Beginning a weight loss journey is often the hardest part. A million thoughts rush through your head: Which diet is best? Will I like the food? Will it work long-term?
If you’re considering the Jenny Craig diet, you might have searched, “Does Jenny Craig work?” Spoiler alert: The answer is yes!
Of course, we might be a little biased, but with good reason: For nearly 40 years, we’ve been helping people reach their goals with our science-backed weight loss program. With Jenny Craig, you’ll have all your meals covered, the guidance of a personal coach, and a supportive community cheering you on from day one.
So how does Jenny Craig work? Find out.
Remember to always consult your physician before starting a weight loss program.
Jenny Craig basics
Before we dive into the details of how Jenny Craig works, it’s helpful to have an overview of the program.
1. You’ll eat Jenny Craig food — no cooking or counting required
With our complete plan, you’ll eat our ready-to-go breakfasts, lunches, dinners and two snacks each day (you’ll also enjoy one snack of your own). Most of the food is frozen, to lock in nutrients and retain flavor. You’ll also add your own non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruit to round out each day.
If you think Jenny Craig’s food is typical diet cuisine, don’t be fooled. Our premium meals are chef-crafted and big on flavor. The meals don’t just taste good, they’re also nourishing. Our meal plans are designed by registered dietitians to follow dietary guidelines, so you’ll get the nutrients you need while working toward your weight loss goals.
And don’t worry — you won’t be eating Jenny Craig food forever. Once you reach your weight loss goal, you’ll transition to our Maintenance Plan and begin making your own meals.
2. You’ll connect one-on-one with your weight loss coach
You’re never alone on your journey with Jenny Craig. You’ll connect weekly — over the phone or in-person — with your dedicated personal weight loss coach to discuss your goals, review your weekly plan and tackle any challenges. Your coach isn’t just a great resource, they’re also your number one cheerleader!
3. You’ll follow our science-backed plan
It’s no coincidence that millions of people have found success with the Jenny Craig program: Clinical research proves its effectiveness.2 A review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that Jenny Craig was one of the most effective commercial weight loss programs — and that it resulted in greater weight loss at 12 months compared to the control group.1
Jenny Craig isn’t a fad diet — it’s a weight loss program created by a team of medical and nutrition professionals. By following our plan and eating our balanced meals, you’ll learn how to lose weight and keep it off.
4. You'll focus on diet, not exercise.
With Jenny Craig, exercise is optional. Yes, you read that right: You don't have to work out on the Jenny Craig program. Our meal plans are designed to create a calorie deficit to help you lose weight without exercise. However, as part of a healthy lifestyle, we encourage you to try and meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation of getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week and incorporating strength training exercises two days a week. But if you're an exercise newbie, don't fret. Focus on your diet first, and then you can slowly add exercise. Check out our Beginner's Guide to Exercise.
5. You’ll lose weight at a healthy rate
While you might experience quick weight loss in your first few weeks, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week on the Jenny Craig program. Although that might not seem like a lot, those pounds add up, fast! What’s more, experts agree that losing 1-2 pounds a week is not only healthy, but it’s also more sustainable.3
How does Jenny Craig work? Follow these steps.
1. Choose how you’d like to get started.
Ready to begin? We can’t wait to help you reach your goals! Choose the option that’s most convenient for you.
- Purchase your plan online
Shop our menu plans and order Jenny Craig food online. We offer a variety of budget-friendly plans starting at just $12.99 a day (online only, more details on each plan later.)
- Connect with your local center
Book a free appointment to connect with a weight loss coach safely in-person or over the phone when it’s convenient for you.
- Give us a ring
Have questions? Connect with a Jenny Craig team member over the phone. You can reach us at 866-706-4042.
2. Select your plan.
Once you’ve connected with a Jenny Craig team member, you’ll choose which healthy meal plan is best for you. All of our plans include a variety of our nutrient-rich and delicious chef-crafted meals and snacks. Choose from:
Our most effective weight loss program ever! Our revolutionary new plan leverages the science of intermittent fasting and combines it with our chef-crafted meals, 1:1 coaching and NEW Recharge Bar designed to increase fat burn, help you feel less hungry and maintain your fast on Rapid Results Max.
