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Jenny Craig vs Weight Watchers - see Valerie Bertinelli commercial, Jennifer Hudson before & after size 16 to 6

Updated on June 15, 2012
- Jenny Craig vs Weight Watchers, by Rosie2010 on Hubpages -
- Jenny Craig vs Weight Watchers, by Rosie2010 on Hubpages -

According to the latest Consumer Reports, Jenny Craig is rated as the Number One diet program, outranking big names such as Atkins, Ornish, and Weight Watchers.

The consumer magazine rated seven diet programs based on how closely they follow the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, weight loss and drop-out rates in both the short-term and long-term, based on clinical trial data.

Jenny Craig came out on top! A two-year study on 332 dieters published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 92 per cent of Jenny Craig participants stuck with the plan for two years. According to the magazine, this is "a remarkable level of adherence."

Valerie Bertinelli, then at her heaviest and now starring in Hot in Cleveland
Valerie Bertinelli, then at her heaviest and now starring in Hot in Cleveland

Jenny Craig vs Weight Watchers

I was in awe when I saw Valerie Bertinelli lost so much weight using the Jenny Craig Diet Program. She looked fabulous!

Valerie Bertinelli was the girl next door on the hit TV show One Day at a Time (December 16, 1975 to May 28, 1984). We watched her grew up on television. Now, she is the divorced mother of a teenager and is conducting a very public campaign to lose weight.

Like most of us, Valerie had suffered and lost to the battle of the bulge. And like many of us she had obsessed about her weight in some sort of way all her life. She had tried other diet programs in vain, until March 2007 when Valerie signed up for and became the spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

When Valerie began her weight loss journey, she weighed 172 pounds. A little over two years - and 47 pounds - later, the scale reads 125. Valerie said she lost the first 40 in the first year.

Valerie says the Jenny Craig diet works for her because while there are plan-specific meals, she can also eat something of her own. When she was a guest at The Oprah Winfrey Show in April of 2009, she said, "For dinner last night I had salmon and some veggies and a glass of champagne."

Valerie Bertinelli's Bikini Commercial for Jenny Craig

Carrie Fisher is the new celebrity spokesperson for Jenny Craig in 2011.  She is a great addition to the celebrity spokespersons for Jenny Craig.  Carrie is skeptical and critical and tells it how it is, and for this, the American consumer will trust her implicitly to reveal her struggles with weight. At 54, Carrie Fisher is the perfect spokeswoman for the company right now.

In an interview Carrie says "I'm fat. All the clothes in my closet belong to another chick. They have to make a new alphabet for my bra size."

Carrie weighed around 105 lbs. when she starred in the Star Wars trilogy in the late '70s and early '80s and says her weight crept up over the years and grew out of control three years ago.

Carrie is 5'1" and starts her Jenny Craig weight loss at 180 lbs - her heaviest – and, is determined to slim down.

Let's follow her weight loss journey.

Jason Alexander (George Costanza in 'Seinfeld') is your "everyday man" spokesperson for Jenny Crag. His becoming the face of Jenny Craig represents a major turning point in the predominantly female-oriented weight-loss industry. Men struggle with weight and eating problems just as much as women do. So watching one of their favorite TV icons publicly go through the weight loss process will hopefully get many men off the couch and into more Jenny Craigs, Weight Watchers and gyms all across the country.

Jason Alexander before and after losing 30 lbs. Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Craig
Jason Alexander before and after losing 30 lbs. Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Craig

The Jenny Craig Program

The Jenny Craig Program is a one-on-one program.  You will meet your program director either in-person at a local centre, or over the phone with Jenny Craig At Home. They start by reviewing your profile to identify your personal eating style, activity stage and weight loss mindset and then customize a program to be most effective for you.  At this time, they will do an initial weigh-in and take your measurements.

The next step is introducing you to a new, healthier lifestyle with delicious gourmet quality Jenny Craig entrees and snacks. You'll enjoy three Jenny's Cuisine meals and one snack every day, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Moderate physical activity is an important element of healthy living and weight management and your personal consultant will help you develop an active lifestyle you can enjoy and maintain.

