Simplifying weight loss is what Nutrisystem knows how to do best. You’re not the one going through the trouble of figuring out what foods fit into a weight loss program. Nutrisystem does it for you, along with counting how many carbs and calories you’re consuming daily. Even with portion control, you get to satisfy your taste buds and curb your cravings.
Signing up for Nutrisystem meals means incorporating into your diet nutritionally balanced meals, which include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So, you’re less likely to consume unhealthy junk or fast food.
But Nutrisystem is not the best choice for everyone. If you’re looking to avoid certain allergy-triggering ingredients like gluten, lactose, etc., Nutrisystem is not for you. Likewise, if you’re on a vegan diet program, Nutrisystem is still not for you.
So, for whatever reason, if Nutrisystem is not for you, you can instead go for Nutrisystem alternatives like Trifecta Nutrition, Fresh N Lean, Factor, and Sunbasket.
Nutrisystem Review – How It Works
When it comes to shedding weight, it’s so important to choose a weight loss program that’s more realistic and can be sustained for a long period of time – only then does it become possible to actually lose weight. Nutrisystem is a meal delivery service that truly and 100% understands that.
These weight loss experts know that a weight loss-friendly diet should encompass low calories and high protein and fiber. On top of that, there should be healthy, nourishing, and well-balanced meals. Oftentimes, deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals also promote weight gain. So, it all needs to be well-balanced indeed.
Nutrisystem diet’s nutritious meals can fit into various kinds of weight loss plans. And since they’re already prepared, it’s not required for you to do any meal prep or planning. Thus, the weight loss process is simplified!
They have both monthly, subscription-based meal plans and à la carte items. These are frozen meals and snacks that easily fit into the various meal plans offered on Nutrisystem. You can either pick your meals during sign up or have them selected for you by opting for the Chef’s Choice menu.
How Nutrisystem works is you eat one meal every 2–3 hours, 6 times a day. The entire plan is printed for you, so all you have to do is follow the instructions provided. Your Nutrisystem meals will be delivered once every 4–10 days. The meals are frozen; hence, they’re shipped frozen (packed with dry ice so all the food is kept fresh during delivery).
All Nutrisystem meal plans feature ready-to-eat meals that help in long-term and short-term weight management. The Basic and Core meal plans seem perfect for those just starting out. As for the other options, they are better if you want more flexibility and variety.
The pricing approach is very simple and straightforward where the most basic plan is the cheapest one – Basic Plan for women is $9.99 per day, and Basic Plan for men is $11.46 per day.
These prices can decrease if you choose monthly shipments and pay for them in advance. For example, 3 months’ worth of orders drops the cost of the Basic meal plan for women and men to $8.64 and $9.95 per day, respectively.
On the other hand, for a Nutrisystem one-time order, you end up paying a hefty amount. For instance, the Basic meal plan box for 28 days is around $510 (2x than the 3-month subscription)
You’re free to include extras and à la carte items. The price range here can be anywhere between $7.99 and $19.99.
So here is the complete Nutrisystem pricing breakdown:
|Basic for Women
|Starts from $9.99 per day
|Basic for Men
|Starts from 11.46 per day
|Uniquely Yours for Women
|Starts from $12.14 per day
|Uniquely Yours for Men
|Starts from $13.39 per day
|Uniquely Yours Max+ for Women
|Starts from $13.57 per day
|Uniquely Yours Max+ for Men
|Starts from $15.18 per day
|Complete 55 (Women)
|Starts from $13.93 per day
|Starts from $15.32 per day
- Nutritionally balanced, filling prepared meals.
- Low-calorie meals crafted for weight loss.
- Lots of menu filters to avoid common allergens.
- Several meal plans, including the Diabetes Plan.
- Their NuMi app is a very helpful tool to track weight loss.
- No meal customization.
- Limited choices for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian.
- Some meals may be highly processed.
- Not for vegans.
Nutrisystem Meal Plans
The Nutrisystem menu has over 130 delicious choices, and all Nutrisystem diet meals are 100% nutritionally balanced. For the most part, it’s all standard or traditional American cuisine, but you will find a good amount of Italian (Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo) and Chinese (Spicy Kung Pao Noodles) options too.
