Comparing Curves, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and NutriSystem

popular dietsWhen it comes to weight loss, these four brand names are probably the most recognizable. And they’ve got a few things many of today’s quick-fix diets don’t – longevity, reputation and results.

We decided to take a look at Curves, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and NutriSystem side by side to see where they’re similar and where they aren’t. Each of these plans are uniquely different, and each deliver results in their own proven ways. Our comparison looks at six different areas: meal delivery, diet, fitness, online availability, personal support and cost.

cardboard boxMeal Delivery

Curves: There is not a delivery service.

Weight Watchers: There is not a delivery service.

Jenny Craig: Delivery available, or may pick-up from center. Portion- and calorie-controlled foods delivered in shelf-stable or frozen packages once or twice each month. More than 80 meal choices available. May customize. Supplement fruits and vegetables from grocery.

NutriSystem: Delivery available. Portion- and calorie-controlled foods delivered every 28 days in shelf-stable packages. More than 120 meals available. May customize. Supplement fruits and vegetables from grocery.

red appleDiet

Curves: Promotes diet of three meals and two snacks each day, plus plenty of fiber and water. Meal plans available online via Curves Complete or MyCurves with daily custom menus. Branded cereal and snack bars available at the grocery store.

Weight Watchers: Promotes a flexible eating program without any regimented eating plan or schedule. Requires use of PointsPlus under the Weight Watchers 360 program; dieters may eat what they like as long as they do not exceed daily PointsPlus values. Encourages whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

Jenny Craig: Dieters eat an average of 1300 calories per day across three meals and one snack.

NutriSystem: Female dieters eat an average of 1200 calories per day; males eat an average of 1500 calories per day. Dieters consume three meals and two snacks, plus six servings of fruits and vegetables, each day.

dumb bellFitness

Curves: This program centers around its female-only gyms. You’ll burn 500 calories in three 30-minute circuit training sessions each week. Program promotes strength training and cardio workouts. You’ll work with a trainer. May also use Curves Smart, the electronic coaching system.

Weight Watchers: There is no structured plan. Dieters attending meetings will not gain much guidance in the way of fitness. Dieters using Weight Watchers Online will have access to a wealth of information to help guide their workouts.

Jenny Craig: Dieters will have access to a personalized fitness plan via their counselor at the Jenny Craig center.

NutriSystem: There is no structured plan. Exercise DVDs are available with certain plans.

laptop computerOnline Availability

Curves: Members of the Curves gyms may access MyCurves for community support and access to a variety of weight loss tools. Those not interested in attending the gyms can subscribe to Curves Complete for nutrition and fitness guidance online.

Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers Online is a robust program online that offers all that Weight Watchers 360 does. Full access to the PointsPlus program, fitness guidance, community support, recipes and much more.

Jenny Craig: Members can register online to access online eTools, recipes, weight trackers, menu planners, recipes, and more.

NutriSystem: This is the only program of the four that does not have an off-line component. NutriSystem is managed completely online. Order meals, plus access tools, food and exercise diaries, the community, and more.

hand shakePersonal Support

Curves: By visiting the gym three times each week you’ll have access to the training staff, plus the support of other women in the gym.

Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers Meetings began 50 years ago, and have found great success with weekly meetings hosted by a trained leader.

Jenny Craig: You’ll have a personal weekly weigh-in with your Jenny Craig counselor, where you’ll also discuss nutrition, fitness and goals.

NutriSystem: With your online account you’ll have access to the NutriSystem community.

diet costsCost

As cost can vary greatly by season, promotional offer or by franchise, it is best to contact each program directly to see what a plan for you might cost.

Curves: They advertise that their customers only spend about $1 more per day on food than the typical American.

Based on a 2009 report comparing the cost to lose 30 pounds with different diet brands:
Weight Watchers: Up to $300 for meetings; about $100 online.
Jenny Craig: About $400.
NutriSystem: About $1200.

Find one that fits with your lifestyle? Give it a try today and start losing weight!

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