The Top FAQs About Nutrisystem

Article posted in: Nutrisystem

Congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle! Here at Nutrisystem, we’ve worked hard to take all the guesswork out of your weight loss, so you can relax and enjoy the meal plan. 

We want to ensure that you have all the tools you need for success. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Nutrisystem.

Question 1: What is typical weight loss on Nutrisystem?

The Nutrisystem program is designed to deliver weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. This is considered healthy and sustainable weight loss, which is exactly what we want. However, general science says that even losing a half a pound per week is good!

Question 2: Where can I find my Nutrisystem guides? 

nutrisystem starter guideYou will receive a printed Starter Guide in your first Nutrisystem order. This provides an overview of the meal plan at a glance.  

Scan the QR codes throughout the Starter Guide with your smart phone to access the Nutrisystem Program Guide and Grocery Guide PDFs. 

You can also find these Guides and more online in My Account, on our blog The Leaf, and in the NuMi® app 

Access Guides in your NuMi® News Feed by tapping “More” in the bottom right corner of the screen. Tap “News Feed.” Then select “Guides” from the available options. 

Question 3: How do I know which meal plan to follow? 

Your meal plan guidelines will depend on the specific Nutrisystem program that you are on. You can download the NuMi app for the meal plan and Flex guidelines that you should be following. 

When setting up NuMi, you’ll need to know the specific Nutrisystem program that you ordered. Check My Account if you’re not sure.  

Review the Nutrisystem Program Guide to learn more about each specific program and how to follow the Nutrisystem meal plan.  

Question 4: What is NuMi SmartAdapt® and how many calories will I eat on Nutrisystem? 

If you’d like a more personalized weight loss experience, you can enable NuMi SmartAdapt in 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.

Your calories will be personal to you and based on your height, weight, age, gender and activity. Make sure to answer your activity questions accurately. If you’re not sure which to choose, pick the more conservative answer.

nutrisystem numi smartadapt

Once you’ve enabled NuMi SmartAdapt, NuMi 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. 

If you’re concerned that your daily calorie goal is too high, rest assured that it is calculated specifically for you. Plus, keep in mind that eating too little can actually hinder your weight loss progress!

While you do need a calorie deficit when trying to lose weight, dropping your calories too low for too long can backfire. When your calories are too low, your body will defend against this by slowing your metabolism, also known as metabolic adaptation. This is the opposite of what you need from a weight loss plan!

The standard Nutrisystem plan provides 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,500 calories per day for men. If you work out vigorously or have more than 100 pounds to lose, contact our Weight Loss Coaches, as you may require additional calories from grocery add-ins to achieve optimal weight loss results.

Nutrisystem programs are designed to provide a healthy rate of weight loss, which is about one to two pounds per week. Speak to a Weight Loss Coach if you have any questions or concerns about your recommended calorie goal for weight loss. 

Question 5: What is Fast 5 Week?  

The Fast 5 week is included with select Nutrisystem plans, including Uniquely Yours Max+. It’s designed to reboot your body and kickstart your weight loss.

You can lose 5 pounds* in your first week with Fast 5. It gets you fired up to lose weight with 7 full days of delicious Nutrisystem meals and protein shakes. It’s simple to follow and lower in calories to jumpstart your results.

To find out if your plan includes Fast 5, refer to the Nutrisystem Program guide.  

Question 6: What are PowerFuels and SmartCarbs? 

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

nutrisystem grocery guide1 PowerFuel is 80 to 120 calories with at least 5 grams of protein OR at least 8 grams of fat (and with no more than 4 grams of saturated fat). 

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 grain pasta, beans, fruit and starchy vegetables like potatoes.  

1 SmartCarb is 80 to 120 calories with at least 1 gram of fiber. The more fiber, the better! 

We recommend that you get your PowerFuels and SmartCarbs from whole food choices most of the time – like nuts, fruits, low-fat dairy and whole grains. 

Refer to the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for examples and serving sizes of both categories.

Question 7: What vegetables can I add in and are they required? 

Learning how to incorporate non-starchy vegetables into your meals is an important part of the plan and is required. Vegetables provide your body with crucial vitamins and the fiber that it needs to be healthy.

We recommend a minimum of 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day, and you can have as many as you want. Non-starchy vegetables include tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and so much more!  

Starchy vegetables, like corn, potatoes and peas contain more carbohydrates and calories than non-starchy options. While they are nutritious, they are considered SmartCarbs and are limited based on the number of SmartCarbs in your meal plan. 

Question 8: What beverages can I drink? 

We recommend sipping on water all day long. It’s naturally good for you and helps you feel full! Aim to drink at least 64 oz. (8 cups) of water or other calorie-free drinks each day.

Add lemon wedges, cucumber slices or mint leaves to your water for extra flavor. You can also enjoy black coffee, unsweetened tea, and plain or flavored seltzer water. 

On Nutrisystem, you can enjoy up to 2 alcoholic drinks weekly. We recommend having them on different days of the week. However, we do NOT recommend alcohol during the Fast 5 week.

Question 9: What are Flex meals? 

Most Nutrisystem plans include Flex meals—meals and snacks that you create using the easy guidelines we provide. 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. 

