Your question was: How to stay motivated on Nutrisystem?.
Are you having cravings because you are hungry? Or just cravings? If you're hungry, then perhaps we need to look at what you are eating and when and help you find better, more filling/satisfying add-ins to stave off the hunger.
The more you feed into your cravings and go off plan, the harder it is for you to get back on. Plain and simple. Your body went through detox when you first started the program. Continuing to give in and eating things off plan, especially things like bread and other junk food that is not low glycemic, likely loaded with fats and sugars is only going to make you crave the junk more. You need to stop eating those things and break your body of it's cravings. Brush your teeth, rinse with mouthwash, have a glass of water, drink a cup of peppermint tea (supposed to help with hunger).
Step one of that would be to not feed the cravings...
Thanks Jlong. I know you weren't talking to me, but you spoke to me.
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that we're doing this for us and us alone. Well, and the people that have to look at us on the beach!!..
I look at my motivation every day- my 8 month old son. I need to lose weight so I can be healthy. Obese people have much shorter life expectancies and I don't want to miss even one day with him- that tastes better than anything I could possibly eat..
You really have to want to lose weight NOW, more than anything else. Temptations are out there so to be strong enough to resist them, you have to be ready..
I agree with the other posters- if you keep giving in to these cravings your body will never detox from them and you'll continue to struggle. If you stay focused for a couple of weeks, you may find yourself craving things much less...
One of the best things about Nutrisystem (for me) is that there are equivalents to the foods I may crave. This was especially important when I was first starting out. It is easier and easier to pass on the cupcakes, donuts and cookies that people are always bringing in to work because I know I can go home and have an Nutrisystem chocolate cake for dessert. M & M's and chips in the vending machine? No problem, I'll have Rainbow Delights and BBQ Soy Chips instead. Friday pizza lunches? I bring a pasta lunch over veggies and others want to know what I am eating because it looks so good!.
I find that drinking lots of water, not watching what others eat and focusing on the changes I want to make help me get past my cravings. You can do it also!! Good luck!..
Thanks everyone for your replies! I think you're ALL right. The reason I decided to take action on my weight loss NOW is because diabetes runs in my family. My father, who was always overweight, was diagnosed with it in his 60s. I just turned 30 earlier this year and it was kind of a wake-up call for me that I'm not getting any younger and it was time to change my habits. I wouldn't mind looking better too, but the PRIMARY reason I'm doing this is to try to avoid the health complications that are awaiting me in 20 or 30 years. My father's side of the family was all overweight, many of them dangerously so, and they all had serious health complications.
I don't want that to be me, not if I have a choice..
Actually, yes, it is typically because I'm hungry. I can usually (but not always) talk myself out of it if it's just a craving. I have some concerns that the women's plan might not actually be adequate for me because I'm a little taller even than the average MAN, let alone the average woman.
I did call a couple of weeks ago and talk to a counselor, who had me leave a message for one of the registered nurses. At the time, I was having some problems with dizziness when I would stick to the plan solidly for 2-3 days. The nurse I spoke to suggested that, even though I have about 60 pounds to lose, I might try following the plan as it's written for people with 100+ pounds to lose.
This actually made sense to me, because I know that "need-based cravings" do exist, and primarily what I've been craving is more carbs. However, I've truly been at a loss for how to add in any more carbs healthfully and without adding too much more time to meal prep (and the ease of meal prep is the main reason I chose Nutrisystem out of all the diets out there). I'm also afraid that my progress will slow to a halt if I really do try this suggestion.
I read through the guide for what kinds of carbs to use, but I found it a bit confusing. How small is small? Is multigrain white still considered multigrain? What about instant foods like instant rice, instant oatmeal, instant couscous? Are they okay to use? Fruit, vegetable, and protein add-ins made much more sense to me!..
I just want to add - sometimes, thirst is disguised as hunger. Are you drinking "at least" 64 oz of water each day, throughout the day? I try to drink between 75 and 100 oz per day..
My biggest motivator for staying on plan was the $$$! I'm a bit of a cheapskate and hate to waste money. Spending $300/month on Nutrisystem food only to sabotage my efforts was counter-productive to my weight-loss goal, but, more importantly, my wallet!.
