NutriSystem D Diet Review

nutrisystem-d-logoNutriSystem D is a popular weight loss option for diabetics. Opinions on NutriSystem can vary, as discussed below, but recently there has been a lot of increased positive chatter due to a clinical study, supporting the diet. Our NutriSystem review will go into all the details, but first let’s cover some basics about the plan.

The “D” Plan is what is commonly referred to as a “Meal Delivery Plan.” This means you actually buy the food already prepared from the company. In contrast, other plans provide guidelines and/or menus and you purchase the food at your local grocery store and do all meal preparation.

The D plan is actually a new plan introduced in the spring of 2009 after undergoing a 3 month clinical study at the Temple University School of Medicine. Convenience is the overriding theme for NutriSystem D. There are no calories, points or carbohydrates to count, nor are there any weekly meetings to attend (like Weight Watchers).

NutriSystem and diabetes management are actually covered quiet thoroughly as well by the company. But, does NutriSystem for diabetics really work? Let’s dig a little deeper to see if does and if this diet is right for you.

How Does The Diabetic Version Work?

As alluded to above, all NutriSystem diet plans (D, Silver (over 60), Basic, Vegetarian, etc.) provide pre-prepared meals. Professional dieticians design each plan based on the different nutritional requirements of the particular group. The NutriSystem D plan is based on a low glycemic index concept. Meaning, the foods are chosen based on their characteristics of not overly raising your blood sugar. High fiber and “good” carbohydrates (e.g., whole grain, etc.) are fixtures of the meal plans.As the company points out, this type of diet has been found to better lower A1C levels than other diets (Journal of American Medical Association, 2008).

The company has over 100 meal choices to choose from. If you choose the plan, you will pick your meals for the next 28 days and they will then send you periodic shipments with your meal choices.

You will also have to supplement some of the prepared meals they send you with items such as fresh fruit and vegetables. They provide the grocery shopping list. Obviously, this is as straightforward and easy as most diets get.

Is NutriSystem D Right For You?

Interestingly, the “D” plan is one of the few mass marketed diets that have undergone a Clinical Study to determine its effectiveness. Temple University compared this diet with a typical diabetes support and education diet program for weight loss over a 3 month period.

The results were impressive. NutriSystem D participants:

  • Lost 16x the weight (18lbs on average)
  • Lowered Fasting Blood Glucose Levels 5x greater (149.5 to 115.2 on average)
  • Lowered A1c levels by almost 1 percent.
  • Lowered Total Cholesterol by 20 mg (on average)
  • Lowered Triglycerides by 42 mg (on average)

The comparison group only lost, on average, 1.3lbs. They lowered their A1C levels from 151.4 to 144.

The differences between the two groups is staggering. Think about this:

  • Weight Loss: 1.3 lbs versus 18 lbs
  • A1C Levels: 151.4 to 144 versus 149.5 to 115.2

This is a HUGE difference.

The company also offers 24/7 online and telephone diet counseling, and an extensive article and resource center. For diabetics struggling with weight that are too busy to make complicated recipes, etc., NutriSystem offers a simplified way to watch what they eat.

The diet is designed to help you control hunger pains, through the proper mix of foods and snacks.

Exercise Component:

NutriSystem does not actively require or promote exercise as part of their weight loss and weight maintenance system. However, they do offer free fitness DVD’s as part of membership for those looking to jump start their results. They also encourage fitness as part of an overall healthy lifestyle plan.

What Are The Complaints?

There are always critics in life, this diet is no different. The diet follows a low glycemic index plan that is in harmony with the American Diabetes Association’s diet recommendations. The ADA’s eating guidelines are generally the prevailing view when it comes to the proper diabetic diet.

However, other diet experts claim that a diabetic diet should be lower in carbohydrates, such as the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. Dr. Richard Bernstein is also quite vocal in his opposition regarding this type of diet. If you have had diabetes for any length of time, you will undoubtedly be familiar with this robust and ongoing diabetes diet debate.

The other two biggest NutriSystem D criticisms are that the meals are all pre-packaged, thus not fresh, and the cost of the program can be prohibitive for some members. You will have to purchase fresh vegetables and some other staples on the meal plan. This is by no means the least expensive meal plan, but it is one of the simplest.

Bottom Line

As detailed throughout this site, I believe that a whole foods, plant beased diet is the best way to eat.

Nonetheless, if that diet is not for you, NutriSystem D has proven results and is VERY easy to follow. This “ease of use” quality is the key to why the diet is so wildly popular.

NutriSystem has been providing diet assistance for over 35 years, so the company has a long and reliable track record in the industry.

Again, this diet is best for those who are looking for an easy and convenient way to watch what they eat. Portions are decided for you and cooking is using the microwave or boiling water. As long as you don’t cheat, you should lose weight with this plan and lower your blood sugar.

They have specific plans for men and women.


A 28 day supply of food is $299.95 with free shipping if you take the auto-ship option (pricing will vary depending upon different promotions). Additional discounts are available for longer term usage. Be careful and read the fine print about cancellations. You can’t simply choose the auto-ship program, then drop it after a month without incurring an additional fee.