Nutrisystem Review (2024 Upd.) Does It Work or Just a Scam?

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: December 19, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

As a certified personal trainer, I've seen many clients struggle to control their food cravings and stick to a diet plan.

I delved into various weight loss programs, and one that surfaced with promise is Nutrisystem.

So, I teamed up with our dietitian and spent several hours of research to examine this weight loss program's samples.

What Is Nutrisystem?

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem is a 28-day low-calorie weight loss program and meal delivery service. The company provides you with a meal plan in the form of pre-packaged foods delivered straight to your door and require minimal preparation.

Based on our tests and research, the Nutrisystem diet consists of shelf-stable and frozen meals (roughly 50% carbohydrates, 25% fat, and 25% protein).

This way, you feel full while eating fewer calories than usual. They’re also very big on so-called “smart carbs,” and according to one of the studies found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, these are great for avoiding raising your blood sugar too high [1].

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How Does Nutrisystem Work?

Food with Fork and Knife

Nutrisystem works by offering different plans that you can choose from depending on your age, gender, and other factors.

For instance, diabetic and vegetarian plans are available for people with food restrictions who want to lose weight. There’s even a version for people on a gluten-free diet.

With the Nutrisystem diet, you get three healthy meals per day that are tailored to your needs. Each meal averages about 300-400 calories, ensuring you stay within a daily caloric intake of 1200-1500 calories, depending on your plan.

Based on our tests, there are different plans to choose from, although most dieters will start off with the “Turbo 13 Plan” designed for people just starting their weight loss journey.

Depending on the package you choose, you may customize your menu options and use special online tracking tools and systems that allow you to monitor your results over time. According to the Stanford Medicine website, these drastically help lose weight [2]. In my case, I lost 5 pounds in the first two weeks, as tracked by Nutrisystem's online dashboard.

Nutrisystem foods are designed to be low-sodium and lower-glycemic foods, meaning that you’re eating healthier foods for your body.

A low glycemic diet (or low GL diet) has benefits including helping normalize blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance, prevent fatigue, and keep you fuller and energized for longer.

- Jillian LevyHolistic, Health Coach

Pros
  • Industry longevity and solid brand reputation
  • You can pick meal plans based on gender and food preferences
  • 1200 calories/day (women), 1500 calories/day (men) meal plans help maintain calorie deficit with consistent exercise routine
Cons
  • Lacks keto-friendly meal plans

What Foods Can You Eat?

Top view of different foods

There are many healthy Nutrisystem food options that you can eat on the plan, as well as “healthy versions” of junk foods. While on the Nutrisystem plan, we realized you're encouraged to eat three pre-packaged foods per day and some snacks.

For example, food choices include double chocolate muffins, Margherita pizzas, and mushroom-stuffed chicken breasts.

These options are designed to be low in calories while being filled with nutrients, lean protein, and fiber.

Dieters can eat as many of these low-calories vegetables as they like, and they’re great for people with diabetes too.

As mentioned earlier, the Nutrisystem diet is also big on “smart carbohydrates” such as those found in beans, fruit, and whole grains. There are diabetes-friendly protein bars available too for a healthy and delicious snack.

It also places a huge emphasis on lean protein, which allows you to lose weight and gain/maintain muscle mass while keeping your heart healthy.

What Foods Can’t You Eat?

Icecream on a cup

You can't eat foods outside of the meal plans, including food from restaurants and cafés, as this is a diet food delivery service with strict dietary guidelines and pre-packaged meals.

You can't eat foods outside meals such as meals from restaurants and cafés.

You also need to strictly limit your alcohol intake for the week, which may cause problems if you’re a regular social drinker.

Condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and avocado are discouraged on the Nutrisystem diet, as they add extra fat and calories to your meals.

A natural, homemade dessert in a reasonable portion size is better than alcohol. A simple glass of wine is better than a highly processed or large portion of dessert. It is all about making the most whole, real food and drink choices.
- Lisa Eberly, Dietitian

Nutrisystem Meals

Let’s go over some real options for meals and snacks from a typical day in the Nutrisystem diet.

