Flex Meals and The Nutrisystem Meal Plan Explained

Article posted in: Nutrisystem for Men

Here at Nutrisystem, we don’t just teach you how to lose weight. We also teach you how to keep it off! That’s why most Nutrisystem plans include Flex meals. They give you variety, flexibility and teach you healthy habits for lasting weight loss success.

Flex meals give you the freedom to dine out or enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals throughout the week. Instead of eating a Nutrisystem entrée, Flex meals are meals that you create or order out by following our simple guidelines. Recreate a family recipe or hit up your favorite restaurant!

Learning to build a plate using the Flex meal system ensures that you are consuming the right combination of nutrients to help keep you full and satisfied. Flex meals also help you practice your new knowledge about healthy ingredients and portion sizes. They prepare you for a lifetime of eating well and maintaining your healthy weight.

Nutrisystem plans allow you to choose the number of days’ worth of Nutrisystem food you receive each month. Plans that provide less than 7 days’ worth of Nutrisystem food include Flex meals.

If you opted for a Nutrisystem plan that includes 7 days of food each week, you don’t have to worry about Flexing. Just stick to your Nutrisystem foods for each meal occasion! If you do decide to eat out or cook a meal at home, be sure to follow the Flex meal guidelines to stay on plan.

Does your plan include 7 in 7 for your first week? You’ll start adding in Flex meals in week 2, unless you are on a plan with 7 days of Nutrisystem food each week.

Check out The Leaf for thousands of healthy Flex meal recipes. Ordering a Flex meal from a restaurant? Check out our Dining Out Guide for tips to stay on track!

The Building Blocks

Making Flex meals is super easy! All it takes is choosing from these five building blocks:

PowerFuels – These high-quality proteins and healthy fats are often the at the center of your plate. They satisfy your hunger and are essential fuel for your body.
Examples: lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy, nuts

SmartCarbs – These nutrient-rich carbohydrates are packed with fiber and rank low to medium on the Glycemic Index. This means they digest slower and keep you full longer.
Examples: fruits, starchy vegetables, beans, whole grains

Vegetables – These nutrient-rich veggies are full of fiber yet low in calories. They fill up your plate (and your belly!) and are packed with vitamins to keep you healthy.
Examples: leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, carrots

Extras (Optional) – These tasty ingredients take your meals to the next level. Some add sweetness, while others bring a bit of healthy fats that make your food just a little more satisfying.
Examples: ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, honey

Free Foods (Optional) – These low-calorie add-ins are the best way to pump up the flavor of any meal. They come in all kinds of flavors, from savory to spicy to sweet.
Examples: spices, low-sodium broth, lemon juice, hot sauce

Download the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for examples of each grocery add-in category!

The Guidelines

Using the building blocks above, you will create your Flex meals. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks all have different Flex meal guidelines. Check out the graphs below for an example of what each Flex meal may contain.

Please note that Flex meal guidelines will vary depending on your specific Nutrisystem program. Use the NuMi app for your specific PowerFuel and SmartCarb goals. In your NuMi journal, simply go to the meal occasion your Flexing, then tap FLEX MEAL to turn it ON. This will show you how to build your Flex meal.

flex meal guidelines
Note that non-starchy vegetables are unlimited and you are encouraged to add them to your Flex meals and snacks.

example flex lunch

To build your Flex Meals, you’ll want to consult with your Nutrisystem Grocery Guide to determine which SmartCarbs and which PowerFuels you’d like to include. Check out the examples below for some meal ideas you could make using the specified guidelines. Or, if you’d rather not fuss, just visit our Flex Meals section in the Recipe Center for some delicious and easy recipes that fit perfectly into your meal plan!

Easy Combinations for Flex Meals

Ready to fix your first Flex meal? Get some Flex meal inspiration from these tasty combination ideas for each meal occasion.

Please Note: You can easily adjust the below combinations to fit your specific meal plan. See NuMi for your personal Flex meal guidelines. For example, if your Flex lunch calls for 2 PowerFuels, simply enjoy 2 servings of the PowerFuel shown OR add on another PowerFuel from the list of examples. Feel free to add more Vegetables and Free Foods to your liking! Extras are always optional, but remember they should be limited to no more than 3 per day

Nutrisystem flex breakfast ideas

Nutrisystem flex lunch ideas

Nutrisystem flex dinner ideas

Nutrisystem flex snack ideas