Does Nutrisystem work?

Posted By on Aug 26, 2013


Does Nutrisystem work?

Well, is it an effective and healthy way to eat?

My immediate response?

It’s NOT a great way to eat, and I’ll be explaining exactly why I feel that why in this article.

I have some troubling information to share with you, and some of it may make you angry, especially if you bought into the whole “Nutrisystem” program.

First off, I’d like to say that this is not necessarily a direct shot at the Nutrisystem corporation, but rather at the entire “mainstream health food industry” as a whole.

I am in no way here to make the Nutrisystem empire crumble; rather, I’m showing facts so that you (the consumer) can weigh your options when choosing a correct food plan.

Nutrisystem is just one of the many that are out there today, and for many reasons (as you will soon see), I feel that it is also the most misleading.

It’s has become very apparent that “fad diet plans” have taken over the health scene over the past 50 or so years, and it’s all getting to be a bit too much.

As a health coach, I hate seeing these types of approaches used. They’re immoral, misleading, and they cost a lot of money!

My goal today is to depict and debunk Nutrisystem simply because I feel that it is not a good way to go about eating.

Let’s start with some of the basics…

How does Nutrisystem “claim” to work?

According to their website data, this is their “claim to fame.” These are actual words taken from their website. I have italicized it all below.

“With decades of weight loss research and understanding behind us, we know what works. And this knowledge, in combination with a keen focus on the future of living healthy, has helped us design a solid strategy for success.”

Nutrisystem is based on 40 years of science (I find this hard to believe) 

• Designed using the nutritional guidelines of national health organizations.

• Backed by Glycemic Index for optimal weight loss and ultimate satisfaction.

• Supported by Scientific Advisory Board—leading experts in obesity treatment.

Nutrisystem provides the perfect balance of structure and convenience (again, hard to believe)

• Receive portion controlled meals delivered to your door.

• Follow balanced meal plans that teach healthy habits for life.

• Get Daily Planners and Grocery Guides to help make eating healthy easier.

• Enjoy access to interactive tools, trackers and unparalleled support.

It all sounds great, and to be completely fair, some of this information above is true, but I call BS on most of it.

What I believe is correct and true regarding the Nutrisystem claims

  • Yes, they do seem to work with certain health organizations, but these (from my experiences in research) are usually accompanied by large monetary payoffs.
  • Yes, they do deliver your food – pretty convenient.
  • Yes, they do provide grocery guides (but honestly, most people shop incorrectly, and from what I’ve seen, Nutrisystem goes about it all wrong).
  • Yes, they do operate on a somewhat “glycemic control” level, but it’s still bunk science in my opinion, and here’s why.

Nutrisystem is junk food – plain and simple

This guy must be absolutely crazy!

Claiming that a “health food plan” is unhealthy!?

The nerve of this guy Joey from Versatile Health! 

Well, I’m sorry my friends, but it’s true, and if you’re eating something as processed as many of the Nutrisystem products, you may as well be sitting in line at a drive through window.

How do I know this to be true?

I did something that most people aren’t doing – I READ THE PRODUCTS!

All I did was read the ingredient labels, and it took me all of about 2 seconds to realize that these Nutrisystem products are very unhealthy.

Hell, most Nutrisystem products aren’t even real food.

Let’s take a look at why that is, shall we?

Below are some snapshots that I took directly from their website to prove an extremely valid point.

Actual Nutrisystem productsdoes nutrisystem actually work1 Does Nutrisystem work?nutrisystem is junk food Does Nutrisystem work?nutrisystem nutrisystem Does Nutrisystem work?Last I checked, “healthy food items” should’t have so many ingredients and preservatives within them. When “food” begins sounding like some kind of crazy science experiment, it shouldn’t be eaten – period!

Something that I have preached for a very long time is the 5 ingredient or less rule. In other words, keep the foods you buy comprised of no more than 5 ingredients. Nutrisystem definitely doesn’t fall into this category. Just look at those lists above! They sound like ingredients on “how to make a bomb!”

A good example of how you SHOULD eat

If you buy a chicken from the store already cooked and prepared, a good selection may have ingredients like: olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and real butter. Do you see how anybody can recognize these ingredients? This is food, and this is what the body likes!

So maybe you’re not an ingredient reader like me, and to that I say that you’re definitely NOT eating correctly and/or leading a healthy lifestyle if you’re blindly consuming foods which can be loaded with items like the ones listed above.

Nutrisystem does not have a solid grasp on food quality, and that is very apparent after the research I’ve done.

Need further convincing?

No problem! I’ve gone ahead and done some research on the toxic effects of these Nutrisystem ingredients.