Your consultant will meet with you privately each week to help motivate you, share your results, help you with any challenges and offer you the skills, strategies and information you need to achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. For the first four weeks, your consultant will cover one topic at a time: Food, Body or Mind. The fifth week features an intermediate check-up, to see how much you have achieved, revisit your Lifestyle Graph to celebrate your successes, and establish new goals, as necessary.

An important part of the Jenny Craig Program is learning the skills necessary to plan and prepare meals on your own. In your Food consultation, you'll take a "Food Confidence Quiz" to understand your strengths and opportunities regarding menu planning and your eating style. You will also have time to practice menu planning first, to ensure that you are very comfortable before trying it on your own. Then you'll start to include meals using your own foods one day per week, and progress from there. If you'd like to eat out with family or friends, you will be provided with helpful tips as well as a Dining Out Guide so you can make healthy choices.

You will also learn that as you lose weight, your body gets smaller, as do your calorie needs. Now you will learn about ways to turn up your physical activity to add a strength component to fuel your calorie burn.

By the time you reach your goal weight...

  • you'll have learned the skills to plan and prepare your own delicious meals through healthy cooking techniques and recipes, and 
  • you will have developed a healthier relationship with food, becoming a more balanced eater. 
  • Within a month, you will reduce the number of days you eat Jenny's Cuisine. 
  • You'll also find that physical activity has become a normal part of your daily routine. 
With the help of your personal Jenny Craig consultant, you'll have learned healthy new habits and ways to live a more balanced lifestyle.

Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander spokepeople for Jenny Craig. Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Craig
Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander spokepeople for Jenny Craig. Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Craig
Singer and Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson - before and after she lost 35 lbs on Weight Watchers.  Photo: courtesy of
Singer and Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson - before and after she lost 35 lbs on Weight Watchers. Photo: courtesy of

Former American Idol contestant and Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson has become the new spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

Jennifer gained a lot of pounds for the role that got her the much-coveted Oscar statuette in the film "Dreamgirls" and becoming pregnant with her son David Daniel Otunga Jr. also meant she packed a few more pounds. Now thanks to Weight Watchers, all 35 lbs extra weight is gone.

With Weight Watchers, Jennifer is enjoying the weight loss because she says she's doing it the right way. She has learned everything from portion control to what foods will help keep her satisfied. "It's a lifestyle change, not a diet. I can follow the plan no matter where I am, still enjoy my favorite foods and even use the iPhone app to track my points," Jennifer said on a recent interview for People magazine.

Below is Jennifer Hudson in her first commercial for Weight Watchers. 

The Weight Watchers Program

Weight Watchers encourages members to select a goal weight that results in a body mass index generally accepted as healthy, although a member may also establish a goal weight outside of that range after providing a doctor's note to that effect. In the United States, in order to join Weight Watchers, one must weigh at least 5 pounds (2.3 kg) more than the minimum weight for his or her height.

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5 - 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 - 29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

If you want to find out what your BMI is CLICK ON THIS.

Once a member reaches his or her goal weight, he or she starts a maintenance period. For the following six weeks, the member gradually increases his or her food intake until the member no longer loses or gains weight. If, at the end of six weigh-ins during the maintenance period, the member weighs in within 2 pounds (0.91 kg) of his or her goal weight, he or she becomes a "Lifetime" member. A Lifetime member may attend meetings free of charge as long as he or she weighs in at least once per calendar month and, at any weigh-in, does not weigh more than 2 pounds (0.91 kg) more than his or her goal weight. If the member weighs more than 2 pounds (0.91 kg) over the goal weight at a weigh-in, he or she will be charged the weekly fee until he or she again obtains a weight within the target range. As long as a Lifetime member weighs in each month and stays within the target range, there is no fee for attending meetings, and the member may attend for the rest of his or her life. Unlike with new members, there is never a registration fee for Lifetime members, even if they regain weight or fail to weigh in every calendar month.

Weight Watchers also offers an online program. However, Weight Watchers claims that "Research shows that people who attend Weight Watchers meetings lose three times more weight than those who diet on their own.

The cornerstone of the plan is the Points formula, which allocates each food a value based on its calories, fat, and fiber. Members are allocated a certain number of points each day based on their height, current weight, age, and activity level.

