From Size 24 to Size 4: My Nutrisystem Review and Success Story

By Susan Smoaks

Susan SmokesMy name is Susan, and I am one of the many women who lost weight on Nutrisystem. Before I elaborate on this Nutrisystem review and show you my Nutrisystem before and after photos, let me tell you a little bit about me.  I am a 33-year-old woman.  I am married.  We do not have any children yet.  We do have an adorable lab mix named Samantha that we love and cherish.  We live in North Florida near Tallahassee.  My husband and I moved up here from Gainesville, FL.  The move was quite an adjustment.  Since moving nearly eight years ago we now have an hour commute to and from work each day. 

Friends and people who read this testimony say that this is one of the most interesting Nutrisystem weight loss stories they have read. But let me tell you how it all started and about my Nutrisystem results.

What Led Me to Obesity 

We are fairly busy with working full time and the commute.  Being busy and working so much led to eating a lot of fast food.  We almost always got something from a drive thru on the way home from work.  After getting home neither of us really felt like cooking something for dinner.  So we took the easy way out and got something that was bad for us instead of preparing a healthy meal.  I also ordered a fattening lunch most days too.  I would just take the easy way out and not worry about the effects it was having on my weight and health.

The moment I realized that I wanted to lose weight was when my friends and I were on a camping trip.  We went tubing and I could not get myself into the tube.  My friends and my husband all tried to help me get up on the tube but it was impossible because of my size and lack of upper body strength.  I felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I had let myself get to be so heavy and unable to do the things that I used to enjoy.

Being overweight for such a long period of time left me feeling defeated.  I always knew that if I would just eat less and move more I would lose weight but I never felt motivated to do it.

Starting with Nutrisystem at 260 pounds

Before Nutrisystem

Before Nutrisystem: 260 pounds

In December of 2011 I decided to start using Nutrisystem to lose weight.  Up until that point I had been overweight nearly all of my adult life and much of my childhood too.  I was average weight for about a year in my early twenties when I met my husband.  Once we started dating and we were happy, then the weight crept back up and reached its peak almost a year before I began my weight loss journey with Nutrisystem.  At one point I was over 300 pounds.  I did some dieting and exercise and got down to 260 pounds which was my starting weight for Nutrisystem.

Before receiving my first month of food I began to walk with my husband on the weekends.  At first it was quite a struggle to keep a good pace for an hour.  We worked at it and I got more endurance and strength.  I worked up to walking miles and miles without any trouble at all now.  I also got some workout DVDs and some hand weights to use at home.  When I signed up for Nutrisystem I committed to changing my life once and for all.

Nutrisystem Gave Me The Tools I Needed to Be Successful

Nutrisystem is the only weight loss program I have ever participated in.  I have tried counting calories and that does work for me.  I just never stuck to it long enough to see any significant results.  I have an addictive personality.  Food has been my drug for a long time.  I knew it was going to be difficult to kick the habit but Nutrisystem gave me the tools I needed to be successful. 

My First Box Arrived and I Started Right Away

Some people prefer to have one final binge but I did not. I got my first order just before the Christmas holidays.  I decided to start with my new way of eating and skip overeating on Christmas and New Year’s Day too.  I actually followed the plan as close to 100% as I could for the first few months.  I didn’t allow myself to “cheat” because I know myself and if I “cheat” a little it will lead to totally giving up.  Some people are able to allow some planned indulgences but I am not one of those people. 

First Month – 10 Pounds Gone – Right Away I Noticed an Increase in Energy

One thing I want to emphasize in this Nutrisystem review, is that before Nutrisystem I felt sluggish and tired most of the time.  I do have a very busy schedule and get up super early but there is no reason for me to be tired all the time.  Nutrisystem helped me to increase my fruit and vegetable intake.  I hardly ate any of them before.  Now I have four servings of veggies and at least 2 fruits each day.  I am able to make it through the day without feeling sleepy at all.  I am always able to keep up with friends and family.  I do not get out of breath or tired when we are doing physical activity now.  I haven’t been tubing yet but I am confident that I will be able to lift myself up on top of the tube without any hesitation.

