Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 17, 2011 09:36 AM


My husband has been unable to exercise for a few months due to recovering from a surgery. This has led him back to a cycle of overeating... which is why he decided to order nutrisystem. Has anyone tried it? Do these meals actually taste good? I fully support him doing this- while we both would prefer he eat fresh foods/veggies, he feels that the regimented system without having to think about portion sizes will help him "jump start" the process... and we can transition back to home cooking in 2 months or so. It's also going to be a bit strange with me cooking just for myself for the next few months (I generally cook very healthy as a side note). At least I won't have to cook as much! :}

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I saw some online articles that rate the taste and texture as pretty poor. I would say that spending that kind of money so that 2 months from now you can transition to home cooking just sounds odd to me. Unless you are going to clear your frig and cabinets of all "tempting" food what will your husband do when the Nutrisystem meal wasn't fulfilling? There are so many options, I hate to think the best is frozen food with little flavor or texture rather than fruits and veggies with good, lean proteins..

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      He gave a lot of thought to this. Our fridge doesn't have "tempting" options; I don't keep junk food in the house. The problem is more out of the house than in. He'll eat healthy at home but then he'll slip at work or when we go out with friends. With nutrisystem, now he has an excuse not to order pizza or a burger when with his co-workers. Also, his motivation just isn't high at the moment; part of the downward cycle. Once he sees himself losing weight, he'll start to feel better about himself, which will push him to exercise... which will lead to him not needing such a strict regimen.

    2. Had a friend who tried this, but years ago so take her report however you like. She said ALL of the food sent to her was shelf-stable, meaning no refrigeration required. I know they've changed some of this lately and have some frozen foods available now, but most of it is still shelf stable, from what I understand. A lot of it is also swimming in sodium to keep it shelf stable, and most of the stuff was rubbery and bland/tasted like cardboard. Definitely not for a food lover, but just for someone who doesn't really want to think about self portion control and wants meals portion-controlled for them.

      There are numerous reviews of Nutrisystem's food online, as well. I'm positive I just read one on Yahoo News less than two weeks ago, and the review of a day's worth of food was pretty much what my friend told me.

      Also, keep in mind that Nutrisystem also wants you to supplement their food with fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to milk and other ingredients you have to buy in addition to the food they send you. I say if you're going to spend that much money on food and have to spend MORE on fresh food, just go to a company that does fresh, refrigerated meals and delivers/can be picked up weekly. I know Diet-to-Go is one such company if you're willing to pay the high price of meal delivery (there's always a coupon for 20% off first order on retailmenot). I'm sure there are tons of other companies out there, as well if you want to go that route.

      1. If Nutrisystem is still like it was last time I had it - more than two decades ago, so make of that what you will - no, the food does not taste good. It tastes mostly of salt. I just checked Nutrisystem's website for the sodium info to see whether my recollection is accurate and found that each entree contains between 25% & 30% of your sodium RDA, which seems like a lot to me.

        And even though you hope that Nutrisystem will keep your husband from thinking about portion sizes, he will still be thinking about portion sizes, as in, "how is this even a portion?" I could easily put away 2-3 of those entrees, and I'm reasonably sure I'm a lot smaller than your husband.

        If you're already cooking pretty healthy meals, he'd be better off (and happier) just eating what you cook. In my opinion.

        4 Replies
        1. re: small h

          If simply cooking healthy meals was the answer then he'd have lost weight already. I'm not disputing that home cooked meals are better than nutrisystem; of course they are. But it hasn't worked, which is why my husband decided to order the program.

          1. re: NicoleFriedman

            The best method for him is the one that works, of course. But reading the other responses on this thread - that you have to supplement the Nutrisystem meals with salads and the like - makes me think he may as well just knock together his own pre-measured, home-cooked meals. However, I can also see how laying out the (not insubstantial) cash for Nutrisystem might make him more committed.

            1. re: small h

              That's definitely part of it. He's paying for it with his own personal cash so he'd only be wasting his own money:}

              1. re: NicoleFriedman

                Yes, the gym membership model. Cash out, and you will be more inclined to toe the company line. I wish your husband success with Nutrisystem, and a speedy return to a less restricted (and less salty) way of eating.

        2. The only thing in Nutrisystem that is worth eating is the red sauce pastas (lasagne, etc.) I kind of liked the salisbury steak but its not good. The problem is that even with Nutrisystem you have to prepare other stuff like salads, etc. for a well balanced meal (at least 5 years ago you did) so its not like you suddenly don't have to do any work to eat.

          The good part is that they are shelf stable, so you can keep them at the office in your desk.

          1. Is the food good? I would categorize it under "acceptable." It's not good or awful, but it's "for the cause" and so justified. But, I still wouldn't recommend it.

            There has yet to be any documentation that shows that a good number of people that go on Nutrisystem keep the weight off. (And you can bet that the company would advertise that like mad if it were the case.) Your husband certainly has the right idea in jump starting the process, but that's easier said than done. Also, if I'm going to go on a calorie watch diet, I say the hell with (most) healthy items and would count calories from candy and junk food. If the food is limited, I mind as well savor every bite.

            One thing that I'm really confused on: Since you do cook, and do it well, why not just have you control the portion size for him?

            2 Replies
            1. re: ediblover

              My husband is a grown man and not a child. My yelling at him on a daily basis about portion control, especially when out of the house is just not working. We'd be out at a restaurant and I'd literally have to kick him under the table when he'd order something he shouldn't have, or if he'd eat an extra roll. I'm actually beyond happy that he took the initiative to try this, because my old approach- cooking healthy and yelling at him- just wasn't doing the trick:}

              1. re: NicoleFriedman

                As someone who has battled weight issues ever since I tore both my ACL's (and didn't have surgery) I'd just like to add some tips that have worked for me in the past and are working for me now.
                1. Stay away from fat-free's loaded with sugars.
                2. Don't by into that huge breakfast and then little meals during the day. Have a small breakfast, a big lunch (but eat slowly and drink lots of water before, during and after. For dinner, eat enough, but stay away from carbs because this will cause you to be hungrier later.
                3. Don't have cheat days. You can literally waste a week's worth of dieting in one day.
                4. I don't really eat desserts, which allows me to splurge on things like wings.
                5. Try and make takeout meals last for two meals.
                6. If your husband is like me, he'll walk into a pizzeria and order two slices. Now when I do have pizza, which is rare, I order one and leave. I don't have the luxury of going back and find that one is plenty.
                7. Scrap fries and rings as a side for a salad. You're ordering for the burger anyway, eat that first and then tackle the side.
                8. Don't avoid things you like. It will defeat your positive atittude.
                9. Cheese is good for's the bread, crackers, chips that you get with it that is bad.
                10. Don't weigh yourself every day. I used to believe the opposite, but when you are good two days in a row and don't lose. If you lose an inch on your waist, don't run out and get new clothing. it'll be tight and you'll get discouraged.
                11. And here's the thing where I feel Nutrisystem is bad...don't eat something different than the rest of your family. Just eat less of it.
                12. If you're the cook....don't make as much. I used to make a batch of chicken cutlets and eat them all. Now I cook one, maybe two if I don't bread them. I usually freeze them in individual bags and only take one out, so I am not tempted by the leftovers.

                I'm not an expert...believe me. But I've lost over 30 lbs in less than four months on two occasions and 70 lbs in sixth months on another. I'm currently down about 30 lbs doing these things now and that's without cutting out anything I enjoy, drinking pretty frequently and having a very inactive lifestyle.

                regardlesss of how he proceeeds, I wish him luck