Packaged Meals and Clinics - Nutrisystem, Medifast, Jenny Craig, Etc - Jenny Craig vs. Nutrisystem

View Full Version : Jenny Craig vs. Nutrisystem

07-19-2007, 01:58 PM
Which one do you prefer and why?

Which tastes better?

Are they both very high in sodium?

07-19-2007, 05:56 PM
This is just a personal preference, but I have tried them both and I like the Jenny Craig food much better. I had purchased a big box of the Nutrisystems food and I did not like most of it. Most of it is still on my shelf. One thing that particularly stands out in my mind is the burger. You put it in very hot water. To me it reminded me of one of those sponges that you put in water and it expands. The burger did not taste that good to me and it felt soggy. It was my first time, so maybe I did not make it correctly.

After my experience with the Nutrisystems food, I was not expecting to like the Jenny Craig food but I wanted to give it a try. So on June 21st '07 I used the 20 lbs for $20.00 (plus the cost of food) coupon to try the food. With that coupon I can go talk to a consultant, get weighed and buy the food. Then after you lose 20lbs (or 90 days) whichever comes first, you can decide at that point if you want to join for a longer time. They keep changing the "specials", I think right now the offer is something like 6 weeks for $36.00 (plus the cost of food).

I was pleasantly surprised because I really like the JC food, especially compared to the Nutrisystems food. It is funny that you should ask about the sodium, because just yesterday I pulled out one of the Nutrisystems boxes and compared it to one of the JC boxes and the JC had less sodium. Granted some of the JC food misses the mark, but you can avoid the ones you don't like and stick to the ones you like, they have a pretty wide selection of both frozen and also shelf-stable foods. I like both, but prefer the frozen.

I don't want to step on any toes, because I know there are folks on these boards that really love and enjoy Nutrisystems and have had good success with it. This is just my personal taste. Different things work for different people.

I have ordered the JC breakfasts and snacks up to now, but I think I might just order the JC lunch and dinners in the future to save some money. I might still order a few of the JC snacks, since some of them are really tasty.

On these forums, there has recently been a lot of talk about the various home delivery programs. From what I have read on these forums, some of the programs have really delicious and healthy foods. But the one thing that most of them do not have is someplace to go to be weighed each week. At this moment in my life that accountability is very important to me, so I will be continuing on with the Jenny Craig program for awhile. Even at WW, which I think is a wonderful program, there is not a particular person there who will notice if I don't go it to get weighed. At Jenny Craig there is one particular person who will notice if I don't go in and get weighed and I need that right now. Yes it is expensive, but my health is worth it. I don't wear expensive shoes or clothes or drive an expensive car etc, I choose to spend my money on this instead right now. Whatever you decide good luck.

07-19-2007, 09:42 PM
Thanks for your opinion. I'm debating as to whether or not I want to try it out.

Good luck with JC! :)

07-20-2007, 09:01 PM
Hi Ann,

I want to echo what Pookie has posted. I've been on JC for almost a year and have lost 48 lbs. I tried Nutrisystem a very long time ago and what I remember, and what others I know, who have tried it recently have said the same thing, is the food isn't that good.

Almost any diet will work if you stick with it. You need to find the one that you can stick with.

Good luck!

07-22-2007, 02:15 PM
I am on Nutrisystem and I love it. I tried it years ago and hated it, but they have really made improvements on their foods. And lots of variety. But it is a matter of taste, some foods you like and others you hate.
I have never tried Jenny Craig so I cannot compare. I have a friend that does both!

07-23-2007, 01:51 PM
I have tried Nutrisystem and I couldn't take the food. I do know a few women who have tried it and liked it. I haven't tried JC but I hear it is comparable to Lean Cuisine frozen meals. I have eaten those in the past and I like those. I am on Diet to Go right now. If given the choice between JC and Nutrisystem - I would have to pick JC. Only because I know that I can't stick to Nutrisystem. You really do have to find a program that works for you. The less you feel like you are suffering and "dieting" - the easier it will be to see success.
Alot of people don't like DTG because they give you white bread sometimes and the diet is mainly chicken and turkey. That is how I usually eat. I would eat a chicken or turkey sandwich for lunch and chicken or turkey for dinner. It feels totally normal to me so it is the easiest one for me to stick to. I have cheated a good amount of times, but this is my first month and I figure that I can't expect perfection or I will fail. I am thinking that people who have lost alot of weight have to slip up and try to go back to old habits in the beginning and that persistence is the key, right? I hope that I am right or I am really messing up.
Good Luck with whatever you decide!

