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CHERYLHURT Posts: 62,022
5/6/13 6:13 P

No. We can do the same thing by buying "lite meals" from the grocery store for a lot less. It's a matter of will over want because we are not overeating out of hunger anyway.

BETE2013 Posts: 62
5/6/13 4:15 P

Thank you Obiesmom2 for pointing out that WW should not be lumped in with the other programs that push and sell their pre-packaged 'foods'. WW teaches you about nutirents, portion control, etc. as a lifestyle not as a quick fix.

BETE2013 Posts: 62
5/6/13 4:15 P

Thank you Obiesmom2 for pointing out that WW should not be lumped in with the other programs that push and sell their pre-packaged 'foods'. WW teaches you about nutirents, portion control, etc. as a lifestyle not as a quick fix.

BETE2013 Posts: 62
5/6/13 4:15 P

Thank you Obiesmom2 for pointing out that WW should not be lumped in with the other programs that push and sell their pre-packaged 'foods'. WW teaches you about nutirents, portion control, etc. as a lifestyle not as a quick fix.

BETE2013 Posts: 62
5/6/13 4:15 P

Thank you Obiesmom2 for pointing out that WW should not be lumped in with the other programs that push and sell their pre-packaged 'foods'. WW teaches you about nutirents, portion control, etc. as a lifestyle not as a quick fix.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (586,961)
Fitness Minutes: (352,967)
Posts: 16,669
5/5/13 12:14 A

Online Now  • ))
Very Iffy!!!!

JO88BAKO SparkPoints: (319,343)
Fitness Minutes: (174,617)
Posts: 17,150
5/4/13 11:44 P


DWROBERGE Posts: 367,122
5/4/13 11:25 P


ETHELMERZ Posts: 20,685
5/4/13 9:51 P

We laugh and laugh at their commercials on tv!! Heck, I remember in the early 1980's when Rush Limbaugh went on that, lost weight, and then said he lied about it all, he has been doing that ever since, lol. My daughter in law had some of the Nutrisystem food when we visited in March, she gave me a box of it, including shake powder. That stuff is the most vile stuff I've ever had, gave some to husband and he threw it out, so I tried the chocolate one, yucky stuff, we threw it away. Daughter in law lasted on it 2 1/2 weeks, just awful stuff. Of course the celebs say it's great, you don't really know if they only used that and nothing else, plus, they get PAID, and many of them have gained it all back over time. Same thing with Jenny Craig, my goodness, how many went on the Tonight Show to show off weight loss, and admitted, on the way home, they stopped at fast food joints and stuffed themselves all over again. It ain't easy, friends, but it IS a billion dollar industry, because there are always fools out there.

ZOLETTE1 Posts: 274
5/4/13 9:17 P

No, I spent the money and lost 30 lbs, stopped the diet and gained it back. You must learn to eat normally and deal with the eating out, parties and functions attended. Weight Watchers isn't a bad plan it is much more realistic but spark is working for me!

ZOLETTE1 Posts: 274
5/4/13 9:17 P

No, I spent the money and lost 30 lbs, stopped the diet and gained it back. You must learn to eat normally and deal with the eating out, parties and functions attended. Weight Watchers isn't a bad plan it is much more realistic but spark is working for me!

VATRUCKER SparkPoints: (20,629)
Fitness Minutes: (36,922)
Posts: 526
5/4/13 9:11 P

I think it teaches you to rely on a specific item instead of a lifestyle change brought on by a quest to eat whole foods and become physically motivated. However I do think you can eat their processed foods for a month cheaper than trying to buy same items in the store emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

GLOW8211 SparkPoints: (69,786)
Fitness Minutes: (34,451)
Posts: 6,433
5/4/13 8:42 P

Its another one of the diets I've tried and decided I want to learn to control my portions and eat healthy and I find myself with Spark people making better food choices and if not making better food choices I'm not as bad as I was. The week-end use to represent a free for all - even though I blow now and then - I see progress on my journey. emoticon

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
5/4/13 8:36 P

I dislike ALL of these types of "buy our special diet foods" programs....

They imply all kinds of negative messages - about "food" and about the consumer of food.... they make "real" food the enemy. "Eat this Scientifically Prepared Packet of Food-Like Substance, as real food is too dangerous to your weight loss efforts".... "Heat and Eat these, do not trust yourself to cook your own food, you are not to be trusted in your own kitchen and pantry, you will never have the self-control to do it Right..."

These are the things I "hear between the sales pitch lines." And I take great issue with it.

