Jenny Craig Diet

Posted on May 3, 2014

jenny-craig-dietIf all you know about the Jenny Craig diet is that Jessica Simpson went down a few dress sizes, then keep reading. Jenny Craig is a weight loss program based on reducing calorie and fat intake by managing portions with prepackaged meals. A personalized meal and exercise plan is created for you by your Jenny Craig consultant according to your weight, eating and fitness habits, and motivation level. Generally, the diets allow about 1,200 calories per day.

Your three meals and two snacks per day are all prepackaged (usually frozen) and delivered to your door. You won’t be cooking until you’re at least half way to your goal weight. You are only allowed to stray from your boxed meals with certain fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products. No food groups are forbidden. Even alcohol and caffeine are allowed in moderation. Their theory is that by eating prepackaged food, you will learn what a correctly portioned and balanced meal is. So, when you eventually cook for yourself, you’ll know what to do. Jenny Craig promises about 2 pounds of weight loss per week.

What are the benefits of Jenny Craig? You don’t have to think about anything. Just eat what’s delivered to you. Done. There’s no food shopping, cooking, or portioning and that’s a huge bonus. Jenny Craig meals are prepared with “energy-dense foods” so you will feel full longer. The one on one counseling is also a plus. And there are lots of online resources as well. There are also specific plans tailored to women, men, people with diabetes and seniors.

The biggest negative is the cost with reports of registration fees upwards of $400, approximately $100 per week for meals, plus monthly fees. Going to a friend’s house for dinner, or to a restaurant isn’t possible. You will have to eat separate meals from your family. The plan does not work for vegans, anyone with gluten sensitivities, and would be difficult for vegetarians as there are few meatless options. If you have a lot of weight to lose, months of prepackaged food may get tiresome.

So, what about the food? All of the (low sodium, low cholesterol) prepackaged foods by Jenny Craig are designed to meet the USDA Dietary Guidelines. They contain fruits, vegetables, reduced fat milk products, whole grains, heart healthy fats, eggs, fish. poultry, beans, and nuts. The dinner meals also contain desserts like a chocolate fudge brownie. You can also eat as much non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and broccoli as you like. Half way to your goal weight, you can start adding a few home cooked meals. Once you reach your goal weight, you transition to all home cooked meals over a four week period. Start clearing out your freezer ahead of time if you’re going to call Jenny!