07-24-2007, 09:03 PM
What is the price of food for JC?


07-24-2007, 10:25 PM
Maybe I'm just a really bad cook, but I'm enjoying the taste of the NS foods. I can't speak for JC, since the only time I tried them was for a short time in the early 90's and I'm sure they've changed (I hope they have anyway!) since then. :)

07-25-2007, 01:33 PM

I think the price of JC varies. I have never done it, but I have read the blogs on this forum. The cost seems to depend on a number of things. I am on DTG and some people find that expensive - $130 a week. I have read that some people on JC spend more than that. Some don't. It depends on whether or not you get all 3 meals and snacks from them and if you buy shelf stable or frozen foods. The frozen meals cost more. You also have to buy extra items from the grocery store every week. I remember one woman saying that she spent about $100 a week on the food and $30 on the extra groceries. It is annoying that they don't tell you anything on their website - unlike NS. You have to talk to a counselor to find out anything.

07-25-2007, 03:46 PM
Hi Kelly, Workit is right the weekly cost of the food can vary depending on a lot of factors. If you are really on a very tight budget you can just order less meals a day instead of ordering all 3 meals plus snacks. Or else you can do some JC days and some regular food days (ie 5 JC days / 2 regular food days). As time goes on and you learn more, you wean yourself off of JC foods and on to "regular" foods. I have just started, so I am still doing the JC foods.

I am really a NOVICE on this program, since I have only been on it for a few short weeks. I hope that someone who has been doing it for a longer time jumps on board to give you more experienced info.

I still have not officially "joined" yet. I am still under the 20 lbs for $20.00 plan (plus the cost of food). When and if I hit my 20 lb mark, I will then decide if I want to join long term. I have lost 13 lbs so far. I might join earlier to start getting the discounts on my food now.

I think they have 3 levels that you can join. Jenny TuneUp / Jenny OnTrack / Jenny Rewards. I think level 1 (Tuneup) is for the folks who only have a few pounds to lose and level 3 (Rewards) is for the folks who have a lot more to lose.

If I do make the decision to "join" and I think I will (I am going to talk to my consultant about that on Thursday). I will be joining at the "Higher" level (Jenny Rewards).
With that plan you do pay more up front, but then they give you DISCOUNTS on the food. I think the discounts go up over time, so the longer you stick to the plan the higher the discounts on the foods. That is why they suggest that plan for the folks who have more to lose. I think it starts out at 10% off and then goes up to 20-35% off the price of the food. You also get annual renewals for $39.00 which is good for the folks on maintenance.

The breakfasts (especially the cereals) do seem very expensive to me, so I think I will be doing that on my own from now on.

Since I am so new on this program, I was very hesitant to post here. I am still not sure if this program will work for me long term. It is too early for me to even really recommend this program. I just wanted to let you know, that I was having a very rough time of getting myself "back on track". And at least for the time being this has helped me to "get back on track". Will it work long term, not sure yet, but I hope so. Maybe it can help just one of you also, if you are having a hard time on your own.

If you are having any doubts, do what I did and "TRY IT" under one of their specials. The specials vary, I got 20 lbs for $20.00 plus food, but they also have 6 weeks for $36.00 plus foods etc. That way you can try it for a few weeks and if it not for you, just leave without joining.
I am glancing at the food list right now and it seems to me that a lot of the "dinners" (which is the most expensive meal) fall into the $5-6 dollar range. The lunches seem to be in the $4-5 dollar range and the breakfast seem to be around $2.00 depending on which kind you buy. If you get the Discount plan, then all the prices will go down by 10-35 %.

Yes,at first I was feeling bad because I was saying to myself, wow it would be so much CHEAPER to just go to a store and buy a bunch of Lean Cuisines.

But then I reminded myself that If I just brought a bunch of Lean Cuisines, there is nobody who is helping me to plan my entire day of eating. With Lean Cuisine, I cannot go anywhere to be WEIGHED and be held accountable. Nobody will ask me "why didn't you come and get weighed last week, can I help you with something?". I cannot go anywhere to talk to a consultant one-on-one who gives me new ideas and encouragement each week. So I am cutting back on spending money on other things, and putting my money (and my mouth ;-) ) here for now.

Also if you don't like the original consultant you get, you can try some others until you find a good fit. I just recently switched and my new consultant and I seem to be on the same wavelength.

Before going to JC, I had not only stopped losing weight, but I was slowly gaining weight :(. For the last several weeks, I am back to losing weight :), so I am hoping that this is not just temporary, but that it keeps up. I have my Fingers Crossed!:crossed:

07-26-2007, 11:34 PM
I just saw that show Insider last night. They had Tori Spelling on there and she has lost 22 lbs. on NS. She said she loves it. I found that pretty interesting... a girl who has probably had some of the best and most expensive food in the world loves NS food! :)

07-27-2007, 06:09 AM
I tried NS two years ago and lasted 3 days. I really, really did not care for the food, and it was a lot higher in sodium than I was accustomed to. I ended up giving away 300.00 worth of food.

07-27-2007, 10:57 PM
I’ve been thinking about this and I don’t want to present a lopsided picture to you. I like to try to show BOTH the pros and cons on any given topic.

I think there is another ‘downside’ to the Jenny Craig foods (in addition to the expense). But this ‘downside” applies to BOTH Jenny Craig AND Nutrisystems.

I read the 3FC forums quite frequently and I agree that eating whole healthy foods from the parameter of the supermarket is definitely the healthiest way to go.

Both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystems are definitely ‘processed food’ (at least in the beginning), no doubt about that. And yes I know that ‘processed’ food has sodium and preservatives etc. But then again, I do add fruit & veggies & low fat diary to the processed foods everyday.

I also know that there are ladies out there who like to eat the same foods that your family is eating. Obviously with either JC or Nutrisystems you will not be eating the same food that your family is eating (at least in the very beginning).

So yes, if this was a perfect world, I would be making frequent trips to the parameter of the supermarket and I would be bringing those fresh healthy foods home and cooking them from scratch. But I have to be realistic with myself. I occasionally would do that sort of thing, but MOST of the time I was eating some sort of 'processed' food (like Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones). Or else I was going out to eat in a diner etc.

So just for me, at this moment in my life, I still think Jenny Craig is the way to go for me. But because of the 2 above-mentioned reasons, it might not be the best thing for you right now. With my lifestyle, I do eat out a lot and so far luckily, I seem to be able to watch what I order and it is working out.

After I am half-way to goal the consultant will be talking more about weaning me off the Jenny food onto ‘regular’ food. We have already discussed ordering out at restaurants, because she knows that I do that. And also we are supposed to add veggies and salads and fruits & low fat diary to go along with the Jenny Craig foods, and they do come from the parameter of the supermarket.

So depending on your lifestyle or your family eating situation or your budget or how you feel about processed food, these may or may not be the right programs for you.

08-22-2007, 01:51 PM
Tried nutrisystem 3 years ago (liked the price). It was truly disgusting IMHO (sorry NS guys). I could taste the salt in my mouth after meals and the foods were just kinda mushy and gross.

Just started JC and am AMAZED. The food is sooooooooooooo good. Honestly worth the $. :) I look forward to each meal.

08-22-2007, 06:15 PM
I've tried both JC and NS and think at a side by side taste contest JC would win. I lost 90 lbs with JC and would probably have continued with it but really didn't like the turnover of the consultants. It really stressed me out every time I lost another one. They never gave you any warning you would just walk in one day and she would be gone. I did not get any help with maintenance and gained almost the entire amount back (but not all).

NS, I was afraid because I heard so much about the taste and there are a few foods I would never order on my own, fortunately I don't have to. For the most part 95% of the food is very good. I can't make up my mind which of the dinners are my favorites and I have to really be careful around the snacks/deserts because I could over indulge on them they are so good. If you visit their boards there are all kinds of recipes to make using the foods as a stock too. For instance their pancakes, geez I can't count all the things you can do with the pancake mix, from cheese Danish to pumpkin muffins. Lots of people use the soups as a soup stock and bulk them up with veggies.

I think NS fits into my life style better, it feels so effortless, it warms up in 90 seconds, is shelf stable so if I go camping or visiting I just pack what I need and no worries. Even a trip to Disneyland was a breeze because I packed breakfast and lunch bars, ate salads when we stopped for a meal and then munched on the bars when I started feeling hungry while walking around the park. I still can't get over how easy it was to stay on plan there. I thought I needed to be held accountable with weigh ins but that hasn't been the case. I actually feel so free, like a kicked the scale habit. They really have a lot of tools that help keep you motivated too. They have a Daily Dose article that is a daily motivational article. Always very worth reading and if you click it every day you get points towards a $10.00 coupon. Also if you log your weight they give you a little beanie bear after each 10 lbs lost. (Kind of corny but really fun to receive, especially if you have a lot to loose.)

So both programs are great so you really need to decide which is best for you.

BTW, I've lost over 35 lbs since April on NS so both programs work.

Good Luck,

08-22-2007, 06:36 PM
Hi Evangeline, (love your cute pup in your avatar)

I also worried about my JC consultant disappearing, but since she has worked there for 7 years so far, I am hoping she sticks around. Also she was on vacation last week so I got a substitute consultant who I also liked. So I figure if my original consultant leaves, I could switch to this other consultant.

I just wanted to check when you said you did not get help with your maintenance on JC was that before the Jenny Rewards program? I have a long way to go to get to maintenance, but I was told they still keep helping you when you get to maintenance (I hope that proves to be true). I was told you can renew membership for $39.00 each year and continue to go talk to a consultant and get weighed etc and I did see their "Maintenance Manual".

Evangeline, Congrats to you on your success with Nutrisystems ! That is terrific. I know a lot of 3FCers really enjoy Nutrisystems. I am glad you have found a program that you really like. I do like the idea of the little beanie bears every ten pounds (cute idea) Anything for motivation ! That Daily Dose article sounds very interesting too. That is terrific you could stick to it at DISNEYLAND wow !

All Things Bright Amy: Glad you are really enjoying the JC foods. I have my list of JC foods on my wall and before each meal I say "OK what am I in the mood for today?"

08-23-2007, 06:50 PM
Pookie -- I actually am still a member of JC because I signed up for a life time membership back when that was offered so I did join before the rewards program.

I think if you have good counselors then you probably have it made. The center near my house really did not have a very good manager and it reflected big time in the turn over rate. I went for about a year and lost count of how many counselors I saw and it finally drove home the fact that I really needed to develop the ability to just rely on myself. Toward the end I was training them about the program, very bad.

I found JC to operate on a ďneeds to knowĒ basis. They didnít give you pricing unless you needed to know and were ready to buy, the same with maintenance, if you are not there yet you donít need to know too much about it. That became tiring to me, Iíve learned that if it is really going to be a lifestyle change then I need to be starting to think about what it takes to maintain from the beginning. I never made it to maintenance; I was short by 20 lbs when I gave up on JC and eventually started gaining weight back.

At the time I considered driving across the city to another center and then I considered having it shipped to the house but that was just not financially practical.

I feel like I'm rambling so I'm sorry if I am.

It comes down to what is best for you and if JC is the program giving you the support that you need than keep with it.

BUT have another program off in the back of your mind because if you hit a point where you are burned out on JC food and you havenít hit goal yet then you may want to finish up your journey on WWs. All these programs work and there is nothing wrong with mixing them up. If you grow tired of having to make a trip to the Center but you like the ease of prepackaged foods then try NS for a couple of months. Then when you are ready to cycle back to JC then go for it. It really isnít about which program you are on because they are all good programs it is about keeping your target insight and working towards it and if you need to mix it up to accomplish that then more power to you.

11-17-2007, 08:36 PM
I tried both Jenny and Nutrisystem and JC was MUCH better tasting. I thought the Nutrisystem food was just terrible tasting. My only problem with JC was that I was hungry on it because the portions were so small, but I thought the food tasted great.