Tag Archives: jenny craig

weight watchers or jenny craig

Weight Watchers vs. Jenny Craig | Which Diet Is Better?

Which diet is better: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig? Let’s compare: WW & jenny Craig are two heavyweight names in the diet industry, but which one is best? In the Weight Watchers versus Jenny Craig battle, let’s look at both customer reviews, expert ratings, and price.


Customer Reviews:

Both of these diets are popular, so we can learn a lot from both WW reviews and Jenny Craig Reviews. Here’s how the two diets compare based on hundreds of customer ratings from reviews on ConsumerReports.com:

ww customer ratingsjenny craig customer reviews

It looks like Weight Watchers scores better than Jenny Craig based on the ratings from customer reviews. Now, let’s see how the experts rate these two diets.


Expert reviews:

U.S. News asked a panell of health experts to rate Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig on a number of important factors. Let’s compare:

rating weight watchersjenny craig rating

Wow, looks like Weight Watchers beats Nutrisystem in all of the major areas! However, no single diet is best for everyone, so let’s look at how these two weight loss plans compare to see if this is really a knockout victory for Weight Watchers.


About Weight Watchers

weight watchers logo

Weight Watchers is the undisputed heavyweight champion in commercial diets, and consistently ranked as the best weight loss diet. WW has helped millions of women and men lose weight for decades because their plan is simple, effective, and no foods are off-limits.

Weight Watchers doesn’t focus on counting calories, because all calories are not equal. For example, a candy bar might have the same number of calories as grilled salmon with vegetables. Instead, WW has a point system which assigns a point value to every food. Everyone who joins WW is given a daily points budget based on factors like height, weight, & gender.

Each day you’ll “spend” points on food, with healthy foods having fewer points. Even though no foods are forbidden, (including wine and pizza!) unhealthy foods will cost you more points. Really, the idea of the WW plan is to teach you to make healthy food choices that will become a lifelong habit. *Related: Does Weight Watchers Really Work?

The Weight Watchers app is central to their diet, and what you’ll use to track your points every day. It’s also how you can access resources like recipes and “Weight Watchers Connect,” a social network of thousands of other supportive women and men on WW.

You have the option of adding meetings to your Weight Watchers membership, which offer support, accountability, and personal attention. Although meetings don’t fit everyone’s schedule and budget, they have been proven to greatly increase the success rate of Weight Watchers.

ww featured promo

*View their featured promotion (above) or all WW coupons


About Jenny Craig

Like WW, Jenny Craig has been around a long time, helping thousands of women and men lose weight since 1983. Unlike Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig is a meal-delivery diet. Instead of asking you to provide your own food and track points, jenny Craig ships you pre-portioned frozen food every month.

When you sign up for Jenny Craig, you’ll get a personalized meal and exercise plan designed for you based on factors including your height, weight, and activity level. You’ll also have weekly counseling sessions with a trained Jenny Craig consultant, either in-person at one of their many locations, or via phone or video chat. Like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig values personal attention highly, but they offer it through a consultant rather than group meetings.

Jenny Craig’s menu consists of about 100 total entrees, plus desserts and snacks. You’ll eat 3 meals (and a snack) each day, which you’ll supplement with your own fresh fruits and vegetables and 2+ nonfat dairy products. Meal portions are smaller than most people are used to, and designed to restrict calories… more

jenny craig promo banner

*Best deal for joining Jenny Craig


Short Term Weight Loss: Which Diet Is Better?

Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig score highly for short term weight loss, but WW gets a higher rating from reviews and expert ratings. They both do well with initial weight loss results because if you follow their plans, the math says that you should immediately start losing weight. WW achieves this through their points system, and Jenny Craig through fewer calories per day with their convenient and nutritious pre-portioned meals.

Although WW gets the edge here, Jenny Craig is the highest-rated meal delivery diet for short-term weight loss.


Long-Term Weight Loss: WW or Jenny Craig?

Most diets out there can boast a successful first month of weight loss, but are they sustainable? Weight loss should really just be a happy side-effect of a healthier lifestyle, not the only goal. Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig try to teach you healthy habits that you’ll follow long after quitting their programs.

While some people stay on Weight Watchers for many months or even years, that’s not the case with Jenny Craig. This is probably because of their limited menu and high monthly cost. Jenny Craig states that you can stay on their diet “as long as it takes” until you can be weaned off of their prepared food and make your own healthy choices. It seems that customers are more likely to gain weight back after leaving Jenny Craig, as Weight Watchers scores significantly higher for long-term success.


Easy to Follow: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig?

Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer members online resources like recipes, tips, and a supportive community. Also, the goal of both of these diets is to instill healthy eating habits so that members can continue to make healthy lifestyle choices long after ending their paid membership.

