Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem vs. Jenny Craig

How Nutrisystem Works

Commercial Weight-loss
Though I initially lost the weight with the program, I found that the transition part of the program failed badly. A little research into cost and we were flat-out shocked. When it comes to the support system, a study by the Colorado State University has shown that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer constant weekly group or individual counselling and meetings that are physical and interactive as opposed to Nutrisystem whose support system is only online and among dieters. This in turn allows them to make adjustments accordingly. A clinical trial of people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated a 9 percent weight-loss at one year with greater improvements in diabetes control and heart risk factors as compared to usual care. Diet books have been around since at least the mid th century, so clearly there is an enduring market for those seeking to improve their weight and health in this way. Although their food is good, they are often out of the items you prefer.

Jenny Craig – Food, Body and Mind

Nutrisystem Vs Jenny Craig Reviews – Cost, Taste and Other Factors Compared

The influence of celebrity promoters can contribute to the perception that a product may offer a miracle cure for obesity. In fact, good scientific evidence that they work is generally lacking.

There are many different devices available and all come with a host of options, such as online tools, smartphone apps and more. This in turn allows them to make adjustments accordingly. Body monitors are significantly more accurate than pedometers, which only measure steps taken and not the intensity of activities.

Body monitoring devices alone will not result in weight-loss. These devices are meant to be used along with a weight-loss option.

The benefit of using a body monitor is that a wearer will get a good understanding of which of their activities burn calories best. The downside is that food logging can become tiring, and the ability of a body monitor to accurately calculate calories depends entirely on how well the wearer tracks their food consumption. In addition, not everyone wants to wear an armband or carry a device at all times.

How does it work? It is the only FDA-approved weight-loss medication that is available OTC and available at a higher dose with a prescription. It is a capsule that is usually taken three times per day before a meal that contains dietary fat. It works by decreasing the amount of fat your body absorbs.

The average weight-loss is about 5 percent of your weight after one-year. In a person who weighs pounds, this would mean 10 pounds of weight-loss. It does not work well for people who are already on a low-fat diet since their calories from fat are already low. Common side effects are cramps, gas, stool leakage, oily spotting and gas with discharge that improve with a lower fat diet.

Utilizing a commercial weight-loss center or program is one of the most popular options for someone affected by obesity. Commercial weight-loss programs often provide various resources such as pre-packaged meals, support and more. Programs usually offer a 1, to 1, calorie-per-day diet plan which produces weight-loss of about pounds per week. The slow-down of weight-loss is not unique to these approaches. It is true of any weight-loss program because as you begin to weight less, you burn fewer calories.

Because commercial plans vary greatly, the FTC recommends asking the following questions before engaging in a program:. In this section, we will examine some of the most popular commercial weight-loss programs by separating them into two different categories: Meal Replacements Meal replacement through pre-packaged meals can be appealing because of the convenience and ease of choices they offer. However, when meals are pre-packaged, participants may not learn the basics of nutrition and healthy eating.

Pre-packaged meals may also be expensive this claim is dependent on the normal weekly food cost an individual could incur. Liquid meal replacement plans, if used for too long, may be harmful because they can cause nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, when participants have not learned the principles of healthy eating and portion control, they often resume prior eating patterns.

Non-meal Replacements Some programs do not require meal replacement as part of their program. Their main goal is to teach you about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and incorporating physical activity. While it is helpful long-term, behavior change does not happen overnight and can be a challenging adjustment at first. Overall, a safe and effective commercial program will offer educational materials that have been reviewed by a licensed healthcare professional.

These materials will include information on healthy eating plans, exercise and behavior therapy. Nutrisystem features portion-controlled foods and structured meal plans that are both high in protein and low in glycemic index GI.

Low-GI means means that the foods do not cause your blood sugar to rise sharply. For people with diabetes, a low-GI diet can help keep blood glucose in control. Nutrisystem plans, tailored for men and women, encourage you to consume three meals and two or three snacks per day. The plans offer about different pre-packaged to choose from. Foods are home-delivered, typically in shipments every four weeks, after you place an order online or over-the-phone.

