You Finished FreshStart™ Week 1, Now What?Article posted in: FreshStart
Talk about starting your weight loss journey off with a bang! If you just finished first week of FreshStart >, you’re probably on your way out the door to purchase some new belts right now.
That’s because the meals, shakes and bars that came with your FreshStart Week 1 kit were all specially selected to help you achieve rapid weight loss early on, essentially giving you the boost you need to stay the course.
And there’s research to support it: A 2016 Australian study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that losing weight early on in a diet was a significant predictor of successful long-term weight loss in the study participants.
And while you’d love to do it again—and again, and again—until you hit your weight loss goal (because who doesn’t like instant results?), rapid weight loss isn’t always the best way to achieve lasting results. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about one to two pounds per week) are more successful at keeping it off.
That’s why, once you finish your first week, you will transition to an eating regiment that promotes more gradual, steady and sustainable weight loss. This means that, in addition to eating delicious, calorie- and portion-controlled foods, you’ll also get to incorporate fresh grocery foods into your diet. This will help keep you satisfied while you lose weight. It will also ensure you’re learning appropriate portion sizes of your favorite foods and how to adopt a diverse and well-balanced diet after life on Nutrisystem.
So, whereas during your first week of FreshStart you only ate your Nutrisystem foods and at least four servings of non-starchy veggies a day, after you’ve finished first week, you can start adding in what we call SmartCarbs and PowerFuels.
SmartCarbs are a group of nutrient-rich carbohydrates that don’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which can increase hunger. Foods such as whole grain rice, pasta and cereals, fruit, and starchy veggies like beans, peas, corn and sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index (GI), a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they raise blood sugar. Because they’re high in fiber, SmartCarbs are digested slowly, so you feel satisfied longer. The fiber also prevents sugar—known as glucose, a form of fuel all your cells need—from flooding your bloodstream.
Research has shown that eating foods low on the glycemic index may help foster weight loss. In one 2010 European study, 700 people were assigned one of a variety of diets, including low GI, high protein, low-carb, low-fat and high fat. There was a high dropout rate with all the diets except for the low-GI and high-protein programs. The low-GI and high protein groups not only stayed the course, but they were more likely to lose the weight and keep it off than participants on the other diets.
Check out your Daily Tracker to find out how many SmartCarbs you should be adding to your program each day.
Like SmartCarbs, PowerFuels help curb your appetite, but they use high-quality proteins that provide essential amino acids as well as healthy fats to help you feel fuller longer. Remember, in that European study, it was low-GI and high-protein diets that were most effective. The Nutrisystem program combines aspects of both.
PowerFuels include a wide variety of foods, including animal proteins like eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, low-fat milk and cheese, as well as plant proteins such as nuts and soy-based foods. Nutrisystem’s top-selling FreshStart Shakes (for women) also count as a PowerFuel, and the FreshStart Shakes (for men) count as one PowerFuel and one Smartcarb, so feel free to order a few extras of these to fulfill your PowerFuel needs each day.
After your first week, you’ll also be making what we call Flex™ Meals and Snacks. These are opportunities for you to try your hand at cooking your own healthy meals from scratch, or making smart decisions while enjoying a meal out on the town. In addition to your daily allotment of SmartCarbs and PowerFuels, you’ll be incorporating SmartCarbs and PowerFuels into those meals, too. You’ll enjoy two Flex breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Read this article to find out more about Flex™ Meals >
In addition to SmartCarbs and PowerFuels, you should also continue to add at least four servings of non-starchy Vegetables to your daily diet (just like you did on your first week). Non-starchy veggies are so low in calories and high in nutrients (fiber, anyone?!), you can have unlimited amounts of them, which is great for staying satisfied. Since some of the starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and peas fall into the SmartCarb category, you should consult the Grocery Guide to determine which veggies are considered non-starchy and therefore, unlimited. Produce like leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and Brussels sprouts are all great examples of non-starchy veggies that should be part of your meals.
You’re also allowed three servings of Extras every day. These are foods used to enhance the flavor of meals or snacks, which contain between 11-35 calories. Examples include cocktail sauce, unsweetened almond milk, mayonnaise, low-fat or fat-free cream cheese, olives, pickles and popcorn. Just consult with your Grocery Guide to determine the quantity of each of the foods that constitutes an Extra.
Need some guidance when selecting add-ins? Keep your handy Grocery Guide with you all the time to take the guesswork out of making the best food choices.