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The Perfect Portion

Kari - Jenny Craig

That sweet, gooey, chocolate candy bar has you convinced you need to eat it right now. Whether it’s because you’re stressed, bored, anxious or are searching for some sort of relief, trying to cure your food craving with a handful of almonds or carrot sticks may not cut the mustard. So you cave, and for a brief moment, everything in the world is just fine. But afterwards as that candy wrapper is staring you down, you know it wasn’t just hunger, but a craving.
“That’s because cravings arise not from your stomach, but your brain–the areas that are associated with memory, pleasure and reward,” explains Lisa Talamini, Jenny Craig’s Sr. Dietitian. “And foods that are typically craved usually include a combo of fat and sugar.”
That makes chocolate, pizza and chips hard to resist, but like anything else in life, this too shall pass in about 10 minutes. Talamini suggests “surfing the urge” and controlling your sweet tooth with these 5 tips:
Say it and breathe
Say to yourself exactly what you’re feeling: “This is a craving, and it will pass.” Then, breathe. Allow yourself to go into a meditative state and search for how you’re feeling. Are you tense, bored, anxious, stressed or scared? Keep breathing, allowing yourself to then focus on how you inhale and exhale, reaching a peak and falling downward. With each breath, your craving will begin to fade and over time, with practice, you will learn how to ride your cravings out through breathing.
Talmini says to use the HALT tactic. “Beware of getting hungry, anxious, lonely, or tired–all common triggers for unplanned eating,” she explains. Recognize these cues and respond with self-care. Eat regular meals and snacks, talk to a friend and get plenty of rest. 
Replace it
If you just can’t give up a certain food, like chocolate, either reduce the portion or choose a lower-calorie, alternative version of the same food, such as the many food options Jenny Craig offers. If eaten slowly and mindfully, your craving will subside with the lower-calorie version and you won’t derail your weight loss journey.
Plan ahead
Fight back against unplanned eating by keeping portable, healthy snacks with you. Try keeping a small zipped bag of heart-healthy nuts in your purse or a low-fat cheese stick and non-starchy vegetables (carrot chips, cucumber slices and mini bell peppers) in the refrigerator at work. 
Kari - Jenny Craig

The majority of your meal planning is already done, thanks to your Jenny Craig pre-planned menu. But to truly make your meal complete, you need to go grocery shopping for your Fresh & Free Additions! We know how grocery shopping without a list can go – you end up buying everything down the aisle, which can easily break your budget and block your weight loss progress! To help prevent that and to stay on track, here are eight healthy and versatile foods to include:
1.    Broccoli
Broccoli is so diverse—roast it to create a crunchy treat or blanch or steam it to bring out its bright color. We personally love it stirred into the Chicken Fettuccine or you can enjoy steamed broccoli on the side with some red pepper flakes and lemon juice for a zesty and flavorful bite!
2.    Cauliflower
It’s funny to think vegetables can be trendy, but cauliflower has been a hot food item for a few years now. You can toss it into the food processor to create rice or cut huge chunks to resemble a veggie “steak.” Plus, it can take on tons of flavor—try it roasted with some curry powder or a touch of hot sauce for a bit of spice and beautiful color!
3.    Spaghetti squash
One spaghetti squash can make multiple meals in a snap. Once you roast and create the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, you can mix spaghetti squash into your next leafy salad or top it with your Spaghetti with Meatballs for a delicious and filling dinner.
4.    Kale
Whether it’s raw or sautéed, kale is a green that is great cold or hot. Its subtle bitterness complements sweeter items, such as carrots or tomatoes, and can also add a textural crunch when baked in the oven.
5.    Cucumber
Cucumbers have a bright crunch that works well in salads or as a tasty snack with your Chicken Cranberry Salad Kit. Cucumbers also have a sweet, grassy flavor, so you can drop slices into your water for an added touch of freshness.
6.    Tomatoes
Tomatoes can cross cultural cuisine boundaries. Create a fresh Mediterranean salad with cucumbers, teardrop tomatoes and oregano, a Mexican salsa with diced tomatoes, red onion and jalapenos or roast tomatoes with garlic to create a fresh Italian sauce for your spaghetti squash!
7.    Onions
Onions come in a variety of types, so you can mix and match depending on what you want to use them for! White onions will be sharper and more pungent (and are great in pasta sauces). For a crisp bite in a salad, go with a red onion not only for their color, but for their thin slices, too.
8.    Mushrooms
Mushrooms have umami—that meaty flavor that gives a decidedly rich flavor to any dish. Top off your Beef Merlot  with sautéed mushrooms and onions, or buy Portobello mushrooms to bake and fill with garlic and kale or other cooked greens.  
While these eight vegetables and fruits can be used in multiple ways and can easily become household staples, remember that these are just a delicious sample of what you can experiment with by reading your Jenny Craig Grocery Guide! Aim for colors and choose a new fruit or vegetable to mix in. Visit our Recipes page for more veggie inspiration and keep an eye on our Facebook page for more ideas. Happy eating!
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Move More,

