Your Nutrisystem Getting Started Guide

Article posted in: Guides
Nutrisystem Box

Excited. Nervous. Cautiously optimistic. Do these words describe the way you’re feeling, now that your very first Nutrisystem shipment has been delivered to your door? It’s completely normal to be filled with nervous excitement. After all, the arrival of your first Nutrisystem order signifies the official first step toward a happier and healthier you! So, take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back, do a happy dance or call all your friends. Begin your weight loss journey on the right track with this Nutrisystem Getting Started Guide!

Your First Shipment: What to Expect

Nutrisystem getting started

Ready to get started with your Nutrisystem plan? Here’s what to expect in your first order:

Clear Some Space

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make some room in your pantry or freezer (depending on what you ordered) for all of your food.

Pantry-ready foods will arrive in a cardboard box. If your order includes pantry-ready foods, you don’t need to worry about refrigerating them—they’ve been sealed through a safe, “soft canning” process which locks in their nutrition and flavor. These items can safely be stored in your cabinets. This box will also include your Nutrisystem Starter Guide.

Frozen foods are delivered in a white styrofoam cooler with dry ice.

If your order includes frozen foods, you’ll want to place them in the freezer as soon as your delivery arrives. Frozen foods may arrive in a separate shipment from your pantry-ready foods. They will be marked “Keep Frozen” on the label. If you receive your frozen foods first, wait to get started until you receive the non frozen shipment. The frozen food cooler can be disposed of in the trash. It can also be recycled at your local recycling facility. We suggest checking your local municipality. You can also click here for a list of drop off locations.

Get Organized

Nutrisystem frozen foods

Keeping an organized kitchen will be helpful on those busy days when you just want to grab and go! Keep temptations out of sight and out of mind and create a designated place for your Nutrisystem foods and plan-friendly groceries.

Nutrisystem meals and snacks are color-coded for your convenience:

Nutrisystem meal color codes

  • Breakfasts have yellow labels
  • Lunches have blue labels
  • Dinners have red labels*
  • Snacks have purple labels

*If you have a Hearty Inspirations® meal with a red label, you can count it as 1 Nutrisystem Dinner, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable. You can find more information on Hearty Inspirations® meals in the Nutrisystem Program Guide.

How it Works

Nutrisystem is easy to follow and proven to work. Whether you need to drop a lot of weight or just get a little healthier, your plan is designed to work from the start.

Your First Week

Discover 7 in 7: This first week of weight loss is included with select Nutrisystem plans and specially designed for fast results. Lose up to 7 pounds in your first 7 days*—because when you get off to a fast start, you’re more likely to reach your goal!

Designed to prime your body for steady weight loss, 7 in 7 features Hunger Control Shakes and Fat Burning Bars. Plus, you’ll get delicious meals and snacks hand selected by nutritionists.

Learn more about this first week in the 7 in 7 Guide! Be sure to also check out the 7 in 7 Recipe Book for healthy recipes and fresh ideas designed to support your first week of weight loss.

*In a study, average weight loss was 5.1 pounds in the first 7 days.

Nutrisystem Meal Plan

On Nutrisystem, you’ll lose weight enjoying Nutrisystem meals and snacks, plus some of your favorite healthy grocery add-ins.

On most days, you’ll enjoy a Nutrisystem breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1-2 snacks depending on your program. Round out your meal plan with your favorite healthy grocery add-ins each day. These include PowerFuels (lean proteins and healthy fats like meat and nuts), SmartCarbs (fiber-rich carbohydrates like whole grain pasta or fruit) and non-starchy veggies. Keep the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide handy for examples, serving sizes and more information on each add-in category.

Find out more about PowerFuels and SmartCarbs in the Nutrisystem Program Guide.

Expect to lose an average of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Along the Way…

You’ll have the opportunity to practice building healthy meals on your own called Flex meals, allowing development of healthy habits for life. We’ll provide easy guidelines and recipes to keep you on track. This gives you the freedom to dine out or enjoy healthy home-cooked meals throughout each 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 eat out or cook a meal at home, simply follow the Flex meal guidelines to stay on plan.

Learn more about building Flex meals and snacks in the Nutrisystem Program Guide.

Your Support System and Tools for Success

Still have questions? You’re not alone! You can maximize your weight-loss success by reaching out for help and taking advantage of the many resources available with your Nutrisystem plan.

