The Jenny Craig Diet Plan – Does it Work?
The Jenny Craig Diet Plan is one of the most popular weight loss programs. It provides healthy meal plans for weight loss. But does Jenny Craig really work?
The diet began in Australia in 1983, when Jenny Craig designed her own program for weight loss, nutrition, and fitness. The basic premise of the Jenny Craig Diet is that it’s a weight loss program that focuses on the foods you eat, exercise, and working with a coach to give you the mental and emotional support needed to lose weight. Jenny Craig claims that if you follow the program you can expect to lose from 1 to 2 pounds each week.
Read on to learn more about the Jenny Craig plan, including how it works, the foods you can eat, and the importance of working with a weight loss consultant. We’ll also look at the benefits and disadvantages of the program, so you can determine if this weight loss plan is right for you.
How Jenny Craig Works.
The Jenny Craig program can be summed up very easily – it uses a calorie-restricted diet, coaching, and exercise to achieve weight loss. Studies show that people who stay on the program for at least twelve months will lose more weight than those who quit before one year. Even more weight loss is achieved for those who continue with the program for longer than one year.
When on Jenny Craig, the typical daily calorie count ranges from 1,200 to 2,300. How many calories you’re allowed to eat on the program will depend on your age, your gender, how much weight you want to lose, and how active you are.
Jenny Craig’s Diet “Rapid Results”.
Jenny Craig has added a new concept to weight loss called their “Rapid Results”, which is supposed to let you lose up to 16 pounds in just 4 weeks. The concept is that it’s not just what you eat, but also when you eat that’s going to help you lose weight. With the Rapid Results program you’ll receive a weight loss plan that takes advantage of your body’s own circadian rhythm. Each day, you’ll eat through the nourishment phase of the day, eating 6 times a day when your metabolism is working at its best. Then you’ll stop eating and take the time to rest for 12 hours during the rejuvenation phase.
Jenny Craig’s Diet Type 2 Plan
If you have Type 2 diabetes and need to lose weight, Jenny Craig has the Type 2 Menu plan. You’ll be able to choose prepackaged foods that help you lose weight and improve and/or maintain your blood sugar levels. The menu lets you plan meals that are specific to your health condition.
Sign Up for Individual Plan
Sign up for Jenny Craig online or in person at one of their many locations, there will be a Jenny Craig office near you. There are several different plans available, with Jenny Craig offering new plan types each year based on premium and trial memberships.
How Much Does Jenny Craig Food Cost
When you sign up with Jenny Craig you’ll pay the initial sign up fee of about $100 plus the monthly membership fee of about $20 each month. There’s also the cost of the prepackaged food – expect to pay on average $156 per week.
The Jenny Craig Diet; Exercise
Exercise on Jenny Craig isn’t a requirement, but it will help you lose weight faster and get into shape. It can be difficult for people who are inactive to add fitness to their life. Jenny Craig has come up with a series of videos that help you be more active. Each video starts off at a low intensity and allows you to build up as you advance through them and your fitness level improves. These videos focus on balance, cardio, endurance, and strength.
It’s recommended you work towards getting in 30 minutes each day of moderate activity, five times a week.
What Foods Can You Eat On The Jenny Craig Diet?
Foods on the Jenny Craig program have been created by nutritionists as well as chefs to be healthy meal plans for weight loss. The prepackaged meals provide you with balanced meals to that you don’t need to count calories or plan what foods you’re going to be eating. Just add a variety of meal packages to your menu plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks.
These prepackaged meals have also been designed so that they’re tasty and not boring. Your consultant will help you with portion sizes so that you’re not eating too much or too little. All foods are allowed on the Jenny Craig diet, including alcohol – it’s up to you if you go over your calorie count per day.
You’ll choose your daily food packages, which include three main meals and two snacks. They’ll either be shipped directly to your home or you can pick them up locally. If you buy more than one week of meals, you’ll be able to save as much as $15 or more on your food costs.
