This morning marks one week on the Nutrisystem Men’s Success program and so far, so good. In fact, as the graph below from the cool Withings WS-30 wifi scale shows, I’m down almost 4 pounds already:
In fact, I’m actually down more because the first few days I had problems getting the scale to record its readings on their site and my first weigh-in was actually 267.8, which means I’m down over 6 pounds in a week, but either way, so far, so good, and I’m definitely heading in the right directions.
I do have to admit that the program was a bit intimidating to start with its regimented menus: each meal is a Nutrisystem entree plus a powerfuel plus a smartcarb, but after just a day or two, it’s an easy rhythm to move into and I’m finding that simple and easy works a lot better than trying to mix things up every single day. So a common powerfuel + smartcarb, for example, is a slice of bread with some almond butter on it. Not too hard!
A typical day’s menu might include a breakfast burrito and protein shake (Tip: the choc, vanilla and coffee are all better than the strawberry, and I toss it in the blender with some ice to make a smoothie too), then a mid-morning slice of cheese or piece of fruit, lunch might be cheese tortellini or small pizza with that slice of almond butter bread. Mid afternoon is dessert #1: what I find works well is a bag of tortilla chips, then dinner might be some lasagna, an orange and some brazil nuts. Everything’s sent to you, the portions are preplanned and I’m on an approximately 1300 calorie/day diet.
Hungry? There’s a long list of veggies and fruits you can eat as enthusiastically as you’d like, so my evening snack is a couple of carrots. Easy enough.
And how is the food? Basically, it’s like camping food. Not bad, really, but it’s clearly not going to be the same to have a pizza that’s in a box compared to one that’s from the pizzeria down the street. But really, most of the food’s been surprisingly good and the few rough spots can be covered over with hot sauce in my experience.
The key concepts with Nutrisystem are small portions — and as I’ve been out with friends and watched what they’re eating, I’m staggered at how a typical American meal is 3x or more what someone actually needs to eat — coupled with eating enough every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism working all day, rather than the eat/starve/eat cycles which has been what I ordinarily do.
The hardest part I’ve found is going out for meals with friends. When I’m by myself, I’ll just eat at home or ask a server to pop something in the microwave, but with a group, I have been trying to carefully order off the menu. Seems like it’s proceeding smoothly and for my last meal out I had chicken pho but didn’t actually eat the noodles. So 3-4oz of chicken, lots of broth, and lots of veggies. And tasty too.
Next week is going to be a real test as I’m taking the family on vacation and, yes, planning on basically bringing a spare suitcase with all my Nutrisystem food. A bit awkward and I suspect that I won’t hit that 1300-calorie target every day, but life proceeds regardless, and if I slip and have a corn dog at Universal Studios or something, well, I’ll just course correct the week I’m back and hitting the gym more regularly. 🙂
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