Meal For Women For Men
Breakfast
  • Nutrisystem® Blueberry Muffin
  • Milk, fat-free, 1 cup
  • Hot tea with calorie-free sweetener
  • Eggs, 2 scrambled
  • Whole wheat toast, 1 slice
  • Light margarine, ½ tbsp.
Morning Snack
  • Nutrisystem® Honey Mustard Pretzel Bits
  • Nutrisystem® Turbo™ Shake
Lunch
  • Nutrisystem® Cheese Tortellini
  • Turkey breast, 2 oz.
  • Green beans, cooked, 1 cup
  • Nutrisystem® Tuna Salad (add whole grain roll)
  • Tomato, sliced, 1 cup
  • Celery, 2 medium stalks
Afternoon Snack
  • Cottage cheese, low-fat, ½ cup
  • Peaches, canned in water, 1 cup
  • Cashews, unsalted, 2 tbsp.
  • Raisins, ¼ cup
Dinner
  • Nutrisystem® Turkey and Stuffing
  • Turkey breast, 2 oz.
  • Mixed greens, 1 cup
  • Cucumbers, 1 cup
  • Salad dressing, fat-free, 1 tbsp.
  • Nutrisystem® Chicken Alfredo
  • Spinach, cooked, 1 cup
Evening Snack
  • Nutrisystem® Chocolate Cake
  • Whipped topping, fat-free, 3 tbsp.
  • Nutrisystem® White Cheddar Popcorn

How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost?

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem costs between $284 and $429. Each Nutrisystem program is priced differently, depending on your gender and the plan you’ve opted for.

For instance, the “Uniquely Yours” and “Uniquely Yours Plus” plans cost more money, but they allow you to customize your Nutrisystem meals and snacks according to your food preferences.

At the time of writing, this is how the cost is broken down for a 28-day Nutrisystem plan:

Package For Men For Women
Basic Package

$324.99

$284.99

Core Package

$349.99

$309.99

“Uniquely Yours” Package

$389.99

$349.99

“Uniquely Yours Plus” Package

$429.99

$389.99

Vegetarian Package

$389.99

$349.99

Customer Reviews and Brand Reputation

Below are a selection of testimonials sourced from the company's official website:

“There was just so much on it that I felt would satisfy me. I didn’t want to have something where I would feel hungry all the time. And with Nutrisystem, I was able to eat and I was able to eat good things that I really like.”

- John

“You’re not missing anything by eating Nutrisystem. You’re still enjoying your food and enjoying your life much more because now you’re enjoying the food, but you’re healthy and you’re losing weight.”

- Sheila

“The plan is super easy to follow. Even if you’re on the road a lot, you can take all of your meals with you. Everything is perfectly portioned and planned out. All you have to do is just follow the plan and it works.”
- Lindsay

Nutrisystem Alternatives

Noom

Noom is a weight loss app focusing on behavioral changes to help you lose weight. It offers personalized meal plans, exercise tracking, and one-on-one coaching.

Noom stands out for its behavioral psychology approach by including features such as water intake tracking, goal setting, mood enhancement, self-care practices, and guided breathing exercises.

The monthly subscription is less expensive than Nutrisystem ($59.99 per month). However, our tests indicate that synchronization with other fitness trackers can have some delays.

Paleo

Trifecta Nutrition offers Paleo meal delivery with meals that are fully prepared and delivered weekly. The meals are designed to align with a paleo diet.

It is best for those who strictly follow a Paleo diet and prioritize organic, high-quality ingredients.

However, the initial cost of the Paleo diet closely approaches that of Nutrisystem, standing at $110.99 per week, which may be expensive for some people.

Diet-to-Go

Diet-to-Go offers chef-crafted meals that are ready to eat in under 3 minutes. The service provides personalized menus and offers a variety of flavors.

Compared to Nutrisystem, this meal delivery system offers a broader selection of choices and provides specialized menus, including options tailored for individuals with diabetes.

FAQ

Nutrisystem FAQs

How Healthy Is Nutrisystem?

Nutrisystem is healthy for the vast majority of people, especially when combined with regular workouts and physical activity.

How Many Calories a Day Do You Eat on Nutrisystem?

You can eat around 1,500 calories a day on Nutrisystem. This allows them to go into caloric deficit, ensuring everyone loses weight passively. However, for maximum results, it's best to follow it up with exercise routines.

How Much Weight Can I Lose on Nutrisystem?

You can lose between 13 and 15 pounds on Nutrisystem in the first month.

Can You Drink Coffee on Nutrisystem?

Yes, you can drink coffee on Nutrisystem, but you must be sure to avoid adding sugar and high-calorie milks or creamers.

Can You Eat Fruit on Nutrisystem?

Yes, you can eat fruit on Nutrisystem, assuming that it’s not a particularly calorie-filled fruit. Generally speaking, most fruits and vegetables can be eaten in several servings on a Nutrisystem diet, and do not spoil your diet. This is due to their health benefits and high levels of nutrients.

Are Nutrisystem Meals Frozen?

