You Finished Your First Week, Now What?Article posted in: FreshStart
Talk about starting your weight loss journey off with a bang! If you just finished your first week of Nutrisystem, you’re probably on your way out the door to purchase some new belts right now.
That’s because the meals, shakes and snacks that came inside your first week 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 fast early on in a healthy diet plan was a significant predictor of successful long-term weight loss in the study participants.
While you’d love to repeat the first week 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 regimen that promotes more gradual, steady and sustainable weight loss. This means that, in addition to eating delicious, portion-controlled foods, you’ll also get to incorporate fresh grocery additions 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.
During your first week, you only ate your Nutrisystem food, non-starchy Vegetables and Free Foods. After you’ve finished the first week, you will start adding in what we call SmartCarbs, PowerFuels and Extras.
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 brown rice, berries, beans and starchy veggies like peas and sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index (GI). This is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they raise blood sugar. Because these SmartCarbs are high in fiber, they are digested slowly so you feel satisfied longer.
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 didn’t just stay the course. They were also more likely to lose the weight and keep it off than participants on the other diets.
If you’re on a personalized plan, click here to find out your top SmartCarb picks and get your full personalized Grocery Guide >
Like SmartCarbs, PowerFuels help curb your appetite. However, they contain high-quality proteins that provide essential amino acids and healthy fats to help you feel fuller longer. Remember, in the European study we mentioned earlier, it was low GI and high protein diets that were most effective. The Nutrisystem weight loss program combines aspects of both.
PowerFuels include a wide variety of foods, including animal products like eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, low fat milk and cheese. Plant proteins such as nuts and soy-based foods will also fall into this category. Nutrisystem’s shakes can also be used a PowerFuel serving, so feel free to order a few extras to fulfill your PowerFuel needs each day.
If you’re on a personalized plan, click here to find out your top PowerFuel picks and get your full personalized Grocery Guide >
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. You can also use them for making smart decisions while enjoying a meal out on the town. In addition to your daily allotment of SmartCarbs and PowerFuels, you’ll be using the SmartCarbs and PowerFuels to create your Flex Meals. You’ll enjoy two Flex breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks each week (men will incorporate four Flex Snacks each week).
If you’re on a personalized plan, click here to learn about your personalized Flex Meal guidelines >
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 to help you stay satisfied. Since some of the starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and peas fall into the SmartCarb category, you should consult your Grocery Guide to determine which veggies are considered non-starchy. Produce like leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and Brussels sprouts are all great examples of non-starchy veggies that can be part of your weight loss menu.
You’re also allowed three servings of Extras every day. These are lower calorie ingredients used to enhance the flavor of meals or snacks. Examples include salad dressing, oils, unsweetened almond milk, mayonnaise, low fat cream cheese, olives or pickles.
Are you on a personalized plan and in need of guidance when selecting add-ins? Print out your FULL personalized Grocery Guide to take the guesswork out of making the best food choices for you >
Looking for additional help with weight loss, check out these 4 Ways To Lose Weight This Week >