Nutrisystem is a diet plan that uses a healthy balance of good carbohydrates, proteins and fats so you can eat a variety of foods and lose weight. The South Beach diet, a plan created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, restricts carbohydrates, bans unhealthy fats and suggests healthy ones. Comparing the two plans can help you to make an informed decision on the best particular plan for your lifestyle.
The NutriSystem Plan
Choose the NutriSystem plan for ease. Meals are prepared for you and shipped to your door, and the plan includes free online or phone counseling to help you reach your goals. There are programs designed for men and women of all ages and for vegetarians and Type II diabetics.
Look at the rules of the plan. With NutriSystem, all prepared meals offer the correct calories and nutrients. You add fresh fruits and vegetables and don't have to think about the rest of the preparation.
Compare the work involved. Everything is already done for you with NutriSystem so there is almost no work involved except making sure you stick with the plan.
Check the cost of the plan. NutriSystem charges for meals and snacks and shipping, but it often offers discounts and free meals for signing up. You can also save by signing up for the Auto Ship plan.
See the results. NutriSystem allows you to follow plans losing less than or more than 10 lb. You can lose a lot initially, but you can expect to lose 1 to 2 lb. per week if you follow the program exactly.
Weigh the risks. Participants may gain weight back after going off this program since they don't learn how to prepare healthy food themselves.
South Beach Diet Plan
Choose the South Beach Diet Plan if you don't want to completely cut out food groups and want a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix.
Look at the rules of the plan. The South Beach Diet plan doesn't count carbs, but looks at how much sugar is in each carb, choosing those with a low glycemic index. The plan works in 3 phases with the first phase being the most restrictive, taking away all carbs. The second phase reintroduces the carbs in moderation and lasts until you hit your target weight. The third phase allows you to continue to eat normal foods in normal portions following the guidelines for life.
Compare the work involved. Instead of counting calories or maintaining strict portion sizes, you eat normal portions and snack strategically throughout the day, using suggested recipes and food combinations for the various phases.
Check the cost of the plan. There is no sign-up fee or meal cost. You buy the book and companion guide and visit the website for information. Then you buy and prepare the food yourself.
See the results. Weight loss may be dramatic in phase I of the South Beach Diet plan, and then continues at 1 to 2 lb. per week until you hit your weight loss goals. Staying on the plan for life means you keep your target weight and adjust as necessary with the tools provided.
Weigh the risks. Much of the weight lost in the induction phase is water weight, which can throw off your balance of electrolytes.