Jenny Craig Diet Reviews and Ratings

Added Sep 19, 2014 | 1,416 views |
Nutritionist Rating 3.8
Weight Loss
4.0
Difficulty
4.0
Cost
2.0
Legitimacy
4.0
Time
5.0
Safety
4.0
Stacey Frattinger

THIS DIET REVIEWED BY

Stacey Frattinger, RD, CHFS, Certified Integrative Health Coach, currently resides in Sparks, NV. She owns a virtual health coaching and nutrition counseling practice, mainly focusing on one-on-one, individualized whole body wellness practices.

Overview of Jenny Craig Diet

A vital part of the Jenny Craig Program is Jenny’s cuisine, a fancy term for her line of frozen and shelf-stable replacements. According to Jenny Craig’s website, her food portfolio is quite diverse with over 70 dry and frozen products on the menu at any one time. Participants also incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables, so there is some grocery shopping involved when following the diet. When you enroll in the program, you’ll get a personalized meal and exercise plan, based upon your starting weight, fitness level, and behavioral triggers (i.e. emotional eating or lifestyle factors). Calorie levels range from about 1,200 – 2300 each day. You will then be assigned a Jenny Craig consultant who will provide you will one-on-one counseling sessions. The consultants are not nutrition professionals; however, they have access to one of Jenny’s registered dietitians to help provide direction and answer questions for anything that is considered to be outside of their scope of practice.

Diet origins

Sid and Jenny Craig, founders of the Jenny Craig diet, first launched this program in Australia in 1983. The original mission of the company was to create a corporation that would provide the “necessary benefits of successful weight management.” Jenny Craig opened its first nine centers in the Melbourne area, all of which still stand today. There are now over 100 centers open, including those that are running out of the United States. The program’s principles were originally designed based upon input from doctors, psychologists, and dietitians, and the company still utilizes medical professionals to update their programs based upon up to date research and data. In addition, Jenny Craig reinforces the need for behavior modification as part of their program, through the use of meal replacements and the incorporation of physical activity goals, relying heavily on the psychology of weight loss to help their participants achieve consistent and maintainable results from the weight loss program.

How easy is it to follow?

To date, the diet itself has not caused debate as to the effectiveness for weight loss. There is room for debate, however, as to how long clients will be able to maintain the weight that has been lost once they transition back to preparing their own meals. The company is fairly proactive in keeping up to date with the latest research to avoid debate around safety and effectiveness of the plan.

What are the costs required?

Jenny Craig will run you up to $725 per month depending on the meals, snacks, and supplements you choose to order. If you go to a center to pick-up your food, it will be less expensive than having it shipped to your home. In addition, you still have to go to the grocery store to buy some necessary staples.

Will this diet be time consuming?

All of the meals are either shelf-stable or frozen and most can be heated up without any additional work. The only time commitments necessary for the consumer include taking the time to get to the grocery store.

How safe is this diet?

The diet itself is nutritionally sound and given the suggestion to use supplements as part of the program, the potential for any nutritional deficiency is greatly minimized. One potential safety issue could come in the form of cross-contamination or foodborne illness due to the use of pre-packaged and frozen meals.

Is this diet legitmate?

To date, the diet itself has not caused debate as to the effectiveness for weight loss. There is room for debate, however, as to how long clients will be able to maintain the weight that has been lost once they transition back to preparing their own meals. The company is fairly proactive in keeping up to date with the latest research to avoid debate around safety and effectiveness of the plan.

The breakdown

Benefits: The use of pre-packaged meals takes the guesswork out of portion control and eliminates the needs for calorie counting. The one-on-one supported that is offered weekly for those who choose to utilize a local center helps to provide more accountability and support to stick to the meal plan. For those who don’t have a center nearby, it is still possible to follow this diet with the direct shipping option that is available.

Downsides: The cost of the plan may not be affordable for many individuals, particularly those who have a family to feed or who choose to have the meals shipped to their homes. It may be difficult for clients to comply with all of the meals and snacks specifically during family meal times, special occasions and holidays, or when being invited to eat out. If you feel comfortable eating your meal before you go out to eat, or don’t mind eating a different meal than everyone else at the table, the situation may be manageable though a bit uncomfortable.

The Bottom Line: A good plan for portion control through quick and easy meals, but you’ll end up paying a hefty price to lose weight compared to doing all of your own meal prep.


CATEGORIES: Weight Loss, Reduce Risk Of Diabetes, Portion Control, Preordered Food, Fruits, Vegetables, Low-fat Dairy, Women, Busy Individuals, Suitable For Vegans, Suitable For Vegetarians, Not Suitable For Gluten Intolerance

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