Moving on to the popular meal plans of Nutrisystem:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for 5 days of the week – that’s the Basic meal plan. It’s the most affordable option that includes classic dishes that almost everyone is bound to find both comforting and enjoyable.
However, don’t expect a lot of meal variety with this Basic plan. For example, a lot of granola and breakfast bars are a huge part of the breakfast meals instead of more creative and delectable options.
Uniquely Yours Plan
Just like the Basic meal plan, even this one features meals for 5 days of the week. But it offers a greater number of choices, which includes favorites like Bistro-Style Toasted Ravioli, Roasted Turkey Medallions, Bourbon-Style Chicken, and more.
This is a highly popular Nutrisystem meal plan precisely because it offers more options, particularly with lunches and dinners.
Uniquely Yours Max+ Plan
A more comprehensive meal plan, Nutrisystem’s Uniquely Yours Max+ covers all meals and snacks for all 7 days or 5 days of the week (you can choose between the two). Expect hearty meals with larger portion sizes and lower calories. These meals are packed with flavor and protein and aim to help you shed up to 9 pounds within 2 weeks.
The menu here presents you with more than 130 meals, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
There’s the Max Vitality meal plan and the Complete 55 meal plan for men and women, respectively, all 7 days of the week in the first month and then 5 days of the week in the subsequent months to support your weight loss goals.
Max Vitality is perfect for boosting protein (20% higher protein content). These high-protein meals for men aid in building lean muscle. As for Complete 55 for women, this as well is packed with protein that helps in controlling hunger. It’s the best for women going through menopause!
Moving on to Nutrisystem’s Diabetes plan. It’s all about high-fiber, high-protein, and low-carb meals, which keep at bay drastic blood sugar fluctuations. Managing type 2 diabetes with weight loss has been scientifically proven. So, how about meals that are the most suitable for a weight loss diet plan that also keep your blood sugar in check?
The next plan seems perfect for anyone who believes that misery loves company. But in the case of Nutrisystem meals, there’s no misery you have to deal with even when with a weight loss program. This Plan for 2 consists of single-serve meals (plus snacks of course). With the Partner Plan, you and your partner (or friend, roommate, etc.) can lose weight together.
The final meal plan you will find on Nutrisystem is the Complete Plan – specifically designed for losing a ton of weight (50 pounds or higher). It’s a 6-month-long commitment that includes meals for 7 days of the week in the initial month and then just 5 days of the week after that. The goal here is to develop healthier eating habits to keep up with your weight loss goals.
Nutrisystem Alternative #1 – Trifecta Nutrition (Fully Organic, Weight Loss-Friendly Meals)
If weight loss and clean eating are on your mind, Trifecta Nutrition lets you build your meal plan from scratch and includes add-ons like breakfast as well. All their meals contain organic ingredients and are nutrient-focused.
Trifecta Nutrition is a premade meal delivery service where you can also exclude specific ingredients from your diet plan like beef, pork, shellfish, tree nuts, turkey, or whole mushrooms.
The meals are fully cooked and delivered in vacuum-sealed containers. All their meals can be eaten as main course meals, and they’re well-portioned containing premium proteins.
Unlike many fully prepared meal delivery services, the thing to like about Trifecta Nutrition is that they do not serve frozen meals. The meals are packed with a lot of insulation and gel packs. To heat, simply follow the heating instructions printed on the meal’s label, and you’re good to go.
A strong reason to opt for Trifecta Nutrition meals is that you have the option to prolong the shelf life of the meals. Keep the meals in the refrigerator, and they’ll last for days – up to a week. But keep the meals in the freezer and they’ll last up to 90 days or 3 months.
Trifecta Nutrition Meals Cost
What you eventually pay while ordering the meals depends on a bunch of factors, such as the number of entrees you choose and whether or not you want breakfasts as an add-on.
On the minimum order, which is 5 entrees per delivery, breakfast is mandatory, which means you receive 5 single-serve recipes and 5 breakfasts. This brings the meal value up to 10 meals weekly, costing $154.99 per order.
You can skip breakfast when you select 7, 10, or 14 entrees per delivery. The cost per order varies from $110.99 up to $310 per order. The more you buy, the lesser price per serving you pay.