The research that PROVES Nutrisystem ingredients can be harmful

(These are clickable links)

All of this to prove some extremely crucial points.

You see, Nutrisystem includes these ingredients in many of their products, so one must wonder how they can be considered “healthy?”

I picked these exact ones because I have research them all heavily over the years, and have found some troubling evidence, and that’s not even all of the ones listen in many of the Nutrisystem products.

So what does this mean?

It’s simple actually…

Nutrisystem loads their food with preserved and very fake “food-like” items. It’s easy to see that items with ingredient lists like these are not going to be good for the body.

What more people need to realize is that the human body only recognizes and likes to deal with REAL food, not “food-like” food.

When chemicals, preservatives, and harmful ingredients are introduced into the body by consumption, bad things can start to happen. Just look at our current disease rates across the globe – it’s insane, and much of it has to do with poor food selections.

So how are these types of foods able to sell?

That is also very easy to understand…

Who remembers Clarissa (AKA Melissa Joan Hart)?

Nutrisystem Melissa Joan Hart Does Nutrisystem work?Image source: Nutrisystem website

What about Mr. Dan Marino? Dan Marino Nutrisystem Does Nutrisystem work?Image source: Nutrisystem website

It’s marketing tactics like these that sell products, and that is very easy to see and understand.

Obviously it’s good to have celebrities endorse such products – it always been a genius strategy, and it always works.

I’d be willing to bet that both Melissa and Dan don’t eat Nutrisystem at all…ever!

When money enters the picture, there are always going to be tons of credited individuals who will jump on board, and this is very prevalent with celebrities that haven’t been around or heard of for a while.

When was the last time that anybody truly kept on top of what Melissa Joan Hart was up to?

She had her hits in the 90′s, and she is definitely a successful actress, but now she’s back, and is endorsing Nutrisystem – bad move Clarissa.

But hey, I can’t really say that I wouldn’t do the same if $1 million we’re on the table. I’ve never been in that position before, so I can’t really say exactly how I’d react either. Money is crazy, and it always will have a huge influence on people’s decisions.

How you should go about eating and living in general

I have said this all for a very long time, and the truth is that there is only ONE way to look and feel great, and it has absolutely nothing to do with some prepared food plan. It’s all very simple.

It goes like this…

    • Clean eating – organic fruits and vegetables, few ingredients, REAL food.
    • Water – no juice, soda, diet drinks or sugar laden selections. The body needs and wants water – period.
    • Exercise – but this doesn’t mean jumping on a treadmill for 2 hours. I’m talking core training, building muscle to incinerate fat, and boosting your metabolism.
    • Consuming more fat – organic coconut oil is a great choice. I eat it every day.
    • Juicing organic fruits and vegetables. I’ve been doing this for 2 years now, and it makes a HUGE difference. It is a great way to get organic raw fruits and vegetables into the body.
    • Really limiting your grain intake. You can get plenty of your carbohydrates from other sources like vegetables. Grains (wheat in particular) have been proven to be dangerous for a lot of people. Try cutting grains out of your diet completely to see what happens. For many, simply cutting grains out of the diet is their key to feeling awesome.
    • Mental health – meditation.
    • Movement – sometimes just walking around the block is enough to get the heart pumping. Today, people are very stagnant in their routines, and this is causing many problems.

What I find troubling is that people are not willing to make these very crucial changes in their lives, which means that they’re probably never going to get anywhere in regard to their health.

“For the most part, people are looking for that “magic pill” that’s going to change their lives dramatically. Unfortunately, that pill will never exist.”does nutrisystem work Does Nutrisystem work?Can you see a difference with Nutrisystem?

To be honest with you? Sure, if you’re heavily restricting your caloric intake, watching your glycemic load, and exercising on top of that, you may see some changes, but I can guarantee that you will not be leading a healthy lifestyle. This is not a pure way to go about food selections.

As you can tell from the recipe selections that I have provided earlier, these items are heavily processes. With time, the intake of such foods can end up showing very undesirable outcomes. “FOOD” should be nourishing, not filled with junk to preserve it.

Rememeber: REAL food spoils, fake food is manufactured with shelf life in mind.

Nutrisystem is a company, and is a pretty smart one too.

Structuring meal plans for people to KEEP buying is genius – talk about hooking a customer for a long time!

They operate just like every other company across the globe, as they are monetarily driven. If people begin to see some type of change from eating in this fashion, they’ll be a customer for a long time. It’s very smart.

The other thing I want people to realize is that much of the change that accompanies these meal plans comes from an increased exercise output as well.

You see, when people get in the zone to “be healthy,” they start working really hard for a short period of time – I’m victim to this as well.

