Friday, September 7, 2012

Day One on NutriSystem

It was a big decision to spend so much money on dieting, but I wanted a chance at maybe losing a few pounds over the summer compared to eating on the run with the kids home. This plan is expensive; at least for me. I went for it.

The day finally came when I received my first, what the plan members refer to as a, Big Brown Box. I excitedly opened it up and was immediately offended.  There were so many chocolate bars, chocolate in general, & junk food, i.e. cookies, chips, snack mixes, and muffins. It hit me.....not only is this how the world thought I had been eating, but NutriSystem was catering to that mentality as well. I decided to brush it off and go with it. I decided it couldn't hurt to try to lose weight eating all the stuff they thought I already did. At that point, I decided I could care less what anybody thought and, in the spirit of an old hair commercial, "I'm worth it."

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for all the minor details that accompanied this plan, but I figured it out quickly once I opened a tiny little package of instant mashed potatoes and thought "This is lunch?"

What was most surprising was that once I ate the breakfast entree and the shake, and a few hours later, the mid-morning PowerFuel, which was peanut butter out of a tablespoon measure, I suddenly found myself extremely hungry. I was actually starving--something I had never felt before despite not eating all day long prior. Suddenly, I was obsessed with food when I had never given it a thought prior. Ironic I think.

I toughed out the sudden urge I had to snack while giving up my pop simultaneously. By the end of the day I had a raging dull headache. It was relentless to the point I had to get up in the middle of the night and take some pain medications--something I never do--and I can count on my hands how many times I've actually ever had a headache. I wondered if it was from sugar withdrawal, and set out to the NutriSystem community to find out. What I found was nearly 1,000 posts in the blog section regarding this starter headache.

It appears many people suffer with the headache. Some have it for 3 days. Mine only lasted that one day.

Now that I've been on the plan for a few months with periods of being noncompliant when on the run, each and every time I restart, the headache returns the first day. It is resolved with Aleve. I can't say what causes that because it isn't sugar withdrawal. I've monitored what I've eaten during the day or two I've been off plan, and there was no sugar to withdraw from. I wonder if it isn't the preservatives found in this shelf-stable food.


  1. It’s day 2 for me. I started the day with a small headache I’d usually ignore. Just past lunch it got significantly worse. I took acetaminophen. I’ve been thinking about it.... I feel like I can taste a lot of diet sweeteners in the food... could this be the cause?

  2. I think anything is possible when you enter into artificial ingredients territory, but I am no doctor. I can taste artificial sweeteners in most anything. I had joined a NutriSystem chat once where the veterans there thought it was very funny that I had joined and had wanted to avoid artificial sweeteners. Once I tried switching from a full-sugar soda to a caffeien-free and diet version because I disliked it so much to get away from the soda, but instead of it deterring me my body adjusted to the difference. More importantly, however, I wound up having heart palpitations and seeing a cardiologist and when I stopped the artificially sweetened soda, the palpitations subsided. The body will go sugar withdrawals too, which causes headaches too.