Nutrisystem Protein Tips

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I'm having a rough time fitting in my protein servings. I spend 9 hours a day in an office, and my boyfriend and I have (very) different eating schedules. The kitty is perfectly happy with his Meow Mix, and I just can't figure out what to eat to get in my protein (without wasting food!) I have some LS lunchmeat turkey, but that's quite bland by itself, and doesn't really work into breakfast at the office really well. I don't want to rely too heavily on the dairy, but it's tough! Any tips or food recommendations? I have a fridge in my office, and have access to a microwave and hotpot...

Comments (30)

Your question was: Nutrisystem Protein Tips.

Protein recommendations from NutriSystem Counselors:.

Protein Serving Size Best Option.

Bacon Substitute 2 tbsp.

Beef 1 oz Round, Sirloin, Flank, Tenderloin, Chuck,Steak, Rump, Ground Round- (All Trimmed of Fat).

Buffalo 1 oz.

Calamari 1 oz.

Canadian Bacon 1 oz Note: Sodium content high.

Cheese 1 oz Fat-free or Low fat.

Cheese (Ricotta) 2 tbsp Made with part skim milk..

Cheese (String) 1.

Chicken 1 oz White meat, No skin.

Chicken Wings 1 wing Note: Not Fried.

Clams 2 oz.

Cottage Cheese 1/4 cup Fat-free or Low fat.

Crab 1 oz.

Cream Cheese (Fat Free) 4 tbsp (2 oz).

Deer 1 oz.

Duck 1 oz No skin, Well drained of fat.

Edamame Beans 1/3 cup.

Egg 1.

Egg White 3.

Egg Substitute 1/2 cup.

Fish 1 oz Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Halibut, Trout, Tuna, Lox, Herring, Salmon, Catfish. (No breading.).

Ham 1 oz Fresh or Boiled Ham.

Hot Dogs 1 oz 3 grams of fat or less per ounce.

Imitation Crab meat 2 oz.

Lamb 1 oz Roast, chop, leg.

Lobster 2 oz.

Mussels 2 oz.

Octopus 1 oz.

Ostrich 1 oz.

Oysters 6 med.

Parmesan Cheese (grated) 2 tbsp.

Pheasant 1 oz No skin.

Pork 1 oz Fresh/Boiled Ham,Tenderloin,Loin Chop.Canadian Bacon,Cured,Canned Note: High Sodium.

Protein Shakes View Label 100 calories or less with at least 7-8 grams of protein, Whey or Soy Protein.

Salmon 1 oz Fresh or canned.

Sandwich Meat 1 oz 2 grams of fat or less per ounce.

Sardines (canned) 2 med.

Sausage 1 oz 3 grams or less of fat per ounce. Note: High Sodium.

Scallops 2 oz.

Shrimp 2 oz.

Smart Dogs 2 oz.

Soy Beans 1/3 cup.

Soy nuts 1/4 cup Unsalted is best option..

Squid 1 oz.

Tempe 1/4 cup Note: Medium Fat Meat (Limit).

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) 1/4 cup Note: Medium Fat Meat (Limit).

Tofu 3 oz Note: Medium Fat Meat (Limit).

Tofu Hot Dog 1.

Tuna (canned in water) 1/4 cup.

Turkey 1 oz No skin.

Veal 1 oz Lean Chop, Roast.

Veggie Burgers 2 oz 100 calories or less with at least 7-8 grams of protein.

Venison 1 oz..

Comment #1

I have to go for quick and easy also. Some of my standard protein/dairys:.

- hard-boiled egg (I usually boil several, keep them in the fridge, so they are ready to go). these are great for breakfast or on a salad..

- lowfat string cheese. Great for lunch or with fruit for snack..

- nonfat yogurt.

- nonfat greek yogurt (with my fruit and a little equal or honey).

- diced or shredded cooked chicken (maybe leftover from dinner, or when hubby grills out). I put these in 1 oz portions in baggies in the freezer - ready to grab when needed. Great on salad or to mix in with lunches..

- sometimes I have 8 oz skim milk with my breakfast pastry (yum), but this doesn't usually stay with me as long as a hard-boiled egg..

Hope this helps a little. Obie's list is wonderful and really comprehensive, and I refer to it frequently!! These are just my usual stand-by's.


Comment #2

On Sundays, I usually boil a bunch of eggs and cook/portion into 1 oz pieces some meat like chicken, turkey, etc. We usually keep some containers of greek yogurt, and string cheese on hand also. For me, these are easy grab 'n go items..

