What am I doing wrong on Nutrisystem?

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First question I got is What am I doing wrong on Nutrisystem? Thanks in advance for any answer. Another quick question... So today marks 6 weeks since I re-started the program, and my net loss is 20.6 lbs...not bad. Problem is, that's only 2 lbs down the past 2 weeks. Yeah, of course I know the rate slows as we progress, but clearly my slowdown is self-inflicted, and I'm aggravated with myself (hence this self-rant post to try to shake myself back onto track, and to solicit any input of course)..

My exercise consists of long walks...not as intense as some of the rest of you, but this works for me. Not only are the long walks good (if not intense) exercise, but that's also 2+ hours almost every day (at least 5 days/evenings a week) NOT sitting and thinking about (or doing) eating. Problem is, the past 2 weeks I've had ridiculous carbo-cravings in the evenings, and I've indulged them primarily with Special K cereal, either straight out of the box, or conventionally with skim milk. Obviously a better choice than some other snacks, but still off-program and cumulatively obviously too much..

I've been steadily still losing (slowly), so I'm thinking that 25-30 miles of walking a week is offsetting the extra intake, but this morning I got my rude reality check...2 lb gainback since yesterday morning's weigh-in, and that even after a BABM. Net loss this past week as a result: 0. D@mmit!.

Yeah, of course I know what to do to resolve this...stop the off-program eating, no matter how "innocent". This is precisely what took me off the wagon my first time after I lost 110 lbs 3 yrs ago and then gained 80 of them back. I guess the more pertinent question is: Anyone else get these carbo-cravings, and how are you coping with them? What about long-term? I fear terribly having the same experience as I did last time, and obviously I haven't found a solution to this yet...

Comments (27)

I'm stumped. I'm not so sure what is the answer to that question. I'll do some research and get back to you if I find an decent answer. You should email the people at Nutrisystem as they probably could help you..

Comment #1

I appreciate the input. I think (actually, I'm sure) I'm over-carb'ing. Argh..

As for maintenance, I completely failed the last time; that's how I gained back most of what I lost. Carbs and portion control, very simple. Anyone who thinks that overeaters are any different from alcoholics just doesn't get it...we are pretty much the same beasts, just a different addiction...

Comment #2

Very true. I've been at goal for almost a year now, and really, I start every day like it's day 1. I measure, weigh, and track calories. I'm sure I'm borderline obsessive, but that is what works for me. I stay at 1500-1600 calories, lift 3 days a week, cardio for 2 or 3 days, one pb&j per day (low carb bread) and 5 m&ms. Works for me..

You just have to decide how bad you want it. I still want it really bad. I like being a size 0 better than a 20, that's for certain..


Comment #3

Well Dave, guess we are going to have to beat you with a wet Nutrisystem Noodle to get you back in line. In all seriousness, even though I am just starting my 4th week, I too get those cravings in the evenings, and what I do is go drink another bottle of water, which seems to help calm them down. For some reason for me, the weekends are the hardest days to keep on the plan, and it is a challenge not to raid the pantry looking for "bad goodies". I'm fine during the week, but them weekends.....I think it is old habits coming back, as we use to go out to dinner on Friday nights, have BBQ's on Saturdays, and stuff my face watching some sporting event on TV on Sundays. It's like they say, mind over matter, etc.....

Jen......are those M&M's Peanut or Plain ??? Peanut are my downfall, as I use to chug down one of those supersized baggies afew times a day........

Just keep on the plan Dave, we're all root'n for you.........

Comment #4

Well, they say "it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit", and I'm that much more aggravated that I got into my good habits the first 3-4 weeks and have been slipping again since. I too hit the water (including using the lemonade fiber packets), which helps, but oh those's been rough..

Thanks for the encouragement/empathy.....

Comment #5

Plain m&ms. About 20 cals worth. I did buy the pretzel ones over the weekend, but 3 is a serving. They are good, but different. Salty too..

Dave, just power through. More unlimited veggie. Zucchini is actually really good raw cut up into sticks. Hot coffee, hot tea. Brush your teeth. I never want to eat after that.

The more you indulge, the worse it gets..


Comment #6

I hate raw veggies with every fiber (pardon the pun) of my being, so that's tough. Same with coffee and tea...hate both, always have. I also don't drink alcohol at all...I got fat the old fashioned way: Bad food, lots of carbs ("good" or bad), and too much of it all..