Food is not the enemy. PROCESSED PACKAGED PSEUDO FOOD is the enemy. And prepackaged "diet meals" look more like that, than they resemble healthy-fresh-wholesome ingredients. Changing my diet from "unhealthy junk and processed foods" to "lower calorie versions of junky processed foods" is really not what I want to accomplish. I want to reconnect with GOOD food. I can't do it by eating microwavable meals 3x a day.

I *CAN* be trusted in the kitchen. If left to my own devices, I *CAN* prepare healthy, wholesome, appropriately-portion-sized meals. It's a little scary and difficult at first, getting used to not "tasting" everything as I prepare it, getting used to weighing out ingredients instead of eyeballing it, and most importantly getting used to SHOPPING correctly, stocking the kitchen pantry with the necessary ingredients for delicious and healthy meals, avoiding the pop-and-chip-and-hamburger-helper aisles..

I really do want to ENJOY food. I don't want to set myself up in a permanent battle with it. I want to come to a peaceful and joyful coexistence with it. And that will never happen unless i interact with "the real stuff." Eating "packaged diet plans" makes me hate food and feel like I'm "punished for being fat, by now having to eat this crap." And that sort of attitude never has a happy ending.

DANYLEIN SparkPoints: (93,116)
Fitness Minutes: (33,026)
Posts: 359
5/4/13 6:15 P

NO! Just another gimmick...

__AMY__ Posts: 1,180
5/4/13 6:12 P

Of the pre-packaged foods, Nutrisystem is the lowest.

I am tracking on Spark and am always below the sodium levels.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
Posts: 2,954
5/4/13 4:25 P

Those prepackaged foods are not always the best either.....look at the sodium content on the package -- lower calories but really high salt to make up for the flavour....

I would rather eat according to my BMR and found some excellent online resources which give me definitive numbers of each food group required for my body type and BMR.

__AMY__ Posts: 1,180
5/4/13 4:11 P


Of course in a perfect world, with perfect people it would be a natural success.

No magic formula in Nutrisystem.

Have you tried it?

But the food tastes good, and I buy premade food at the store, and now I hardly ever eat at fast food places, because I always have something at home.

Weight Watcher's worked for me in the past, but now they are using points, it was alot harder.

It used to be 8 ounces protein, 2 starches, plenty of unstarchy vegs...That's about all I remember from 30 years ago.

Any believe me, I have tried every diet (or way of eating as some like to call it) What works for someone, may not work for everyone.

Let's be open minded to everyone's eating choices, as long as it gives them their desired weight, good health in body and mind.

~*~*~*Amy ~*~*~

Save a Tree, Save our Planet, Recycle, Think Organic
Humorous Thought of the day:
Raisin................A worried grape.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,483
5/4/13 3:55 P

IMHO....prepackaged 'diet' food and 'diet' shakes sell because people believe they are out of control and want someone to give them a magic formula that takes the responsibility of choosing and portioning away from them.. If it gets them the jumpstart they need to see that they can lose who are we to judge. But for long term success we need to learn portion control and learn healthy eating, in or out of a package.

J2740LOU SparkPoints: (322,857)
Fitness Minutes: (302,076)
Posts: 3,775
5/4/13 3:52 P

I've never done Nutrisystem, but if you don't have to learn how to make choices, portion, combine, or prepare the foods you eat, I don't see how it can teach you anything. How can you learn or really make a commitment to making a habit of a permanent life style change without learning the basics and practicing them every day? Accomplishing that takes more than someone placing a package of food in front of you to eat every day. It does take more than that to develop a healthy eating and exercise life style change.

__AMY__ Posts: 1,180
5/4/13 3:35 P


I'm on Nutrisystem and with all the discounts, I pay $50 a week for the food. And it tastes pretty good.

~*~*~*Amy ~*~*~

Save a Tree, Save our Planet, Recycle, Think Organic
Humorous Thought of the day:
Raisin................A worried grape.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,596)
Fitness Minutes: (126,400)
Posts: 14,917
1/7/13 12:46 P

WW should NOT be lumped in with NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Medifast, etc. Why? Because although WW does sell pre-packaged foods you can easily follow their program using your own foods. The meetings that I attended years ago did not push anybody to buy their foods. They were available, but there was no sales presentation. And WW does have some really good recipes (I have several of their cookbooks).

IMO the big difference between WW and Spark is that Spark is free. WW has nutrition and activity tracking. WW makes you read food labels (to calculate the points value).