You can lose up to 17 lbs. in your first 4 weeks!†
† First 4 weeks only. Average weight loss in study was 13 lbs. for those who completed the program.
With Rapid Results Max, you’ll nourish your body for 10 hours and then refrain from food and caloric beverages for the remaining 14 hours (this is when you sleep!). You can eat while fasting with our revolutionary Recharge Bar which is designed to naturally extend your fast. The program is designed to optimize your metabolism by eating when it’s most efficient and taking a break when you’re naturally winding down at night. Depending on how many calories a day you need to lose weight, your weight loss coach will set you up on our 1,200, 1,500, or 1,700 calories per day plan.
Each plan has the perfect balance of macronutrients for weight loss: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
This menu plan is designed to support people with Type 2 diabetes as well as prediabetes. In fact, clinical research shows our Type 2 plan may improve your glycemic control.4 Similar to our other plans it’s reduced-calorie, but it’s lower in carbs. This helps with glycemic control and weight loss.
Simple or Essential Meal Plan (online only)
These plans are built with your budget in mind. While they are not complete weight loss plans, they give you a taste of Jenny Craig’s delicious food and can help you save time during the week. Choose from a breakfast and lunch option or a full day of meals. Snacks and shakes are not included in this plan.
3. Meet your personal weight loss coach.
If you’ve selected our Rapid Results Max plan or Type 2 plan, you’ll set up a call with your weight loss coach to review your menu plan and discuss your goals. You’ll connect every week with your coach at a time that works best for you.
During your meeting, you’ll review your upcoming menu plan and discuss your progress. If you have questions about the program, need some advice or just want a little extra motivation, your coach will be there! Use this time to focus on you and your goals.
4. Get started and stay connected
Once your food arrives (or you’ve picked it up at your local center), it’s time to get started! Dive in to your delicious Jenny Craig food and stick to your plan for the best results.
Wondering what’s on the Jenny Craig menu? Check out a few examples on this Jenny Craig food list:
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Bacon & Egg White Sandwich
- Blueberry Pancakes & Sausage
- Cheesy Egg & Bacon Skillet
- Cinnamon Rolls
Lunches & Dinners
Snacks & Desserts
Bars & Shakes
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bar
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
- Milk Chocolate Delight Shake Mix
- Sweet and Salty Peanut Bar
- Vanilla Cream Shake Mix
To help you stay motivated and on track, make sure to check out the following resources:
- Download our mobile app to track your meals throughout the day.
- Connect with us on social media for inspiration, tips and more.
- Sign up to receive our weekly health and wellness newsletters.
- Get inspired on our Healthy Habits blog with healthy recipes, exercise tips and success stories.
5. Work toward your goals, reward yourself and modify as needed
Weight loss is a journey. But if there’s one thing for sure: It’s a rewarding one. As you work toward your goals, remember there will be highs and lows. Don’t forget to lean on your Jenny Craig coach during challenging times — whether you’re struggling with a weight loss plateau, an exercise rut or a stressful week. And know that you will succeed. Why? Because Jenny Craig works!
With every weight loss milestone you hit — reward yourself! It’s not just about reaching your goal weight — it’s about so much more. Losing just 5%-10% of your weight is a great place to start and an amazing accomplishment! You may also notice non-scale weight loss victories along the way, like fitting into your favorite pair of jeans, running around with your kids or feeling more energetic.
As you progress, work with your weight loss coach to modify as needed. Once you’ve reached your goal, you’ll transition off of our Complete menu plan and start making meals on your own. Your coach will guide you through this transitional phase to help you maintain your new weight and continue your newfound healthy habits.
The bottom line
So, does Jenny Craig work? We know it does! Are you ready to give it a try? From our balanced meals to our dedicated one-on-one support, you’ll have everything you need to take control of your weight and reach your goals.
If you’re ready to start a weight loss program that works, connect with us today and get started!
 JAMA. 2010 Oct 27;304(16):1803-10
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. An endurance sports enthusiast, she is usually swimming in the pool, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple
Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, RDN
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: Peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content.
All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources, including peer-reviewed journals. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.