Thursday, October 13, 2016

Figuring Out Weight Loss: My Review of the Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours 4-Week Meal Plan

It is a kinda funny story how I ended up on a Nutrisystem 4-week meal plan. 

Four weeks ago, during my weekly dinner with my father, he asks me if I have thought about joining Weight Watchers. I was totally taken aback by this question and a bit offended. Why was my father asking me about joining Weight Watchers? At that time, I had already lost 10 lbs on my own. Could he not see my progress? Was he trying to tell me I was fat and needed professional help to slim down? 

So, of course, I got in my feelings and responded with an emphatic "No." I told him that I was not interested in joining a weight loss program because they cost money that I did not have to spare. Despite my response, he kept pressing me and even offered to pay if I wanted to join.  I laughed at his proposal and then later went home and told my mother about the conversation. I thought she would be mad at my father for asking me to join Weight Watchers, but she wasn't. She was actually mad at me for refusing his offer to pay for a weight loss program. She reminded me of how expensive eating healthy is and of how getting my father to pay for a healthy meal program, even if it was only for 4 weeks, could save me hundreds of dollars. 

As much as I hate to admit it, I quickly realized that my mother was right. I was not in a position to turn down an opportunity for free healthy food. 

I headed to the Google to do some research. I looked up Weight Watchers and found out that although they sold frozen foods in the supermarkets, they did not offer what I was looking for, home delivery meal plans. Disappointed  I moved onto the next big name weight loss program, Nutrisystem. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nutrisystem had exactly what I was looking for. Nutrisystem offers three different 4-week meal plans at affordable prices: basic, core, and uniquely yours. I told my dad about it and after some bantering with him (because he insisted that he only offered to pay for Weight Watchers and not another program), I got him to pay around $340 for a 4-week meal plan. 

I picked the uniquely yours meal plan, which included a choice of over 150 meals and snacks and unlimited frozen foods (starting at $11.96 a day). For signing up, I also got a two week supply of their turbo 10 protein shakes. 

My Review

Delivery, Packaging, and Food Selection: 
The food arrived a week later in two separate shipments--one for the non frozen foods and another for the frozen foods (which arrived in a dry ice-filled styrofoam cooler). When I opened the boxes, I was a bit overwhelmed by how much food I received. I had to actually rearrange the pantry and freezer to fit in all of the food I received, which included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The great thing about the food was that the boxes are clearly marked with the nutritional content, calories, and designated meal. 

Some of the food items I received were frozen cinnamon rolls, waffles, and turkey sausage egg sandwiches for breakfast, soups, steak and cheese melts, and mini pizzas for lunch, chicken parmesan, ravioli with meat sauce, and spinach-stuffed chicken for dinner, and fudge bars, slices of chocolate cake, and mini apple pies for snack. 


Taste:
Honestly, the food that I received varied in taste level. Most of the food tasted very good, such as the breakfast cinnamon rolls, the turkey sausage and egg sandwich,  the waffles and pancakes, the ravioli in meat sauce, the frozen hamburger and chicken sandwiches, and all of the frozen desserts. But there were a few meals that I felt tasted like bland diet food, such as the protein shakes, pasta, the bean chili, and the soups. 

Also, I must note that the portion sizes of all meals that I received were child size. Imagine a McDonalds happy meal versus a Big Mac combo meal. Get the picture? Tiny!!! I assume that the small portions are to keep the meals under 300 calories. But, it is very jarring when you first replace your regular meals with Nutrisystem meals. 

The first time I opened up one of their frozen personal pizzas I laughed and immediately opened another one to eat for my dinner. It felt unnatural to eat such a pizza for dinner that was the size of my hand. Eventually, I learned to pair the pizza with a small salad and a glass of grapefruit juice or red wine, instead of doubling my Nutrisystem meals to fill my stomach. 


Overall Value and Recommendation: 
I recommend the Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours meal plan with reservations. If you are looking for a home delivery program with a large variety of low calorie meals and you have about $350 to spare to buy 4 weeks of prepackaged meals at one time, I recommend you try out this meal program. It definitely helped with my weight loss goals because I always had low calorie foods that I could quickly and easily heat up for my daily meals. I had no excuse for stopping at Wendy's for fast food because I had large variety of "fast" foods at home that I could eat guilt-free without having to spend time prepping and cooking food. 

BUT, if you do not have $350 to spend at one time on food, I would NOT recommend you pay for a Nutrisystem meal program. You pay the same amount of money or more in total on groceries throughout the course of a month. But, it is not the same as paying over $300 dollars on food at one time for prepackaged/frozen meals. The conveniences is not worth the financial burden. Nutrisystem is a subscription meal program so they are going to automatically charge your credit card every month unless you suspend or cancel your subscription. I canceled my subscription after 4 weeks because I can't afford the fee and my dad only agreed to pay for one month for me.