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Question I have... Is it ok to have unsweetened almond milk on a Nutrisystem diet? Many thanks for any answer. Second question of mine... Hey guys. I've been on the program for just over 3 weeks now and have lost 6 pounds. I also started an excersice program that has me lifting weights 3x per week and cardio on the two off days.

Also, most of the 6 pounds I lost was in the first week, so I am frustrated. Am I not eating enough? I'm really not overly hungry during the day...but. Any thoughts...

asked Apr 21 at 15:16

Austin's gravatar image


Ye, however you might want to make sure and wait for another person here to confirm it as I am not very confident. Better yet, why don't you ask the Nutrisystem guys because they can answer you better...

answered Apr 21 at 16:54

's gravatar image


Hey man. Welcome to NS!!.

Well, I'm not a nutritionist nor an exercise expert, but I will say, and just about everyone else out here will agree that the plan works best if you stick to it 100%. Maybe cut out the beer at least for the first month or two, or five. (Yes, I read your previous post, heh heh.) Believe me, your frustration will fade when you get 100% and start making real progress..

In fact, many here would say, and have said, that going 90% instead of 100 is enough to derail the entire Nutrisystem plan because it's otherwise balanced..

That said, I'm empathize with your situation. Starting the Nutrisystem plan, or any dietary change during Nov/Dec holidays could be much more challenging than trying to gain momentum any other time of the year. But many have done it and the fact you're here and doing this for yourself tells me you can too..

Also, make sure you're taking advantage of the Nutrisystem counselor phone line/email..


answered Apr 21 at 17:07

's gravatar image


How much weight are you trying to lose? If you need to lose over 100plbs, you need to add more food to the diet as the meal planner states. I'd talk with a counselor to see if you need to increase your calorie count seeing as how you're very active in working out. Also make sure you are drinking >8-10 glasses (8oz) of water each day...

answered Apr 21 at 18:01

's gravatar image


If you are lifting you need to check your measurements, you may be changing in dimension and not showing it on the scale. I only walk for exercise and have not done any strength training yet. I will start that kind of program after I hit my goal and begin maintenance..

Drink plenty of water, the more you drink the better off you will be...

answered Apr 21 at 18:10

David's gravatar image


I agree with the others!!! Welcome and enjoy!!! Sticking to the plan is the best way to get good results. The first few pounds are undoubtedly water weight, followed by the actual fat. I run 5 miles a day and I find that I sometimes get tired later in the afternoon. Don't know why that is but.........At any rate be true to yourself and the reasons why you started in the first place...

answered Apr 21 at 18:20

's gravatar image


I agree 100% with the above... I will tell you that I too have been weigh lifting and doing cardio and the weight loss SEEMS to stall. BUT... is it really stalling? I'm not so sure. I can tell you that when you are trying to lose weight and at the same time you are lifting weights it can be a fighting battle. Think about what you are trying to do.

And on the other you are increasing those lbs. with lean muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so you may not see any/little results on the scale. You have a tough call to make as I did. That is, cut back on calories and don't exercise as intensely or increase your calories and keep to your routine.

Speak to a counselor as what you describe is very very similar to what I have experienced and you could be shooting your system into starvation mode..

I do a similar weight lifting and cardio routine pretty intensely. Me and my counselor have increased my calories to 2100 cal./week and guess what? I started losing again. I'm losing slightly slower but at least I'm losing and I can tell you that I'm gaining muscle too. So I'm getting the added benefit of both. Remember that as you gain muscle your muscle will burn calories even at rest... Cardio won't do that for you.

I would look into Tom's PACE thread or HIIT for that IMHO..

It is clear to me the great benefits of becoming leaner and increasing muscle mass as you lose the fat as opposed to just losing fat. There are many on this board who will swear that you don't need to increase muscle mass or will even say don't exercise.

Which to me is foolish. It is known that when we lose weight we also have a tendency to lose muscle as your body will metabolize muscle in the process as well as fat. So, it's sooooo important to at the least maintain the muscle you have or better increase muscle mass. Again, losing weight and gaining muscle fight each other on the scale. So, what I have found is that you should measure yourself (preferably with a spring scale) and log it weekly. Additionally, start focusing on dropping BF% rather than dropping weight.

Lastly, I can tell you that I started with the basic plan and fairly quickly went up to 1800 cals. while on 1800 cals started to slow in terms of weight loss on the scale so I than decided to see if going back to 1500 cals would change anything. I did that for a full month and for that month nothing happened. I lost no scale weight, I measured the same and when I finally got back to the gym I felt like sh*t. Like I said I'm currently at about 2100 cals. and losing at about 1 lb/week.