Best of luck to you! YOU CAN DO THIS!!.
Stick with whole grain breads and pastas (the first item in the ingredients should read whole wheat flour or oats, etc.) and read the labels for your choices and compare to the Nutrisystem standard for a Low-Gi Carb:.
Low-GI Carb Serving = 15 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. protein, trace of fat (3g or less), 80 - 120 calories.
Mission Low-Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla has 12 g carbs (8 g. dietary fiber), 3 g. protein, 2 g. fat and 80 calories - so one would fit into your plan if you are adding one carb to your meal...
I get the carb add ins because I have a lot to lose and I agree that some of the stuff is confusing! I usually use bread that fits the stats the last poster gave or I use canned beans or peas. Get the low/no salt if you can or rinse them off to get rid of some of the salt but they are an easy add in!.
The fruit can be confusing too, I don't worry that much about it being exact and if all else fails used canned in juice or sweetened with splenda..
If you are worried about the extra add ins you can just add them in on days you are hungry, or add one at a time and see if makes a difference in your loss..
Hang in there, the more you stick to it the easier it gets..and drink your water!..
That helps a TON! I looked through all of the materials I received from Nutrisystem and through the website as well, and I'm not sure where this information is listed? I would really like to be able to review these guidelines for all of the different types of add-ins so I can make good choices when I'm shopping..
Also, I have added some of the fiber mix-ins to my next order in the hopes that it might help too. I am drinking quite a bit of diet soda, but I'm trying to scale that back a little in favor of more water. I think I'm more addicted to soft drinks than anything else...
The diet soda could be part of your problem. Tell youself you have to drink a certain amount of water 32oz maybe before you can have any soda. They say that the sweetner in the sodas can make you crave food because the sweetness in it makes you body expect more calories than it gets from the soda so it is looking for more. If you are drinking ones with caffeine then you could be a little dehydrated which can make you feel hungry when you are thirsty...
Do you always get everything you want? Why dissect the craving? Why not just say "NO" to yourself (or, as we used to refer to it on another weight loss program's board, your inner brat who keeps demanding these things). It sounds to me like you're giving these cravings (and your inner brat) too much power.
The more you say no, the more it becomes a habit and the more you are in control instead of your cravings...
Very well said, Robin, that's what I was thinking (but more elliquent).
Basically, here's my 2 cents:.
If you're REALLY HONESTLY hungry.....eat more good things. unlimited veggies, drink water, even fruit..
But, my guess is that it's a craving.
It's not easy. It's really really freakin' hard. But, you CAN do this. you CAN say no. Read the post of "Food is not the boss of me" recently listed, it's awesome..
We're here for the support..
You shouldn't be hungry on this diet. There are plenty of ways to bulk up your foods and choose foods that are more filling/satisfying. Please list out what you eat for a couple of days, including portion sizes and what approx times you are eating. That way we can give you some suggestions on changes to make. You may find some helpful tips here..
You have the stats now for a low GI carb serving. Whole wheat couscous, brown rice and quinoa are excellent carb options. You can cook up a few servings ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a few days...
Sure, I'd be more than happy to list out a typical day for me on the plan. I would welcome any suggestions, especially for vegetables. I have to tell you one thing though: I currently wear orthodontic braces, so some of my vegetable choices are just a wee bit limited. I can't really eat anything that is overly "solid" like carrots and celery, unless it's chopped into tiny pieces. I also cannot eat whole nuts. I can more or less eat most other things though.
(By the way, that link had some very useful suggestions, like breaking up meals over the course of an hour or so instead of eating them all at once. I will have to try that!).
Breakfast (Can vary depending on my work schedule, between 7:30 and 9:00AM):.
NS entree, usually a bar or muffin, sometimes I have pancakes on the weekend.
For protein, I usually do 1/4c of nonfat cottage cheese or nonfat yogurt. Sometimes I'll have an egg on the weekend..
Fruit can literally be whatever struck my fancy that day. Some typical breakfast choices for me include banana, orange, strawberries, kiwi, some fresh pineapple, or a mango..
Lunch (between 11:00PM and 12:00noon):.
