Nutrisystem Reviews
Nutrisystem is a weight loss meal delivery program that offers shelf stable meals and teaches portion control. They believe that proper portions combined with balanced nutrition and frequent meals are the best way to lose weight.

Nutrisystem Reviews

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Nutrisystem Plan Review

Nutrisystem Meals

The Website

Nutrisystem is a very well publicized and popular weight loss meal delivery company. They have been in business for 40 years. They believe that portion control is the key to weight loss, but that in today's world, people don't realize what a proper portion is anymore. Their approach to weight loss is:
portion control + balanced nutrition + frequent meals = weight loss success. They want to take the guesswork out of it for the customer and supply them with the proper portions and mix of nutrients that will help them lose weight and create healthy eating habits moving forward.

Their website looks nice, is clean and easy to read. As a non-member you can read the program overview, find out how the program works, read success stories, and read through FAQs.

You can also check out all of the meals they have available. Meals are sorted by page for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts and snacks. By clicking on each product name or picture, you will be brought to a page that contains a larger image, the meal description, nutritional facts, ingredients and preparation method of the product.

Non-members can also view a banner for each plan with a bulletpoint synopsis of what type of plan it is and approximately how much the food will run you per day. In order to find out what meals are included in each plan, though, you must register for free as a member. Nowhere on the general website does it mention how the food is shipped or the shipping cost. After you register, if you really search, shipping information can be found. However, they do not mention what delivery company they use. 

  • Tip: Sign up for free as a member and you will find more information and experience less of a runaround on the site.

Frozen meals are included in the premium plan only. However, they really don't explain that these are premium meals until you log in as a member and see the more in-depth descriptions of each plan.
Nutrisystem - Day One

  • Breakfast: Powdered Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables This breakfast meal was very odd right from the start. We have never tried powdered eggs before and really didn't know what to expect. It literally starts out as a powder and dehydrated vegetables that need to be hydrated for 5 minutes before you can even microwave it. Then you have to keep stirring it and putting it back in. The end result was really flavorless and it certainly wasn't worth the time it took to prepare.

  • Lunch: Tortellini with Cheese The tortellini wasn't bad. It pretty much tasted like it looks, like canned supermarket tortellini but for more money. If you don't mind that kind of "Italian food" you will probably like it. It's easy enough to heat up on the go.

  • Dinner: Homestyle Beef with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes This meal was a major disappointment. As diet meals go, it's kind of exciting to get a beef offering, especially with gravy. Generally, many of us enjoy beef and potato diet meals when there is gravy involved. We did not enjoy this one, though. Tiny bits of meat with a couple of pieces of vegetable thrown in for good measure. Not "homestyle" by any means.
Powdered Scrambled Eggs with VegetablesTortellini with CheeseHomestyle Beef with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
Click on any image to enlarge
Shipping  |  Packaging  |  Reheating  |  Meals Reviewed  |  Cost  |  Summary
By providing all of your meals they take the guesswork out of eating for weight loss.

  • Shelf Stable Food
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Plans start at less than $10 per day
Nutrisystem trayed meal packaging
Nutrisystem cup packaging
Nutrisystem states that although many of their trays look like frozen meals, they are sealed through a "soft canning" process that locks in flavor and nutrition. They also offer microwaveable cups for many of their meals eliminating the need for cans and/or microwave-safe dishes.

Nutrisystem does offer some frozen meals. These are only included in their Select Plan and are considered Premium frozen cuisine.

Reheating

The reheating process couldn't be simpler. Nothing to add, just pop the tray or cup into the microwave. A few just needed hot water added and it was done. The pizza components had to be put together, but that didn't take much time. They do offer some microwaveable frozen premium meals now, as well.

The only inconvenient exception was the scrambled eggs. These needed to be hydrated with water first for 5 minutes before microwaving. Then we were required to take it out of the microwave numerous times to stir during the heating process.
Shipping

The Nutrisystem order will arrive in two separate shipments. One will arrive in a large box containing the shelf stable meals. This is sufficient since nothing requires refrigeration or freezing. It also includes a Welcome Kit, which consists of a Daily Tracker, Eating Out Guide, Quick Start Guide and their magazine.

