been closed. Unfortunately we cannot verify the accuracy of comments (both pro and con).

175 Comments

  1. maria

    Nutrisystem has worked for me in the past. The only part I would criticize is that the turbo shakes and other shakes recommended for the first week were so high in fiber that I found myself with terrible stomach and colon problems because of it. I stopped the first week of shakes and was then fine but I didn’t lose the 5 pounds either. Their regular shakes are good. The food is good other than the breakfast foods in the basic plan which are foods like very dry:muffins, coffee cake, and donuts, for example. The most interesting food is dinner. They get you to spend more money by buying frozen foods. I tend to lose weight slowly on this diet because I have to go out to eat. i’d like to be able to order their foods without having to commit to a specific plan and pay more.

  2. jennifer

    I am 41 years old, weigh 161 pounds and I am 5ft 2 in tall. As I have gotten older diets dobnot work as well as they once did when I was younger. Should I try this diet Nad do you think it would work. I would live to know the age of the other success stories..if possible.

  3. Henna

    I am looking for somebody who can ship me Nutrisystem, Vancouver BC. Nutrisystem is not available in Canada 🙁 I really need to lose 40 pounds.

  4. Henna

    I want to try this Nutrisystem kit for a month but I live in Canada, Vancouver any suggestion how can I get them here? Help Plz

    • anna

      Walmart? Ebay?

  5. terrie nitardy

    I would love to loose weight, but the cost is still too high.
    I wouldn’t be able to feed my family with buying both.

  6. Cathy

    Just finishing the first week of Turbo 10. In 6 days I have lost 6 lbs! What I love most is the boaty feeling is completely gone. I need to lose about 30 lbs total so I plan on about a 3 month program. The food tastes really good and because there is no “planning” involved, for me, this makes the diet a no brainier. There are, like all diets, a day or so when I wish I could indulge in a “real meal”. But, let’s face it, aren’t all diets like that? The price for the diet is very very very affordable. I mean, seriously, just about $12.00 per day? A months worth of food costs me $314.00…complete!. I ordered directly fro the company. The food, both the packed and frozen, arrived quickly and very well packaged. The fact that I must commit to 60 days without a $99 cancellation fee is fine with me. If the food is in the cupboard, and already paid for, then I am more likely to stay on track.
    I am a believer.

  7. Barbara

    Don’t buy directly from Nutrisystem! Beware of the ‘deals’!! I bought the Turbo Ten and decided I didn’t want to continue the program, I just didn’t like it. There was no way to cancel online, hmmmmm, so I called. They said if I didn’t get a second month at over $300 I would owe them $99 for the first month of food because I got ‘discounts’. They said it was in the terms. Who reads the fine print?? I now have to choke down a second month of protein bars because I’m not paying $99 for nothing!

    • laura

      Totally agreed!!! What a rip off!!!
      It shows what kind a company we are dealing with!!!

    • Jim F

      As stated above, cancellations are refunded (provided they are within 14 days, and food returned). However if you have consumed over 2 weeks of the food, and then ask for a cancellation BEFORE the second months is billed – Nutrisystem will charge a $99 cancellation fee. This is listed in the Nutrisystem FAQ and in the terms. The implication is clear: if it’s not for you, you have 2 weeks to make up your mind – otherwise commit to 2 months to see if the program works.

  8. Consuelo Greene

    I love Nutri-system. I buy it from Walmart and with my fast paste lifestyle. Working and eating on the run. I bring it with me. I am strictly to the diet 5days and will admit I do cheat on the weekends. Not bad. Like having a bowl of ice-cream no sugar. I have a cup and still have lost weight. I have lost totally for 3 months. 33lbs. Still on it too. I wish more of a selection was in the stores. Though

  9. cathy zanzig

    wish they had more os a selection in stores, this is the only way i could afford to buy it on a weekly bases. it only cost me 45 a week. can’t afford the one lump sum a month.

  10. Lynn

    I purchased the ” jumpstart ” at WalMart on Sunday and started it Monday. Most of the food has a very BAD taste. I tried to sign on to the counseling and the site is NOT up yet? I have only lost 1/2 pound, and I have measured everything and started on the treadmill, absolutely NO cheating. Can not recommend Nutrisystem!

    • Ted

      But, this review is not about the Walmart version, but the version straight from Nutrisystem itself.

      • ang

        There shouldn’t be a big difference between the two to me it all comes from nutrisystem.

  11. Neill Carleton

    If I were to join, and I probably will as I need to loose wt., the total cost of food, both yours and any vegetables would be about 250-300 dollars total or would that just be for your stuff? I am diabetic and living on social security so money is tight and real expense is very important but so is loosing wt with my diabetes.

    • Ted

      Hi Neill, That is the cost of just their food. You would have to spend some more money on fresh veggies and fruit.

  12. Faye Pack

    Is it alright to use any can products…like green beans with low sodium….if so ..can you tell me what other can vegetables you can use to get the vegetable servings in you need for you daily intake that you need..?

    • Ted

      Any non-starchy canned vegetables are good, spinach, peas, green beans etc.

  13. Alex Lopez

    Puerto Rico is included in this plan

  14. Faye Pack

    I just finished the Fast 5 on Nutrisystem.. I have lost 6 Lbs..Was wondering can you drink decaf coffee with a tiny bit of unsweetened almond milk/with truvia the natures calorie free sweeteners? I drink 12 glasses of water a day..but didn’t know if decaf coffee was allowed..( I do not like coffee black)….I have not had any on the fast 5 at all…but I am missing my decaf coffee..Not a soda drinker at all…but do miss my decaf coffee …Thanks!

