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nutrisystem, jenny craig, packaged diets

I'm considering one of these but I was wondering if after you've lost the weight and you start to eat regular foods, do you gain it back? Once you start, do you have to stick with these forever to keep the weight off?

Wed. Sep 27, 12:59pm

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I've heard they're not very good. One person even said their food came with mold on it!! Yuck!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:00 PM

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come on - mold? Is that true?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:01 PM

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Yup - absolutely true - not from anything read on the net either. Someone was telling my husband about how nasty theirs was.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:17 PM

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Well pressuming that was an isolated incident the other drawbacks are the very reason lots of people turn to a diet where your food is pre-measured and the nutrition is calculated for you. You don't learn good portion control and you don't have think about the nutritional or caloric content of the food you're eating. Thus you don't really learn how to to plan healthy meals and snacks and stick to a caloric 'budget' so to speak. I rather liken it to being put on a stict monetary budget with the goal of getting out of debt where all your spending money is given to you in small portions and you are told exactly what to spend it on. Then once you are out of debt you are given 5 new credit cards with no limit and a stack of catalogs. You didn't learn anything from that experience except that when you are in debt you should give control of your spending to someone else - not really much of a 'lesson' or a strategy for going forward and living well while staying within your means.

If you lack the resources or the time to do meal planning yourself consider consulting a nutritionist who can help you plan for the short term and the long haul with meals and snacks that you shop for and can prepare yourself. Good luck and best wishes with whatever you choose!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:37 PM

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i feel that if these companies really wanted to make lasting differences, they would teach, not just feed, the members. there is an old saying, "you can give a man a fish and feed him for a night, or teach a man to fish and feed him for life." i think that pertains here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:50 PM

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Seven years ago I decided that if I couldn't do it for myself, with normal food and exercise, it wouldn't be sustainable. After over 100 pounds lost, I can say that it is possible, it is work, it is an on-going point of focus. You don't need pills, pre-packaged food, or bizarre all carb, no carb, watermelon-and-cabbage diets to do it. There is no easy fix. Even those I know that had surgical intervention to help with weight loss still need to learn the basic skills of portion control, eating when you're hungry, stopping when you're satisfied, exercising consistently and drinking lots of water.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:56 PM

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i have tried almost every paid diet center since 1982 and i will say they DO teach you how to eat ..i mean come on most of them you meet with someone every time you go in they dont just give you food AND they give you tons of information on healthy eating , exercise and all that BUT you have to do it weather on their food or once you finish the program on your own....the weight loss programs are not the problem i gained the weight back ..i was the problem!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 1:59 PM

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Congradulations on your 100 lbs weight loss!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 2:00 PM

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I've never tried one of these diets, but I think if it would help you get started it is worth it. But I agree with the other posters who have said it all depends on you. And no matter how easy the diet is, you will evenutally have to learn portion-control and the right types of foods to eat if you want to succeed in the long term.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 2:07 PM

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NutriSystem User Reviews

some user reviews...(we replaced a broken link with reviews from the pt community) -pt


Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 2:14 PM

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During one of my Weight Watchers attempts, I sat next to a pair of women who had lost all the weight they wanted to using Jenny Craig - and their counselor told them to go to WW to learn how to eat on their own.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 3:42 PM

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I've sort of adapted the NutriSystem idea. I use pre-packaged meals like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice from the grocery store for lunch and dinner. The only foods I fix for myself are breakfast and snacks. In this way, I think I'm getting the best of both worlds -- prepackaged portion control and a bit of learning how to do it myself. I've lost about 24 pounds doing this for a year.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 6:03 PM

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I did Jenny Craig very unsuccessfully! Got different information from different leaders first off. Expect to pay about $70-$80/week just on their food, plus probably another $20 at the grocery store - I don't spend that in 3 weeks sometimes. They have "snacks" that you have to have - either bars or powder drink type thing that were vile. (All in my own humble opinion of course) But you didn't ask for feedback on the program, sorry!

With Jenny Craig - they do ween you off the food in the end and if I remember correctly there is a 6 week maintenance program that is predominantly real food. If you are using this to lose the weight, but are already pretty good at portion sizing and food choices, but want this to speed things along then it could be ideal.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 11:54 PM

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You might lose weight on a temporary basis, but there is no way to be healthy and lose long term weight eating cheeseburgers- no matter what the portion size is. This whole idea of "Eat What You Want" is a total fraud. These are marketers telling you what you want to hear. The only way to lose weight is change your behavior long term and change what you eat. Weight Watchers showed us the power of fiber, other approaches are taking it a step further. Nutrisystem is simply not part of the long term solution. In fact, they may well be part of the problem.

