Is there a difference between Nutrisystem and grocery store foods?

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Never having dieted before NS..been on since end of April (on & off about 1/2 & 1/2), I am wondering, would there be any REAL difference, just using, say a Lean Cuisine entree twice per day, Special K bars(or something similar) + all the grocery items we have to buy??..

Comments (18)

Your question was: Is there a difference between Nutrisystem and grocery store foods?.

So many here think Nutrisystem food is high in sodium but watch/read the sodium in the store bought food. Most of the time they are higher...

Comment #1

This was posted by a very successful NutriSystem member, LuvsCharlie (Judy), about the importance of the Low GI, NutriSystem plan:.

Sometimes I see people talk about subs, and I cringe ... items like 100 calorie packs and no-pudge brownies come to mind. Just because an item is similar in terms of calories, doesn't make it Nutrisystem friendly! 100 calorie packs and no-pudge brownies just don't have enough protein, and too many carbs (& sugar), so they are not a good sub for low glycemic index (LGI) NS!.

Another resource that I see some use for picking out subs is I'm not disputing that it can be used as a resource for comparing grocery items with Nutrisystem items ... it can, and Joyce did a great job on her comparison site. But, just because an item that is available in the grocery store is compared to a similar Nutrisystem item there, does NOT mean that it compares FAVORABLY. Many of the items there DO NOT compare favorably to Nutrisystem items, if you look at the stats. (Some do compare favorably, but most don't)..

If you don't care about following a LGI diet, and only care about calories, then knock yourself out. Heck, if you don't care about LGI, you can eat devils food cake every day, as long as you only eat 1200 calories worth. But anyone who does that (regardless of whether it's devils food cake, 100 calorie packs, healthy choice frozen meals, etc) is short-changing themselves and it WILL take longer for them to lose the weight.

When you eat high glycemic index items, even at the 1200 calorie level, your liver will NOT be as efficient at getting rid of fat. When you drink alcohol, your liver will not be as efficient at getting rid of fat. When you don't drink enough water, your liver will not be as efficient at getting rid of fat. I happen to believe that sticking to the Nutrisystem foods and being very strict about staying low gi (along with walking and drinking enough water) is what made my weight loss so steady and consistent.

When FIRST magazine did an article on "The Nutrisystem Sensational Six," there was a small article on the next page on "why low glycemic index diets work so well." A study found that when someone eats low glycemic index, their liver produces more of an enzyme that turns fat into energy. When someone eats high glycemic index items, even at the same calorie level, the liver STOPS making that enzyme for a while (the article didn't say how long)..

Additionally, when someone doesn't drink enough water, then the kidneys don't work as efficiently to get rid of waste, so the liver has to pick up the slack. When the liver has to the job of getting rid of waste that the kidneys can't, then the liver can't devote those resources to metabolizing fat. Ditto for drinking alcohol it is metabolized in the liver, so that also gets in the way of the liver metabolizing fat..

So subbing in high glycemic index foods, not drinking water, and drinking alcohol, even if consuming at the 1200 calorie per day level, will get in the way of your liver's efficiency and slow down weight loss. Follow the Nutrisystem plan, and let your liver do it's job efficiently!..

Comment #2

You can use grocery store items if you are following the Nutrisystem guidelines. However, just subbing out things like Lean Cuisine...other than the few where the stats are comparable...would probably not work in the long run. You will also probably spend about the same, or even more money...particularly if you are following the guidelines part of the time, and going out to eat part of the time..

Some Special K bars are OK...others don't have nearly enough protein. You really need to learn the guidelines and follow those as closely as possible. It's as close to a magic bullet as you will ever find. IMO, the ratio of foods Nutrisystem suggests is perfect for weight loss, and more importantly, for health. (I will put a disclaimer and say I have read the carbs may be a little on the high side for some.).

Good luck in whatever you choose...

Comment #3

I have a list of Lean Cuisines that fit Nutrisystem stats. You just have to read the labels..

ANY sensible weight loss plan works if you are diligent. Nutrisystem just makes it super easy since you don't have to do a lot of food prep and you don't have to search out healthy choices...

Comment #4

That was a quote from another member, Yvette, and she said it quite well, didn't she? I know I'm a firm believer in the Low GI concept and the NutriSystem plan. That helped explain a lot to me, so I copied to to share with others (she probably wrote it 3 years ago!)...