WW is great for folks who need a bit more 'hand-holding' and in person encouragement. I didn't need the meetings, and really found them very boring. I already know all of that stuff they told us...I just needed to apply it. So I could either switch to the WW online program...or go with Spark for FREE.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

JOYCECAIN SparkPoints: (137,945)
Fitness Minutes: (95,505)
Posts: 3,627
1/6/13 3:22 P

A friend of mine had these. To me, I didn't like the food, but it showed how you should portion everything. To me, it is a waste of money.

2013LOSE20 SparkPoints: (679)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 29
1/6/13 3:21 P

Sometimes these programs work for the placebo effect. You paid the money so you eat less and exercise. I think you learn very little with these programs. You can learn a lot of great information on Sparkpeople but people still gain back the weight or never lose much. The bottom line is always how motivated each individual is.

OKIEGIRL561 Posts: 2,362
1/6/13 3:02 P

These kinds of programs are marketed for people looking for a quick fix. They seldom work in the long run. Better to learn skills that will help you prepare your own food and help you determine a more healthy lifestyle.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
1/6/13 2:52 P


TRISSA3 SparkPoints: (9,694)
Fitness Minutes: (4,820)
Posts: 803
1/6/13 2:41 P

I think you could get the same results if you went to your local grocery store and bought nothing but Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, or those other frozen "diet" dinners. If that's all you're going to'll lose. You'll probably lose your sense of taste, too, after all the blandness.

Eat the cardboard container. At least it's high in fiber!

1/4/13 6:24 P

I do know some people who have used programs like that as a "jump start" or because of the convenience factor. Most quickly move to planning and cooking their own meals. My friend was successful in keeping the weight off after Jenny Craig (50 lbs for 2 years now) because she did a transition from the processed food to making her own meals. She felt that it did teach her a few things, such as correct portion sizes and to eat breakfast but she won't go back to a program like that.

I've done WW and did not buy the food or processed items, and I agree about being encouraged to substitute their chips for ones in the store - not to include more nutritious foods!

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
1/4/13 5:39 P

You said that SOOOO beautifully, Am_Morris87!!! You're absolutely right! People buy highly processed stuff marketed as light, in the hopes it will help, but in the long run, it will hurt!

AM_MORRIS87 Posts: 1,665
1/4/13 5:30 P

I think Nutrisystem is a crock. Not only does it not teach someone to think for themselves, but their main form of nutrition is pre-packaged crap. Small portions of extremely processed food. I mean, if you're gonna waste money on Nutrisystem, you may as well just live off of Lean Cuisines. It's the same garbage.

That's the reason I don't endorse Weight Watchers. It may work, but it's not teaching you about nutrition and clean eating. That's why every person I know who has gone off of Weight Watchers after they lost weight, gained their weight back.

We have the richest diet industry in the world, and that fattest country in the world. Do people not put 2 + 2 together? Nope, because they believe what they WANT to believe. That there is a quick, simple, pre-packaged answer. As I grocery shopped yesterday, on all the end caps sat boxes of Special K, and Lean Cuisines, and Yoplait yogurt, and Wheat Thins, and flavored oatmeal. It makes me so sad.

GYMMAN59 SparkPoints: (75,789)
Fitness Minutes: (71,584)
Posts: 3,833
1/4/13 5:17 P

Nope,.anther quick band aid.I have found that food portion control and exercise work the best

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
1/4/13 2:49 P

I know ONE person who ever had success on that. She was an anorexic figure skater (no, really, diagnosed and everything, I'm not just throwing the word around), gained weight when she became older and more sedentary, and then used Nutrisystem to get back to a healthy weight. Then she transitioned to normal food. She's kept the weight off for almost 10 years.

It was great for her because she knew that she could get into really unhealthy patterns of obsessing over food if she had to be in charge of planning her own meals and doing her shopping. She knew how to eat to maintain, but not to lose and she knew enough about herself to realize that this was the key for her.

I went on Nutrisystem and didn't like it and didn't lose much. About half the food was good, and I hated the other half. Because you DO have to fix some of your own food while you are on the program, I did learn some new veggie-centered snacks that I still use today. So there's always something redeeming about every new thing you try...but it's sure an expensive way to discover that I like spinach.

1/4/13 2:39 P

Maybe, but I think you learn far more on SP. and I personally think most of the food is terrible.

FEDGIRL4 Posts: 2,184
1/4/13 2:30 P

Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Medifast, etc. are all geared around the convenience factor.

I don't see that they teach anything. Their goal is to get the weight off of you. Their food is specifically designed for it.

I have learned that I can eat more if I cook for myself.