However, you’d think that a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem should beat WW in this category, but surprisingly they don’t. The monthly meal-delivery and recipes does make Jenny Craig sound more convenient, but experts decided that menu restrictions, including at restaurants, gave Weight Watchers the “win” again in this round.


Which Is Healthier: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig?

Both diets scored very well in this area. Weight Watchers point system ensures that you eat healthy food on your own, and Jenny Craig’s pre-made meals are nutritious and balanced. However, Weight Watchers was rated as being healthier than Jenny Craig.

Why? Their FreeStyle program really emphasizes eating fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy proteins like chicken and seafood. It seems that experts agree that you can’t beat home cooking and fresh ingredients, as no meal delivery diet outranks Weight Watchers on health!

*Related: Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem


Cost Comparison (A Huge Factor!)

Up until this point Weight Watchers has been winning on the scorecard, but when it comes to price, WW delivers a knockout punch:

  • Weight Watchers OnlinePlus costs about $20 per month. If you add meetings, you’re total will be $50 per month. No food is included with WW, which costs about $20 per day
  •  Jenny Craig is very expensive, costing $500-600+ per month plus the price of fresh fruits vegetables and nonfat dairy products.

While it’s not easy to compare the cost of a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig to a DIY diet like Weight Watchers, it’s still hard to swallow Jenny Craig’s shocking price tag any way you look at it. In fact, the price of Jenny Craig is almost double the cost of Nutrisystem, another leading meal delivery diet.

While customers have the option of being thrifty on Weight Watchers, (cost depends on grocery store / restaurant food spending) there is no such option with jenny Craig. Even though Jenny Craig gets high marks in the meal-delivery diet category, it can be a budget-buster for many people. For that reason, we can only recommend Jenny Craig to people who want meal delivery and can afford the price tag.


And the Winner Is… Weight Watchers!

versus diets boxers

As we mentioned, comparing a DIY diet like Weight Watchers to a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig isn’t easy. Although we declare Weight Watchers the better diet, we have to qualify that by saying, “it’s better for most people.”

Weight Watchers requires daily point-tracking and provides no food. So, for WW to work for you, you’re going to have to be comfortable with spending a lot of time planning your own meals and tracking every meal.

You might think of Jenny Craig as “the Cadillac of meal delivery,” in the sense that it’s the top-rated meal delivery diet, getting high marks for convenience, taste of food, and one-on-one attention. (But, expensive!) 

We’ll sum this whole battle up by saying that Weight Watchers is the best “do it yourself” diet, offering a lot of flexibility. However, some people find that it offer too much freedom and responsibility, and as a result WW doesn’t work for them. If you want meal delivery and don’t mind the price tag, go with Jenny Craig or consider the less expensive Nutrisystem diet. (coupons)

Thinking of joining one of these diets? You can check out today’s best deal for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
jenny craig specials

Jenny Craig Deals: Top Special Offers, Coupons – 2019

jenny craig logoCoupons & special offers for joining Jenny Craig: Although Jenny Craig is the highest rated meal-delivery diet, it’s quite expensive! The good news is that they always have one or more specials for new customers that can get you a big discount at signup. These offers can change, so we update this page each day with the best available coupons and deals available below:

Today’s best special for Jenny Craig:

featured specialjenny craig food special*Lose 16 lbs. for $16 + $120 in free food!*

*We’ve been posting Jenny Craig specials in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now in 2019. This is one of the best offers for new customers that we’ve seen! 


How Signup Specials & Coupons Work:

There’s always a promotion available for joining Jenny Craig, so never signup unless you are getting a special offer like their featured deal. Here’s what you should know about coupons and deals:

  • Usually a special offer will be towards the first 3-4 months of your membership fees
  • The savings, such as “$100 in free food,” is split over the first 10 weeks of membership
  • Purchase of food is required, which is most of the total cost of Jenny Craig
  • Menu substitutions may not be permitted during the promotional period
  • $99 charge to cancel 2nd shipment of food, and cancellation must be made within 3 days of arrival of first shipment
  • The better deals include free shipping, plus a bonus like “free chocolates”

Coupon Not Working?

Usually the best deal out there is applied to your account once you click over to jennycraig.com. That means you won’t have to enter a coupon code to get the best price. (There usually isn’t even a field at signup to enter a code!)  

However, there are a number of dubious coupon sites promoting Jenny Craig promo codes. In my experience these codes are invalid, and the coupon site is more interested in getting your email address or credit for an affiliate sale than delivering a valid coupon!

The reality is that most of the time only one featured and valid deal is available, and no promo code can be stacked on top of this special offer. Having said that, they do run really great seasonal specials, including after New Year’s, when a rare promotional code is available. If this is the case, we’ll be the first to post the code!

