8 Common Myths About Nutrisystem—Busted!

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

What’s keeping you from pulling the trigger and signing up to become a brand new you with Nutrisystem? If it’s any of these eight common myths, be prepared to lose your last excuse. That’s right: We caught up with Dietary Supervisor Kristin Flynn to find out the most common misconceptions she hears about Nutrisystem, and why these myths are just that… myths.

1.“The food is so high in sodium!”
Not so fast. All of Nutrisystem’s programs meet or fall below the USDA’s recommended intake of 2,300 mg of sodium or less per day. And each of the individual meals meet the American Heart Association’s recommendations of staying below 600 mg of the salty stuff. And while your exact intake will depend on the entrees you choose and the grocery items you add to your diet plan. But you can easily slash the sodium intake of your grocery additions by reading labels and making good choices. So instead of opting for canned veggies, you can choose fresh or frozen produce. And instead of sprinkling salt on everything, flavoring your foods with herbs and spices.

And the best part is, if you’re on a low-sodium diet plan for your health, our weight loss counselors are standing by to help you customize your diet plan to limit your sodium intake.

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2. “Nutrisystem is SO expensive!”
This literally doesn’t add up. The cost of Nutrisystem is actually less expensive than many of its competitors, in part because you’re not paying membership or meeting fees, auto-delivery shipping costs, or weight loss counseling support fees.

Not only is Nutrisystem less expensive than our nearest competitors, we have a larger variety of shelf-stable and frozen entrees. And you don’t have to spend and arm-and-a-leg on additional grocery items every week either! You only have to add four vegetable servings and a couple of add-ins. Plus our weight loss counselors, available to you at no cost from 7 a.m. to midnight, are happy to share some tips for saving money on groceries.

3. “There are too many sweets and carbs on this diet plan.”
You’re smart to be concerned about your sugar and carb intake. But luckily, Nutrisystem diet foods are made with the optimal balance of nutrients, including lean proteins, healthy fats and smart carbs (the ones that are low to medium on the Glycemic index). Plus, you can opt to customize your weight loss program. Nutrisystem offers a wide variety of snacks, some of which contain no or very little sugar. So if you really want to cut carbs, you can work with a counselor to customize your menu to do just that.

The Nutrisystem “D” Plan, intended for those with Type 2 Diabetes, meets the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association guidelines for recommended sugar intake. Monitoring your total daily carbohydrate intake and choosing the right types of carbohydrates are the best ways to manage your blood sugars. The Nutrisystem® D® diet plan, along with our recommended grocery food items, provide the right amount of smart carbs.

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4. “I didn’t think I’d have to count calories on this diet plan.”
The truth is, Nutrisystem does most of the calorie-counting for you. The weight loss plans are designed by nutrition experts, and provide you with the right balance of nutrients and the right amount of calories to help you lose weight safely.

But because we’ve found that some of our customers actually enjoy keeping track of their calories, Nutrisystem offers NuMi, a free online tracker that lets you easily log your daily intake, weight, activity and more. This can be particularly helpful if you’re tailoring the plan to your own individual food preferences and eating habits, as many of our members do. Plus, many customers who have met their weight goal have found NuMi to be the very thing that keeps them there, since it holds them accountable during like after Nutrisystem.

5. “Nutrisystem foods are full of chemicals and additives.”
Nutrisystem provides a wide variety of shelf-stable and frozen weight loss foods, so it’s a common misconception that our entrees are “processed foods full of chemicals.” If that’s what you think, it might surprise you to learn that you’d be hard-pressed to find anything on the list of ingredients in our foods that looks like it belongs in a science project. We don’t require preservatives in most of our weight loss foods any more. There are more than 120 Nutrisystem foods that contain no artificial preservatives at all. Nutrisystem diet foods don’t contain any artificial  flavors. And most of the products are free of any artificial sweeteners. Nutrisystem foods also do not contain the ingredient monosodium glutamate (MSG), nor will you find any aspartame or saccharin. And the additives we do use, such as BHT, potassium sorbate, calcium propionate and sodium benzoate, meet the Food and Drug Administration’s “Generally Recognized as Safe,” or GRAS, criteria.

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6. “There’s loads of pizza and pasta on this diet plan—that can’t be healthy!”
Who said pizza and pasta can’t be healthy? Keep in mind we aren’t sending you any deep dish, cheese-in-crust, meat-lover’s pizzas, or the three-foot mountain of pasta smothered in butter and garlic dishes you’re used to getting in restaurants. Our pizza and pasta dishes are perfectly portioned and developed to keep you satisfied and on the weight loss track. Our portions are smaller in size, lower in calories but, most important, they’re higher in protein and fiber and lower in sodium than typical restaurant (and, let’s face it, homemade) entrees. This way, you can still enjoy the foods you love. So you’ll lose weight without feeling like you’re sacrificing your favorite foods Our customers, in their Nutrisystem reviews, often tell us that this is the very reason they were able to achieve weight loss success.

7. “I’ll never be able to lose weight on this diet program because I’m not able to exercise.”
You don’t need to exercise to lose weight on the Nutrisystem plan. In fact, studies have found that you’re more likely to lose weight by cutting calories than increasing exercise. (To lose one pound of fat, say Harvard experts, you’d have to run five miles a day!) So don’t worry that your physical limitations are going to stand in the way of your weight loss goals.

That said, if you can exercise, you should… even if it’s just doing chair exercises. And here’s why: Exercising regularly can help preserve lean body mass and also helps prevent your metabolism from slowing. A sluggish metabolism means you’ll be burning fewer calories, even at rest. Exercise can help boost the rate at which you burn calories, even when you’re sleeping (yes, you burn calories while you’re tucked in!). At Nutrisystem, we encourage members to get 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a week (think brisk walking or aerobics class). To help you do this, we have created the My Daily 3® activity plan, which focuses on achieving 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Start small if you can, and work your way up to doing more. As always, make sure to consult with your physician before including any type of physical activity.

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8. “The flex meals will make me want to eat off the program/have a cheat day/cause cravings.”
If we insisted that you stick to Nutrisystem foods while you lose weight, you might never become confident that you can achieve healthy weight loss on your own. Those flex meals—which you can create using the tracker or by talking to your weight loss counselor—will help you learn to serve appropriate portions and nutritionally balanced meals on your own. You’re not “cheating.” If that’s the way you see it, you’re setting yourself up for failure—eating well 85 percent of the time then setting yourself back the other 15 percent of the time. If you do feel like cheating or caving in to a craving, pick up the phone and call your counselor. Let them help you talk yourself out of it by sharing their knowledge and motivating you! That’s why they’re there. You can also check out Nutrisystem’s weight loss blog, The Leaf, for all kinds of weight loss tips, hundreds of healthy,diet-plan-friendly recipes, plus support and inspiration from real people just like you!