NS entree. I don't really care for the lunch pastas, but I love the potatoes, the chocolate bars, some of the soups, and yes, the tuna salad.
For vegetables, I eat a large salad. Usually 2-3 cups of mixed veggies, mostly lettuce (I chop up a mix of iceberg, romaine, and red or green leaf) but also whatever else I felt like tossing in, some of my favorites are broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers of any color, chopped celery and carrots, and radishes. I'll top it with 2 tbsp of either fat-free or light dressing. When I use light dressing, I use it only once that day and count it as my fat serving..
For protein, I take a couple of slices of turkey or chicken from the deli and cut it up to add into the salad..
Snack (typically 3:00PM):.
Fruit, once again, is whatever strikes me that day. Typical snack fruits would be an apple, orange, pear, peach, two plums, some strawberries...
I either have a fat-free yogurt if I didn't have one at breakfast, or a piece of lowfat string cheese.
Dinner (between 6:00 and 7:00PM:.
NS entree, varies quite a bit, my personal favorites are the hamburger, the italian flatbread pizza, the spaghetti, the chili, and yes, the sloppy joe (but I jazz it up with taco seasoning and top it with a little nonfat sour cream and some salsa).
I have another large salad, this one NOT topped with chicken/turkey, but otherwise identical to the lunch salad. If I used fat-free dressing at lunch, I will use light dressing at dinner, unless I'm eating a burger or chicken sandwich and want to put a little mayonnaise on it for my fat serving. Then I'll use fat-free at both lunch and dinner on my salad..
For fruit, I either seperately eat a piece of fruit, or sometimes I will toss some grapes, chopped-up/pitted cherries, or a chopped up pear onto my salad and top it with fat-free poppyseed dressing or light raspberry & walnut dressing..
I usually eat my Nutrisystem dessert right after dinner because I want to stop eating a couple of hours before bed..
When I usually get REALLY hungry is between lunch and snack. Occasionally I get hungry between snack and dinner. I rarely, if ever, get hungry between breakfast and lunch or after dinner..
I also want to take a second to thank everyone for your help and support so far. You guys are all great!..
One other thing I wanted to add, but forgot...
There are two reasons I eat salad for pretty much all of my vegetable servings. One reason is that I really, really like salad. But the other is that I'm kind of dumb when it comes to cooking. I grew up in a household where we pretty much ate junk food all the time, and I never really learned to be very creative in the kitchen. So I don't really know HOW to cook vegetables properly or what kinds of vegetables would taste good prepared in what ways. I'm more than willing to learn! I've done some checking online for vegetable recipes, but unfortunately, a lot of websites claim to have "healthy" recipes and they're really far from it, so I'm having a lot of trouble weeding out the garbage and finding stuff that I can eat on the program...
The food talks and tips forum and recipes forum will give you lots of veggie ideas and new ways to prepare them.
There is a lot of help on the boards here for veggie ideas. Roasting is easy and fast, so I highly recommend it. I would also suggest something more filling than string cheese with your afternoon snack. And there's no need to eat your dessert early (in fact, it's not recommended that you eat it with dinner; it's meant to be a separate meal)..
So that said, if you find yourself OK and not hungry after dinner, why not move your dessert to the afternoon and have TWO snacks between lunch and dinner? I also found it helpful to have a big salad for lunch (bigger than yours, actually; I'll eat an entire bagged salad at once), and then to have my Nutrisystem lunch (either the potatoes or a bar or something) an hour or so later. By then, it's not long till snacktime...
WOW! That is honestly the most amazing suggestion (moving dessert to the afternoon), and I feel like such a dork for not thinking of it!! I am trying that starting tomorrow!! Thanks so much!.
I'll keep poking around the forum to see what I can find for vegetable preparation ideas...
LOL. Any time. And roast some broccoli or green beans. It's simple to do and SO delicious. If you search, you should find multiple threads with directions (if not, come back here)...
Also make sure you are drinking plenty of water througout the day...
Definitey search out the recipe threads and try roasting vegetables. Asparagus, green beans, peppers (roasted peppers are great on a salad too), onions, brussel sprouts (trust me I never ate these things either) etc. are all great roasted. The high heat brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables. Now with summer here I love to grill my vegetables. On the weekend I try to cook some extra up and then toss them on my salads during the week.
