I am SO incredibly thankful that it’s Friday! I don’t know about the rest of you, but this week has been a big one. For me, it was additionally impacted by a pesky cold that decided to visit me.
It’s likely the result of the cold, then hot, then cold, then hot weather we’ve had in Denver lately. It gets me every time.
How can I be sick on a fun week like my blogiversary??? Yesterday, I shared that it was my two-year anniversary for being on Jenny Craig, but it’s also my two-year anniversary of No Thanks to Cake as well! Woo hoo!
In honor of my blogiversary, I’m going to answer one of the most common questions that I get from my readers, friends, and co-workers.
My name is Elizabeth and I have read your blog off and on for years. I think you are awesome. You are totally relatable and have a great sense of humor. I need to lose 100 pounds and I don’t know if I want to start on WW or Jenny. I have done both many times. Are you still doing Jenny? Do you feel your weight loss was faster and more consistent with Jenny that with WW? My concern with JC is that since so much of it is processed, would it slow down my weight loss compared to eating fresh food on WW. What do you think? Thanks again for telling your story and being so inspiring!
Elizabeth from Los Angeles
If I had a DOLLAR for every time someone asked me about Jenny Craig, I’d be SERIOUSLY RICH! While Weight Watchers tends to be the most popular weight loss program out there, Jenny Craig tends to also catch people’s eyes as an alternative.
So, Elizabeth… THANK YOU for asking this question! I’m going to give you my opinion on the programs, but I’m also going to open it up to my readers to answer for you as well. I know that my readers (much like myself) have been dedicated to their programs and can weigh in better on the details of alternative programs.
I can ABSOLUTELY relate to your comment about having to lose 100 lbs. My goal weight loss was initially set at 91 lbs, and I think in the end losing a full 100 lbs will get me to a “healthy” BMI. It’s been SO long since I’ve been considered “healthy”, and I’m really eager to get there.
I am definitely still doing Jenny Craig 2 years later. However, I’ve been on a VERY flexible version of the Jenny Craig program for the past two years. Even in the very beginning, I had to modify the program to make it work with my lifestyle. I traveled about 3 weeks a month, so I had to get creative while on the road. And, I still lost the weight. Had I followed the program exactly as prescribed, I know I would have lost faster.
I feel like it might be helpful to tell you guys a little bit about Jenny Craig. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about the program…
Why Did You Choose Jenny Craig?
I was in a state of emergency when I joined Jenny Craig. I needed a change, and I needed limited choices. Having been on a “diet” since I was about 12 years old, I knew what I should be eating… I just wasn’t doing it. I didn’t trust myself to make good choices, so I needed to eliminate some of my common pitfalls from the equation.
I also had a friend that had done Jenny Craig who told me about the program… and suggested I try it. I don’t even know if Denise knew how desperate I was that day when we talked… but her thumbs-up was all I needed to take that leap.
I also believe fully in the Weight Watchers program. It can be wildly helpful as well. I’ve lost 100s of pounds with that program over time… and know many folks who have seen success.
For me, I needed something different this time around. I needed something with much more structure. Jenny was my answer, and worked like a charm.
How does the Jenny Craig Program Work?
The program includes pre-packaged food (frozen and shelf-stable) that you purchase directly from your local Jenny Craig center. There’s also a Jenny Direct program where you can have your foods shipped to you, if needed.
What I liked about Jenny is that it took the decision-making out of my diet plan. I didn’t have 1 million different foods to choose from on a daily basis, I had a freezer full of very specific foods that I could choose from daily. I didn’t have to calculate points, I just had to eat the food… like it was a prescription of sorts.
My plan included a Jenny breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack + fresh fruits, veggies (a free food!), and dairy. Jenny also advocates for physical activity to be worked into the program, like all other weight loss plans.
Jenny initially started me out on a 1500-calorie plan, and once I hit my halfway mark, I was moved to a 1200-calorie plan.
What kind of support do you get from Jenny Craig?
The Jenny program includes weekly weigh-ins with your Jenny Craig counselor (JCC), which adds a great deal of accountability. You can also reach your JCC anytime you need help or have questions. I know mine reaches out to me a lot to check in! An advantage to the one-on-one relationship is that you’re talking to the same person every week about your progress and your journey. You can plan for challenges that you’re facing in the upcoming week, and you have someone personally cheering you on in your weight loss process!
Here I am with my JCC Amalia. I know that I’ve mentioned her A LOT on here…. because she’s amazing! Amalia has offered tremendous support to me over the past few months and has most importantly been REAL about the program. I don’t get scolded when I have a slip-up, but she helps me plan to handle things better the next time around! We laugh a LOT on Saturday mornings, and she keeps me motivated and on-track! Had Amalia not taken over as my JCC a few months back, I honestly don’t think I’d still be on this program, nor would I still be progressing!
One of many things that makes Amalia awesome is that she’s on the program too! She’s working through the program every day… so we are really able to support each other in this process. I love that!
How is the food? Be Honest….
I love the FOOD. No, seriously… I LOVE THE FOOD. There are ones I don’t care for, but I just don’t order those. I’m also the pickiest human on the planet. So, if I like it… you will too!
The vast majority of the foods are incredibly delicious. They will fill you up… and you can volumize them in so many ways. Volumizing is basically adding vegetables to a dish so that you get a greater, more filling portion. See my Recipes page for Jenny volumizing tips!
I could go on and ON about the tasty food! I have SO MANY FAVORITES on this program. Let me assure you, you will have favorites too. Don’t let the food scare you away.
Now: I’m going to pause for a moment to talk about the processed nature of the food, since that’s something specific that was asked by Elizabeth. If you are looking to avoid processed foods, Jenny is not for you. If you are going for a more clean living or whole foods type approach, I would encourage you to find another program.
I will tell you about my experience though – – the processed foods did not slow down my weight loss process. I ate processed foods from time to time on my Weight Watchers journeys in the past as well. It’s just a matter of what approach you want to take as you lose weight.
What Program Would You Choose?
Truth be told, most people will have a preference for the program they use. Although, I will NEVER tell you I liked that cabbage soup diet I tried years ago… Ick! I am incredibly fond of the Jenny Craig program because it’s what I’ve used most recently.
I spoke about it a little bit yesterday, but I think the most powerful component to losing away is your ATTITUDE and your OUTLOOK. You have to believe you can do it, and take it one day at a time.
In addition to your attitude and outlook, you have to be able to RECOVER from the bad days. You can’t eat the whole cake just because you had a slice. You eat your slice, you enjoy it, and then the next day… you make a trip to the gym and you choose cucumbers as your snack of the day. Getting back on track is incredibly important. Unless you are super-human and wear a cape daily, you’re going to have a slip-up. Learn from them and move on. You’ll be stronger the next day because of it, I swear.
Since I am not a dietitian, nor a nutritionist, I encourage you to do your research. I encourage you to check out what the experts are saying.
- Consult with your doctor before beginning any weight loss program
- Program websites can always be helpful: JennyCraig.com, WeightWatchers.com, and Curves.com for example
- Diets in Review and FitSugar often review new diets and give an unbiased opinion.
- Coffee Cake and Cardio just wrote a great post about joining Weight Watchers recently and offers her perspective.
Do your research, and DO SOMETHING! If you don’t like the plan you choose, you can choose again… the key is getting started!
Ok, you’ve read what I think… Now it’s your turn. What are your opinions on Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig? What do you have to share with Elizabeth as she chooses her program?