The weight changes and muscle gain that one can typically experience while engaged in this type of behavior can very well be from extra work at the gym.

These “meal plan customers” are then convinced that these new “pre-packaged meals” they’re getting in the mail are god’s gift to assist in their weight loss goals, when that’s totally not the case.

Am I completely knocking Nutrisystem?

In a sense, I guess you can say yes, but as stated previously, I’m taking a shot at the entire “healthy meal plan” industry as a whole.

I truly believe that people have gotten lost in a sea of garbage and junk regarding health information, and they’re willing to try anything to look and feel better.

Just last week, I saw a commercial on TV advertising a product that you can literally sprinkle on top of your junk food to lose weight.

Is this for real? Are people actually buying this junk? How can anybody realistically expect this type of stuff to work?

It truly boggles my mind!

I too have jumped through many of these BS meal plans, techniques, and fake products over the years, and can honestly say that they’re all horrible. I’ve never actually tried Nutrisystem, and I don’t plan on it. By the looks of those ingredient labels, I’ll be staying far away from anything they make.

It has taken me close to a decade to filter out all of the garbage I was eating, and most of it was done through pure dedication. I have put in serious time to understand food, and in the end am confident that I eat very well.

  • I eat very clean.
  • I exercise close to everyday
  • I meditate
  • I don’t eat mass amounts of sugar
  • I drink filtered water
  • I think positive
  • I limit my grain intake
  • I eat a lot of fat! Coconut oil and animal fat.
  • I eat organic as much as possible
  • I juice organic fruits and vegetables
  • I walk
  • I cook my meals
  • I take high quality supplements
  • I laugh as much as possible
  • I don’t eat meals from a box

This is what it takes!

And if you’re not willing to take such avenues, then you probably won’t get very far.

I hate being so blunt and honest, but it’s the truth. It’s really time that people start being exposed to this type of information on a mass level.

Right now, lots of this information is still all very underground, and that needs to change.

The one thing I actually like about Nutrisystem

The only aspect of this meal plan that I actually like is the glycemic awareness that it promotes. I am very aware of my glycemic load when eating certain foods, so I like that others a preaching this type of information.

The thing is that if one is truly wanting to get on top of their glycemic (blood sugar) levels, they should’t be eating things like sugar, fructose syrup, wheat, breads, pasta, and all of that sugary madness. Unfortunately, Nutrisystem doesn’t cater to these crucial areas of wellness. These are ingredients in many of their food selections. They have a cinnamon roll selection that I wouldn’t ever recommend a diabetic (or pre-diabetic) to eat. Actually, I would’t recommend that anybody eat such a product.

For those who don’t know, type 2 diabetes is entirely reversible and preventable.

Most of the time, once diabetic patients get in line with a more clean style of eating and living, their symptoms can subside and in some cases, completely disappear. I understand that this is a very hard concept to grasp, but trust me, most of what the medical system discusses in relation to diabetes (and disease in general) is total junk. Just don’t rely on Nutrisystem to help control your diabetes, I wouldn’t put any money on that bet.

The overall cost of Nutrisystem

So, how much does it really cost?

If at this point, you still want to press forward with trying Nutrisystems out, that’s totally fine. I obviously wouldn’t recommend it, but hey, we’re all in charge of our own choices and decisions.

Based on their website data, you can go about eating within the Nutrisystem meal plan for about 10 bucks a day on average. That’s not horrible, but it’s not all that great considering that the food is not of good quality. I typically spend (on average) about 12 to 15 bucks a day on food on quality food, and that’s for about 3 meals.

  • Organic sweet potatoes – $3.00
  • Organic greens – $3.00
  • 6 – 8 ounces of high quality meat – $5.00
  • Gallon of water – $1.00
  • Piece of organic fruit – $1.00

Same price of the Nutrisystem food plan, but much better as far as quality goes.

Can we at least agree on that?

Now I don’t eat this same thing everyday, but you can start to see how it is all possible. I eat very clean food, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like everybody thinks.

I mix and match my selections and vary it throughout the week, and I do it all within a reasonable amount. Organic food does NOT cost as much as everybody thinks.

Nutrisystem costs Does Nutrisystem work?

This is how I believe everybody should look at their food selections. If more people went about their diets in this manner, the world would be a lot better off.

Did you know that cancer is a giant business?

It’s true, and with this people must also understand that “a cure” will probably never surface for the simple reason that the disease makes so much money.

Why cure or fix something that rakes in billions upon billions of dollars annually?

I really hate to say it, but many of the ingredients found within the Nutrisystem products can actually cause cancer. The links that I had provided a bit earlier prove this to be true.