If any frozen foods are part of the order, those will ship separately. These will be packed with dry ice, which will keep the food frozen for approximately 6-8 hours after delivery.

Notifications will be sent to the customer stating when both shipments are expected to arrive. This is done so the customer can prepare for delivery in advance. After placing the order, it will arrive in about 4-10 business days.

Most meal delivery companies have a shipping page where the customer can check the delivery costs for their area as well as the price for different delivery schedules. Nutrisystem does not. You must sign up, choose your food and be well into the order process before getting this information.

Packaging

Nutrisystem provides meals that are shelf stable, meaning that they do not require refrigeration or a freezer. This makes it easy to store wherever you have space - pantry, cabinet, closet, etc. It also makes it convenient to bring along for meals wherever you go, since you don't have to worry about your meal spoiling.
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The Cost

The price of these plans are pretty affordable, which may be part of Nutrisystem's popularity. They offer three standard plans: the Basic Plan, The Core Plan and the Select Plan. In addition, They also offer three similar plans geared for those with type II diabetes. Each plan offers an order option for women or for men.

Their Basic Plan starts at $259.99, or less than $10 per day for women and a little more for men. It's considered a "Simple Start" and is their lowest priced plan. The Basic Plan provides 4 weeks of ready-to-go, shelf stable foods that are pre-picked featuring meals that are customer favorites. You can also choose the custom menu, which brings the price up $19.99 per month. This plan includes the online tools and trackers.

The Core Plan is their most popular plan. This plan starts at $279.99, or $10 per day for women and $11.07 for men. This meal plan offers over 100 shelf stable, ready-to-go meals to choose from. Counseling is included and there is no additional charge for customization.
Nutrisystem - Day Two

  • Breakfast: Biscuits with Gravy Southern-Style We just couldn't wrap our heads around this meal. This is another powdered meal and, try as we did, we couldn't get that lump to turn into a biscuit, and that is the very essence of the breakfast. The gravy was pretty flavorless and, all in all, we don't think Nutrisystem was very successful with their powdered meals.

  • Lunch: Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce This was one of those types of cups similar those sold in the supermarket where you simply add hot water and stir. This didn't work out very well. The sauce was pretty flavorless. Actually, it never really becomes a sauce at all and doesn't cling to the noodles. It is more soup-like than a traditional fettuccine alfredo. We were not a fan. 

  • Dinner: Cajun Chicken and Sausage Ok, now this meal we enjoyed. It had a nice balance of spices and the flavors were tasty. The texture of the chicken and sausage was very good. It was a flavorful meal that we wouldn't mind having again.
Biscuits with Gravy Southern-StyleFettuccine in Alfredo SauceCajun Chicken and Sausage
Click on any image to enlarge
Nutrisystem - Day Three

  • Breakfast: Powdered Scrambled Eggs Packaging We only ordered two breakfasts, since we figured that the bars, cereals and muffins would be pretty standard as diet meals go. Instead, we decided to show you how the scrambled egg meal looks when making it. It comes in the package above and the bowl shows what it looks like when water is added to the powder. It's actually quite interesting that the powder eventually does come out resembling scrambled eggs. Honestly, though, you can make real eggs or an egg substitute in the same amount of time.

  • Lunch: Spicy Chili with Beans Not bad at all. The chili was thick and hearty, not runny, and had a tasty flavor. Very similar to the canned chili found in the supermarket, but, of course, this one costs quite a bit more.

  • Dinner: Chicken Penne Alfredo This meal was ok. The chicken tasted a little like the kind you get in a can at the supermarket, but they provide a decent amount with the pasta. The texture of the penne was good, as well. The alfredo sauce in this meal was pretty tasty, much better than their fettuccini meal in the cup, that's for sure.
Powdered Scrambled Eggs PackagingSpicy Chili with BeansChicken Penne Alfredo
Click on any image to enlarge
Nutrisystem - Day Four

  • Breakfast: Biscuits with Gravy Packaging This is the packaging for the Biscuits with Gravy. Each packet contains powder that gets mixed with water in a bowl and microwaved. Don't let the picture on the box fool you, that is not the biscuit we got out of it, and we do have a decent microwave. Maybe other people have gotten better results.

