This International Women’s Day, we’re honoring our founder, Jenny Craig.
Since 1959, Jenny Craig has been helping members change their lives by teaching them how to build a healthy relationship with food. The story begins with Mrs. Craig herself as she struggled with weight loss after the birth of her second child. She was ready to lose weight, but realized she did not have good options to help her reach her goal. Through a combination of diet and exercise, she was able to get back to her pre-baby weight — but realized that there wasn’t much information on the dangers of obesity and lifestyle changes that could help.
How Jenny Craig was founded
In the early 1960s, Mrs. Craig began working at a local gym where she saw first-hand that exercise alone would not accomplish long-term weight management. Her interest and passion led to the opening of her own gym. After years of success with the enterprise, she sold the gym and spent many years in the industry learning and administering a complete program for weight management.
In 1983 she, along with her late husband, Sid Craig, opened their first Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center. Mrs. Craig took what she learned through her personal weight loss journey and years of working in the weight loss industry to create a comprehensive approach to weight loss that included a focus on portioned, nutritional food, the support of a personal consultant and the tools to help build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Flash forward to 2020; millions of people have changed their lives for the healthier because of her program, which has now been in existence for over 37 years. We sat down to talk to our co-founder, Jenny Craig, and find out six things you likely don’t know about her and the company:
Q: Why is it important for people to focus on building healthier habits in their daily life, not just for a big event?
A: Tomorrow is never a promise! If we want to live a long and healthy life, it’s important to take care of our bodies by doing what’s necessary to achieve good health. It’s an old concept but never more true than in today’s world where so many of our foods are loaded with hidden sugar and salt.
Q: Why is it important that Jenny Craig for the past 37 years, has stayed consistent in following the latest, proven nutrition science to help members lose weight in a healthy way — including integrating the latest Nobel-Prize winning research on circadian rhythm?
A: Every day there is more and more information on health and how to achieve the best results. It is difficult for someone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle to sift through all the misinformation, and it can result in the opposite effect on their weight loss goals. Jenny Craig is diligent about incorporating the most up-to-date scientific methods that have proven to be effective in weight management.
Q: Why did you feel so strongly about integrating the consultant aspect into the Jenny Craig program?
A: I’m often asked why Jenny Craig has been so successful for so many years. I’m sure in many cases they expect to hear some unknown secret. The truth is that regardless of the product or service that is being offered, it is only as good as the people who administer it. I believed then and still do now that people should be included on a company’s list of assets. Without good people, a company cannot survive! Jenny Craig has always strived to hire the best people for the job and then will spend time training them on the process. By placing great value on the employees, they respond by taking ownership of their service and ensuring every member receives the service and the tools to build healthy habits for a lifetime.
Q: Why is the human touch so important during the weight loss process?
A: Regardless of our good intentions, having guided support always makes the path a little easier and more enjoyable. Losing weight can have many complexities behind it, and it is important to have knowledgeable human input into the many questions that can arise. An app or program alone can’t factor in those complexities. Our consultants provide supportive monitoring to see how a member is doing and what changes may be necessary to achieve their goals. A consultant can provide valuable information on how to overcome challenges. They act as a pseudo cheerleader who applauds your successes — which can help give you the confidence to continue on your path to a healthier lifestyle, no matter the situation you find yourself in. Many members consider their consultant their best friend.
Q: What are your thoughts on how we must evolve to preserve our health with so much misinformation out there?
A: There are no magic bullets that will mysteriously allow us to achieve a healthy body without any effort. Because of the volume of misinformation, it is essential to receive proven scientific information and guidance on what works. Jenny Craig has done the research for their members and incorporated it into the program to not only provide success, but also achieve it in a healthy, sustainable way. For the past 10 years, the Jenny Craig program has been named a Best Diet by U.S. News & World Report.
Q: Is a mix of moderation and skill building still the answer today to lead a healthier lifestyle?
A: There are no “bad” foods, at least, most foods serve a purpose. Cutting out whole food groups can lead to an imbalanced diet and can be difficult to sustain in the long run. However, it’s important to eat foods in the proper portion size to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The company’s mantra has always been moderation! That’s why the program incorporates foods in the proper portion size to satisfy hunger and supply the nutrient needs for a healthy body. Convenience is also a welcomed benefit of the program. No need to plan menus, shop for the ingredients and spend time cooking the recipe. It’s all done for you! Imagine coming home to a dinner that takes under five minutes to prepare and knowing that you are eating healthful foods to support your goals … and enjoy eating them! Some members, even after achieving their goals ask, “Can I still buy the food? It makes every meal so easy.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how Jenny Craig can help you reach your health goals, book a complimentary appointment with a personal weight loss consultant.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig