Weight-Loss Weigh-In: Weight Watchers vs Jenny Craig
At the end of the day, the success of your weight-loss efforts comes down to two things: 1) What strategy you are ready and willing to commit to; and 2) How realistic your goals are. Some weight-loss programs offer more flexibility than others. While others provide a stricter and more structured plan. Flexibility or a strict structure can make or break your weight-loss efforts. Let us take a look at Weight Watchers vs the Jenny Craig Diet to help you decide which one will work better for you.
We compared the two programs to the Modern Fit Program and found Modern Fit to be much easier and effective when it comes to quick, healthy weight loss.
Weight Watchers vs Jenny Craig – The Highlights
Weight Watchers has had a huge and loyal following for decades with its simple formula of assigning point values to foods. Their points system has been modified through the years, and its latest version, SmartPoints, gives members more motivation to choose healthier foods.
Under the SmartPoints system, you are given a daily points allotment based on their age, height, weight, and weight-loss goals. You will log every food you eat; every ingredient and meal is assigned a number of points based on its calorie, fat, protein, and sugar contents, as well as its measured quantity or portion size.
Healthy foods, such as those that are higher in protein, have lower SmartPoints; unhealthy foods, or those with a high sugar and/or fat content, are given higher points; and more than 200 ingredients are given zero points, regardless of portion size or weight.
WW is a flexible program; there are no food restrictions. You simply have to stay under your daily points limit. As you lose weight, your allotted points will be adjusted accordingly. WW also has a FitPoints system so you can track your daily physical activity. FitPoints can be used to more accurately measure your weight-loss progress.
The Jenny Craig Diet, like Weight Watchers, is also a paid subscription plan. It provides more structure and support, with a diet and fitness plan custom-designed for you to simply follow. The plan includes a personal consultant and pre-packaged, low-calorie meals. All the decision-making is practically done for you.
When you reach a certain weight-loss goal, you no longer have to rely on the pre-packaged meal to sustain your weight-loss. Your personal consultant will continue giving you guidance and instructions so you can learn to prepare healthy meals on your own.
The paid plan is pretty straightforward. The one-on-one coaching is extremely helpful, and having all your meals – three main courses and two snacks – already prepared for you removes all the planning, guesswork, and the usual dilemmas you’d normally experience when you have to figure out a diet plan on your own.
Weight Watchers vs Jenny Craig – Are they an equal match?
WW is also a paid plan. The basic plan gives all members access to a fitness and lifestyle assessment and a custom-designed weight-loss program based on the member’s age, height, gender, weight, and weight-loss goal.
Other basic benefits include an online database of thousands of healthy ingredients, recipes, and even restaurant foods; fitness videos and workout routines; 24/7 online chat support; a barcode scanner; WW magazines and newsletters; and the SmartPoints food and activity tracking app.
The database allows members to easily log their meals without having to manually type the ingredients to track their daily SmartPoints. In addition to this, WW also offers their own brand of packaged foods: oatmeal, chocolates, low-calorie ice cream, and frozen meals.
Another feature is the FitPoints, which sets a weekly activity goal and tracks daily physical activity.
Members can upgrade their plan and receive one-on-one coaching and weekly strategies and support from WW-certified experts.
Weight Watchers encourages choosing whole foods, healthy eating habits, and an adequately active lifestyle with its SmartPoints system. At the same time, members are given the freedom to indulge in not-so-healthy food options, but within reason. As long as you stay under your daily points limit, you can give in to some of your guilty pleasures.
The WW formula is focused on slow but consistent weight loss every week. You can expect to lose about 0.5 lbs to 2 lbs per week. Owing to its flexibility when it comes to food choices, WW is easier to commit to, especially for long-term fitness and health. However, the same flexibility and zero food restrictions also makes WW less ideal for individuals who struggle with self-control when it comes to eating. Additionally, the frequent food logging can prove tedious and time-consuming to some.
Overall, Weight Watchers remains a great choice for a weight-loss plan. It has withstood the tests of times and countless other diet and fitness trends as it is one of the few programs that is supported by scientific studies, which include randomized controlled trials. WW is also an ideal diet plan for people who are vegan, with food allergies, or other dietary restrictions.
The Jenny Craig Diet is a paid subscription plan, which includes a sign-up fee, a monthly membership fee, and the weekly/monthly cost of Jenny Craig meals. After signing up, you will be assigned a personal JC consultant from whom you’ll receive your customized diet and exercise plan. You’ll meet with your consultant online or at a local JC center once a week so you can get continued guidance and instructions.
The JC meals include three entrées and two snacks each day, which you’ll choose from a catalog of over 100 frozen and shelf-stable meals. You can opt to have the meals delivered to your home, or you can pick them up at a local JC center. You can eat one extra snack of your choice per day, and you are also encouraged to add fruits, vegetables, and dairy items to your daily JC diet.
Entrées range from 200 to 300 calories each; snacks and desserts are between 150 and 200 calories. Depending on your age, gender, activity level, current weight, and weight-loss goals, you’ll be restricted to consuming between 1,200 and 2,300 calories per day.
You are not required to exercise, but it is encouraged that you engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. On average, a member can expect to lose 1 to 2 lbs per week, and a number of studies have proven this to be valid.
You will gradually be weaned off the JC meals when you lose half of your weight-loss goal. You will start preparing some of your own meals with the guidance of your personal consultant, who will provide you with recipes and tips so you can learn more about portion sizes and healthy choices to sustain your weight loss. Once you reach your weight-loss goal, you’ll begin phasing out of the JC-prepared meals until you’re back to making your own food choices, but healthier.
If you choose to continue being a member, you can keep working with your Jenny Craig consultant.
The Jenny Craig Diet is convenient, but it can be expensive, and you will still have to add fruits, vegetables, and dairy to your daily consumption. It’s also not a good choice for individuals with dietary restrictions. Additionally, Jenny Craig’s pre-packaged meals are usually heavily processed, containing refined carbs, oil, and additives. Some people may also find it difficult to transition to the Jenny Craig diet, while others may find it difficult to transition away from it.
The Jenny Craig Diet is a great choice for people who prefer not having to plan their own meals; those who are okay with a limited, albeit adequate, selection of foods; and those who are willing to eventually learn how to prepare their own healthy meals.
Weight Watchers vs Jenny Craig – Final Thoughts
Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig emphasize portion control and healthy eating choices. The major difference between the two is the flexibility to make these choices. Weight Watchers gives members more room to wiggle in when planning their diet; Jenny Craig offers adequate but limited food options.
Another edge that Weight Watchers has over Jenny Craig is the quality of food options their respective subscribers are given. Both programs endorse a low-calorie diet, but with Weight Watchers, members are encouraged to eat more whole foods, as well as fresh and natural ingredients. In comparison, Jenny Craig’s diet program includes processed, pre-packaged meals.
These two programs have a scientifically proven track record of successfully promoting healthy weight loss. For long-term health and fitness, it will still be up to you to make the right choices. This includes choosing a weight-loss plan that will be most suitable to your personal preferences, attitude towards eating, and overall lifestyle. Modern Fit can do just that.
Modern Fit takes your lifestyle and preferences and provides a tailored meal and fitness plan. The meal plan comes with a grocery list, recipes, and complete macros so you know exactly what you are eating, how to make it, and what to buy. Your coach will work with you and adjust your weekly meal plans to ensure you lose weight and stay motivated. Sign up for a free consultation today!