If you’re an American, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve seen the ads for Nutrisystem. This is especially true right around the New Year. Their ads flood television sets and the internet, as most of us are taking part in a resolution, and they know that for many of us, it’s going to come in the form of weight loss. Others may want to get in shape, give up drinking, or even sweets.
Well, it actually ended up being all of the above for me. The quadfecta, as I like to call it.
I’ll give my full story below, but right out of the gates I should tell you that Nutrisystem played an important role in the process, which is why I decided to write a detailed review about their products. Of course, giving up beer and adding exercise helped too, but I wouldn’t have had the same level of success without Nutrisystem’s help.
Why I Joined Nutrisystem Turbo13
This is a blog for dads if you can’t tell by the name, and that’s exactly what I am: a Dad. I haven’t always been in terrible shape, but over the last few years, I have let parts of my health slip, to say the least. More specifically, I had probably gained about 50 pounds over the last 4 or 5 years leading up to the start of 2017. I don’t know if you could specifically say it’s because I became a dad, but that definitely had something to do with it. Now, let’s get one thing clear – I LOVE being a dad and husband, and wouldn’t change anything for the world, but my weight gain and fatherhood had a positive correlation.
As any new parent can attest, things get kind of crazy. The first several weeks or months are sort of spent in a fog, as a good night’s rest quickly becomes the thing of folklore. Workouts are replaced with afternoon feedings, walks to the store are spent cooing and staring in awe at your new child. The healthy home cooked meals you used to make are replaced with fast food, or quicker, less healthy options. This was the case for me, anyway. As the whirlwind of fatherhood set in, I settled into some pretty habits. I didn’t happen on purpose, but things like that just sort of happen gradually, sometimes.
By year two, our second child was on the way and I was already tipping the scales well over where I was during my pre-dad days. I’ll get into my exact before and after weights below, but the point here is that I was heading in the wrong direction in terms of my diet and fitness, and by the time I hit the 5-year mark as a dad, I knew that something needed to change. That’s where Nutrisystem came in.
Making the Commitment
I’ve never been a huge guy – in terms of both weight and height. I’m a generous 5’8″, and have always weighed less than 200 pounds…Until recently, that is. And no, I didn’t miraculously start getting taller in my mid-30s – more like, rounder.
This year it finally got to the point that I knew I needed to finally break some bad habits, and get back on track. I was sick of buying new pants every year, and honestly, I want to be around to enjoy life with my wife and kids. We all know the nasty side effects that come with being fat – hypertension, bad cholesterol scores, achy joints and knees, and a whole host of other potential problems.
For me, getting back on track started with committing myself to trying the Nutrisystem program. Signing up takes commitment on a couple of levels. First, you need to prepare yourself to drastically change the way you eat. Transitioning to the Nutrisystem meals isn’t easy at first, but it does get better. Second, there’s the cost involved. It’s going to take close to $300 to get started with their full program, and it can get more expensive than that, depending on which options you choose. After factoring in everything, I decided it was time to take the plunge. I created an account, selected my meal plan for the month, and the rest is history…well, the story is still unfolding, so it’s not over yet!
My Turbo 13 Plan
When you go to sign up with Nutrisystem, you will notice that there are multiple plans to choose from. The are as follows:
The costs for these plans goes up, accordingly, and they’re going to be different for men and women. Guys pay a premium, as they eat a little more food on the program. I went with the Basic Plan, which costs just over $300 for a 28-day supply of food. It pencils out to about $11.25 per day while you’re following the plan, which really isn’t that bad when you think about it.
The big difference between the plans is the variety of food that is available to you and the level of customization you want: On the Basic Plan you have around 100 food items, and they craft the menu for you based on their most popular items. The Core has more than 100 different foods, and you can let them create your menu, or design your own. The Uniquely Yours offers more than 150 foods and offers the same level of customization as the Core.
Your monthly cost can also go up, depending on whether or not you want their frozen foods. The frozen foods are considered to be a little fresher than their other meals, and you can have ice cream for desert. I didn’t go with the frozen foods but just know that they’re an option, and they apparently taste great too!
How it Works
After signing up, you’ll get all of your meals, snacks, and shakes shipped right to your front door in one big box. This is one of the main reasons I choose Nutrisystem over some of the other options I considered – you can’t get any easier than having most of the food you’ll need for a month dropped off at your front porch.