REYNINGSUNSHINE SparkPoints: (20,387)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
1/4/13 2:20 P

No. I used to want to go on it, because I'm lazy and I hate to cook and didn't want to think about it at all, but it doesn't help you change your lifestyle. It might make you used to eating smaller portions and healthier foods, but you don't learn about the health benefits of each food item, so you can't make the dessert decisions for yourself.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
1/4/13 1:26 P

I never got on these, but once I remember weight watchers did sell their food through their meetings. You would buy the food for the week and add very little like milk. yougurt and such. I did it for several months and realized I liked my own food better.
My parentals did do Jenny Craig and then Seattle Sutton for a year or so. Like most said here, it didn't really teach them anything. They were doing it more for the convenience because they both worked downtown and lived in the suburbs and didn't have to feed us kids anymore.
They lost weight on both systems, however once they got onto regular food, the weight found them again.

What these programs fail at and why WW may be a little better and I can't stress little enough, is that they don't teach you how to prepare food. They don't teach you how to shop. They don't teach you how to menu plan.
Truthfully I haven't really found that on SP as far as learning how to menu plan. Sure you can go and have a menu created for you, but that doesn't really teach me how to do it on my own. But at least it is my own food and I am preparing it.
WW is not all it is cracked up to be either. They are so in tune with point systems that people are not learning calories and nutrient contents of the food. And I am sorry-- any diet plan that tells me I can eat fried cheesesticks, french fries and cakes and cookies even in moderation is missing something somewhere. I know a lot of people will disagree that you can have everything in moderation. I don't stand behind that and you can throw studies in my face to emphasize a point, but I don't feel that everything in moderation is good.

So the question as to whether these systems where you are forced to buy food in a box and microwave it (i do not and will never own a microwave again. It kills the food) is certainly not going to teach me anything. As far as the endorsers of the systems such as valerie, marie, carrie,Kirstey and all the rest-- they can afford it. Then look at Kirstey Alley-- how many times did she regain the weight.

SKYE60 SparkPoints: (1,377)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 129
1/4/13 1:10 P

No. I was on it for a while at my highest weight, felt as if I was starving, food was tasteless, went off and gained everything plus some back.

JUSGETTENBY42 Posts: 7,606
1/4/13 1:05 P

No because sooner or later you have to eat real food.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
1/4/13 1:04 P

I totally concur, ObiesMom2.

Restrictive diets often leave me craving stuff that I "can't" have. I prefer having the option and deciding that I won't have it.
Theoretical example: Pretend that cheesecake is in the house. I am perfectly at liberty to have a slice, or the whole gee golly cake if I want to. However, instead, I figure, "Meh. I think I'm actually okay with out it."

Mind you-I freaking LOVVVE cheesecake. NY style, chocolate topped, fruit topped, caramel apple cheesecake, turtle cheesecake...But...
I am just fine without it in the house, which means if it's in the house, I could probably be just as fine with out it.
HOWEVER, if I have it in my head that I am not ALLOWED to have cheesecake? I can almost bet that not too long ago, I would have eaten the WHOLE thing.

1/4/13 12:53 P

Rule of thumb... if the ad says "Fast", "Easy", or "Rapid", it's a hallmark for a gimmick.

RICCILYNN Posts: 2,454
1/4/13 12:42 P

When I was in college there was a girl in my dorm who had a special dispensation to have a microwave in her room so that she could prepare her nutrisystem meals because of her special dietary needs. She would eat her meal (which smelled horrible and nauseated everyone on the floor) then she would go down to the dining hall and eat a full meal there - what good were those meals doing her? She wasn't learning anything and certainly wasn't losing any weight.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,596)
Fitness Minutes: (126,400)
Posts: 14,917
1/4/13 12:35 P

DH lost a LOT of weight on NutriSystem many years ago. Once he went off of their packaged foods, he gained it all back (and more).

I don't know if NutriSystem offers any type of maintenance program or not. If they do, that would help transition folks back to 'normal' eating.

personally I'd rather eat 'normal' while I lose weight because that's the only thing that will work for me. I can't stick with a super strict prohibitive diet for more than a couple of weeks.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
1/4/13 12:22 P

I am actually really bothered by these commercials.
1) They're being marketed by celebrities, who have enough money for things like that. I mean, how many obese people who have severely limited budgets would love to be able to do something like NutriSystem to get them started?
2) It doesn't seem as if it is anything permanent. It doesn't teach you how to cook, how to measure portions, give you clues on how to handle life outside of their "system," and it looks super processed!!!

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