Weight loss is like a roller coaster—you jump into the cart of your life, venture up the hill before the big drop with anticipation about what your weight loss journey will be like, and then the drop comes toward success! 
If you haven’t started the Jenny Craig program yet, there are some surprising things that can cause weight gain (or what appears to be weight gain). See what habits can potentially increase your numbers on the scale and what you can do to curb it.
1.    Sitting all day
Don’t underestimate the power of a walk. “Sitting all day is not natural and to blame for all kinds of ailments, including obesity,” says Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. Schedule some time to take a walk around the block or office building, and find time throughout your week for longer outdoor or fitness activities.
2.    Water retention
Water retention can occur for many reasons, such as eating sodium-rich food, not exercising or hormones. For women, some weight gain may happen around their menstrual cycle, which is normal. While this is not real weight gain, it will translate as if it is on the scale. Make sure to drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses a day) to rid your body of toxins that may be holding you back from your goals. 
3.    Stress
Your body produces a hormone, cortisol, which cues the “fight or flight” response that typically goes away if the body uses that energy up. Cortisol makes it easier to store fat, especially abdominal fat. Being a workaholic or having too much going on of course causes stress, which can lead to weight gain since the energy is not being used. Find an activity or non-food treat that allows you to step away from the stressful parts of your day, such as taking a few deep breaths or treating yourself to a massage or movie outing. While these practices won’t necessarily make you lose any weight, keeping your cortisol levels in-check may help with how your body stores it.
4.    Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is when your body recovers from the day. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body cannot perform to its optimal potential, which includes a functioning metabolism. Professor Shahrad Taheri noted in her 2015 presentation at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting that even 30 minutes of sleep loss a day makes you more likely to gain weight. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, which will also help with your stress levels, too! 
5.    Medication
Some medications may affect appetite and/or metabolism. Discuss your medication’s side effects with your doctor, especially if it’s a new prescription that coincides with your weight gain. 
6.    Portion size
What dish you choose to use to eat your meal makes all the difference! Our eyes are not trained to understand portion sizes, so we think to fill the plate with each item until there’s no space left. Luckily, Jenny Craig has already done the work to help out with this one. Our 100+ meals options are pre-portioned, so you can add nutrient-dense vegetables and sides of delicious fruit to breakfast, lunch or dinner. 
If you’re following the Jenny Craig plan, you’re setting yourself up for success as members on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week! However, it’s important to understand that you may not lose weight every weigh-in and you may plateau at times. 
If you’re ready to surprise yourself with weight loss, call us at 866-706-4042 or find a location near you!
Kari - Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig has been recognized for the seventh consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and rankings, as the 2nd Best Weight Loss Diet Plan, 3rd Best Commercial Diet Plan, and 4th Best Fast Weight Loss in its annual Best Diets rankings!
"At Jenny Craig we take weight loss very seriously in an industry that has more than its fair share of gimmicky diets that waste consumers' time and money.  We work with each member individually because we know each and every weight loss challenge is unique. We are very proud to see our weight loss program consistently recognized as highly effective by leading and independent reports such as U.S. News & World Report and Annals of Internal Medicine. Our personal consultants, who have consistently been acknowledged for Best Support, in conjunction with our meals created by over forty chefs enable us to help our clients achieve their goals time and time again," said Jenny Craig CEO and President Monty Sharma. 
The U.S. News rankings are determined by a panel of nationally recognized health experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. The experts reviewed information on 38 diet plans, scoring each in seven categories.
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Live Life,