The NuMi® App

numi app

Did you know studies show that people who track their food, activity and progress lose more weight than non-trackers? That’s why you need NuMi®, our official companion app designed to work hand-in-hand with your Nutrisystem plan.

NuMi® is your secret to success, allowing you to tap into weight loss with amazing support, motivation and features that keep you on track. It’s an accountability coach, meal-planning mentor and cheerleader all wrapped up in one!

Download the NuMi app for FREE:

Pro Tip: Activate NuMi SmartAdapt for personalized nutrition! 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.

You can enable NuMi SmartAdapt after you select your plan in NuMi. You can also go to MORE > SETTINGS > PLAN SETTINGS to select a plan and get started.

NuMi SmartAdapt® is currently not available for all Nutrisystem plans, including the Nutrisystem Diabetes Plan.

Your Nutrisystem Guides


Visit our Guides page for a comprehensive list of all Nutrisystem Guides and Resources. Once you finish reading through this article, be sure to review the Nutrisystem Program Guide for essential information on the basics of your Nutrisystem plan.

Check your first food shipment for a printed copy of the Nutrisystem Starter Guide. This provides a general meal plan overview.

Check out the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide and start to make a list of your go-to PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Vegetables. You can find more guidance and support for your meal plan in the NuMi® app.

The Official Nutrisystem® Support Community

facebook community


We believe that peer support and education help make achieving weight loss goals possible. The Official Nutrisystem Support Community is a Facebook group to connect and support members who are on a journey to better health with Nutrisystem.

We encourage you to use this space to make meaningful connections, share ideas and experiences, learn, connect with Nutrisystem® experts, and grow with other individuals who are working towards a common goal of better health through weight loss with Nutrisystem.

Make sure to turn on your group notifications so you don’t miss a thing! Join The Official Nutrisystem Support Community here or check it out on the NuMi® app by tapping “More” then “Social”.

The Leaf


The Leaf is 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 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 guides and resources designed specifically for the Nutrisystem plan. Head to our “For Customer” section to check them out!

Weight Loss Coaching


If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of your program, or if you’re just needing a little support, you can connect with a Nutrisystem Weight Loss Coach. Log in at and click the Schedule Coaching tab in My Account.


Find a complete list of answers about the program, food-related questions, ordering info, getting started and more in our FAQs. Go to

Defining Your “Why”

Happy family watching TV and eating popcorn

Why did you join Nutrisystem? Each of us has our own reasons for wanting to lose weight and improve our health. It’s important to establish a meaningful “why” to ground ourselves during times of lesser motivation, frustration, busy schedules or anything else that may challenge our success on this journey.

Some may be urged by our physicians, family members and friends to lose weight for our health. Others may be unhappy with their appearances or feel limited in what they can do or where they can go. Special events, such as weddings or vacations, motivate a lot of people to make changes. Maybe you’re simply motivated by the realization that you aren’t showing up for life in the way you’d like to.

Whatever the reason, making the decision to take action is a big first step on the journey. Before you get started, write down your “why” somewhere that you will be able to see it. This statement should make you feel emotional—that’s when you know you’ve found your “why”. Reread it when you need a boost!

Setting Goals for Success

Note pad goals

Effective goal setting is an important part of making changes in your behaviors. Without a map, how are you supposed to reach the destination?

Consider you’re running a race. Your long-term goal is to cross the finish line, while your short-term goals are the race checkpoints along the course to ensure you’re making progress. Grab a water and keep at it! Short-term goals are your recipe to long-term success.


Your short-term goals need to be “SMART” (specific, measurable, active, reasonable and time-bound). These types of goals are “process-oriented” rather than “outcome-focused.”

The use of the acronym SMART is a well-established method for creating effective behavior change goals that lead to success. Check out our guide for setting SMART goals here! >

Next Steps

Congrats! Now go clear some space for your first shipment and download the NuMi® app. When setting up NuMi®, you’ll need to know the specific Nutrisystem plan that you are on. Check My Account if you don’t know what plan you ordered. Plans include:

  • Nutrisystem Complete
  • Nutrisystem Complete 50+
  • Nutrisystem Partner Plans

You can learn more about each specific plan in the Nutrisystem Program Guide. Plus, find out everything you need to know about following the Nutrisystem meal plan!

Be sure to also check out the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide and make a game plan for your add-ins. Finally, don’t forget to set SMART goals and define your “why.”

*In a study, average weight loss was 5.1 pounds in the first 7 days.

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.