General Diet Plans and Questions - What's the difference between eating Nutrisystem's food vs. supermarket-bought meals?

07-28-2010, 12:21 AM
Hi all,

New here and happy to find such a wonderful forum!

I'm wondering ...

Can anyone please explain what differences there are, if any, between the frozen meals someone on Nutrisystem pays for and eats and ordinary frozen "diet" meals (such as Lean Cuisine etc.) found in the frozen food section of ordinary American supermarkets?

I already realize that Nutrisystem etc. probably have different varieties of meals/foods than what's available from = Lean Cuisine, Budget Gourmet etc. and that right now Nutrisystem is touting the purported "low-glycemic" advantage of its foods.

What I'm wondering is, would there be any difference if someone simply ate three or four easily-obtainable, no-need-to-join-a-program Lean Cuisine (or similar) meals and kept their calorie intake at a certain level (say, 1400 calories/day) versus paying to join Nutrisystem and having to buy and eat *that* program's foods exclusively (apart from any fresh fruits one might add)?

In other words, before I join Nutrisystem I would like to know if I could more conveniently just buy readily-available diet entrees from the supermarket, save money and get the same weight loss benefits I would have had I joined Nutrisystem

Thanks in advance for any feedback about this.

07-28-2010, 01:01 AM
I think the supermarket option would work but it would take more planning.I tried nutrisystem and felt the food was not tasty,overpriced and not sustainable for the long haul.
There is no magic in the nutrisystem program though many have done well on it. Personally I love the lean cuisines but then again maybe they just match my taste better than the nutrisystem. Good luck whatever you go with.


07-28-2010, 03:38 AM
A Nutrisystem rep would tell you that their meals are carefully developed by nutrition experts so that the meals are well-balanced....

I'm not convinced that the food is any better for you than random grocery store entrees and a daily vitamin.

Most of Nutrisystems foods aren't frozen, they're either shelf-stable "in a can or packet" items, or ready to eat things like granola bars. It's easy to get bored easily because they're alot like camping food and military field rations (I was on Nutristyem when I was working in a juvenile detention center, and a couple of the reserve and Nat'l Guard staff brought field rations in to show the kids. They looked a lot like what I was eating).

That was over a decade ago, but my sister was on Nutristystem last year, and the food hasn't changed much (the flavors yes, but not the types of foods).

The biggest problem with using Nutrisystem or your own version (using prepackaged meals) is an overabundance of salt and other preservatives and carbohydrates (especially high glycemic easily digested carb s - those that often increase hunger), and a shortage of fruits/vegetables. They tend to be a bit skimpy on the protein.

I can't really give a ringing endorsement of either Nutrisystem or a do-it-yourself version of prepackaged meals, but if you're determined, I'd make a few suggestions.

Go for as much variety as you can. Different meats, different proteins, different colors of fruits and vegetables, different grains in th granola bars and cereals......

And supplement with lots of veggies and fruit. On Nutrisystem you have to buy your own fruits, veggies, and milk - so if you do it yourself, don't forget to eat the fruit, veggies, and milk.

The same rules apply for fruits and veggies - go for as much variety as you can - colors are a good guideline (because many of the micronutrients in fruits and veggies are associated with particular colors). In general, deeper colored fruits and veggies are more nutritious than paler colors.

Personally, I would suggest that a consultation with a dietitian would be well worth the expense in this case. Even with the cost of the consultation, it would be cheaper than Nutrisystem in the long run, and the dietitian could give you some guidelines on how to choose the best prepackaged products.

07-29-2010, 05:18 PM
You are going to be so overloaded with sodium eating those supermarket entrees daily. Why not learn to eat real food? Those entrees also don't have enough protein. You need to add more vegetables, fruit and dairy. They are no bargain, money or health wise.

07-29-2010, 05:53 PM
From what friends have told me, a couple hundred dollars every two weeks.

[Sorry, I'm being facetious, which is not helpful.]

07-29-2010, 06:02 PM
Nutrisystem is expensive and only mediocre in taste. Yes, I have done it. Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice taste better and are not as expensive. Just be sure and check the labels for sodium before you buy.

07-29-2010, 06:11 PM
I have been heavily relying on Healthy Choice's Cafe Steamers for lunch. They seem to have a wee bit less "crap" in them. Then I add a couple extra servings of veggies. I have just started to transition away from them (I will surely keep them on hand for emergancies) but I am starting to cook/freeze my own meals. I do big batches of whatever it is I am cooking and then portion it out.

I can't speak for NS. I have never tried it.

07-31-2010, 01:16 PM
I did NS for a few months and I did lose on it. however from a few ladies on the support board at ns website I learned how to do it on my own and even have a cookbook that one of the ladies made. I can email it to you if you would like? I also have the link to the page but it wont let me post it

there is also another lady the sells a cookbook she made up and I think it is pretty cheap to buy.i also have the link to her support board and it has recipes that use the ns food and ones that dont.

I tried to send you a PM but the system says you are not allowed to recieve or you have your account set to not receice them. I would be interested in the cookbook or the link. I am trying to cook more for my family and rely less on frozen meals for myself.

Thank you!

07-31-2010, 01:31 PM
Dear SCraver,
If possible could you share a few great big batch recipes?I think that is the way to go.I am not the best cook but I am liking this concept. cool companion with you,