I recently received an email which asked me if just eating healthy choice meals would be as effective as being on the nutrisystem diet. I only have experience with one of these, but I suspect that the answer to this question would be no. The reason for this is that the healthy choice meals sometimes contain more calories, carbs, fats, and sugars. I suspect that you might have a problem getting into fat burning mode (or ketosis) by taking in too much of these. To help to show how this could happen, I will compare a nutrisystem meal with a healthy choice meal in the following article.
For the purposes of comparing similar foods, I’m going to be using an Italian chicken meal on both plans. First up, I’ll look at look at healthy choice’s chicken fettuccine alfredo. This meal contains 290 calories, 6 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates,16 grams of sugars, and 16 grams of proteins. The calorie, fat, carb, and sugar content are all higher than I would like for my own goals, but everyone is different.
Now, let’s look at nutrisystem’s 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.
The thing that jumps out at me right away is that there are 160 more calories, 4 more grams of fat, 23 more carbohydrates, 9 more sugars, and 6 grams less of protein in one of these entrees. These overages can, in my opinion, make a good deal of difference in the results that you see. Admittedly, the healthy choice meal has more protein, but the much higher amount of carbs might run counter to this. And, the carb to protein ratio is more favorable in the nutrisystem meal.
Keep in mind too that you are going to eat three meals and one dessert and snack on one of these diets. If every meal had this kind of deficit, these numbers would most certainly add up. Also, I could not find any breakfast entrees from healthy choice. So, you would either be on your own here or would have to use the company’s bread for toast.
That’s not to say that either option is a bad one. But when you diet, every calorie and every gram of carbs, protein, and sugars matter quite a bit. One of these lines has quite a bit more than the other and if this was calculated over a week’s worth of meals, it looks to me like the difference could be quite significant so that the results would likely vary as well. This could be especially true if you’re going to be relying on taking in less carbs as well as less calories in the hopes of getting into the ketosis so that you could be burning fat rather than carbs.