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!

On the Nutrisystem Diabetes plan? Click here to be redirected to your Getting Started Guide! >

Your First Shipment: What to Expect

nutrisystem frozen foods in freezer

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 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.

Get Organized

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 meal color codes

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

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

*If you have a Hearty Inspirations Entrée with a red label, you may count as 1 Entrée, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable.

Month 1 Overview

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.

Fast 5

With the Fast 5 week, included with select Nutrisystem plans such as Uniquely Yours Max+, you move right into the weight loss fast lane.* Get fired up for steady weight loss with 7 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 Fast 5 week, you’ll enjoy:

  • 1 Nutrisystem Breakfast
  • 1 Nutrisystem Shake
  • 1 Nutrisystem Lunch
  • 1 Nutrisystem Dinner
  • 1 Nutrisystem Snack
  • At least 4 servings of Non-Starchy Vegetables (Unlimited!)
  • At least 64 oz. of Water (8 cups)
  • More than 100 lbs. to lose? NuMi will add 2 PowerFuels to your day

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

The Nutrisystem Meal Plan

Your Nutrisystem plan is designed for healthy, steady weight loss (1-2 pounds per week). You’ll enjoy Nutrisystem meals and snacks, plus a few basic groceries. Some plans also incorporate Flex meals into the week.

On most days, you’ll enjoy a Nutrisystem breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack (note: men’s plans include two Nutrisystem snacks). You’ll round out your meal plan with your favorite healthy grocery add-ins each day. These include PowerFuels (lean proteins and healthy fats), SmartCarbs (fiber-rich carbohydrates) and non-starchy vegetables. The specific amount and meal occasion that you add them will depend on your Nutrisystem meal plan.

Keep the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide handy for examples, serving sizes and more information on each add-in category. Download the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide here! >

Most Nutrisystem plans also include Flex meals—meals and snacks that you create using the easy guidelines we provide. You’ll eat Flex meals and snacks in place of Nutrisystem food. They give you the freedom to dine out or enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals throughout the week. Learn more about Flex meals here! >

Most Nutrisystem plans get to enjoy 2 Flex breakfasts, 2 Flex lunches, 2 Flex dinners and 2 Flex 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 more information on following the Nutrisystem meal plan! >

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)—more on this in the next section. 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! >

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

Research shows that tracking your food, activity and weight can help you lose more weight. Maximize your results by downloading our free tracking app, NuMi! Here, you’ll be able to start logging your food, water, activity, weight and more. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable, and also a fun way to visually track your progress.

NuMi is an accountability coach, meal-planning mentor and cheerleader all wrapped up in one! Download the NuMi app for FREE on your Smartphone’s App store or Google Play. You can also access it on desktop at

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.

Your Nutrisystem Guides


Be sure to also check your first shipment for a printed guide that provides an overview of your meal plan at a glance. Click here to be taken to the Nutrisystem Guides page. >

Access more Guides in your NuMi News Feed by following the steps below:

  1. Tap “More” in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap “News Feed.”
  3. Select “Guides” from the available options.

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 right here. >

The Leaf


The Leaf is the official Nutrisystem weight loss blog filled with articles, recipes and guides to help you succeed. Check out the “For Customer” section for tons of tips, tricks and ideas for your Nutrisystem plan! Go to

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. They are here to help with any question, no matter how big or small!


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

*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.