Jenny Craig Review, Costs, Tips

Jenny Craig food taste review
Jenny Craig

Are you thinking about trying the Jenny Craig diet? Many dieters use Jenny Craig at home while others access the program through one of the many Jenny Craig centers in the United States or around the world. Find out if Jenny Craig food tastes good, the total cost of the Jenny Craig program and if you're likely to lose weight on the plan before you make a final decision.

How Jenny Craig Works

On the Jenny Craig weight loss program you eat three Jenny Craig meals and two Jenny Craig snacks each day, along with one snack that you provide on your own.

Dieters choose their food in center or by phone from a menu of over 100 entrees and snacks. If you follow Jenny Craig at home, the food is delivered to your door. You can also choose to pick up your food at a Jenny Craig center.

In addition to the Jenny Craig food plan, dieters also get support from Jenny Craig consultants by phone or in person at a Jenny Craig center. Many consultants are former Jenny Craig dieters who have undergone additional training to provide support and diet advice. Consultants can help you to set achievable weight loss goals,  develop a personalized meal plan, address diet challenges and celebrate your successes along the way. 

Does Jenny Craig Food: Calories and Taste

Complete nutritional information for each Jenny Craig food is provide on the company's website. Jenny Craig food is generally low in calories and usually provides protein, fat, carbohydrates and a boost of dietary fiber.

 For example, many lunch and dinner entrees provide 200-300 calories and about 4 grams of fiber. Breakfast entrees may provide 200 calories or less and snacks usually provide around 100-125 calories. Expect portion sizes to be relatively small. 

So how does the food taste? It's actually quite good.  I have tried several of the Jenny Craig entrees and enjoyed most of them.

 I was a huge fan of several entrees including the Loaded Baked Potato and the Baja Style Chicken Quesadilla. There were a few items that I didn't love, but of course, everyone's tastes are different.  In addition, the taste and the quality of your Jenny Craig meals is really up to you.

If you are a dieter that struggles with hunger, you'll enjoy the fact that you can "volumize" your Jenny Craig meal. Volumetrics is a program that encourages you to eat high fiber, high protein, low calorie-dense foods. Jenny Craig dieters use the Volumetrics approach to supplement their Jenny Craig entrees and tailor the taste of the meals to meet their needs.  

For example, a Jenny Craig Pot Roast entree alone might not be enough food to satisfy your hunger at dinnertime. So you can add a wedge salad and Jenny Craig Salad Dressing to make a complete meal. If you need more than two Jenny Craig Classic Waffles for breakfast, you can add fruit or other fat free toppings. You can also use the Volumetrics approach to add herbs, vegetables or other flavors to meals so that you enjoy the taste and feel satisfied when you eat. Helpful suggestions for volumizing your food are provided on each entree package.

The Total Cost of Jenny Craig Weight Loss

The price of Jenny Craig food varies for each entree. But before you decide if the program is right for you, you can scan the website to choose foods and add up the cost of your food and membership overtime to see if the program will be affordable.

To get the best estimate of your total cost of the Jenny Craig program start by choosing a membership level. There are two options:

  • Rapid Results (Trial Membership): Members get weekly support from a Jenny Craig coach for a 12-week period for $16 plus the cost of food. Enrollment fee is waived and discounts for food may be applied (for example, in January 2018, there is a $70 food discount applied with this program)
  • Premium Membership (12-month program): Members get unlimited support from a Jenny Craig consultant. There is a $99 enrollment fee that may be discounted (for example, in January 2018 the fee was discounted to $49).  There is also a monthly membership fee that is $19/month as of January 2018.

According to the company, the cost of food ranges from $15 - $23 per day. Independent sources estimate Jenny Craig food costs to be $19.85/per day. Keep in mind however, that you'll still need to supply your own fresh produce and other foods to "volumize" your entrees. And if you order your food over the phone, you need to add the cost of shipping which starts at $29 for packages going to the U.S. and Canada. Members who buy food at a Jenny Craig center do not pay for shipping

To calculate your total Jenny Craig cost, figure out your monthly rate and multiply it by the number of months you'll need to be on the plan to reach your goal weight. For example, let's say you have 30 pounds to lose and you choose the Premium Membership plan. Your Jenny Craig costs would be calculated like this:

  • Weekly Jenny Craig food: $138.95 (@19.85/day)
  • Weekly shipping: $29.95
  • Weekly food to "volumize" your meals: $50 ( the cost of extra food can vary greatly)

Jenny Craig weekly cost: $218.90

Jenny Craig monthly cost: $218.90 x 4 = $875.60 + $19 (monthly membership fee) = $894.60 

If you lose weight at a rate of approximately 1.5 pounds per week, you'll need to be on the plan for 15 weeks or 3-4 months. So your total Jenny Craig cost would be $2,684 - $3,578 to reach your goal weight.

Of course, your actual cost of food on the Jenny Craig plan may vary and the time it takes to reach your goal weight can vary as well. But before you invest in any weight loss plan, it's important to get a general idea of the total cost of participation.

Will I Lose Weight on Jenny Craig?

The Jenny Craig program is designed for slow and steady weight loss. According to the company, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.  But of course, the amount of weight that you will lose on Jenny Craig depends on your commitment to the program. And weight loss varies by individual. 

The Jenny Craig program has been studied by researchers with positive but modest results. One recent study, published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, pointed out that dieters who followed Jenny Craig fared slightly better than dieters who followed other commercial programs, but not by much. Other clinical reviews of weight loss programs have underscored the importance of finding a plan that meets your own personal needs and lifestyle. Simply put, the only diet that works is the one that you are willing to stick to. 

Does Jenny Craig Work?

Jenny Craig can work for you, but you need to fully commit to the program. That means that you take advantage of the support resources, reach out to your consultant when you need help and stick to the food plan. Jenny Craig food tastes good so you won't feel deprived as you slim down and the program allows for a safe and healthy rate of weight loss. In addition, learning to volumize your entrees will teach you the essential food planning and preparation skills that are necessary for successful weight maintenance. 

But there is no program that works for everyone. Make sure you compare Jenny Craig to other programs, evaluate your lifestyle and calculate your total Jenny Craig costs before you make a final decision.