Jenny Craig vs. Nutrisystem - Weigh the OptionsBy Jenny Craig
We know choosing the right weight loss program is hard. We also understand not all plans are created equal—some focus solely on food, such as eliminating food groups or focusing on calories, while others emphasize finding activities, such as physical activity or meetings to hone in on other aspects of well-being.
Jenny Craig offers a more complete, personalized plan to fit your unique needs with the dedicated support of a consultant and delicious food. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all cleanse or crash diet filled with dehydrated food. Before learning more about Jenny Craig, you may have heard of another program that focuses on using real food in a similar manner: Nutrisystem. Let’s learn about both programs, and find out what the key differences are between both companies.
Nutrisystem does not focus on counting calories or eliminating carbs—instead, it also focuses on offering high-fiber, lean protein food options to help fuel your body for the day’s activities. All of their menu items also contain no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors, as well as zero trans fat.
Nutrisystem offers various 4-week plans, where you’ll eat 4-5 times a day. During your first week on Nutrisystem, you’ll eat 6 times a day. You’ll eat meals, bars and shakes from the program’s Turbo Takeoff box. Your second week, you’ll continue eating Nutrisystem foods while incorporating vegetables and fruits. You’ll also have a flex option, where you can dine out for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, or use a Nutrisystem recipe as a flex meal. Your meal options do depend on which plan you decide to go with, so you may experience limited choices.
Depending on your plan, you would log in your measurements and weight online through the website or an app, as well as receive access to dietitians and counselors.
Jenny Craig is built on a three-part process that focuses on giving you the support you need, delicious food you’ll love, so you get the results you want. While some weight loss programs provide food and some programs provide coaches, not many provide both. Jenny Craig is a complete program that provides everything you need to succeed.
Every single member is provided with a consultant, who is included with every membership. It’s the key difference between Jenny Craig and other food-based programs.
You meet with your consultant once a week, to do weigh-ins and discuss your plan for the week. They provide you with personalized support and skills to help you develop healthier habits and a healthy relationship with food. The menu is a guide to help you easily make the right choices each day.
Our weight loss consultants have gone through rigorous training, which focuses on active listening, motivation-based counseling, and education on nutrition, physical activity, and behavioral strategies for weight loss and lifestyle change. This education is essential for equipping Jenny Craig members with information so it can help sustain their healthy lifestyle.
The second part of our program is our food. We offer delicious food, so there is no chopping, meal prep or measuring required so you can make healthy choices easily. The food is crafted by chefs and nutritionists for superior taste in flavors you’ll love, like Chicken Fettucine, Margherita Pizza, and Beef Merlot. And then there’s dessert—yes, dessert!—with options like Chocolate Lava Cake, Apple Crisp and Triple Chocolate Cheesecake!
Our consultants create a menu featuring items that you will love to enjoy six times a day. The menu also includes fruits and vegetables for variety from our Fresh & Free Additions list. This includes non-starchy, high-fiber fruits and vegetables that can help you stay fuller longer.
How the Jenny Craig program works
- You get to eat often—six times per day. Three meals and two snacks are included in our delicious menu , and you supply one healthy snack.
- No food groups are eliminated. The name of the game here is a balance of carbs, protein and fat. You also add in fresh vegetables, side salads, fruits and dairy for additional balance.
- No calorie counting! No counting of calories or macro tracking.
- The food and menus are developed by chefs and nutritionists.
The goal isn't to keep you on Jenny Craig food permanently—it's a tool to help you reach your weight loss goal. You are encouraged during the weight loss part of the program to follow the plan to obtain the best results, but as you approach your goal, you are encouraged to start eating more of your own foods, or meals on your own. Your consultant will work with you on healthy meal planning and food preparation, as well as strategies for dining out and managing social situations. The goal is to develop a healthy, sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle you can live with.
The Jenny Craig program is proven and recognized by top news outlets and medical journals. US News and World Report ranked Jenny Craig as a top diet overall for weight loss for 7 years and counting. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) also backed Jenny Craig's value, citing that the program resulted in greater weight loss, compared to usual care1. The Annals of Internal Medicine also identified Jenny Craig as one of the most effective weight-loss programs2.
We’re very proud of our accolades, but that’s only one part of our success. When someone is looking for recommendations regarding weight loss programs, oftentimes it’s hearing from people who have been successful on that program that brings us together. Here is one from our success story, Sloane:
“Most diets give you a lot of margin for error. Measure this, count these, keep track of that, which I found put too much initial control in my hands. Knowing my meals were planned gave me the confidence and security to continue.”
You can learn about other members’ success by listening to their Success Stories, or visit one of our local neighborhood Jenny Craig centers near you to find out how the amazing combination of personalized support and food can help you reach your goals.
1Rock CL, Flatt SW, Karanja N, et al. JAMA. 2010;304(16):1803-1811
2Gudzune KA, Doshi RS, Mehta AK, Chaudhry ZW, Jacobs DK, Vakil RM, et al. Ef cacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs: An Updated Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:501-512. doi:10.7326/M14-2238