Cooked (and/or grilled) veggies I can manage in limited quantities, if Geo. Foreman grill is my friend. I do eat at least a salad a day if not two, and that helps, but I have to limit that as well because the low-fat feta crumbles, bacos, and the no-fat dressing (all required if I'm going to eat salad at all) still all add cals...gotta manage those..

Couldn't agree more re "the more you indulge the worse it gets"...too true. And I like your other suggestions...

Comment #7

You already know that carb's are bad. Pretty much, period..

They have to be avoided. Substitute fruits or veggies for them. Dig deeper and just say "no".....but one way or another you have to conquer them..

I get them once in awhile but I'm getting pretty good at recognizing them and denying the urge..

If you must have a carbyou still have work to do. Imho, if you "must" have anything you probably have work to do..

One of the most important lessons I've learned on Nutrisystem isn't nutritional data or factsit's that.

"I am in control of every single bite I chooseand I'm equipped to choose well.


THIS is what has made all the difference..


To have a carb isn't a lot better than having to have fast food or delivery pizza or a beer or a cigarretteif you follow my point..

We HAVE to gain control and exercise correct choices in our behavior. End of the day I think that's 90% of the point we all have to learn and overcome..

Just my 2 cents on the topic.


Comment #8

All true, JLong. This thread is part of that therapy...I indeed still have work to do...

Comment #9

Me too, Dave..

I used to munch while reading in the evenings. I still read 2-3 novels per week and it's still a LOT of effort not to go get something..

Recently I was unhappy that the urges were still there so I started (incorrectly) to think I should stop reading for leisurebut I don't WANT to stop reading..

Then I decided I would punish the craving/behavior. When it came up I would force myself to eat carrots (raw) or immediately go for a walk and do 30 sit upsthat didn't work either..

Regardless of the scheme, I had lost focus. Saying "no" to the craving is my personal answerso that's what I'm working on now..

Cravings will always come I think. Being strong enough and in control enough to deal with them is the goal I still struggle toward..

But you know what? I'm 100% better at carrying it off now than I was last year at this time! Not perfect yet, but a LOT better..

I choose to call that pretty good personal progress.

Hang in there and give yourself your best effort! You are always worth it!.


Comment #10

Get fat free feta, 20 cals worth as a free food, or combine the fat free feta with turkey bacon (20 cals a slice) as a partial dairy/protein for your salads. Get galeos dressing. 1 tbsp will do it. It's tasty and 14 or 22 calories..

You don't have to deprive yourself. There are enough choices in the plan to make it work, but at some point you have to compromise with yourself for healthy living. Have you tried all raw veggies. I'm sure there are some you can muster. Try it..

Honestly, I would eat wet cardboard to stay a size 0! You may need to be tough with yourself..


Comment #11

Boy, I have to agree on the longevity of cravings.......I was a pipe smoker for +30 years, quitting in 2001, and even today, if I smell a pipe smoker (not MJ) I get the urge still........ hardest thing I've ever had to quit....even drinking was easier...

I grab a stock of Celery for a quick urge killer in between the afternoon snak and dinner. Does help along with another bottle of water....

Comment #12


Check to make sure you're not skimping on fats and proteins. Especially at dinner time. Try walnuts as your fat serving. They really help me with cravings. I know you're carbo-craving, but the fats and proteins help keep hunger at bay longer. I often do extra protein and/or fat with dinner to conquer my evening weakness time.

You can and WILL do it!.


Comment #13

Just eat the stuff what they tells ya and checks the boxes, eh?..

Comment #14

Not an excuse (because I can find other ways to deal with it), but here is a fact I live with: Fat free feta canNOT be acquired here where I live in So. Miss. - only Reduced Fat and only when I'm lucky enough to find it and clean them out of it when it's there. In fact, my local Winn Dixie just started carrying FF Kraft and Maple Grove Farms dressing just in the past month...I kid you not. There is a reason why Mississippi is consistently the fattest state in the country...the marketplace has determined that "the people" here do not want fat free alternatives. (In fact, would you believe that Walden Farms sells a SUGAR FREE (but not their usual CALORIE FREE) version of their dressings just for this market? Yep. Obviously they know where all the fat diabetics who have no desire to improve themselves live.)..

