The other day, I received an email from someone who asked if buying frozen meals like lean cuisine or smart ones at the grocery store would yield the same weight loss results as the Nutrisystem diet. She perceived that the frozen meals were cheaper, even though she suspected that they weren’t going to yield as drastic results. Still, she hoped that she could get some at least some weight loss from the grocery store and asked my opinion on this. I’ll tell you what I told her in the following article.
The Basic Weight Loss Equation And Why Nutrisystem Takes This Further: Everyone knows this, but it bears repeating. You will lose weight if you repeatedly take in less calories than you are burning. This equation has been around since the beginning of time and it’s very simple. Yet, it’s simplicity doesn’t ensure that we’re any more successful with it. As a population, we are fatter today than ever – so perhaps this isn’t so simple after all.
Nutrisystem takes this a bit further by putting ketosis into the equation. Basically, carbs and proteins also come into play. In this way, this diet sort of takes what works from both low calorie and high protein diets. The foods are designed to be low in calories and carbohydrates, but low in protein. This sounds pretty basic too, but it actually does make your body burn fat much faster. The reason for this is that you are no longer giving it the carbs that it is used to burning. So instead, it must rely on your fat stores.
Any diet that we are comparing to Nutrisystem then should also be able to put your body in ketosis if you are going to have similar results. Therefore, I’m going to be looking at lean cuisine in terms of nutrition, calories, fiber, and carbohydrates. For the sake of comparing apples to apples, I’m going to compare two similar foods – nutrisystem’s and lean cuisine’s pizza – which are both popular items.
Lean Cuisine Pizza Nutrition Information: This product has 320 calories, and 80 of them are from fat. In total, it contains 9 grams of fat. There are 17 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. The most troublesome thing to me here is the carbohydrates contained. There are a whopping 42. I find it very doubtful that you will get in ketosis with even a few of these meals daily. And, if you limited yourself to one, you’d still need to be very careful throughout the remainder of the day, especially if you are preparing the foods yourself.
Nutrisystem Pizza Nutritional Information: This item has only 250 calories, with 70 of them coming from fat. There are 8 fat grams. There is 11 grams of protein. But, there are only 28 grams of carbs. This is 14 less and this can make a big difference over time. You are also saving 70 calories which can add up also.
Another thing to consider with Nutrisystem is that you won’t need to be careful or conscious of what you eat for the rest of the day. They balance the meals out for you so that you’re eating no more than about 1200 calories per day and taking in a low enough amount of carbs and a high enough amount of protein so that you will get in ketosis. They provide the foods for you (three meals, a snack, and a dessert.) The dinner options (like the pizza) are the highest in calories and carbs. But the lunch and breakfasts are light on both of these. The whole thing is designed to give you the nutrients that you need while making sure that you approach both equations correctly.
Testing A Diet’s Effectiveness: If you’re still not sure which way you want to go, you can get ketone strips at most drug stores. These will tell you if you are in are or approaching ketosis. You can do this after a week or so on the lean cuisine meals to see what happens. I suspect that those extra carbs and calories would add up after a week though, but see for yourself. I can tell you from experience that a week of this diet will very likely put you in this place so long as you follow the instructions.