by Jane, Boston, MA
Who is Nutrisystem best for?
Janet Jackson and Oprah. No, just kidding. Nutrisystem worked really well for me. Why?
I know that we all have the same amount of time; we just choose to do different things with it. I don’t have a lot of free time right now. I work full-time running my own business, and then I also work almost full-time at another job. I’m working almost all the time, and when I’m done working, I just want to relax. I don’t want to count calories or go to meetings. In short, I don’t want to do anything that takes mental energy.
Most people know what they’re supposed to eat, but it just takes energy to do it correctly. It takes time to get to the store, it takes thought to carefully plan and choose meals, it takes time and energy to cook and prepare food, and it takes willpower to eat small enough amounts of only the right things. So it doesn’t get done—at least, in my case, it didn’t get done.
The big value of Nutrisystem for me is that it does all that for you. You just eat the food. That’s the whole system. Taking away all those extra steps makes it all the more likely that you’ll stick to the plan.
There are probably faster ways to lose weight. In fact, there definitely are. But for me, they’ve never stuck. When I’ve dieted in an extreme way or taken on an extreme workout regime, I’ve often lost weight quickly. But I’ve been miserable, and I’ve quit, and then the weight comes back.
So this time I decided to lose weight in a healthy way, which is about a pound a week. I always thought it would be harder to “diet” for six months than to “diet” for one month, which sounds okay until you realize that eating 3 varied meals, a protein shake, and a dessert per day is a lot more pleasant and sustainable than eating celery and skipping meals and still trying to run miles a day. There’s no comparison.
Nutrisystem meals are low in calories. They have varied ingredients. They have a balance of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and fats. And something happens when you’re getting steady, balanced nutrition: you feel better. That’s worth a lot.
I’ve done it without a system. It works… for a while. But I had to be honest about the fact that although I’ve lost weight on my own, I’ve never lost weight in a sustainable way. And I’ve never lost weight in a predictable way.
There are a lot of systems out there, and I’m sure that some of them work and a lot of them don’t. But the thing about Nutrisystem is that the system is easy. And the fact that it’s easy makes it something you stick with.
You do need to be at least a little motivated. For the first week, you look around at what your co-workers are eating and think, you know, I’d really rather have that. But, then you see that you’ve lost a pound. So you give it another week and you’ve lost another pound. And then you’re somehow eating cheese curls and lasagna for lunch, but you’re still losing weight. And you think, I can do this for a long time.
I learned a lot from Nutrisystem. I know what I’m supposed to eat, but it’s a lot easier to do it when I don’t have to think about it. And doing it makes it a habit. And habits stay with you.
When Nutrisystem ends, you have built a habit of eating small, balanced meals throughout the day. You keep that. You’ve built exercise habits. You keep them. You learn portion control in a way that sticks, because you learn by doing.
You learn how to eat actual food. Most women I know do what I used to do. They start replacing their meals with what I call “girl food”. A bag of pretzels. An orange. A sugar-free yogurt. One of those sad bagels with all the bagel part hollowed out. I’m over it. A small meal is a lot more satisfying, and it can be pre-prepared so that it’s convenient and easy.
I could probably stay on this plan happily for the next ten years. It suits my lifestyle, it’s easy, and it still works even when I decide that a Milky Way bar is a healthy lunch choice… as long as I don’t do that too often. It’s consistent and dependable, and I trust that.
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