Nutrisystem Side Effects

By Michelle Powell-Smith

Nutrisystem is a popular diet plan option, and one that can work well for busy people. Food in the form of microwaveable frozen meals is delivered to your home, and you simply supplement these meals with fresh produce. Phone counseling is offered and no membership fee is required, nor is there a contract of any sort. It offers all the ease of fast food, while providing a varied and reasonably healthy diet.

Diet Plan

The Nutrisystem diet plan offers an array of prepackaged foods, with plans available for seniors, men, women, diabetics and vegetarians. The overall calorie count ranges from 1200 to 1500 total calories per day, including some amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Dieters are provided with three meals and two snacks per day. Exercise is encouraged and several workout plans are offered as a part of the diet plan.


The Nutrisystem plan offers a nutritionally well balanced diet. It is, as are most prepackaged foods, high in sodium. Meals are based on the glycemic index and foods lower on the index are chosen as the basis of the diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy products, and whole grains. The nutritional breakdown of the diet is approximately 55% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 20% fats.


Nutrisystem does work. Most dieters will lose 1 to 1.5 per week on Nutrisystem, assuming they eat the prepared foods provided. As with most diets, an eventual plateau may occur and exercise or diet changes can allow you to move through this plateau. There are challenges and problems specific to Nutrisystem that you should carefully consider if you opt for this diet plan.

Side Effects

There are no health related risks to this diet plan. The diet is well balanced and will not lead to health problems. As with any diet, you should consult your health care provider before making this change. This is especially important if you have any preexisting health problems, such as diabetes. Most people find the food filling and satisfying, but hunger may be an issue, particularly when starting Nutrisystem.


The key difficulty associated with Nutrisystem for weight loss is simply coming off the diet plan and prepared foods. While you will obviously have to transition from purchased diet foods to your own cooking and grocery store foods, Nutrisystem does not offer a plan or suggestions for this. Think carefully about how you will handle eating regular foods again, and be prepared for some possible weight gain when you stop purchasing the prepared Nutrisystem foods.

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