Example: You can also try these supposed Jenny Craig promo codes:

  • $25 off coupon with code: order25
  • $25 off with coupon: M43
  • New members: 5% off food w/ coupon code: CW6
  • Free life-size Kirsti Allie Doll with signup. Use code: NotSerious

These are currently featured on RetailMeNot and coupons.com. I can’t get them to work, but if you are presented with the option of entering a code, give them a try. Once in a while they also post specials on their blog.

Related Coupons: Nutrisystem Deals | WW Specials | South Beach Diet


Jenny Craig: What Happens at Signup?

retro women lifting weights

Women feeling good about Jenny Craig deals

If you click a promotion, it will be applied to your shopping cart. You’ll then go through 3 brief steps:

  1. Signup with email and address
  2. Choose jenny Craig Center location for your free appointment
  3. Schedule a day and time

Then, at the actual appointment you will:

  1. Meet with one of Jenny Craig’s trained consultants
  2. Learn how the diet can be customized to your specific needs
  3. Choose a plan, including a custom menu

There’s no pressure or obligation to purchase the plan and menu that you’ve chosen, but the idea is that if you do, you’ll get started promptly with the special price from the special offer that you clicked on. (above)


Deals & Specials May Require a Minimum Commitment

Before you join any weight loss program or signup for a diet, it’s good to do your homework, as there may be strings attached. When you take advantage of a special offer or coupon, you are most likely committing to a minimum length of membership. Often if you quit a diet such as Jenny Criag before your commitment ends, you may be charged a cancellation fee.

If you have any questions, call Jenny Craig at: 1-800-JennyCare (536-6922)Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Does Jenny Craig Work? Reviews, Ratings (Good + Bad!)

jenny craig logoWhat is the Jenny Craig diet, and does it work? Founded in Australia in 1983, Jenny Craig soon became a household name in weight loss. The program is currently ranked as the #2 commercial diet, trailing only Weight Watchers in the rankings from U.S. News.

Jenny Craig (coupons) offers a comprehensive approach to healthy weight management involving food, mind, and body. That all sounds promising, but does it actually work?

Let’s look at both Jenny Craig users and weight loss studies to see if Jenny Craig delivers on the weight loss results that they promise.


How Does Jenny Craig Work?

Before we look at whether the program works, let’s look at how it works. Jenny Craig is a popular meal-delivery weight loss program based on science. The program is much more than just food, combining the following components for effective for weight management:

  • Portion control / meal replacement: The foundation of the Jenny Craig program is the nutritious, pre-portioned, packaged food that’s delivered to your door
  • Reduced energy-density foods: The Jenny Craig program  emphasizes eating reduced “energy density.” This is also a key component in the popular “Volumetrics” diet, which has shown that consuming foods with lower calorie density helps to make you feel fuller and eat less.
  • Behavior modification: Most people are overweight because of bad eating habits. The Jenny Craig Program teaches you healthy eating habits that should last a lifetime. They also teach healthy self-care and stress management skills that encourages a healthier mind and body
  • Motivational counseling: Most other meal-delivery diets don’t include personal support  from a trained counselor, which Jenny Craig believes is crucial to keeping you motivated and on track to meet your goals. This one-on-one attention is also the reason why Jenny costs more than other commercial diets
  • Consistent physical activity: Weight management is more than just what you eat, but also including regular movement and exercise in your weekly routine

Each one of these components has been individually proven to be effective for weight management. By combining them into one program, Jenny Craig has created a holistic approach involving food, mind, and body that encourages effective weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

How Do the “Personal Consultants” Work?

When you join Jenny Craig, you’ll make an appointment to speak with a trained counselor via phone or video chat. They will assess your lifestyle and weight loss goals and develop a personalized program and menu for you. They will also touch base with you once a week while you’re on the program; either through the Jenny Craig Anywhere program via phone or chat, or in person at one of the 500+ Jenny Craig weight loss center locations.

These sessions function to keep you on track to meet your weight loss goals, but also help with motivation, accountability, and to set your menu choices.

You Start With “Rapid Results”

rapid results jenny craigThe program now starts with their new “Rapid Results” program, (similar to Nutrisystem’s FreshStart®) which helps you lose up to 16 pounds in your first 4 weeks. This innovative fast weight loss phase was inspired by recent Nobel Prize-winning science that revealed the important relationship between our body clock and metabolism. (more)

How Food Works:


Most of the monthly cost of the program is in the price of food, which is required and averages about $20 per day. These prepared meals are delivered to your door every two weeks, and you are strlled once per month.

For the first phase of the diet you’ll eat 3 pre-packaged Jenny Craig meals and one snack in addition to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables + 2 non-fat dairy products each day. You’ll be asked to provide these fresh fruits and veggies will from the grocery store, so plan on that as an additional expense when estimating the cost of the program.

