The other day, I got an email from someone asking me if buying frozen meals like Lean Cuisine or Smart Plates from the grocery store would produce the same weight loss results as the Nutrisystem diet. He perceived that frozen meals were cheaper, although he suspected they weren’t going to give such drastic results. Still, I was hoping I could lose some weight at the grocery store and asked my opinion on it. I’ll tell you what I told him in the following article.
The basic weight loss equation and why Nutrisystem takes this further: Everyone knows it, but it bears repeating. You will lose weight if you repeatedly consume fewer calories than you burn. This equation has been around since the beginning of time and it is very simple. However, its simplicity does not guarantee that we will have more success with it. As a population, we are fatter than ever today, so perhaps this is not so simple after all.
Nutrisystem takes this a little further by including ketosis in the equation. Basically carbohydrates and protein also come into play. In this way, this diet takes what works from both low-calorie and high-protein diets. Food is designed to be low in calories and carbohydrates, but low in protein. This sounds pretty basic too, but it actually makes your body burn fat a lot faster. The reason for this is that it no longer gives you the carbohydrates that you are used to burning. So instead, you must rely on your fat stores.
Any diet we’re comparing to Nutrisystem should also be able to put your body into ketosis if you’re going to get similar results. Therefore, I will discuss lean cooking in terms of nutrition, calories, fiber, and carbohydrates. For the sake of comparing apples to apples, I am going to compare two similar foods, nutrisystem pizza and lean cooking pizza, which are popular items.
Lean Cooking Pizza Nutrition Facts: This product has 320 calories and 80 of them are fat. In total, it contains 9 grams of fat. There are 17 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. The most troublesome thing for me here is the carbohydrates it contains. There’s a whopping 42. I find it highly doubtful that I would go into ketosis even with some of these daily meals. And if you limit yourself to one, you need to be very careful throughout the rest of the day, especially if you are preparing the food yourself.
Nutrisystem Pizza Nutritional Information: This product has only 250 calories, 70 of which come from fat. There are 8 grams of fat. There are 11 grams of protein. But there are only 28 grams of carbohydrates. This is 14 less and this can make a big difference over time. You are also saving 70 calories which can add up too.
Another thing to consider with Nutrisystem is that you will not need to be careful or mindful of what you eat for the rest of the day. They balance meals so that you eat no more than 1,200 calories per day and eat low enough carbohydrates and high enough protein for you to enter ketosis. They provide you with food (three meals, a snack, and a dessert). Dinner options (like pizza) are the highest in calories and carbohydrates. But lunch and breakfast are light in both. Everything is designed to give you the nutrients you need while making sure you tackle both equations correctly.
Proof of the effectiveness of a diet: If you are still not sure which way to go, you can find ketone strips at most drug stores. These will tell you if you are in ketosis or approaching. You can do this after a week or so on cooking lean meals to see what happens. However, I suspect those extra carbs and calories would add up after a week, but see for yourself. I can tell you from experience that a week of this diet will most likely put you in this place as long as you follow the instructions.
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