The Jenny Craig diet program basically consists of prepackaged personalized meals and an exercise plan along with a once-a-week private counseling session with a consultant where you’ll discuss your progress and meals for the following week. You can choose whether you want to have your weekly meetings at one of their centers or over the phone from the convenience of your home.
Keep in mind, the consultants are not registered dietitians, but the company does have registered dietitians who answer questions from the consultants. While there are some positive aspects to the diet, there are also some disadvantages.
The plan is tailored for each dieter’s unique challenges and lifestyle. Their approach includes what they say are the three essential components of successful body management: Food, Body and Mind. The concept of Food includes educating people about proper nutrition and portion control. Body means working on strategies for exercise, and Mind means surrounding yourself with positive affirmations while working on goals.
Keep in mind, however, if you’re trying hard to lose extra pounds and you’re not making any progress, there may be other reasons you’re not losing weight.
The diet personalizes each client’s program based on a questionnaire that analyzes motivation, history, eating habits, exercise readiness and mindset.
The diet ranges in calories. The lowest begins at 1,200, which is a safe level for dropping pounds according to dietary health guidelines by the government. The total caloric consumption is based on your current physical condition, gender, fitness level and habits.
There are also tailored programs for men, teens, seniors and people with type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll be assigned to a consultant who has more knowledge about the disease. You can expect to drop one to two pounds or one percent of your body weight each week.
The duration of the diet goes for as long as you want it to. During the first stage, you’ll receive three prepackaged meals and one snack for each day. In addition, you’ll eat two to three servings of fresh vegetables, fruit and reduced-fat dairy foods that you provide.
When you’ve lost half the number of pounds you want to lose, you’ll start making your own meals using their recipes two times a week. After reaching your goal weight, you’ll increase your calories accordingly and make the transition to preparing your own meals.
Drawbacks of Jenny Craig Diet
The Jenny Craig diet program is not too flexible, especially at the beginning. You basically mostly stick to their prepackaged meal plan, but you do have permission to splurge a few times each week if you compensate for the extra calories with exercise. There are also options for eating out. If you’re the type of person who does well following a very structured plan, Jenny Craig may work for you.
In addition, the prepackaged foods may not appeal to everyone, and while the foods meet the nutritional Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for some people they may contain too much salt. According to the US News article “Jenny Craig Diet,” on average the prepackaged meals per day contain between 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams of salt.
In addition to the negative aspects of prepackaged food, there are no meal options for people who are vegans or those who prefer Kosher foods. Moreover, the costs can be expensive, especially during the first part of the diet when people purchase a lot of their food.
Another disadvantage according to Health magazine is many people have complained about consultants being just a little more than sales people pushing their products.
“Jenny Craig.” Health.
“Jenny Craig Diet.” US News. 2011.