Comment #5

Food is food. Obviously you can flex and provide the equivelant of Nutrisystem entrees. And learning to do so is a valuable thing..

That said, I don't resent (a bit) the money I spent on NS. Getting the BBB was all part of a structure that helped me lose weight in a way that doing it on my own had not. But it's not about some magic in the Nutrisystem foods. It's about structure.

Note1: Even if some Lean Cusine does not match a Nutrisystem entree exactly, you can still compensate with more protein or what have you in your addins. Or just flex the entire thing from scratch..

Note2: Some of the Nutrisystem foods (like the cookies they are pushing lately) are really a bit of a danger...

Comment #6

Flexing almost 100% now, I can say that the key is reading labels and checking protein, carb and fat content along with calories. Those Special K Bars are all carb and no protein. You need the protein and not all those carbs. South Beach Protein Fit bars are much better for Nutrisystem guidelines. The same goes for Lean Cuisine: read the labels and see what fits the Nutrisystem stats, and add/adjust as neccessary. If you really want to keep the weight off, or lose more, eating real food, it can be done.

That's my take on it, and it has worked for me...

Comment #7

Well said. Here is a chart that helps zero in on the "right" stats.....

Comment #8

For me the only thing that has worked is NS. I've tried Lean Cuisine, Special K, South Beach, Cabbage, Bible etc... diets. NONE worked, whythey don't teach you how live in the real world. I have learned so much from studying the Nutrisystem program and reading these comments from people who have been on the program a lot longer than I have and I can only say that Nutrisystem works. So why even try something else? The cost is not more than I would spend anyway for food.

I can take my time about picking out what I want to eat each month and then have the flexibility during the week to pick and choose.

For me it has been the easiest weight loss I have ever tried. Good luck to you and I hope you reach all your goals..


Comment #9

Michelle, I believe you missed my point. I apologize if my post was confusing..

Good for you. I tried and couldn't find any (or many) good ones the last time I looked. I was mainly concerned that the OP hasn't learned the Nutrisystem stats or guidelines and wanted to just "wing it" and grab things off the shelf, and my point was to learn proper guidelines and read labels..

Yes, sensible plans DO work, but again, the OP seemed interested in knowing what was different about NS, and seemed to want to "just try some Lean Cuisines and Sp K bars", which DOESN"T work - it's not a "sensible weight loss plan"...

Comment #10

I'm glad you asked this as I was wondering the same thing! Thanks for all the great answers!..

Comment #11

Thank you so much for the above info-especially on the difference between Nutrisystem foods & say, a Lean Cuisine meal. I was not aware of any of this! I DO have a question though-what the heck is "glycemic"?! Thanks in advance!..

Comment #12

From Nutrisystem FAQ;.

The Glycemic Index is the science behind the Nutrisystem program. It measures the quality of carbohydrates and their impact on your blood sugar levelsor how quickly they enter your blood stream. Carbohydrates that break down slowly in your body encourage stable blood sugar levels, which is good, so they rate well or "low" on the Glycemic Index. The slow and steady breakdown also produces a greater feeling of fullness. Carbs that break down too quickly cause your insulin levels to spike, and high insulin levels can cause your body to store fat. These "bad carbs" are given higher glycemic values and most often leave you hungry soon after a meal.

With the recommended combination of fresh grocery items and the Nutrisystem ready-to-go foods, we do the work for you...

Comment #13

Personally I think the structure, the forums, addins (especially HUGE salads), etc. did much more to keep me compliant than did high glycemic, per se. that said, getting the taste for sugar (and fat) out of your head is helpful...

Comment #14

For great information about the Glycemic Index, I've found the following site very helpful:.

Comment #15

What do you mean by this statement: Think there to much sugar?.

( Some of the Nutrisystem foods (like the cookies they are pushing lately) are really a bit of a danger.)[/quote]..

Comment #16

Too concentrated calorie wise. That's 200 calories for a cookie! Then full of sugar. No, a lit bit of soy protein mixed in does not redeem it..

That and there are a lot, lot, LOT of people who binge on them...

Comment #17

Perhaps you missed my post that gave the Nutrisystem stats ....

Not sure why you feel the need to correct me. I'm pretty sure my intent was clear. Did I say anything you found inaccurate? Would you like me to e-mail you the list of frozen foods I have compared to Nutrisystem stats and found to be compatible? If so, PM me your e-mail address...

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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