Yes, some Nutrisystem meals are frozen, allowing you to keep them fresher for longer. The frozen meals will be delivered by a special truck which is designed for transporting cold loads.

Is Nutrisystem Healthy For Diabetics?

Yes, Nutrisystem is healthy for diabetics, as the foods are purposely low on the GI index, meaning that they don’t raise your blood sugar too high.

How Much Water Should I Drink on Nutrisystem?

You should drink as much water as your body needs while on Nutrisystem. On average, people need around 1.8 liters of water every day in order to stay healthy.

How Often Should I Weigh Myself on Nutrisystem?

You should weigh yourself once a week on Nutrisystem, on the same day, in the morning, and while wearing no clothes if possible. It ensures your progress is more realistic while allowing you to feel pride in your achievements.

Do I Have to Freeze Nutrisystem Meals?

No, you do not need to freeze your Nutrisystem meals unless you specifically order frozen foods from the “Uniquely Yours” or “Uniquely Yours Plus” plans.

Is Nutrisystem Heart Healthy?

Yes, Nutrisystem is heart healthy. The program’s meals and snacks are low in saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium, while being high in smart carbohydrates, good fats, lean protein, and high-fiber whole grains.

How Effective is Nutrisystem for Different Body Types?

Nutrisystem can be effective for a variety of body types, as it offers personalized plans that cater to individual metabolic rates and dietary preferences. However, results may vary, and users with unique dietary needs or slower metabolisms need to choose the plan that best fits their specific requirements.

How Do Nutrisystem Plans Vary for Different Age Groups?

Nutrisystem offers specialized plans that cater to the nutritional needs of different age groups, with variations in calorie content, nutrient balance, and portion size. These plans are designed to address the changing metabolic rates and dietary requirements associated with different life stages.

Our Verdict on Nutrisystem

Meal Prep 5 containers

Nutrisystem has been in the industry for so long that people trust it more than other similar diet plans on the market. As someone who has tried multiple diet plans, I can attest that Nutrisystem's long-standing reputation adds a layer of trust that newcomers to the market lack.

But if you’re like me and like a variety of flavors while sticking to your calorie restrictions, I suggest you check Diet-to-Go instead.

It has more flexible plans, and the menu is a lot more enticing, too, including the dessert and snack options. I also appreciate that they have specific menus for diabetics and keto dieters.

We Recommend This Instead

Diet To Go

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5.0
Ingredients
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Price
Pros
  • Foolproof
  • Customizable
  • “Healthy” Junk Food
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
Cons
  • Shipping only to the continental US
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Nutrisystem Review (2024 Upd.) Does It Work or Just a Scam?

10 thoughts on “How Does Nutrisystem Work?
An Unbiased & Honest Review

  1. With Nutrisystem, I lost 68 pounds in 7 weeks. I was never feeling hungry.
    Is the most amazing program ever!! You must consume a lot of vegetables if you want to be successful. Also, water!! A great deal of water!! Thank you for your feedback!

  2. First of all, thank you. I so love product! Imagine? I lost 25 pounds in just a few months. I totally cannot believe it since I’m a busy mom of three. By the way, the meals work for me and are pretty good. You get to add in your own fresh fruits, veggies, dairy products, and seasonings if you get bored. I kind of hated the pizza so I chopped up the crust and sprinkled the cheese into a salad. Get it! You can get lots of tips like that once you get to know other people who take this as well. Let me know how I can help you too! If you hit a slump and can’t stop thinking about food, what I always do is just get busy cleaning out my closet of all the fat clothes that don’t fit anymore. It feels really refreshing. Nothing taste as good as fit and healthy feel! Really!!! I’m down to my High School weight, wearing sizes I haven’t worn since Junior High after having twins a year and a half ago. Change your life, change your relationship with food, and stop making excuses. I can’t believe I am saying this but you can do it as well. Thanks!

  3. I have just bought this product in conjunction with taking a natural diet and casual physical activities. I delayed trying this product because everyone I have asked said it tastes so bad. It really made me anxious and I don’t want to waste my money fo it. However, so far, I find this to not be the truth. I bought it a few months back when I learned about this. Luckily I had a huge discount of 40% off. Also, if you get this diet you might want to get some non-fat powder milk, natural peanut butter, and frozen veggies and fruits without sugar. I highly recommend you to. That is, if you want to not have to keep going to the store. One of my friends also recommend me to eat veggies and fruits. THE PRODUCTS DO NOT TASTE THAT BAD AT ALL FOR BEING A PILL THAT HELPS YOU LOSE SOME WEIGHT, AND EVERYTHING IS IMPROVING IN TASTE, OR IS NOT NEAR AS BAD AS OTHERS HAVE MENTIONED! Also there are a variety of ways you can couple this with your food. This really helps especially if you enjoy and love what you are eating. With my experience, after your first few weeks, you know what you like and don’t like, but just stick with the goal. I’ve heard and seen too many people lose weight having this combination. Will try to keep you posted on my results. It’s not just about a diet, it is about livelihood and well-being. If you do not see an update from me in a few months, I might have forgotten as life gets really busy at times. I will tell you whatever will help or how good it worked. Let’s help each other out. Good luck to everyone!

