Your Top Personalized Grocery PicksArticle posted in:
You took the first step towards your new healthy lifestyle and have received your first personalized Nutrisystem order. Throughout your journey, you won’t just lose weight. You will learn about healthy choices, portion control and preparing nutritious meals that works best for YOU. When you reach your weight loss goals, you will feel confident in your ability to maintain your success and continue healthy living.
Along the way, you will add in grocery additions to your day and prepare your own Flex Meals and Snacks throughout the week. You will be shopping for PowerFuels, SmartCarbs, Vegetables, Extras and Free Foods using your personalized grocery guides suggestions.
To go along with your personalized Nutrisystem program, you need personalized grocery picks that fit your needs. We know there are a lot of options, so we put together a list of YOUR top 10 picks from each category to compliment your plan. Make sure to also print out your FULL personalized Grocery Guide for even more ideas by clicking here. This will provide more details on each category, proper portion sizes and more examples that will work for you.
Your Top 10 PowerFuels
With your personalized plan, PowerFuels should be near the top of your shopping list. PowerFuels are high-quality lean proteins that keep you fueled throughout your day. One PowerFuel is between 80 to 120 calories with at least five grams of protein.
If you’re a cheese lover, stick to low fat and part-skim options to keep saturated fat to a minimum. Cheese can also be higher in salt, so consider choosing lower sodium varieties when they are available. Swiss tends to be lower in sodium than other cheeses. Enjoy shredded cheddar in salads, a slice of Swiss in a low carb wrap or a piece of string cheese as a snack.
Eggs are another great PowerFuel option for you. One large egg or about three to four egg whites is considered one PowerFuel serving. You could enjoy an egg white and veggie omelet for breakfast or a hard-boiled egg at snack time. Check out these egg-cellent recipes >
Fish & Shellfish
Seafood such as fish and shellfish are delicious, lean choices. When measuring your seafood, keep in mind that a serving of white fish or shellfish is three ounces, while a serving of fatty fish is only two ounces. Avoid fish and seafood that is covered in breading and consider buying frozen for a cheaper alternative. Make some tuna salad or enjoy tilapia over roasted veggies for a filling Flex Dinner.
Lean Meat & Poultry
Lean meat and poultry are some of the higher protein foods on this list. Try to choose lean cuts of meat and poultry to reduce your saturated fat intake. If you enjoy the deli counter, ask for low sodium options if they are available and avoid more processed meats like bologna and salami. The serving size for lean meat is generally two ounces, while the portion for chicken or turkey is three ounces.
Nuts & Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters are super versatile and full of healthy fats to keep you full all day long. Enjoy some peanut butter on celery or sprinkle cashews on your salad. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this nutty ingredient. The serving size of nuts is two tablespoons for whole nuts and one tablespoon for nut butters. Choose your nut butter here >
Protein shakes are a quick and easy way to fit PowerFuels into your day. You can use any protein powder that you enjoy, however, you should check the calories and adjust the serving size as needed. Whey protein shakes like Nutrisystem Protein and Probiotic Shakes are packed with protein and keep you full all day. If you are unable to tolerate dairy, soy or pea protein shakes would also be acceptable. One serving is generally two tablespoons of protein powder but check the label to ensure it fits into the PowerFuel guidelines. Find a tasty recipe here >
Low fat yogurt is delicious as part of a breakfast or a snack. Greek yogurt tends to be higher in protein than regular yogurt. Choose yogurt that is free of added sugars and add your own sweetness using stevia or monk fruit.
If you’re unable to enjoy dairy, soy products make a tasty and high protein alternative. Soy cheese, milk and yogurt can replace dairy versions and would be a great option for you. If you want to enjoy a meatless Monday meal, use tofu or tempeh as your PowerFuel. Edamame and soy nuts are also perfect protein snacks to take with you on the go.
Your Top 10 SmartCarbs
SmartCarbs are nutrient-rich carbohydrates that are lower on the Glycemic Index and packed with fiber to keep you full. They are an important piece of your personalized balanced meal plan and are included in several of your meal occasions throughout the day. Your SmartCarbs should be between 80 to 120 calories with at least three grams of fiber.
Your balanced meal plan can benefit from the delicious banana. This sweet, yellow fruit is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. So, go bananas and enjoy banana in your smoothies and cereal. It’s also the perfect base for blended “nice” cream. Get the 4-ingredient recipe here >
SmartCarbs that pack a protein punch like beans are your best bet. Canned beans are convenient and easy to prepare. However, they can be high in sodium. Luckily, low sodium canned goods are becoming more popular and readily available in the grocery store. Add beans to chili and salad as a high fiber addition. Hummus made from chickpeas is delicious with fresh chopped veggies. The serving size for beans is a half cup. Learn how to eat more beans >
You may think that bread is completely off limits when trying to lose weight. However, you can enjoy higher fiber options like rye or whole grain made with flax seeds. Try making a healthy grilled cheese or tuna salad sandwich as a diet-friendly Flex Lunch.
Brown & Wild Rice
Certain rice varieties are also acceptable SmartCarbs. Select wild or brown rice as these contain more fiber than regular white rice. Make your own healthy sushi using brown rice, veggies, salmon and low sodium soy sauce. A half cup of rice is one SmartCarb serving.
This starchy vegetable made it to your list of top SmartCarbs due to its high fiber content. It’s also a rich source of potassium, folate and antioxidants, says Healthline. Corn is delicious straight from the cob. However, you can also mix it into your salads, soups and pasta.
Snacking is an important part of your personalized Nutrisystem plan. Crackers are a versatile snack food that pairs well with sweet or savory ingredients. Snack smart and choose a cracker with at least one gram of fiber. Top your crackers with almond butter and berries, cream cheese and sliced cucumbers or tuna salad and chopped onions.