I hope that in some way it helps. Welcome to NS..


answered Apr 21 at 18:41

's gravatar image


Oh you could measure BF% with a composition scale or a good set of calipers. Good luck and keep us posted...

answered Apr 21 at 20:19

's gravatar image


Thanks guys! I guess I need to get a chart for everyone to see where I am and where I'm going. I started at 196 with an effort to get down to 170. I've lifted before, but always got frustrated by not seeing the scale move, but I want to be a bit more than thin when I reach my goal..

I'm still very committed and only had the one weekend slip due to my obsession with PSU and the Philadelphia Eagles. I'll keep you posted...

answered Apr 21 at 21:12

Evan's gravatar image


Before giving you any advice I would ask you how sedentary you were before you started....I would assume very sedentary like many of us..

If so...then you could simply be overexercising.....simply put your body cannot recover fast enough before you start pounding it again. To go from nothing to 5 days a week is a dramatic change and depending on your age you could simply be overdoing it..

It's hard to say based on the info you have given as we don't know how intense your lifting routine is combined with the cardio. If it's more than moderate then you probably need to add a few calories and depending on your age and current physical condition, you could simply need to ease up a bit until your body adapts..

Being tired is the first sign of overtraining...

answered Apr 21 at 21:26

Everett's gravatar image


I'm 36 years old and I've actually been pretty active for several years, I just eat poorly. In fact, I can run about 4 miles at a time and 50 minutes of cardio is not an issue. My resting heart rate is in the mid 50's. I used to work out just to be able to have the beer and wings on the weekends. Lifting is a little new to me, but I have done it before..

It doesn't help matters that my wife is an Excersice Physiologist and runs our Corporate Fitness Center. She has always preached to me that I need to do more weight training, but I've never gotten so tired in the past. BTW, my wife isn't real fond of my paying $300/month for food she says I can make myself and just portion correctly. I know I can do that, but somehow this helps me mentally right now to stay on track...

answered Apr 21 at 22:21

's gravatar image


My first post..

What I've done in the past is base my success on how my clothes fit rather then how much the scale reads. Let's say you're working out but the scale isn't reflecting any difference. Can you comfortably tighten your belt a notch? Are the shoulders of your favorite shirt a little looser. Hell, did you have to tighten the laces on your shoes? If the answer to those questions is yes then you are losing body fat but more then likely replacing the weight with lean muscle. This is good as you will ultimately slim down is size even if the scale doesn't reflect it..

The other day the local sports radio show had the Denver Broncos trainer on for an interview. They were specifically asking him about weight loss and exercise for the average Joe compared to professional athletes. He was quick to point out that for the average Joe to work out at the same level as a professional athlete is overkill and can be dangerous. He emphasized a minimum of 20 minutes for cardio as this is the point at which the human body stops burning ingested fuel and begins to rely on stored fuel. He said any exercise will work for weight loss as long as one exercises correctly and allows the appropriate amount of recovery time..

Hopefully you break your plateau and reach your goal. I just started the plan and want to lose 40 pounds myself. I've spent way to much time eating Cheetos and Gummi Bears..

Good luck...

answered Apr 21 at 22:59

's gravatar image


If you're fitness is reasonably good then I would agree with Ben....you likely just need some extra calories to help you recover...

answered Apr 21 at 23:26

Brodie's gravatar image


Over and over, those who exercise intensely tend to stall - it's because the plan was created for those who do 30 min/day walking or less. Ben has a lot of experience finding what works - Dave, who lost around 168 and exercises heavily, eats 2200/day and now BEN is losing at 2100. Having low energy (as opposed to being weak) is a good sign that your calories are too low. A box of raisins was recommended on one of the threads (with protein) before/after exercise. I tried it and it does boost your energy level. Keep adding fruit and protein gradually (especially within 30 minutes of training) - until you see the weight start to move - (hopefully down).

It takes a LOT of calories when you train intensively - think of Phelps eating 10,000 kcal per day and he is very lean. One of the ways your body gets enough calories is to break down muscle - so lifting on an overly restricted diet is pointless. Adding protein and fruit won't hurt..

I'm convinced that a good strength training program (I really like push ups, pull ups/abs, and squats) coupled with interval training (see my PACE thread) will make a mush greater difference in your quality of life than just dropping the pounds..

Congratualtions on your decision and your committment to good health. You and BEN can really help those who exercise heavily - find what works to get weight loss with a great reduction in BF%! Please keep posting what you learn!..

answered Apr 21 at 23:53

Joshua's gravatar image


I hear that, as a lifelong PSU and Philly fan. I was actually at the Sixers-Lakers game last night my third day on the Nutrisystem program, so you could consider my beers and food at McFadden's my first official slip-up on the program so far. Didn't show up on the scale this morning, though..

