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64%

of people who tried this diet like it

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out of 100
based on 53 reviews

Jenny Craig

With its small army of celeb success stories, Jenny Craig shows off its effectiveness.

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1983
  • Founder: Jenny and Sid Craig
  • Headquarters: Carlsbad, California
  • Stock Symbol: NESN
  • Accessibility: Online, Centers
  • Diet Type: Prepackaged Meals, Portion Control, Low-Calorie, Low-Fat
  • Gender: Male and Female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Valerie Bertinelli, Jason Alexander, Sarah Rue, Carrie Fisher
BACKGROUND

With more than 640 centers around the globe and thousands of female followers, Jenny Craig has established itself as a leader in the weight-loss industry since 1983.

The Jenny Craig approach is built on three tenets: food, body and mind. The food element focuses on healthy eating and portion control and also teaches you how to eat the foods you love in moderation, the body element focuses on exercise and overcoming barriers to being physically active. The mind element focuses on positive thinking and getting the support you need to reach your weight loss goals.

The program is most known for its pre-packaged and portion-controlled meals. But Jenny Craig sets itself apart from other meal-delivery diets because as you reach your goal weight, you work closely with Jenny Craig counselors to learn about portion control, healthy cooking and eating at home or while dining out.

After an in-depth interview with a Jenny Craig representative, you are given a personalized meal and fitness plan. The two basic programs are the In-Person Support and Jenny Direct programs. With the former, you attend weekly meetings, consultations and food pick-up at your local Jenny Craig center and the latter gives you the same support over the phone and delivers food to your door.

In addition, there are five Jenny Craig plans: Jenny Craig for Women, Jenny Craig for Men, Jenny Craig for Teens, Jenny Craig for Spouses and Jenny Craig for Seniors.

Famous Jenny Craig Spokeswomen include Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, Phylicia Rashad, Queen Latifah, Nicole Sullivan and Sara Rue.

Other Jenny Craig plans include:

Jenny Craig at Home: A plan that allows you to complete the Jenny Craig plan from the privacy of your own home.

Jenny Direct: The Jenny Craig program delivered straight to your door.

Jenny Craig for Men: The Jenny Craig plan specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of men who want to lose weight.

Jenny Craig Silver: The Jenny Craig plan for older adults who want to improve their health.

JENNY CRAIG VIDEOS

Jenny Craig YouTube Channel

Consumer Reports Jenny Craig vs. NutriSystem Taste Test

Flashmob Surprises Jenny Craig Celebrities

PRO
  • Features a one-on-one relationship with counselor
  • Menu includes a wide-variety of foods
  • Program has a long history and is a trusted brand in weight loss programs
  • Prepackaged foods offer convenience
  • Named #2 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
CON
  • May be a challenge to transition from the company's prepackaged meals to "real" food
  • Low-calorie diet may be too strict
  • Weekly in-person meetings can sometimes be inconvenient
  • Financial responsibility of prepacked meals may not be a long-term healthy eating solution
USER REVIEWS

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

The food is great! Ediets is disgusting. Portions are small but your stomach does shrink so you don't really need more. Not all foods were wonderful but some I would eat even when not dieting. The food seems expensive but at the end of 6 weeks, I had actually saved money. I ate less, enjoyed my meals, and lost weight. - Katrina 1/9/11

I tried the program for a few weeks and was disappointed in the lack of support from the counselors. They didnt seem to have any "real" training. They said I could tell them things I dont like and they would make sure they werent included in the foods I bought (I hate raisins and mushrooms). They assured me nothing I bought had those 2 things in them, but lots actually did. They obviously didnt know their product. Way too expensive also. - Sandy 11/29/10

I've maintained my weight loss, fluctuating about 7 pounds, but still well below my goal weight for a year today! Great program, great food and awesome consultants. - Nina 7/12/10

Easiest diet I ever followed. Where I have always fallen off the wagon before is when I get stressed and am too busy to cook or just don't feel like it. With Jenny when I am stressed I just make a point of following the plan even better at those times. I don't do meals on my own, I just eat the Jenny food and know that way I am on track. - Carol Ann 1/17/10

I lost about 40 pounds on Jenny Craig and, with the exception of playing with 5 pounds here and there, have kept it off. I like that they first teach you portion control through their meals and then gradually reintroduce store-bought food into your diet. The one-on-one interaction with a counselor also helped keep me on track and did not allow me to hide in the back of a meeting. - A.C. 12/29/09

DIET and NUTRITION

The program's success is in the Jenny Craig food, which offers convenience with portioned and calorie-controlled pre-packaged meals. The Jenny Craig plan has a daily caloric intake of 1,200-1,300 and contains 50% to 60% carbohydrate, 20% to 25% protein, and 20% to 25% fat. Three meals and one snack are allowed each day.