A few months into my weightloss journey I started to get a lot of compliments.  Everyone was noticing the improvement and letting me know that I was looking good.  I was encouraged to keep going with the compliments.  I kept telling people to just wait and see what I looked like when I finally reached my goals.

I lost 1-2 pounds each week

How Successful is Nutrisystem? The first few weeks on Nutrisystem I lost consistently 1-2 pounds per week without reaching a plateau. Actually I continued with that trend all the way through to the end when I reached my goal.  I could lose more weight now if I chose to by following the same plan.  Nutrisystem really does make it easy for you.  They have it all planned out and show you how to be successful when trying to lose weight. 

Nutrisystem suggests you work out each day for 30 minutes

I have followed those guidelines.  I do a DVD each morning before work.  The DVD is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  I do Pilates, Yoga, Fusion, Cardio, Strength Training, Kickboxing, and several other types of workout DVDs.  I like to vary my workout so that I do not get bored doing the same things over and over.

Each morning when I get up I chose what DVD I am going to do and get to work.  I have some stress in my life and exercise is my stress relief. 

How Much Weight Can I Lose on Nutrisystem? I lost over 100 pounds – Nutrisystem Results 

Susan Lost Over 100 lb

After Nutrisystem: 100 pounds lighter

I lost over 100 pounds using Nutrisystem and surprisingly I do not have a lot of hanging extra skin.  My Nutrisystem before and after photo proves that. I attribute that success to my exercise.  I know that the exercise has given me the shape that I have now and the muscles that keep me energetic and healthy. 

NutriSystem, Inc.

Sticking to Nutrisystem was easy

I have read a number of Nutrisystem reviews where people say that Nutrisystem is hard. Honestly it was never hard for me to stick to the Nutrisystem plan. I believe that it was easy for me because of the results that I was seeing.  It’s not hard to stick to the Nutrisystem plan because you are able to choose your meals each day.  You are able to customize the plan to your personal likings and tastes.  I am pleased with the amount of flexibility that Nutrisytem provides.  I like to eat a variety of foods and with Nutrisystem I am able to do that and still lose the weight.  I am an all or nothing person so I was all in with this program and it provided me with the results that kept me motivated to stick with it until I reached my goal and even beyond into maintenance. 

From Size 24 to Size 4 – Is Nutrisystem worth the money?

I started out wearing a size 24 and now I have shorts as small as a 4.  Nutrisystem is worth it. Each week when I stepped on that scale and noted another loss in weight I felt proud.  Having success is very motivational.  I did hit some bumps in the road.  Sometimes life throws us curve balls.  I decided that I wouldn’t let something stop me from doing what I knew was the healthy thing for me to do.  So no matter what happened in my life or at work, I just kept on keeping on.  I like the structure that Nutrisystem provides.  I like eating on schedule.  I like knowing what I am going to eat and when I am going to eat it.  Nutrisystem is perfect for me. It does cost around $10 a day, but they run promotions throughout the year, and right now they have a 40% off discount.

It’s Hard Work. It’s not Magic

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first.  I thought it sounded too good to be true. Nutrisystem commercials seem like the program would be very simple and easy to follow.  I never understood how someone with so much weight to lose like I had could eat the same things as someone with just a few pounds to lose.  It seemed to me that we would need different programs but with Nutrisystem we can both use the same program and still be successful.  Also,I thought that it would be expensive but it’s really less than I used to spend on eating lunch before I started the program.  A typical lunch out costs at least $10 and that’s just one meal. Nutrisystem costs around $10 a day.  Cutting back on eating out and choosing Nutrisystem instead saved me money. 

But the reality of it is that it’s not easy, it is hard work. As other Nutrisystem reviews attest, you have to follow the plan.  You have to exercise.  You have to drink your water.  You have to avoid alcohol.  You have to eat your fruits and veggies.  You have to put in the work and you will see the Nutrisystem results.  It’s not magic.  It’s more scientific.  Calories in versus calories burned.

