^ Mark and Christie on QVC - June 2013 ^
Nutrisystem is so much more than a box of food! It is a company with compassionate and intelligent leaders and employees. It is a board full of support, laughter and friendship. It is a pathway to a healthier and happier life.
Since joining Nutrisystem in October 2010, my life has changed in insurmountable ways. I will always be grateful to Nutrisystem and all the doors it opened for me and the changes it put into motion. I participate on these boards in order to and help others reach their goals and feel great about their accomplishments.
As a Nutrisystem Success Story, I am often asked for advice regarding the Success plan. Several months ago, a member suggested I compile my advice into one thread. This thread will serve as my compilation of advice relating to eating, training and winning! My advice may or may not work for you. Take the good, ditch the bad and enjoy your own personal success.
Note: My statements, charts, etc. are based upon my personal thoughts and experiences. They are not the official recommendations of Nutrisystem. For official Nutrisystem information and materials, and the most up to date information, members should contact Nutrisystem directly.
In this thread, I will give you advice about eating healthy (with Nutrisystem food and flexing in accordance with the Nutrisystem Flex plan), training and keeping the winning attitude necessary to be successful in weight loss. Happy reading! You will find lots of great information on the boards. The Nutrisystem members really care about each other and want everyone to succeed.
I wish you much success in your journey to a healthier you! Congrats on getting started!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 03-28-2014 at 06:32 PM. Reason: formatting
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Welcome to Nutrisystem! You picked a great plan and are sure to enjoy lots of Success! Here's the plan in a nutshell - each day, eat all of the items on the left side of this chart. Do not skip any of the required foods. They are required for a reason! Don't stop eating until all the boxes on the left and at the bottom of the page have been checked:
December 2013 Update. Here are the new My Way charts I received from the Nutrisystem counselors:
THESE ARE FROM THE PREVIOUS 2012 SUCCESS PLAN:
Here's some more information you will need to know:
The Success Program offers more flexibility and food choices, while still providing excellent nutrition and successful weight loss. The protein content of the program has increased to 25% of the total calories, with a reduction in the percent of calories from carbohydrates to 55% and the average fat content consistent at 20%. NS conforms to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietician's Corner FAQ provides additional information.
Calories. For those members with <100 pounds to lose, the Women's Plan averages 1,250 daily calories and the Men's Plan averages 1,500 daily calories. Women and Men with >100 pounds to lose will average 160 - 240 calories higher per day.
SmartCarbs are a specific group of carbohydrates that are nutrient-rich and measure “low” on the Glycemic Index (low GI = 55 or less). These carbs are digested more slowly, keeping you feeling fuller longer while promoting good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients. They consist of things like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grains and cereals, fresh fruit, and starchy vegetables (e.g. corn, red potatoes) and legumes (e.g. chickpeas).
A SmartCarb will generally average 80-120 calories with at least 1 gram of fiber. NS recommends that at least 1 SmartCarb serving per day should be fruit.
My favorite SmartCarbs: Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, Nut Thins, Ezekiel bread, quinoa, brown rice pasta, BoomChickaPop or Skinny Pop popcorn, Sonoma Carb Cutting Tortillas.
PowerFuels consist of high quality proteins that contain essential amino acids and healthy fats from nuts. It takes longer for your body to digest these foods, so they help you stay satisfied. PowerFuels also provide an excellent source of protein to help boost your body. They also contribute to muscle tone which, in conjunction with daily activity, can help you feel strong. PowerFuels consist of items like meat, fish, dairy and nuts.
A PowerFuel will generally average 80-120 calories, with at least 5 grams of protein.
My favorite PowerFuels: Protein smoothies (Jay Robb or Shakeology), chicken breasts, low-fat hamburger patties, nuts and nut butters, hard-boiled eggs, egg whites.
Vegetables NS recommends you consume four vegetable servings throughout the day. All non-starchy vegetables are considered unlimited on the Success Program. However, if counting calories and tracking what you are consuming exactly on a daily basis, you will need to measure and record in the food log. Starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, yams (sweet potatoes), winter squash (butternut, acorn, banana, etc.) and pumpkin are considered SmartCarbs. Legumes such as beans (kidney, navy, garbanzo, white, black, etc.) are also considered SmartCarbs.. The grocery guide lists the serving sizes for these foods.