Anyway, water, water, water. Drink it. We're really only taking in around 1500 calories, give or take, so you're going to feel much more tired after working out. I'd probably scale back the workouts slightly until your body adjusts to the decreased caloric intake..

Personally, I picked an awful week to begin the program because I got the flu on Monday, but I'm sticking to it. Once I can resume workouts next week (hopefully), maybe I'll have some better advice. Good luck!..

answered Apr 22 at 00:56

's gravatar image


Okay, even though I really do not understand how it works, I have accepted that a heavy weight-training program can stall out weight loss. I've been hitting the gym hard.


Day and staying well under 1500 cal and have seen my loss almost stop. Still does not make sense - I'm expending a great deal more calories than I was before and taking in less than half of what I used to. I have not been tired or hungry and feel fine. (sore does not count) Oh well, let it go..

On the happy side, I've seen significant muscle growth (actually, feel it, can't see much through the flab yet). I was worried that being 53 precluded muscle growth. Very glad I was wrong about that. Sylvester Stallone, look out!.

So - after my lunch-hour workout today, I drank a 330 cal "Muscle Milk". If that doesn't fix me up, I don't know what will! We'll see! I'm very curious about how this works and not really worried about rate of loss. Just trying to figure it out..


answered Apr 22 at 01:48

Kenneth's gravatar image


Interesting posts, thank you all for writing. I have been doing mostly cardio and I am starting with a personal trainer tonight to learn more about hitting weights. Mostly nautilus machines at NYSC, they call it Express line. I believe you do 10 minutes cardio and then 6 machines to work out the whole body. I think they have sister clubs in philly. As for your wife and the cost tell her to give it a month of really being on the plan and see the results before judging the cost.

From my point of view I am saving money on the food at $11 a day that would normally be lunch in midtown and buying your own food still costs, I have to think close to breakeven, maybe it's $2 day more. Good luck to you! Even if your an Eagle fan..

answered Apr 22 at 03:15

's gravatar image


Glad to hear you are lifting weights... The benefits of gaining muscle while losing weight is great. However, I can tell you that if you work out intense enough you may need to actually raise your callorie count. I am on a 2100 calorie diet now and still don't think I'm getting enough..

I also hear that you are under 1500... why? make sure that you are doing the min. 1500 as per plan and than consult with a counselor on possible additions. You may not be consuming enough and is the reason you could be stalling. again noting like gaining lean muscle mass to boost your metabolism and overall strength..

See also post #7 above and Fittoms Perfect push up thread... it will get you motivated. hope to see you there..


answered Apr 22 at 04:30

's gravatar image


Thanks, Ben. I know you can't go by day-to-day scale readings, but since adding the calories yesterday (from approx 1500 to approx 1900), I dropped 1.5 lbs in one day. This is too weird. It's possible it's just random "noise", but I'm going to continue for now with daily workouts and adding the extra proteins and fruit to see what happens..



answered Apr 22 at 05:19

Cesar's gravatar image


I just charted out my calorie intake and exercise burn for the past few months. I found that when I average around 1400 cals per day with 30 -35 minutes of walking I tend to lose double (4lb avg) what I lose taking in 1300 cals and spending 40-45 minutes walking (2lb avg)..

Then I re-read Tom's post on this thread and realized that Tom is wise, listen to Tom..

answered Apr 22 at 06:42

's gravatar image


The only thing this post really shows is that we are ALL different. What might work for one, will not work for another..

The real value is to pay attention to your body and log what you eat religiously until you know what you are doing. Then you can make minor tweaks, measure the results and react accordingly..

Nutrisystem is a great all purpose plan for someone who is lost, but it's not infallible and it won't work for everyone as is...that's why they have options, counselors, etc...

answered Apr 22 at 08:07

's gravatar image


Very cool...I'm glad that it's moving for you..

Think about whats happening. NS's 1500 calories is bare min. calories designed for a male that is doing a max. of low to moderate exercise for 30 min. max. 3 days/wk.

Your body may actually go into starvation mode saving all ingested calories and storing them. Additionally, when working out with weights the added benefit is that the muscles that you gain will burn calories even at rest which again puts added strain on calorie count in the body. Also, muscle recovery uses alot of resourses in the body. Again an added benefit to weight training. Bottom line...

The best thing you can do is start measuring BF% rather than just scale weight. This can be gone with calipers or a composition scale. You should also measure once a week and keep track that way also. Hope that helped.

