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Eat Well ·

Eating Habits & Triggers - Why & When You Eat

By Jenny Craig

Are you a Uniformed Eater, an Emotional Eater, an Unconscious Eater, or a Social Eater? If you’re getting started on the program, find out what category you may fit in and how to handle it.

Uninformed Eater: Exploring More Nutritious Choices

With Jenny Craig, you are learning how to eat from expert nutrition recommendations. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines advise a dietary pattern that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources and heart healthy fats, while limiting saturated fat, sodium and added sugars.

Maximize the value of your meal

  • Each week, vary your fruit and vegetable choices to ensure you receive a spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
  • See your Menu Planner to identify Jenny Craig entrées that contain whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, corn, barley and oats.
  • Notice the lean protein sources that are a part of your menu, such as chicken/turkey, lean beef, tuna/shellfish and legumes – these are all low in saturated fat, helping to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL “good” cholesterol in the blood.
  • Experiment with a variety of healthy fat options – nuts, nut butters, vegetable oils, avocados, seeds and olives for the heart healthy fats listed on your menu.
  • Add new flavors and satisfaction to your menu with the Simple Inspirations listed on your Jenny Craig entrées.

Emotional Eater: Responding to Emotions Without Food

Know the difference between emotional and physical hunger, identify your triggers for emotional eating and respond with healthy alternatives to food. By getting in touch with your “stomach” vs. “head” hunger signals this will help you identify if you truly are hungry.

Remember To “H.A.L.T.”

Beware of getting too Hungry, Angry/anxious, Lonely/sad or Tired/bored – all common triggers for unplanned eating. Pay attention to your physical and emotional cues and respond with self-care strategies. Eat regular meals and snacks, get adequate rest and relaxation and connect with others.

“S.T.O.P.” To Make The Best Choice

Practice this technique to avoid getting swept away by your emotions with the urge to eat.

Stop – put on the brakes before going into “automatic pilot” eating.

Think – listen for your hunger cues vs. emotional distress.

Overview – ask yourself what you really need in the moment and decide if it’s food or a healthy alternative.

Pick – make a conscious choice and feel empowered by it.


Ideas for Healthy Alternatives to Eating

  • Take a quick nap
  • Call your Consultant
  • Call/text a friend
  • Go for a quick walk
  • Write in a journal
  • Enjoy a bath/shower
  • Listen to music
  • Confront a situation
  • Go online to Jenny Craig Forums

Unconscious Eater: Eating More Mindfully

Change not just what, but how you eat. Make small adjustments to control external cues and practice eating in a more conscious, enjoyable way.

Rearrange Your Environment

  • Choose a designated eating place at home and work.
  • Avoid eating at your desk or computer, over the sink, in the car or in front of the TV.
  • Serve meals on individual plates instead of family style to control portions; keep serving dishes in the kitchen to avoid having seconds.
  • Use smaller (salad) plates to make portions appear larger.
  • Keep lower calorie foods like non-starchy veggies and fruits, front and center in the refrigerator.

Manage Mindless Eating Triggers

  • While watching TV, do things that can’t be done while eating: polish your nails, sew or lift small weights – especially during commercials when you’re more likely to be exposed to food cues!
  • While cooking for others, chew sugarless gum to reduce the temptation to taste during food preparation.

Take Time To Savor The Flavor

  • Practice mindful eating habits such as slowly eating and stopping when you feel satisfied.
  • Notice how the habit of mindful eating impacts your desire to eat unplanned foods.

Social Eater: Managing People, Places and Events

There’s no need to avoid social situations when you prepare in advance.

Pre-Plan Events

Make a plan with your Consultant or using your Jenny Craig Menu grocery foods.

  • Check ahead with your host on the menu - offer to bring a salad, veggie or fruit plate.
  • Plan ahead by enjoying your Jenny Craig meal beforehand

Be A Social Butterfly

Focus on the social aspects of the party: offer to greet guests, set up games and take pictures.

Weigh The “Pros And Pros” Of Food And Drink Offers

  • What are the pros (or benefits) of accepting the offer? (I will please my host, enjoy the food and feel a part of the party.)
  • What are the pros (or benefits) of declining the offer? (I will control calories, decrease my risk of overeating, be more likely to lose weight and feel proud for following my plan.)
  • Based on your weight loss goals, decide which choice is more valuable to you.

Practice “PRP” When Declining An Offer

  • Practice saying “No” nicely and stay on track with your weekly action plan.
  • Polite Response: “Thanks, your cake looks delicious!”
  • Reason for Refusing: “Dinner was perfect and I couldn’t imagine eating another bite.”
  • Polite Response: “I’ll have to try it next time.”

Travel With Confidence

  • Pack shelf-stable Jenny Craig meals/snacks.
  • At the airport, burn extra calories by walking the terminal.
  • On the road, stop to get out of the car for 10 minute activity breaks.


You can discuss your eating styles with a consultant by scheduling a consultation at any of our 500+ locations, or meet via phone or video chat!



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