Jenny Craig

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Jenny Craig has a reputation for being one of the weight loss programs with the greatest incidence of regain.  But in the last few years, they have somewhat redesigned their program to try and help people to change their lifestyle.

Dieters on Jenny Craig are required to buy their food from Jenny Craig - this is convenient but can get a very pricey.  They see a food/diet counselor one on one, weekly (something new Jenny Craig has added in the last few years). This is, in theory, a friendly visit where they can discuss any problems they are having or obtain tips on dieting or more. (Those on the JC program have told me that it gets NOT friendly if the person consistently is not losing weight).

Those on maintenance are given a set amount of calories they can have daily.  Once you get off Jenny Craig food, you use the exchange system of keeping track of food. This is a restrictive and cumbersome program which most diet groups have dropped.

The Jenny Craig website has a nice chat area where there seems to be people available all hours of the day and night.  .


  • The food can get expensive.  A typical diet can cost $5000 worth of food
  • When you get off Jenny Craig food, the diet is an exchange diet - this is similar to the old American Dietetic assn diet - it is restrictive and complex to work
  • As with any conventional diet, you will likely damage your metabolism so that after you've lost the weight, you pretty much have to remain dieting to have a chance of keeping it off.
  • The support with one on one seems to vary greatly from counselor to counselor
  • Jenny Craig suggests exercise but it isn't an integral part of their program
  • Jenny Craig has one of the worst reputations for quick re-gain among all the commercial weight loss programs.  Many people who have a measure of success on Jenny Craig do it by "weight cycling" (gaining and losing). There is a growing body of evidence that weight cycling may be more risky than remaining fat.