Jenny Craig Diet Review: Taste, Nutritional Value and Price (2023)

maybe you rememberjenny craigfrom older commercials with famous spokespersons. Over the years, the company has had a wide range of celebrities like Kristie Allen, Mariah Carey, Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander endorsing its programs. Jenny Craig even offers prepackaged, low-calorie frozen meals for those looking to eat healthy and lose weight. But is it for you?

What is Jenny Craig?

Jenny Craig is one of the most popular in the worldweight lossPrograms Based on portioned meals, intermittent fasting, personalized training and holistic health plans, Jenny Craig offers structure for weight loss.

One of the most important aspects of this weight loss program is the eating plans. Jenny Craig says healthy food shouldn't be bland.

I decided to try these foods for myself, judge the nutritional value, and talk to a professional about his thoughts on diet programs. This is what I found.

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How does Jenny Craig work?

During your first week with Jenny Craig, you will be expected to establish your weight, activity, and eating goals. By the end of the first week (if you're on the larger Max Up plan), you'll have consumed seven pre-made breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, desserts and refill bars. The idea is that you will see some weight loss in the first to second week of Jenny Craig.

As the weeks go by, you'll start to add your own grocery items to your meal plan. The goal is to transition to home-cooked meals as soon as you're close to your ideal weight, hoping the healthy eating habits stick with you.

membership plans

Jenny Craig offers threemeal plansto choose from depending on how many daily meals you want and whether you need personal training. There are no specific plans for vegans, vegetarians or dairy-free or gluten-free. However, you can call and Jenny Craig can help you create a custom plan.

The three plans are as follows:

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The cheapest plan, at $14 per day, comes with a week's worth of breakfast and lunch. Best for anyone trying Jenny Craig's food for the first time.


The mid-price plan, $22 per day, comes with a week's worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This plan is for those who want to get the full dining experience.

maximum weight loss

The premium plan, for $28 a day, contains all the meals in the Essential plan, but includes refill bars, activity and quality of life plans, and personal training. This plan offers most of the tools for anyone who wants to start their weight loss.

personal training

If you choose the Max Up Weight Loss plan, you will have access to apersonal trainerfor weekly individualized counseling.

The benefits of having a personal trainer include extra help with meal planning, setting weight and diet goals, exercise tips and advice, the option to meet virtually or in person, and ongoing support.

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The Jenny Craig Experience

My order came directly from the nearest Jenny Craig facility. My Jenny Craig order was hand-delivered by a courier service (in my case,door plate). It was really easy and I didn't have to worry about losing the shipment and having the food defrost at the front door. It went straight from my hands to my freezer.

My order came with seven of each of the following: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, desserts, and refill bars. This equates to the Max Up meal plan. With shipping and taxes added, my total was about $215 for the entire week.

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Each food is classified with a color. Items with a yellow stripe are for breakfast, green items are for lunch or dinner, purple items are for snacks and dessert, and blue items (not seen here) are side dishes.

My order also came with a checklist to ensure I received all of my food items.

Is Jenny Craig's food any good?

The only way to accurately judge Jenny Craig's food was to try it myself. During my testing of the Max Up meal plan, I considered variety, nutritional value, and taste. I should point out that I'm not a professional food critic, but I think I know what food is worth eating.



I don't normally eat frozen foods for breakfast, mainly because many of those available contain eggs (not a dietary concern, just not a fan). Luckily for me, Jenny Craig had three eggless breakfasts to choose from: classic waffles, chocolate muffins, and cinnamon rolls. I went with the waffles.

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I liked the waffles and found them very similar toeggs. Two Jenny Craig waffles have 160 calories, while the same serving of Eggo waffles would have 180 calories. I didn't taste much difference. However, Jenny Craig waffles contain the same amount of protein as Eggos and almost twice the sugar. You can also go for the Eggos.


For lunch the same day, I tried spaghetti with meatballs. The batter was delicious and I found the meatballs to be similar to other brands of frozen meatballs I've tried. I wish it had come with sides. The pasta was only 290 calories but contained 15g of protein.

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I like that every lunch can be dinner and vice versa. I tend to eat a lot of pasta, and Jenny Craig had three other pasta dishes to choose from: classic lasagna with meat sauce, three-cheese macaroni, and chicken fettuccine alfredo.


I was intrigued by Jenny Craig's Baked Cheese Curls. The puff cheese puffs looked and tasted very similar toCheetos, but with a slight cheese flavor. I found them to be a good alternative when I was craving junk food. Jenny Craig's Baked Cheese Curls have 130 calories, compared to the same amount of Cheetos at 160 calories. Baked Cheese Curls contain 180 mg of sodium; Cheetos have 250 mg.

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Along with the baked cheese curls were mini chocolate chip cookies, barbecue chips and white cheddar popcorn. I thought the popcorn was the best. It was a light snack and filled with 140 calories. It tasted a lot like other white cheddar popcorn you find at the store.


