Started in 1983 in Australia, the Jenny Craig diet and program have expanded in many countries and the prepackaged meals are a plus for some, but a nuisance for others. Learn more about the Jenny Craig diet pros and cons to find out if the program is right for you.
When you’re wondering “Does the Jenny Craig Diet work?”, you should know there are no straight answers, but it’s one of the most well developed weight loss programs, including a 24/7 telephone line offering information and online communities for support.
Jenny Craig Diet Pros
One of the biggest pros of the program is that it offers prepackaged meals, delivered at home. This takes out all the guesswork from many diets, but representatives say the final goal is to teach dieters how to eat healthy using the prepared meals, followed by weaning them off for a stable long term weight.
Strict portion control can also be useful for dieters, but letting go of packaged meals can sometimes prove difficult after experiencing results: up to 2 pounds a week. The helpful support system is another big plus, mentioned in most Jenny Craig Diet reviews.
Jenny Craig Diet Cons
Most nutritionists are skeptics when it comes to the idea of eating the same frozen foods for an extended period of time. Customization is minimal and the support staff in most Jenny Craig centers lacks expert nutritional training.
In the first phases, home cooked and restaurant meals are mostly off-limits and the price isn’t for everyone. The starting cost for the Jenny Craig diet is around $400 and the weekly pre-packaged meals can cost as much as $100.
Another problem is that dieters can’t get all the nutrients they eat from the packaged meals, so they may need to snack on fruit and even take a multivitamin.
Jenny Craig Diet Side Effects and Controversy
Even though Jenny Craig Diet menus meet the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association‘s nutrition, there can be side effects, related to the high-sodium content.
The most recent scandal involves a Hollywood comedy screenwriter, Mara Shapshay, who sued Jenny Craig after suffering health problems on the diet, from gallstones to a miscarriage.
This isn’t the first time gall bladder disease has been named one of the Jenny Craig side-effects. According to the LA Times, the company settled on a class action suit in 1994, when 22,000 former clients accused the diet of causing gallbladder disease. Jenny Craig admitted no wrong doing in court at the time.