    • Ted

      Hi Faye, You can have your decaf as described since it would only deliver such a tiny amount of calories.

      • Faye Pack

        Thanks so much Ted….I Love Nutrisystem…..Really make you aware of portion control…

  15. Janet

    I’ve lost 21 pounds in 43 days on Nutrisystem. I think it’s GREAT. Is the food fabulous? No. There are a few things I’d consider tasty (I have not had any frozen items yet), and a couple of things I just would not eat again (the cheese tortellini was awful!). but all in all their meals are OK. Breakfasts are good, the lunch bars are good, the chili is tasty, ham and bean soup is really good.. I guess you can figure out what you like. My philosophy is: this is MEDICINE that is curing me of my obesity DISEASE. And it’s working. It’s getting me VERY used to eating much smaller portions (ie, the portion size I should have been eating all along), and eating lots more veggies. I have a lot to lose, so I’m going to stick with it as long as I can.

    • Lanita

      I’ve lost 26lbs in 2 months. I’m on the Uniquely yours plan. The frozen foods are great. It costs me about 300.00 a month plus veg.and fruit. I love it. I have 95 more lb to go. I figure it will take a year all together.

  16. Jolene

    Also Ida the sodium would be terrible for your cholesterol

  17. Jolene

    Well from what I’ve been reading it seems to be high in sodium. I don’t know with your heart problems if nutrisystem is a good fit for you ask your doctor

    • Jolene

      I was talking to ida

  18. Ida Petrosky

    Investigating this system. Would like to find out more about this. To see if this is for me. I am a senior citizen of 75 years old and numerous health issues including heart (had open heart surgery), and one functioning kidney and high cholesterol. Am needing to try to correct at least the cholesterol and put less stress on my one remaining kidney.

    • Jolene

      I’m on disability and would love to go on nutrisystem but I can’t afford those prices is there anything you can do for me. Thank you Jolene

  19. Ginger

    When I received most recent 28-day auto delivery, it included 13 pizzas. Don’t know who chooses what food items to be sent, but obviously someone who eats pizza every other day–not me! Nutrisystem offered to replace the food I don’t want, however, it is my responsibility to ship these items back to them. Not worth the cost. I will donate to homeless shelter or just pitch. Their advertised “big variety” of food items really sucks.

    • petera

      WoW..can’t believe they are Still doing this…I ordered one-thing. They continued to send what they wanted too. I told them I don’t have this kinda-time to keep sending this through the mail. I work e.r.-nights…they Advertise-food that’s not Always–listed!! Thou- it does work., but I don’t have that kind-of time or the money to waist on that nasty-macaroni and cheese they kept sending. ~~~they got-on-my-nerves big-time!!

  20. Polly Kanto

    Will you please stop it with the incessant Marie Osmond commercials? They are on TV to the point of obnoxiousness. People are just getting sick of them, way too much overkill!!! You are turning off people rather than attracting them because they are sick of her by now.

  21. Gina

    I started NS 3 day’s ago, the first two day’s I experienced severe gas/stomach pains- thank god for gas pills. I have found the food not to be all that bad with the exception of the lunch meals particularly the ones in the pouches – I think it’s more of a texture thing than a taste issue. So 3 days into it and I have lost 4.5 lbs and the gas pains seem to be vanishing. I will wait and see if my thoughts are the same come 4 weeks from now.

    • Ann

      Yes, gave me the worst gas but I’m lactose intolerant mostly from the shakes!! Beware if you’re lactose intolerant!!

  22. Jim

    I’ve been on it for a week. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the food in my view. I love the convenience of it – and that’s key for me so far because frankly, the subtle nuances of food aren’t the most important thing in my life. For me, simplicity is the ticket.

    • Lanita

      Have you tried making baking sweet potatoes frys to go along with the burger. Yum

  23. Amy

    IT SUCKS! The food is inedible! I threw so much of it away. Even the snacks and desserts sucked. I cancelled and will never looked back. This is the third time I tried and and I’m done!

    • carmen peters

      I have been on this diet for two weeks, have lost 3 lbs…the food is so full of bread, pasta, sodium, and a lot of processed food…Today I brought one of the soups for lunch and was shocked…ramen noodles. I have called them and expressed my disappointment politely…..Nutrition-not System would be a better name for this company.

      • Jim F

        Have you tried a more expensive delivered diet? Given the price point of Nutrisystem, I’m not sure how you can expect anything other than processed food (although they do have more expensive frozen options).

    • stacy

      I went through the same as you. 3 times and I was done too! Food is terrible. And so be it for a full refund. It never happened!

    • Ann

      I know, the food not so great but this is my second time on Nutrisystem and if you can get through with it does work it’s better than South Beach which is a lot of work 🙁

  24. Walter williams

    I love nutrisystem…I was on it for about 5 months, lost almost 50 pounds, learned portion control and after 2 1/2 years off nutrisystem I’ve not gained any weight back…I modified some of the food flavors by adding my own flavorings…a few spices, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce, chili powder…balsamic vinegar and low fat dressings and butter substitutes are great things to have on hand to “spice up” the flavor of the meals.

    • Margaret Bordeaux

      I was on the Nutrisystem for 28 days. I walked one mile a day and did 20 minutes of exercise daily. I Lost one lb. and one inch. I called the Support Team and they said to add more meat and fruit. I still did not loss. I think they should refund half my money. Very Disappointed.

Comments are closed.

References

  • Gudzune, K. A., Doshi, R. S., Mehta, A. K., Chaudhry, Z. W., Jacobs, D. K., Vakil, R. M., ... & Clark, J. M. (2015). Efficacy of commercial weight-loss programs: an updated systematic review. Annals of internal medicine, 162(7), 501-512.