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Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig has stopped being just another diet plan many years ago. It is an international phenomenon with over 630 diet centers around the world and a huge number of users ever since it was started in 1983.

In addition to the centers, you can also use this program from home with the Jenny Craig At Home Direct program that provides you with 24/7 support over the phone and online, in addition to a weekly coaching call.

Jenny Craig is one of the most well known weight loss plans today, in part due to the many celebrities who are reported to have used it including Kirstie Alley who reportedly dropped nearly 100 pounds with this diet, Nicole Sullivan, and Jason Alexander, among others.

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How does Jenny Craig Work?

Jenny Craig focuses on 3 aspects of losing weight:

  1. Food – Teaching you to have a good relationship with food by allowing you to eat the foods you like in moderation while making overall healthy food choices and exercising portion control. This may also help you better deal with emotional eating.
  2. Body – Exercise is encouraged while on this plan. You should exercise 5 times each week for 30 minutes or more.
  3. Mind – Learning how to maintain a proper balance in your life by continuing to follow a healthy lifestyle even after you finish with the diet. This should help you maintain your weight loss for years to come.

There are no forbidden foods on the Jenny Craig diet. You need to exercise sound judgment and eat in moderation. You need to lead an overall healthy life with regular physical activity, smart food choices, and an overall calorie restriction to facilitate weight loss.

There are many plans on the brand name of Jenny Craig. There are plans for men, women, teens, and type 2 diabetics.

The ultimate goal is to help you lose weight and then transition back to regular eating with no need to follow the diet any longer.

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Jenny Craig Food

At the heart of the program are the pre-packaged meals that you eat during the diet. These meals are planned under the supervision of nutrition professionals. The nutritional content in these meals follows the guidelines in the USDA food pyramid guidelines, containing 50%-60% carbs, 20% to 25% protein, and 20% to 25% fat. You can add to these meals any fruit, low fat dairy products, and non-starchy vegetables that you like.

The meals include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert and they are all delivered to your door. It is a very convenient diet plan that requires very little thinking.

Average weight loss should be 1-2 lbs per week or 1% of your body weight per week. However, results do vary from person to person due to any number of factors.

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Jenny Craig Cost

The cost of the Jenny Craig Diet depends in great deal on which menus you choose. Bear in mind that you are getting 24/7 support so this will be more expensive than regular online diet plan.

You can expect to pay about a $100 per day for the pre-packaged meals and there may be additional membership costs involved in the program.

Pros and Cons


  • Eliminates the need to go shopping for groceries on your own.
  • Has many positive testimonials and success stories.
  • The meal plans follow the USDA Food Pyramid guidelines.
  • No need to count calories or assess portion sizes.
  • No need to give up your favorite foods.
  • Meal plans offer a great variety.
  • Your program is suited to your own needs and requirements.
  • Has plans for women, men, seniors and type 2 diabetics.
  • Encourages regular exercise and physical activity.
  • Provides 24/7 support over the phone and in many centers throughout the world.


  • Meal plans may not appeal to every taste.
  • Can become somewhat expensive in comparison to other programs.
  • The plan is a bit low on calories that may lead to adjustment difficulties.
  • May be problematic to maintain weight after you stop eating the pre-packaged meals.
  • Counselors are not registered nutrition experts.

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In Conclusion

Jenny Craig is a weight loss plan that can work for you as it provides you with meals, support, and guidelines to achieve a gradual and long term weight loss. However, you need to decide whether the cost of the diet is worth all the added benefits it offers. There is no doubt that this kind of a complete service plan is enticing. You need to decide whether it’s for you.

Date published: May 28, 2010. Last modified: February 24, 2012

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