Packaged Meals and Clinics - Nutrisystem, Medifast, Jenny Craig, Etc - Why do JC or Nutrisystems when you could go to the store and buy Lean Cuisine, etc?

10-08-2007, 04:25 PM
I have been seeing a lot of adds for Medifast and I was a second away from ordering but then I decided to check here. The taste does concern me so now I am thinking I am not going to go that route. I really wonder why people would do something like JC or Nutrisystems when you could just go to the store and by WW, Lean Cusine, or Healthy Choice and do your own plan. My gf who has a lot to loose has been on WW and mostly eats the prepacked meals, usually cereal and then three meals after that, she can usually stay pretty close to 1,000 calories

has anyone tried Seattle Sutten I see a lot of

10-08-2007, 10:47 PM
I really wonder why people would do something like JC or Nutrisystems when you could just go to the store and by WW, Lean Cusine, or Healthy Choice and do your own plan.

There are some important differences with Jenny Craig vs doing your own plan with WW or Lean Cuisines: the taste of the food is far better, with lower sodium; the one on one support you get from a JC consultant is extremely important; and the program is very structured.

That being said: I know the price of the program can put people off from trying it. And some would say the price of the food is pretty high. For me, I figured how much I spent on eating out per week, and I am coming out AHEAD with JC!

So I guess the bottom line is: Do what you feel is the best plan for you.

Suzanne 3FC
10-09-2007, 12:26 AM
We did a survey a couple of years ago and one of the members explained why she did better with Jenny Craig than supermarket frozen dinners. Imagine you are on a deserted island, and you get a food drop once a week. You are going to ration it out over the course of the week, you won't sneak and eat more than you should on any given day. However, if you are using Lean Cuisine or other supermarket foods, it might be easier to give in and eat more than you should, because you can drive down the road and replenish your supply.

Everyone may not feel that way, but her reasoning seemed to make sense.

Shy Moment
10-09-2007, 12:48 AM
I think it depends on how much control a person wants over what they eat.

I have eaten some of the JC foods. Lean cuisines taste 1000% better to me. I like to add the veggies and fruits and dairy I like. I love them for when the family is eating something I don't like, or has to much fat to fit into what I allow myself for the day. The sodium count even if I eat 2 or 3 of them a day is below the 2400 the doc said I can have.

Some people on the other hand need someone else to have control over what they eat. It is very important they they are told exactly what they need to eat and portions are always pre set for them.

I don't think there is anything wrong with either way. People have to choose what is best for them.

10-09-2007, 12:53 AM
All the sodium would scare me in those frozen dinners!

10-09-2007, 01:21 AM
Personally, I've gone the LC route, mostly for lunch, or when I really don't want to eat what my family is having.

I wouldn't mind using one of the other systems, but the cost just keeps me away. So, I'm just pluggin away myself. Although, I do spend money on a personal trainer 2x a week. To me that is so worth it.

10-09-2007, 01:26 AM
I've been on Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating a couple times. The food is fresh, low in fat and lower in sodium, and decent. It tastes and is real food, but really boring real food. I like food with a lot more flavor, but I know they're trying to make food that is appealing to a wide variety of tastes. I think they do a good job of making food that is likeable, just not loveable (unless you find mild paprika and a little black pepper "spicy").

10-09-2007, 10:29 AM
The good thing about Jenny entrees is you can volumize them or "pimp them up" by adding loads of veggies, spices and some other things that are allowable within the program. For instance, last night I added lots of broccoli to the Chicken Fettuccini dish and it really filled me!

JC has made a whole "cookbook" on how to pimp up the entrees and stay within the program. This really helps when I start to feel "bored" with the food (which actually has not happened yet!).

I'm one of those people that needs "someone" to tell me what to eat. I need the structure of the program at this point in my weight loss. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.

10-10-2007, 11:39 PM
The idea of having someone else figure out what you should eat, how much, and when is very appealing to those of us who realize we have a problem with food. I can see why some people go that way.

I did JC for a week. Well, less that that, actually. I made it about two meals before I started gettting upset that I was paying so much more for the food than I would with standard diet choices from the supermarket, choices that tasted just as good or better. Two days before I got totally disgusted with myself for paying into it and quitting altogether.

I just don't have the personality type that will allow me to do a program like this. Many do, however, and do well with them.

10-11-2007, 12:57 AM
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.
Nobody from Lean Cuisine weighs me each week. Nobody from Lean Cuisine calls me each week. Nobody from Lean Cuisine says "hey your face looks thinner now--keep going".

With Lean Cuisine, I am not being 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. I don't buy expensive clothes or shoes. I drive an economy car. I save money in other areas, so I can spend extra on my health.

I always remind myself that yes I pay more than the supermarket, but I also get many services that go along with the food that I don't get from the supermarket.

The breakfasts (especially the cereals) do seem very expensive to me, so I buy most of my breakfasts and snacks in the supermarket and buy my lunch and dinners from Jenny. I do love the Jenny Sunshine Sandwich (along the lines of an Egg McMuffin) -so I usually buy a couple of those a week as a treat for my breakfast.