One vegetable serving averages 25 calories and NS uses 1 cup raw and Ĺ cup cooked as average portions.
My favorite Veggies (which means least hated veggies): bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, baby spinach, carrots, tomatoes. [Update 4/13 - I now tolerate/like Trader Joe’s Asian stir fry vegetables. Shocking!]
Extra, Extra. Nutrisystem provides for two types of Extras to make your diet more enjoyable. The Extras are optional - you do not need to use them unless you desire to do so. Always remember ... food and beverages have calories, regardless of what we call them. Be cognizant of how many calories you are using in Extras. They can add up quickly.
Limited Extras - this category is limited to 35 calories, up to three times per day. You may use them separately, or all at once. Examples include butter and butter spreads, olive oil, cream cheese, jello, jams and other condiments. I haven’t seen any prohibition on what you use as an extra, as long as you abide by the caloric limitations. Yes, it can even be a Hershey’s kiss if that keeps you on plan.
Unlimited Extras - these are limited to 10 calories or less per serving. You may have as many of them as you want. Again, be cognizant of the calories! Examples include I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Mrs. Dash seasonings, Coffee-Mate, Crystal Light, etc.
Nutrisystem provides many examples of SmartCarbs, PowerFuels, Veggies and Extras in this file: Nutrisystem’s Grocery Guide
Read all the tips and tricks you can find on the Nutrisystem boards posted by Nutrisystem and by your fellow members. The wealth of information online is valuable for newbies and veterans alike.
Enjoy your Successful journey to weight loss!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-12-2014 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Updated information.
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What is Fast 5?
The Fast 5 kit is a free one-week meal plan that is currently included in new My Way orders. It contains seven specially selected breakfasts, lunches and dinners to help accelerate your first week weight loss.
In addition to the Nutrisystem shelf stable food, it also includes the EnergiZING shakes to rev up your metabolism and the Craving Crusher shakes to fight off hunger.
Why Did Nutrisystem Create Fast 5?
"Getting a quick jump out of the gate can be very motivating as individuals move into their tailored Nutrisystem My Way program. Research from multiple lifestyle programs shows that achieving early weight loss is a reliable predictor of longer-term success.Ē Dr. Anthony Fabricatore, Nutrisystem executive
ďWe have a Fast 5 kit which helps you lose 5 pounds in Week 1 because what we learned from research is that the more successful, the more you can lose early on in a healthy way, the more you can keep it off long-term.ĒDawn Zier, Nutrisystem CEO
How Does the Fast 5 Work?
Vegetables. During the Fast 5 week, you can eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you desire. The suggested vegetables are bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant green beans, mixed greens, spinach and tomatoes.
Spice it Up. Avoid using salt, but feel free to doctor up your food with various spices (Unlimited Extras). Some of the suggestions given are:
* Garlic & ginger
* Hot peppers or red pepper flake
* Salsa* Spices: pepper, cumin, curry, etc.
* Vinegar, lemon or lime juice* Calorie free salad dressings* Cooking spray* Calorie-free spreads
Drink Smart Beverages. Nutrisystem emphasizes the need to drink 8 cups of water a day, and advises dieters to limit caffeine. The plan also allows for:
* Coffee or tea, black* Diet soda* Calorie-free flavored water* Calorie-free lemonade or iced tea
The Fast 5 Documentation.
Here is the Fast 5 meal planner:
And here is a sample day:
Call the counselors at 1-800-585-5483!
As the brochure says:
"Lose your first 5 pounds - and let your transformation begin."
Last edited by -Kristi-; 01-08-2014 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Updated
New 2014 My Way Plan: There are various caloric targets based on your individual situation. Nutrisystem offers plans with calories of 1,000, 1,200, 1,500 and higher targets. It is imperative that you call the counselors to determine which plan is right for you!
Previous 2012 Success Plan: For those members with <100 pounds to lose, the Women's Plan averages 1,250 daily calories and the Men's Plan averages 1,500 daily calories. Women and Men with >100 pounds to lose will average 160 - 240 calories higher per day.
