Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Day 1 of the NutriSystem Challenge

Okay, so the delivery was a bit messed up but Tamsin and I are on track now. We started the program today. I’m on a 3-day training course for work so my routine is out of whack. We tossed around the idea of delaying our start and decided if we did that, we’d always be able to find an excuse. Here goes nothing...

Initial observations:
Nutrisystem’s website needs to answer more of my questions without requiring me to log in first. I didn’t know how much of my own food I’d be combining with NutriSystem products. Tamsin and I had a lot of questions but we needed to wait for our kits to get answers. Fortunately, I had enough fruit and veggies in the house to get started.

A lot of reading is required and we’re supposed to watch a motivational exercise DVD. As for me, I read what I needed to know to get going. I did a fair amount of walking– not bad considering the storm we had in Toronto today.

NutriSystem food comes in colour-coded packages and are easy to sort into meal categories.

The breakfast and lunch meals are portable.

NutriSystem assumes everyone who needs to lose weight has a sweet tooth. There’s a ton of breakfast pastries, breakfast and lunch bars a plus a daily dessert.

The program includes a daily diary. The concept is similar to Weight Watchers but instead of itemizing everything you eat and their point values, you check off items divided into 5 meal categories. Here’s what I ate today:

I didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home. I drank a glass of skim milk lactaid, and grabbed a banana (should have only eaten half) and a NutriSystem Cranberry Orange Pastry (yuck, this sounds much better than it looks or tastes).

NutriSystem Chocolaty Raspberry Flavoured Bar (tasted better than your average energy bar), steamed veggies with tofu, shrimp, green beans and green tea.

As much as I wanted to follow the rules, I had to break them the very first day because of my change in routine. I figured it was better to follow as much as I could rather than not starting at all. I skipped the lunch salad and ate my dinner veggies at lunchtime instead. I ended up at a Chinese restaurant so I ordered them steamed. I realized I needed some protein so I had a taste of steamed tofu and about 2 oz. of small shrimp (the sauce was probably a no-no) and some stir-fried green beans with fresh garlic and ginger. I counted this as my fat serving for the day (probably at least a bit more than a teaspoon of oil – oh well!)

Afternoon Snack
½ c unsweetened applesauce.

NutriSystem Beef and Mushrooms with Pasta (comparable to Lean Cuisine, bigger portion than I expected), salad with low-calorie dressing, 1/3 c edamame (leftover from snacktime).

NutriSystem White Chocolate Flavoured Chunk Cookie (hard and dry but edible).

I had 2 decaf coffees with a splash of 2% milk. (I shouldn’t be drinking milk at all since I’m lactose intolerant, and the program favours skim milk.) I’m still working my way through the 8 glasses of water. I’m used to snacking at night so I guess I’ll fill up with water instead.

Stay tuned for next week’s check-up when Tamsin and I will tell you what happened when we stepped on our scales.


  1. I, too, LOVE the convenience and efficiency of the colour-coded packages. Easy to grab and go!
    But there IS a little effort involved in all this. I’ve found that I spend considerable time planning the non-NutriSystem food that I need to add to my meals. If I left it until the actual meal, then I’d be scrambling for the required “protein serving” at breakfast and lunch time — and that’s hard to find in the food court across the street from my office, where I’m more likely to be tempted by a toasted bagel with cream cheese. I’m sure I’ll get used to choosing appropriate supplements; already, the NutriSystem guide is a help.

    On Day 1 breakfast, I chose the Orange-Cranberry pastry. It was a smallish, dense cake. Smelled OK, tasted semi-edible – though, very dense. I was creeped out by the "stay-fresh" thingy packed inside the package to keep it “fresh”. I left the pastry on the counter for a moment and came back to see that my cat was nibbling away at the remains, so it passed 2 taste-tests. ;)

    I supplemented my breakfast with a rather large coffee (black, 2 sugars), a serving of cottage cheese with fruit (protein/dairy).

    Lunchtime. I tried the Black Bean Tortilla Soup. Not sure about the "tortilla" part -- but I am extra critical because my husband is Mexican and regularly uses authentic corn tortillas in his cooking. HOWEVER, after adding boiling water and letting is sit for 10 minutes, I actually enjoyed the soup. Not bad. I added a spinach salad to my lunch.

    8-10 glasses of water a day -- I'm doing OK with that.

    I’ve tried 2 dinners: the lasagne was decent and the chicken dumplings in gravy was OK. I mean, NONE of these meals taste gourmet, but I can say that they are mostly not too bad. Hey, still some way to go on the taste tour. More taste-tests and weigh-ins in the weeks to come...


  2. Good luck, ladies!

  3. Anonymous10:03 pm

    Thanks Alexandra! So far so good. Until tonight, I haven't felt the least bit hungry since I started the program. Granted, I've taken a couple liberties. ;)

  4. Good luck.

    I don't see how it's really comparable to WW, but more so a Jenny Craig with pre-packaged meals but best of luck!

  5. Marie, thanks for your comment. I agree in NutriSystem and Jenny Craig seem like similar programs. As a life-time member of WeightWatchers (no longer on the plan but did mention it in a previous post) I am writing from my personal experience. Glad it works so well for you.


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