Both Atkins and Nutrisystem have their advantages and disadvantages,
but it depends what you are trying to accomplish. Do you need shed
pounds fast? Are you on doctors’ orders to lessen your bad cholesterol?
These are questions to consider when choosing the right diet for the
particular circumstances you are facing. Atkins diet is great if you
need to lose pounds quickly. With this high protein and high fat diet,
your body burns the fat reserves stored rather than burning glucose or
sugar as the stored energy. Nutrisystem is a traditional dietary system
but comes with a tailored menu that emphasizes smaller portions. Because
it requires you to eat 6 meals a day, this dietary system stimulates
your metabolism and in turn boosts the calorie burn.
Food Quality and Taste: Nutrisystem
offers a variety of food choices in which weight loss is achieved
through portion control. It does not limit any of the four food groups,
and does not include the complicated chore of counting calories. The
Nutrisystem diet comes with pre-packaged meals since the point of the
diet is to simplify the chore of counting calories so that you don’t
have to! According to the Nutrisystem website, most of the meals are
rated from 4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Nutrisystem funded a 2010
survey with a sample size of 3,500 customers and found that 9 out of 10
customers were pleased with the food quality and taste of their food. In
2014, Nutrisystem expanded their menu to include 40 new items and they
redeveloped 32 of their items by discarding artificial flavors and
If you don’t like the tailored meals you can order a Nutrisystem cookbook.
Easiness of the Program
the Nutrisystem diet you eat small portions, but you eat 6 times a day.
This diet focuses on the consumer by upholding a program that values
common sense and good choices: the most important choices are
practically made for you with Nutrisystem’s tailored menu. These menu
items are arranged in small portions.
Consumers can choose between
two plans. The Basic plan comes with pre-packaged meals. The Core plan,
however, allows the customer to take the training wheels off and choose
from a variety of foods. The Core plan allows you to customize your own
menu and you have the option of cooking your own recipes based on the
programs dietary requirements.
The basic plan consists of already
prepared, packaged meals shipped to you. The idea is portion control, so
you eat 6 times a day with the following meal types: breakfast,
mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack.
Duration of the plan is 4 weeks.
The core plan implements the
same concept except there are more choices and the customer can tailor
the menu to his needs. Like the basic plan, the duration is 4 weeks and
consists of breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack,
dinner and evening snack.
Since the menu is already tailored to
the needs of the consumer, the participant already has their food
choices and portions made for them. There are very little decisions to
Ease of program may be complicated depending upon one’s
own schedule and life circumstances. Depending upon the demands of your
job, it may be difficult to implement the program if your job demands
you refrain from mid-day snacking. Another disadvantage is that the meal
plan only accommodates a single person and does not cover whole
Because the meals
are prepackaged, Nutrisystem’s starting point is at $350.00. However,
this is a financial advantage in terms of having not to buy raw
materials from the grocery store to cook. Store items are not cheap
these days, so Nutrisystem’s set rate is definitely an advantage to your
Physical Activity or Exercise
recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per
week. You can tally your minutes using the My Daily 3 plan which
incorporates three 10 minute activities of moderate exercise per day.
Some of these activities could include walking up the stairs, gardening,
taking a brisk walk, a morning jog, going bowling or mowing the lawn.
to a study published in the journal Postgraduate Medicine of 2009, 69
obese participants with type 2 diabetes lost 18 pounds over a three
month period from the Nutrisystem diet. Nutrisystem also funded a survey
in 2010. After three months 79% lost 5% of their total weight and 33%
lost 10% or more. Customers found that using the online tracking tool
and the ease and convenience of the program helped their success.
Food Quality and Taste: Atkins’ Diet
focuses on a no-nonsense program for weight loss by emphasizing a lower
to no carbohydrate consumption and a greater intake of proteins and
fats which allows the body to burn fat stores. You can eat bacon, but
not a baked potato. Meat lovers should be ecstatic about this diet. Who
doesn’t like bacon or rib eye steak? Atkins does offer some frozen
dinners and some shakes, but they are hard to find. Because this program
emphasizes cooking your own meals, the quality of the food depends upon
your ability to cook.
Easiness of Program
diet regiment for Atkins, however, changes as the dieter begins to lose
weight. There is no calorie counting for this diet, but you must
include the number of carbohydrates consumed. You can have complex
carbohydrates like broccoli.
Atkins diet is a lifestyle diet that
does not include pre-packaged foods like Nutrisystem. Most of your meals
require you to cook your own meals. Besides the protein shakes and meal
bars, the Atkins diet offers very little prepackaged foods. Prepackaged
Atkins cuisine meals can be found in some grocery stores, but they are
costly and hard to find. If the store carries it, it will be in the
frozen foods section.
The Atkins diet includes 4 phases:
Induction, balancing, pre-maintenance and life maintenance. Depending
upon your dietary needs and how many pounds you have to lose, you can
start anywhere along these four phases. If you need to lose a lot of
weight, start with the induction phase. The induction phase requires you
to stick to high protein and high fat foods with minimal carbohydrates.
You can eat complex carbohydrates like broccoli, but your green
vegetables should be limited to 12 to 15 grams. Avoid fruits, breads,
pastas, nuts and alcohol.
With the balancing phase you continue to
maintain the caloric intake addressed in the Induction phase, but you
can slowly add fruits, berries and nuts to your diet. If a significant
amount of weight has been lost, the pre-maintenance phase allows you to
include starchy vegetables and grains. Ease of the program depends upon
how easily the customer can transition smoothly to the other phases of
The Atkins diet
requires grocery shopping, so you may need to come up with a budget that
is right for you. Grocery shopping is not cheap, but instead of buying
steak and salmon save money by purchasing chicken or tofu. Atkins diet
also recommends purchasing extra virgin olive oil and this is a costly
item. Instead purchase the inexpensive option such as canola oil.
Physical Activity or Exercise
is always recommended by most nutritionists no matter the diet. Atkins
diet was designed for severely obese people to lose weight quickly, so
it doesn’t depend upon heavy exercise, just a moderate amount of
physical activity. With any new diet or exercise regime, consult your
According to a study
published at Duke University Medical Center, 120 obese participants lost
31 pounds after 6 months from the Atkins diet. However, other studies
suggest that Atkins is not a good long term program and end up gaining
the weight back. Dr. Patrick McBride, a cardiologist from the University
of Wisconsin, argues that any diet that cuts out any of the four food
groups will not be successful in the long run. Then, there are the
health issues. Constantly consuming steak and bacon will increase bad
Conclusion: Advantages and Disadvantages of Both
Depending upon your dietary goals, each program has its advantages and disadvantages. Your decision really depends upon whether or not if your goal is to lose weight, be healthy or both. The appeal of the Atkins diet is the ability to lose weight rapidly, albeit with some overall health concerns. In terms of weight loss, overall health and lifeline longevity, Nutrisystem is the better choice. Nutrisystem is more cost efficient, convenient and healthier in the long term.
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