Learn the Lingo: 11 Nutrisystem Terms You Need to Know

Article posted in: Nutrisystem for Men
Nutrisystem terms

The Nutrisystem weight loss program is effective for so many people because it teaches a healthful new way to think about eating. When you begin your plan, you’ll also learn a few Nutrisystem terms that can help you make the right choices for your goals.

For this reason, we’ve compiled a simple glossary of the terms you’ll need to know, in order to get comfortable with your plan and familiar with the Nutrisystem philosophy. Use these Nutrisystem terms as a guide for getting to your ideal weight:

1. PowerFuels


Lean proteins and healthy fats can make any weight loss plan more satisfying, delicious and easy to stick to. We call them PowerFuels. These grocery add-ins are often the stars of our dinner plates and make the best smart and filling snacks.

PowerFuel grocery add-ins consist of healthy fats and high-quality proteins. They provide energy, keep you satisfied and help maintain muscle. They include items like meat, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds and avocados.

2. SmartCarbs


Did you know that you can still drop pounds and get healthy while enjoying carbs like bread, crackers and pasta? The key is selecting nutrient-rich carbohydrates that contain fiber and sticking to proper portion sizes. We call these nutritious carbs SmartCarbs.

SmartCarb grocery add-ins are carbohydrates that contain fiber and typically register lower on the Glycemic Index. That means they are digested more slowly, helping you feel fuller longer. They include items like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, beans, fruit and starchy vegetables like potatoes.

3. Non-Starchy Vegetables


Packed with fiber and nutrients, non-starchy vegetables are a low-calorie way to stay full and satisfied while you lose weight. Add these veggies to your Nutrisystem meals, Flex meals or snacks!

Since non-starchy veggies are packed with nutrition and low in calories, they are unlimited on Nutrisystem. However, we do recommend that you eat at least 4 servings per day. This includes familiar staples like leafy greens, broccoli, onions and tomatoes.

Note: Starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes and peas are higher in carbs and calories, so they count as SmartCarbs.

4. Extras


Adding flavor to your food can pile on calories without you even realizing it. To help you become more aware of this, Nutrisystem categorizes such foods as Extras. You can use these optional add-ins to spice up your meals or to make them more satisfying.

Extras can make your meals and snacks more sweet, savory, spicy or satisfying. They include ingredients like coffee creamer, salad dressing, honey and condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise. You are limited to 3 Extras per day.

5. Free Foods

free foods

Just because you’re eating to lose weight, that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on flavor. Many ingredients that crank up the satisfaction in your meals are considered Free Foods on your Nutrisystem plan, so you can enjoy as much of them as your taste buds desire.

Free Foods contain less calories than Extras but still provide major flavor. They include spices, herbs, lemon juice, hot sauce, low-sodium broth, and certain condiments and beverages. They have less than 10 calories per serving. Because these foods are so low in calories, they are unlimited on your Nutrisystem plan.

View the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for ideas and serving sizes of each add-in category! >

6. Flex Meals

woman cooking meal looking at recipe book

We don’t just teach you how to lose weight. We also teach you how to keep it off. Most Nutrisystem plans include Flex meals—meals and snacks that you create using the easy guidelines we provide.

As you lose today, you are learning a new way to eat and to prepare food for yourself. Flex meals let you practice your new knowledge about healthy ingredients and portion sizes. They help you get ready for a lifetime of eating well and maintaining your healthy weight. And they couldn’t be more simple! All it takes is choosing from the grocery add-ins: PowerFuels, SmartCarbs, Vegetables, Extras and Free Foods

Most plans get to create 2 Flex breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks each week (men prepare 4 Flex snacks). If you opted for a Nutrisystem plan that includes seven days of food each week, you don’t have to worry about Flexing. Just stick to your Nutrisystem foods for each meal occasion!

Does your plan include Fast 5 for your first week? You’ll start adding in Flex meals in week 2, unless you are on a 7-day plan.

Click here for the full details on Flex meals!>

7. The NuMi App

woman on smart phone next to a salad

Keeping a food diary makes a significant difference in your chances of achieving weight loss success. The official Nutrisystem companion app, NuMi (say it “new me”), makes it easy for you to track your daily food and water intake, weight loss progress and physical activity.

The free app, available for iPhone or Android, is simple to use and offers lots of other fun and helpful features, such as daily meal reminders, lists of favorite foods and syncing with fitness devices to capture valuable health data.