The frozen steamers bags of vegetables (no sauce) are easy and quick. While they aren't my favorite now that I like to grill and roast veggies, they are convenient and work great when you want to add them to the meals or don't have the time to prep vegetables. Pop in the microwave and then add broccoli or cauliflower to the soups. It helps stretch the soups and bulk them up...
I've read where diet soda causes carb cravings. You would do best to try to cut those way down..
Additionally....if you are hungry you might not be getting in enough protein in your protein servings. You can have up to 100 calories, with no more than 3 grams of fat and AT LEAST 7 grams of protein. Take a look at your usual protein servings and determine if you need to up them a bit...
The following information was collected by various members:.
Carbs = anything 120 calories or less, but try to stay around 90-100 cals if possible.
Fats = around 45 calories per serving.
Fruits = around 60 calories per serving.
Dairy/Protein = anything with at least 7g of protein 3g or less of fat and 100 calories or less per svg.
Veggies = about 20 cal/svg 1/2 cup cooked to 1 cup raw.
NOTE: one 8oz svg of yogurt per day with 100-120 cal is OK.
Free Foods = A food that is 20 calories or less... You can add 2-3 free foods to your meal plan.
If you are preparing your own food here are the average values of the Advanced foods as of 4/13/10 (Thanks to m2marsh (Michelle):.
Summary of Nutrisystem Entre Nutrition Stats.
Breakfast Entrees range in calorie from 120-200. Average calories are 161.4. Fat ranges from 0-7 grams. Carb ranges from 9-37 grams. Protein ranges from 6-14 grams. Sodium ranges from 80-330 mg..
Lunch Entrees range in calorie from 110-220. Average calories are 172.9. Fat ranges from 1-10 grams. Carb ranges from 7-40 grams. Protein ranges from 7.4-15.4 grams. Sodium ranges from 130-610 mg..
Dinner Entrees range in calorie from 150-304. Average calories are 234.6. Fat ranges from 2-10 grams. Carb ranges from 15.3-45.3 grams. Protein ranges from 10-24 grams. Sodium ranges from 360-843 mg..
Dessert Entrees range in calorie from 110-180. Average calories are 146.3. Fat ranges from 1.5-9 grams. Carb ranges from 5-25 grams. Protein ranges from 5-12 grams. Sodium ranges from 20-340 mg..
These are calories for the entrees only! You would still add the appropriate protein, veggie, fruit, and/or fat servings..
Daily with additions average: 1200 calories, 80 grams of protein, 160 gram of carbs and 27 grams of fat. Fiber averages 20-30 grams. The recommendation for sugar is no more than 10% of your total calories. (Note: These are the stats for women with under 100 pounds to lose and under 60 years old.).
1 gram of carb = 4 calories.
1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
1 gram of protein = 4 calories.
From posts of info received directly from Nutrisystem counselors:.
1 Vegetable Serving = 5 g. carbohydrates, 2 g. protein, 25 calories.
1 Fruit Serving = 15 g. carbohydrates, 60 calories.
1 Low-GI Carb Serving = 15 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. protein, trace of fat (3g or less), 80 - 120 calories.
1 Fat Serving = 5 g. fat, 45 calories.
1 Protein (meat) = 7 Grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 55 100 calories.
1 Dairy Serving = 12 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. protein, a trace of fat (3g or less), 120 calories.
This was posted by the Dietitians on the Ask the Dietitians Forum:.
Here are the stats for the Nutrisystem Women's weight loss plan but they are just an FYI, you don't have to worry over counting to make sure you meet these numbers if you just follow the plan you will fall with in range..
Carbs* 180g (55%).
Protein* 80g (25%).
Fat* 23g (20%).
Cholesterol* < 100mg.
*= approximate values depending on your choice of entrees and grocery additions for that day..
Fat servings average 45 calories and 5 grams of fat..
Fruit servings average 60 calories..
Vegetable servings average 25 calories..
