Jenny Craig is a diet program that offers support and structure for people who are looking to lose weight and then maintain it. The program delivers prepackaged meals with low-calorie count and even proposes direct support from a consultant. The aim is to know exactly what to eat and thus make weight much simpler.
The Jenny Craig diet is backed by research for weight loss, and most of the meals and snacks come in prepackaged and precooked form. It is usually considered an expensive diet and switching over to regular meals might feel tough.
How does Jenny Craig work?
Jenny Craig diet program mainly consists of eating prepackaged meals while a personal Jenny Craig consultant is appointed to help achieve weight loss target. There are a few steps for getting started.
Step 1: Sign up for a Jenny Craig plan
Firstly, sign up is required for a paid plan to get started. One can do simply visit a local Jenny Craig center or sign up on the official website of Jenny Craig. This includes sign-up as well as a monthly membership fee, plus the price of Jenny Craig meals. The sign-up fee is usually under $100 and the membership fee is around $20 monthly. Cost of foods adds up to about $150 per week, depending on the chosen items.
Step 2: Meet with the Jenny Craig consultant
After the initial sign up, the user gets a personal Jenny Craig consultant assigned to them, who meets at least once each week, either at a local Jenny Craig center or online. The consultant gives a diet plan including exercise routine for weight loss, classifies the strengths and then helps to overcome challenges along the path to weight loss.
Step 3: Eat Jenny Craig meals and snacks
To make things simple, Jenny Craig includes three entrées and two snacks per day, which can be shipped to a home address or picked up at a Jenny Craig center. These items are available from a catalog of more than 100 choices and are usually frozen or shelf-stable. Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, and dairy items to the foods and also have an extra snack of choice daily.
Step 4: Switch to home-cooked meals
One losing half the weight, the reliance on the Jenny Craig meals can be reduced and cooking is viable for a few days each week. Jenny Craig consultant helps with recipes and guidance on meal portions so one can learn effective strategies in losing weight and maintaining it. Once the weight loss goal has been achieved, one can slowly discontinue Jenny Craig foods completely, and replace with home-cooked meals.
Even after achieving the weight loss target, one can still continue sessions with Jenny Craig consultant for support and motivation, as long as the monthly membership is valid. Jenny Craig is a membership-based diet program that offers prepackaged meals and snacks, along with personalized consultant support to help achieve weight loss target.
Does Jenny Craig diet help to lose weight?
The Jenny Craig diet is developed for helping people lose weight by lowering calories count with portioned meals and snacks. The entrées are mostly 200 and 300 calories, while desserts and snacks contain 150 to 200 calories.
A standard Jenny Craig plan offers 1,200 to 2,300 calories daily, considering age, gender, level of activity and weight loss target. Exercise is not a must, but 30 minutes of light activity for five days each week is suggested for ideal results.
According to the official website, a member loses 1–2 pounds per week on the diet plan. These claims are backed by detailed research. In one study, a group of obese, deskbound women observed Jenny Craig diet for 12 weeks and shed around 11.7 pounds each.
Another study revealed that Jenny Craig helped users lose around 5% more weight as compared to Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers or SlimFast after a year’s time. And after two years, Jenny Craig members lost 7% on average less than before getting starting. Furthermore, the longer one stays on Jenny Craig, the more weight they are likely to shed.
Benefits of Jenny Craig diet
The Jenny Craig has numerous benefits that make the diet plan popular among people.
- Easy to follow
Jenny Craig provides pre-cooked meals and snacks in the initial stages, which makes the plan relatively easy. One may require reheating entrées and adding favorite fruits, vegetables or reduced-fat dairy items to complete their meal.
- Helps to understand meal portions
Jenny Craig meals are low in calories and controlled by portions. These prepackaged meals make it easy to understand portion sizes, so they can be replaced with home cooked meals later on. Including fruits and vegetables to the meals also promotes eating more products and learning to make a balanced meal.
- Provides personal support
One of the most important aspects of the diet is the personalized support via Jenny Craig consultants. Studies have revealed that having support from family, friends or health trainer enhances one’s chances of losing weight. Jenny Craig consultants are always there for guidance.
- May reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar control
In addition to losing weight, the Jenny Craig program can also help in reducing the risk of heart disease and maintain blood sugar levels. A study found that women who had less inflammation and low insulin level lost around 10% of their body weight on Jenny Craig diet.
Jenny Craig diet has been linked to improved blood sugar levels, and so it may also be a great option for type 2 diabetic patients.
Foods to eat on Jenny Craig diet
One can choose from a selection of over 100 prepared foods on Jenny Craig diet. There are many options available for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, desserts and shakes so one won’t feel like eating the same menus over and over.
Beside the entrées and snacks, users are encouraged to select fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy items to their meals and also enjoy a snack of choice. Once the weight loss goals have been reached, users will slowly switch from Jenny Craig foods and start to prepare their own nutritious and low-calorie food.
Foods to avoid on Jenny Craig diet
Jenny Craig users are not bound to eat anything, as long as the foods fit within the daily allotted calories range, including moderate alcohol consumption. Once users start preparing their own food, portion size is highlighted while encouraging low-fat and low-calorie food items. Eating out frequently is not recommended.
The sample menu of Jenny Craig diet
Here’s an example of a day on Jenny Craig diet:
Breakfast: Jenny Craig Blueberry Pancakes + Sausage + fresh strawberries + non-fat milk.
Snack: Jenny Craig Peanut Butter Crunch Anytime Bar.
Lunch: Jenny Craig Tuna Dill Salad Kit + lettuce + carrots.
Dinner: Jenny Craig Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce + roasted asparagus.
Snack: Jenny Craig Apple Crisp.
Most of the meals come prepared from Jenny Craig, but additions for meal and snack include:
Berries: Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or grapes
Citrus fruit: Oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruits
Hand fruit: Apples, peaches, pears, plums, and nectarines
Melon: Watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew
Tropical fruit: Mangoes, pineapples or bananas
Other fruit: Cherries, avocados or pomegranates
- Non-starch vegetables
Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, collard greens or Swiss chard
Salad greens: Lettuce of any kind
Bulb vegetables: Garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks or scallions
Flower head vegetables: Cauliflower, broccoli or artichokes
Pod vegetables: Snow peas, sugar snap peas or string beans
Root vegetables: Carrots, radishes, beets, turnips or parsnips
Stem vegetables: Celery, rhubarb or asparagus
Other vegetables: Mushrooms, cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant or peppers
- Low-fat dairy
Light string cheese
Non-fat Greek yogurt
Low-fat or low-calorie salad dressings
Vinegar, pickles, mustard, capers or horseradish
The Bottom Line
Jenny Craig diet program provides prepackaged and portioned meals along with one-on-one support. People on Jenny Craig diet are prone to lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly and long-term users tend to control weight for years ahead. It may further contribute to improving heart health and enhancing blood sugar levels.
While some people may find Jenny Craig program a bit costly, others may not be fond of the idea of regularly eating prepackaged and processed meals. But without a doubt, Jenny Craig diet program greatly helps in weight loss and has remained a very popular diet option among diet enthusiasts.