Nutrisystem Tips: 10 Ways to Make Food Even Better!
by Jane, Boston, MA
So I’m a big fan of Nutrisystem, since it helped me steadily and consistently lose 22 pounds in 6 months. If that doesn’t sound fast enough to you, think about other weight loss plans you’ve done that have worked fasted up front—where were you six months later? If you’re thinking “right back where I started, or worse”… uh, yeah, me too. Ultimately my goal is to be healthy and look good… not to look skinnier for one week while I feel like I’m going to have a rage blackout every time I look at a decent meal.
Over those six months, I discovered a few ways to make Nutrisystem meals even tastier and more varied. Here are ten things I tried and liked!
Add vegetables to Nutrisystem meals. Nutrisystem tells you to supplement meals with vegetables, but I found I liked it better if I added the veggies to the pasta or rice dishes. This made it so the sauce from the meal covered the vegetables as well, and made the overall meal slightly bigger. I thought this made the sauce:food ratio better, and I really liked it.
Try everything once. For the first month, I suggest you order a different meal for every day. This makes you excited to try new things, and you also get a chance to figure out which things you like best. It’s really easy to order all different things. But keep track of what you like best, because after that you should…
Stick with what you like. Once you’ve tried everything, you might find it helps to just order your favorites. I don’t know about you, but if I love something, I’m happy to eat it every day. There was a whole month where I had only two lunch options, and it worked out great.
Eat breakfast. I don’t really like eating breakfast, so some days I would save the breakfast and eat it later in the day. Those days never went as well as the days I ate breakfast. Don’t try to outsmart the plan and move the meals all to the end of the day. Keep them spread out, and you’ll keep the nutrition flowing.
Keep your lunch meals at work. If you work out of the home and your office has space, keep your lunch meals at work. This way you’re sure to have lunch available every day, and it won’t take even a second of thought. So nice!
Spice up the protein shakes. The protein shakes were one of my favorite things, but I liked them even more when I added little flavor extras to them. A couple frozen strawberries or some lemon juice to the strawberry flavor. Some espresso or a little vanilla extract to the coffee flavor, or some cinnamon to the chocolate flavor. The possibilities are endless!
Follow the heating directions. Okay, this one seems obvious, but it took me five months to figure out how to make the macaroni and cheese correctly. Follow the directions on how to heat up each meal—the directions vary slightly, and they make a big difference in the taste and texture of the meal.
Learn to make varied salads, and make them a couple days ahead. It’s pretty easy to make a big salad and divide it into 3 sandwich bags to bring to work, or 3 bowls to eat at home. Try putting a big variety of veggies, fruits, and sprouts in your salad, and you’ll find that it always tastes fresh and different and you can stay away from salad dressing completely.
Add your meals to a salad. Lots of the Nutrisystem options make great additions to salads, and end up seeming like something you’d order for lunch. The tuna and chicken salad packets are great for this, but so is the tortellini! I know that sounds weird, but if you let it cool and toss it over a salad, it adds great flavor and makes a really delicious, satisfying meal.
Leave the plan once in a while. Notice that I didn’t say “cheat”. It’s your life; eating what you want isn’t cheating. It’s just a choice. For me, it was important to have a piece of birthday cake, or go to dinner on occasion, or have a glass of wine. I did it when it was intentional, and then I went right back on the plan the next day. And that made it stick.