Sunday, February 11, 2007, 10:57 AM

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Moldy Nutrasystem diet food

I wish I had seen these comments about moldy nutrasystem food two months ago. I opened a package of their Thick Crust Cheese Pizza a couple of days ago and it had blue/green mold on it. There also was no lot number/use by date on the package. I will throw the rest of the food out since Nutrasystem refuses to take it back and I don't trust it to eat it.


Friday, March 30, 2007, 3:12 PM

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i agree...

I've sort of adapted the NutriSystem idea. I use pre-packaged meals like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice from the grocery store for lunch and dinner. The only foods I fix for myself are breakfast and snacks. In this way, I think I'm getting the best of both worlds -- prepackaged portion control and a bit of learning how to do it myself. I've lost about 24 pounds doing this for a year.


Friday, March 30, 2007, 3:41 PM

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If it works for you and you're happy, that's great. But just remember the tiny print that ads for these places have been required to place at the bottom of the ads "results not typical" because in the long run I don't think most people are able to sustain these programs, or they lose weight but almost all regain it in fairly short order.

Friday, March 30, 2007, 6:32 PM

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Yes, I use Lean Cuisine and other frozen entrees also -- great for portion control.

Saturday, March 31, 2007, 6:39 PM

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I used NutriSystem (NS) during a period of time that I knew that I would have very little time to prepare or shop for food (because of work). I lost 3 lbs in one week, but this is due to the fact that everything is already measured for you. The food wasn't great (I liked the italian the best), but it helped me learn how to "eyeball" the right portions and to find out what my body needs in order to function every day. If I stayed on NS, I am sure that I would have lost quite a bit of weight in 2 months; but I knew that I needed to have a lifestyle change rather than a quick weight drop, so I started cooking my food again when my schedule allowed for it.

Overall, I think it was a helpful experience seeing what portions sizes were and being on a regimented eating plan. I purchased the food on the Internet (NS website, Amazon, and EBay!). No foods were moldy and there are lot numbers and expiry dates on each box. This doesn't mean the food will taste great, but at least you know when the food officially expires.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 4:54 AM

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Nutrisystem/jeny Craig etc.

Like most prepackaged foods, yes your food is measured but remember that it is generally packed with sodium and preservatives. You would probably do better and save more money by joining WW and learning to do portion size/control on your own, not to mention the self esteem and pride you would gain by empowering yourself to take control. If you want prepackaged the WW in conjuction with frozen WW meals/Southbeach meals etc from your local grocery store. Safeway recently had a sale for 6/$11. At Jenny craig/Nutrisystem you might get 1 plus a snack for that amount. But again, look at Fat/Fiber and Sodium amounts. Low Fat and high fiber won't do much if you are packing in 1200mg of sodium. You'll be too bloated to see a difference. I figure that the time I save from choosing high fat/high calories snacks can go towards making up a couple of days worth of meals in advance. I have one shelf in my pantry (the others are my kids' snacks) that I have plastic containers..1 contains breakfast items (oatmeal/granola/muesli/etc) 1 contains 930a and 230p snacks (kashi snack bars, fruit and nut bars and individual snack packs of nuts) 1 contains Atkins high protein/high fiber/low sugar meal replacement bars for emergency lunch/dinner and 1 is my evening snack with popcorn, small bags of fruit snacks. In the fridge I keep ff/high fiber tortilla wraps, grilled chicken and cut up fruit and vegies and ff/sf yogurt on 1 shelf that is just for me. These are the only places that I will allow myself to go. If I eat too many snacks, well then I'm just out of luck on another day and must do without. So I pace myself for the week.
So if there is a will, you will find a way. Good Luck!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 8:28 PM

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I lost 30 lbs. on Jenny Craig 5 years ago, but as soon as I started eating
regular food, I gained it all back, plus some. The food was good at first,
but I got tired of it after a while, and it is expensive, about $100 a week
for the food.