For dinner, there were only three meatless options (out of 14 lunches and dinners). Of the three meatless options, the macaroni and cheese dish tasted the best. It came with sliced ​​carrots and broccoli, and although I thought the broccoli was fresh, the carrots were mushy. I would have preferred to make a carrot and broccoli side dish on its own.

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I also tried the mashed potatoes and fried chicken. The potatoes tasted good but they could have made them better from scratch. There were only a few pieces of chicken, and they were breaded. Although the vegetables are not fresh, you can always add some.

After eating these dinners, I was still hungry. This was likely because the fried chicken and potato meal was only 250 calories. To control hunger, I would have accompanied every meal of dinner with fresh fruit, salad or vegetables.


The desserts look small, but I found them to be the perfect size. The chocolate ice cream was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. It contains half the amount of fat as regular ice cream and was the perfect snack before starting the 14-hour fast.

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refill bars

Jenny Craig offers refill bars for light snacks during intermittent fasting. If you're on the Max Up meal plan, the refill bars make it easy to fast for 14 hours, which starts right after dessert and lasts until breakfast the next day. Most of their 14 hours are spent sleeping, leaving a 10-hour window to eat during the day. Bars are consumed before breakfast.

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As someone who likes protein bars, I found the refill bars to be tasty. I tried the chocolate and nut bars which contained walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds and chocolate. The bars tasted similar to the Kind chocolate bars I used to eat between classes in college. I could see myself eating this every morning.

However, in each 34g bar, there are 4 to 5g ofsugar. To put this in perspective, theDietary Guidelines for Americans(PDF) suggests limiting daily calories from added sugars to less than 10% of total calories, which is equivalent to 50 g of added sugars per day if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet (this is calleddaily value). A refill bar ranges from 8-10% of the Daily Value for added sugar. HeAmerican Heart Association, in turn, recommends that men consume a maximum of 36g of added sugar per day. For women, it's just under 25g a day.

Additionally, each refill bar contains 16g of total fat. Heclinica clevelandrecommends that the average adult on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet get 20-35% of those calories from fat, or about 44-77 grams a day.

sample menu

A day in the life of someone on the Max Up plan:

  • reload bar
  • Turkey Egg, Cheese and Sausage Burrito
  • Swiss Ham and Cheese Baguette
  • barbecue fries
  • Classic lasagna with meat sauce
  • Chocolate ice cream


All items included in the plans are the meals you will be making in a week.

Simple meal plan:$13 per day, $90.95 per week

  • seven breakfasts
  • seven lunches

Essential Meal Plan:$20.78 per day, $145.89 per week

  • seven breakfasts
  • seven lunches
  • seven dinners
  • free delivery

Maximum weight loss plan:$22.52 per day, $185.46 per week, $157.64 with autoship

  • personal training
  • seven breakfasts
  • seven lunches
  • seven dinners
  • Seven sandwiches and desserts
  • Seven recharge bars
  • Activity plans and quality of life
  • free delivery
  • discount with automatic shipping

What do nutritionists say?

While programs that promise to lose weight seem like an easy answer, that's not always the case. I spoke with a nutrition expert fromAmerican Council on Science and Healthto understand the science behind these programs.

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David Lightsey, scientific advisor for food and nutrition atquackwatchand author ofMyths about nutrition sciencesays, "Commercial short-term weight-loss programs can offer several reasonably solid nutritious meals if that's all someone is looking for, but of course, at a high price." The price of these programs often seems to be a big drawback.

"However, most people who are attracted to these programs are very interested in the supposed weight loss associated with them," added Lightsey. "This is where [weight-loss programs] get tricky with the facts."

Lightsey explains that companies are often misleading about the type of weight lost in the program: "The [weight loss] includes a significant amount of water and muscle tissue weight. In the short term, you end up with happy campers. In the long term, it's derails your efforts to successfully avoid it.

He listed the ways that undermine long-term success as: "significant loss of muscle tissue, which is needed to utilize fat mass" and "possibly reduced basal metabolic rates due to loss of muscle mass, meaning that the calories that now consume burn at rest are smaller than before the program".

The list includes "decreased ability to build muscle mass due to increased activity along with excessive calorie intake to support it. In men, testosterone levels can actually drop significantly due to excess calories with increased to activities".

Instead, Lightsey recommends finding a local registered dietitian who can help you put together a proper diet plan.

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Possible disadvantages

  • Does not prepare you to eat off the diet.
  • High Price
  • It can potentially encourage poor eating habits in the future or trigger eating disorders such asDevotion

Is Jenny Craig for you?

There is no one size fits all weight loss program. Whether you're vegan or vegetarian, you'll have to work harder to find the right eating plan for you with Jenny Craig. While any diet can encourage disordered eating, Jenny Craig has the potential to teach healthy eating and activity habits.

Try Jenny Craig yeah:

  • You want to learn portion control.
  • Personal coaching is something you either need or want.
  • Your schedule doesn't allow you time to make homemade meals.

Consider other weight loss plans or see a nutritionist if:

  • You only see short term results.
  • You're looking for fresh meals instead of frozen ones.
  • You have a hard time making the transition to choosing and cooking your own meals.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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