Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig Review: Online Diet Program

Online Diet Program
Rating:
Bottom Line:
One-on-one support designed to establish a healthier overall lifestyle; adding your own fruit, vegetables and dairy is recommended
Full Review:
4 2014-01-13 12:17:44 Jenny Craig differs from the other diet services we review on NextAdvisor.com by emphasizing personalized consultations and face-to-face support. While most other meal delivery diet programs focus primarily on the food itself, perhaps also offering various tools and resources to help you reach your diet goals, Jenny Craig places equal focus on food, body and mind.


How Does It Taste?


A critical element of any diet plan is how the food tastes, including how satiated you feel after the meal. After all, if the food tastes unpleasant and you're always hungry it will be awfully hard to stay on track with your diet. Keeping this in mind, we actually ordered the food and had a panel of ten testers sample the meals. Food was rated on taste, and the numerical ratings were averaged for breakfast, lunch, dinner and overall categories. Jenny Craig was rated the second best tasting meal delivery plan. You can see the complete results at our meal delivery taste test, and also how Jenny Craig stacked up against other meal delivery plans we tasted.


Jenny Craig In-Center

Jenny Craig offers two different approaches to weight loss: Jenny Craig In-Center or Jenny Craig At Home. If you choose Jenny Craig In-Center, you will meet privately with a consultant at one of over 650 local Jenny Craig centers for a discussion of your current lifestyle and weight loss goals, as well as an initial weigh-in. Your consultant will work with you to customize the most effective plan to help you reach your goals. Each week, you will return to your local Jenny Craig center to meet with your consultant, who will help motivate you, help you to overcome your challenges and track your progress. You will also pick up your Jenny Cuisine meals at these meetings. You'll purchase a one week supply of meals at a time, with no ongoing obligation.


Jenny Craig At Home

If you prefer more privacy and convenience, you can choose the Jenny Craig At Home program and speak to your consultant over the phone. With the At Home option, you'll have weekly phone support from your consultant, and your Jenny's Cuisine meals will be shipped to you via FedEx every two or four weeks, depending on your preference. (Note: There is a shipping fee with the At Home program).




Meals

In addition to the standard 1200-calorie woman's program, Jenny Craig has special programs for men, type 2 diabetics, teens and older adults. Initially, your diet will consist of three Jenny's Cuisine meals and one snack every day, plus your own groceries, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy. You can customize your weekly menus based on your preferences. Jenny Craig provides some shelf-stable meals but the ones we received were frozen foods.

Jenny Craig also offers a 3-day sample kit, called "Taste of Success." You will be charged a one-time fee of $39.99 for the kit, which comes with 3 breakfast, 3 lunch and 3 dinner meals, plus 3 snacks and 3 salad dressings. If you order the sample kit and then join Jenny Craig afterwards, they will credit the cost of your sample kit towards your next Jenny Craig order.


Support

Jenny Craig is known for their strong personal support, and our experience was no different. We participated in the Jenny at Home program, and our consultant had excellent follow-up. If we missed a weekly consult they reached out via the phone to reschedule. The consultants never rush you through a discussion and are very pleasant to speak with. Whether you participate in an In-Center or At Home plan, your consultant will help you learn to create your own menus and meals, and you will eventually begin to gradually integrate your own homemade food into your diet. Your consultant will also help you learn to make healthy choices at restaurants. Though this support is helpful, if you're the type of person who wants a more hands-off approach from their diet program, the phone calls could get a bit annoying.


In addition to your own consultant, you also have access to Jenny's eTools. eTools is an online format for journaling your thoughts, planning your meals and scheduling fitness activities. We found the fitness component to be a helpful way to record your daily activities, but perhaps not as robust as some other sites we've looked at. The meal planning section goes hand in hand with the meals you are shipped, and was a useful, yet somewhat complicated tool. For this reason, you should take full advantage of your consultant, especially for the first couple of weeks. They can guide you around eTools and let you know how everything works.

By the time you have reached your goal weight, you'll have developed a better relationship with food and learned to plan and prepare your own balanced meals. You can then transition to maintenance support, which will help you sustain your new, healthier lifestyle. You will still have access to online support to help keep you on track.




Fitness

Jenny Craig consultants will work with you to develop a personalized, staged approach to physical fitness that consists of a combination of natural, everyday activities, playful activities and planned exercise. Your physical fitness plan will intensify as you work toward your weight loss goals, in order to help you burn more calories.


For those who like to track their activities online, Jenny's eTools include a fitness diary with their food tracker. The Activity Planner lets you enter the type and length of your daily exercise, then estimates the total calories you burned based on your weight. It's a nice way to keep track of past, present and future fitness activities.


Plans and Pricing

Because Jenny Craig tailors each meal plan for the individual, there is no specific price list. However, the pricing generally ranges between $81 and $133 per week. At Home participants will need to pay an additional shipping fee of around $14 every two or four weeks, depending on your shipment preferences.

With Jenny Craig, you'll need to provide your own fruit, vegetables and dairy. Based on our purchases, we estimate the cost for these additional foods to be $45-$60 per week. However, as our cost was based on the "city" food prices that exist in San Francisco, your food cost may be significantly less.


Bottom Line

If you are looking for a comprehensive support system to help you establish a healthier lifestyle overall, Jenny Craig may be perfect for you. While Jenny Craig's meals and portion size may not be as "gourmet" as programs like Bistro MD, the combination of good tasting meals and strong support make Jenny Craig a solid choice.

Compare to Other Meal Delivery Programs


 
Service Details:

Price:$16/day
(excludes cost of added food)

shipping: around $14
Diet Types:Low-carb-focused meal delivery diet; type 2 diabetic, teen, men, and senior options
Support Types:Phone counseling; in-person consultations; online forums and resources
Fitness Tools:
Taste Test Rating:

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