I like the whole idea of Nutrisystem because with the plan you are still eating regular foods.  You are given the tools you need to succeed and transition back into eating regular foods again once you have reached your goal.

I Know How to Keep My Weight  Off Now

The first few months I had to log what I ate each day.  I also logged the amount of exercise that I did.  Now I am able to do the logging in my head.  I eat more now than I did when I was actively trying to lose weight but I still monitor my weight and if I see it going up I just go back to doing what I did to lose the weight and keep it down where it needs to be.  Weight is going to be a lifelong battle for me.  I am always going to have to exercise and watch what I eat but now I know how to do it.  I know that if I do find myself gaining weight I can lose it again.  I am going to be very attentive to my body and keep watching myself to try and never be overweight again. 

Overall I Lost 108 Pounds

I fluctuate between 105 and 108 pounds lost now.  I went from weighing in at 260 pounds to weighing somewhere around 155.  I have been as low as 151 but it seems to stay right around 155.  I have been maintaining for nearly a year.  It took me right at a year to reach my goal.  I lost 1-2 pounds a week each week the whole time I was following the plan.  I am still amazed at how far I have come. 

When I fold my clothes I have a hard time believing how small my clothes are now.  I wear a Medium size shirt and 6-8 in pants.  I have some small dresses and shorts.  I don’t have to shop in the plus size department anymore.  I can wear clothes for nearly any store.  I used to be limited in where I could shop, but not anymore. 

My Sister Joined, Too

While I was losing weight my sister also joined Nutrisystem.  She lost over 70 pounds and really enjoyed the program as well.  She lost her weight a lot quicker than I did.  She was inspired to join because she saw me losing weight.  My sister is a little older than me and after having two children she felt as though she would never get the baby weight off.  Nutrisystem made it possible for her to get the baby weight off. 

Nutrisystem provides counselors to help you with your plan.  You can call and talk to them when you hit a plateau.  You can also use the forums on the Nutrisystem website to connect with other people using the program.  With Nutrisystem you will never feel as though you are doing this on your own.  You have a whole support system.  They have been around over 40 years and they are here to stay because they really do know what they are doing.  Nutrisystem works and they provide a sure fire way to get the weight off and keep it off.

Nutrisystem is Simple

Nutrisystem is different than the other programs out there before they make it simple.  You just follow their plan and eat their food along with some additional add-ins that you purchase at the grocery store and watch the weight come flying off.  On Nutrisystem you are eating several times a day.  You don’t feel hungry. You don’t feel deprived. 

Review of Nutrisystem foods – Nutrisystem Tips


Nutrisystem Dessert

Nutrisystem allows you to eat a dessert each and every day.  The desserts are really good too.  I love the ice cream sandwiches.  They are absolutely my favorite.  I also enjoy the cookies.

Fresh or Shelf Food

While on the Nutrisystem program I received the shelf stable foods and the fresh frozen foods too.  I love the fresh frozen foods but I also enjoy the shelf stable foods.  There is not a breakfast or dessert that I did not enjoy.  I could eat any of the shelf stable and frozen desserts and breakfasts.  They are all delicious. 

Favorite Breakfasts

Favorite breakfast

My favorite breakfasts are the turkey and egg breakfast sandwich, the breakfast burrito, the muffins, and the peanut butter granola bar. 

Favorite Lunches

Favorite Launch

I enjoyed having the burrito for lunch and the tuna salad was another favorite of mine.  When you eat the tuna salad you get to put it on sandwich thin bread.  I always eat a big green salad with some Nutrisystem approved dressing with my lunch. 

Favorite Dinners

Favorite Dinners 1

Favorite Dinners 2


The dinners were a little trickier for me to find the ones that I liked.  I love the hamburger, the chicken, the pizzas and the spaghetti.  I sauté some veggies and add them to the dinner entrée and that makes them delicious. 

