NutriSystem: Too Good to Be True?

Like millions of other Americans, I can definitely benefit from shedding a few pounds and am always looking for that “magic pill”. So, with all the NutriSystem commercials that have been running lately, I decided to give it a try. After all, my biggest hurdle to losing weight is not knowing what I should eat each day and not having the time to plan out meals in advance. So I signed up for NutriSystem thinking this was exactly what I need. I thought I’d like to do this for three months to lose the 30 pounds that I need to lose. So I took advantage of NutriSystem’s auto-delivery program because you get free shipping and a 10% discount if you commit to three monthly orders. This brought my first month’s order to $300, plus I got an extra week of food for free. You can also check out these honest Noom diet reviews to see how effective this system is.

My food arrived about 3 business days later in a large box from UPS. To my amazement, the food does not have to be refrigerated or frozen. But here’s what they don’t tell you, or they don’t advertise it very well, it’s that you have to supplement each meal with your own food:

With a NutriSystem BREAKFAST, you have to add one fruit serving and one dairy or protein serving; with a NutriSystem LUNCH you have to add one dairy or protein serving and a salad; with a NutriSystem DINNER, you have to include 2 vegetable servings, a salad or fruit serving, and one fat serving. And then you get a NutriSystem DESSERT and a snack of one fruit serving and one dairy or protein serving.

So on top of the $300 for the NutriSystem meals, you have to purchase enough vegetables, fruit, dairy, and protein products to include during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Which defeats the whole purpose if you were hoping to not have to plan or prepare any meals.

But my biggest complaint has to do with the taste of the NutriSystem food. It is absolutely horrible! I did read reviews from customers on various forums saying how they hated the food, but I figured that I could handle it. Besides, I’ve eaten Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones, so how different can NutriSystem be, right? WRONG!

I think it has something to do with the fact that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated or frozen – something they do to preserve the food, perhaps. But it was not edible at all. When I tried to eat the eggs, I almost threw up, it was that bad! The texture of the food is horrible. And everything just has a strange taste to it. I ordered the cheesy homestyle mashed potatoes, thinking how can you mess up mashed potatoes? But they also made me gag. The only thing that tasted decent was the cereal.

Oh yeah, one more thing. You do have one week from the day you receive the food to cancel and request a refund. However, if you signed up for auto-delivery and then decide to cancel before making three purchases, you have to pay back the discount and the shipping cost because you didn’t commit to three orders. Plus, you have to pay to ship the remaining contents back to them.

So let this be a warning to anyone thinking about ordering this stuff. If I could do it over, I would have looked on Craigslist or eBay and purchased someone else’s unused food to give it a try before shelling out $300. Thus, I have come to face the hard, cold facts: There really is no easy way out. If I want to lose weight, I’m going to have to do it the old fashioned way – exercise and healthy eating. Wish me luck!


Adrian O'Connor is a passionate business writing coach and a creative copywriter. He is out there to make Business classes more interesting for all the students out there.