Nutrisystem is a portion-controlled weight loss program that delivers your food.

They started out with "bricks and mortar" weight loss centers, but some years ago changed strategy and became on-line only.

While being similar to Jenny Craig - the Nutrisystem program has one major advantage - it is far more affordable.

Prices range from $9-$11 per day for the program.

How Does Nutrisystem Work?

The Nutrisystem program provides an online analysis to calculate your calorie requirements. From this, your meal plans can be calculated and they will begin to ship all your meals to your door. This kind of weight loss program has distinct advantages:

  • Sustainable weight loss of around 2 pounds per week.
  • Based on your metabolic type
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert) are provided and delivered to you (free shipping on 4 week food orders). Note that you may want to add some fresh fruit and vegetables to your meals.
  • Online support available with membership in the program (including chat and one-to-one counseling sessions).
  • Portion controlled - for most women calorie amounts will be 1200 per day (although this may vary up to 1500 per day for very active women, and men).
  • Free membership to all aspects of the program (you only pay for the food).
  • Programs for Men, Women, Vegetarians, and Diabetics (Nutrisystem D).
  • Free exercise program and meal planner.

See an alternative review of nutrisystem here.


All these plans are available for both men and women (the primary difference being the calorie level).

  Basic Core Uniquely Yours
Free Shipping Yes Yes Yes
Choose your meals - Yes Yes
Number of foods - 100 150
Frozen Foods - - Yes

Nutrisystem Lean 13

Lean 13 aims for a 13 pound weight loss in the first four weeks. The program is backed by a weight loss trial, showing an average weight loss of 11.6 lbs over the first month.

Lean 13 also comes with free shakes and bars.

Who Is It Good For?

The idea behind the Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours diet is to provide a healthy portion controlled diet, for a short time frame, to get you back on track.

Whether the food is better or worse than Jenny Craig is a matter of personal taste and opinion - but certainly the cost makes it a favorable choice.

If you want a comprehensive weight loss program where you don't have to worry about cooking, shopping, counting points or calories, or figuring out meal plans - then Nutrisystem is recommended.

Nutrisystem Food Issues

One of the main complaints concerning Nutrisystem diet in the past was the taste/quality of the food. Because of this, Nutrisystem has revamped their menu with new items created by top celebrity chef's and promote their new program as;

"Over 150 foods to choose from including fresh never frozen cuisine [...] created by award winning, celebrity chefs."

Of particular note is their commitment to not use any High Fructose Corn Syrup or Trans-Fat in any meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any research?

One study1 showed significantly more weight loss in a group of diabetic dieters using Nutrisystem over those using a diabetes support and education program.

A 2016 study of over 80 overweight participants found a weight loss of 11.6 lbs over 4 weeks (when using Nutrisystem Lean 13). This was compared to a similar study of participants using the DASH diet (weight loss was around 5 pounds).

Is it safe for diabetics / high blood pressure / heart disease?
Nutrisystem claims they have a lot of diabetics on the program who do very well and experience better health on the program. The program meets the American Dietetic Association's guidelines for sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat.

What food is in the program?
To see what exactly there is, go to NutriSystem and click on the Men's Program or Women's Program. You can choose any foods you like, or pick a pre-made "favorite-foods" selection.

Shelf-life for the baked goods is 6 months. For the other foods it is up to 18 months (due to the airtight containers).

What are the downsides?
They can sometimes temporarily substitute food items based on availability. This generally only happens during times of great demand, and they will inform you by email of any substitutions - this only occurs to prevent delaying of shipment.

Do they honor the 30-day money back guarantee?
Yes they do. We have spoken with customers who have been unhappy - and have received a refund on unused food. However, during times of high demand (such as the new year), their customer service department can sometimes be overloaded, and it may take time before your refund is actioned.

Nutrisystem is often compared with Jenny Craig:

Jenny Craig NutriSystem Uniquely Yours
Require a contract to be signed. No contract or signing.
Charge a membership fee plus food costs. No membership fee - food costs only.
Center-based. Web-based - but there is a free support forum available.
Counseling only at center. Counseling available via phone or on-line chat.

Response To Other Diet Plans

Nutrisystem sent us this information in response to comparisons with other weight loss programs:

"Weight Watchers - It is a sensible program, but ours is designed more for the busy person who doesn't have the time to go to meetings, count points, weigh and measure foods. Also, a lot of people on Weight Watchers save all their points for one meal and we do not agree with that. Our program is based on the theory of fueling your body multiple times a day

South Beach - Our program is not a book, it is the food solution to South Beach and much less restrictive. Clients love the convenience of the meals. It's like having your own personal chef in your home!! "

See the Nutrisystem program


  • Foster, G. D., Borradaile, K. E., Vander Veur, S. S., Shantz, K. L., Dilks, R. J., Goldbacher, E. M., ... & Satz, W. (2009). The effects of a commercially available weight loss program among obese patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized study. Postgraduate Medicine, 121(5), 113-118. Link
Last updated 29 Oct 2017