On December 7, 2008, Weight Watchers implemented the Momentum Plan. The Momentum Plan encourages members to choose foods by meeting the "Good Health Guidelines." These include eating lean protein and whole grains, meeting target servings of fruits and vegetables and dairy or soy products, taking a multivitamin, exercising, eating healthy oils, drinking adequate liquids, and limiting sugar and alcohol. In addition, the Momentum Plan encourages members to remain satisfied while dieting by focusing on eating foods identified as Filling Foods, which include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and soy products, and lean proteins. This way the member is not prevented from eating any specific type of food, but he or she must consume foods only with his or her allotment of points.

Many Weight Watchers followers like the tracking option of the Momentum Plan mainly because no food is out of bounds as long as it is eaten in moderation. Others, however, dislike the record-keeping that the plan requires of participants, who must keep track of the Points values of everything they eat.

After 13 years on the same Point system, however, Weight Watchers introduced an overhaul of its weight-loss program in November 2010, saying more has become known about the science behind weight loss. Previously, Weight Watchers assigned "Points" to food based on calories, fat and dietary fiber. In its new PointsPlus system, Points are based on macronutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates along with fat and fiber. Fruits and vegetables will carry zero Points. The new system increases Points for fat content and reduces them for fiber.

Jennifer Hudson gracing the cover of InStyle Makeover magazine. Photo:  Courtesy of InStyle magazine.
Jennifer Hudson gracing the cover of InStyle Makeover magazine. Photo: Courtesy of InStyle magazine.
Jennifer Hudson on May 31, 2010 issue of People magazine.  Photo: Courtesy of People Magazine
Jennifer Hudson on May 31, 2010 issue of People magazine. Photo: Courtesy of People Magazine


  • Jenny Craig offers one-on-one consultantion, guidance and support. Throughout the program, you will be encouraged to eat its packaged meals. However, you will learn the skills to plan and prepare your own meals and will no longer required to buy Jenny's Cuisine.

  • Weight Watchers is quite easy to follow. This diet plan teaches you about dining options, preferred snacks, and foods to avoid. However, it requires you to attend monthly meetings. You will have to pay to attend these monthly meetings, although as a Lifetime member you can attend for free provided you maintain your weight within your target range; otherwise you will have to pay the monthly fee until such time as your weight goes down again.

  • Both claim it is not a diet but a change to a healthier lifestyle.

COSTS: Jenny Craig

  • 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.
  • Prepackaged foods - At least $14 to $20 a day, about $600-$650 a month. Some food discounts may apply,
  • 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.
  • ADDED COSTS - You will be given a grocery list of items to buy including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products etc.

Jenny Craig just introduced their Metabolic Max program, which is a weight loss personalized to your metabolism. Jenny Craig is offering "Lose 20 lbs for $20."

COSTS: Weight Watchers

In the US, Weight Watchers is has a promotion going on right now. For a limited time, get Free Registration on all our membership options.

Monthly Pass

  • Unlimited meetings each month
  • Automatically renews at $39.95 each month, that's $9.22 per week on average.
  • Includes FREE Registration
  • FREE eTools - Internet weight-loss companion

17-Week Pass

  • 17 consecutive weeks of meetings for $179 (Only $10.53 per week)
  • Free registration for limited time only

Pay As You Go

  • Regular weekly fee - $12.00
  • JOIN FOR FREE* limited time only. Save $20. Pay only the low weekly fee to join.

In Canada, Weight Watchers Online has two payment-plan options:

  1. Monthly payment of C$21.95 plus a one-time sign up fee of C$39.95 for a first month for a total of C$61.90. Subsequent months are billed automatically at $21.95.
  2. Three months for C$84.95 which includes a C$39.95 one time set up fee. Subsequent months are billed automatically at C$21.95. Prior to the end of the billing period, subscribers may opt to renew for another 3 months at the discounted rate of C$59.95. There is no sign-up fee for the renewal. This change can be made in your Profile under Account Status, and will take effect on the following bill date.

If you check for promotional Weight Watchers discount on line, you might be able to save up to 35% of the registration fee.

