Jenny Craig Diet
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
The Jenny Craig program goals are to help people eat healthy and live active lives. It starts by eating mostly Jenny Craig cuisine with some healthful foods of your own. The end goal is to have you make your own meals.
How Might This Work?
The Jenny Craig program helps you lose weight by cutting back on calories and making sure you workout. People who eat the Jenny Craig foods do not have to worry about keeping track of their foods. You will need to do this on your own when you switch to normal foods.
The Jenny Craig program starts with 28 days of eating Jenny Craig meals. You can also eat your own fresh foods, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, heart healthy fats, and nonfat dairy items. Daily meal programs start at 1,200 calories and have three meals, one snack, and an evening dessert. After a certain point on this program, you make some of your own meals using cooking tips from Jenny Craig.
The program also has weekly in person or over the phone sessions. This gives you support to stay on the program. It also helps teach you about healthy habits, such as eating the right amount of food and working out.
There is more than one version of this program. You can visit one of their centers or join a program from home. The center based program has weekly visits with a trained Jenny Craig consultant at one of their sites in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. You will have private weigh ins and can select and buy your Jenny Craig food. The home version has weekly phone calls with a Jenny Craig consultant and food sent to you. There are also versions of the program for men, silver (seniors), type 2 diabetics, and teens.
You'll also need to pick the level that is right for you:
All these levels have:
The premium plan has more features, like money for reaching goals, savings, fitness tools, and more.
The cost of the program depends on the one that you choose and the foods that you buy.
What Does the Research Say?
No studies have looked at the Jenny Craig program, but it is based on sound eating habits. The meals are created by dietitians and use US Department of Agriculture standards.
Are There Any Concerns?
The food is costly if you also have a family to feed. It may make sense for those who are just buying food for themselves.
The weight loss consultants also do not have formal training. They may not have a lot of knowledge to help you lose weight and make changes.
The food gets boring quickly, so it can be hard to stick to. The goal is to get people to make their own meals, but the part that people like is that you do not have to do this at first. Many people see this program as an easy way to lose weight. They do not think about how they will keep the weight off over time.
Jenny Craig may be right for you if you do not mind eating prepackaged food for a while. This program is good if you do better with the help of a counselor instead of sticking to a program on your own. Your success will depend on how well you move to planning and making your own meals, and how well you keep good habits such as working out.
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Dietitians of Canada
How it works. Jenny Craig website. Available at:
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Accessed March 12, 2019.
Diets for weight loss. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscoh.... Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2019.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Last Updated: 3/12/2019
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