Keep up the great work,.


answered Apr 22 at 09:30

's gravatar image


Another update - in the past week, I've lost 3 lbs. 2.5 of those came off in the last 2 days after adding about 500 cal to my diet. Mostly protein - 2 extra Nutrisystem spec protein servings and a big hit of protein and some fat and carb in the 330 cal "Muscle Milk" drink I'm buying at my gym after my workouts..

So - thanks for the tip, guys. I would NEVER have thought I had to add calories to lose weight..

Just finished week 4. Hit my personal goal of 20 lbs in the first month! Very thankful for the last 2-day loss. Got a ways to go, but am thrilled with the program..


answered Apr 22 at 09:58

Edward's gravatar image


This thread has been helpful. I do 50 minutes on the elliptical 5-6 days per week with a nice walk on day 7. I lift 3 times per week. I have added some extra protein and fruit on lifting days since the beginning of the program at the suggestion of a counselor when I signed up, and am averaging around 2000 cal/day. I have noticed that my weight loss has slowed to 1 pound per week over the past 4-5 weeks, and I probably need more calories. According to the Nutrisystem activity charts, I am burning 900-1000 cal per day..

Ben, you seem to be doing this much exercise. Is this your experience?..

answered Apr 22 at 10:17

Caiden's gravatar image


I don't have any idea, fixbones. I'm just experimenting. You might try something radical and see if it works. Either drop your cals back to NS's 1500or add a few hundred more via protein drink or something and see what happens. I'm thinking things are alot like the Hammer wrote - we're all different and have to find out what works best for ourselves..

I dunno guys, but I'm 3 for 3 so far. Each day I've done the 330 cal Muscle Milk from the gym plus 2 extra Nutrisystem proteins, I've lost 1 lb or more the next morning. Calorie count is still well under 2000. Today was day 4 and I'll see tomorrow morning if this non-sensical, but very gratifying trend continues..

The flavor I like is their banana flavor. So.... I'm drinking.

"Banana Muscle Milk".

Every day..

Dare me to post on the "How to eat a banana thread".


answered Apr 22 at 11:25

's gravatar image


I'm really glad we're getting some good experimentation from guys that are doing more intense exercise. Keep up the good work and keep us posted. I'm more convinced than ever that there is a 300-400 calorie window where we'll lose according to the calorie deficit - below or above it just doesn't work...

answered Apr 22 at 12:22

's gravatar image


I am having a hard time figuring out how the "calories burned" calculation on the website translates into additional food. As I mentioned, I will add some additional protein at lunch, but am still losing at a slower rate than when I was heavier and burning fewer calories working out. On the other hand, I am not having strength or endurance issues in the gym. Too bad the 1000 cal I supposedly burned in the gym today don't translate into a steak!.

Thanks for the posts...

answered Apr 22 at 12:49

's gravatar image


I hope it's ok to be reading hereI came by because we're having the same exact discussion on the other side, where the women post. There is a split between a large faction of women who think you must follow the plan exactly as written and another group of us who lift weights/are taller/are younger/have higher metabolisms. Some of us who have called the counselors are adding foods (read: calories) recommended by the counselors and having more success. But you wouldn't believe the backlash from other women on the forums. It makes me feel like my weight loss experience is more like the guys here..

Congratulations to all the successful people in this forumI'll try to be invisible...

answered Apr 22 at 13:04

's gravatar image


Yeah...well there are a number in this forum that will tell you that using weights in not a good idea on NS....that your weight loss will stop..

It's simply not true but it does require you to engage your brain a little bit and make sure your caloric requirements don't fall too low..

You will double or better your "benefits" by lifting or exercising vigorously while losing. I don't mean double the weight loss but you will get in shape. I've seen a lot of people who have lost a lot of weight that are very flabby and still probably aren't all that healthy..

Dave68 is one that, in my opinion, did it perfectly. He dropped a ton and it's obvious he is in GREAT shape now. He's actually got some "guns" poking out of his sleeves..

Now....I should say that everyone's journey is just that...it's THEIR journey so if they do or don't want to lift then that's for them to decide...

answered Apr 22 at 13:43

Aiden's gravatar image


PS....we actually like women posting in this forum...as long as they don't ACT like a woman. If you can relax and kind of go with the sense of humor here then by all means join in, but if you're one of the perpetually uptight....invisible is probably good...

answered Apr 22 at 15:00

's gravatar image


I'm definitely not uptight, so I'll keep reading =o)..

answered Apr 22 at 15:24

Emmanuel's gravatar image


Doesn't it depend on what kind of exercise too?.

Cardio-aerobics burn fat and tone muscle and encourage weight loss..