A Typical Day on Nutrisystem

So a typical day on Nutrisystem would go like this.  I get up and exercise for 30 minutes to an hour.  I drink coffee and water after my workout to get my body moving.  Then after a shower I get ready for work and when I get to work I have breakfast.  Breakfast is a protein shake and a breakfast entrée.  Most mornings I would have a muffin with a protein shake.  Super yummy and it doesn’t feel like a diet at all. 

Then mid-morning I would have what they call a power fuel and a smart carb, which is some greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit.  Next I would have my lunch in a few hours. For lunch I would have a big salad with lots of veggies and a low-fat low-calorie dressing.  My favorite dressings are Greek yogurt based and considered a limited extra on the Nutrisystem plan because they are 35 calories per serving.  You can have up to 3 limited extras throughout the day. 

A few more hours after lunch, I would have another power fuel and smart carb.  Typically that would be an apple with peanut butter. 

Finally I would have my dinner with some more veggies and a dessert right before bed.

See how much food you get to eat on the Nutrisystem plan?  You won’t be hungry and you will feel as though you are constantly eating which is a good thing.  It’s good to not feel weak or deprived.  I always saved my dessert as long as possible because looking forward to the dessert helped me stay away from temptations throughout the day.  I work at a fairly large office and there are lots of birthdays and other celebrations.  Each celebration is a temptation that I am able to either resist or give into.  I choose to resist those temptations because I do not like how I feel when I give into them. 

Eating Chocolate

Fudge Graham Bar

Fudge Graham Bar

Nutrisystem gives me chocolate so I can resist other chocolate temptations.  When I am craving chocolate I will have the Fudge Graham Bar for lunch along with a huge salad.  The bar satisfies my cravings and it’s the perfect portion to keep me losing weight and feeling great.  There is always a food selection that will meet your cravings and satisfy your hunger. 

Less Money

With Nutrisystem I just grab my food for the day on the way out the door.  I have it with me so I don’t have to spend any money in the vending machines.  I don’t have to order lunch.  I don’t have to go through the drive thru.  I have everything I need to stay full and satisfy my hunger throughout the day.  The truth is that Nutrisystem is actually less money then I spent on food before I began the program.

Happier, Healthier, with More Energy

Susan healthier and happier

I am so happy that I decided to take the plunge and order Nutrisystem.  It has truly changed my life and I am so grateful that I have found a way to live that I feel happier, healthier and have so much more energy. 

I am so happy that I have lost this weight.  My initial goal was to get to 180 pounds.  I believed that I couldn’t get any smaller than that.  I know 180 pounds is a high number but I am a large frame person and I am 5’9” tall.  I can’t remember a time when I weighed much less than 180.  Once I reached 180 easily I just kept going for another 10 pounds.  I love the way I look and I love the way I feel even more.  Words cannot describe the amount of energy and confidence I have.  I have always been fairly confident but now I feel as if nobody can stop me.  I feel as though I can do anything I put my mind to.  Being overweight had me living a life with lots of limits.  Now I am totally able to do anything I want to do.

I am able to keep the weight off by monitoring my caloric intake as well as continuing to do my daily workouts.  I have become slightly addicted to working out so I wake up and work out each morning.  On the weekends my husband and I walk a lot.  We enjoy the time together and the activity is good for our spirits.  It really is true that being active is good for you mentally as well as physically.  I get on the scale on a regular basis and if I see an increase in weight then I cut back on what I eat to keep the weight off.  Exercise is very important but weight loss is directly related to how much I eat.  If I eat too much I will gain weight.  If I keep my intake monitored I will maintain the weight I am at now.

The sooner you get started the sooner you can be at your goal.  Nutrisystem truly works.  I do not work for them but I do like to help others who are obese like I was become a healthy weight like I did. 

The message I want to give you in this Nutrisystem review is: If I did it, you can do it too.  It’s not going to be easy but it is worth it and it is doable.  You can take control of your body and your life.  You do not have to live in a fat body forever.

NutriSystem, Inc.

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