Why am I bloated during Nutrisystem?

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Hi, I'm on day 10 of the meal plan and have faithfully been following it. I was excited to have results and to already feel a little smaller but this morning my tummy feels real bloated and the scale shows 2 pounds more. I'm 46 and haven't had a period since November so I'm going thru pre-menopause. Could this just be that and will it stall my weight loss? Just want to feel better. Thank you....

Comments (7)

Your question was: Why am I bloated during Nutrisystem?.

To be quite blunt...when was the last time you emptied your colon? People don't realize how much a full colon can increase your weight and if you haven't gone for a few days, get some fiber, metamucil, lots of things on the market that don't have stimulants in them and use that. Plus DRINK DRINK and DRINK some more water! it helps the water leave and helps in the bathroom..

Don't worry, sometimes bodies get worried and hold onto everything to conserve for the "long winter" keep moving, stay on plan and it will fall off soon!..

Comment #1

Thank you ladies! I just needed to hear that.. Judy, yes I have noticed that I'm not going to the bathroom as much (I'm urinating ok because I'm drinking around 70 ounzes of water a day) but I'm not going the other way very much. I thought it was just cause I'm eating so much less food but I do feel like I should go so I will take some Miralax or something....

Comment #2

I happened across this article when I first started my NutriSystem journey in February, 2006, and found it very enlightening and helpful. I post it here often for others to enjoy. Hope it helps you, too. Pam.

Why Scales Lie by Renee Cloe, ACE Certified Personal Trainer (reprinted with permission:

Weve been told over and over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us cant resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just cant bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence its readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the bodys water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they dont understand whats happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto its water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so its easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesnt have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium.

The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. Thats why, when it comes to eating, its wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and its packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when its stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with its associated water.

These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if youre prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, its wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before youve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. Its the actual weight of everything youve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when youve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact its not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, its likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.

When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, its physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What youre really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scales sneakiest attribute. It doesnt just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesnt necessarily mean that youve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what youve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate.

The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when youre just sitting around. Thats one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesnt differentiate between the two. It cant tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesnt appeal to you, dont worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, dont be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. Its a matter of mind over scale...

Comment #3

One other possibility is the sugar alcohols in some of the food. They sometimes will cause bloating in some people. Did you eat any of these foods the day you felt that way?.

NutriSystem Entres containing Sugar Alcohol.

(Updated 04-22-10 based on reformulation).


Apple Granola Bar.

Apple Strudel Scone.

Apple Strudel Bar.

Banana Nut Muffin.

Blueberry Muffin.

Chocolate Chip Scone.

Cinnamon Bun.

Cinnamon Bun Bar.

Cinnamon Swirl Granola Bar.

Cranberry Granola Bar.

Cranberry Orange Pastry.

Double Chocolate Muffin.

Harvest Nut Bar.

Peanut Butter Granola Bar.


Chocolate Raspberry Bar.

Fudge Graham Bar.

Trail Mix Bar.




Blueberry Lemon Dessert Bar.

Carrot Cake.

Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Fudge Bar.

Chocolate Nougat Bar with Peanuts and Caramel.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Bar.

Chocolatey Nougat Bar with Peanuts and Caramel.

Coconut Almond Bar.

Double Chocolate Almond Cookie.

Fudge Brownie.

Golden Pound Cake.

Milk Chocolaty Delight Bar.

Peppermint Cookie Patty.

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Frozen Entrees (Updated 10-07-09).






Chicken Alfredo.

Salisbury Steak with Macaroni and Cheese.

Shrimp Alfredo.


Caramel Swirl Sundae.

Fudge Swirl Sundae.

Ice Cream Sandwich.

Lime Crme Bar.

Orange Crme Bar..

Comment #4

I don't think I'd jump on the laxative-type products band wagon just yet. I am going much less often than I used to because I'm eating less foodplain and simple. My weight fluctuates wildly during the day and from day to day. I could be wrong, but I've read that you can learn to depend on those products and lose touch with your body's normal signals, so I would just give yourself more time to see how your body is responding to a new way of eating. If you're eating all the fruits and veggies on the plan, you should be just fine!..

Comment #5

Thanks for the wonderful info! Michelle, yes I have eaten those foods you mentioned. What does that mean for my weight loss goal?..

Comment #6

It doesn't affect your goal at all. I eat them all the time, as they don't impact me. But if they make you feel icky, then I'd avoid them and pick foods that don't have the sugar alcohols:.

NutriSystem entres that DO NOT contain any Sugar Alcohols (Maltitol and Sorbitol).

(Updated 04-22-10 based on reformulation).


Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.

Berries & Multigrain Flakes.

Blueberry Flavored Pancake Mix.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.

Cluster Crunch Cereal.

Crispy Rice Cereal.

Egg Frittata.

Lowfat Granola Cereal.

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal.

NutriCinnamon Squares Cereal.

NutriFlakes Cereal- 40% Bran Cereal.

NutirFrosted Crunch Cereal.

Pancake Mix.

Sweetened Os Cereal.

Whole Grain Os Cereal.


Beans and Ham Soup.

Black Beans and Rice.

Black Bean Tortilla Soup.

Cheese Tortellini.

Cheesy Homestyle Potatoes.

Chicken and Pasta in Cacciatore Sauce.

Chicken Noodle Soup.

Chicken Salad.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar.

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing w/ Chicken.

Cream of Broccoli Soup.

Cream of Tomato Soup.

Dbl. Chocolate Caramel Bar.

Fettuccini Alfredo.

Hearty Minestrone Soup.

Mexican Style Tortilla Soup.

Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables.

Pasta Parmesan with Broccoli.

Pasta with Beef.

Red Beans & Rice with Sausage.

Split Pea Soup.

Three Cheese Pasta with Chicken.

Tuna Salad.

Turkey Hot Dogs.

Vegetable Beef Soup.


All dinners do not contain any Sugar Alcohols.


Almond Biscotti.

BBQ Soy Chips.

Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks.

Cheese Puffs.

Chocolate Caramel Dessert Bar.

Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pudding.

Chocolate Crunch Bar.

Chocolate Rainbow Delights.

Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks.

Mint Chocolate Crunch Bar.

Nacho Crisps.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

Peanut Butter Cookie.


Sour Cream and Onion Soy Chips.

Strawberry Shortcake Bar.

Thin Mint Crisp Bar.

White Cheddar Soy Chips.

White Chocolate Chuck Cookie.

Zesty Herb Snack Mix.

Frozen Entrees (Updated 09-03-09).


All frozen Breakfast Entrees do not contain any Sugar Alcohols.


All frozen Lunch Entrees do not contain any Sugar Alcohols.


Asian- Style Beef.

Glazed Chicken Tenders.

Ravioli Formaggio.

Roast Turkey Medallions.

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells.

Tender Beef with Portobello Mushrooms.

Turkey Pepperoni Pizza.


Apple Crisp.

Blueberry Parfait.

Chocolate Fudge Bar.

Chocolate Fudge Bar.

Peach Crisp..

Comment #7

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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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