Jenny Craig Ranked a Best Diet for 9 Years Straight by U.S. News and World Report — Find Out WhyBy Carole Anderson Lucia Science-Backed
Have you heard the news? For nine years straight, U.S. News & World Report has named Jenny Craig one of the top weight-loss programs in the country. A panel of more than 20 physicians and other specialists in nutrition, weight loss, heart health, diabetes and human behavior examined a total of 41 weight-loss programs for safety, effectiveness and ease of use, among other factors.
We’re proud to announce that Jenny Craig ranked #2 as a best commercial diet plan and #3 as a best weight-loss diet! But that’s not all — the nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and rankings also placed Jenny Craig in the top 10 for three additional categories including Best Diabetes Diets, Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets and Easiest Diets to Follow.
“We are proud to be recognized as one of the best weight-loss programs for the ninth consecutive year by the reputable panel at U.S. News & World Report,” says Monty Sharma, president and CEO of Jenny Craig. “At a time when millions of Americans are struggling with weight loss at unprecedented levels, we pride ourselves on developing science-backed programs that help individuals achieve real results on their journey to better health. Our program is based on a formula that works; one-on-one support, personalized plans and premium, chef-crafted food with no artificial ingredients.”
Read on for some of the features that make Jenny Craig a top-rated weight-loss plan among renowned medical, health and wellness experts, along with information you can use to help determine whether any plan you follow is scientifically sound, safe and effective.
1. Support Is Key to the Program
According to research,1 having social support can be instrumental in your weight-loss efforts, whether it’s somebody to hold you accountable, to problem-solve with or to help you adopt healthy behaviors that can lead to sustainable weight loss. Jenny Craig’s personal weight-loss consultants deliver just this type of support through weekly one-on-one consultations, whether in person, over the phone or via video chat.
2. Healthy Eating Is Emphasized
Fad diets can be ineffective, unsustainable or even unsafe. But a well-balanced, healthy eating plan that limits calories moderately is the safest way to go, experts say.2 To promote health and weight loss, the CDC recommends the following strategies, all of which the Jenny Craig program incorporates:3
- Eat plenty of fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Include lean meats in your diet, including beans, eggs, fish, nuts and poultry.
- Keep your diet low in added sugars, cholesterol, saturated fats, sodium and trans fats.
3. Convenient Meals that Don’t Deprive
Many people want or need convenience in a weight-loss program, but not at the expense of taste. Not only does Jenny Craig’s ready-to-go meals remove the guesswork out of meal prep, but they’re chef-crafted, free of artificial ingredients and are designed by nutritionists … so they’re healthy and delicious!
If you’re on the Jenny Craig program, you’ll have more than 100 nutritious items to choose from, augmented with five servings daily of fresh fruits and vegetables that you supply on your own.
4. The Program Is Effective — and Backed by Research
While it’s always inspiring to read success stories and reviews of a weight-loss program by people who have done it, it’s especially reassuring to know that a program has been studied for effectiveness.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the Jenny Craig program. A 2015 review of 45 different studies that compared several commercial weight-loss plans, published in Annals of Internal Medicine,4 found that those on the Jenny Craig program lost more weight over 12 months than the other programs. And a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association5 found that after two years, overweight and obese women on the Jenny Craig plan significantly reduced their weight and waist circumference while improving their cardiometabolic risk factors.
5. It's Safe for People with Diabetes
According to the CDC, as of 2015, more than 100 million adults in the U.S. — had diabetes or its precursor, prediabetes.6 More troubling, the disease is on the rise, even among children and teens.7 The disease can have lasting health ramifications, as it can damage many vital body systems over time, including your blood vessels, eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves.8
Having prediabetes or diabetes often means that weight loss is recommended and that changes should be made to your diet.9 The American Diabetes Association, for instance, recommends that the majority of your carbohydrate intake should come from vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes and dairy products. Trans and saturated fats should be limited or avoided, while good fats (found in foods such as olive oil and nuts) can be enjoyed in small amounts. In addition, added sugars should be limited, and your sodium intake should fall under 2,300 milligrams per day.10
All of Jenny Craig’s menus, including Jenny Craig’s Type 2 diabetes menu, follow these guidelines and are also suitable for those with Type 1 diabetes and prediabetes. And they’re effective not only for weight loss, research shows, but also for improving important markers related to diabetes. A review of 10 commercial weight-loss programs by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, published in 2016, found that after 12 months, people with Type 2 diabetes who were following the Jenny Craig program reduced their hemoglobin A1c levels — a three-month average of blood-sugar concentrations — more than those who received weight-loss counseling alone.11
And another study, this one from 2014, found that people with Type 2 diabetes who were on the Jenny Craig program experienced greater weight loss and improved glycemic control compared with those who were on a traditional program that included two weight-loss counseling sessions and monthly contacts.12
6. The Program Incorporates the Latest Research
Researchers worldwide are continually studying the science behind obesity and weight loss, and any good program should regularly assess and take steps to incorporate the latest proven research. The experts at Jenny Craig began analyzing the preponderance of research into the body’s circadian rhythm — the natural 24-hour cycle of light and darkness that guides many body processes — and its role in weight loss and overall health.13-15
As a result, in 2018, Jenny Craig became the first major weight-loss company to integrate the science of circadian rhythm into its program. This plan, called Rapid Results, incorporates a daylight nutrition strategy (also known as Time-Restricted Feeding) to help you live your life in accordance with your body’s natural internal clock — and, in the process, help you lose weight and find additional health benefits.
Rapid Results leverages findings from 2017 Nobel Prize-winning research on circadian rhythm — and is based off science that indicates it’s not just about what you eat, but when, that can play an important role in helping you achieve your weight-loss goal.16 The program involves focusing on an eating time frame earlier in the day for 12 hours, then taking a digestion break during the 12 hours of evening/night (most of which is time spent sleeping). During this rest period, your body has time to rejuvenate and “clean house” so the cells of your body have a chance to repair and regenerate themselves, which helps your body function optimally the next day.17-18
But that’s not all — following this type of eating pattern can also help your body burn more of its own fat as fuel, according to Dr. Pamela Peeke, M.D., MPH, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chairwoman of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “If you don’t eat for an extended period of time, say eight to 12 hours, you enter a fasted state, your insulin levels are low, and your body starts to use fat as its source of energy,” she explains. Peeke continues, “When your body clocks are working in harmony, optimal weight management and metabolism are more likely to happen.”
The Results Speak for Themselves
Jenny Craig is an effective and easy to follow weight-loss program — and the expert panelists at U.S. News & World Report agree. We hope these tips prove helpful in your search for better health and weight loss.
Ready to experience the Jenny Craig difference? Contact us for a free appointment and get started on the path to better health and wellness today.
Carole Anderson Lucia
Carole is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California who specializes in health and wellness topics. Her work has appeared in Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Mom & Baby, Yahoo News, Viv magazine and Lifescript. She's won several national awards for her work including a National Science Award and two National Health Information awards. A frequent contributor to Jenny Craig’s Blog, Healthy Habits, she enjoys gardening, spending time at the beach and adopting far too many rescue animals in her spare time.
Favorite healthy snack: jicama dipped in homemade hummus.
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and reviewed by certified professionals.
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 the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.