This article is part of a series on existing "well known" weight loss programs that I recently compiled with the help of some of my clients. Before I begin, I would like to thank each of them for their detailed input for these articles. Now let us look into the NutriSystem Weight Loss Program.
NutriSystem seemed to be a very popular weight loss program for many of my clients (some are still on the program). Now I found that there were many different views from my clients on this program with some really liking the program to hating it with a passion. I was not expecting such a range of emotions for this product. I believe the results come down to each individual tastes and what they were willing to put up with. Now let us dig deeper into this mystery.
NutriSystem, like Jenny Craig (previous article topic), is another calorie reduction diet program that supplies you with most of the food for your meals (this is explained later). Again, this is another company that is using the Weight Loss business umbrella to market and sell prepackaged diet meals but unlike others, there are no membership fees to join and there is no personal face-to-face support. They do provide email and phone support but almost all of my clients stated that the wait times on the phone were more than 15 minutes and most emails went unanswered (which bought each of them to my business).
NutriSystem is currently running a "promotion" giving you one free week of meals if you order one month in advance for your first order. They also will give you another free week of meals if you sign up for the "auto delivery" option. Now two free weeks of meals sounds good but this begs to question, what if you do not like the food? They do provide the option of returning the meals if there is damaged product or if there is a product you do not like that is not open. All product returns must be completed within 3 months of delivery to be eligible for replacement or refund.
The NutriSystem program has three levels for their calorie reduction plan. There is the 1500, 1200 and 1000 calorie plan. Like the Jenny Craig system, there is an issue with achieving sustainable weight loss once you hit a plateau.
Now what are the Pros that my clients found with the program:
- Easy program, they send the food, you prepare and eat it
- Some of the food can be tasty
- You do not need to count calories (the daily meal totals are covered)
- No need to attend long & boring meetings
- You start losing weight at a good pace
- No Membership Fees you only need to buy the food!
The things that my clients did not like (or Cons ) with the program:
- The food is costly, a month of food costs between $ 280 – $ 320 (not including additional grocery purchases to supplement the meals with fruits, vegetables, low calorie salad dressing, yogurt, milk, diet beverages and bottled water that are required by the program)
- Most of the food is … well … not good (I leaned down the actual responses)
- All of the food (including meat) is discharged and can be stored for months without refrigeration. Too many preservatives and salt.
- Food preparation is not appealing to look at and the boiled meat is the worst.
- The variety of food is actually very limited if you have fussy tastes so, the number of meal combinations can quickly run out within three months. Eating the food goes from boring to dread in a very sort time.
- Weight Loss Support is limited to non-existent
- Can not feed the family the same food (they think it is discussing and it is too expensive)
- Difficult to deal with customer support when returning damaged goods, refunds or cancelling an order
- Many orders are incorrectly filled with many missing items or added items that were not ordered
- Once a plateau is reached, there is no real options for additional weight loss
If you can stick this program out, it will cost you in the range of $ 3360 to $ 3840 for the year, which is still cheaper than the Jenny Craig system ($ 6360). In many cases, they found that they would plateau within 5 to 6 months and with the limited support could not proceed to their weight loss goal. This program has the same limit as Jenny's and that is calorie reduction alone does not promote continuous weight loss. Many usually become tired of the food and leave the program not achieving their goal. What is required to make this program more successful is a multi-tiered exercise program (nothing available now) and a better program to teach clients how to eat using EVERYDAY foods from the grocery store. Like I have said before, " Food programs do not work because you are not learning, you are just eating ".