Jenny Craig Diet

Jenny Craig Diet

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Jenny Craig is not so much a diet, but a franchised weight loss center with packaged food. Jenny Craig weight loss clinics can be found all over the world.

The Jenny Craig program is one of the best known weight loss plans in the world and has recently undergone renewed popularity due to endorsements from celebrities including Kirstie Alley , Queen Latifah, Valerie Bertinelli, and now Mariah Carey.

The goals of the Jenny Craig program are to help dieters develop a healthy relationship with food, an active lifestyle and a positive mindset.

Jenny Craig Diet Basics

The foundation of the Jenny Craig program is its prepackaged meals, the majority of which are frozen. The meals include approximately 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fat and are supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy products.

The program takes place either at a local center or at home. Dieters are offered 24-hour telephone support where information, advice and encouragement are available whenever needed. Online support is also available including discussion groups.

There are three levels in the program. The first level allows dieters to adjust to the program by eating the foods they like in small portions. In the second level dieters learn how to boost their energy and lose weight by becoming involved in regular physical activity.

The third level is where dieters are instructed how to continue with a healthy lifestyle so that weight loss is maintained. The ultimate goal of the Program is to enable you to transition from Jenny Craig menus to planning your own menus, so that you can learn to shop, cook and socialize with foods.

No foods are off limits and the focus is on moderation, eating a balanced diet and adequate physical activity. Dieters are educated as to which foods must be limited due to their high calorie content as well as the foods that can be eaten in abundance such as low carbohydrate vegetables and salad.

Emphasis is given to addressing the psychological factors involved in weight management. Overeating is regarded as being largely an emotional issue, which is addressed by making
positive life changes.

Jenny Craig For Men

Jenny Craig also has programs tailored for men and over the last 5 years have worked hard to make it known that Jenny Craig is not just for women.

Men’s programs generally have higher calorie amounts but other than that, they follow the same concepts as the women’s program.

Recommended Jenny Foods

Fruit, vegetables and nonfat dairy products are recommended to supplement the prepackaged meals.

Sample Diet Plan


Banana nut cereal
1 cup nonfat milk

Morning Snack

Anytime bar
6 oz nonfat yogurt


Turkey burger
Garden salad
1 cup strawberries

Afternoon Snack

Raw vegetable sticks


Chicken fettuccine
½ cup carrots

Evening Snack

Double chocolate cake

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is an important aspect of the program and dieters are provided with a customized exercise plan after consulting with a Jenny Craig advisor.

Costs and Expenses

The cost of the program depends on which plan you choose, which menu items you select, and the duration of your plan. There are membership costs – up to $399 per year for the full year long Premium program. However discounts are often available for shorter terms.

On average dieters can expect to pay around $100 per week for meals.


  • Clinically proven to result in weight loss.
  • Convenient and eliminates the time involved in shopping and food preparation.
  • No need to plan meals or count calories.
  • Support, advice and encouragement from Jenny Craig staff may be very beneficial.
  • Calorie intake is adjusted to suit individual requirements.
  • Meal plans include a lot of variety.
  • Dieters do not have to give up favorite foods.
  • Can help dieters to learn about portion control.
  • Provides guidance for eating in restaurants.
  • Includes a weight loss maintenance plan.


  • Many dieters experience hunger due to the low calorie content of the meals.
  • May be difficult for dieters to maintain weight loss and calorie control when they stop relying on meal delivery.
  • Some dieters may not enjoy eating prepackaged and frozen meals.
  • Expensive in comparison to many other programs.
  • Not suitable for vegans.
  • Does not cater for those with food allergies.
  • Does not offer a money back guarantee.

Some Have Good Results with Jenny

Meal delivery weight loss programs have a strong track record of failure in the long term. However Jenny Craig claims to overcome this problem by providing individual counseling and encouraging dieters to make positive lifestyle changes.

In order to get the best results from this program it would be recommended to take full advantage of the guidance that is provided via individual support. This will allow dieters to learn how to make the transition from the reliance on packaged food to a sustainable healthy eating plan.

See Also: Jenny Craig’s official website.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

  • Craig, J. (2013). Jenny Craig’s What Have You Got to Lose: A Personalized Weight Management Program. Villard.
  • Johnston, B. C., Kanters, S., Bandayrel, K., Wu, P., Naji, F., Siemieniuk, R. A., … Mills, E. J. (2014). Comparison of weight loss among named diet programs in overweight and obese adults: a meta-analysis. JAMA, 312(9), 923-933. link
  • Jung, Y., Lockard, B., Baetge, C., Levers, K., Galvan, E., Jagim, A., … Kreider, R. Comparative effectiveness of popular diet programs on changes in body composition and visceral adipose tissue in women (LB297). The FASEB Journal, 28(1 Supplement), LB297. link

Last Reviewed: January 17, 2018

Watch the video: Weight loss for men with Jenny Craig (August 2022).