As soon as you reach half of your weight loss goal, you’ll transition to eating more “real” food and slightly increasing your daily calories. You’ll do this by cooking two meals for yourself each week using Jenny Craig’s recipes and guidelines for preparation and portioning. The idea is to ween you off of their prepared meals so that you can continue with your weight loss journey by incorporating their tools, personal support, and more “home-cooked” food each day.

How Long Does the Program Last?

The diet lasts as long as you need it to, and there’s no long-term commitment after the initial two months. Some people may find that after a few months they’d like to go it alone, while others enjoy the structured meals, personal support, and motivation, and stay on the program for a couple of years.

When you feel that you have the tools to ability to drop the prepared meals and weekly counseling, you are free to quit the program and use the healthy eating and lifestyle choices that you learned during the program to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise:

When you join Jenny Craig, your personal consultant will work with you to develop a personalized activity plan based on your fitness level and lifestyle. The goal here is to incorporate 30 minutes of moderate activity and movement into your daily routine, 5-days a week.

How Much Weight Will You Lose?

With the current Rapid Results plan JennyCraig claims that you can, “lose up to 16 pounds in the first 4 weeks,” and add that, “Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2lbs per week,” including, “an average of 11.6 pounds in the first 4 weeks” according to their own study.

The goal is to achieve a healthier lifestyle that results in a sustainable 1-2 pound weight loss, although reviews include a wide-range of results from customers who have lost from 0-50+ pounds.

Your First Order – What to Expect:

Here’s a great overview of what to expect from the program, including your first delivery of food:

If you live near a Jenny Craig weight loss center, you can pick up your food there and choose to meet with your consultant in-person. If not, you’ll follow the “Anywhere” program in which food is delivered to your door and you talk via phone with your personal consultant. (above)

Cost of the Program:

You can estimate that the program costs about $20 per day, but we wrote all about the cost of Jenny Craig here. Also, here’s their best current special for new customers:

jenny craig promo banner*Best deal for joining Jenny Craig


Reviews: So, Does Jenny Craig Really Work? 

Customer ratings of Jenny Craig

Customer ratings from Consumer Reports

It’s one thing to put several components together (like Voltron!) into a weight loss program, but does the diet actually deliver on weight loss results? 

As mentioned, for most people the diet does work, resulting in an average weight loss of about 12 pounds in the first month, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Here are the strengths and weaknesses of the program based on expert ratings, success rates, and hundreds of customer reviews:


Reviews & Ratings: GOOD

review goodAs we mentioned, Jenny Craig recently ranked as the #2 commercial diet in America, and a rated as a “Best Diet” for 8 years straight.

Let’s see why the diet works for most people, and look at the common themes found in positive user reviews:

  1. Fast Weight Loss: The Jenny Craig program has you hit the ground running with their “Rapid Results” program that immediately puts you on a structured plan that helps to curb cravings and prepare your body and mind for sustained weight loss. This first month helps you to lose up to 16 pounds or more, and its high success rate is a big reason why Jenny Craig is ranked an impressive #3 by U.S. News for short-term weight loss
  2. Easy to Follow: JennyCraig works for a lot of users because it’s a structured plan that tells you what to eat and when, and helps you to make simple adjustments to your daily routine for a healthier lifestyle. There’s no need to count calories, carbs, points, or measure portion sizes. It’s ranked highly at #7 for “Easiest Diets to Follow” by U.S. News
  3. Personal Attention: The top commercial diets seem to realize that personalization, motivation, and accountability are all an important part of what makes a diet work. While DIY diets can be cheap, research says they aren’t as effective. That’s why Jenny emphasizes the role of a dedicated personal consultant in the program to help support you in a number of ways. It’s also why WW reports that people who attend meetings are twice as likely to achieve their weight loss goals.
  4. Popular with Diabetics: A lot of the good reviews online are from customers who have Type 2 Diabetes, and Jenny Craig offers a custom plan for diabetics. This plan includes foods with fewer carbs, less sugar, and self-management strategies for diabetics. Smaller, more frequent meals with a lower calorie density also help to regulate blood sugar levels for diabetes control

You can find lots of positive customer reviews and testimonials on JennyCraig.com, but sometimes it’s better to read the (sometimes painfully honest) negative reviews.


Reviews & Ratings: BAD

review badIt’s important to be skeptical of all diets and weight loss programs. There is no one presidential candidate or brand of shoes that works for everyone, and the same could be said for diets. The important thing is that a weight loss program should work for your lifestyle and unique personality, and you shouldn’t feel like a square peg trying to squeeze into a round hole.

Let’s look at which areas this diet doesn’t rate favorably, and learn why people complain that Jenny Craig did not work for them.