Trifecta Nutrition Pros
- Organic, gluten-free meals only
- Accommodates diverse diets such as paleo, keto, vegan, and whole30
- Nutritionally balanced meals
- Good for weight loss and dieting
- Non-GMO ingredients with grass-fed meat proteins
- Minimal and safe packaging
Trifecta Nutrition Cons
- No meal customization.
- You can exclude only one ingredient.
- Limited variety of chef-crafted meals.
- The cost per delivery is higher than usual.
Trifecta Nutrition Meals Menu
All Trifecta Nutrition meals are single-serve and macro-balanced. The several diet plans include the following:
- Clean Meal Plan: Zero processed ingredients, balanced macros, and organic foods
- Paleo Meal Plan: Dairy- and grain-free meals with high protein
- Whole30 Meal Plan: Dairy-, soy-, grain-, and gluten-free meals with portion control
- Keto Meal Plan: Low-carb dishes with more proteins and healthy fats
- High Protein Vegan Meal Plan: Organic, plant-based proteins with balanced veggies
- High Protein Vegetarian Meal Plan: A little less plant-restrictive than vegan with high proteins and balanced macros
The next thing you need to select is the number of entrees you want in your first order – 5, 7, 10, or 14 entrees. Similarly, Trifecta Nutrition gives you the option to include 7 breakfasts or not.
You’ll also find that they ask you to choose from a list of ingredients you want to exclude from your meal plan, which is a great option for people struggling with intolerance or allergies.
You can select only one ingredient at a time, which means you cannot exclude any two ingredients from the meal plan. You can either select beef, pork, shellfish, tree nuts, turkey, or whole mushrooms.
Speaking of allergies, all Trifecta Nutrition meals are gluten-free. Whether you have a gluten allergy, celiac disease, or are considering a restrictive diet plan like paleo or low carb, these meals would be perfect for you.
Trifecta Nutrition uses organic and nonprocessed ingredients for their meals that are without any GMOs, preservatives, or additives. The caloric value of each meal is well-balanced and weight loss-friendly.
Nutrisystem Alternative #2 – Fresh N Lean (Low-Calorie, Diet-Focused Meals)
Fresh N Lean is another diet-focused meal delivery service with 8 different meal plan varieties. Their diet plans include Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard Vegan, Whole30 Approved, Mediterranean, Low-Carb Vegan, and Bulk.
Each meal plan is backed up with an accurate macro breakdown, featuring the caloric value, carbs, protein, fat, and sodium levels.
Their diet includes entrees and breakfasts. Their meals are USDA-certified, FSMA-compliant, and non-GMO. Prioritizing clean eating without compromising on taste or quality of ingredients.
What people liked about Fresh N Lean is their flexible meal customization. The Bulk meals let you choose your preferred protein along with add-ons like breakfast, snacks, and veggies. If you don’t want to stick to a specific diet, the Bulk or A La Carte option lets you mix and match meals as per your taste.
The meals are packed in single-serve containers; they aren’t frozen, with heating instructions printed on every label. Before you heat the meal in the microwave, you have to make a few tiny holes in the wrap and microwave the meal for up to 3 minutes. Once you see steam coming out of the holes, it’s ready to serve.
The meals stack nicely on top of each other in a large cardboard box during transit. You don’t have to do much other than take the meals out of the box and store them in the fridge or freezer as they are.
Fresh N Lean Meals Cost
The price per serving of a Fresh N Lean meal varies on two factors: the type of meal plan you choose and the number of meals you select.
On their meal plans menu, you can quickly view the starting prices, which go as low as $9.99 per meal. Their specialized diets like Protein+, keto, paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, and Whole30 Approved start from $10.32 and $10.66 per meal.
Shipping is free for customers who place orders above $100. Plus, there is always a discount offer for first-time customers. The prices mentioned above take into consideration the discount offers running on their website.
The highest price per meal that you pay for a Fresh N Lean meal is $15.99 per serving. This is when you order the minimum number of lunch or dinner meals for 5 days without breakfast.
Fresh N Lean Pros
- Low-calorie and low-carb meals are included.
- Organic, gluten-free ingredients.
- High-protein meals with premium proteins.