Dairy/Protein servings range from 40 to 80 calories (can go up to 100), with at least 7 grams of protein and no more than 3 grams of fat..
Yogurt calories can be as high as 120, 8 oz, 8 grams of protein..
The roll for the Hamburger and Chicken Fillet can have up to 120 calories. It should be wholegrain..
The information listed below will help you to stay on track even though you are not eating the NutriSystem Entrees. When following these guidelines, still adhere to the grocery food additions listed in your meal planner. Below are some examples to give you an idea of certain meals. Please feel free to cater food choices to your preferences.
Breakfast Example of Breakfast.
2 Protein/Dairy 2 eggs.
1 Fruit 1 small apple.
1 Carbohydrate 1 slice rye toast.
2 Protein Servings Grilled chicken (2 ounces).
1 Salad Small dinner salad.
2 Carbohydrates 2/3 cup Brown rice.
1 Fat 1 tsp olive oil.
1 Fruit 1 1/4 cup strawberries.
1 Dairy 8 oz light yogurt.
3 Proteins 6 ounces of shell fish.
2 Vegetables Serving Mixed vegetable medley.
2 Fats 5 olives in your salad.
1 Carbohydrate Smaller dinner roll.
1 Salad Salad.
1 Dairy 8 ounce glass of milk.
1 Fruit 1 cup raspberrie.
The NutriSystem Counseling Team.
Here's my 2 cents. What works for me might not work for you, or anyone else for that matter. It's kind of like the food. You said some of your favorites were some of the most hated..
Since I can remember, at least 15 yrs. old, I liked sweets and quantity-preferably a quantity of sweets ..
For years I tried to fight both of these, having some form of success for varied periods of time. The problem with 'diets' is they don't end. You don't graduate, cross the finish line, or get to the end. I think that's why so many people gain the weight back is b/c they lose their weight and say, "I did it. I'm done!" Or they give up in the middle saying, " I can't make it, it's just too hard.".
Okay, with my philosophy out of the way, here is how I satisfy the 2 things that have plagued me most of my life..
I found a program that works if you work it, i.e. NS..
I tend to make most things sweet, and chocolatey whenever possible..
For example. Several mornings a week I have 3 egg whites w/ 1t. each of water, vanilla, cinnamon and a packet of splenda. I mix it up, dump it in a small omellet pan, empty the dishwasher or figure out dinner, flip it, do another task, and then plop it on a plate. I eat it with my hands. It tastes like french toast..
Whenever I have my Fage or Carbmasters yogurt, I add in either a T of the 10cal. Hersheys Cocoa and/or squirts of the sf Da Vinci or Torani syrups..
To satisfy the quantity part of my personality, I eat 2 HUGE chopped salads a day. I chop them in the Ninja, which is definitely chopped enough for braces. It takes me about 30 min. to eat, and I am satisfied and full after, but heavy, disgusting, why'd I do that full..
I am stubborn and strong willed, but I had to tailor this program to me..
I love the food and the variety..
The boards are amazing. I have gotten so many ideas from them..
I got the Ninja b/c of the board-thank you, Jen. The crisper, which I haven't used yet, thanks, Deb. Carbmasters, thanks, Pam, and many many other wonderful ideas..
I've been on since 8/22 and have been through weddings, bdays, vacations, etc. and have pretty much stayed 'on plan'. I say pretty much, b/c on vaca, I didn't take a dinner with me so I tried to stay on stats as much as possible w/o a food scale..
I've been at goal since 2/14, but I still basically eat the same..
It's a great blueprint for eating..
Sorry so long...
I know I've already said it, but THANK YOU, THANK YOU everyone for the outpouring of support, help, and suggestions!! I am going to try experimenting with my protein servings. I think you guys are right I bet this is the key to combating my hunger problems. I also think I was probably shorting myself on the amount of the lunch meat I could have put in and still qualified as a protein serving, so I purchased a small food scale last night based on some of the suggestions here..
Those guidelines m2marsh posted are FANTASTIC I really think Nutrisystem should include those clearly printed in the materials. I've really been shorting myself a lot because I use the meal planner through the Nutrisystem website and go by the serving sizes it lists as defaults. (For example, if you put in "nonfat cottage cheese" it kicks back "1/4 cup" as the default size, so that's what I was eating, even though 1/2 cup is still within the guidelines for a protein serving)..