  1. The Price: The #1 complaint about Jenny Craig in both user reviews and expert ratings is the high price. By their own estimates you’ll spend about $20 per day on food while on the program which means that at $600+ per month, the cost of this diet could be a deal-breaker for many people. Does the role of the personal consultant justify a price tag nearly twice the cost of Nutrisystem? You’ll want to decide whether the personal attention is important to you and worth the hefty price tag.
  2. The food: There are literally no meal-delivery diets with gourmet food that will knock the socks off of a New York Times food critic. Such is the case with Jenny Craig and their food that might be described as mediocre or “adequate” by those with a fickle palette. While most restaurant food is off-liits, you can supplement their meals with fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store.
  3. Lost weight may return: As mentioned, the actual Jenny Craig program has no set duration, and some people may quit after 3 months, feeling that they are ready to go it alone. Bad habits are hard to break, which may be why customers complain in negative reviews that their weight has come back after leaving the program. There is also a significant emotional component to eating which may not get corrected in only a few months. While ranking well for “short term weight loss,” Jenny Craig gets a mediocre 3-stars for “long-term weight loss” with U.S. News.

If you’re looking to scour through some bad reviews, try ConsumerAffairs.com. It’s where a lot of angry customers go to write bad reviews. Now, let’s look at what the experts say. 


Expert Ratings:

U.S News asked a group of health and diet experts to rate Jenny Craig in several important areas. The result was that they scored well, once again taking the title of “highest rated meal delivery diet,” and the #2 commercial diet behind Weight Watchers. Here’s how they scored:

jenny craig rating

Based on the same criteria, we gave them a slightly higher score, but note that Jenny Craig’s high price may be a concern.


Is Jenny Craig Effective? Clinical Studies & Success Rates:

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/sites/default/files/styles/the_breaking_news_image_style/public/lie-detector.jpg?itok=EPvAhAs_

Does Jenny Craig really work?

To answer that question, the review from Consumer Reports may be most useful (below), as journals and independent studies can be a slog to read through. They also can be vague, filled with numbers and citations, and rarely commit to concluding that any diet will really “work,” as there are a lot of variables to consider.

  • Consumer Reports conducted a clinical trial in 2011 ranking the 6 top commercial diets including Jenny Craig, Weight Watcher, Atkins, Slim Fast, Ornish, and the Zone diet. They ranked Jenny Craig #1 overall, factoring in food and nutrition, plus short and long-term weight loss results.
  • Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism: Research study of 133 overweight women found that Jenny Craig participants lost an average of 12 pounds, which was slightly more than plans like Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Weight Watchers: study
  • Annals of Internal Medicine review found that Jenny Craig participants lost the most weight over 12 months, including almost 5 percent more than women and men given weight loss counceling alone: review
  • American Medical Association study (*funded by Jenny Craig) of 331 overweight and obese women found that Jenny Craig participants lost an average of 10% of their body weight compared to 2.6% with the control group

Jenny Craig does offer a guarantee that you will, “Lose 12 lbs. in 12 weeks or your first three month’s fees back.” However, because most of the cost is in the food, that’s not a “full-refund.” 


Will Jenny Craig Work for YOU? – Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:

Did you know that in the 1960’s the average woman spent 112 minutes per day cooking? Things have really changed as that time has been cut in half, with 50% of people now reporting that they hate to cook.

1.) Do you like to cook? Well, if you’re included in this growing percentage of people who don’t prioritize home-cooked meals, then a meal-delivery diet program like Jenny Craig might work well for you.

If you do enjoy cooking and eating out at restaurants, you might dislike Jenny Craig’s prepared meals, menu limitations, and structured eating schedule. and a DIY diet like Mayo Clinic Diet (cost) or Weight Watchers (reviews, costcoupons) may work better for you.

2.) Do you benefit from personal attention? Some people can just set up equipment in their basement and follow an exercise routine. Personally, I can’t, and the treadmill that we bought a few years ago was clearly a waste of money and is now just gathering dust.

If you’re like me and taking classes (plus the occasional help of a personal trainer) is more appealing to you, then diets like JennyCraig and WW + meetings. should be more effective and compatible with your personality.

3.) What’s your Budget? Also think about your monthly budget. While Jenny does replace most of the meals you are currently paying for, the $600+ per month price-tag is still relatively expensive, and much more than alternative meal-delivery diets like Nutrisystem (reviews, cost, coupons), South Beach (reviews, cost, coupons), and BistroMD (coupon). 

*New: We compare Jenny Craig to nutrisystem here


Conclusion:

jenny craig logoChoosing the right diet is a personal decision, and there is no “one-size fits all” program out there. If you value structure, convenience, and personal attention over thrift and menu-freedom, then it’s worth considering Jenny Craig’s Lose 16 pounds for $16 promotion:

jenny craig promo banner*Jenny Craig’s best promotion now!

