Jenny Craig vs. NutriSystem – Picking the Right Weight Loss Plan

Are you having a difficult time trying to decide between Jenny Craig and NutriSystem? Well, you shouldn’t be.

Both NutriSystem and Jenny Craig are subscription-based weight loss programs that provide you with meals and snacks in prepackaged form with professional support to help you lose weight.

They are both popular with a huge following. Now, keep this in mind, as with any weight loss or diet program, the rule of thumb when choosing a weight loss program is to go for what is best suited to your current needs and goals.

Don’t fall into the trap of going for a weight loss program because it’s more popular among your friends, co-workers or on the TV. Find out what works for you based on your current lifestyle and activities, then go for it.

On that note, here are some differences to help you make your choice between the two popular diet programs – Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig

ABOUT

Jenny Craig

Sidney Craig and his wife Jenny founded the Jenny Craig diet program in the year 1983. It has since gone on to garner the attention of the U.S. population, media and top celebs such as Kristie Alley and Valerie Bartinelli, etc. The fact that this diet program is still waxing strong since its inception should tell you they’ve been doing something right. Huh? Jenny Craig currently operates in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Puerto

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem is an easy-to-follow diet program that was founded in the year 1972 by Harold Katz – an American entrepreneur. It is a system that offers great convenience to whoever is interested in losing weight.

As a Nutrisystem member, you no longer have to undergo the stress of counting your calories by yourself, creating a diet plan, shopping for food and cooking your meals. All these have been taken care of for you. All you need to do is access the Nutrisystem website, choose a menu plan and order for your meals.

DIETARY SERVICE

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig offers its service online and in its walk-in centers in the states and around the world.

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem offers its service online. You make an order and have it delivered to your doorsteps.

 

WEIGHT LOSS STRATEGY

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig focuses on low-fat foods that are high in protein and fiber plus a bit of exercise to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem revolves around consuming low glycemic index foods with an increase in physical activity to help promote weight loss and get to your desired weight loss goals.

 

CLAIMS

Jenny Craig

According to the Jenny Craig program, its member can lose three times more weight than dieting on their own”. Based on the data on their website, members can expect to lose 1 – 2 pounds every week.

Nutrisystem

Members can lose up to 13 pounds and seven inches in their first month. Although, there is a disclaimer on their website that points out that the average weight loss is 11.6 pounds and 8 inches.

 

DIET PLANS

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig offers both gender and age-based diet plans. They also offer diet plans for vegetarians and diabetic patients.

Nutrisystem

Quite similar to Jenny Craig, the Nutrisystem offers both gender and age-based diet plans. They also offer diet plans for vegetarians and diabetic patients.

 

FOOD OPTIONS

Jenny Craig

You’re provided with over 100-menu choice to choose from. However, most of the choices are not your everyday foods. this can get a little while to get used and somewhat reduces your food options if you plan on sticking to the ones you know

Nutrisystem

You’re provided with over 150-menu option to pick from. Compared to Jenny Craig, there are more everyday foods on the menu.

 

MEALS

Jenny Craig

Members are provided with three prepackaged meals and two snacks every day.

Nutrisystem

Members are provided with three prepackaged meals and one – two snacks daily. Women are provided with one snack while men are provided with two snacks

 

FOOD STORAGE

Jenny Craig

Most of the meals are frozen meals with the rest being shelf-stable meals

Nutrisystem

Most of the meals offered are shelf-stable and require no refrigeration.

 

SUPPORT

Jenny Craig

Offers telephone, email and one-on-one personal consultation service to its members. They also offer support in the form of FAQs section, live chat, forums, and tutorials.

Nutrisystem

Offers both telephone and email support to their members. They also offer support in the form of FAQs section, live chat, forums, and tutorials.

