How We Create Your Personalized Diet PlanArticle posted in: Nutrisystem
Have you ever heard from a friend about a surefire new diet plan that didn’t work when you tried it? Do you know people who can eat whatever they want and never gain weight, while you carefully watch your diet and still pack on extra pounds? The explanation for both of these situations is that no body or metabolism is identical. Our differences can play a significant role in how our bodies handle excess calories and losing weight. That’s why Nutrisystem expert dietitians have created a new personalized weight loss plan that is tailored to your body and your metabolism.
One size doesn’t fit all. You’re unique and so is your weight loss journey. Here at Nutrisystem, we’re putting YOU first when developing a personalized diet plan that works for your body type, age, gender and activity level. But it doesn’t stop there: As you lose weight, your program will adapt to you and your body’s unique metabolism.
Nutrisystem has always made simple and convenient weight loss a priority. Our new program keeps these qualities at the forefront as we create your personal diet that’s delicious, nutritious and unique to you. Learn more about the key factors that we take into consideration when developing your program.
Here are eight things we take into account when building your personalized diet plan:
1. Body Type
Many people store excess weight in their bellies, giving their bodies an “apple” shape. For others, the extra calories show up on their hips and buttocks, so they develop a “pear,” “hourglass” or “rectangle” body shape.
It’s no surprise that different body types require different diets. When putting together your grocery guide, we take your personal body type into consideration when recommending the best foods for you. Those with an apple shape need to be especially focused on eating slow-digesting carbohydrates, while other body types benefit from an eating plan that is low in saturated fats.
Weight gain becomes a greater concern with age. According to Current Obesity Reports, the prevalence of obesity in older adults (60 years and older) in the United States jumped from 31 percent to 35.4 percent from 2004 to 2012. This is due to changes in muscle and fat composition.
As we get older, we gradually lose some of our muscle mass and gain fat mass. “Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging,” says Harvard Health Publishing. This happens to both men and women. After age 30, people can lose three to five percent of their muscle mass for every decade of life. Less lean muscle means fewer calories burned. We also tend to be less active as we age. Both of these factors lead to a slower metabolism, which makes losing weight even more challenging if you don’t have diet designed for you.
According to Medline Plus, hormones in the body also change as you get older. This can greatly impact weight control. For example, women experience a drop in estrogen levels during menopause, while men often have a gradual decrease in testosterone levels with age. Your age is factored into your meal plan when we calculate your personal calorie goal and recommend grocery additions that are best for you.
Even if men aren’t from Mars and women from Venus, their bodies’ responses to weight loss strategies vary greatly. Males typically have a higher percentage of muscle than females, while women carry more fat than men. “Because muscle burns more calories than fat, men may be able to burn more calories at rest than women,” says the Office on Women’s Health. Therefore, men typically require more calories to lose and maintain weight. Your gender is considered when we create your meal plan and calculate your calories.
4. Height, Current Weight and Weight Loss Goal
Different people need different calories. Taller people naturally have more muscle mass than shorter people. That means shorter people need fewer calories than those who are above average in height. Likewise, your starting weight is directly tied to your metabolism. Your goals and the number of pounds that you want to drop impacts how much you should be eating. A person looking to shed 100 pounds requires a different eating plan than someone who wants to drop 20 pounds. We take these metabolic differences into consideration when we calculate your calories and create an eating plan personalized for your body in NuMi.
5. Activity Level
Exercise plays a critical role in any weight loss plan, helping to speed up your metabolism so that you burn more calories. How you prefer to exercise and how much exercise you get is just one factor in your daily activity level. Office workers who spend their days at a desk, for instance, have different wellness needs than people who are standing or moving around throughout day. Those differences influence your caloric needs, too.
When calculating your calorie needs, Nutrisystem considers both exercise and non-exercise activities that you do in your daily life. This ultimately leads to a personalized calorie goal and meal plan that helps you lose weight efficiently.
6. Resting Metabolic Rate
To create your personalized diet, Nutrisystem considers your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the rate at which your body burns energy when it is at complete rest. RMR measures the calories needed for your body’s ordinary functions, including circulating blood, growing and repairing cells, adjusting hormone levels and even breathing. Your age, gender, height and weight are all accounted for when calculating this value. This information helps to determine how many calories you need to lose weight. Your activity level is factored into the RMR to determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and calorie goal.
7. Weight Loss Progress
Are you just starting to lose weight for the first time? Have you been losing weight gradually for months? Have you lost weight only to regain it? Your dietary and wellness needs change as you go through your weight loss journey. Since your TDEE and metabolism adapts and changes with weight loss, many dieters find that their diet is “less effective” over time. In reality, they haven’t adjusted their eating! They’re still eating for their starting TDEE. An effective weight loss diet takes those changes into account and adjusts your meal plan along the way.
Nutrisystem uses the smart weight loss tool, NuMi, to keep this in check as you drop pounds. These changes occur each time you reach a 10-pound weight loss milestone. At that time, we will check in with you in the NuMi app to adapt your plan to your changing metabolism. Simply answer the questions in NuMi when prompted and we will adjust your meal plan if needed. This adaptation is just another reason why personalized plans work so well.
8. Eating Habits
Weight loss plans don’t work if you don’t like the food, because no one will stick to an unappetizing diet for very long. Are you a meat lover? Do you love spicy food? Do you crave sweets or salty snacks? The Nutrisystem menu offers you dozens of choices for every meal occasion, so you can always find items that you’re excited to eat.
Our recipe and wellness experts at The Leaf, the official Nutrisystem blog, are here to help you along your weight loss journey! Be sure to visit our recipes page to find an endless supply of delicious meal prep ideas and healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes!