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EZS Blogna

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Too many carbs, not enough protein on JC



I absolutely LOVE some of the Jenny Craig foods. But I am concerned that they have too many carbs and not enough protein (and fairly high sugars.) Pasta, potatoes and bread abound in their prepackaged meals.

Research shows that eating a higher proportion of protein results in more weight loss and less loss of muscle mass. For example:

In a study published in
Nutrition Metabolism
, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.

I seriously wonder if JC is focused on what we overeaters typically consider "comfort foods."
I also wonder if they are trying to cut their own costs by using inexpensive ingredients. Chicken and beef cost a lot more than spaghetti. Some of the meals have incredibly small portions of meat.

I have found that I lose weight much faster if I replace one JC meal a day (like lunch) with a salad topped with equivalent calories of chicken, beef or salmon. When I did this, I lost a healthy 2 lbs./week. On the JC meal plan, I was stuck for almost 3 weeks at the same weight, and feel fortunate to lose 1 lb. a week.

I use My Fitness Tracker (much better than the JC tracker) to keep close track what I eat. It consistently indicates that the JC program puts me over on their recommended levels of carbs and sugars.

My two cents.


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I was concerned about the small portions of protein. However, when I checked each food and logged the protein grams, it was the correct proportion. It does seem a bit shocking to eat pasta and breads when we are so "carb conscious". However, I think eating smaller portions of a more balanced diet works better in the big scheme of things. I naturally choose higher protein choices like the breakfast scramble, turkey burgers and dinners with protein. I am losing about three pounds a week. It does work. . . . Double check all the grams of proteins, sugars, etc in the foods you choose.

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Wow Sailorgal, I would KILL for 3 lbs. a week! Good for you. I will focus more on the higher protein choices too.

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Good advice, thanks.

I know what you mean, I'm trying to be healthy so how can I justify eating cinnamon buns for breakfast? As much as I'd like not to, I'm doing what you suggested and and getting as much protein is as I can every meal.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the tips on protein. I've only been on the program for a week and lost 4.2 pounds (I know you lose alot the first week and this will probably NEVER happen again) so knowing you lose more by eating more protein will help in my food choices for upcoming weeks.

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I agree with this! I just started... and one of my meals was cinnamon rolls, vanilla shake and a fruit - I told my consultant that was WAY to much sugar for me. I would end up feeling horrible all morning.

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I just completed my first week of Jenny Craig, I lost a little more than 5 pounds. Which was a disappointment to me. I can not help in wondering if there were less carbs, would I had better if there had been more protein. What bugged me was how hungry I was 90 minutes after eating. My stomach was growling through the night! Right now I am trying to figure out if this how I plan to lose the weight. I have to control the carbs and sugars out. Many of my family members have or had diabetes and I do not want to end up with myself. Plus, I having finding myself having to prepare my fathers meals as well. Luckily, I had meals that I frozen for him. However, i am asking myself, would it be better for the both of us by finding an program that would benefit us both.

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Painter girl


I discussed the cinnamon buns, barscotti, and the other sweet breakfast choices with my consultant. (I don't like sweets for breakfast). She immediately crossed those off the breakfast meals and gave me what I wanted - more protein with the egg meals. Also, I didn't want the chocolate lava cake, cupcakes, cheesecake etc for my evening snack. She changed those to savories. Talk to your consultant - they will fine tune the program to your likes.

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I just find the balance is "real life". We eat carbs, we eat protein. We just eat too much. I'm super pleased with the slow and steady weight loss while I enjoy everything, so I never feel deprived.

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I have the same concerns. Back in 2009, the menus had even lower protein and higher sodium than now. I quit back then to try a program on my own that would with higher protein, and less sodium. Unfortunately, I had a hard time with portion control, and was unable to lose weight, and ended up gaining weight over the years trying to do it on my own.

Now at my highest weight in my life (a weight I never thought I would get to), I went back in desperation to JC. I am on DAY 2!!

I am glad the program has higher protein and lower sodium, but the protein proportion still seems low to me.

I created an Excel spreadsheet, and sorted the meals with the most protein to the top, and formulate the meals and snack on each day to maximize protein content, without going too high on calories.

I read in the getting started guide I can substitute lean protein for the 2 milks per day (on 1200 cal plan). I have been considering substituting protein for the fruit servings, or some of the fruit servings (1.5 servings per day). Looking at the sugar, there is more than enough in the 3 meals plus snack in my estimation. As for vitamins, i am taking a multi-vitamin, and I eat tons of veggies.

I am still figuring out how to optimize my macros using this approach, but I think it will work well.

I track my foods with My Fitness Pal (which is WAY better than the JC app). So, that tracks my daily macros, as well as calories quite nicely.

Anyone else trying this approach?



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Painter girl: FYI, the lemon cooler cookies and key lime pie have more protein than the savory snacks. And, not all of the egg breakfasts have the highest protein content. Tops are Florentine pizza, breakfast scramble and cheddar cheese omelet. Pancakes are next and are pretty good if you want a break from eggy meals.

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I'm glad to read this thread. I just rejoined (day 2!) and am choosing only high protein options. I typically ate more than JC foods individually but I ate more in general (ahem). Anyway I figure I'm not all that far from my target g pro. One thing I plan to do is sub some of the snacks w a 150cal portion of quest protein bar - I figure this'll add 15g protein. I don't want to get in the habit of sweet snacks, or even chips and cheese curls.

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thank you for your post - I agree! mind you, I love the lemon and lava cakes but do not wish to get into the habit of eating desserts daily! I shall use your approach! thanks, again!

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