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Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem - Compare: Which is better for you?

Updated on January 17, 2012
Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem - Diet Comparison
Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem - Diet Comparison

Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem - Diet Comparision - Which is better for you?

Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are two of the best and most popular diets in the market. Both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem have proven tract records in weight loss. Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are similar in that both have their own prepackaged meals and, both use famous celebrities to prove the effectiveness of their diet program. I, myself, know friends and families who have lost weight using Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem work!

Let's compare Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem diet programs to find out which diet is better for you.

Actress Sara Rue lost 50 lbs on Jenny Craig, source: Jenny Craig
Actress Sara Rue lost 50 lbs on Jenny Craig, source: Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig Diet Program

Jenny Craig takes an individual approach to weight loss. It is a one-on-one interaction with a Jenny Craig consultant, either in person or over the phone. After evaluating your needs, a personalized plan is presented, along with meal choices. Jenny Craig diet program provides the food you need to lose the weight, along with other items you have to buy yourself from the grocery store. Exercise suggestions are tailored to your lifestyle, current weight, and interests. You are required to check in weekly with your consultant to help you keep on track. This continues until you have reached your goal weight, at which time you should have learned how to eat healthy and made the necessary changes in your lifestyle to maintain that goal. Jenny Craig also provides maintenance support and access to online support tools, so you are not left to your own devices.

Don Shula lost 32 lbs on Nutrisystem, source: Nutrisystem
Don Shula lost 32 lbs on Nutrisystem, source: Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem Diet Plans

The NutriSystem diet is the ultimate in convenience. Dieters who don't want to think about portion sizes, planning, shopping for or cooking meals will love the Nutrisystem diet plan. You simply make your food selections and then get a month's worth of meals delivered to your door in microwave-ready pouches. In addition to receiving the prepared meals, dieters are encouraged to learn to modify their eating behaviors. They receive a 12-week, self-guided Mindset Makeover behavioral guide, written by Temple University obesity expert Gary Foster, PhD, which addresses everything from curbing cravings to the importance of social support. In addition, diet and fitness guidance, a weight loss community, and support are available online. Exercise is recommended while following the Nutrisystem diet plan. Counselors are also available over the telephone.

So, which diet is better for you?

Here's a comparison between Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.

Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem Diet Comparison Guide

Jenny Craig
Kind of Diet Program
Jenny Craig is a low-fat approach to weight loss. By focusing on calories, you don't need to avoid entire food groups, buy special low-carb products or give up the foods you love. The keystone to the Jenny Craig diet is its prepackaged meals. For the most part, these are frozen breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even desserts. Nutritionally, they reflect the 2005 federal guidelines and USDA food pyramid, and contain 50% to 60% carbohydrate, 20% to 25% protein, and 20% to 25% fat.
Nutrisystem is the easy-to-follow plan featuring low Glycemic Index, "good carb" Nutrisystem foods with optimal amounts of protein to help keep you satisfied and your blood sugar levels stable. You eat often throughout the day, and always get perfect portions with every prepackaged entree, snack and dessert. The Nutrisystem meals are lower in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and rich in whole grains. Dieters eat five meals a day, which should help control hunger.
Prepackaged Meals
Choose from over 80 individual entrees and snacks.
Choose from over 150 chef-inspired dishes, including gourmet, fresh-frozen cuisine
Daily Food Requirements
You'll enjoy three Jenny's Cuisine meals and one Jenny's Cuisine snack every day, while you provide plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, reduced fat milk products and heart healthy fats. Breakfast, Lunch, dinner and snack (prepackaged)
You will eat 5 to 6 times a day to help keep your blood sugar and metabolism stable, so your body burns calories more effectively. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert and Snacks (prepackaged) The meals are supposed to be supplemented with 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Calories per day
Calorie levels ranging from 1,200 to 2,300 calories per day, fruits and vegetables included.
Women follow a 1,200-calorie plan and men are allowed 1,500 calories per day, fruits and vegetables included.
Prepackaged Food Contents:
- Carbohydrates
50% to 60%
55% (features low Glycemic Index, "good carb")
- Protein
20% to 25%
25% protein
- Fat
20% to 25% fat
20% fat
- Cholesterol
Limited cholesterol
Low cholesterol
- Sodium
Limited sodium
Low sodium (approximately 1,800 milligrams per day)
- Trans Fat
Zero grams trans fat
Most have zero trans fat, some have low trans fat
- Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Some foods contain aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. Some of the mints contain aspartame, or other artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.
Nutrisystem foods do not contain aspartame or saccharin but some foods do contain sucralose and/or acesulfame K. Contain sugar alcohols, including maltitol, sorbitol and isomalt, which act as sweeteners.
Weight loss per week
One to two pounds a week or 1% of your body weight
One to two pounds a week
- Membership fees
Membership fees can range between $20 to $50 a month, but this varies according to the amount of weight you need to lose or if you are in maintenance.
FREE membership
- Prepackaged food
At least $14 to $20 a day, about $600-$650 a month. Some food discounts may apply,
About $11.00 a day or about $3 per meal. This depends, of course, on which option you go with. If you get auto delivery each month, the plan will cost you $329.95 a month. If you choose to order the food month to month, it will cost you $366.61 a month.
- Shipping charges
If you order 2 week food supply - $50-$60 shipping charges. If you order 4 week food supply, $79 shipping charges. So you save by order 4 week food supply which is delivered every two weeks.
If you get auto delivery each month - FREE SHIPPING. If you choose to order the food month to month, it will cost you $18.95 shipping charges.
- Additional grocery items
You will be given a grocery list of items to buy including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products etc.
You will be given a grocery list of items to buy including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products etc
Frequently asked questions:
- Will I Have to exercise?
Jenny Craig encourages its clients to participate in physical activity five days a week (at least 30 minutes each of those days) and to generally be more active.
Exercise is recommended while following the NutriSystem diet plan. Workout plans on the Nutrisystem Diet consist of walking two to three days weekly and light weight lifting two days weekly. The Web site also includes anatomy lessons and exercise instructions.
- Can I have caffeinated beverages on the program?
Yes. If you are a heavy coffee, soda or tea drinker, you may want to consider cutting back – especially if it interferes with your milk or water intake. If you choose to decrease your caffeine intake, do so gradually - cutting your intake in half each week, to avoid caffeine-withdrawal related symptoms.
Excessive caffeine intake can affect your hydration status and sleep patterns, which may impact your weight loss success. Therefore, it is recommended that caffeinated beverages be limited. When selecting caffeinated beverages, use skim milk and low calorie sweeteners with your coffee and tea drinks and avoid sugary energy drinks and sodas.
- Can I drink alcohol while on the diet plan?
Although it is recommended limiting your consumption of alcohol, your consultant can work with you to fit some alcohol into your menu plan. Your consultant can help personalize your menu to include your favorite foods and beverages in moderation!
Alcohol will add extra calories to your meal plan without providing any nutritive value; to ensure optimal health and weight loss results it is recommended avoiding alcohol while using the Nutrisystem program.
- Do you have Kosher menus?
- Do you have vegetarian menus?
Jenny Craig has meatless entrée options to fit into any Personalized menu. The meatless options, however, are not vegan and may contain dairy or egg.
Nutrisystem is the only prepackaged vegetarian diet program available, and it's specially formulated to help you curb cravings. Lose weight while still living your life with a program featuring over 90 vegetarian-friendly, ready-to-go foods to choose from, plus 6 meal times to keep your body fueled.
- Am I allowed to dine out while on the plan?
Yes, Jenny Craig menus give you the flexibility of being able to eat at a restaurant and the confidence to make healthy choices. Their Weight Loss Manual actually has entire sections devoted to dining-out strategies, and there are Meal On My Own options available on your menu. You also have the option of eating your Jenny Craig entrée and enjoying your added food servings at the restaurant. Jenny Craig also offers a Dining Out Guide and your consultant will be glad to help you plan sensible eating strategies for these occasions!
Nutrisystem Mindset Makeover is a 13-week guide through which you work on a new skill each week while on the program. This features, among other things, strategies for dining out. The Mindset Makeover will help guide you through your Nutrisystem program and help you overcome challenges you face along your journey. This online, interactive guide is available free of charge to active customers and is also available for purchase in print form in the a la carte section of which can be found here.
Copyright© 2010 All Rights Reserved to Rosie2010 Diet Comparison Guide.
Actor Jason Alexander lost 30 lbs on Jenny Craig, source:  Jenny Craig
Actor Jason Alexander lost 30 lbs on Jenny Craig, source: Jenny Craig
Entertainer Tony Orlando lost 103 lbs on Nutrisystem, source: Nutrisystem
Entertainer Tony Orlando lost 103 lbs on Nutrisystem, source: Nutrisystem
William_Ernest_Henley_young, source: Wikipedia
William_Ernest_Henley_young, source: Wikipedia