"Weight lifting" or muscle building actually when done right will add weight to you, which doesn't work at all during weight loss...

answered Apr 22 at 17:03

Kameron's gravatar image


Couldn't be any more wrong....although it is widely believed..

Cardio, depending on how hard you do it can quickly take you right out of the "fat burning" range and into the anaerobic range. If your heart rate gets too high then your body stops using oxygen and fat for fuel and instead switches to other matter, so it suddenly isn't a fat burning exercise at all. Weight lifting can be aerobic or anaerobic, depending on how you tailor your workout..

A muscle building workout, even done correctly, when you are in a negative caloric environment is very, very difficult and bordering impossible depending on who you believe. What you can do, is tone and harden as well as become much stronger. You can also stop the cannibalistic tendency for the body to burn muscle tissue. Sometimes this will slow the "weight" loss and can be misinterpreted as you are gaining muscle mass, but in reality very little if any muscle is actually built. What you have just gets 'harder' and more efficient. Many people who are dieting start peeling fat away from their existing muscle and they think they are growing, but reality is they are usually just "uncovering" what was already there..

Most bodybuilders have a "bulking" phase where they eat and lift, eat and lift and consume far more calories than they need and often gain weight. They are doing this to feed and build muscle. When they feel they have built enough muscle, they will go into the diet stage where they try to burn the fat and lean themselves out without cannibalizing the muscle that they just built. They will lose some, no matter what.....but the trick is to gain more than they lose..

Study after study after study will show that lifting weights the proper way will burn more calories than aerobic exercise and have a more lasting effect on the body, meaning it can actually raise your resting metabolic rate. Which has a lot of obvious benefits and at the end of the day....losing weight is calories in vs calories out. Now that said, lifting weights simply isn't for everyone. If you prefer cardio work then do that. What matters is to find something that you enjoy and will STICK to. If you despise lifting weights but do it because you have to then your committment will probably wain once your goal is achieved..

I prefer riding bicycles to lifting. I do both but if push comes to shove, I am going to go for a 20 or 30 mile ride before I am going to hit the dumbells. It's what works for me and that's what everyone needs to find, is what works for them but I think it's still important that facts be presented so people can make their own choices and lifting weights can absolutely be a definite fat burner...no question about it..

It has a positive effect on your skeletal system and is really one of the best things you can do for your body when it comes to all over fitness...

answered Apr 22 at 18:18

Ahmad's gravatar image


I really enjoy my spin classmy neighbor teaches at our LA fitness.....

answered Apr 22 at 19:00

's gravatar image


I'm convinced the Nutrisystem website calorie counter grossly over-states the calories burned. If I compare the stepper or treadmill machine's calorie burn count for 15 min vs the the Nutrisystem calorie count for that activity for 15 min, the Nutrisystem count is around double. I use "circuit training" for my entry for my approx 1hr workout (stepper, lifting, treadmill, lifting) and if the Nutrisystem calcualtor were accurate, I'm burning 900-1000 cal. I don't believe it, but it's fun to see half my daily calories accounted for..

FWIW, day 4 was a washout. Went to Costco hungry due to not eating when I should have. Bought a 2 lb. rack of BBQ ribs. Ate same. First non-planned deviation, but what's a guy to do?.

Back on program. Back to prior weight. No worries..


answered Apr 22 at 19:19

's gravatar image


I'm still lifting and still losing. My weight loss isn't as fast as I would like, but man are my clothes fitting better...

answered Apr 22 at 20:22

Wesley's gravatar image


Sorry for the late responce... I'm really glad to hear and you are on your way my Friend. The hard part is keeping it consistent. IE both calorie intake and exercise. On some days you may just be more tired and drained and the work out might not be upto par. It happens.

I talk to a great counselor at Nutrisystem and he explained that when not doing intense exercise (especially no weight training) it's common to lose 2 lbs/wk. However, if you incorporate weight lifting it is common to see 1 lb or less/wk. as you are adding muscle weight. which is very good thing. and yes I am burning around 800-1100 cals on my work out days and about 200-300 cals on my off days as I still do basic push ups with the PP and situps and other stuff..

I am starting to see this too Tom... Its true. This is why you have to be as consistent as possible with your routines and caloric intake. Its all about logging it all in. Not sure if any of you do this but I log in my weight lifting reps and sets. Its a must I think in order to really understand when you lose and when you don't because you went over/under that thresh hold.

I gree with hammer on that... I just droped 5 lbs in a week. I attribute it to BOTH weight lifting and cardio. when I did cardio only it worked for a short time and than stalled again. I find when I mix it up I get the best results...

answered Apr 22 at 21:19

Braxton's gravatar image


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