- Suits specialty diets like keto, paleo, Mediterranean, vegan.
- You can customize protein in Bulk meal plan.
- Meals are not frozen.
- Shipping is free throughout the United States.
- Premade meals are to stack and store.
Fresh N Lean Cons
- The price per serving for 5 days is too high.
- Some meals have a small portion size.
- The plastic wrap is difficult to remove after heating.
Fresh N Lean Meals Menu
All the meals you see on Fresh N Lean’s menu are single-serve. They arrive in sealed single-serve containers that are microwave-safe and easy to stack in tight spaces. Since the meals are designed keeping the needs of one person at a time, it’s an ideal choice for people to take meals to their work:
- Protein+: The average macros include 36g protein, 43g carbs, 16g fat, 490 calories, and 550mg sodium.
- Keto: The average macros include 30g protein, 10g carb, 32g fat, 460 calories, and 550mg sodium.
- Paleo: The average macros include 33g protein, 30g carb, 19g fat, 400 calories, and 550mg sodium.
- Standard Vegan: The average macros include 19g protein, 49g carbs, 14g fat, 430 calories and 550mg sodium.
- Whole30 Approved: This program focuses on clean eating eliminating grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods.
- Mediterranean: Only whole foods with healthy fats are included.
- Low-Carb Vegan: The average macros include 12.5g protein, 11g carb, 33g fat, 295 calories, and 550mg sodium.
Taking all the meal plans into consideration, Fresh N Lean offers more than a hundred different meal recipes for you to choose from. Fresh N Lean provides additional information about each recipe whether it’s dairy-free, nut-free, low-calorie, vegan-friendly, or low-carb. You can read the labels of each recipe before adding it to your cart.
And let’s not forget how important it is to know what goes into every meal you eat. You can also easily filter the menu recipes by reading the ingredients list of each item, including their breakfasts.
Their specialty menu is also certified gluten-free for people struggling with celiac disease, gluten insensitivity, and severe allergies. The meals are not only gluten-free, but the kitchen facility they are prepared in is gluten-free as well.
Nutrisystem Alternative #3 – Factor (Best Meals for Singles, Couples, and Busy Individuals)
Factor doesn’t just claim to deliver fresh, delicious prepared meals; it actually does. That’s exactly why it ranks as one of the best meal delivery services for singles, couples, and also millennials. Factor meals are already prepared (so no meal prep, just heat and eat!) and even encourage healthy eating (unlike fast food).
The ordering process is very user-friendly and straightforward. You don’t have to sign up to have a look at their menu, but you do have to do that for receiving your weekly meals. They have an app as well that you can use for more convenience and flexibility.
Once you get started with your Factor subscription, you place your first order after picking your meal preferences. Factor meal plans include the following:
- Protein Plus
- Calorie Smart
- Vegan & Veggie
- Chef’s Choice
After that, you move on to select how many meals you want per week – 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 18. For example, let’s say you choose 8 meals per week, one meal for lunch and one meal for dinner, 4 days in a row. The menu is diverse, so you’ll get a wide range of dishes (including chicken, meat, and vegetarian).
Given that all the food is precooked and microwaveable, everything is surprisingly fresh and delectable, so much so that you’re most likely to be genuinely super excited to try their other meals from the elaborate menu; thus, the temptation to eat out is eliminated.
Factor Meals Cost
The larger bundles are definitely more affordable and also the best for individuals and couples looking for a quick yet healthy fix to their weekday meals.
Here is the Factor pricing breakdown:
- For 6 meals per week, the cost per serving is $13.49.
- For 8 meals per week, the cost per serving is $12.99.
- For 10 meals per week, the cost per serving is $12.49.
- For 12 meals per week, the cost per serving is $11.99.
- For 14 meals per week, the cost per serving is $11.49.
- For 18 meals per week, the cost per serving is $10.99.
The shipping fee is separate, which is $10.99 per box. The delivery cost doesn’t change no matter where you’re located. To spend less on deliveries, it’s best to place a bigger order as that’ll save more money in the long term.
As you can see, the largest bundle, 18 meals per week, offers the best value.
