Nutrisystem Meals Versus Healthy Choice Meals – A Comparison of Calories, Carbs, and Protein

I recently received an email asking if simply eating healthy meals would be as effective as the diet. I only have experience with one of them, but I suspect the answer to that question would be no. The reason for this is that healthy meals sometimes contain more calories, carbohydrates, fats and sugars. I suspect you might struggle to get into fat burning (or ketosis) mode by consuming too much. To help show how this might happen, I will compare a nutrisystem meal with a healthy choice meal in the following article.

In order to compare similar foods, I’m going to use an Italian chicken meal on both plans. First, I’m going to look at Healthy Choice Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. This meal contains 290 calories, 6 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugars and 16 grams of protein. The calorie, fat, carb and sugar content is higher than I would like for my own goals, but everyone is different.

Now let’s look at nutrisystem chicken and pasta with cacciatore sauce. This meal contains only 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugars and 10 grams of protein.

What jumps out at me right away is that there are 160 more calories, 4 more grams of fat, 23 more carbs, 9 more sugars, and 6 less grams of protein in one of these dishes. These overruns can, in my opinion, make a big difference in the results you see. Granted, the healthy choice meal contains more protein, but the much higher amount of carbs might work against that. And, the carbohydrate to protein ratio is more favorable in the nutrisystem meal.

Also keep in mind that you will be eating three meals and one dessert and one snack on any of these diets. If every meal had this kind of deficit, those numbers would most certainly add up. Also, I couldn’t find any breakfast dishes from a healthy choice. So either you would be alone here or you had to use company bread for toast.

That’s not to say either option is bad. But when you’re on a diet, every calorie and every gram of carbs, protein, and sugar matters a lot. One of these rows has a little more than the other and if that was calculated over a week’s worth of meals, it seems to me that the difference could be quite significant, so the results would probably vary as well. This could be especially true if you plan to eat fewer carbs and fewer calories in hopes of entering ketosis so you can burn fat instead of carbs.

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