Have you tried Jenny Craig? Please rate this diet and comment with your own review of whether Jenny Craig worked for you:Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

How Much Does Jenny Craig Cost? Price per Day, Week, Month

jenny craig logo

How much does it cost to join Jenny Craig? One of the most popular and highest-rated commercial meal delivery diets, ranked behind only Weight Watchers, (by U.S. News) but does it work for your budget?

Unlike other leading meal-delivery programs, Jenny Craig is not a “one-size fits all” approach to weight loss, so the cost isn’t the same for everyone. This means that their pricing can be a little confusing, and requires a bit of homework to estimate how much it will cost you personally.

After you sign up, a personal consultant will work directly with you to determine your dietary needs, and because almost all of the cost of being on Jenny Craig is in the price of the food, there is a range of what the diet will actually cost you. For this reason I contacted Jenny Craig directly to for more cost info so that the potential price tag is clearer.

Let’s look at the total daily and monthly expense of Jenny Craig, and see if it really makes “dollars and sense” to join.


Costs of Membership:

There are two ways to join Jenny Craig: either through their “Premium 12-Month Program” or their “Trial 12-Week Program.”

To calculate the price of Jenny Craig, let’s look at all of the expenses first before we break it down by daily, weekly, and monthly average:

1.) Premium 12-Month Program Cost:

  • Enrollment fee: $99 $49 to join
  • Membership fee: $19 per month
  • Food: $17-25 per day ($20 average)
  • Shipping cost: $29 per food shipment (twice per month)

The premium program offers unlimited personal support. When you join their Premium program, you’ll pay an initial $68 + the cost of food… more

2.) Trial 12-Week Program:

  • Enrollment fee: $99 FREE to join 
  • Membership fee: $16 for 12 weeks
    new
  • Food: $17-25 per day ($20 average)
  • Shipping cost: $29 per food shipment (twice per month)

Personally, I think the current promotion for the Trial 12-Week Program looks like the best way to get started:

jenny craig promo banner

Cost of groceries: Also note that with both programs you will be expected to supplement their prepared meals with fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. Although it’s not fair to include that in the price tag, you should account for this spending for your “all-in” cost estimates.


Jenny Craig Cost: Per Day, Week, Month

Ok, now let’s put all of those expenses together. Because there is a range of what food costs based on your caloric needs and menu preferences, we’ll go with the average food cost reported by Jenny Craig.

Here is the average cost of the Jenny Craig program:

Per Day:Per Week:Per Month:
$23$158$632
  • They also offer a 12-week trial,” and the daily and weekly cost averages are the same
  • The one-time $49 enrollment fee that you pay at signup is refunded to you once you reach your goal weight
  • The advertised $100 off food promotion is split over each of your first 10 weeks
  • Jenny Craig: Today’s Best Deal

More About the Cost of Food:

jenny craig food cost

Upon joining jenny Craig, a phone appointment will be set up with a personal consultant who will determine your menu based on factors like your starting weight, lifestyle, and desired weight loss. Your resulting caloric needs and food preferences will help determine your menu, and the resulting cost of food. For this reason men pay slightly more for food on average as they may require more calories.

Although the cost of food is listed as “$17-25 per day,” it might be helpful to use the “$20 per day” average for calculating potential daily food cost. Your initial phone call with the personal consultant is a great time to discuss your budget if you would like food costs to stay within your budget.

*Related: Our review of Jenny Craig: Does It Work?


Add Grocery store food costs:

buy groceries

While Jenny Craig does replace most of the food you would normally buy at the grocery store, you still have to account for some additional spending.

I would assume a minimal cost of $5 per day for fruits and vegetables from the grocery store to supplement your prepared Jenny Craig meals. Popular weekly fresh food choices include bagged salads, fruit, (apples, grapes, blueberries, etc) and non-starchy side dish veggies. (broccoli, peppers, and zucchini, etc). Jenny Craig emphasizes the importance of fruits and vegetables, so this is an unavoidable but important additional expense.

Also, Jenny Craig doesn’t encourage eating out at restaurants, so we won’t factor that in as an expense. If you do go out to eat, they suggest that you order a garden salad and stay away from alcohol.


My Thoughts on the Cost:

As mentioned, Jenny Craig doesn’t offer plans with a set price for food, but that’s where most of the expense lies. It should be noted that Americans spend $160+ per week on food, (men spend more!) which is almost exactly the price of Jenny Craig. (plus the price of fruit & vegetables)

That is still relatively high for a meal delivery diet, and much more expensive than competitors like Nutrisystem, (review, cost, coupons) but why?

It looks like the role of the personal consultant (who you touch base with by phone, chat, or in-person at a Jenny Craig location at least once a week) is a big factor in why the diet is more expensive. Jenny Craig believes that the role of the personal consultant is very important to the success of their program, and because of this added value, it’s worth the additional expense. 