Eat your serving of fruit on-the-go by enjoying it dried. Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried apricots, prunes, figs and dried cranberries are natures candy. They are convenient SmartCarbs that pair well with many recipes. Add dried fruit to your trail mix, smoothies and salads for some texture and sweetness. Keep in mind that many varieties contain unnecessary added sugar, so be sure to check the ingredient list before buying. You can also try making your own dried fruit. Use our guide here >
When summertime comes around, you can feel free to indulge in delicious melons. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are healthy SmartCarb options packed with nutrition. One cup of melon is considered one SmartCarb serving. Throw some cubed honey dew into a fruit salad or blend cantaloupe into a smoothie. This refreshing fruit will keep you on track towards your weight loss goals.
Pasta on a diet? You heard us right! You can enjoy a hearty bowl of spaghetti on your personalized plan. When choosing your noodles, just make sure to select varieties with fiber to ensure it fits into the SmartCarb guidelines. We recommend a half cup of whole grain pasta as one SmartCarb serving. If you’re feeling fancy, grab a bag of whole grain couscous or check out one of these healthy pasta alternatives >
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes are allowed in moderation on your plan. They contain fiber and other beneficial nutrients. About a half cup of potatoes is considered one SmartCarb serving. Enjoy a baked sweet potato with butter spray or make our Healthier Potato Salad. Get the recipe here >
Your Top 10 Extras
Extras! Extras! Read all about them! Add a little more flavor to your day with Extras. You are allotted three Extras per day. One Extra contains 10 to 35 calories per serving. In total, you have an extra 105 calories to play around with during the day for things like condiments, beverages and more.
Almond milk is gaining popularity and many love to use it as a low calorie alternative to milk. We recommend choosing an unsweetened almond milk because it doesn’t contain added sugars. Use it to make smoothies, soups and more. About one cup is considered one Extra.
If you enjoy waking up to a cup of joe, you can add one tablespoon of a low fat coffee creamer to your cup. Pick an option that doesn’t have added sugar to avoid unnecessary calories.
Condiments and spreads, such as ketchup, mayonnaise and relish can be enjoyed with care. However, stay conscious of your calorie intake by choosing reduced sugar and low fat options.
Honey & Maple Syrup
Add some sweetness to your meal plan with pure maple syrup or honey. They are less refined sweeteners than sugar and can provide delicious flavor. However, keep in mind that they still contain sugar in higher amounts and are best enjoyed in moderation. It’s also important to purchase pure varieties that don’t contain added sugars or unhealthy ingredients. Drizzle a teaspoon of honey in your tea or some pure maple syrup over your Nutrisystem pancakes.
Salad Dressing & Balsamic Vinegar
You may want to drizzle some salad dressing on your favorite bowl of non-starchy vegetables. Most flavors and varieties are acceptable. However, the serving size will vary based on the type you choose. For regular full fat dressings, about one teaspoon is one serving. If you’re going for a light or reduced fat dressing, you can have about one tablespoon since they are lower in calories. Make sure to check the label to ensure it is low in added sugars. Making your own salad dressing is also super simple and you can control the ingredients and flavors you add. Check out our salad dressing guide here >
If you enjoy snacking, popcorn will be your favorite Extra. Plain, air-popped popcorn is quite low in calories. So low, in fact, that one whole cup is considered one Limited Extra on the plan. Make a fresh bowl for your movie night or try one of these easy recipes >
Use up that can of tomato paste that has been sitting in the back of your pantry. This underappreciated ingredient can add some serious flavor to your Flex Meals. Add it to any recipe that calls for tomatoes to boost the tomato taste and nutrient profile. You can also make your own pesto or unsweetened ketchup using this super secret ingredient.
Take your diet to the tropics with coconut. Although it’s technically a fruit, coconut is higher in calories and will fall into the Extra category. A tablespoon of dried, unsweetened coconut flakes is a sweet and crunchy addition to your trail mix and smoothie bowls. A half cup of coconut water is a refreshing beverage that’s delicious blended with pineapple or mango.
Your Top 10 Free Foods
Free Foods will be your best friend while on the Nutrisystem plan. These are condiments and other ingredients that are so low in calories, you can enjoy as much as you want. Free foods are anything less than 10 calories per serving. They are unlimited on the plan and can be a great addition to meals, snacks and veggies to add some flavor.
Cook your vegetables in a low calorie butter spray to add a buttery tasty with almost no calories.
Citrus juice such as lemon and lime juice can add some zest to seafood, vegetables and even your water!
Salsa & Capers
Fresh salsa or capers are perfect toppers for a healthy salad. Both can add flavor and fiber to any dish, with very little calories.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce & Hot Sauce
When you’ve run out of your limited Extras, low sodium soy sauce and hot sauce are low calorie flavor in a bottle! Keep them handy throughout your journey when you’re needing something spicy or savory.
Fresh Herbs, Spices & Seasoning Blends
With your personalized plan, there should be no shortage on flavor. Spice up your life and feel free to use your favorite fresh herbs, spices and seasoning blends. Spices and herbs don’t only bring flavor; many also come with amazing health benefits. We recommend selecting spices and seasoning blends that are low in sodium. Spice up your veggies, Flex Meals and Nutrisystem entrees to your liking!
Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you can still enjoy some sweetness. Our favorite zero-calorie sweeteners include stevia, monk fruit and sugar alcohols like erythritol. Add a little to your tea, coffee or plain low fat yogurt.
Vinegar packs a punch of flavor with very little calories. Make a salad dressing with apple cider vinegar, flaxseed oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. You can even infuse your own vinegar with fresh herbs easily to add even more flavor.