Jenny Craig

The Jenny Craig Program is a comprehensive, structured weight loss plan, premised on portion control.  The plan emphasizes  pre-packaged meals, regular exercise, and offers support to its members as they lose weight and learn to keep the weight off.  A major advantage is it's personal consultants, who offer one-on-one help in goal-setting, dealing with personal challenges, and in making menu choices. 


About...

  • Pre-packaged meals, usually frozen and microwavable - delivered to your door
  • Meals supplemented by fresh fruits and vegetables  
  • 1200-1300 calories per day
  • Menu items are nutritionally sound and include a large variety
  • Desserts and snacks are included
  • Consultants work with members on an individual basis to set goals and provide inspiration   
  • Programs are available either in centers, by phone, or online
  • Online tools included
  • Exercise plan emphasized   
  • The cost of food is $15-23 per day ($450-690 per month) plus shipping
  • Cost of enrollment – varies, depending on plan, but may be as much as $99
  • Monthly cost may range between $19-39, depending on number of consultations and plan

Pros, Cons
and
Reviews

Healthline reports that a positive attribute of this plan is that it is custom tailored to the needs of the client, in terms of goals, body type and current weight.  In addition, low calorie, proportioned meals, regular exercise, and consultations - all support the client while teaching them to transition to home prepared meals and ultimately, how to keep the weight from returning.  

However, the program is expensive, while pre-packaged meals - purchased only from Jenny Craig - are required. Aside from the meals, there are sign up costs and regular monthly fees. In addition, the diet may not appeal to all; the majority of the meals are delivered frozen and then microwaved.  You can learn more at http://www.healthline.com.

WebMD reports that ‘medium effort’ is required by participants, who are taught by personal consultants to transition to home cooked meals by the time they reach their goals. In addition, exercise is emphasized with an aim of reaching a goal of 30 minutes or more of moderate activity at least five days a week. 


Evidence

The results of a recent independent systematic review were published by the Annals of International Medicine. The study compared the efficacy of eleven (11) commercial diet programs. Comparisons included rate of weight loss (among other things) when compared with a control/education (printed materials, nutritional education, counseling) group. Findings revealed that participants lost 4.9% more weight (at 12 months) than those in the control group.   Researchers concluded that the Jenny Craig program produced favorable results overall, but that additional studies targeting long-term outcomes were needed.  

You can access the article at http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2214178.    

In a two year study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (2010) and partially funded by Jenny Craig, researchers suggested that structured weight loss programs produced weight loss and sustainable weight loss results that exceed those of unstructured plans.  The authors note that motivation and participant adherence are also likely to influence the diet's effectiveness.

Learn more at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=186793&resultClick=3#ArticleInformation.


Conclusion

The evidence and mere 30-year longevity of the Jenny Craig plan point to it's success.  A convenient (meals delivered to your door), custom-tailored diet based on personal goals, current weight and body type, all lend merit to it being a good choice.  Their aim to teach weight management - by making wise food choices and prepared meals at home - factors positively into the overall scheme of long-term results. 

The cost of it all, however; the enrollment fee, cost of the meals (plus shipping), and monthly maintenance fees - may be prohibitive for some.  

Note: this program offers diet options for men, spouses, seniors, and teens, as well. 

The Solution to Permanent Weight Loss

(the inspiration for this website)

by Robin D. George


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