A Word of Advice

There are many different diets in the market.. one claiming better than the other. It is difficult to know which of these diets will work best for you. We are all different and not all diets may work for you even it works for someone you know. Choose the diet that fits your needs and can be part of your lifestyle. Do not trust any diet that promises results without exercise and/or changes in eating habits. Be wary of diets that promise fast weight loss without any effort on your part. If you are not ready to commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle, then don't waste your hard-earned money. All diets require dedication and hard-work... it's not an easy thing to do... but the reward is a new happy healthy you. And, you are worth it.

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you. Be happy and be healthy too. You can do it.

"I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

- Invictus, William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

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Submit a Comment

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 6 years ago

    Wow, that was a very comprehensive comparison. Very informative and useful !

  • FitnessTom profile image

    FitnessTom 6 years ago

    I wanted to drop by and leave my opinion that both these diets are really bad for your health.

    What they fail to mention is what is put into the food that you are not eating. These are processed foods with additives like high fructose corn syrup. You can't possibly maintain a healthy lifestyle this way.

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Virtual Treasures, thanks for dropping by. I'm sorry you and your friends gained the weight back with a two year time.. that sux big time! Check out The Flex Diet.. you might like it. No prepackaged foods, no calorie count, and you can lose weight by designing your own personalized diet. Check out the author Dr. Beckerman.. he is so cute and so smart!

    Have a nice day,


  • Virtual Treasures profile image

    Kacie Turner 7 years ago from Michigan

    I did Nutrisystem and lost 40 pounds in a month. I had two other friends on it who lost a lot of weight and had great success. One of them was on Jenny Craig before she tried Nutrisystem. She said she felt Nutrisystem was a much greater value, and we really thought we had the maintenance program under control, but all of us gained the weight back within a two year time frame. :-( Great hub, though, with a lot of good information!

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya ariasnote, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found my hub useful. Yes, I agree with you. Both diets work.. they both make you lose weight but you have to follow the maintenance program and continue to eat healthy. I'm so happy for Valerie when she lost all that weight.. she did let herself go.. and now even when she gain a few pounds back, she still looks awesome.

    Have a nice day,


  • profile image

    ariasnote 7 years ago

    I just saw a biography on Valerie last night. She swears by Jenny Craig, giving her life back. I think both diets would work, if one stuck with the program. Thanks for sharing this with us, Rosie2010. :D Great info.

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Pam, thanks for dropping by. These two diet programs are so similar, but some people hate JC's food and others say NS's food are awful. Well, I guess one has to try them both. But these two diets have both proven records. I'm glad you liked my comparison.

    Have a nice day,


  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya my dear friend Rhonda, thanks gf. Yes, I did a great deal of research and I think I have narrowed it down to how to compare diets effectively... I hope. lol hugssss

    Have a nice day,


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Rosie, You did a great job comparing the programs. I know some people that tried Jenny Craig and were unhappy with the taste of the food. I think if you are dedicated to your weight loss progam that either one could work. Nice hub.

  • Rhonda Waits profile image

    Rhonda Musch 7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

    Hi Rosie great job and review. Looks like you really did some good research and put a lot of time into this. I agree another great hub.

    Sweet wishes Rhonda

  • Rosie2010 profile image

    Rosie Rose 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Will, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found this useful. Good for Tony Orland, he kept the weight off. Imagine losing 103 lbs.

    Have a nice day,


  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Thanks for the great info!

    I saw Tony Orlando just a couple of months ago and he looked great.

    Another great Hub.