  • Lunch: Beef Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes Actually it's really a dinner meal, but we are reviewing flavor here rather than weight loss results and there are only so many chili styles we want to review. We were not crazy about this meal. The potatoes were ok, instant potatoes have come a long way over the years. The meat was a little dry, though. The gravy gets baked onto it and we really needed a little more to moisten the meat.

  • Dinner: Chicken and Dumplings The picture on the box was quite different from what we actually received. The dumplings were smaller and there wasn't as much chicken as we expected. We received very few peas and carrots, not the nice peapods or crinkle cut carrots pictured. Come to think of it, we were already on day four and these were the first real vegetables we got in any of the meals.
Biscuits with Gravy PackagingBeef Meatloaf with Mashed PotatoesChicken and Dumplings
Click on any image to enlarge
Nutrisystem - Day Five

  • Breakfast: Thick Crust Pizza Packaging No breakfast at all on this day, we thought we would show you the packaging for the pizza we tried for lunch instead.

  • Lunch: Thick Crust Pizza Another dinner meal, but we love pizza at any meal. This was a nice tasting pizza. Maybe it works so well because we had to put it together ourselves. The crust was pretty fluffy and stayed that way after heating. This might be due to the fact that it was all room temperature instead of going from frozen to hot. It reminded us of the ready-made crusts in the supermarket. We would definitely have this one again.

  • Dinner: Lasagna with Meat Sauce Another nice end to the week, not a bad lasagna at all. They provide a decent portion size, although maybe better for lunch rather than dinner. The noodles stayed somewhat firm and didn't get mushy or gummy like some frozen lasagna meals get. There was also a proper amount of sauce that didn't dry up when heating, so we didn't end up with a mouthful of dry cheese in the end. Again, no vegetables, though. We really hadn't expected that we would have to buy all our own vegetables considering we are already paying good money for all of these meals.
Thick Crust Pizza PackagingThick Crust PizzaLasagna with Meat Sauce
Click on any image to enlarge
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How to Choose a Weight Loss Diet Plan
The Select Plan is their premium, top-rated plan. This plan starts at $329.99, or $11.79 per day for women and $12.86 for men. This meal plan offers over 150 meals to choose from and includes both shelf stable and their premium frozen cuisine. Counseling is included and there is no additional charge for customization.

The Diabetes Program works in the same way. This plan, though, helps stabilize blood sugar as well as help promote weight loss. This allows diabetics to receive the proper nutrients and portions while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The prices for these plans are comparable to their non-diabetic counterparts.

The prices of these plans are based on the Auto Delivery option, which includes a free week. Prices run higher when ordering the plan without Auto Delivery.

Although their plans seem affordable, the customer still has to purchase their own supplemental vegetables and fruits on their own. In our opinion, this just creates added cost onto an already somewhat overpriced meal for the meal quality that you receive.

Summary

We felt that the idea of this plan was a good one. Meals are prepared for you, portion-controlled, they could be thrown in a bag and ready to go because they didn't need refrigeration, they could even be eaten cold if you really wanted to if you couldn't find a microwave. The issue that we had was that most of these meal choices could be found similar in quality and portion size in a can at the grocery store for less money. The following are some of what we liked and didn't like:

Positives

  • Shelf stable meals do not require refrigeration
  • Ease of portability and storage
  • Affordable price plans
  • Auto delivery discounts
  • Many online tools for helping customers succeed
  • Extensive online grocery guide to supplement meals
  • Meal plans for different needs: women, men, diabetics and your own body's metabolism
  • Money back guarantee within 14 days

Negatives

  • Quality of meals are quite low compared to the prices per meal
  • You must register online in order to receive a lot of the ordering information
  • Shipping information is very hard to find on the website
  • Meals rarely provide any vegetables in them
  • Although they claim that they will provide you with the portions, the customer still has to purchase their own additional vegetables and fruits
  • The general non-member website gives you the runaround when attempting to view any of the tools, in-depth meal plans and prices, shipping information, etc.
  • No mention of who delivers their meals until after ordering

We welcome your comments too! If you have tried the Nutrisystem service, please contact us with your thoughts, comments, and if you would recommend it to a friend or relative.
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This page was last updated: 9/13/2015
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