I often hear from people who are getting ready to start the Nutrisystem diet but who are a little confused about the best way to go about spacing out and scheduling their meals. I recently heard from someone who asked, in part: “When are you invited to eat on Nutrisystem? Are there any set times? I will address these questions in the following article.

They are pretty lenient and open ended about your meal times. You are free to do whatever works best for you. With that said, I can and will tell you the most common way to get all of your meals and snacks in on a typical day. Because, if you think about, you really have five meals (or at least five opportunities to eat) that you have to fit into your day. You have: the Nutrisystem breakfast (with side item;) the lunch (with side item;) the dinner (with side item;) plus a dessert and a snack. So, if you break this down, what you really have are three complete meals, three side items, a snack, and a dessert. Or, eight opportunities.

Since the side items are very small, most people find it easiest to just add them onto the meals that they are eating at the time. For example, it's easy to add in some milk or fruit with your Nutrisystem cereal for breakfast. It's convenient to just throw in carrot or celery sticks with your diet hot dog for lunch. And, you might decide on a small salad for your turkey dinner. You can also add in your snack and dessert with your lunch or dinner if you find that you are not hungry between your three meals.

So a sample schedule would look something like: an 8:00 breakfast of cereal and milk; a 12:30 lunch of the diet's hot dog and carrot sticks including your snack of Nutrisystem buttered flavored popcorn; and a 6:30 dinner of glazed turkey with a salad and a Nutrisystem ice cream sandwich for dessert.

This would probably be the easiest way to go about it if you were not hungry between meals. However, if you like to eat more regularly than three times per day, then there is nothing wrong with spacing out your meals more and eating less but more often. For example, you could skip adding the snack and dessert and you could eat the popcorn (or any other other snack that you might chose) mid morning at around 10:30. You may have the ice cream sandwich dessert as an afternoon snack at around 4:30. Or, you could even save your sides for another time also if you wanted to eat more often. You really do have the opportunity to eat more or less often depending on what is comfortable for you.

But, no matter when you chose to take in your meals, snack, dessert, and sides, you are going to be taking in the same amounts of calories, carbs, and proteins. There is really no hard rules about this. You often have just to play around with what works best for you and this might vary from one day to the next. For example, one day you may have more time to sit down to a larger meal with sides, desserts, and snacks, and other days, you might be grazing on the run. Either scenario is possible and perfectly acceptable with a little planning.

As long as you are eating all of your meals and sides as well as your snack and dessert, the timing really doesnt matter all that much. You can go ahead and eat at the times that you wish depending on your hunger level, schedule, and preference.