I get some variation on these questions relatively often. People asking this question seem to think that finding substitutes at a grocery store or health food store will save them a bit of money. They typically expect to find frozen or convenience foods that are just as effective at helping you lose weight as Nutrisystem meals. Actually, this is going to be a very difficult task for a couple of reasons. I will discuss more about this matter in the next article.

The requirements you need to meet to find something comparable to Nutrisystem meals in a supermarket or grocery store: Simply put, they want you to consume between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day. This will include three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), desserts, snacks, and the fresh sides you add to each meal. Since you eat so frequently, obviously every meal, dessert, and snack the diet provides will have to be low in calories. Most breakfasts, desserts, and snacks are in the 100-150 calorie range. Many of the lunches and dinners are under 300 calories each. This range is hard to find in grocery store options and this doesn’t even tell the whole story.

Because calories are not the only thing that is going to be important. The diet meals are also very low in carbohydrates and sugars while maintaining high levels of protein, fiber, and nutritional value. This is just as important as the calorie content. The reason for this is that this ratio helps you burn fat and calories because you are cutting back on carbohydrates that your body will often use for fuel. There’s a technical name for this (ketosis), but the main idea is that you’re losing weight and fat by consuming fewer carbs and calories.

It’s very hard to find foods in grocery stores that are so low in calories AND carbohydrates and sugars, while also being high in protein and fiber. Many diet foods will add a bit of sugar to help hide the taste. Slim Fast shakes are a good example. Some of them contain up to 18 grams of sugar.

But it’s really at lunch and dinner where you see the biggest difference. If you were to compare Nutrisystem’s pizza to, say, a lean cuisine pizza, you’d see a big difference. The Lean Kitchen product has around 320 calories and a whopping 53 grams of carbohydrates. This is in stark contrast to the 220 calories and 28 carbohydrates contained in the Nutrisystem product. Adding these differences up for even three of the five meals can make a big difference in your calorie and carbohydrate intake for the day.

When I was asking myself the exact same question, I simply looked up many of the diet products in the supermarket and compared them to similar Nutrisystem products. I can’t think of any product that I found that was comparable on all variables (calories, carbs, protein, sugars, and fiber). Instead, many of the products contained many more calories, sugars and carbohydrates and not so much. lots of protein and fiber. Many of the store’s products were also quite high in sodium and contained questionable ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.

It is a fairly simple task to check this for yourself. And I have to say, oftentimes you may not be saving as much money as you hoped. If you buy a Nutrisystem package with coupons, you’ll typically pay a little more than an average of $2.10 – $2.25 per meal. Many health food stores cost more than this, not to mention the gas and time it takes to put all this together. So while you can try any foods you like, I personally don’t think they’re all that effective, but that’s just my opinion.

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