Your thyroid could be thwarting your plans to lose weight. “My thy-what?” you say. Yes, your thyroid. The butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck could be holding you back, and it could be impacting more than just your weight loss journey. Here’s why you should pay attention to your thyroid gland, and what you can do to keep it healthy.
The boss of your metabolism
The thyroid gland is so important that the month of January is dedicated to Thyroid Awareness. This gland is a powerhouse and mastermind of hormone regulation for your body. It regulates your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature, which, of course, can affect your weight and your plans to get healthy.
You already know your hormones are responsible for much of how your body is feeling, both mentally and physically, so if you’re feeling, well, a bit off, your thyroid gland might be to blame. Symptoms of thyroid disease vary, depending on whether you have an underactive (hypothyroid) or overactive (hyperthyroid) thyroid. Your thyroid might be kicked into overdrive if you feel nervous or irritable, have a racing heart, and can’t sleep. But if you’re having trouble shedding pounds even though you are eating healthy and working out, are always severely tired, and feel depressed, it’s possible that your thyroid is not helping you out enough. And either way, it might be time to get it checked by a doctor.
Get your thyroid on track
It’s estimated that 27 million Americans have thyroid disease, and 13 million of them are still undiagnosed. Additonally, Women are seven times more likely than men to develop problems with the thyroid gland, and your risk increases with age. A doctor usually performs a simple blood test to determine if your thyroid gland is either underperforming or going above and beyond its call of duty. Treatment for an underactive or overactive thyroid varies per person.
Always consult your doctor if you have concerns about your thyroid or even overall health.  As you know, being well-informed is the first step to a healthier you.
Kari - Jenny Craig

From ‘Does Jenny Craig work?’ to ‘Is the food bland?’ Consultants hear a lot of the same questions about the program. While your dedicated consultant is always happy to help navigate these useful questions, we want to pull back the curtain on some commonly asked questions and provide some additional insight! 

Will Jenny Craig work for me?
As you know by now, there’s no magic pill for weight loss. We keep things simple and effective by supplying you with a delicious variety of food and providing guidance and support along the way. Independent research has shown that members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. Our members lose 3X more weight than dieting on their own!* We’ll also support you to get more active, which has both health and weight maintenance benefits. We are here for every member through every step of the weight loss journey – no judgment.

Does your food taste like diet food?
No! We have delicious foods ranging from Chocolate Lava Cake to Turkey Burgers and was ranked “Best Tasting Diet Food Programs” by NextAdvisor. We recognize that eating delicious food definitely makes the Jenny Craig plan more sustainable and enjoyable for you. That’s why we have more than 40 professional chefs who have a hand at crafting the entrees. 

Jenny Craig isn’t sustainable for weight loss.
We wish all our members hit their goal and never put the weight back on, but life frequently gets in the way. Jenny Craig has research-proven strategies not just to lose the weight, but we’ll teach you many healthy habits that can last a lifetime.  Weight loss is a journey, not a destination, we always want to be here to support anyone who wants to lose weight.

Can I drink wine?
While it’s best to go light or avoid alcohol to stay on track with your weight loss, your consultant can give you a range of options or alternatives to meet your needs.

Does the food have a lot of sodium?
Our planned menus have approximately 2200-2400mg of sodium per day.  We use the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that recommends reducing dietary sodium to 2300mg per day. If you have a reason to reduce sodium further than the recommendations, please work with your consultant to use the Personalized menu and select the foods lowest in sodium.

Are there any new foods coming out?
We are always working on expanding our menu so our members have a wide variety of delicious foods to choose from. We currently have more than 100 delicious menu items. We always share this news via email or social media so please continue to follow us to stay updated on new foods!  
Can I do the program if I am breastfeeding?
Absolutely. Nursing mothers will be advised to follow a modified calorie level based on the child's age and frequency of breastfeeding.  All breastfeeding mothers will need to wait until their baby is 6 weeks old to enroll. When you join or restart the program, your consultant will ensure that you are on an appropriate calorie level so that you and your baby receive the proper nutrition you both need during this special time.  
Overall, we’re committed to your health and weight loss goal. Comment below for any additional questions or visit our FAQ page.
*Rock CL, Flatt SW, Karanja N, et al. Effect of a Free Prepared Meal and Incentivized Weight Loss Program on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance in Obese and Overweight Women—A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2010;304(16): 1803-1811.
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

What’s cooking in 2017? We weigh in on these delicious foods that will be making waves in the new year. Some are great ideas for cooking at home or may be a great complement to your next Jenny Craig meal!  
Spice it up
Eaters are slowing down on the salt and turning up the heat by continuing to be more adventurous in flavors. Anticipate seeing warm and Middle Eastern spices like cardamom, turmeric, sumac and cinnamon making an appearance in more cuisines.
Classic Desserts
If you’re feeling nostalgic for an oldie (but goodie) dessert, wish no more. Classics that even we have such as s’mores, Apple Crisp and other delicious favorites will be coming back into popularity. Speak to a consultant about what tasty desserts we offer that are just as good as the classics!
Smokey flavors
The popular cooking techniques of charring and smoking foods will be coming into favor--- and not just for meats. You’re likely to be seeing it with produce, snacks and desserts.
Re-inventing vegetables
Have you tried spiralizing your zucchini, cooking with cauliflower rice or cooking spaghetti squash? These rising stars in the veggie world are adored because they’re a great option for a healthy base and so adaptable to other flavors. They’re also a fantastic Fresh & Free Addition to many of your Jenny Craig foods as one of our members discovered with her Butternut Ravioli Squash.
So long kale! Collards, mustard and even carrot tops are being eaten for their strong nutritional value and vibrant flavors. They’re great steamed and can be a filling addition to your next Jenny Craig meal!
Fruit-based ingredients
People are loving food with a function, which are foods that have potential health benefits such as coconut milk, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil. Coconut milk is having a significant spike in popularity because it’s not only great for those with lactose intolerance, but can also help improve the immune system of the body.
Asian cuisine
Asian fast food restaurants sales in the U.S. has grown by 135 percent since 1999 and don’t show signs of slowing. The Kung Pao Beef is even one of the most popular entrees on the Jenny Craig menu and a delicious new Orange Chicken with Vegetable and Brown Rice will be arriving in 2017. Other Asian dishes such as pho and ramen are staples in certain Asian cultures and significantly on the rise in the U.S.  
Kari - Jenny Craig

By Kari - Jenny Craig, in Eat Well,

Did you know that more than 40 professional chefs have a hand in creating our Jenny Craig meals? Being serious about losing weight doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the foods you love. At Jenny Craig we have more than 100 meals and snacks items, where 40 chefs make all the difference.
We’ve recently compiled a list of our most popular foods that consistently win among our members. We do encourage you to stick to your preplanned menu to help improve your weight loss potential, as you have discussed with your personal consultant.

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<p><strong>Please include attribution to http://community.jennycraig.com/perfect-portion-blog/ with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href='http://community.jennycraig.com/perfect-portion-blog/most-popular-jenny-craig-dishes-youll-adore/'><img src='http://content.invisioncic.com/Mjennycraig/monthly_2016_12/585ad3ec6b6c7_1701_JC_Blog_FoodInfographic(1).thumb.jpg.3aec07fea1c55f958edfe5c2f7b42cab.jpg' alt='Most Popular Jenny Craig Food You'll Adore' width='540px' border='0' /></a></p>
Cinnamon Rolls Breakfast Scramble Cranberry Almond Barscotti Egg, Cheese & Turkey Sausage Burrito Entrees
Kung Pao Beef Turkey Burger Chicken Fettuccine Chicken Pot Pie Loaded Baked Potato Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich Desserts
Lemon Cake
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Apple Crisp Chocolate Lava Cake Vanilla Buttercream Cupcake  
Kari - Jenny Craig

We can all agree that losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions to make for the New Year! And this is the year you’re ready and committed to making changes every month, not just in January (and we couldn’t be more excited for you!). But after you’ve clinked glasses, cleaned up the gold and silver confetti, it’s time to get down to business. Losing weight is a great start for the New Year, but breaking your resolution down into mini-resolutions will help you meet your year-end goal–to be the best version of you! Here’s how:
Make measurable goals
With pen and dedicated notebook in hand, brainstorm and write down a list of measurable goals that actually aid your weight loss journey. The more specific the goal, the more attainable it is. Here are some healthy ideas to get you started:
●     Commit to taking the stairs wherever possible
●     Sign up for a 5K in your city even just walk
●     Commit to a 30-minute fitness class at least twice a week
●     Rid the pantry of chips, cookies or any unhealthy snacks
●     Commit to a meal plan with Jenny Craig until you hit your weight loss goal
●     Support a healthy metabolism by getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night
●     Ditch the office break room at lunch and go for a 30-minute walk
●     Watch your media content on a stationary bike instead of your couch
●     Trade in your soda for tea, sparking water or water with a slice of cucumber or lemon
If you can put a gold star after accomplishing a goal just as you might have done as a kid, then you’ll know it’s measurable. And using a chart to track each goal with an accompanying gold star sticker pack isn’t such a bad idea!
Take it week-to-week
That long list of goals seems just as overwhelming as the resolution to “lose weight,” doesn’t it? Don’t worry–you don’t have to start doing everything tomorrow. Instead of fretting about changing bad habits to good ones overnight, spread your mini-resolutions throughout the year. For each week, assign a few goals, and by the time the next week rolls around, you’ll be ready to add a new goal, such as trying a new, non-starchy vegetable or testing out a new spice on your meal. Because you took baby steps and reached smaller, specific goals through the year, not only will you have lost weight, but you will look and feel your very best!
Treat yourself
Because your mini-resolutions are measurable, it’s time to treat yourself. With all of those gold stars you’ve collected, set a non-food reward for the end of each month. Get a manicure in March, pick up new warm-weather workout gear in May, and splurge on a new pair of jeans in October, since we know you’ll be needing a smaller size!