Comment #15

I have the tree nut allergy. So much for that. (Although that WOULD help as an intake suppressant as the allergy closes up my throat!)..

Comment #16

Oddly enough one thing Ive found to quell late night hunger, pickles. Its a free food (check your book for portion). I dont know if it's the salt but for some reason it kills the occasional hunger for me..

I may also be pregnant...

Comment #17

Gordon is our man here - maybe you can add a different protein/fat instead of nuts at dinner time - some chicken or fish - small hunk of steak. do it Dave - for a week. get on scale then you'll be motivated..

Good luck bud, we're pulling for you. one thing I always think, if i'm hungry/craving something, i'm losing weight right now by nit eating it. grab pitcher of water and give the carbs the finger..

Comment #18

Speaking of carbs, I save mine, I get two carbs and a fruit extra because I ha ve over 100 pounds to lose. I dont eat them if I know I will be up late and since I am a night owl, I will be up, I bake my veggies and dip them in hummus some times... 2 TBLSP of hummus is a carb selection, would that work? Or you could switch out your entree from lunch and have a lunch bar... ust MHOpinion..


Comment #19

I have problems with the carb cravings as well. I usually turn to some sugar free jello and try to eat it real slow. That usually gets me past it..

Staying out of the kitchen also helps......

Comment #20

Well, this evening will be a good test. Just came in from my 5.5 mile neighborhood walk, now I have a whole evening to get thru Mon Night Football or whatever else I happen to watch. Just have my evening Nutrisystem dessert left on the list. The fight begins....

Thanks all for your support and empathy as applicable...

Comment #21

Dave: How about skipping the NutriSystem dessert? It is small and could also lead to cravings for other things..

Substitutes for the dessert:.

A Carb and a Dairy/Protein: Graham crackers and milk or 3 cups of Air-popped Popcorn (one of the FF microwave bags) and milk..


A Fruit and a Dairy/Protein: Use berries and milk and SF flavorings to make a smoothie..

Save items from each feeding (a carb here, a fruit there) and have several feedings during the evening instead of 7:30 at night with only one item (dessert) to go..

Learn to love veggies...they are your friend..

Learn to love salads with the unlimited veggies and Walden Farms, 0 calorie dressing..

Make a pot of the UNLIMITED soup with veggies and water and seasonings and eat until you can't eat anymore..

I've been there, I lost 105 pounds, too...and I've kept every pound off since September 2007. Was I so into my wine that I was approaching probably being a full-blown alkie? Yup. Was I so carb-addicted that french fries and potato chips were constant companions (at least 2 meals a day, if not more)? Yup. Have I had any of them for almost 5 years? Nope...not a bite. Why? Because I finally, approaching my 60s (now 62) stopped giving in to my spoiled rotten inner 3 year old and finally just said "No!".

I believe we can change. I believe we don't have to have our craving demons control us. I believe that it is hard as hell, but completely and totally doable...

Comment #22

I wish there was a "like" button for that Pam. Great job - best advice I've seen in a long time...

Comment #23

I remember Pam from my first go-round here in '07...she rocks. :-)..

Comment #24

Plus Pams a Kentucky Wildcat fan, so that gives her super credibility...

Comment #25

I love that quote! Everyone is looking for hints, motivations, etc. for sticking to the plan. Pam really has the only true answer ... tell the spoiled rotten inner 3 year old "No"!.

Before starting NS, I was a french fry-aholic. My inner 3 year old can scream all she wants - no french fries for that little b*tch!!!..

Comment #26

Because I finally, approaching my 60s (now 62) stopped giving in to my spoiled rotten inner 3 year old and finally just said "No!".

I believe we can change. I believe we don't have to have our craving demons control us. I believe that it is hard as hell, but completely and totally doable..

This ladys and gentlemen is what it's all about. Inner change. When I fall off the plan, it's not because I'm hungry, it's because of the inner 3 year old...

Comment #27

In my case it's more like my inner TWENTY-three year old. I didn't "boredom eat" when I was 3, but I sure as h*ll developed the habit in early adulthood..

Got thru last night after a bowl of cereal for my dessert (yep, just call me Jerry Seinfeld), and nothing more but h2O for the rest of the evening. The scale was kind to me this's a start...

Comment #28

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