Woman following a recipe in book

Each Flex meal consists of a combination of SmartCarbs, PowerFuels and Vegetables. You can also add in Extras or Free Foods to liven up your menu. We have plenty of recipes and suggestions to get you going on our blog, The Leaf.

Most Nutrisystem plans get to enjoy 2 Flex breakfasts, 2 Flex lunches, 2 Flex dinners and 2-4 Flex snacks each week. For the best weight loss results, we recommend that you spread your Flex meals out through the week. 

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 dine out or cook a meal at home, be sure to follow the Flex meal guidelines to stay on plan.

Question 10: What should I order when I go out to eat? 

Using the guidelines found in the NuMi app, you’ll identify how many SmartCarbs and PowerFuels each Flex meal should include. Generally speaking, great choices include a piece of grilled meat or fish with steamed veggies. You can also choose between a small baked potato, a whole grain roll or whole wheat pasta.  

Your Flex meal could be stir-fry, salad or sushi, among many other options. Remember, it’s all about proper portion sizes and NOT about restricting yourself from your favorite meals. Check out the Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide on The Leaf for tips on ordering a healthy meal.

Question 11: Can I move entrees around in my day or do I have to eat everything in the order in which it is listed?

nutrisystem frozen foodsYou absolutely can move things around! If you feel like eating your dinner at breakfast, go for it!  

Just remember, if you eat a dinner entrée at breakfast time, you can’t choose another dinner option at dinner. You’ll have to choose from the remaining food options for that day.  

We also recommend spreading your meals and snacks evenly throughout the day. Aim to eat every 2 to 3 hours so you don’t feel hungry. 

Question 12: Do I need to exercise? 

Regular physical activity is an important component to lifelong weight management and overall health. That’s why we recommend 30 minutes of physical activity each day.  

The My Daily 3 activity plan makes a movement routine achievable, because we know how hard it can be to exercise. By incorporating 3 quick, 10-minute activity sessions into your day, you can reap the benefits of regular exercise without making a 30-minute commitment all at once.

Sneak 10 minutes of activity in before work, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes after work. Or, if it works better with your schedule, you can spread them throughout your workday—whatever works for you!

Question 13: What are Nutrisystem® Hearty Inspirations® meals?

Hearty Inspirations™ Red Pepper Chicken And Pasta SautéHearty Inspirations® is our line of premium meals included with select Nutrisystem plans and available a la carte. These meals are bigger and more filling than our standard dinners, but remain perfectly portioned for weight loss.  

Everything is included, so there’s no need to add your own sides or veggies. These all-in-one meals contain up to 30+ grams of protein** and count as 1 Nutrisystem® meal, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable.

Question 14: What do the Nutrisystem shakes count as on the plan? 

Nutrisystem protein shakes count as one PowerFuel on the Nutrisystem meal plan. If your plan includes Fast 5, such as Uniquely Yours Max+, Nutrisystem protein shakes are your morning snack during your first week on the program. 

Question 15: How often should I weigh myself? 

person on scale

The frequency that you weigh yourself is a personal preference. Some people like to weigh themselves every day, while others weigh themselves every week. Some people don’t want to weigh themselves at all!  

All options are OK. Just keep a few things in mind: 

  • Make sure to weigh yourself at the same time of day and with the same amount of clothing.
  • The scale can fluctuate drastically from day to day, sometimes even 5 pounds, so you must be conscious of that and not get frustrated.
  • Chart your progress in NuMi and look at the weight loss trend over the month. You can’t base your success on a day or even a few of weighing because it takes time for your body to adjust and show results. 
  • If you’re not weighing at all, use other indicators of success and measure those changes week to week. One of the easiest to check is the way your clothes fit. You can even break out a tape measure if you choose to do so. 

Question 16: What do I do if I hit a weight loss plateau?

Plateaus are a natural part of the weight loss process that occur as your metabolism adapts to your weight loss. If you hit a plateau, you may need to adjust your daily calorie intake and/or increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. Reach out to a weight loss coach to discuss your calorie goal in more detail.

If you’re using NuMi SmartAdapt®, your plan will work to prevent these plateaus by adjusting your meal plan to your changing metabolism. Be sure to log your weight in NuMi® at least once a week. NuMi SmartAdapt® can detect if you’re in a plateau and suggest that you enable Plateau Mode. Plateau Mode is designed to lower your calorie goal to support your metabolism when your progress is stalled.

Don’t stress over this weight loss challenge. While it’s discouraging, it happens to everyone and you’ll get past it with a little perseverance! 

Question 17: Where can I go if I have questions or need support? 

person on laptopYou can maximize your weight loss success by reaching out for help and taking advantage of the many resources available with your Nutrisystem plan:

  • Download the NuMi app for free on your smartphone’s app store, or visit it on desktop at 
  • Join the Official Nutrisystem Support Community on Facebook to connect with Nutrisystem members and experts. You can check it out on the NuMi app by tapping “More” then “Social.” 
  • Visit our blog, The Leaf, for tons of tips, tricks and healthy recipes designed for your Nutrisystem plan.
  • If you have any questions or just need a little support, you can reach out to a Weight Loss Coach. They are here to help with any question, no matter how big or small.

*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. 

**Hearty Inspirations™ dinners contain 20-32g protein vs. standard dinners at 8-22g protein.