Meals are either picked up at Jenny Craig centers or delivered straight to your door. There are four different menu options with Jenny Craig. You can customize your own meals, order pre-planned meals, enjoy an all-vegetarian menu or select a menu specifically designed for adolescents.

Eating on the Jenny Craig program can be easy because most of your meal is provided for you. Jenny Craig foods are paired with your own grocery foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and heart-healthy fats. Low glycemic veggies can eaten in limitless portions. Although the meals are prepackaged, the makeup of the foods you eat will set you up for how you should eat to maintain a balanced diet. A sample day of meals on the Jenny Craig program is reflected below:

  • Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes and Veggie Sausage
  • Lunch: Broccoli and Cheese Potato
  • Dinner: Three Cheese Ziti Marinara with side salad
  • Dessert: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

A dining out guide is also included so that you can eat out without sabotaging your weight loss goals. No foods are off limits on the Jenny Craig program. You work with a counselor to learn how to safely incorporate your favorite foods into your healthy eating plan.

EXERCISE

On Jenny Craig you are given a personalized activity and motivational plan to get you moving more. When you meet with your consultant in the Jenny Craig office, they will help you personalize your fitness plan. This can also be done online for those that are doing the at-home delivery program. You will work to develop an approach to fitness that starts where you are now and builds on that. You will also be identifying personal barriers to your physical activity so that you can work to remove those and stay focused on the benefits of exercise.

The Jenny Craig activity plan centers around three kinds of activities. The first are natural activities like house cleaning, shopping and gardening. Next are planned activities such as doing cardio at the gym or taking a yoga or aerobics class. Last are playful activities like taking a dance class or playing football with your kids.

Over time you gradually increase your activity through these three elements and you learn how to incorporate more movement into your day.

Your planned exercises will include a combination of cardio, resistance and stretching activities. The Jenny Craig program strongly recommends exercise while on the program so that you can have an established habit to maintain your weight loss after you’ve reached your goal weight. Some of the outlined planned exercise options as well as the playful options are listed below:

  • Weightlifting
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Kickboxing
  • Aerobic Dance
  • Dancing
  • Bicycling
  • Playing Basketball
  • Playing Tag with the Kids
JENNY CRAIG FAQ

Common questions asked about the Jenny Craig program by our community. Click to see the full answer.

Is the Jenny Craig food frozen or freeze-dried? - Celia 6/18/11

CONCLUSION

With its focus on food, body and mind, Jenny Craig is a well-rounded weight loss program that offers the training and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals. Its varied programs and pre-packaged meals and snacks offers the convenience of healthy eating in combination with a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle.

While most pre-packaged meal weight loss programs don't provide you with any information on how to prepare and eat healthy meals on your own, Jenny Craig offers support that educates you on healthy cooking and eating.

See the Official Jenny Craig Web Site

JENNY CRAIG SLIDESHOWS

View About Jenny Craig Slideshow

Other Slideshows About Jenny Craig

7 Weight Loss Plans Fit for Fall

The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds

JENNY CRAIG RESOURCES

Jenny Craig on Facebook

Jenny Craig on Twitter

Jenny Craig on IMDB

Jenny Craig Good Morning America Statement

Jenny Craig at Wikipedia

Jenny Craig Contact Information
Common Misspellings

JennyCraig, Jenny Criag, Jennie Craig, Jenny Craig deit, Jenny Craig diet, Jennie Craig diet, Jennie Craig deit, jennycraig.com


Related Diets: Volumetrics, Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers Online for Men, Jen4Men, Jenny Craig at Home, Jenny Craig for Men, Jenny Direct, Nutrisystem, Valerie Bertinelli: Losing It


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User Feedback

(Page 6 of 6, 115 total comments)

cindylaurel

I've just joined Jenny, but am most impressed so far. The food is okay and the system is one that works for me, but what really impressed me is the utter absence of pressure to purchase anything and the enthusiastic flexibility to make the program fit my needs rather than make me fit into the program. I've tried a few other programs, but they all just seemed to want to get as much money as possible up front, which doesn't inspire much faith in the programs success rate. One of Jenny's programs allows for a low-cost, no-risk trial -- how can you go wrong?