I love that list too. I keep one on the fridge, and on Sundays put up a new one with items that we have on hand highlighted. (that just sounded so anal when I typed it out loud, hee). That's to make it easy for DH because he never seems to know what we have. I guess I forget sometimes too by mid week...

Comment #3

Thanks all! Great ideas. Especially the 1 oz baggies on Sunday a brilliant thing! Has anyone tried this with lean hamburger? Have a ton of it left from a get-together and need to eat it!..

Comment #4

Everyone remember the list is for the lean protein or minimum. For the dairy/protein serving you can have up to 100 cals...

Comment #5

If it fits the stats of 100 calories or less, 3g of fat or less and 7g of protein or more, then it can be used for a dairy/protein serving. I'm not sure there are lean hamburgers that fit the stats, but check them out.

Some of the Boca and Morningstar Farms burgers and sausage products fit the stats and I have found some chicken sausages that work too (Bilinski's - I've seen them at Whole Foods, in front of the butcher case and Shoprite, also near the butcher case and not where the other chix sausages are. I forgot to look for them when I was at Whole Foods this week. I hope they still have them. Many of the flavors fit the stats and they are very good, high in protein and much better tasting than many of the other brands). Sometimes I cook a pork tenderloin Sunday night and use it for the week. Turkey bacon, Muscle Milk Lite drinks, etc work too.

Also remember that you can mix and match. 1/2 cup egg beaters and 2 slices of Jennie O Extra Lean turkey bacon, or some turkey and FF cheese. People have gotten very creative with their add-ins.

One of the best treats here is the Mock Rice Pudding made with cottage cheese, splenda and cool whip. Search for the recipe from Amanda...

Comment #6

I am trying to figure this in my head. If it says dairy/protein that can be more than what is on the lean protein list? If I have chicken for my dairy/protein, can I only have 1 oz or more than that?..

Comment #7

When you have the option of either a dairy or a protein, you can have more than the 1 oz of chicken. The protein servings listed in the meal planner and on the website are for "lean protein" servings and follow the FDA and USDA guidelines of 55 cals or less, 3g of fat or less and 7g of protein or more. A dairy serving should be 100 cals or less, 3g of fat or less and 8g of protein or more. So when you have the option of either a dairy or a protein, you can follow the stats of 100 cals or less, 3g of fat or less and 7g of protein or more. So that will give you approx 3 oz of grilled chicken breast (no oil) 3 oz of fish, etc.

The idea is not to max out the calories to 100. You want to get at least the minimum amount of protein in (lean protein will generally give you more protein than dairy, although greek yogurt is packed with protein) for each serving. Protein helps to keep you full, so many of us try to select items with high protein amounts. Days when you are hungry, have an extra ounce or two of chicken instead of the 1 oz and don't worry about it. I don't typically max out all three dairy/protein servings to 100 cals, but generally 2 of the 3 are pretty close...

Comment #8

I agree with losingw8now. I probably over do the protein counts, but it keeps me filled and less hungry.

I haven't figured this totally out, but what I have enjoyed for a protein/dairy is 5 slices of Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Mesquite Turkey Breast - 50 calories and 1 grm. fat, smear three slices with 1/2 LC Herb and Garlic cheese wedge, roll it up, and with the other 2 slices roll it up around the rest of the LC..

It may be a bit over in the fat, but I love it for a quick fix at lunch while my soup is heating. This can also hold me over if I am in a meeting and can't eat the rest of lunch for a few hours..


And the black mini poodles..

Comment #9

I have found too that string cheese, yogurt, and hard boiled eggs are easy grab and go items. I portioned out 1 oz containers of tuna. I bought Smart dogs today, and some soy breakfast sausage. But the counselor told me that it doesnt' fit- not enough calories, and to much sodium. How many grams of sodium does the Morningstar Farms and Boca have?.

2 oz of the soy sauasage I bought has 60 cal. 0 fat, 7 grams of protein and 310 grams of sodium. Its made by the same company that makes Smart Dogs...

Comment #10

What the!!!!.

I've been eating 1 stinkin ounce of chicken! No wonder I'm hungry & get all flustered. Sheesh.

Wait, adding more will increase my calories!.

Ugh, am so tired, will have to revisit this in the morning...

Comment #11

ShrinkerBell, I just have to say, that is like the best name ever!..

Comment #12

Thanks SmartTazz, I'm likin yours too!.

You've got the Smarta$$ and Tazmanian devil all wrapped in one.

High 5 on your weight loss!! I've got a way's to go...

Comment #13

I'm a bit confused as well. I don't have any JUST protein on my meal planner all dairy/protein. I made some one-ounce mini-hamburgers today and cooked them. They are 93/7 so quite lean, but can I have more than one for my lunch/snack dairy/protein?..

