You Asked, We Answered: Nutrisystem FAQs


Written By: Zan Strumfeld

We’re always searching for the best “lose weight now” plan. But what about the best “lose weight and keep the pounds off” program? Maintaining after weight loss can be the hardest part of dieting, and often why we yo-yo. But, for more than 45 years Nutrisystem has stood as a leader in the weight loss industry, helping millions lose weight with simple, properly portioned meal plans. Most importantly, with a new perspective on a healthier lifestyle, Nutrisystem users keep the weight off once they transition to regular meals again.

We get that trying any new service—especially a weight loss program—can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a roundup of questions and answers to make your choice easier. And remember: you can always contact Nutrisystem Support with any additional questions.

Q: Is Nutrisystem High in Sodium?

A: The average amount of sodium in the American diet is roughly 4,000 mg, though often higher. Nutrisystem states that "All of the programs meet, and are often below, the USDA’s recommended daily intake of 2300 mg of sodium or less for the general population." This may vary, depending on which diet plan you choose and what additional foods are in your diet while you’re on Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem Support offers help on limiting sodium intake via their website.

Q: Does Nutrisystem Make You Gassy? Here's Why

A: They call it the Nutritoots: a side effect of the sugar substitute Maltitol used in most Nutrisystem products. While offering fewer calories than regular sugar (2.5 calories per gram over 4), it has nearly identical properties; plus, it won’t cause cavities and it’s safe for diabetics.  Unfortunately, its side effects include diarrhea, gas, and abdominal discomfort. They say it’s worth the flatulence: Nutrisystem food scientists work hard to make sure their food is not loaded with artificial sweeteners or heavy sugars. You can compare other artificial sweeteners here.

Q: So, I Have Hit a Weight Loss Plateau on Nutrisystem. What Now?

A: At first, the pounds drop quickly. Your body isn’t used to a smaller caloric intake, and it responds accordingly. When it begins to adjust to the change, you may feel a type of plateau in your weight loss. Yet, it’s most likely your metabolism revving up, regaining its ability to drop weight more smoothly. Try some plateau-busting tips from Nutrisystem by mixing up your menu and shaking off your sodium habit.

Q: What to Eat with Nutrisystem Meals

A: Feeling hungry while on the Nutrisystem Meal Plan? Along with your daily meals, Nutrisystem recommends you eat four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit (you can choose which veggies and fruit you eat). With this, you’ll be able to snack and fulfill that hunger while getting the nutrients and vitamins you need.

Q: Where Do I Buy Nutrisystem?

A: You can purchase Nutrisystem right on their official website (often with special discounts) and in stores. There are several tiered-plans to choose from, including simply ordering individual products like shakes. Nutrisystem support staff is always available to assist with any questions, and unlike most diet meal plans, has a money-back guarantee.

Q: Should Nutrisystem Food be Refrigerated?

A: Nutrisystem foods are prepackaged and don’t need refrigeration. Besides for a few items that come frozen, the rest are sealed from air and do not need to be chilled. This keeps things simple for on-the-go eating; all you need is a microwave.

Q: Is Nutrisystem Worth It?

A: Nutrisystem is all about convenient weight loss: the food is shipped right to your doorstep, prepackaged and properly portioned, and doesn’t take any time to prepare. Especially those rocking a busy lifestyle, it’s a great way to regulate your caloric intake without missing out on carbs or sodium. And, it’s a healthy lifestyle change, teaching you how to eat smaller meals more often, all while keeping the weight off. So, while you’ll have to make that “is it worth it?” call yourself, the millions of Nutrisystem weight loss success stories may persuade you.

Q: Can Nutrisystem Cause Headaches?

A: Before adding Nutrisystem to their diets, people are often used to a higher level of calories, caffeine, and other foods that aren’t generally good for the body. Whenever the body goes through a major change, it’s normal to experience some form of withdrawal, resulting in headaches or migraines. Nutrisystem support says the first three days can be a struggle with hunger and headaches, but it will most definitely pass.

