8 Common Weight Loss Challenges Nutrisystem Newbies Face & How to Beat Them

Article posted in: Nutrisystem
Weight loss challenge

Pretty soon you’re going to be an old hand at the Nutrisystem weight loss program. But right now, you’re a newbie and, like any new undertaking, it can be just a bit confusing. No worries: There’s always a learning curve at the beginning of anything new, and you have plenty of help to get adjusted.

Start here with a little guidance from Nutrisystem counselor Lucrecia Brown. She is an old hand at helping brand new customers navigate the program to achieve ultimate weight loss success. We asked Lucrecia to tell us the most common weight loss program challenges newbies experience—and how they can overcome any obstacle.

Here’s how to beat any quick weight loss challenge you’ll face:

Week 1 Challenges

1. Your first shipment of weight loss food arrives with a Week 1 Guide and a Quick Start Guide. Which should you start with first?


  • Follow the Week 1 Guide first! Your first seven days are a One-Week Reboot designed to help you lose weight fast,* which is great weight loss motivation. However, it won’t happen if you’re not following the right tracker.
  • During your first week, you will eat Nutrisystem breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for all seven days. You can choose any meal or snack from your entire order to enjoy during this first week.
  • You will receive seven Nutrisystem shakes to use as your morning snack during this first week. These are packed with protein and probiotics to support digestive health and help shrink your belly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
  • Check out this helpful article: Everything You Need to Know About Your First Week of Nutrisystem>
  • Once you finish your first week, you will switch to the meal plan in the Quick Start Guide.
  • Still confused? Contact a Nutrisystem weight loss counselor by phone or via chat to help you sort it out.

2. Once you start dieting, you also start exercising. Good move—literally. But you may overdo it. That’s not wise if you’ve been a couch potato up till now. You could hurt yourself.


  • Consider holding off on activity until your first week is complete. Your body is likely already adjusting to a new eating schedule and quantity.
  • If you do decide to introduce activity, remember: Slow and steady wins this race. Keep your physical activity light—no more than 30 minutes if you’re just starting out. You have to walk before you run.
  • Follow “My Daily 3:” Three, 10-minute walks a day, or other small forms of exercise, to build up your stamina and endurance.
  • If you’re already exercising, check with your counselor about whether you can nudge time and speed.

3. You’re cutting back on everything else, so you may be tempted to cut back on non-starchy vegetables.


  • Don’t do that! You need a minimum of four veggie servings a day, which you can find listed on page four of your Tracker. Non-starchy vegetables fall into the “unlimited” category, so you can have as many as you want. They’re low in calories, but high in nutrition and full of fiber to keep you feeling satisfied.
  • Not a veggie fan? You’ll want to check out this must-read article on 6 Simple Ways to Sneak More Veggies into Your Diet >

Meal Plan Challenges

1. 64 ounces of water—it sounds like a lot! You think you’ll never hit your goal.


  • Really, it’s only eight, eight-ounce servings. You’re eating six times a day, so have at least a glass with each weight loss meal. You can even use calorie-free beverages, such as seltzer with a squeeze of lemon, flavored water, coffee and tea, as treats throughout the day. Easy peasy.
  • Check out this helpful article: 10 Hacks to Make Drinking More Water a Breeze > for more tips on squeezing in more liquids.

2. You think that skipping meals might accelerate your weight loss. Or, you get to the point where even the trimmed down weight loss meals on the plan seem like too much.

Remember that the Nutrisystem program is scientifically designed to help you lose weight in the most efficient and healthy way. Skipping meals is a big no-no. You need every one of those calories and all of those nutrients to stay healthy and keep your calorie-burning metabolism chugging along.


  • Choose smaller portioned grocery items from your list to help make it easier to eat all the foods. For example, choose string cheese over a half of a cup of tuna.
  • Skip carbonated drinks that can fill up your belly and make it hard to eat your meals.
  • Trouble getting those veggies? Substitute veggie juice for one vegetable serving, or always have at least two vegetables with lunch and dinner.
  • Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, then space out your meals and snacks every two hours.

3. How long does it take to lose weight? You weigh yourself every day and you get discouraged by A.) slow weight loss or B.) eek, you gained a pound since yesterday!


Cravings, Emotional Eating and Weight Loss Motivation Challenges

1. One bad day at work or a whiff of the cinnamon buns at the mall can set the cravings cycle in motion. As for weight loss motivation? It can flag once in a while even for the best of us. You’re not going to change your relationship with food right away. It’s part of a process that can take you weeks or months.


  • Check out the Success Stories page on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog as well as the customer photos for a little inspiration.
  • Read this article: 10 Tips for Finding Your Weight Loss Motivation >
  • Hold yourself accountable and watch your weight loss program progress by logging your weekly weight loss using the NuMi app.
  • Contact a weight loss counselor. They’re on-call and ready to help when those tough moments hit.
  • Journal your feelings. Not only does keeping a journal help you deal with stress, according to many studies, it can also help you identify the specific events that can trigger emotional eating.
  • Walk away from your cravings and your feelings. Literally. Studies have found that exercise can help boost your mood and may even help you resist cravings. One 2012 study done at Brigham Young University found that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise can lower your motivation to eat.
  • Do yoga or meditate to help you lower your stress levels. (Try these awesome yoga moves >)
  • Have a list of motivators always on hand. One day your before picture might keep you on the right track, while another day looking at a list of the reasons you started on this weight loss diet journey may do the trick. Remind yourself that your weight loss goal isn’t a number, but a new way of life—a healthier one.

Flex Meals and Dining Out Challenges

1: You signed up for Nutrisystem to take some of the decision-making and guesswork out of your diet. But, after week one, you’re encouraged to make some meals on your own, using all of the valuable nutrition and portion-control lessons you’re learning. And, it’s unavoidable: Sometimes you’ll want to go out to eat or have to prepare meals for a crowd. You’re afraid you’re not going to make the right decisions.


  • Start by reading this article: Flex Meals Explained, to get an overview of what your flex meals should contain.
  • Visit the Flex Meals section of the Recipe Center to get some great ideas for flex breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Every recipe has been broken down for you in terms of how many SmartCarbs, PowerFuels, etc., it counts as, so you can be sure you’re eating exactly what you should. When cooking dinner, make sure your portions are accurate (use this helpful article as a guide: Becoming a Portion Pro >), and make lots of extra veggies.
  • If you’re heading out on the town, get suggestions about what to order at every type of restaurant by referring to the Dining Out Guide. When dining out, check the restaurant’s menu and nutritional information online before you head out, so you know which choices to make once you get there. (Note: Don’t dine out during the One-Week Reboot, as restaurant dining should wait until week two of your healthy meal plan. This should be at the top of your mind when you decide on the start date of the program.) Still not sure? Call a counselor for help.
  • *If you’ve chosen our Uniquely Yours Ultimate program, you don’t need to worry about Flex Meals! Instead, stick to you Nutrisystem foods and snacks for each meal occasion on your weight loss journey.

 Ready to reach your weight loss diet goal? Get started today! >

*In a study, avg weight loss was 5.4 lbs in the first week. The avg weight for the study participants was 207.3 lbs. Results vary based on starting weight and program adherence.

*Usage of this kit for more than one week in any consecutive 4-week period may lead to health complications and is not recommended.  Please be sure to eat all of the food recommended for this program. Failure to follow the program protocol and eat all of the food recommended may involve developing serious health complications. If you have diabetes, are under 18 years of age, are pregnant or a nursing mother, or following a specialized diet for health issues, you may not use this kit. Please consult your physician before purchasing (or beginning) this kit.