Then there are the add-ons, for which you have to pay separately. It can be $9.99 for pancakes and $10.99 for scrambled eggs or $14.99 for cookies and $19.99 for cheesecake.
The smoothies, wellness shots, and juices start from $24. Moreover, picnic packs are also available as lunch options, which start from $12.99.
- Zero-prep premade meals delivered fresh, not frozen.
- GMO-free, preservative-free meals.
- Vast variety of keto, paleo, high-protein, and low-calorie meals.
- Irresistible add-ons – juices, smoothies, desserts, snacks, etc.
- Single-serve portion sizes are very filling and satisfying.
- Sustainably sourced, mostly organic, and high-quality ingredients.
- Very limited plant-based menu options.
- Not for family-sized servings.
- Dietary restrictions are not accommodated.
Factor Meals Menu
The Factor menu is an ode to busy individuals prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. Each chef-prepared, carefully crafted meal contains complex carbs, lean proteins, and fresh vegetables. The result takes the form of a nutritious as well as a savory meal, for instance, Shredded Chicken Taco Bowl, Soy Braised Beef, Roasted Red Chili Mahi Mahi, Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Chop, and plenty more.
Over 35 utterly delicious meals are on every week’s menu, and these are all restaurant-quality meals that can be a part of different types of diet plans, such as keto, paleo, vegan, high protein, low calorie, low carb, etc.
At the same time, Factor meals are high quality with no GMOs and mostly organic produce/ingredients. The meals are protein-packed, and there’s the least amount of refined carbs and sugars added to them.
Additionally, the Factor menu also features add-ons like proteins, desserts, snacks, smoothies, juices, and more. They come at an extra cost of course, so you have to pay separately for them. These include side dishes that can be added to meals for some extra-filling, fun, and tasty snacks that are just as yummy as they are healthy.
There’s no shortage of spicy or comforting dishes on Factor. There is, however, a shortage of vegan and vegetarian meals. Despite the Vegan & Veggie meal plan, the options are limited (a minimum of only 6 meals per week). This goes to show that Factor is a more appealing choice for meat eaters. And on top of meat-based dishes, you can add plant-based meals to incorporate more veggies into your weekly diet.
Nutrisystem Alternative #4 – Sunbasket (Organic, Fresh & Ready-to-Eat Meals)
Sunbasket is an accessible and convenient meal kit delivery service that suits different dietary needs and tastes. They offer a varied menu full of customizations, starting from the type of meal you want to select to diet filters like low-calorie, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, and diabetes-friendly.
For adjusting the meal type, you can select from dinners, breakfasts, lunches, groceries, pasta, proteins, to snacks. The options are endless and fit the needs of even a picky eater.
What’s truly impressive about the Sunbasket menu is that they offer healthy meal options across all their recipes. You can choose from a varied selection of diet plans, even when you want to add items like snacks, breakfast, or sweet treats.
As it is a meal kit delivery service, Sunbasket uses more packaging, which includes plastic bags and containers, than a premade delivery service. The majority of plastic used is recyclable, and there are some composable materials like paper bags, insulation, and liners.
Dry ingredients are stored individually and away from wet ingredients like meat that is stored with ice packs to maintain freshness and temperature control. Based on the recipes you choose, a small booklet containing all the recipe instructions will be delivered to you in every package. So, you don’t have to browse the Internet for it.
Sunbasket Meals Cost
The meal plans that Sunbasket offers are varied but easy to browse through and understand. They offer meal kits starting at $11.49 per serving and premade meals starting at $9.99 per serving. Shipping is free on the first order, after which you have to pay $7.99 to $9.99 per delivery depending on the delivery location. It also depends on how many meals you order per box.
The meal kits start from 2 servings per meal recipe and go up to 4 servings per meal recipe. This makes it an ideal choice for singles, couples, and families. The number of meal kits per order varies from 2 to 4 per week as well.
The Fresh & Ready meals are premade and come in single-serve containers that you can quickly heat and enjoy. You can order 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 premade meals per week.
- Certified organic ingredients.
- Offering a wide variety of meal kits and premade meals.
- Tons of dietary customizations.
- Flexible prep time from 10 to 45 minutes.
- High-quality and premium proteins.
- The packaging is well-organized and handy.
