Potentially one of the most heavily marketed diet plans out there, almost everyone has heard of Jenny Craig before. From TV ads to magazine features staring celebrity Kirstie Alley, many women are giving Jenny Craig a go.
What's the secret to Jenny Craig's success? Aside from millions of dollars in promotion that is...
One big feature of Jenny Craig that sets it apart from other diet programs is that if offers the one-on-one consultations with a counselor. This is similar to the newer diet plan out there, 'LA Weight Loss'.
You will meet with this counselor on a weekly basis and discuss any concerns you have over the program, how your results have been, whether you would like any changes to your meal plan and so on. From there she will set you up with your food for the week to help you stay on track.
This brings us to another key component of Jenny Craig. Pre-packaged meals. Most of the people who go on Jenny Craig will purchase the vast majority of the food they are eating from the company. From pancake breakfasts to Ravioli pasta meals for dinner, your options are endless when you are on their program. They even have small, pre-packaged desserts that you can have as a treat with your plan.
There are also two different levels of programs that you can go on and will vary in terms of their cost and involvement.
1. Jenny Tune-Up:
The first option is a "Jenny Tune-Up" which will give you planned and personalized menus, personalized activity and motivational plans, one-on-one consultations, a variety of weight loss tools, online support and 24/7 customer care support. This is more for those who already have a grasp on their diet and are looking for extra support and guidance or those who don't have a large amount to lose.
2. Platinum Package:
The second option is the Platinum package and on it you will get your planned and personalized menus, personalized activity and motivational plans, product discounts, 'YourStyle' personalized profile, one-on-one consultations, weight loss success manuals and guides, weight maintenance support group and online support at their website.
This option is much more rigorous and is for those who really want to step up their weight loss and have a great deal of tools available to them.
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Author, Shannon Clark.
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The actual Jenny Craig plan itself is pretty basic and straight forward as far as nutrition is concerned. It is going to more or less follow the healthy food guide, giving you a moderate amount of protein, a lower amount of fat and plenty of fruits and vegetables along with some complex carbohydrates.
Fruits & Vegetables:
The big aspect of Jenny Craig, and probably one of the largest factors to why it has had success, is portion control. Since you will be buying their pre-packaged food, you will automatically be regulating how much you are eating (assuming you stick with the program of course). Weight loss does boil down to calories consumed versus calories burned, so this makes this the deciding factor here.
So with all that information, one would think that Jenny Craig is probably a smart way to go.
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There are some drawbacks however.
The first big issue with Jenny Craig is cost. Buying your food from them each week doesn't come cheap so if that is at all a concern of yours, you may want to rethink this program.
The next issue is portion size. This is both good and bad. It's good in the sense that it does help ensure weight loss however bad in the sense that once you see what their portion sizes look like, you will soon realize you are going to be one hungry individual in the next few months.
Because they try and create low-calorie 'gourmet dishes', ones that would typically be loaded with calories, they are forced to reduce the portion sizes to very small servings. There are times when it is better to sacrifice on taste so you can get a bigger volume of food - dieting is one of these times. Nothing is to say you can make lower-calorie, high-volume content food taste good, but it's going to be no "Chicken Cordon Bleu."
Finally, this diet is in no way tailored to very active individuals who are looking to make serious muscular gains (or maintain their muscle mass through rigorous workouts) because it does not take high-exercise factors into consideration. All you may get with workouts is slightly more food on the program, but macronutrient concerns are not really dealt with.
For personal support, this diet would get 4/5 as most of their counselors won't know a great deal about nutrition to be able to give you nutritional advice, but given it's a pre-planned program, that isn't the biggest deal.
Overall however, in terms of nutritional quality, satiety and being able to be coherent with an active lifestyle, it would have a rating of 2.5/5.