8. NuMi SmartAdapt

man on smart phone

When it comes to calories and weight loss, one size doesn’t fit all! NuMi SmartAdapt is a feature within our free tracking app, NuMi. When you enable NuMi SmartAdapt, we create a calorie goal designed for your unique metabolism with a personalized meal plan to match.

During your journey, NuMi SmartAdapt will adjust your daily calorie goal when you hit certain weight loss milestones to prevent weight loss plateaus. The goal is to help you achieve long term success. It’s a plan that adapts to YOU.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the NuMi app and select your Nutrisystem plan. You will be asked if you would like to personalize your plan with NuMi SmartAdapt. You can also go to MORE > SETTINGS > PLAN SETTINGS to select a plan and enable NuMi SmartAdapt.
  2. Tap “Enable NuMi SmartAdapt” and take the short quiz to help us create your personal plan: Your calorie goal is determined using a scientifically validated algorithm and takes into consideration your age, gender, height, weight, lifestyle and activity level to determine the ideal number of calories your body needs to support an average weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week.
  3. You’ll receive your custom nutrition plan after completing the quiz.
  4. As you log your meals and weight into NuMi, the app will review your progress and make changes according to your needs. In the beginning of your second month, SmartAdapt will recalculate your calorie goal after every 10 pounds of weight loss. It will also adapt to address plateaus.
  5. We recommend that you track and weigh in NuMi at least each week to get all the benefits of SmartAdapt.

9. My Daily 3

walk daily 3 nutrisystem terms

Physical activity stimulates your metabolism and tones your muscles, helping you to burn calories and shed pounds. That’s why Nutrisystem’s experts recommend that you are active for at least 150 minutes each week. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours exercising every day. My Daily 3 is an easy way to integrate physical activity into your life.

In three quick, 10-minute sessions, you can reap the benefits of regular exercise, without making a commitment to a rigid, 30-minute workout routine. You can get in 10 minutes of activity before you start your day, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes in the evening if you so choose. Feel free to fit the sessions into any times that work with your schedule! A brisk walk is the simplest of ways to get active, but you can also do yardwork, house work, go for a bike ride, climb stairs, stretch, do yoga or even dance. Just keep moving and feel yourself getting healthier.

Really hate exercise? Get some suggestions here! >

10. The Leaf

leaf nutrisystem terms

Your source for information and inspiration, The Leaf is the online destination for everyone on a weight loss journey. It’s the official Nutrisystem weight loss blog filled with tips, recipes and guides to help you succeed.

  • Articles – Learn how to live healthy and lose weight with science-backed articles centered around diet, nutrition, lifestyle and fitness. Plus, stay motivated on the way to your goal with inspirational success stories from real people who had real results on Nutrisystem.
  • Recipes – Access thousands of nutritious and delicious Flex Meal and Snack recipes for every occasion
  • Guides – Get set for weight loss success with our Grocery Guide, Dining Out Guide, Sample Meal Plans and videos designed specifically for the Nutrisystem plan. Head to our “For Customer” section to check them out!

11. Fast 5 Week

nutrisystem terms

The Fast 5 week is included with select Nutrisystem plans, including Uniquely Yours Max+. With this special first week, you move right into the weight loss fast lane with seven full days of delicious Nutrisystem meals and protein shakes. This first week of the program is designed to reboot your body and kickstart your weight loss. It’s simple to follow and lower in calories to jumpstart your results.*

Each day during week 1, you will enjoy a Nutrisystem breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack from your order. You will also receive seven Nutrisystem shakes that are to be used as your morning snack during this first week. Plus, you get to add in unlimited non-starchy vegetables and 64 ounces of water. Going into week two, you will get to start adding in PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Extras.

Not all plans include Fast 5. If your plan includes Fast 5, click here for everything you need to know! >

*Results vary based on starting weight and program adherence. Not all plans include Fast 5.

It’s important to know that changing your diet or exercise or losing weight could affect some medical conditions and medications. Your doctor may need to adjust your medications due to changes in your diet, exercise, or weight while on Nutrisystem. Make sure to check with your doctor before beginning any weight loss program, including Nutrisystem. Please be sure to eat all of the food that is recommended on the Nutrisystem program. Failure to follow the program and eat all of the food recommended may increase the risk of developing serious health complications. At Nutrisystem, we care about you. That’s why we champion safe, effective weight loss—no fads, no gimmicks, just better health.