What is the Jenny Craig Diet

The Jenny Craig diet plan provides three pre-packaged Jenny Craig meals per day, plus one Jenny Craig snack or dessert per day, supplemented by practically unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables; whole grains and dairy products that are reduced fat are also allowed. The Jenny Craig meals are low in fat and calories. The plan is custom designed to meet the weight loss goals of the user, so the actual amount of calories consumed per day will vary according to the dieter’s needs, but calorie consumption is not strictly limited.

In addition, the program includes for each dieter a personal adviser that acts as both a source of information and support. The program has three phases: the first phase consists of only the pre-packaged meals and snacks plus fruits and vegetables; the second phase allows dieters to make their own meals several times per week to begin practicing making healthier meals and portion control; the third phase eliminates the use of Jenny Craig meals entirely. An exercise plan is also devised for each dieter.

How the Jenny Craig Diet Works

Jenny Craig meals are low in calories and fat, and they are replacing the meals a person normally consumes. The fruits and vegetables allowed as a supplement to the meals add vitamins and minerals but few calories. While in phase one, dieters learn about portion control and choosing well balanced meals before gradually applying these skills to their meal planning and cooking. Each meal consists of about 50% carbohydrates, and about 25% each of protein and fats, which is a good balance, and dieters can add extra vegetables to each meal in addition to fruits and reduced fat dairy items.

What Experts Say about the Jenny Craig Diet

Most experts agree that the Jenny Craig diet is a reasonably nutritious and healthy diet plan, provided users are supplementing properly with fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. The caloric intake is not extremely limiting, and the meals provide a good general balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Pros and Cons to the Jenny Craig


One pro of the Jenny Craig diet plan is that it requires little calorie tracking and meal planning. Once you order your meals for the month, you don’t really have to think a whole lot about meal planning. Most of the meals are frozen, which makes for quick, easy to fix meals. There is a wide variety of foods available, so you could eat a different menu each day of the month without repeating. The snacks and desserts are also a nice addition because dieters appreciate the opportunity for a little indulgence. Finally, the support system included with the Jenny Craig diet plan is a big plus according to many users of the plan.


The biggest complaint with this plan is the expense. In addition to monthly membership fees, it costs about $100 per week for the Jenny Craig meals. Dieters must also purchase from their regular grocer the extra fruits and vegetables allowed on the plan. While the first phase seems to go well for most users, many people find it difficult to plan and make meals on their own during phases two and three because of the small portions and limited calories.

Sample Jenny Craig Diet Meal Plan

The Jenny Craig diet plan consists of Jenny Craig meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus one snack or dessert per day. Dieters may add one or two portions of fruit each day and essentially unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables. A serving of whole grain and reduced fat dairy products are also allowed each day.

Breakfast - One Jenny Cuisine breakfast scramble (egg whites, potatoes, turkey ham, cheese), plus one orange

Lunch - One Jenny Cuisine Southwestern chicken with rice, one cup green salad

Dinner - One Jenny Cuisine cookout chicken and beans, ½ cup sautéed spinach, ½ cup steamed carrots

Snack - One Jenny Cuisine chocolate chip snack bar

Last Updated: Friday, January 11, 2013