Right now when you sign up for their Auto-Delivery program, you get free FedEx shipping too, which is a nice bonus. Read up on the Auto-Delivery cancellation policy, though, as you will want to be on Nutrisystem for at least two months to maximize your savings – if you quit early, there is a small penalty to pay, so you will want to consider that as part of your commitment to the program. For me, I knew I wanted to commit myself to at least two months, so I knew it wouldn’t be an issue for me.
Start with the Turbo Takeoff Box
When you open your shipment, you’ll notice a bunch of different foods, and then a bright red and white box. This is the Turbo Takeoff box, and it includes a selection of meals and snacks that are designed to help you get the best results possible during your first week on the program. Follow the guidelines in the box, and you should be able to shed several pounds during those first 7 days!
Nutrisystem also launched a new program called Lean 13 to start the New Year – basically, they say you can lose up to 13 pounds and 10 inches from your waist during your first month. I don’t know how many inches I lost, but I hit the 13-pound goal during month 1, so that was pretty awesome!
6 Small Meals per Day
With Nutrisystem, you will be eating 6 times over the course of the day. So your eating schedule might look something like this:
7:00 AM – Breakfast
10:00 AM – Snack
12:30 PM – Lunch
3:30 PM – Snack
6:30 PM – Dinner
9:00 PM – Snack or Dessert
I found this schedule to be great, as just when I was starting to feel hungry again, you get to eat another meal. Their foods are going are going to vary depending on the meal, but it includes a pretty decent variety. Here are just a few of the foods you get to eat at each meal:
Snacks: Muffins, Turbo Shake, NutriCrush Shake, Yogurt with Fresh Fruit, Cookies, Cheese Puffs
Breakfast: Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin Bar, Bagel, Waffles, Biscotti Bites, Cinnamon Roll
Lunch: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Four Cheese Melt, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Red Beans & Rice
Dinner: BBQ Seasoned Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Parmesan, Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza
Again, these are just a small sampling of the foods that are available to you, but I just wanted to give you a quick idea of what to expect when you sign up. Personally, I found all of the foods tasted pretty good for the most part. Sure, it’s not 5-Star Cuisine, but it gets the job done and the quality matches the price you’re paying per meal.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there is a small amount of grocery shopping that you will need to do, in addition to the Nutrisystem meals. You will want to make fresh fruits and veggies an important part of your diet, so plan on buying some of these items each week. This is a nice option, as you can eat a salad with your lunch or dinner, which made the meals that much more satisfying, in my opinion.
I followed the plan described closely – I ate the Nutrisystem meals, stuck to their schedule, and incorporated fruits and vegetables into my diet as well. In the end, I was super happy with the weight I lost! I got things started quickly with the Turbo Takeoff, and lost close to 7 pounds during my first week following their plan. It’s important to note that it isn’t easy starting out, especially if you’re used to eating pretty large meals like I was. That’s the good thing about the Turbo Takeoff, though – it helps you adjust to a new way of eating, while also maximizing your results over the first 7 days – a win-win!
In total, I lost just over 20 pounds with the help of Nutrisystem. I stuck with the plan for a full two months. Were there bumps in the road? Yes, absolutely. It isn’t always easy sticking the plan, especially when your friends want to go out to eat or grab a beer after work. Part of my commitment to the plan was to give up beer as well. I don’t drink much of it as is, but I certainly didn’t need the extra calories, and it isn’t recommended to drink while you’re following their program if you want to achieve the best results possible.
Life After Nutrisystem
Since transitioning off Nutrisystem at the beginning of March, I have been able to lose another 10 pounds. Of course, I never planned on staying on Nutrisystem forever, but I wanted to use it to get me pointed in the right direction and back on track and feel like I accomplished that. Now, I am using more a ketogenic approach – some lean proteins, lots of fresh vegetables, minimal carbs, and as close to zero as I can get when it comes to sugar. So far, it seems to be working great and is a plan that I feel like I can stick with for the long term.
Of course, exercise also plays a larger role in my life now too, but I’m definitely not going overboard. I try to limit my workouts to 30-minute sessions, usually 15-20 minutes of cardio, followed by 15-20 minutes of weight lifting. Pretty simple, really. Beyond that, I play with my kids and enjoy time outdoors with my wife and family.
Nutrisystem worked for me, and I strongly believe that it can work for you too. It’s a convenient, effective, and affordable way to lose weight. It helped me drop more than 20 pounds and get my life back on track, and it may be able to help you too if you’re ready to commit to the program. Learn more about the plans they offer at the official Nutrisystem website.