It’s one of the most popular names in all of weight loss; Jenny Craig. Millions of people have tried to lose weight using the program, and it apparently has been successful enough to still be a global brand today. With several hundred clinics around the world, Jenny Craig is one of those names that you first think of if you are considering starting a weight loss plan.
Although you can go to a clinic and find out what you need to know about Jenny Craig, it can be very time consuming. What we’ll do is breakdown the Jenny Craig weight loss (and management) program to see if it’s the right fit for you. Let’s learn some more details about Jenny Craig and decide if it might be the program that helps you finally break through a weight loss plateau.
Behind Jenny Craig
Living in Australia, Jenny Craig and her husband Sidney started the weight loss program that would become named after herself back in 1983. Two years later, the company would move to the United States and operates nearly 800 worldwide clinics. It wasn’t all that expensive of an operation as Jenny Craig would enlist coaches to consult those looking to lose weight instead of trained professionals such as nutritionists or dieticians.
Jenny Craig trains these consultants to offer up a weight loss program for each client. Once they figure out which plan they want to do, customers will order prepackaged meals that will be shipped right to their door. These are mostly frozen meals, and customers will also be given the exact meal plan that they should be following to lose weight, with an ability to create their own menu depending on taste or allergies.
These locations are easily recognizable and clinics can be found with a quick search online or in the yellow pages (if you are still inclined). Not only that, but it’s hard to ignore Jenny Craig advertisements through most forms of media that include celebrity clients. Let’s take a look at some of them right now.
Celebrities on Jenny Craig
A large reason for Jenny Craig’s popularity throughout the years has been the promotion of its celebrity clients. Here are a handful of the celebrities that have lost weight using the Jenny Craig system:
Queen Latifah – The singer and actress started using Jenny Craig back in 2008 and found success, becoming a spokeswoman. Latifah said that “My intention was to lose five to 10 percent of my body weight because it makes a difference with health related issues, and I achieved that goal in a couple of months.”
Jason Alexander – Former “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander is one of the few male spokespeople that Jenny Craig has had, and the funnyman was able to lose 30 pounds on the program. He even showed off in a bikini during a commercial for the program (and we’re not making that up).
Mariah Carey – One of the most famous singers of all-time, Mariah Carey started appearing in Jenny Craig commercials after dropping 30 pounds. It was a big moment for Carey as she had just given birth to twins and was desperate to drop the rest of the baby weight.
Kirstie Alley – Actress Kirstie Alley has had her ups and downs in the weight department, but she had the most success that she has seen with Jenny Craig. Now back on the program, Alley has lost 50 pounds once again thanks to sticking to her plan, Alley is now a spokeswoman (again) for Jenny Craig.
What’s on the Menu?
As we stated earlier, Jenny Craig focuses on prepackaged meals until you get to your goal weight. After getting to the halfway point of your goal, you will then stick to one or two days where you eat outside of the Jenny Craig menu. Once hitting your goal, it’s only a couple of days each week where you are eating Jenny Craig meals.
While on the Jenny Craig prepackaged portion of the diet, you will be focusing on a well-balanced diet and eating foods considered to be heart healthy. There are different versions of the meal plan, as well, including programs for each gender, as well as diabetics, the young and the old. Let’s take a look at what the sample meal plan might look like when you get started.
- 2 Scrambled Egg Whites
- 1 Cup of Fruit
- 8 Ounces of Skim Milk
- 1 Cup of Nonfat Yogurt
- 1 Cup of Thai Chicken Soup
- 1 Cup of Fruit
- 1 Side Salad
- 1 Jenny Craig Bar
- 1 Package of Chicken Carbonara
- 1 Package of Passion Cheesecake
The calories will be laid out on each of the packages that you eat on Jenny Craig, and will typically be between 1,200 and 1,500 calories for one day. That’s the standard amount for weight loss (while staying in a healthy range). While a lot of people might not want to stick to prepackaged meals (since it doesn’t offer much flexibility or you might love cooking), it does make it easier for people that are on the go.
Resources and Things to Know
You will be presented with a pair of options when signing up with the Jenny Craig program. You can choose to visit the clinic nearest to your home each week to meet with your coach, or you can have phone check-ins instead. Either way, you will be speaking with a coach once a week that gives you a nice way of being accountable and will be able to adjust your plan if it isn’t working that great.
The Jenny Craig program will also make sure that you are following your daily nutritional guidelines, which is another added bonus. In terms of losing weight, Jenny Craig has consistently been ranked among the best to lose weight, especially in the short term while you are on the prepackaged meals. While there are heart healthy and diabetic options, they aren’t as flexible as the normal diet, which is the only place where it seems to be lacking.
If you are a person that prefers to do things mainly online instead of walking into a clinic or calling somebody, there is an online community that you can join. However, that is not free as there is an all-access plan online where you pay $299 for a year of access. If monthly is more up your alley, you can pay as you go for $39 per month.
Speaking of cost, you’re probably wondering how much the food will set you back. Jenny Craig claims that members pay $3.63 per item on average if they stick to the core plan, and $4.33 per item if they want a more personalized lan. All in all, you’re looking at an average of $600 to $800 per month with the membership and food depending on what plan you get. The average person spends around that much per month on food anyway, so it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. However, those that don’t have to provide the food for anyone besides themselves might find it tough, making this a single person’s diet dream.
What are the Negatives?
Outside of not being able to eat out very much and having to plan for yourself only, there aren’t too many negatives for the Jenny Craig system. For those that like to indulge in alcohol, you are asked to drink in moderation (no more than a couple of drinks per week) where you cut the calories from other places such as exercise. Mentioning exercise, it is not required on the Jenny Craig program, but will certainly boost your weight loss quickly if you stick to the prepackaged plan.
There are also no kosher certified plans with Jenny Craig if you are looking for a program that would fit your needs there. The food also isn’t always the best, which is to be expected with frozen meals. It can also be hard to keep up on the program as you transition to eating normal foods once again when achieving your goal weight. Of course, you can keep buying the frozen meals (they probably wouldn’t be upset with that).
Summing it Up
To sum it up, if you are a single person that is constantly on the go, doesn’t eat out much, doesn’t like to exercise that much, hates counting calories and has disposable income, then this is definitely the weight loss program for you. Even if you fit most of those criteria, Jenny Craig is still a very good plan that has been tried and true, receiving high marks for weight loss.
It’s not the program for everybody, as some people might not want to meet with a coach every week. Unlike other prepackaged programs, there are no stores that sell Jenny Craig meals so you have to sign up with the program to receive them. If you are desperate to lose weight and have the money to spend, there are definitely options out there that aren’t as successful. Overall, Jenny Craig is a solid program, which is why it has been around for so long.