Top 7 Most Popular Weight-Loss Programs: Jenny Craig

Although Jenny Craig is technically the first-ever big dieting program to hit big in the United States, the company was actually started by Jenny and Sid Craig in Melbourne, Australia in 1983.

With no thick competition in the marketplace, Jenny Craig was a fresh idea and instantly took off. In 1985, the program took root in the US and has subsequently enveloped the entire globe.

With centers in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico and elsewhere, Jenny Craig boasts 600 live locations and millions upon millions of satisfied members. Craig’s services include weight-loss management counseling, food delivery, love fitness centers, and plenty of books, tapes and other informational and motivational materials to assist individuals in losing weight.

As a program, Jenny Craig is one of the most famous in the world. The weight-management portion of the Jenny Crag plan—the one we will discuss in the article, for purposes of weight-loss—combines nutrition with counseling and provides clients with prepackaged meals for a period of time until they can hopefully wean themselves off of Jenny’s meals and begin to implement proper eating habits on their own.

There are two different types of programs available with Jenny Craig, but the one we will focus on here is the meal plan. This is the most famous plan and the one that you will see on the celebrity-endorsed commercials.

What Jenny Craig Offers

Clients of Jenny Craig are provided not only with meals via one of the 600-plus centers, but they also receive private counseling from health professionals to discuss overall nutrition, weight-loss goals, and dieting in general. The Jenny Craig at Home program provides clients with a meal plan to follow, utilizing the variety of foods you purchase from a Jenny Craig center.

Unlike other meal plans, however, Jenny Craig’s Home plan still needs to be supplemented. Clients are encouraged to supplement the meals with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and all clients are given a program to follow to ensure they do not go over any calorie allotment or ingest unhealthy foods.

You’ll find a wide assortment of meals at the Jenny Craig center, including snacks and desserts. The prepackaged meals are simply heat-and-eat.

Pros and Cons of Jenny Craig

As you may have guessed, results tend to vary with any weight-loss program. Jenny Craig is no different in this regard. It may be one of the most advertized programs you will run across, but that still does not guarantee results. All clients using Jenny Craig are encouraged to follow the program to the letter and to consult one of the health professional on staff should any hurdles be met along the road.



  • The meals are tastier than the meals other diet programs are offering, and they’re fresher because you pick them up at a Jenny Craig center
  • The plan is relatively easy to follow. If you eat only what Jenny provides and supplement your meals with fresh veggies, you should have no trouble losing weight
  • The convenience factor is always a plus with a program like Jenny Craig
  • You pay a flat rate for the first chunk of your weight loss, usually something around $20 for 20 pounds (if you’re using other services; meal costs not included)
  • The program teaches portion control and other discipline points you will need to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Jenny Craig at Home is designed to wean you off the program as soon as you start, unlike other programs that seek to keep you dependent on the food


  • It can be embarrassing to meet at a Jenny Craig center and have to be weighed constantly in front of other people
  • Having to visit the center in general is a little off-putting for some
  • The price can be rather high once you push through the initial target
  • Having to supplement the meals can get tedious
  • Weekly meetings can make you feel like you’re in AA

At the end of the day, though, it is Jenny Craig’s hands-on involvement with your life that really helps to bring the results. Because you’re constantly treated and constantly around other people on the program, there is a community aspect to the dieting. You know that you’re not alone and that proves to be a great motivational tool for a lot of dieters.

You can’t really put a price on results, and anyone who has followed Jenny Craig to the letter can certainly attest to the results.

Read also the others in our Top 7 Most Popular Weight-Loss Program series:


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