I also agree that there does seem to be a distinct possibility that diet soda is causing a big chunk of my problems. I need to find an alternative, because I just love the fizziness so much. Maybe seltzer water?.
I moved my dessert to the afternoon yesterday. Worked BEAUTIFULLY! Just need to do some more experimenting to figure out the best time to eat it and my snack, because I ended up eating my snack 2 hours after lunch and my dessert 2 hours later, and then I wasn't hungry at dinnertime.
Happy to say I stayed 100% on plan yesterday, and I think moving dessert and eating 1/2c nonfat cottage cheese were two big contributing factors to that. My immediate goal right now is to stay 100% on plan for the whole weekend. I know that may not sound like much, but since I've had so much trouble sticking closely to the plan over the past few weeks, I'm going to take this one or two days at a time for awhile..
By the way, even without sticking 100% to the program most days, I have still lost 10 pounds in about 6 weeks on Nutrisystem So I know this program definitely works!..
Glad to hear things are better! It is truly about finding what tweaks work for you. I do believe diet soda is a big culprit with hunger and I found using crystal light singles in a large bottle of water (my fave is lemon iced tea) helps me to drink so much more water and I really don't even crave soda. Watering down the crystal light makes it go longer and it is just sweet enough. Keep up the good work!!..
I'm so glad things are going better. And 10 pounds in six weeks is fantastic!..
Hi again everyone, I just wanted to check back in with an update. Since posting here and getting some FANTASTIC information from all of you a little over a week ago, I'm happy to say I'm no longer having problems with hunger! I moved dessert up to the afternoon some days, though other days I eat it a couple hours after dinner, just depends on how I'm feeling that afternoon. More importantly though, it turns out that I really NEEDED to max out my protein servings. I am getting probably twice as much protein now as I was getting before (and still staying within the guidelines), and that has made ALL the difference!!.
And I also lost 3 pounds this past week.
So thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for helping me make this plan work!..
That is great, glad to hear you got it worked out and things are going well!..
You're doing great!! Glad these suggestions have worked...I read the whole thread and found myself nodding at all the great tips. I just wanted echo what someone said about string cheese. I like string cheese and was using it as my afternoon protein regularly in the beginning. But as that poster said, it just wasn't cutting it as far as feeling satisfied. My favorite afternoon protein snack is turkey deli lunchmeat (I try to find the one with the least amount of sodium) spread with laughing cow cheese (I count it as a free food...or I'll make sure the stats for the meat AND the cheese fit the protein guidelines) and roll it up. Occasionally, I'll even roll it up with some blanched or pickled asparagus or raw spinach/lettuce. Most of the lunch meats I find let me have 3 slices to fit the guidelines for protein!!! Totally satisfies me!!!!!..
Seltzer or sparkling water is a great substitution for the fizzy drink/soda craving. And it's really refreshing when it's warm out. I've pretty much stopped drinking diet soda (maybe a couple a week) and before I was drinking so much (every meal out, at home etc)...
I've been "dissecting" my cravings in a different way. Rather than thinking about what part of the food is making me crave, I think about why I want it. Mostly, it is habit, emotion, boredome, and love for food. I am able to get past the cravings by thinking about it and breaking it down to the "WHY". Once I get to the "why" of it, I seem to easily get by it. I think to myself, well that's not a good enough reason to slow this effort down.
I have found that is soooo true with the pizzas, hamburgers, chocolate muffins, and peppermint patties. I am just as happy eating them as I am food off plan.
Try to break it down to "why"...
I agree! I just discovered Polar Selzer Vanilla flavor - Yummy!..
These boards have helped me so much- they are like group therapy, each one helping someone..
I've figured out that I crave food when I'm tired out, especially at night when I've eaten all of my food. Cherry tomatoes help me sometimes, but the best thing for me to do is to take a shower which helps me relax and I can't eat there;-).
Before I fall asleep I sometimes plan what I'll eat the next day. Somehow I make it through those bad days..
I agree that more protein really cuts down on hunger...