Even DIY diets like Weight Watchers (reviews, cost, coupons) recognize the importance of individual attention, which is why they report that customers who attend meetings are twice as likely to meet and sustain their goal weight as those who go it alone.


In Summary

Even though most people would be surprised to see what they are already spending each month on food, there’s no denying that Jenny Craig is a relatively expensive diet. Fans of the Jenny Craig would argue that the personal attention is worth the extra cost, but would you? Most customers are happy with the diet, but the hefty price tag is the source of most online complaints. (Also know that if you cancel their program before the second food shipment, you’ll be charged a $99 cancellation fee!)

jenny craig promo banner

If you really like the idea of meal delivery but want a cheaper alternative, consider Nutrisystem or South Beach Diet. If you like the idea of personal support and prefer to cook your own meals, then consider WW + meetings.

*New: Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem

Thanks for reading our info and thoughts on the cost of Jenny Craig! If you have opinions on the fees and expenses, please leave us a comment below:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest
jenny craig vs nutrisystem

Nutrisystem vs. Jenny Craig: Which Diet Is Better?

Let’s compare Nutrisystem to Jenny Craig: If you’re looking for the best meal-delivery diet to meet your weight loss goals, then Jenny Craig (coupons) and Nutrisystem (coupons) are probably at the top of your list. Both of these diets are structured, convenient, low-calorie programs that are popular with busy people, but relatively expensive.

But, which diet is better? Although neither one of these diets is truly “best” for everyone, we did some research to help you decide which mighty be best for you. Let’s compare these two heavyweight meal-delivery diets in a head-to-head battle:


Ratings: Nutrisystem vs. Jenny Craig:

U.S. News asked a panel of diet and health experts to rate Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig on a number of important factors. Here how the two diets compare head to head:

rating nutrisystemjenny craig rating

Jenny Craig scored higher with the experts than Nutrisystem, but the one big difference here is that Jenny Craig costs twice as much as Nutrisystem! (What!?) That’s a significant difference, but no one diet is best for everyone. Here’s more about each of these popular weight loss plans:


First, About Jenny Craig

jenny craig logo

Jenny Craig was recently ranked the #2 Commercial Diet behind only Weight Watchers on the list. Like Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig is based on calorie restriction and the monthly delivery of healthy pre-packaged, pre-portioned meals. That takes the guesswork out of dieting, as there’s no need to count calories, carbs, or navigate a point-system.

The Jenny Craig program emphasizes personal support from a dedicated consultant via phone, video-chat, or in-person at one of their 600 center locations. This consultant works with each member to develop a highly-personalized weight loss program including a menu and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle. The personal consultant also helps you to stay motivated in order to reach your weight loss goals.

Unlike Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig does not stick to a specific number of daily calories, as your personal consultant will formulate a number for you that can be anywhere from 1200-2300 calories per day based on your current weight and fitness habits.

With Jenny Craig you’ll eat 6 times a day including 3 meals and 2 snacks from their menu of about 100 items, and 1 snack of your own. While Jenny Craig provides all of your meals, you’ll be expected to supplement them with your own fruits and vegetables from the grocery store.

The program is low in bad carbs, and high in protein and fiber which helps reduce the between-meal cravings that cause you to gain weight. With Jenny Craig the occasional healthy restaurant meal is OK, but you’ll want to limit foods like bread and alcohol.

This structured, healthy, portion-controlled menu is the foundation of their diet and helps members to learn better eating habits for life. The diet lasts as long as you need it to, whether that be 3 months or over a year.

Once you reach your goal weight, you’ll transition back to making your own food and ween yourself off of their prepared meals. At this point you can cook for yourself and take advantage of the low-fat recipes on JennyCraig.com.

While the actual monthly membership to Jenny Craig is low, the real cost of the diet is in the prepared food that can be quite expensive. In fact, the expensive price is the biggest complaint in customer reviews for Jenny Craig.


Jenny Craig Cost:

diet cost

The price tag of Jenny Craig is its big drawback. When you signup for the Premium program you’ll pay a $99 enrollment fee plus $19 per month in addition to a food cost of $17-26 per day!

Simple math soon tells you that this diet will most likely cost $600-750 per month, meaning that Jenny Craig is significantly more expensive than Nutrisystem. Yikes!

*Although, the current 12-week promotion is pretty good:

jenny craig promo banner

Now, About Nutrisystem

nutrisystem logo

Nutrisystem (reviews) was recently ranked as the #5 commercial diet behind Jenny Craig, but the two diets actually have a lot in common. Like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem is also a monthly meal delivery diet of prepared, pre-portioned meals that are formulated to be nutritious, low in bad carbs, but high in protein and fiber to keep you feeling full.

