I recently received an email asking me if eating healthy and healthy meals would be as effective as following the nutrisystem diet. I only have experience with one of these, but I suspect the answer to this question would be no. The reason for this is that healthy foods of choice sometimes contain more calories, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. I suspect you may have trouble getting into fat burning mode (or ketosis) from ingesting too much of these. To help show how this could happen, I will compare a nutrisystem meal to a healthy choice meal in the following article.
In order to compare similar foods, I will use an Italian chicken meal in both plans. First, I’ll look at the Healthy Choice Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. This meal contains 290 calories, 6 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugars, and 16 grams of protein. The calorie, fat, carbohydrate and sugar content is higher than I would like for my own goals, but we are all different.
Now, let’s look at the nutrisystem chicken and pasta in cacciatore sauce. This meal has only 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugars, and 10 grams of protein.
What immediately strikes me is that there are 160 more calories, 4 more grams of fat, 23 more carbs, 9 more sugars, and 6 less grams of protein in one of these entrees. These overages can, in my opinion, make a huge difference in the results you see. It is true that the healthy choice food has more protein, but the much higher amount of carbohydrates could work against this. And the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins is more favorable in the food of the nutritional system.
Also note that you will be eating three meals and a dessert and a snack on one of these diets. If every meal had this kind of deficit, these numbers would certainly add up. Also, I couldn’t find breakfast entrees a healthy option. Therefore, would he be alone here or would he have to use the company’s bread for toasting.
That is not to say that either option is bad. But when you diet, every calorie and every gram of carbohydrates, proteins, and sugars matter a lot. One of these lines has quite a bit more than the other and if this was calculated over a week’s meals, it seems to me that the difference could be quite significant, so the results will likely vary as well. This could be especially true if you are going to rely on consuming fewer carbs and fewer calories in the hopes of getting into ketosis so that you can burn fat instead of carbs.