Nutrisystem was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Over the years, I’ve gotten used to being watched by millions of people. And I was able to stay in pretty good condition during my football career. But after I retired, I started adding on a few pounds, and I knew that the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. I still worked out, but never really saw the progress that I saw when I was younger. And being a TV analyst is a whole lot different than being on the field. In my new job I couldn’t hide behind a helmet and pads. To succeed in my new career, I wanted to look my best.
“I got down to my playing weight, and it wasn’t that hard.”
I saw the success my buddy Jim Stuckey had on the program, so I gave Nutrisystem a call. Boy, am I glad I did. I lost 22 lbs.* on the program and I feel great. I haven’t been this weight since I started playing pro football back in 1983. I got a variety of delicious foods to eat, and they were super easy to prepare. It was an easy, convenient and delicious way to feel satisfied.
“My friends call me ‘Skinny.'”
The weight just kept coming off. My goal was getting to 20 pounds lost, and I got to 22.* My wife loves the way I look and my family is amazed at how much younger I appear. I even have a new nickname. My friends call me “Skinny.” I don’t think anyone’s ever called me that. I wanted to look better and feel better than I had since retiring, and Nutrisystem help me reach that goal. Nutrisystem was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Dan Marino’s Game-Changing Weight Loss Tips
When Dan Marino was leading the Miami Dolphins to 10 playoff appearances—racking up the fifth-best totals in passing yards, pass completions and touchdowns in NFL history along the way—the Hall of Fame quarterback says he could eat pretty much whatever he wanted.
After all, when he wasn’t practicing or playing, he was working out five days per week in the off-season to prepare for another run at the AFC East title.
But when he retired in 1999, Marino gained weight. The reduction in rigorous training, paired with lingering ankle and knee injuries, meant he wasn’t moving as much. The budding TV analyst says he was still eating like a player, though he was—by his own description—on the couch.
Fortunately, Marino had one more impressive NFL stat up his sleeve: His Dolphins career included 36 comebacks, third-best in NFL history. Marino decided to get back in the game, and back to his playing weight.
He found Nutrisystem, and lost 22 pounds.* And, weighing less than he did late in his career, Dan’s success had him feeling great on a different level.
Here are some weight loss tips that helped Hall of Famer Dan Marino get lean and stay that way for more than a decade:
1. Exercise alone won’t cut it.
Marino found that he couldn’t just exercise the excess weight off. Besides dealing with lingering pain from injuries in his playing career, he was getting older, and he felt it.
“I still worked out,” he says, “but not at the rigorous efforts of two-a-day practices.”
Making exercise the main thrust of your weight loss efforts, especially early on, can be a losing strategy. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011, people who exercised, without dieting, did not have a significant change in body weight over the course of a year. However, people who dieted without exercising over the same period lost 10 percent of their body weight.
The math, of course, is simple: At 155 pounds, you can run for 15 minutes at a five and a half miles per hour and burn just under 150 calories. Alternately, you can reduce your daily intake of full-calorie soda by just one 20-ounce bottle, and reduce your daily calorie intake by 240 calories. One of those options takes 10 minutes, while the other takes zero.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise—it’s great for your heart, lungs, muscles, bone density, mood and longevity—but make sure it’s only part of your weight loss strategy, not all of it. In the same New England Journal of Medicine study, dieters who did the nutrition and exercise plans together lost nine percent of their body weight during the study, gaining exercise benefits along the way.
2. Find real-world inspiration.
When Marino joined Nutrisystem, it was because he saw a friend have success: Jim Stuckey, a former member of the San Francisco 49ers and friend of Marino’s lost 45 pounds with Nutrisystem.* Dan was able to ask him about the plan, gather all sorts of information, and get some suggestions, in order to feel ready for the program.
Once an interest in weight loss has hit its peak, talking to a “real” person who has had success with the program, keeps the fire burning. If you don’t know a friend or relative who has tried Nutrisystem, go online—the Nutrisystem Success Stories page is filled with active users who will explain their experiences with the program.
Chances are, you’ll find someone with a similar situation to you—the same work-health-balance challenges, maybe the same number of kids or roughly the same amount of weight to lose. “As a well known ambassador for Nutrisystem, I get my inspiration from real guys that decided to get back in the game too, and try Nutrisystem,” says Marino.
Motivation from real people can help you understand the program, but it can also lead to greater success: In a study from the Netherlands, dieters who consistently looked at pictures of models who were too thin engaged in more “goal-inconsistent” behavior than those who looked at normal-sized models. So getting your inspiration from “real” people could be more beneficial in helping you stay on track.
3. Don’t go it alone.
Don’t go it alone. Marino recognizes the difference it makes. “My wife supported me, and made sure we had the fresh veggies, fruit and dairy in the house I needed to be my best,” he explains.
Having a weight loss or workout partner is a powerful tool for success: In a study from Indiana University, couples who worked out separately dropped out of their health club membership at a rate of 43 percent over the course of a year. On the other hand, only about six percent of couples who worked out together dropped their memberships over the same period.
Even if you don’t have a spouse or sibling or neighbor or friend to join a program or health club with you, you don’t have to go it alone. Take the opportunity to meet people at the gym or connect with others already on the plan you’ve chosen. Nutrisystem’s social media members are active, engaged and happy to help one another. Beyond looking to them for information, seek out their tips and twists to recipes. They answer fellow members’ questions, offering inspiration and encouragement at every step.
If this wasn’t enough, Nutrisystem members also have access to professional weight loss counselors via email, online chat or phone from 7 a.m. until midnight every day of the year, except Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you’re a new Nutrisystem member and have a question about food preparation, the meal plan itself or your next shipment, the counselors are available to help guide you through all the technical ins and outs.
4. Get your MIND in playing shape.
Your body might not be able to do what it did when you were younger—the weight might be a little more stubborn, or aches and pains might slow down your exercise—but your mind can be just as sharp. Marino was determined to improve his health, and that motivated him to seek a plan to lose the 22 pounds.
“Sometimes you just want to take a break and not work as hard as you did in the past, and that’s how you tend to put a few pounds on here and there,” he says.
While he still has fun and enjoys the life of retirement he earned during his Hall of Fame career, Marino put his mind to work with an NFL level of focus on his weight loss journey to succeed. And, with the ease of a program like Nutrisystem, he believes those results are within anyone’s reach: “You have to have a mindset. And if you do that and you stay on the program and you work at it, you’re going to lose weight,” he says
“It just comes down to making a decision to lose weight. Just make that decision, believe you can do it, and go for it.”