I was very surprised about the Jenny foods. I thought I would not like them, but I wanted the services that go along with the food. What a pleasant surprise when I realized I really enjoy the food ( with a few exceptions -that I no longer purchase). I especially love the frozen foods. They have quite a few things to choose from and they usually bring out some new things each month.

My consultant is so dedicated to the program that she just got back from a 2 week cruise and believe it or not she lost a pound those 2 weeks! Imagine losing weight on a cruise !

I agree 100% that if you are someone who can stick to the straight and narrow all by yourself then by all means stick with the Lean Cuisines, but if you need some help (like I do) you might have to find another route other than just Lean Cuisine.

10-11-2007, 11:09 AM
Amen, Sistah Pookie!! :):) Thank you for so eloquently saying what I couldn't!

10-11-2007, 08:26 PM
For me it is all about stress management, I over analyze what I'm eating when I'm doing it on my own so what I'm paying for is someone else to do the thinking so I don't have to. I know I'm eating balanced meals without having to put any thought into it. I am so burned out on thinking about what I can and cannot have that it is a stress release to let someone else do that for me.

When I was doing JC I was impressed with the food, it was much better then the grocery store frozen foods, typically more protein and not as many fillers such as gravy.

I’m currently doing NS because it works out to be less expensive for me and I like having the food delivered and not having to go anyplace to talk to my counselor, everything is done online.

They are both very good programs, as is Weight Watchers and many more. It is just a matter of finding what works for you personally.

10-14-2007, 04:33 PM
Thanks Pookie and Evangeline for expressing exactly why I went into Jenny Craig yesterday and started the program today!

10-15-2007, 11:55 PM
Good Luck on the program Chelle.

Hi Evangeline, Glad to see you are still doing well on NS.

Hi Jen - hope you are well.

10-17-2007, 11:44 AM
I tried JC years ago. I bought about a weeks worth of food and LOVED the food. I quit the following week because I just couldn't afford it. Now, with a busy schedule, I'd still love to do the JC plan. But it's just too expensive for a student. I'm going to talk to a nutritionist and ask her about doing a similar plan with Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones, which I love. I'm concerned about the sodium, but I don't have time to cook and if I can just get some portion control and get even 20 lbs off, I'll be a happy girl.

10-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Hey everyone--

Sknny: If you go to, you will find all the nutritional info for the food so you can do some comparision shopping. They also have planned menus that you can follow to be sure you are getting enough of the good stuff you need.

Good luck!

Shy Moment
10-19-2007, 12:40 AM
Don't be to concerned about the sodium. You could eat lean cuisines 3 times a day and not go over the 2400 sodium ( unless you have a special health reason why you can't have the usually recommended amount ) that is allowed per day.

11-06-2007, 09:35 PM
I used to do JC and was very succesful I just can't afford it now. I went to and signed up for the etools which is free looked at the nutritional information and the meal plans went to the store and got similiar items. The Lean Cuisine spa meals have about the same amount of sodium as many of the JC meals. I'm using the daily plate to count my calories. I just started so don't know how I'm doing yet. But seems like something do able to me. But I think if I could afford JC I'd do it in a heart beat.

Fun Size
11-12-2007, 11:35 PM
Personally, I got good results doing Weight Watchers and eating either the Smart Ones or the Lean Cuisines regularly...perhaps once a day. Now that I'm at goal, I rarely eat them, but keep them around for emergencies. Studies show that people who eat the low fat/portioned tv dinners regularly (once a day for example) actually do better on their weight loss programs. They help us with portion control and calorie count. I personally, would have difficult doing three of these a day...every day...for many days. However, I think that each person has to do what is best for them.

If you feel that you would be tempted to over buy things not in your best interest, etc. and the cost is not problematic, then I think a program like Jenny Craig is a really good choice. They probably balance things well and do offer the one on one counseling. The bottom line is to find a program that is known to work and that you like and go for it!!!!

12-26-2007, 08:43 PM
I believe you can do any plan in a "makeshift" version. I am doing a medifast version of my own, lol.. saving a bundle of money and will hopefully get the same results :) but all plans consist of the same thing, less food better choices so I'm sure no matter what you decide as long as you work your program you will get great results :)

01-19-2008, 07:53 PM
Spryling--can I ask what your version of medifast is? And how is it working? I have tried other plans, I just need something different I think. Thanks!

01-27-2008, 08:17 PM
i know that my aunt did nutrisystem because when she cooks meals even if it is healthy she has problems with portions or eating the left overs...and with nutrisystem she could only eat a certain amount

02-04-2008, 11:16 AM
I'm just starting out and haven't figured out which plan I would like to go on. I do OK on both a controlled plan and self-plan although I prefer a controlled plan. How much do these plans (JC, NS, etc.) costs? Just a ball park figure. I'm looking to lose about 50 lbs.