Last edited by -Kristi-; 01-01-2014 at 12:06 PM.
We've heard it a million times, "No one is perfect!" And, yet, people are still striving for diet perfection and coming up short and disappointed. Success can be achieved in dieting, health, relationships and fitness without perfection. Many of us have lost weight on NS without an A+ grade of perfect months. In fact, there are a lot of successful maintainers who got straight B's while following the Nutrisystem plan.
Am I saying we should all cheat the system and disregard the millions of dollars of research and development behind the Nutrisystem plan? No, not at all. Strive for excellence and 100% on plan days. Sometimes 100% just isn't possible and it's as simple as that. Don't beat yourself up if you get a few B- days along the way. You can still graduate and stand upon the goal podium, even with a few failing grades along the way. Of course, it may take an extra semester or some extra credit, but you can still graduate to goal!
Don't quit! Too many people quit if they don't have perfect adherence to a diet and exercise plan. How many people have missed one workout at the gym and never go back? That's what striving for perfection can do to a person. It's is better to reach goal by slipping up a few times than to walk away defeated.
Do the best you can honestly do, but don't sell yourself short and make excuses. Be proud of your accomplishments, and enjoy your Successful journey to weight loss!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-09-2013 at 11:53 PM.
Many of us start out at an unhappy and unhealthy weight when we begin a diet and exercise plan. Sadly, some people mistakenly set a goal weight that will be equally unhappy and unhealthy. Your "ideal" weight is one that you can maintain without extreme actions or behaviors. If you have to overtrain and drastically restrict calories to maintain it, then it is not an ideal weight.
Mentally Happy Weight. Your goal weight should not create stress or anxiety. You should not be living in fear of failure. Your mind should not be consumed with thoughts of calories consumed and calories burned in exercise. Your goal weight should make you happy, not stressed by the burden of maintenance. If it's that hard, it's not your ideal weight. If you are white-knuckling maintenance, then you may be at great risk of binging due to stress and deprivation.
Physically Healthy Weight. Your goal weight should make you feel energized. You should feel good, really good. You shouldn't be exhausted from excessive exercise. You shouldn't have chronic aches, pains and injuries from exercise bulimia. You should not be physically hungry. If so, it's not your Happy and Healthy Weight!
How to Determine and Maintain Your Happy and Healthy Weight. Set a target weight and re-evaluate it when you reach it. Maintaining your Happy and Healthy Weight should require awareness and balance, but it shouldn't require perfection. If eating an occasional treat or missing a workout sends your mind and scale reeling, then it's not your Happy and Healthy Weight.
Believe it or not, you can maintain your Happy and Healthy Weight with less workouts and more food enjoyment. You don't have to undertake extreme measures to maintain. That's why it is your Happy and Healthy Weight.
In my early 40s, I "wanted" to be 139 pounds. I worked out like a fiend but didn't eat properly. At that point, I never would have guessed that I could reach 132, let alone maintain it. Now 48 years old and two years into maintenance, 132 - 135 is my Happy and Healthy Weight. I don't stress about it. I don't workout for hours at a time. I enjoy life, food and balance.
If I targeted 129 as my "ideal" weight, I would be mentally unhappy and unhealthy. It would take too much exercise and too much mental stress to maintain it even though it is only 4 pounds below my range. A few pounds can make a huge difference in your mental health and happiness. Don't let a random number on the scale determine your happiness!
I wish you much Success in reaching your Happy and Healthy Weight!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-14-2013 at 09:07 AM. Reason: typo
Moderation in All Things
How to Avoid the Diet Blues
By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert
What comes to mind for you when you hear the word diet? If youíre like most people, you probably imagine eating carrot sticks, going to bed hungry, and giving up your favorite foodsóand that's why so many diets fail. Most people just canít tolerate those kinds of restrictions for very long.
The more you try to eliminate your favorite foods, the more feelings of discomfort, deprivation and resentment build up. This can result in bingeing on all the foods youíve been denying yourself, undoing all your hard work in a single day. But even if you can avoid that problem, are you willing to eat like a rabbit for the rest of your life?