Food should’t cause disease, it should prevent it. And although this is simply my opinion, I believe that it is a serious point to make. If a food product has countless amounts of toxic ingredients within it, that product will not assist the body in feeling better, it will do the exact opposite. Thus, [putting the body in a state of “DIS-ease.”

In all fairness, I think it’s important that you see exactly how this plan works if you want to try it out. After all, I want to give as much of an unbiased approach as I can…

More information on how Nutrisystem works

Below is a breakdown of what you’ll get with each plan. Nutrisystem success snapshot Does Nutrisystem work?Image source: Nutrisystem website

Nutrisystem ingredients Does Nutrisystem work?Image source: Nutrisystem website

Now this section of their website kind of pisses me off for the simple reason of how misleading it is. They claim NO artificial sweeteners or additives, yet the use ingredients like SUCRALOSE and chemically engineered food colorings.

I really hate when companies make moves like these because it’s so immoral. Labeling an unhealthy food as something that is good for the body should be illegal, but unfortunately, our food industry doesn’t work in such a manner.

The Nutrisystem approach to Diabetes

Guess what? Nutrisystem “caters” to diabetics as well, but I don’t buy it!

I have coached many diabetics over the years, and one thing I often always advise is the avoidance of grain products. Unfortunately, Nutrisystem doesn’t see it all in the same light as myself. Below is a selection from their menu that I still consider “carb heavy,” and something that I would’t recommend anybody to eat. Nutrisystem diabetes Does Nutrisystem work?Image source: Nutrisystem website

I can literally go on and on about the downsides to following the Nutrisystem food plan, but I think you get the picture by now.

The purpose of this article was to bring much needed awareness to light.

Those who are struggling to lose weight and feel better are being bombarded with horrible health information everyday, and it’s all too confusing. It’s actually a lot more simple than most think. Lead a simple, clean, and pure life, and your body will look and feel amazing.

If you think about where the human form (as we know it today) has come from, you can see that we’re programmed to actually be healthy.

During the early human years, we were pretty damn healthy.

Sure, our lifespans were much shorter, but that wasn’t because of the food we were eating, it was because we were living in caves, being hunted by lions, had no hospitals, and overall were exposed to very harsh environments.

During Paleolithic times, the human form was in peak condition, and I think people today can learn from this style of living and eating. This is also why I’m a big fan of the Paleo diet for the simple reason that it stresses purity, organic, and REAL food.

Yea, I know, trendy food plans suck, and most of them are pretty horrible. So if you’re not one of those people that is going to jump on board, just keep in mind that eating clean REAL food should be your only priority.

Want to eat grains?

No problem. Just make sure you’re eating a very high quality selection. Take bread for example, I eat it occasionally, and when I do, I make sure it’s organic, sprouted, and made with very high quality ingredients. There are healthy ways to go about eating the foods were not really “supposed to eat,” so make sure you take all of that into account.

I’m a firm believer in paying for my health now (good quality food), rather than later through health costs.

I actually had a great experience not too long ago…

An older gentleman at the store comment on my food selections just the other day. He was my checker, and he saw all of the organic food I was buying. At first, he looked at me like I was some type of weird science experiment.

Checker: “How old are you?”

Me: “I’m 28 sir”

Checker: “Wow! At your age, there’s no way I was taking care of my body like you are, I commend you on your decisions. You’re smart to take care of your body now, I’m paying the price now because I didn’t at an early age like you.”

Me: “I appreciate that sir, but I have to say, it’s never too late to change. You made my day with that comment, here’s my card, I’ll help you get to a better level at no charge, give me a call.”

I never heard from him, I can only hope that he takes the initiative and gives me a call one day.

Why you should be more concerned with food quality

It’s easy to heat up a hot pocket, or throw a box in the microwave, but with these “quick and easy” habits are grave consequences. If you haven’t noticed by now, disease rates are sky high! Nutrisystem heart disease Does Nutrisystem work?

What about cancer?Nutrisystem diet Does Nutrisystem work?I’d say that these numbers are pretty alarming, wouldn’t you? And it gets much worse…

Why is it that people aren’t truly looking at the source of these problems?

All of this research put out in today’s science community, and they can’t publicize that FOOD is a common denominator in many of the disease cases.

To me, it really doesn’t matter that this year, or the year previous, our country has had a slight decrease in disease statistics, because overall, it’s still a huge problem.

If you have something as bad as cancer, try asking your doctor about your diet, and see what he or she says…

I strongly doubt that your MD will provide you with valuable insight as to what you should be eating to cure or fix your condition. I can recall one of my doctors always having a diet coke on his desk every time I’d visit him. One day, I brought it to his attention that the drink he so obviously loves can actually cause cancer – he laughed.

