The Cat’s Out of the Bag

So for those of you who didn’t know from the start, the big secret I’ve been keeping is that I started the NutriSystem diet plan.

Today is the beginning of my second week and I’m thrilled to report that the first week was an amazing success. Here’s the “scoreboard” for the first week:

nutriscoreboard

I’m planning to do at least one post each week with my results and thoughts. If things happen along the way that I find interesting or worthy of an additional blog, then I’ll certainly go beyond a singular report.

I have several reasons for sharing this. First, I need your support and encouragement. Any of you who have attempted a life change (losing weight, quitting smoking or drinking, etc.) know how hard it can be. Second, I hope that my journey might inspire others to take positive steps in their lives. Finally, I believe that writing my thoughts will be a motivator for me and also a history I can read at any time and remind myself to never go back down this road again.

So here’s how it all started. Last Wednesday, two huge boxes arrived via FedEx.

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As you can see, one box is insulated and that container is my frozen foods. I’ve decided to do the best plan offered, allowing me to completely customize my meals and choose from frozen or non-frozen foods. You purchase food a month at a time, so these boxes contain 28 days worth of meals and snacks. A trip to the grocery store rounded out my supplies (I’ll explain more on this later).

Here’s what it looks like inside the boxes…

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…and here’s my pantry, counter and refrigerator after unloading it all.

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So here’s how it works: The first week, you kick things off with a weight loss “boot camp” called “Turbo10.” This is a specially-designed starter kit that includes your meals and snacks for the first week.

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During the initial 7 days, you don’t get dessert and you are eating a bit less than you will in future weeks. But quite honestly, I didn’t feel hungry and more than normal. Overall the food was tasty and easy to make. You use store-bought foods to round out the menu, including vegetables, sauces, spices and seasonings, etc. There are certain items that you can have in limited quantities, but others are unlimited and I found that I could enjoy those as snacks and keep myself “full” and happy.

One thing I love about the program is that they give you incredible support. I have counselors available (if I want to talk to them) via text, email or phone. Even more important to me, they’ve included some fantastic pocket guides that offer great suggestions when dining out. These booklets cover pretty much every type of food and restaurant and they even get into specifics at the brand-name places including fast food joints. I also use an app on my phone (also available on my iPad and desktop) called “NuMi” that tracks my meals, calories, exercise, weight loss, inches lost, etc.  I’m extremely impressed so far.

For those wondering, here’s a basic day in the first week:

Breakfast – A NutriSystem Chewy Chocolate Granola Bar. With breakfast you also can add a “Power Fuel” and a “Smart Carb.” A “Power Fuel” might be something like yogurt, eggs, milk, certain meats, etc. The “Smart Carb” might be a piece of fruit, some juice or bread.

First Snack – NutriSystem Turbo Shake (Chocolate). These shakes are delicious and filling (see photo below). I can also have more “Smart Carbs” with my snack. There are also various NutriSystem snacks like popcorn, pretzels, cookies and more.

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Lunch – NutriSystem Chicken Noodle Soup. This is the same kind you might find in the single-serving cans in the soup aisle at the grocery store. Easy to carry to work and microwave. Lunch can also include more Power Fuels and Smart Carbs. I like being able to add these if I wish. Mrs. Dash has also become my best friend for the meals that need a little kick.

Second Snack – Here you can choose another NutriSystem snack, one of the delicious shakes or what’s called a “Flex Meal” where you choose your own snack based on their guidelines for portion control.

Dinner – NutriSystem Ravioli with Meat Sauce. Again with dinner, I can add in Power Fuels and Smart Carbs as I see fit.

Third Snack (Dessert) – For the first week, I didn’t have a third snack/dessert but this might be anything from cookies to an ice cream cookie sandwich or even cheesecake.

As you can see, it’s quite a lot of food and you wind up eating often. Between that and the filling water and shakes, I honestly didn’t have very many pangs of hunger. You also take two NutriHance vitamins each day and drink at least 64 ounces of water. They also encourage you to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in each day, be it walking, legitimate gym time, swimming, cleaning the house, etc. The NuMi app has a place to enter your activities and it converts them (all of those I listed and more) into lost calories. It’s really cool.

Oh, did I mention the NutriBears? For every 10 pounds lost, you get a different stuffed Bear sent to you as a motivator and reminder of your success. My first one is on the way!

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Now that I’m starting my second week, I’ll get a dessert each day, plus once a week I have lunch and dinner on my own (flex meals) where I can basically choose my own meals (even dining out). This is going to be a challenge but I think it will help to educate me in the proper way to choose once I’m off the program.

Each week I’ll post my results and my thoughts. I also welcome your comments, questions, stories and thoughts. Have you done this program or others? What did you think? What results did you achieve? If you have specific questions about NutriSystem I’m happy to answer them.

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One comment

  1. Pamela Sigurdson · October 21, 2016

    Awesome! Keep up the good work!

    Like

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