Transition from Nutrisystem

Jane_150by Jane, Boston, MA

Transitioning from Nutrisystem can be scary. When you’re on the plan, you’re losing weight. You’re not losing it rocket fast, but you’re losing it steadily and consistently. It feels good. You have a plan. You know what you’re doing. And then you order your last month’s worth of food, and you know that when it runs out, you are responsible again.

For me, the key to the transition was to take the habits I’d built and keep them going.

Keep exercising and drinking water

Woman-with-bottle-of-waterThe Nutrisystem plan asks you to exercise for 30 minutes a day. That can be a hard workout at the gym, or just a brisk walk around the city. That isn’t a temporary thing that you should stop once the food orders stop. That’s a new habit. Being on Nutrisystem builds the habit, but then you have to stick with it.

I shoot for five days a week, if I’m being honest. I just don’t feel like it’s realistic for me to work out every day at this season of my life. However, I try to balance that out by making a couple of those workouts 45 minutes to an hour. That’s a better balance for me, and it’s sustainable, so that’s what I do.

The other big thing is to keep drinking two liters of water a day… or more if you can. I find that the absolute easiest way to do this is to use a refillable water bottle (Nutrisystem or otherwise), make the water nice and cold, and just keep it near you all the time. You’ll drink it! If water is on my desk, I’ll drink two or three liters a day. If it’s not, I drink almost none. Lesson learned.

Save your food trays for the transition

Most Nutrisystem meals come in a plastic serving dish. For a couple weeks before my plan end, I washed these out and saved them. That way, I can make lunches and dinners for myself that are the same size as the Nutrisystem meals.

It really helped! I can see how different the sizes are from what I was preparing before.

The trick then is to take each meal you prepare and empty it onto a plate, so that you can see what it looks like on a plate. Eventually, you can serve yourself a regular meal without using the tray as a guide, because you know what it’s supposed to look like on the plate. Of course you can add lots of vegetables in addition to that size.

Prepare your meals in advance

I think one of the big reasons Nutrisystem works is that it’s easier to stick to a portion size commitment when the decision is made for you. It’s all portioned out, and that’s what there is to eat. You aren’t making the choice.

So you can keep doing that once the plan is over! When I can, I try to prepare one or two healthy meals, and then portion them out into 5 or 6 portions. The Nutrisystem plastic meal bowls are really helpful for this! I can put the meal in a bag and freeze it, and then just take one out of the freezer in the morning and heat it up for lunch or dinner. It’s like creating my own mini Nutrisystem in my house. In other words, even when the plan ended, the system stayed. And on the days I can’t be bothered to remember something from the freezer, or there’s nothing in the freezer to remember, I now trust myself to buy lunch somewhere and eat the right amount.

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