Both Nutrisystem and Medifast have made a name for themselves as reliable diet planners helping people lose weight healthily. They make weight loss less stressful, more flexible, and completely hassle-free. Both companies seek to provide pre-cooked and pre-packaged healthy and nutritious meals to their clients. The idea is to help them lose the extra weight by cutting down on calorie intake and exercising portion control.
While Nutrisystem and Medifast have many similarities in terms of weight loss objectives, meal delivery system, and meal content, there are some key differences too. Here is a tabular comparison of the two diet planners which can help you make a choice:
Nutrisystem vs. Medifast-A Tabular Comparison:
|Program Type||Nutrisystem will deliver meals to your home with dietary guidance.||Medifast will deliver pre-packaged meal replacements.|
|Meal Structure||You can get a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with nutritious snacks. Dieters do not have to prepare anything at home, but are free to add fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement their meals.||Medifast will offer meal replacements to its clients but you need to prepare one Lean and Green meal at home using fresh ingredients bought from the grocery.|
|Target Audience||Nutrisystem focuses on teaching dieters the healthy way to lose weight. It guarantees slow but steady weight loss and is sustainable in the long run.||Medifast has been conceived by a medic for helping patients lose a whole lot of weight in record time. So, its meal plans are designed for quick weight loss and may be hard to sustain in the long run.|
|Where to buy||Nutrisystem meal packages can be ordered online. Small starter kits can also be bought from stores like Walmart and Amazon if you wish to give this diet program a try.||Medifast meals cannot be bought at stores like Walmart or Amazon. These must be purchased on their site. The official website will ask you a few questions to determine the right plan for you. These include questions about your age, level of physical activity, and amount of weight you wish to lose.|
|Exercise/Activity||Nutrisystem encourages dieters to work out every day to make weight loss smoother. It has even launched DVDs for its members to follow.||Medifast provides an activity guide for encouraging members to exercise but there is no specific workout regimen or video tutorials for this purpose.|
|Online Support||You can get many online resources, weight loss tracking tools and a NuMi app to monitor your progress. You can reach out to experts and certified diabetic coaches through chats, emails, and phone calls.||Offers one-on-one coaching and support through its active community online.|
|Weight Loss Results||Nutrisystem guarantees weight loss of about a couple of pounds every week. This continues through the next three weeks. Weight loss may be less but it is steady.||Weight loss is faster because the diet is more restrictive. You can hope to lose 2-5 lbs in the first week.|
|Money-back Guarantee||You can try Nutrisystem for a month to see if it works for you. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can claim a total refund.||Medifast offers a 14-day long free trial period for you to test their meal plans. In case you are not satisfied with the products, you can claim a refund.|
|Focus||Nutrisystem focuses on eating portion-controlled and calorie-controlled meals containing foods low in GI or Glycemic Index.||Medifast meal plans cut down on sugar and calorie intake to reduce the weight faster.|
|Sustainability||Nutrisystem teaches dieters to eat right in moderation. You can inculcate healthy eating habits that will help you keep the weight off in the long term.||Medifast is more stringent and restrictive. It may be challenging for dieters to continue to follow these habits once they discontinue the program.|
|Plans||Nutrisystem offers Basic, Uniquely Yours, and Uniquely Your Ultimate plans. Besides, there are specialized programs for diabetics, seniors, vegetarians, and nursing mothers.||Medifast offers different plans like Medifast Go, Medifast Flex, Thrive Healthy Living, etc.|
|Menu Options||Nutrisystem offers you more than 160 menu options when you subscribe to their Uniquely Yours program. Foods can be either frozen gourmet meals or shelf-stable foods that are long-lasting.||Medifast allows dieters to choose from more than 70 menu options. Meals are typically in the form of low-fat, low-carb, and gluten-free meals that will promote fat-burning.|
|Costs||Nutrisystem plans are about $300 a month. The Basic plans are around $10 a day and the 4-week plan provides 4 pre-chosen meals for women and 5 for men daily. The Core program is slightly costlier and offers more food choices while the Uniquely Yours plan is the most expensive, offering both gourmet meals and shelf-stable foods.||Medifast’ month-long program is about $329. It includes 126 pre-cooked meals, food journal, dining-out guides, blender bottle to make shakes, and a welcome kit. The Flex is priced higher at $466 and contains microwaveable meals. The Medifast Complete program offers more meals, supplements, microwaveable meals, cookbooks, snacks, etc.|
|Specialized Dietary Options||Nutrisystem provides gender-specific meals, vegetarian meals and diabetic-friendly meals.||Medifast has specialized programs but its menu filtering options are very costly because certain ingredients must be excluded.|
|Transparency||Nutrisystem’s website is more transparent, giving a clear idea of its shipping and packaging policies.||The site is not clear on details about shipping or delivery.|
|Shipping Costs||Nutrisystem offers amazing discounts on all its plans and extends free shipping offers.||Orders are exempted from shipping charges when they are above $250.|
This table gives you a fair idea about both Nutrisystem and Medifast features, advantages and disadvantages. Both meal planners have successfully helped millions across the world to lose weight safely and healthily. However, there are some subtle differences between these two diet companies in terms of prices, features, plans, menu options, customizability, and sustainability. Before you start your weight loss journey, it is important to understand these diet programs in depth to figure out which is likely to work for you. you should opt for a diet plan that is flexible, scientific, budget-friendly, and most importantly, sustainable in the long run.
Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics. She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.