 

COST OF THE PROGRAM

Jenny Craig

  • Enrollment Fee – $99.
  • Membership Fee – a minimum fee of $19 per month for the Jenny All Access plan. You can also opt for the Jenny As You Go plan for $39.99 which doesn’t require you to pay an enrolment fee. This plan is perfect if you don’t want to commit to a long-term program
  • Shipping fee – from $29 to $173. (food costs and shipping methods decides how much you pay)
  • Food costs – from $15 to $23 per day or $450 to $690 monthly

Nutrisystem

  • Enrollment Fee – No fee
  • Membership Fee – No membership fee
  • Shipping fee – you pay nothing
  • Food costs – from $9.82/day or $274.99/month To $13.39/day or $375/month

 

ACTIVITY REQUIRED

Jenny Craig

Once you are signed up for the Jenny Craig program, you will be given an activity plan based on your level of motivation and fitness. Working out is highly encouraged if you’re following the Jenny Craig program as it helps improve your weight loss rate. You might also be asked to engage more in physical activities such as walking down the stairs rather than using an elevator to help speed up your weight loss

Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem also encourages you to engage yourself in physical activities. You’re advised to get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity daily to help speed up the rate at which you lose weight. The program provides you with the beginner, intermediate and advance level online for you to try out depending on your level of fitness.

 

EFFICACY based on Empirical Studies:

Based on a study carried out in the year 2015 to find out the efficacy and maintainability of various weight loss programs, it was determined that both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are effective weight loss methods.

Jenny Craig:

According to this study, the Jenny Craig group lost 4.9 percent more weight than the control group, a year into the study.

Nutrisystem:

The Nutrisystem group lost 3.8 percent more weight than the control group, three months into the study.

What it Means: 

This research tends to show that both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are effective at short-term weight loss.

 

SUSTAINABILITY:

You can sustain the weight you lost on either of the weight loss program plans if you can wound your lifestyle around the foundation on which each program is built.

Jenny Craig

For Jenny Craig, it’s all about going for meals that are rich in fiber and protein while low in fat.

Nutrisystem

In the case of Nutrisystem, adhering to a portion-controlled diet with low glycemic index while incorporating 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is the key.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

As you can see, both weight loss program have their strengths and weaknesses.

Jenny Craig has better tasting foods than Nutrisystem, but Nutrisystem has more food options for you to try out.

Jenny Craig is more expensive than Nutrisystem, but Jenny Craig has a personal consultant option whereas Nutrisystem does not have.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO FOR JENNY CRAIG

You should go for Jenny Craig if:

  • You value personal interaction and face-to-face conversation when you need support
  • You value better tasting meals
  • You can afford it
  • You can adopt the lifestyle surrounding the program to sustain your weight loss
  • Transitioning from the diets to your meals after achieving your goal is easy
  • You’re okay with the low food options, which can get quite boring after a while

WHY YOU SHOULD GO FOR NUTRISYSTEM

You should go for Nutrisystem if:

  • Price is a deciding factor, and you’re under a tight budget
  • You love food varieties that include everyday foods
  • You can adopt the lifestyle surrounding the program to sustain your weight loss
  • Face-to-face interaction is not a big deal to you.
  • You’re okay with pre-packaged meals.

Below is a table difference between both weight loss programs.

  Jenny Craig NutriSystem
Founded By: Jenny Craig Harold Katz
Year Founded: 1983 1972
Strategy: Low fat, high fiber, high protein, and moderate exercise Low glycemic index foods with increased activity for weight loss
Claims Lose 3x more weight than dieting on your own Members can lose up to 13 pounds and seven inches within the first month
Expected Weight Loss 1-2 pounds (weekly)  
Food Quality & Taste: Very Good Good
Food Options: Over 100 food items Over 150 food items
Activity Required Yes – moderate exercise Yes – a minimum of 30 minutes workout daily
Food Storage / Type Mostly frozen + a few shelf stable Mostly shelf stable + a few frozen
Average Cost of Food $450 – $690 monthly $275 – $375 monthly
Online and Phone Support Yes Yes
Walk-in Center + Personal Consultant Yes No
Enrolment Fee $99 $0
Membership Fee As much as $39/Month. $0
Shipping Fee From $29 upwards – depending on food options & shipping cost $0

 

 

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