I sometimes hear from people who want a little more flexibility with their Nutrisystem meals. A common comment would be something like: “sometimes I have a really hard day at my job and I come home and am particularly hungry that night. What if I wanted to eat two of the Nutrisystem dinners? Could I just load up on the larger meals and then skip the dessert and snack for that day? I’d rather have something more substantial. Is this possible?”
Before I attempt to answer, please know that I’m not an expert. It’s very easy to contact Nutrisystem and ask someone from the company about this topic. But here is my take. While I’m not sure that you would want to make a huge habit out of this because eating two dinners is going to take in more calories than two snacks or desserts, I don’t think it needs to be a huge deal on a particularly difficult day. And in my view, it’s certainly much better than cheating with a non diet dinner. I think that it makes sense to make small tweaks that allow you to stay on the diet from time to time instead of just going off of it and eating whatever you want.
But to take it a step further, let’s look at an actual example. Let’s say that on this particular day, this person chose to eat the flatbread pizza (at 270 calories) and the macaroni and cheese with beef (at 240 calories.) And let’s say that she skipped her pretzel snack and her ice cream sandwich dessert on that day. That would have saved 100 and 130 calories respectively, for a total calorie savings of 230. So, in actuality, you are only taking in ten additional calories by eating two dinners and skipping the dessert and snack. That certainly is not too awful. And it’s much better than just opening up your pantry and eating something else without worrying about the calorie or carbohydrate content.
But, another consideration that you may not have considered is that if you eat two dinners one night, you are going to be one short at another point in the month. So you will be on your own for that evening and you are more likely to cheat or take in far more calories. Sure, you could always eat that snack and dessert that you didn’t eat when you doubled up on dinner, but that’s certainly not a proper dinner. Not only that, but if you are going to do this, you would need to plan ahead and make a conscious effort to pass up your snack earlier in the day. So doing this definitely takes some prior planning and it will definitely require that you make adjustments later in the month. But I still think that it is better than the alternative of just eating something out of your kitchen. Because you are still eating a diet meal that is going to be low in calories and carbohydrates.