Actress Sara Rue before and after she lost 50 lbs on Jenny Craig. Photo:  Courtesy of Jenny Craig
Actress Sara Rue before and after she lost 50 lbs on Jenny Craig. Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Craig
Tina Fey lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers. Photo: Courtesy of
Tina Fey lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers. Photo: Courtesy of


Submit a Comment
  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    6 years ago from North Carolina

    Rosie-this is a wonderful hub. You really presented the information here very thoroughly and I enjoyed how you had two different programs to compare this to. I've really been contemplating going back into some type of weight control program but gee...I'm so cheap I hate to spend money on tactics I already 'know'. Thanks Rated up/ U/I/A & sharing

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Valerie SO gained her weight back. I hate it when they act like she is thin...because she HIDES behind dark colors and sweaters, etc...on her show. Be real Valerie...or are you too FAKE to know what that means!

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya fastfreta, thanks for dropping by. That happened to my sister-in-law too when she stopped the Jenny Craig program. Even Valerie Bertinelli looks like she also gained back some of her weight. Thank you so much for letting me know about the commercial that got removed. I knew it was going to be taken down as Weight Watchers sued Jenny Craig for it. Well, it was good while it lasted. lol Thank you for the vote up and useful, I really appreciate it. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,


  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 

    8 years ago from Southern California

    Rosie2010, I did the Jenny Craig diet once, and it really worked, however when I stopped after a while I gained it back. I want a program that teaches me to eat. You see my problem is I don't eat enough to lose weight, sounds funny, but it's true. I like the comparison, thanks for the research. Did you notice that your first video has been removed? Voted up/useful!

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya revmjm, thanks for dropping by. lol I love pictures and videos, so I always include them in my hubs as long as they are relevant. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my Jenny Craig vs Weight Watchers hub.

    Have a nice day,


  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya ImChemist, thanks for dropping by. This is the first diet review I did as a submission to HubMob weekly topic. And I got interested in reviewing diets from then on. Thank you so much and thanks rating.

    Have a nice day,


  • revmjm profile image

    Margaret Minnicks 

    8 years ago from Richmond, VA

    You really used a lot of pictures and videos along with your great content. Thanks

  • ImChemist profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks for this tips helping peoples to lose weight , you great writer. your hub rated useful.

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya SmallTownGuy, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. I'd help however I could but you got to tell me what you mean. I'm not a professional as you think.. I've just been here almost three months and I'm still learning a lot. Read my profile and I hope it helps a little.

    Have a nice day,


  • SmallTownGuy profile image


    8 years ago

    This is Great! This informations is great love it! Show me how to perfessional like you :)

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya my dear friend onceuponatime, some health experts think that the BMI system is the better way to gauge what a person should weigh than the height-weight system we have been using. I'm glad you tried the BMI link. I loved that show "One day at a time." At the time, my best friend was a single mother of two teen girls, so I always relate that show to her life. BTW, don't worry about your weight right, focus on your plan.

    Have a nice day gf!


  • onceuponatime66 profile image

    Jackie Paulson 

    8 years ago from USA IL

    Hey Rosie, I like the BMI link. I am over weight in my 40's. I might have to try Jenny Craig sometime. I love Valerie from "that tv show, um...One day at a time." She was so adorable in that. I love the week topic. Healthy Lifestyle. Great job.

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya my darling handsome cowboy Gets, I did this for our weekly Hubmobster topic, which this week is healthy lifestyle. See the picture on top, that means this post is in answer to Hubmob. You can find all about it in the Forum.. participations and challenges. It's kinda fun.

    Have a nice day!


  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Hi Sugar...nice informative hub for those wanting to lose weight...including myself.

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Jeanie, thanks for dropping by. Jenny Craig works.. my sister-in-law went on Jenny Craig because she wanted to fit in her wedding dress. She lost too much weight that she had to have her wedding dress altered. How about that? lol

    Have a nice day!


  • jeanie.stecher profile image


    8 years ago from Seattle

    I have heard of this jenny craig's strategy and I also have heard some positive reports regarding it. Nice to know that it works well and effective.


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