  4. Before I start, thank you! Okay. I will say this product does work. I love the food, and it actually gives you a meal plan to go with the food, you also have to work out, like go for a walk, or go the gym. Honestly, this whole thing about losing these unwanted fats is not an instant gratification thing. So yeah, I am happy about this, I was 220 pounds, and now I’m at 172 pounds. It has given me results in just a few months. But that of course is combined with working out on a daily basis. Definitely, it is up to the person how he wants to do this thing. As for me, I’m happy with the results. To begin with, everybody is different on how the results for this system. I’m just happy to say that this does work. You just have to follow the system, and work at it. Nothing will ever work for you if you yourself will not starting working for yourself. So to everyone who is skeptical about this, don’t knock it until you try it. Keep up the work. You deserve it for yourself. Cheers! To a healthy body for everyone.

  5. Before sharing my experience, I just want to address every person out there in the world that claims that the food is too small and you’re “starving”. This is a product package meant to lose weight. What the hell are you supposed to have? Which means, it is meant to teach you how to properly eat. It states everywhere that it is portioned for attaining your weight goal in correct food PORTIONS. If you feel that it’s not enough food then I’m sorry to say that you do not eat correct portions – hence you’re looking at weight loss remedies right? This food is DELICIOUS compared to other methods to remove your fats, like strict gym meal plans. I am thankful for that. Imagine eating spinach, tomatoes, egg whites, chicken breast with no sauces and other healthy foods four times a day, six times week? It can get disgusting. The product package even lets you add more vegetables to your meals! At the end of the day, I’m full and WOW, I lost weight too!! That is the goal, right? Look, don’t expect to eat huge portions and lots of BAD food and expect to lose weight! It’s common sense. This package is teaching us that you can eat delicious items. Of course, as long as it’s the correct portions. So to those out there still complaining, how about train your stomach to eat correctly? I will for sure buy this again. I am a lot healthier and lost 4 pounds within just a week and I’m keeping it off. I hope everyone understands what they wanted to begin with.

  6. Honestly, I don’t see the point as to why everyone keeps complaining about the food. You sound like a broken record. I mean, though perfectly portioned most of the food is processed. Obviously a part of you did not want to prepare your own meals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have turned to this product. You can’t expect gourmet while on a pre-packaged plan. As for me, I found the food delicious!! In the back of my mind I was thinking, I may enjoy it more than some because I didn’t have a fatty diet in the first place. I’m only 5’3″ and 140 pounds maximum, I just eat way to many sweet foods and sugars. However I can’t even tell you when was the last time I had a chocolate muffin, or pizza, or mashed potatoes. So this was just so awesome for me! I feel like because I’m already “small” compared to others in this product, I won’t get to enjoy the rapid output some have. But actually, I have noticed a difference in body mass! I had my dramatic weight loss while on another product many years ago when I lost a whopping 80 pounds. But I did not like it. I had to deal with other problems because of that. That is why I turned in to this product instead. So if you think you’re “starving” while on this product, you’d be passing out but getting thin when you do this along with a strict physical exercise plan. Nonetheless, I’m buying another 5-day for week 2 of this product. Thank you for your patient explanation. I do hope those who complain will understand you.

  7. I am on day 2 so I have not seen any significant changes in my body but I am experiencing less of an appetite. The dinners are a good portion size to get you through the day. You will be eating small meals every 3 hours which are very light to the stomach. I simply love it. I know I will be losing this unwanted weight. Also the muffins are delicious, a few of the items are not so good but the whole goal is to get you to eat smaller meals. Overall, I am happy and satisfied. I’m going to stay on it for a year if I can still manage to with this. Thank you.

  8. A lot of people say that Nutrisystem scams. But, I just started a week ago and I’m down 5 lbs just sticking to the first-week plan and not deviating.  Consistency is essential to accomplishing your goal. I’m hoping the remainder of the weeks go as well.

  9. I like the concept of easy prep meals, but variety is important. Nutrisystem seems to offer that for breakfast and lunch. Would love to see more dinners in the mix.

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