Studies show that 95 percent of people who follow a highly restrictive diet to lose weight will put the weight back on when they return to ďnormalĒ eating again. So whatís the alternative? How do you manage to lose weight without eliminating the problem foods and problem behaviors that made you overweight to begin with?
The alternative is moderationóin your eating and, perhaps most importantly, in your thinking.
What is Moderation?
On the surface, moderation simply means avoiding extremes. It involves finding strategies and habits that can be maintained over the long-term, without cycling between one extreme*and the other.
At a deeper level, moderation is a commitment to balance and wholeness. It is rooted in the recognition that each person has many different (and often competing) needs, desires, abilities, and goals. Living up to your full potential means finding ways to incorporate all of them into your decision-making processes and choices.
Practicing moderation in your weight loss program begins with practical strategies, such as counting calories, measuring portions, learning about your nutritional needs, and planning healthy meals. Achieving a reasonable rate of weight loss (about 1-2 pounds per week) by combining a tolerable calorie restriction with exercise is the moderate way to go. Fad diets, eliminating food groups, severely cutting calories and using diet pills are just as extreme as completely denying yourself foods that you enjoy.
The idea is to follow a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable nutrition and fitness plan that you can stick withófor life. Thereís no ďending the dietĒ or going back to ďnormal" eating or anything that will cause you to regain the weight youíve lost. When you reach your goal weight, all you need to do is gradually increase your caloric intake to a level where you can maintain your weight loss.
Sounds simple, right?
Like many things, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. Chances areÖyou want results quickly. And you probably know that your current routine is problematic in one or more waysótoo much fast food, sugar, or fat and not enough physical activity. Your natural inclination is going to be making big, sweeping changes to your diet and activity level right away.
In short, everything in you is clamoring for a very anti-moderate approach. Youíre primed to play the extreme diet game, even though your odds of winning are less than five percent.
Moderate Your Thinking
To rescue yourself from your own impatience (and the clutches of the diet industry that feeds on it), you need to moderate your thinking. Here are two core concepts that will help you do that:
Concept #1: Food is not the enemy. There are no "good" or "bad" foods. True, some foods offer you a better nutritional deal than others. Refined sugar, for example, provides calories for energy but no other nutrients, while fruit is sweet but also provides vitamins and fiber in a low-calorie package. But refined sugar isn't evil or badóit can have a place in a healthy diet. It's important to know what you need nutritionally and where you can find it, so you can take charge of balancing your needs for pleasure, nutrition, and fuel.
The Payoff: When you stop labeling foods as good or bad, diet or non-diet, you won't feel guilty when you eat a food that isn't on your "approved" list. Instead you'll have more energy to learn about nutrition and improve your ability to make informed choices. And you won't have to give up your favorite treats if you find ways to work them into your meal plans so they donít interfere with your health goals. Without the guilt and deprivation, youíll be able to break the pattern of cravings, emotional swings, and binges that defeats so many diets. Without all those "diet" rules to follow, youíll learn to trust your own instincts and make good judgments.
Concept #2: Progressónot perfectionóis important. To be successful, you don't have to always make perfect decisions and have perfect days where things go exactly as you planned. If you eat more or exercise less than you wanted to one day, you can make up for it over the next several days if you want, or you can just chalk it up to experience and move on. Remind yourself that what happens on any one day is not going to make or break your whole effort. This is not a contest or a race, where every little misstep could mean the difference between winning and losing. Itís your lifeóand youíll enjoy it a lot more when you can keep the daily ups and downs of your eating and exercise routine in perspective.
The Payoff: By refusing to be a perfectionist, you can take most of the stress out of weight loss. Youíll see small problems as what they areóvery small problems, not major calamities that mean you've blown it. You'll be able to find pleasure and satisfaction in the fact youíre learning as you go and doing a little better all the time. No more making things worse because your perfectionism caused you to write off the rest of the day or week after one little slip.
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-10-2013 at 12:00 AM.
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That's a personal question! There is no absolute right and wrong answer. But, there is a right answer and a wrong answer for each individual. We are not bad people if we choose rigidity. We are not bad people if we choose moderation.
It's no secret that I am a firm believer in moderation. I would not have succeeded with Nutrisystem if I thought I had to permanently give up my favorite not-so-healthy foods. I tip my hat to people who give up foods for life. I simply don't have it in me.