Nutrisystem is based on a total consumption of 1200-1500 calories per day. This is less than the recommended daily amount of 2000, so the math implies that you will lose weight if you stick to their structured meal plan of 5-6 small meals per day.

Like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem provides most of your daily meals, but asks you to supplement them with fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables. With Nutrisystem you are also allowed 3 “Flex meals” consisting of one breakfast, lunch, and dinner on your own each week.

All Nutrisystem plans start with Fresh Start, which is your first month of more-restrictive meals that are meant to achieve an initial fast weight loss of about 13 pounds while preparing your body for sustainable weight loss. This initial month is meant to regulate your blood sugar levels, speed up your metabolism, and teach your body to start burning fat instead of carbs.

Like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem offers a specific plan for those with Type 2 Diabetes, called Nutrisystem D.

Nutrisystem has a comparable menu to Jenny Craig with about 100 foods which can be sorted by rating or ingredients. Like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem allows the occasional restaurant meal, but you are encouraged to avoid more than the occasional dinner roll or alcoholic drink.

Unlike Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem doesn’t emphasize the importance of ongoing contact with a personal consultant, although support of the online community is encouraged.

Reviews for Nutrisystem are generally positive, and it seems to work for most people. However, the biggest complaints include that the menu is restrictive and that there is a cancellation fee if you quit before the second month of food delivery.


The Cost of Nutrisystem:

Nutrisystem has 3 plan levels: BASIC, CORE, and Uniquely Yours with the main difference being that you’ll pay more for increased variety of food. These plans differ slightly for women and men, as the plans for men include more food and therefor cost about $1+ per day more.

Nutrisystem’s mid-level and most popular plan, CORE, costs about $11 per day, or even less with a coupon. Even their top-level Uniquely Yours plan only costs about $12 per day, which is still a lot less than the $17-26 per day range of Jenny Craig! On paper Nutrisystem costs a lot less than Jenny Craig, especially with a coupon:

nutrisystem women promo banner

Featured new customer promotion or, view all coupons


Jenny Craig vs. Nutrisystem: Expert Ratings & Reviews

OK, now that you’ve got the gist of these two similar meal-delivery diets, let’s see how they compare head-to-head. Here are the ratings based on expert reviews and rankings from U.S. News & World Report:

 Nutrisystem:Jenny Craig:
Short-Term Weight Loss :3.7 (Tie)3.7 (Tie)
Long-Term Weight Loss:2.53.0
Easy to Follow:2.53.0
Healthy:3.33.8
Overall Score:3.03.4
Cost Per Day:$10-14$18-27

In 2011, Consumer Reports conducted a clinical trial comparing 6 top commercial diets and ranked Jenny Craig #1 overall on the list that also included names like Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, the Zone diet, and Atkins.

However, it’s worth noting that the customer reviews at ConsumerAffairs.com seem to contradict the ratings, as Nutrisystem scores much better based on several hundred customer reviews:

  • Nutrisystem: 4.1 stars (307 customer ratings)
  • Jenny Craig: 2.1 stars (93 customer ratings)

So, What’s the Difference?

diet battle versus
Nutrisystem versus Jenny Craig: What’s the difference?

As you can see, Jenny Craig edges out Nutrisystem in most of the rankings, but the big difference in these two programs is the cost, with Jenny Craig costing nearly twice as much as Nutrisystem!

The biggest difference in these programs seems to be the role of the personal consultant that is included with Jenny Craig, which may also account for the extra expense. This personal attention helps to customize a program for each person, and takes less of a one-size-fits all approach.

Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig are very similar diets and both are based on the monthly meal delivery of nutritious pre-portioned meals that you are asked to supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables. Both diets are high in protein and fiber, low in bad carbs, and restrict your calories to a level that should result in a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.


Which diet wins in our head-to-head battle?

diet versus diet compare
And a big left by Nutrisystem! It looks like Jenny Craig is trouble…

While the experts say that Jenny Craig edges out Nutrisystem in most categories, we can’t ignore the significant cost difference between the two.

Even though Jenny Craig was ahead on the scorecard into the late rounds, it’s Nutrisystem that delivers a knockout punch by costing about half the price!

Ding, Ding, Ding!

We declare, Nutrisystem is the winner!

  • Nutrisystem: You can get 40% off + an extra $50 off with this promo code!
  • Jenny Craig: Not conceding defeat? Consider their 12-week Trial with $120+ in free food

Related: Nutrisystem versus Weight Watchers! | Nutrisystem vs Keto! | Nutrisystem vs Medifast 

Other meal delivery diets include The South Beach Diet (reviewscoupons), BistroMD (reviews, coupons), and Medifast (reviews, coupons). If you are into cooking your own food, consider Weight Watchers (reviews, coupons) or even weekly DIY meals from Home Chef (coupons)!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest