Jenny Craig edges out rival Nutrisystem
You can't be a "snowflake" and eat this food. Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours vs. Jenny Craig memberships include private consultations with one-on-one meal planning and a toll free number available 24 hours a day. Perhaps the exclamation point is unfair, as Jenny's food prices are significantly less than some of their high-end competitors such as Bistro MD. It's the company's most popular option; all of the plan's meals are shelf-stable, which means they don't require refrigeration. Jenny Craig offers telephone and email support. Which diet is most effective?
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You can pick up your food at the center or have it delivered to your home. Nutrisystem has no walk-in locations but provides optional online and phone support at no additional charge. Food is delivered to your home. It's the company's most popular option; all of the plan's meals are shelf-stable, which means they don't require refrigeration.
The meals were a mixture of frozen and shelf-stable items. We didn't evaluate the cost of the home-supplied items on the plans' menus. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to. These programs might appeal to people who have trouble with meal planning, have limited time and skill for cooking at home, struggle with portion control, or feel they might benefit from community support and counseling. If you don't like the restricted choice of the programs, you can devise a homemade version using frozen diet meals from the supermarket.
Two experienced sensory testers tasted, in total, 32 Jenny Craig products and 27 Nutrisystem Basic products. Where possible, we chose similar items. We also conducted a side test of six frozen entrées from Nutrisystem's more expensive Select line.
The products were tasted in random order within categories—breakfasts with breakfasts, snacks with snacks, and so on. Our tasters not only didn't know whose product they were tasting but also didn't know they were diet meals. Of the 59 items we tasted in our main round of tests, only five scored Very Good—all from Jenny Craig.
Of the 10 items we deemed Fair, eight were from Nutrisystem. Overall, the foods from Jenny Craig did slightly better than Nutrisystem's. Jenny Craig's edge came mainly from its lunch and dinner entrées, most of which were frozen rather than shelf-stable.
The frozen Nutrisystem Select dinner entrées we tested fared much better than the company's shelf-stable items. After we completed our testing, a company spokeswoman told us that Nutrisystem's standard day program would change at the end of The standard day program now consists of 10 days of frozen foods and 18 days of pantry-ready foods. The breakfast items from both companies rated only Good. And our tasters were unimpressed with the snack and dessert items, rating both brands a low Good.
Get Ratings on the go and compare while you shop. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. Jenny Craig offers a bigger selection of frozen meals than Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours , though when you add in the shelf-stable meals as well, Nutrisystem has a wider total variety of food choices.
Remember, "shelf-stable" means no refrigeration necessary, so you can store these meals in the cupboard. You can't be a "snowflake" and eat this food. You buy the food separately. But, let's not forget to factor in the daily Jenny snacks and necessary grocery items veggies, fruit which will increase the costs significantly.
There are sometimes discounts and promotions available that could save you money on these fees. Sometimes the initial enrollment fee is cut in half during a promotion. But again, this doesn't include the cost the Jenny Craig food. On any Jenny plan, you'll quickly figure out that the major cost of Jenny Craig are not their plan prices but their food prices! Perhaps the exclamation point is unfair, as Jenny's food prices are significantly less than some of their high-end competitors such as Bistro MD.
Like Nutrisystem's premium "Uniquely Yours" plans, Jenny offers both shelf-stable non-refrigerated and frozen foods. Jenny Craig allows members to pick up their food at their local center or opt to have it shipped to their home for an additional charge. The biggest difference between the Jenny "12 Week Trial" and the Jenny Month Premium" plans besides the price tag is the access to private diet consultations.
The "Trial" plan offers only 1 phone or online meeting with a Jenny consultant, whereas the "Premium" program gives you unlimited, in-person consultations if you live close enough to a Jenny office to take advantage of this.
Keep in mind that the Jenny "consultant" is not a nutritionist, but mostly a food salesperson for the Jenny products. This plan is a shipment of 28 days worth of shelf-stable food no refrigeration necessary which is chosen for you, which means that you let Nutrisystem pick your meals instead of giving that job to your taste buds believe me, your taste buds would have picked the frozen meals.
Shelf-stable food is very convenient, as it doesn't require space in your freezer. And that's an understatement.
You may find that when it comes to shelf-stable food, you'd get more enjoyment from eating the shelf itself. The second option from Nutrisystem is called "Core" which is the same as the "Basic" plan, except it lets you choose your favorite shelf-stable menu items instead of just having Nutrisystem send you whatever it feels like.
This is the only plan that includes your choice of shelf-stable food AND Nutrisystem's better tasting frozen meals 6 per week. Be warned, if you cancel your auto-delivery on any of these plans after 2 weeks, you'll be charged hefty fees. While on Nutrisystem, dieters are required to cook lunch and dinner for themselves once per week.
So grocery shopping is required not only for fruits, veggies, and dairy, but also for low-calorie recipe ingredients. However, this means that for other than the most expensive plans, one-on-one diet support is not offered. Instead, weight loss tools, articles, and other resources are available via online and mobile apps. For some people, though, the counseling is not important, especially since the counselors are not dietitians or even nutritionists, but Nutrisystem staff whose biggest job is to keep you from dropping out of the program.
Most people say that the frozen options taste a lot better, but are obviously more expensive. For Nutrisystem, you must be enrolled in the premium plan - Nutrisystem "Uniquely Yours" - to be allowed to select frozen meals in addition to the shelf-stable options.
Jenny Craig recently combined their Lunch and Dinner menus to allow dieters a wider variety of meals. But Nutrisystem still has Jenny beat when it comes to variety. Nutrisystem has about menu items now available most are of the shelf-stable type , whereas Jenny has around As for nutrition, both companies have tried to keep the calories and sodium content low. However, Nutrisystem's sodium levels tend to be a little higher on average.
Jenny Craig memberships include private consultations with one-on-one meal planning and a toll free number available 24 hours a day. Nutrisystem provides basic online tools that include a food diary and weight log, and recently they added a mobile app called NuMi.
Because both Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig take a calorie-controlled approach to weight loss, your results will be similar on either plan. Your success on Jenny or Nutrisystem—or any diet—boils down to which diet is the most compatible with your personality, tastes, and budget.