I then emailed him my research on the subject, and although impressed with my knowledge, he still didn’t stop drinking them. Unfortunately, this is the attitdude that most people have today.

The final word with Nutrisystem

Come on people! Don’t be lazy! Cook your own food, and don’t eat from a box. Nutrisystem doesn’t offer anything that a fast food restaurant does’t already offer.

Eat clean, cook your food, and take purity into consideration. There are NO shortcuts!

Fuel your body correctly and stop falling for all of this junk that  our media so openly portrays. Nutrisystem is junk, and you don’t need it in your life to be healthy and well. Getting to where you want to be in regard to your health is much closer than you may think, all it takes is a little “thinking outside the box.”

Thanks for reading my two cents on this debatable topic. I hope you enjoyed this article. Please share it! icon smile Does Nutrisystem work?

Joey Cardillo Does Nutrisystem work?

 Joey Cardillo 

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9 Comments

  1. Thanks Joey, for confirming what I suspected all along. Never have tried Nutrisystem, but couldn't understand how a 30 day supply of "food" could be shipped to you without containing tons of preservatives and "crap" to extend the shelf life. I wonder how many people ever go so far as to actually read those ingredients. I believe the "small print" in their ads indicate the need to supplement with healthy fruits and vegetables. I'm sorry, if I'm having to go out and buy fruits and vegetables to supplement the product, why not just eat the fruits and veggies on their own? That's a red flag to me that their "food"isn't nutritious (or healthy). As usual, your information is very reliable and just makes sense. I've slowly made the switch to organic, and I try to live by your 5-ingredient rule. It's difficult to always avoid the processed stuff completely, but it's now the exception not the rule, and it's working… with exercise, I'm on my way to weighing less than I did before I was married, and feeling heatlhier than I have in along time. Keep up the good work!

    Post a Reply
  2. Thanks Joey, for confirming what I suspected all along. Never have tried Nutrisystem, but couldn't understand how a 30 day supply of "food" could be shipped to you without containing tons of preservatives and "crap" to extend the shelf life. I wonder how many people ever go so far as to actually read those ingredients. I believe the "small print" in their ads indicate the need to supplement with healthy fruits and vegetables. I'm sorry, if I'm having to go out and buy fruits and vegetables to supplement the product, why not just eat the fruits and veggies on their own? That's a red flag to me that their "food"isn't nutritious (or healthy). As usual, your information is very reliable and just makes sense. I've slowly made the switch to organic, and I try to live by your 5-ingredient rule. It's difficult to always avoid the processed stuff completely, but it's now the exception not the rule, and it's working… with exercise, I'm on my way to weighing less than I did before I was married, and feeling heatlhier than I have in along time. Keep up the good work!

    Post a Reply
  3. Fantastic post however , I was wondering if you
    could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a
    little bit more. Appreciate it!

    Post a Reply
  4. Yes it works I've lost almost 50 pounds in 7 months. The food is not as flavorful as regular food since it is low in fat, salt and sugar. There is little meat and bread in the diet. And after the first three months, the price dropped to $240 for 28 days worth of food, about $8.50 a day.

    You can substitute regular food items of equal colorie amounts for the Nutrisystems food at times if you get tired of the Nutrisystems food. I buy Lean Cusine and Weight Watchers frozen dinners at the supermarket once in a while. I dine out once in a while but limit the size and calories of what I eat to stay within the calorie limit for the day.

    I should reach my target weight after 15 months.

    It won't work if you look for excuses to give up and blame the taste of the food, the calorie limits, the cost etc.

    It only works if you are determined and stay on it for the long haul. You didn't put the weight on overnight, it won't come off overnight. There is no quick fix. You have to make a full commitment to staying on the diet and limiting your calorie intake.

    You have learn to change what you eat and how much you eat. No more cheeseburgers, fries, cheesestakes, hoagies, wraps, fries, ice cream, sugar drinks, etc, until you've reached your target weight. And no more large portions. Only small portions multiple times a day. It takes self discipline. If you have none you will fail.

    The average weight loss is 6 pounds per month on the Nutrisystems diet.

    The only thing stopping you from losing weight is YOURSELF!

    Post a Reply
  5. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road.
    All the best

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Rachelle! I’m available if you ever need any help :)

      Post a Reply
  6. I love this program so much. I could stay on it forever. I've lost 85lbs I'm down to 118lbs I feel wonderful!!!! I don't huff and puff anymore rolling over in bed, I can jog a few miles without stopping and best of all I haven't weighted this since I was in high school. I love the way I look in clothes now. Thank you for this program.

    Post a Reply

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