- Meal kits use more plastic packaging.
- Not allergy friendly.
- No free shipping after the first order.
Sunbasket Meals Menu
During sign-up, Sunbasket asks you about your meal preferences, such as paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, carb-conscious, and keto-friendly. You also have the option to select none of them individually and view the entire menu as is.
The next step toward meal customization is choosing the nutritional value and ingredients:
- High protein
- High fiber
- Low carb
- Low calorie
- Low added sugar
- Low sodium
Select the number of servings you want per meal and the number of meal recipes, and you’re good to go!
The meals contain seasonal and organic ingredients, backed up with nutrition facts, ingredient lists, and other helpful information. This allows you to make an informed decision about the type of meals you want to add to your cart.
Additionally, you get to choose add-ons like breakfast, light lunches, pasta, sauces, snacks, and proteins for your order.
Speaking of diets, Sunbasket serves organic ingredients wherever possible. Protein items like beef, salmon, and ham are free from antibiotics, hormones, and preservatives.
Why Pick the Alternatives?
For low-calorie, macro-balanced meals: Trifecta Nutrition meals are preportioned and pre-prepared. But it looks like they go the extra mile to ensure that every meal suits a well-balanced diet, with a focus on reducing the total number of calories you consume, containing 350 to 500 calories per meal.
For gluten-free meals: Fresh N Lean serves ready-made meals with organic ingredients, all prepared in a gluten-free kitchen facility. If you have a severe gluten allergy, then this is the best option for you. It does not process gluten at all, and you’ll also find some meals that are dairy-free. Plus, they have a completely plant-based diet menu.
For restaurant-quality meals: Factor provides restaurant-grade, “Gourmet Plus” meals that are fresh and already prepared. These include dishes that are certainly much less expensive than those served at high-end restaurants, for example, Cajun-Spiced Salmon & Shrimp and Greek Feta Filet Mignon.
For meal kits and premade meals: Sunbasket has more meal kit options than prepared meals. Main course meals like dinners are meal kits, while smaller bites like breakfast, lunches, snacks, and desserts are premade and packaged.
Why Choose Meal Delivery Services Like Factor?
For Meal Plans
With subscription-based meal delivery services, you get the wonderful opportunity to select a meal plan in sync with your dietary preferences, for example, low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein, keto, paleo, and other such common and popular diet plans.
For Affordable Meals That Are Conveniently Delivered
When you sign up and place a weekly order, the price per serving of every meal added to your order is far more budget-friendly than eating out.
Plus, delivery day and time can be adjusted; hence, it is flexible to suit your schedule.
For Prepared Meals
Meal delivery services like Factor are a great choice if you want premade meals, so you meet no hassles of meal planning, meal prepping, and the like. Heating instructions are provided, which implies that you only have to heat and eat these meals, and this shouldn’t take more than 5–7 minutes.
For Flavor Variety and Freshness
High-quality, fresh ingredients are included; companies like Factor make sure of that.
At the same time, delicious flavors are infused by culinary experts in charge of designing the menu and meals. So, you will be introducing plenty of new cuisines and dishes to your palette.
For High Nutrition
These are all nourishing meals mostly recommended by professional nutritionists and dietitians. The nutritional values are backed by science. Each meal contains a rainbow of vegetables and fruits while also including high-quality whole foods and lean proteins.
Furthermore, the meals have very little to no refined sugars, GMOs, preservatives, antibiotics, hormones, etc.
Wrapping It Up
Satisfying portion sizes, well-balanced nutrition, low-calorie count, meals that fit into diabetes and weight loss diet plans, and, on top of that, an extremely useful app that lets you track meals, water intake, physical activity, and your overall weight loss journey – what more could you ask for?
Well, don’t let the benefits sway you into believing that Nutrisystem is a flawless meal delivery service. It may be one of the best meal delivery services, no doubt about that, but it still has a few setbacks.
So, if you’re not okay with the lack of meal customization or the lack of a greater variety of gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian meals, pick one of the Nutrisystem alternatives also discussed in this article.
Nutrisystem meals are highly processed as well since they’re prepackaged meals. Plus, there’s nothing for vegans here either. In that case, you have many reasons to choose an alternative!