Prior to beginning Nutrisystem, I was a full blown Diet Coke addict. That's all I drank all day long. Water? Yuck. I quit cold turkey in September 2010. It sucked. My head hurt. The withdrawals proved what I already knew - I was drinking too much Diet Coke.
Prior to beginning Nutrisystem, I was also a full blown French Fries addict. I had a car that could not pass a drive-thru without stopping for French Fries. I was eating them on most days and sometimes twice daily. I had a really cool Delonghi deep fryer that rotated the lovely potatoes in and out of the oil in a way that implied it was healthier. NOT! I'm not sure of the exact date that I attempted to eliminate fries from my life, but I think it was a few weeks before I called Nutrisystem.
Today, french fries and Diet Coke are allowed in my diet in moderation. I can honestly say that I enjoy my rare indulgences in these items much more now than I did when I was having them every day. They used to be a habit, now they are a treat.
MY plan = moderation not deprivation! Moderation doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-10-2013 at 12:02 AM.
In this extremely depressed economy, credit cards may be a necessary evil just to purchase necessities like food, clothing, etc. But, your body is a checkbook, not a credit card! There isn't any reason to exceed your caloric food budget while in weight loss mode. If you can't afford to eat extra calories, then don't do it!
One of the long-term keys to healthy living is discipline. When we find ourselves overweight (in "fat debt"), it's time to get disciplined and pay off the fat debt. There's no reason to feel guilty, ashamed, or be a victim. Nutrisystem gives us the perfect plan to pay off the fat debt by taking these steps:
1. Don't Incur More Fat Debt. Follow the plan 100%, eat your required add-ins, drink your water and move your body. Not only will you stop incurring more fat debt, but you will also be making regular payments against the fat debt. Each week, you will see the reduced balance.
2. Just Say No. If you can't afford it - don't eat it! Every calorie adds up and if you exceed your caloric budget your fat debt will increase. If you want a little extra, then work overtime via exercise to pay it off. Be honest with yourself by paying it off before you eat it. Add extra exercise minutes or intensity before the planned indulgence so you don't get an overdraft charge!
3. Eat Like Your Checkbook. You wouldn't knowingly write a bad check and you should treat your food budget the same way. Only eat what is budgeted or the amount that you are willing to work overtime to pay off. Your body is not a credit card - spending too much will create a balance that is overwhelming to pay off.
4. Embrace Your Debt-Free Future. When you reach maintenance, your budget will increase with a well-deserved caloric increase! Not only will you be able to eat more calories, but any extras will be easier to payoff immediately. There will be a day when you can eat all your favorite foods in moderation.
Enjoy your Successful journey to a healthy food checkbook!
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-10-2013 at 12:04 AM.
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Another Nutrisystem member sent me a link to this very informative article:
10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
Nutrisystem is a healthy, slow and steady diet. No false hope here!
2. Honor Your Hunger. Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
Our regularly scheduled eats and treats will keep us from getting too hungry and making bad choices.
3. Make Peace with Food. Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally ďgive-inĒ to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
I wholeheartedly agree with this concept!
4. Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating minimal calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
Shut down the precinct!
5. Respect Your Fullness. Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?
Drinking tons of water helps us recognize true hunger. Many times, thirst comes through in the mind as hunger.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence -- the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough".
Trick: don't eat out of plastic containers. Take the time to plate your food and enjoy the visual pleasures, too.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won't fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won't solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You'll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
This is the big one!
8. Respect Your Body. Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
Forget about clothing sizes! Vanity sizing is ridiculous. What's a 00 anyway? What used to be a 10 is now a 4 in some stores. I have clothes in my closet that all fit and the sizes range from a size 2 to a size 10.
9. Exercise--Feel the Difference. Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
As a personal trainer, I really like this advice. You can never outrun a bad diet, so chasing a calorie burn is counter-productive.
10. Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition. Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It's what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.
"Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy." Enough said, nothing to add!
Great suggestions! The website (www.intuitiveeating.com) has more resources, tips and tricks.
Last edited by -Kristi-; 05-10-2013 at 12:07 AM.