Nutrisystem delivers meals to you, if you do reach your goal weight - what's next? You wont have learned any good habits for healthy meal planning (choosing recipes, shopping, cooking, making healthy choices in restaurants, dealing with peer pressure from friends/family).
Based on my own history with dieting, I'm skeptical of any "diet" that is started and ended. I changed how I eat forever, to keep weight off forever.
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!
I lost 45 lbs. on Nutrisystem about 15 years ago and gained it all back fairly quickly. It took 7 months to lose the weight and about three or four to gain it back because I returned to my old eating habits
In those days, Nutrisystem was formulated differently and I became very ill with gallbladder disease (like many others, apparently) and had my gallbladder removed. I think they now have a healthier balance in their foods.
Nutrisystem, or any other type of measured food system, helps you to recognize appropriate serving sizes. However, you can do the same thing by healthy food choices and an investment in an accurate food scale. You can also use 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures, etc. This would be a lot less expensive, plus you learn about portion control for the future.
Personally, I would rather do what I'm doing now - keep an online food diary (Fitday or Nutridiary are free) and measure EVERYTHING I eat. Sure, it's time consuming, but it's working and I'm finally learning how much I'm able to eat and not gain weight. I'd rather save all that money (for Nutrisystem) and spend it on a nice new wardrobe when I've lost the weight!
__________________ Penny ~~~Quitting is not an option!~~~
I use Jenny Craig, which is similar, but much better IMHO. I've lost nearly 175 pounds, or more than half my starting weight. We have lots of NutriSystem refugees at Jenny Craig, but I also know that there are people who like it and have been successful. The benefits of JC over NS for me is the individual consultations (either in person at a center or over the phone through the Jenny Direct program), the more extensive materials, and the vastly better food.
As to the question of "they provide the meals so you don't learn anything and will regain the weight" -- well, that's true of any program. JC is designed as a system to MODEL correct eating while taking some of the work out of getting started -- it's not just a mindless system of automated feeding. There are lots of tools provided to help you learn how to manage food on your own, and the program is designed so that you start transitioning to your own food before you reach goal. There are lots of people who approach it as a "diet" and follow it without embracing the "lifestyle change" philosophy that is at the core of the program, but that's true of any program, even ones you design on your own. After being overweight all my life I am as confident as I have ever been that I NOW have to knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy weight. I didn't learn it ALL through JC, but I think that, given the place I was in when I started, it's the only program that would have worked for me.
Last edited by funniegrrl : 11-21-2005 at 02:49 PM.
I think programs like this can be useful for those that have the disposable income to spend on them. But it is entirely possible to do the exact same thing without spending the big bucks to do so. Of course, this means the person has to do some extra work, such as learning what exactly a balanced diet is, learning to cook healthier meals, learning portion control (the big one!) and doing all this all the time. The nice thing is that I think these skills are critical in the maintance phase anyways, so why not learn them now and save your money?
In the end, it is an individual's choice. I would just hope that people realize that there is indeed a viable choice besides "Join the program or stay fat".
I'm Tealeaf, and I approve of this message.
My weight loss site, with blog, before and after pics, recipes, tips, charts, and stuff. Annie Takes Off
The flip side of the coin is that there is no shame in reaching out for help, even spending money for help, if that is what that person needs. I COULDN'T do it on my own. I am certainly smart enough to know what a balanced diet is, and the amount of work I have done on this program is no less than what I would have done without the program. I needed an anchor, structure, an experienced shoulder to cry on OUTSIDE OF MYSELF in order to keep going. I certainly didn't have a lot of "disposable income," either. I gave up some things in order to be able to afford it. If JC hadn't worked for me, my next step would have been a registered dietitian. Again, it's not about knowing the value of fruits and vegetables and calories, it's about simply not having all the puzzle pieces to stick with it without that outside help.
I RESENT LIKE **** the idea that I am somehow stupid, naieve, or just foolish to not have been able to do this by myself. I am college-educated, well-adjusted, imaginative, and have worked like the devil my whole life. My need of assistance is neither a sign of gullibility nor ignorance nor a character flaw. Just like with WLS, the idea that the only morally acceptable way to lose weight is with no assistance whatsoever is BS. For a fellow 3FCer to say that anyone SHOULD be able to lose weight on their own is WORSE than having a thin person say it. People who join any program, even WW, are told all the time that they should "just" have to do it on their own, and the naysayers constantly harp on the expense and predict just the sort of failure you have.
You were able to lose on your own? Great. You were able to do it by the ever-popular "baby step" method preached constantly here? Great. That's not anything that would have ever worked for me. I'm not ashamed to say I needed to draw a line in the sand, and I needed help doing it, even though both of those are so very contrary to the popular wisdom around here. I don't regret a SINGLE PENNY I've spent on my program; I consider it a investment in my health and my life. I HAVE learned what I needed to learn for maintenance along the way, being on JC did not PREVENT that, it HELPED it along. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for this program and the opportunities it gave me to learn about myself. As I said, I don't credit the program for 100% of my success, but I sure as **** know that the crutch it provided during the first couple of years were crucial.
My program, NS, WW, whatever -- none of them are right for everyone. They all have advantages and disadvantages and some people may derive no benefit from any of them. But, to declare that they are all a waste of money and inferior to the do-it-yourself method is negativity that no one here needs to be spouting.