Monday, April 02, 2007, 4:01 AM

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Nutrisystem is a good way for men to lose weight

My husband lost 20 pounds on Nutrisystem and it helped me get him to the next step of eating better. I couldn't get him to make any changes to his diet, but once he got a taste of "success" we were able to build from there. I'd agree that this is a short term thing, but I did want to point out how helpful this was as a first step.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 10:19 AM

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You get out of it what you put into it. My husband was on Nutrisystem for a while and he lost weight. He has been off it for almost 4 months and he hasn't gained an ounce back. I have been eating some of the leftover stuff and I've never had a problem with moldy food. Some items are really tasty, too.

You don't have to stick with them forever but you MUST learn about portion control and making healthy choices. If you can't go out to a restaurant and order something appropriate and not overeat, you will probably have a problem when you go off the program.

The same goes for every other 'diet' program out there, food-included or not. If you don't change your bad habits forever, you will gain. Every single person I have known that has followed WW and it's point system has gained all of their weight back because they stopped paying attention after they reached their goals.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 6:14 PM

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Quote: "You might lose weight on a temporary basis, but there is no way to be healthy and lose long term weight eating cheeseburgers- no matter what the portion size is. This whole idea of "Eat What You Want" is a total fraud. "

I disagree. If you watch your portion size, pay attention to calories and exercise, it IS totally possible to lose weight and eat whatever you want. Cheeseburgers, pizza and pasta included.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 6:24 PM

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true, but it is a ton easier if you eat fewer pizzas and cheeseburgers. Congrats if you are someone who can control themselves and workout relentlessly, you are are stronger person than I am!

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 7:29 PM

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medifast food

I thought this might be a good place to post this information. In my personal opinion, I tried medifast. It was the nastiest tasting food I have ever eaten in my entire life. It was chalky, powdery, tasted so awful I never thought I was going to get it down. This was the worst part, not to mention the cost of the food. It was as much as Jenny Craig's food. It didn't teach you the lifelong techniques for portion control or healthy eating either. The only good thing was they returned all the unused food and gave me my money back with their guarantee; no problems. YEAH! If not for that, I would have been really peeved.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 8:03 PM

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I am very early on in the weight loss game - I have lost 8.5 pounds in the past 5 weeks - but the comment about not being able to eat whatever you want struck a chord with me. On the one hand, I agree that eating nutritious food is key to weight loss. Also, its important to note that 150 calories of a cheeseburger and 150 calories of a salad are vastly different size portions. You can eat way MORE if you choose healthy, low-calorie options like fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

BUT - it is totally possible, as 6:24, to eat all kinds of food, including junk food, and still lose weight. I have eaten a lot of food that isn't healthy since I have been on PT but the biggest thing is counting calories. I ate a Krispy Kreme donut the other night and it definitely didn't sabatoge my week. But I am educating myself on calorie content and I try to limit myself to around 1400 calories a day. And while I try to eat nutritious, filling foods instead of tiny portions of junk food, I do still incorportate all types of food into that diet. I think its the only way for me to do it and make it last! If I said, no more pizza ever again, I would give up right away. Now I just eat half a piece with a tall glass of water and salad.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 9:11 PM

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This has probably been said already.

Some people may be able to go on a pre-packaged diet, lose all the weight they want to, and not gain it back.

Some people can't.

The best "diets" are not diets at all, but lifestyle change. I didn't get overweight by eating fruits and vegetables, but they have definetly helped me in losing that weight. You have to be able to sustain healthy eating when you're not "dieting" so if you're switching from pre-packaged foods to how you were eating before you decided to lose weight, then you'll probably gain it back. If you make a good transition into healty eating and portion sizes, then you should have nothing to worry about.

You have to decide on something that you are able to follow, so if that's the pre-packaged foods, then great! If you are able to follow planning your own meals, you might be able to get a bit more diversity into your diet, and it may be a bit easier to transition into your "maintenance" program.

Monday, June 25, 2007, 9:57 AM

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Planning to be prepared.

I really don't think transitioning from prepackaged meals to regular food is a problem as long as the proper preparation is done. The number 1 benefit prepackaged meals supply is convenience.

If you jump from prepackaged meals to regular food it's very important to have your meals planned out. If not, the chances of going back to old eating habits is very likely.

I was reading a review on NutriSystem (link listed below) and according to most of the meal delivery services, they are very high in sodium which can wreak havoc on someone with high blood pressure. That is why I just used the meals long enough to get my eating habits under control.


Monday, October 27, 2008, 4:13 PM

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we took some of the comments from this thread in a new blog post.



Sunday, January 18, 2009, 11:54 AM

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