Q: Do I Have to Exercise to Lose Weight on the Nutrisystem Program?

A: To keep a healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity is always highly encouraged. Nutrisystem recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week. Luckily, they’ve developed the My Daily 3 plan, which focuses on achieving 30 minutes of exercise a day. You can find a list of customized weight loss activity suggestions through or the NuMi app.


Q: Will I Be Hungry on Nutrisystem?

A: The Nutrisystem diet provides a substantial amount of protein and fiber, while keeping a strong focus on nutrient-dense, “low glycemic” carbohydrates to help reduce blood sugar spikes and control hunger. The meal plans work so you eat small, perfectly portioned meals often throughout the day. With the addition of drinking plenty of water, and small snacks—like a bag of carrots—hunger shouldn’t be an issue. As always, the Nutrisystem support team is there to help with any issues.

Q: Does Nutrisystem Really Work?

A: The short answer: yes. If you stick to the guidelines—following the meal plan and adding your own vegetables to your daily eating routine, along with avoiding junk food and alcohol—you’ll notice weight loss in no time. (Don’t worry, Nutrisystem even has desserts in the meal plans. Check out some of these surprisingly enticing food options.) Plus, you’ll have committed to an overall healthier lifestyle change. So, it’s less a concern about working, and more about keeping the weight off after transitioning out of Nutrisystem and the eating choices you make.

Q: What is Nutrisystem Lean 13?

A: Lean 13 is Nutrisystem’s latest reformulation, with a revised menu following the latest knowledge in healthy eating choices promoting health and effective dieting—while still staying flavorful and enjoyable. The end result? An overall effectiveness of the diet improves and participants lose more weight.

Q: Is Nutrisystem Gluten-Free?

A: Nutrisystem doesn’t currently offer certified gluten-free diet foods, but there are some menu items that lack gluten, and there is a wheat-free menu. The Nutrition and Dietary Services Department (800-585-5483 ext. 1341) can assist in the customizing of your meal plan. If you have Celiac Disease, you are unfortunately ineligible for the Nutrisystem program.

Q: Can You Eat Carbohydrates on Nutrisystem?

A: Nutrisystem meal plans offer about 50% of the calories from low-glycemic, “good” carbs, 25% of calories from protein, and 20% from fat. The weight loss program and the diet food choices are based on the science of the Glycemic Index, measuring the quality of carbohydrates and how they impact blood sugar levels. Nutrisystem’s pre-packaged products, however, do the work for you—making sure you have the “good” carbs over the “bad”—to help keep your blood sugar levels stable and your appetite in check.

Q: Must You Be On Nutrisystem Forever?

A: The simple answer: no! You create your end date—often after you’ve hit your desired weight loss and learned how to maintain—and then slowly begin implementing other food into your diet. You can continue to eat Nutrisystem foods—most enjoy the snacks and shakes—with your regular diet afterward.

Q: Are There Any Nutrisystem Coupon Codes Available?

A: There are a few available on the Internet, including this 40% off your order.

Q: Are There Automatic Ordering Options for Nutrisystem?

A: Nutrisystem prides itself on keeping things simple. So, when you sign up for the auto order delivery option, you’ll not only receive a 35% discount over a standard subscription, but you’ll automatically receive your order every four weeks. And, you’ll get a reminder when your next order is being shipped. This method is also eligible for completely free shipping.

Q: How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost?

A: Depending on the plan you choose, costs vary between $9.82 and $11.96 per day. The three plans include: Basic Plan, with pre-selected ready-to-go food; Core Plan, an additional 100 foods available (choose your own); and Uniquely Yours Plan, an additional 150 foods available (choose your own, including frozen). Place your orders online, and the items are shipped to your home free of charge. Cancelling is processed online with a complete refund (however, if it’s in the first month, there’s a $99 cancelation fee).

Diet ReviewsZan Strumfeld