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Nutrisystem offers two types of programs: 1) Weight Loss Programs and 2) Transition and Maintenance Programs. All are designed to meet national nutrition guidelines through portion control and the selection of nutrient-rich, low-glycemic index foods. A key distinction between the weight loss programs and the transition and maintenance programs is the extent to which they incorporate prepackaged entrees and snacks. The weight loss programs include portion-controlled items for three meal entrees and one or two snacks or desserts per day. The transition and maintenance programs vary in the number of the portion-controlled items they deliver, while providing the opportunity for customers to prepare or select healthy conventional foods for themselves. As shown below, programs are available for customers with specific nutritional needs (e.g., those with diabetes, vegetarians, etc.).
The Nutrisystem weight loss programs offer separate meal plans for women and men at approximately 1250 and 1500 calories per day, respectively. Approximately 60% of customers' daily calories come from pre-packaged Nutrisystem® foods, with the remainder coming from fresh grocery additions. As shown below, the nutritional quality of the program stands in sharp contrast to that of the typical American diet. Furthermore, the program is consistent with national guidelines for macronutrient balance and fiber content, and is within limits for saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Customers can customize their selection of Nutrisystem foods and grocery additions to meet dietary needs and preferences (e.g., low-sodium or lacto-ovo vegetarian diets).
% from carbohydrate
% from protein
% from fat
% from saturated fat
Total Sugar (g)
1. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate. Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002/2005).
2. AHA 2006 Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction. Circulation. 2006;114:82-96
3. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010). Sodium recommendations are for the general adult population. The Guidelines
recommend < 1500 mg/day of sodium for certain subgroups of the population. Sodium levels can be further reduced,
in consultation with a Nutrisystem counselor, to meet individual target levels.
4. What we eat in America, NHANES 2007-2008 Revised August 2010.
5. Based on current program offerings combined with the nutrition averages reported in the USDA Food Database for the
grocery foods most frequently reported in customers' online food diaries.
Nutrisystem D is, by design, consistent with nutritional recommendations from the American Diabetes Association. Nutrisystem D promotes the consumption of a balanced, nutrient-rich, low-glycemic index diet and includes a meal plan to avoid carbohydrate loading. All of the program's supporting materials are tailored to individuals with diabetes. In addition, Nutrisystem D customers also receive free access to Certified Diabetes Educators who are trained to help them address the specific dieting needs of those with diabetes.
The primary focus of the Nutrisystem® Silver® program is on heart health. Although the Nutrisystem Silver program was designed to meet the nutrition needs of men and women who are at least 65 years old, it is also appropriate for younger individuals who have more conservative nutrition goals than our typical customers. The Silver program provides an omega-3 supplement to support heart health. Women additionally receive a calcium plus vitamin D supplement to support bone health. (Note that this calcium supplement also contains vitamin K, which may interfere with the action of anticoagulant medications.) As with all Nutrisystem® weight loss programs, Nutrisystem Silver can be customized to provide <1500 mg/day of sodium, in accordance with Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations for adults aged 51 and older.
Individuals who seek weight control while following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet may choose the Nutrisystem® Vegetarian program. Like all other Nutrisystem programs, the Vegetarian program is available to both women and men at calorie levels designed to induce a weight loss of 1-2 lb per week. Because more than 80 Nutrisystem food items are meat-free, a great deal of variety is available to our vegetarian customers.
Nutrisystem for Teens is a weight loss and management program created specifically for overweight and obese teenagers between the ages of 14-17. Designed in accordance with the weight management recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Barlow SE et al. Pediatrics 2007;120;S164-S192), Nutrisystem for Teens was created to help teenagers manage their weight while introducing them to healthy eating and activity habits that will last a lifetime. The combination of nutritionally balanced packaged and supplemental foods provides approximately 1400 calories per day for girls and 1700 calories per day for boys, and meets age-appropriate targets listed in the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans – 2010.
The Nutrisystem for Teens program includes:
• A simple, structured meal plan that provides portion-controlled entrees and desserts, which the teen will
supplement with grocery items (e.g., fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein).
• Resource materials for both the teen and their parent or guardian that focus on challenges specific to
teens and guides caregivers on how to best support their teen in his or her weight management goals.
• Unlimited support from Nutrisystem counselors who are available to answer any questions and address
Note: Enrollment in the Nutrisystem for Teens program requires approval from a parent or guardian, as well as a pediatrician or family physician.
The use of portion-controlled foods in a low-calorie diet can improve adherence and enhance weight loss compared to a diet of self-selected foods. However, consistent long-term use of prepackaged foods may not be feasible for all persons seeking weight control. To address this issue, Nutrisystem introduced Transition and Maintenance programs to help customers gradually reduce their reliance on its portion-controlled foods while simultaneously increasing their ability to follow the dietary principles of the program on their own.
This transition program includes 5 days' worth of entrees and snacks/desserts per week. Rather than allowing customers to "take the weekend off," this program provides instruction on how to prepare Nutrisystem-consistent meals and snacks with the help of an At Home Tool Kit, including portion-control tools (e.g., plating guide and graduate serving utensils), along with a cookbook of Nutrisystem-consistent low-GI recipes, as well as how to select healthier choices when eating out.
Customers who select this transition program continue to receive Nutrisystem® breakfast and lunch entrees plus snacks/desserts. Instead of dinner entrees, customers are encouraged to prepare healthy meals on their own with help from the At-Home Tool Kit described above. This program allows customers the experience of self-selecting and preparing meals in accordance with the tenets of the Nutrisystem® diet, while retaining a good deal of structure.
As the name implies, the only prepackaged items included on this program are lunch entrees and snacks/desserts. The meal planner and At-Home Tool Kit provide guidance on assembling Nutrisystem-consistent breakfasts and dinners. This program is ideally suited to those who must navigate a challenging food environment at work or who are susceptible to high-calorie snacking.
For an annual fee, Success A La Carte customers receive free shipping and a recurring discount on all A La Carte orders. This maintenance program provides the opportunity for customers to select whichever Nutrisystem pre-packaged foods they choose in whatever amounts they choose at a discounted price, along with free shipping.
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Patients may be eligible to receive reimbursement for their purchase of Nutrisystem programs.