You have to purchase additional fruits, vegetables and dairy products on your own. These are grouped into three categories: Smartcarbs nutrient-rich, high-fiber carbohydrates , PowerFuels lean proteins and healthy fats and vegetables non-starchy ones which can be eaten freely. A meal planner explains how and when to add these foods into your diet. The program has an active online community, including discussion boards and dietitian-led chats.

Counseling, for those who want it, is available and included with most Nutrisystem programs. With the recommended fruits, vegetables and dairy products, this diet plan can be considered well-balanced. Research on Nutrisystem customers showed an average weight-loss of 18 pounds at three months and 27 pounds at six months. Some research finds a small weight-loss advantage for low-GI diets over high-GI ones, but other studies find no difference. So, this should be a healthy way to lose weight.

Another concern is that participants using pre-packaged meals do not necessarily learn good nutrition, which makes maintaining weight-loss difficult once they return to buying food on their own. Counselors are also available throughout the program and during transition and maintenance to educate about good eating habits. The final concern is the cost of the food. This does not include the additional fruits, vegetables and other foods that you must purchase on your own.

Although Nutrisystem claims that the full cost of eating while on the program is about 15 to 40 percent less than what the average American spends on food, some consumers would rather buy food week-to-week. Some employers and health plans subsidize or reimburse program costs. The program is developed by registered dietitians in consultation with an expert Science Advisory Board. The program is delivered by trained personal consultants in weekly motivational one-on-one consultations, in center, over the phone or via Skype.

Consultants partner with members to identify personal motivators, set weekly menu and activity plans, monitor progress, overcome obstacles and positively reinforce success. A typical menu day on Jenny Craig consists of three meals and three snacks per day, which, in combination with the added grocery items, adds up to an individualized menu calorie level that is based on your gender, age, height, weight and level of physical activity.

The standard menu caloric distribution is percent carbohydrate, percent fat and percent protein. For the Jenny Craig for type 2 diabetes menu, the caloric distribution is 45 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat and 25 percent protein.

For the first half of your program, you primarily follow menus that include Jenny Craig foods for seven days a week. For special events or other times when you need an alternate option, your consultants will offer guidance for meals on your own.

When you have lost half of your total weight-loss goal, you make the transition to five to six days of menus that include Jenny Craig foods and one to two days of your own foods. Throughout your program, you work with your consultant to utilize behavioral strategies to address challenges like emotional, social and unconscious eating and dining out, as well as to build an enjoyable, active lifestyle.

Jenny Craig is a well-balanced, scientifically proven program on which you can expect to lose pounds per week on average. A clinical trial of people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated a 9 percent weight-loss at one year with greater improvements in diabetes control and heart risk factors as compared to usual care.

For both programs, Jenny Craig participants achieved three times greater weight-loss when compared to usual care. The daily menu is a model for learning nutritional balance, variety and moderation in food choices. Counselors are not dietitians. However, they have been trained to deliver an evidence-based program that is developed by registered dietitians and recommended by the Obesity Guidelines.

SLIM-FAST Available in supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies Slim-Fast has been around for more than 25 years and offers relatively quick weight-loss by substituting a calorie-controlled, sweet-tasting fortified meal replacement shake or bar for some of your regular meals. The program offers online support that includes weight, diet and exercise charting, chat rooms with online buddies, chat sessions with registered dietitians, a weekly newsletter, exercise programs and meal planning.

The diet plan is centered around two Slim-Fast meal replacements. A snack of calories is also offered during the day. Fruits and vegetables about servings are encouraged in addition to the meals and snack.

Overall, if followed correctly, the plan does encourage additional fruits and vegetables and it stays at or above 1, calories a day, leading to a more balanced consumption than traditional liquid diets. The three levels are ultimately aimed at delivering weight loss by teaching the dieter to eat what they like — but in smaller portions.