There are over 100 different food options in the Jenny Craig food catalog. Most are frozen or have an adequate shelf life, so they’ll last you through the week. Here’s a sample list of some of the foods you can choose from:
- Egg and vegetable sunrise scramble
- Turkey bacon and egg white sandwich
- Cinnamon coffee cake
- Tuna dill salad kit
- Chicken burrito
- Three cheese macaroni and cheese with broccoli and carrots
- Southwest style chicken fajita bowl
- Spaghetti with meatballs
- Pepperoni pizza
Dessert and snacks
- Kettle corn
- Lemon cake
- Cocoa nut bar
Using a Consultant for Support on the Jenny Craig Diet Plan
When you’ve signed up with the program a personal consultant will be assigned to you for as long as you’re on the program. Your consultant works with you to come up with a weight loss plan that’s designed for you. You’ll get support, encouragement, and motivating tips from your coach, who will also help keep track of your weight loss. Your personal consultant will also help you create a menu plan that’s unique to you, so you can eat the foods you enjoy as you lose weight.
Expect to meet with your consultant at least once each week, either online, on the phone, or at your local Jenny Craig location.
After weight loss
When you’ve lost half of the weight you want to lose, you’ll gradually use less prepackaged Jenny Craig foods and start cooking your own meals. This is important, so that you can learn to maintain your weight eating foods you prepare and not gain it back.
If you continue as a monthly member after weight loss, you’ll be able to keep working with your consultant. This can be an important phase for many people as they develop the skills to keep the weight off. Your consultant can help keep you motivated and on track, encouraging you to stay with your healthy eating plan.
Benefits of Jenny Craig
There are some positive benefits to using Jenny Craig for weight loss:
- You don’t have to cook. The prepackaged meals make meal planning easy.
- You don’t have to count calories. The meal plan does all the counting for you.
- The Type 2 Diabetes plan let’s you take control of your diabetes and still lose weight.
- The program combines a healthy eating plan with fitness.
- When you work with a coach, you don’t feel as though you’re alone in your weight loss journey.
- The program is based on the nutritional guidelines of the Food Guide Pyramid.
- Jenny Craig gives healthy meal plans for weight loss.
Disadvantages of Dieting with Jenny Craig
As with any weight loss program, there are some disadvantages to consider:
- The cost. Buying prepackaged meals each week, plus fruits and vegetables, can start to get expensive.
- Many of the prepacked meals use artificial sweeteners and high amounts of oils and carbs so that they taste good.
- Your support coach may not be a fully accredited nutritionist or health professional.
- Buying prepackaged meals means you never have to learn about the nutritional side of losing weight, information which may be important for your weight loss maintenance.
- It can be difficult to keep weight off if you are not prepared to cook healthy food when you come off the Jenny Craig Diet Plan.
Final Thoughts; Is Jenny Craig a Healthy Meal Plan for Weight Loss?
Everyone responds differently to weight loss plans, no matter what method they use to lose weight. What works for one person may not necessarily work the same for you. The same is true of the Jenny Craig plan. Your weight loss may be faster or slower than someone else using the program.
Many people have successfully lost a lot of weight on the Jenny Craig diet plan. If you’re prepared to pay the cost for both the membership and prepacked foods, and eat a diet that’s restricted in calories, the program will help you lose weight.
Some people find the packaged food to be one of the deterrents of the Jenny Craig program. Although there are professional chefs involved with creating these nutritionally balanced meals, they’re still frozen and packaged, and aren’t always a substitute for the real thing. You can supplement these meals with fresh fruits and vegetables to make them more enjoyable.
Still other successful dieters like the simplicity of not having to plan their meals – they can focus on fitness and staying motivated so they stick to their diet plan.
The final word on the Jenny Craig diet plan is that, using portion and calorie control, it’s a safe and effective weight loss program to help you lose weight and then maintain that weight loss.
Rating for the Jenny Craig Diet Plan.
The cost of the Jenny Craig diet plan program means it’s out of reach for many people who want to lose weight. Spending on average US $156 each week, plus the cost of monthly membership, can quickly add up. In addition, the use of additives and sugar in many of the prepackaged meals means they’re not as nutritious as making your own. When you’re losing weight, eating food high in good nutrition is a priority.
Based on this review, the Jenny Craig Diet Plan earns 3 stars out of 5.