Comment #14


I'm too..

I know we have to choose between either a Dairy or Protein, but I never knew we could go over 1oz. of a Protein Serving.

I too made little low-fat, meatballs at 1oz. each and checked them off as 1 Protein Serving. Starving..

I thought the only rule was...Don't go over 100-120 Calories on your yogurt if indeed you do choose a Dairy over a Protien. And to only have 1 of those higher calorie yogurts per day. Otherwise too many calories overall.

Uhh boy. Back to the drawing board. No wonder my scale's giving me attitude...

Comment #15

Thanks, losingw8now, I get the picture. Shrinkerbell, the calories for chicken breast are REALLY low, you won't be adding much for extra ounces...

Comment #16

On some of the plans, and when you flex, there is a difference between dairy and protein. However, in the Women's basic meal plan, you can choose either, which means following the guidelines of 100 cal max, 3 g fat max, and minimum of 7g protein..

You don't have to max out your dairy/protein servings if you're not hungry, but you can go up to the 100 cal max. (up to 120 once a day for yogurt if you choose)...

Comment #17

Yeah, I had trouble with this in the beginning too. Thankfully, I frequent the boards and quickly learned I could eat MORE and still be on plan The extra protein does keep you full longer, and that's a big plus in my book..

LOVE your avatar/name...kindred spirits, I guess!..

Comment #18

Thanks! Yup, kindred spirits...and the same butterfly too cool!..

Comment #19

I, too, was having a lot of trouble with shorting myself on the protein servings. I was eating around one ounce of turkey. Turns out, the type I use (Boar's Head brand meats from my local deli) one ounce is around 30-35 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 6-7 grams of protein. I can go up to 3 ounces and still be within the guidelines! I was also using 1/4 cup of fat-free cottage cheese. Turns out I can go up to 1/2 cup! No wonder I was hungry so much when no one else seemed to be... ha!.

So, armed with the information of what truly constitutes a protein serving, I did some package-label reading. A few people have already mentioned soy sausage. The Boca brand, which is readily available in most large supermarkets, has 70 calories and 3 grams of fat in one serving, which is 2 links. Meanwhile, 1/4 cup of egg beaters contains 30 calories and zero fat. I realized that meant I could have 2 soy sausage links AND 1/4 cup of egg beaters with my pancakes and still be on the program! Let me tell you, that was easily the best Nutrisystem breakfast I've had yet!!..

Comment #20

Hurray! It's so much fun learning new things that make our meals tastier and more filling, huh? Now if you saute' up some onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc and add that to those eggbeaters you'll have even MORE to eat for breakfast LOL Enjoy!!..

Comment #21

This thread has been so informative, I had no idea. They really should mention this in the Meal Planner. I have been under on my daily calories, no wonder...

Comment #22

I'm getting some interesting ideas from reading here. I have been just hammering away with lots of yogurt and egg whites..

Thanks lots!..

Comment #23

Totally unrelated to the thread, Roger, but where did you get the cool 10/20/30 pound animated gifs?.



Comment #24

Here's another newbie that didn't fully understand this either!.

You guys on this site are the most helpful I have *ever* seen!!!!..

Comment #25

Can I make sure that I have this right.....if I have non-NS food for dinner, say, I would be able to have protein, say turkey or other lean protein, that could be up to 300 calories because you get 3 protein servings for dinner?..

Comment #26

No. The 100 calorie rule only applies for an add-in where you have the choice of a dairy or a protein. When you are subbing for a Nutrisystem meal, you need to follow the guidelines for lean proteins which are 55 calories or less, 3g of fat or less and at least 7g of protein. Plan on 3 to 4 oz of lean chicken, turkey, etc. A complete dinner is:.

2 Fat Serving (1 that would be in the Nutrisystem entree, plus the one you add normally).

3 Lean Protein Serving (55 cals, <=3g of fat, >=7g of protein).

1 Salad or Fruit Serving 2 Tbsp. Fat Free Dressing (if desired).

1 Low Glycemic Carbohydrate Serving.

2 Vegetable Serving..

Comment #27

Amy made a lot of bears for us. Look around there are a lot of different kinds..


I just copy and paste them..

Fix so you can copy and paste.

Click ''user preferences'' or ''quick links''.

Then click ''edit options'' and way down at the bottom of the page under miscellaneous options change it to "enhanced interface" and after that you can copy and paste the bears with no problem...

Comment #28

OK, I think I've got it now thanks so much!..

Comment #29

Hey Guys! Thanks very much re: the bear gifs!..

Comment #30

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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