Part of the plan teaches the client how to boost their energy levels given their reduced amounts of food consumption, through simple and manageable physical activities. Our first indication that this may be a rough review were the slew of customer comments on price. A little research into cost and we were flat-out shocked. This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment. The Jenny Craig Diet claims to help clients achieve their desired weight goal by using the three elements of food, body and mind.

The program specifically mentions that no food is a taboo, however they claim to help dieters become mindful of the number of calories that are in the foods they eat. This way a person can dictate the amount of food they will consume in a sitting depending on the weight they want to lose or maintain. The element of the body is as important as dieting is. According to the program, a person must be physically active for the digestion of food to happen effectively. To produce the maximum energy required by the body to function adequately, you need to stay active.

The program provides work out strategies that they say are client-friendly, simple and not too time-consuming. The third element they focus on is the mind. An official of the program, Mr. It has been scientifically proven that people animals and plants that live in a positive, encouraging and supportive environment tend to thrive more, but no research backing this plan specifically.

The Jenny Craig program claims to provide their clients with a support system and a set of affirmations that the clients can recite daily. Customers are also promised a weight-loss counselor on standby and a forum where the they can encourage each other. To us, this all sounds fine — except for one thing. We still need to determine whether this diet works, because all this talk of high costs and lack of scientific evidence has us a bit worried at the moment.

After its conception in Australia and USA the program slowly grew in popularity. Jenny Craig, who is the founder of the company together with her husband, later sold this diet plan to Nestle in The Jenny Craig diet consists of prepackaged foods that already have the calories counted for you. Generally, these foods are frozen and are meant for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The program advises the clients that indulge this diet plan to supplement each meal with fresh fruit, non-dairy products and vegetables for maximum satisfaction.

Jenny Craig meal plans do not dismiss or promote any specific foods. The numerous prepackaged foods do not have a limitation to what is considered healthy or not. However according to WebMD , the program leans more toward low fat, low calorie foods that have high water, fiber and protein content.

But in the case of vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, oranges and tomatoes, one can have as many as they want. Alcoholic beverages are also allowed occasionally. After a while, when the client has shown growth and ability to stand on their own without the support, the program also teaches them how to do Jenny Craig meal planning at home.

How does one do this? First, you need to buy yourself a weighing scale. An electronic one is preferable because it shows your weight to the last point which makes it more accurate and easier to track your weight loss. Once you have your weight recorded, you can then calculate the number of calories you should be eating each day to lose weight. Using an online BMI calculator is also advised. Get yourself linked to a weight loss friend, a dietitian or counselor. Someone who will be there for you whenever you needed them.

As mentioned earlier, having someone who believes in you and relates to your struggles is very important in making any positive progress. You should be able to have a set amount of time, say 20 minutes each day, where you meet and talk with your weight loss partner about your progress. By doing this, not only will you have an accountability partner who will always keep you in track and help you if you slipped, you will also have the motivation to do better because no one likes being a disappointment.

The next and maybe most important thing is to stock up on the low-calorie foods. Throw away all the high calorie and high fat foods in your house and anything over-processed.

Remember the program does not ban any type of food, but chemical and synthetic products are not qualified as food. Instead buy and keep in large quantities whole foods, low dairy foods, fruits and vegetables of your liking, proteins such as lentils and black beans, nuts, chicken preferably skinless, canned fish and water. You should then try as much as possible to cook these foods in very little oil.

Deep frying should be in very limited occasions if any. The next step then is to take the calorie chart that you made when you recorded your weight and divide it into 6 meals that you will be taking throughout the day.

For example, if the calories that you are required to take to lose weight are a day, then you are supposed to make 6 meals, each carrying calories and eat them. A day has twenty-four hours, but are for sleeping so you will be working with roughly 18 hours.

