Getting Started With Your Nutrisystem Diabetes Plan

Article posted in: Nutrisystem
woman opening a box

Beginning a weight loss journey comes with a range of emotions. Your first Nutrisystem D order is on its way and you may be feeling super excited, a little nervous and cautiously optimistic. After all, you’ve just taken the official first step towards a happier and healthier you! Begin on the right track with this helpful Getting Started Guide that’s packed with tips and tricks for success on the Nutrisystem Diabetes plan.

Ready to get started? Check out our guide for getting started with Nutrisystem D below:

1. Make Room

Set yourself up for success from the start by clearing some space in your kitchen. You will be getting a box of food delivered to your door, so be sure to make some room in your pantry for it. If your plan includes frozen foods, you’ll also want to ensure you have room in your freezer. Choose a spot that’s easily accessible, preferably away from any unhealthy options that your family may buy.

If your order includes ready-to-go foods, you don’t need to worry about refrigerating them—they’ve been packaged with a safe, “soft canning” process that locks in their nutrition and flavor. If your order includes frozen foods, you’ll want to place them in the freezer as soon as your delivery arrives to preserve both quality and taste.

Note: If you ordered frozen foods, these may arrive in a separate shipment from your ready-to-go foods. They will come in a cooler and are marked “Keep Frozen” on the label. If you receive your frozen foods first, wait to get started until you receive the non-frozen shipment. This will include your meal plan information.

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2. Get Organized

When the package arrives with your first month of meals and snacks, take the time to put away and organize your items. The meals and snacks are color-coded for your convenience: Breakfasts have yellow labels, lunches have blue labels, dinners have red labels and snacks have purple labels.

All of these items can safely be stored in your cabinets. If you ordered any frozen foods, you will receive these items in a separate shipment and they will be marked “Frozen.” They have the same color coding and will need to be stored in your freezer.

You will get started with your Nutrisystem weight loss plan by following the Quick Start Guide in your order. Here is an overview of what you might eat on a typical day:

  • Any Nutrisystem Breakfast
  • Any Nutrisystem Lunch
  • Any Nutrisystem Dinner
  • Any Nutrisystem Snack (men, you will enjoy two Nutrisystem snacks per day)
  • Snacks you prepare (women prepare two snacks, men prepare one)
  • At least four servings of non-starchy veggies throughout the day
  • At least 64 ounces of water

3. Download the Grocery Guide

While most of your meals and snacks are provided by Nutrisystem, you will also get to add in some of your favorite healthy grocery additions each day. Make sure to check out and download the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide to get list of options.

Click here for the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide! >

You’ll notice that the Grocery Guide is divided into different categories. Learn more about each of these categories below:


Each day, we recommend adding in at least four servings of non-starchy vegetables. One serving is either a half-cup of cooked veggies or one cup of raw veggies. Non-starchy vegetables include low-calorie options like leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes and peppers. To help you reach your four required daily servings, fill up your menu with fresh salads, side dishes, smoothies and snacks that feature your favorite vegetables. You can even toss veggies into your Nutrisystem meals to make them a little bigger!


PowerFuels are high-quality proteins and healthy fats, like lean meats, fish, low-fat yogurt and nuts. One PowerFuel is between 80 to 120 calories with at least five grams of protein or at least eight grams of total fat (with no more than four grams of saturated fat). Learn more about PowerFuels here! >


SmartCarbs are nutrient-rich carbohydrates, which are packed with fiber and rank lower on the glycemic Index. This means that they may help to keep your blood sugar steady and prevent spikes after meals and snacks. The fiber helps them digest slower, keeping you feeling full for longer than other carbs. One SmartCarb is between 80 to 120 calories with at least one gram of fiber. Examples include foods like fruit, starchy vegetables (like corn, peas and sweet potatoes), beans and whole grains. Learn more about SmartCarbs here! >

Free Foods

Free Foods are optional flavor boosters and beverages that contain less than 10 calories per serving. You can use them in unlimited amounts to add flavor. Some of our favorite Free Foods include vinegar, spices, herbs, low-sodium broth, lemon juice, salsa and hot sauce. Black coffee and unsweetened tea are also included in this list.


Add a little extra to your meal plan with Extras! These tasty add-ins contain more calories than Free Foods but serve a similar purpose: To add flavor and keep things interesting. One Extra contains 10 to 35 calories per serving and includes foods like popcorn, salad dressing, honey, ketchup, mayonnaise, coffee creamer and more. You are allowed three Extras per day, so be sure to keep track of them and watch your portion sizes.

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4. Prep to Flex

With Nutrisystem, you’ll lose weight AND learn how to keep it off. Flex meals are our simple way of teaching you how to prepare healthy meals on your own, while also allowing a little flexibility during the week.

Flex meals are meals that you will prepare on your own using the simple guidelines that we provide. Check out this article to learn more about Flex meals and what they should contain. Customers on the Basic and Uniquely Yours Diabetes plans will add in Flex meal each week. Those on the Uniquely Yours Ultimate Diabetes plan will not need to include Flex meals. However, you can check out the article if you find that there are times you want to add in a Flex meal, such as going out to a restaurant.

Each week, members of our Basic and Uniquely Yours Diabetes plans will prepare two Flex breakfasts, two Flex lunches, two Flex dinners and two Flex snacks (Men will make four Flex snacks). Your Flex meals will consist of a combination of PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Vegetables (plus optional Free Foods and Extras).

Take a look at the week ahead and schedule when you plan to have your Flex meals. This will prevent you from forgetting about them and having all your Flex meals left for the end of the month. We also don’t recommend having all of your Flex meals on the same day. Try to spread them out throughout the week when it fits your schedule best.

5. Head to the Grocery Store

You have your Grocery Guide, learned about Flex meals and are ready to hit the supermarket! Before you head out, we recommend highlighting or making a separate list of the items you plan to buy. Make sure to pick out a few of your favorite foods from each of the categories we reviewed above.

Go to the store when it’s less busy so you can take your time in each aisle. In the produce section, fill up your cart with fresh fruit and non-starchy veggies for your SmartCarbs and Vegetables. Hit up the meat and dairy aisle to grab some chicken breast, eggs and yogurt for your PowerFuels. And don’t forget to hit the frozen aisle: Frozen fruits, veggies and meats are a great timesaver! Just be sure to avoid options that include added sugars or sauces, as they can add unwanted sugar, fat and calories.

Finally, hit the middle aisles of the grocery store to find your pantry-friendly add-ins. Canned beans are a great SmartCarb option, while peanut butter and almonds are perfect PowerFuels. If you plan to make a lot of salads, consider grabbing a low-fat salad dressing that you can use as an Extra. You should also pick up some dried spices and herbs, which are great Free Foods to add flavor to your meals.

6. Get the NuMi App

Research shows that tracking your food, activity and progress can help you lose more weight. Before you get started with your program, make sure to download our free official companion app, NuMi.

NuMi will guide you on how to follow your meal plan while also providing you with an organized place to keep track of your daily food and water intake, physical activity and weight loss progress. It’s also the place to go for all things Nutrisystem, as it houses tons of helpful information for your plan along with healthy recipes, fun tracking challenges and app-exclusive deals on Nutrisystem foods.

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7. Take Your Measurements

The number on the scale isn’t the only measure of your weight loss success. Taking and keeping track of your measurements throughout your journey is another way to keep track of how you are doing.

Grab a tape measure and write down your stats when you start the plan. You can also take a picture of yourself at the start of your journey, as this is a great visual reminder of your progress.

You can log your measurements in the NuMi app. (Go to More > Settings > View Your Profile > My Measurements). Need some guidance on how to measure yourself? Click here! >