Monday, 25 February 2008

NutriSystem evaluation

In December, I had been asked to review the NutriSystem program. I received two months of food to try it.

Here's how your meals work on the program:

Breakfast: NutriSystem breakfast entree, dairy or protein serving, and fruit serving.

Lunch: NutriSystem lunch entree, salad serving, fat free dressing, and dairy or protein serving.

Afternoon snack: Dairy or protein serving and fruit serving

Dinner: NutriSystem dinner entree, vegetable serving, salad or fruit serving, fat serving.

Dessert: NutriSystem dessert entree

Plus eight 8 ounces glasses of water.

Note: You provide the non-NutriSystem items.

From my experience, here are the pluses of the program:

Most of the entrees come in a container you cook it in and then eat it ... so few dishes to wash.

There is a lot of choice, especially with the dinner entrees.

The program provides you with portion control.

This program is good for someone who is busy because it's all ready for you ... you just heat it up in the microwave.

The program includes a good variety of snacks ... cookies, pretzels, chips, chocolate, etc.

A lot of the entrees are high in fibre and protein.

The entrees don't need to be frozen so don't take up any room in your freezer (like Lean Cuisines do).

The bars (both the meal replacement and dessert) are quite tasty. I would buy them outside the program.

The cereals are tasty (NutriFlakes and Granola).

Why this isn't the program for me:

I eat very little salt and I found that most of the entrees are very salty (the sodium content is high, at least 700 mg per entree).

I've got the time to make meals from scratch using fresh ingredients so would rather do that. I tend to stay away from packaged food as much as I can.

Weight Watchers has conditioned me to think in terms of points. A typical NutriSystem entree is at least five points. I can get a lot more food for my points by making it from scratch. And it's tastier. As such, I've never been a fan of Lean Cuisine-type meals.

I'm happy for the opportunity to have tried it.


Megan from NutriSystem said...

Hi Teena,

It’s Megan from NutriSystem. I’m glad you found so much to like about the program.

You also raise some good questions about sodium content in the program and I thought you and your readers might find the following information useful. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian eats 3,100 mg of sodium per day. However, a person on the NutriSystem program will eat just 1,800 mg of sodium per day. This is not a high-sodium diet. In addition, our trained counselors can work with clients to help them choose food items with lower sodium content.

I hope that helps.

On your next NutriSystem post, I’d love to hear about whether the program has worked for you. Our research shows that, on average, people lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per week while they follow the program.

Best of luck,


Teena said...

Thanks for your comment, Megan!

I didn't say that the program was high in sodium ... I said I found the entrees high in sodium because I don't eat a lot of salt. The bars rock!