This means that the 6 meals should have a three-hour spacing. You can choose to have all the meals with the uniform number of calories or, make some meals like breakfast heavier than day time snacks. You can start with as little as 20 minutes and work your way up gradually. The trick is to be consistent and disciplined. At this point it is advisable to have a food journal where you can be recording what you had for every meal and whether you stuck to the calories.

You can also record the length of time you exercised and what specific workouts you did. This is important to keep yourself on track and to also monitor your progress. You should also toss anything that might trigger you to snack or eat more than you should. Make sure to keep in constant communication with your health partner and dietitian being absolutely open with them.

It is better to admit that you failed or slipped than to act like everything is fine while in real facts you are failing. Using these steps, apparently, will give you your very own Jenny Craig at home. Does this diet program work? At the high cost of the diet plan, will we actually lose weight? According to WebMD many people can attest to the fact that the plan worked for them.

The plan also works great for vegetarians and those that do not consume gluten since there are a variety of options. However, the diet is not good for vegans because almost all the prepackaged foods have some levels of dairy in them.

According to a review of previous studies, it was seen that obese adults that were put on the Jenny Craig diet plan showed a 4. Everyone burns calories differently, and for some, counting calories can be a bad thing. Customers are given prepackaged foods with the calories already counted and certified as okay. There is no scientific research linking this diet to weight loss and management. National Institutes of Health conducted a study on mice that were given a low-calorie diet.

Middle-aged mice 16 months old were fed the diet for 4 consecutive days, followed by 10 days of unlimited access to food. The mice overate during these phases so that their overall calorie intake was similar to mice continuously fed a regular diet.

There is a wealth of information, blogs and articles pointing out the downfalls of meal planning. The mega-downside is that this diet is super expensive. Jenny Craig prices are as follows:. These prices do not include the cost of buying the foods. The Jenny Craig online website allows for people to order, choose and buy foods without having to physically go to the local Jenny Craig centers. The online system requires your information, so they can recommend the best foods for you.

When ordering online, the first order is usually chosen by the company as a way of giving you an idea of what would best work for you and from then on you choose the plans yourself.

Orders are made in batches of two weeks, but there is a three-day sample trial. This sample meal includes nine meals, three snacks and three salad dressings.

After giving all your information, the Jenny Craig Food Delivery team ships the food out to you. You can choose from picking up your food from the local center or have them directly delivered to you — which will cost you extra. Not all experts agree with low-calorie diets, pointing out the possible side effects — which are a bit shocking. According to WebMD , possible side effects of a low-calorie diet include: Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers are a couple of popular diet plans.

These systems have often been compared by many reviewers in the hope of finding which one is the best route to take. All three systems include prepackaged meals in their diet plan. This can be attributed to the fact that with prepackaged foods, calorie control is a guarantee. In terms of prices, Weight Watchers is the cheapest, followed by Nutrisystem.

Jenny Craig was dead last in this category — the most expensive of the three. When it comes to the support system, a study by the Colorado State University has shown that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer constant weekly group or individual counselling and meetings that are physical and interactive as opposed to Nutrisystem whose support system is only online and among dieters.

The other difference among these three systems is that Nutrisystem does not offer any background check or change for its clients.

A background check in terms of their previous eating regimen, their exercise habits, etc. Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig help in knowing the past of its clients to determine their problems and assist in changing their ways of thinking and doing things when it comes to their nutrition and health.

What we gather from these comparisons, is that the only thing separating Jenny Craig from the competition is the outrageous price tag. I just started my third round this past Tuesday. Counting calories, eating healthy and exercising are sure to help you lose some weight, but at what cost? Is this diet plan going to catapult you to weight-loss glory? It might work for some, but there are just too many negatives for us to back this diet. If your goal is to lose weight, increase energy and eliminate hunger, you should go with a simple supplement designed to deliver results and not drain your bank account.

Online/Web-based Diet Programs