DisneyMom

Was just recently on Jenny from June - Oct 07. Lost a total of 27 lbs. Loved the program, the food and my counselor. Always received great support and never pressured into anything. I have incorporated my own food and feel great. The prepared meals were great for me--with working full time and having teenagers in the house it was very easy staying on the diet. I would recommend it to anyone.


Leigh-Ann

I have done Jenny Craig in the past and I just rejoined again to finally finish losing the weight that I want to lose. Jenny does work and I do think that I have learned the most valuable lesson in weight loss and every day eating. That is portion control. No matter what you eat it is all in the amount that you eat. Jenny has taught me that. Thanks Jenny! And even more importantly thats to my personal consultant Kathy at Jenny Craig in Grande Prairie Alberta Canada.


Anais_Morr

I tried Jenny Craig for two months. Yes, the package food is very good to delicious (surprisingly) but depending on the center and who you speak with, Jenny Craig does not really teach you how to re-eat say like WW's does. It's also pretty damn expensive shopping JC foods. My average bill varied from $125 to $140 per week on JC foods alone.


C.N.

I've lost 200 pounds and now I'm in the learning process of the maintenance stage. I'm loving this stage i get to cook again but healthy. I have the GREATEST consultant Heather in Napa CA really knows what she's doing and really cares about all her clients. I feel this program can work for anyone as long as you give it a chance and you find your match in a consultant. I know that they make next to nothing and it is a commission based job. I went to her and told her I needed to take a break due to money problems and I said I should be back in a couple of months. She reminded me of my goals sent me home to see what I could manage weekly. I felt so bad going back with a $50 budget her responce was "lets make it work". After about a month and a half of budgeting I was back on and eating some of the meals I missed. When I reached my goal she presented me with a spa day. We cried I took my goal picture and started my maintence program. My family also started eating healthier and my husband lost 15 pounds as well (he didn't really need to lose any). I learned alot in my 18 months and i'm not done. Oh and to answer the question I would always here "how much is the food" in the begining the food was about $115 a week but they have this greats discount program they saved me alot. Now at goal I get 35% off any food I want to buy. Good luck to all of you in reaching your goals.


kathy

I like Jenny Craig. I have read the reviews and find that many peple ar not taking full advantage of the program. You start out with a personalized program depend on your weight and activity level. It can be anywhere from 1200-2300 calories depending on the person. I enjoy most of the food. They teach you how to plan a meal out if you need to dine out. Once you get to the halfway point they start teaching you how to plan your own food choices. Once you get to the maintenance you can eat Jenny food if you want or go on your own. Consultants can be different so find a consultant that fits your personality and needs. You can ask the center manager for another consultant if you are not happy. I am well on my way to losing 40 lbs. The Triple chocolate cheesecake is awesome!


weight loser

this will really help me lose weight thank you for this wonderful review i will call jenny


Anonymous

I too am totally loving Jenny. I joined on October 9th and have lost 24 lbs which is a few lbs. past my halfway mark. I love most of the food and receive great tips and such motivation from my counselor Vanessa.


Anonymous

Honestly, Jenny Craig does not set you up for success. They teach nothing about real nutrition and diet. They want you to buy their meals, books, DVDs, CD's for as long as you can. The sodium content of the meals alone knocked me off my feet. It's really simple to lose weight, cut your portion sizes, eat healthy and exercise. Period. You can't find salvation in a box.


Attempted

I tried Jenny, unfortunately it's not something that can be easily adjusted, particulary if you don't like half the food. I'm sure there are some good consultants out there but I found mine to be just a textbook case spewing out what she learned in school and what head office has told her. In all honsty, weight loss is personal and each person is very different, a single militant approach (at least at the centre I went to) will not work on everyone because everyone is different. Personally, I'm glad I can claim mine back through work so I really didn't spend my money on it as I was disappointed with what I got.


LosingWeightSoon

I just joined Jennie Craig. I have my fingers crossed! Everyone Wish me luck!!


Becks

I love the Jenny program! I always feel motivated, especially since I can see noticeable results! I've lost 10 pounds this month and excited about keeping going. I chose to design my own menus since I have a family and the premade won't work for us.


Mom_of_4

What a great review! I've seen the comercials for years but never looked into it. Maybe I need to call Jenny!


Cheyenne

It just seems really balanced to me. The Jenny plan sounds like the calories are enough thaty ou won't starve, food sounds tasty and I like the idea of the support from a Jenny conselour.


Jenny_Craig

Just kidding on the Jenny Craig name (I didn't want to put my real name). I totally love the simple idea of pre-made meals but the food is not up to par. The best thing you can do to eat healthy is eat fresh!



 

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