Comparison between Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers

TL;DR – Our pick: Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers can both be effective programs for weight loss. We give the title in this match to Jenny Craig for making it as easy as possible with portion-controlled meals delivered to your home.

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Jenny Craig

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Flexible vs. Structured Dieting

When comparing Jenny Craig vs. Weight Watchers, the true difference is the level of structure you receive. If you need help with self-control, Jenny Craig offers coaching and pre-packaged meals so there’s no question about how much you should be eating each and every day.

With Weight Watchers, on the other hand, you have the flexibility to choose how much support you want. While there is no meal delivery service, you instead get a custom-tailored point-counting plan that lets you control what foods you eat, while still staying within an appropriate daily zone of consumption.

Pre-packaged food home delivery Yes No
Average Daily Cost$15N/A
Mobile App for Tracking Yes Yes
In-Person Support Yes Yes
Average Weekly Weight Loss1-2 pounds1-2 pounds
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Jenny Craig vs. Weight Watchers: Everything You Need to Consider

How Jenny Craig Works

Jenny Craig combines two important parts of the weight loss process: portion control with nutritious meals and personalized coaching to keep you motivated in a healthy way. Start by getting meals delivered right to your door. With the Jenny Craig plan, you’ll receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks for each day of the week. Most meals are frozen, intermixed with some shelf-stable snacks.

With a variety of over 100 meals, Jenny Craig offers variety while still keeping you in check with a balanced diet geared for weight loss. Food starts at about $15 a day, depending on your needs. Plus, there are options for both vegetarians and diabetics, making it easy to partake even with one of those dietary restrictions. In addition to paying for food, Jenny Craig also charges a one-time sign-up fee, plus a monthly membership fee.

Jenny Craig comes with two types of plans. The first option is getting your food delivered, plus coaching support online or over the phone. The second option is to pick up your food at your local Jenny Craig center where you can also meet with your personal coach.

Coaching sessions are private, giving you a more personalized approach to your weight loss goals.

Jenny Craig is an excellent choice if you want one of the most supporting weight loss environments available today.

How Weight Watchers Works

Weight Watchers is quite different from Jenny Craig. Rather than receiving meals, you get an app and online platform to help you track the food you eat. Rather than counting calories, different foods are assigned SmartPoints. Depending on your personal weight loss goals and current weight, you’ll receive a certain amount of daily SmartPoints to use, along with a bank of weekly points as well.

You can either search for your food by name or scan it. Things like most fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are considered ZeroPoint foods and aren’t included in your daily tracking. Weight Watchers also encourages physical activity as part of your weight loss plan. In fact, you can even connect most fitness watches or simply manually input your activity to track your overall progress.

Weight Watchers also offers more personal elements if you want to upgrade from the strictly digital plan. The next plan is the Workshop + Digital, which lets you attend weekly group meetings at your local Weight Watchers center. Alternatively, you can opt for the Coaching plan, which lets you interact as much as you want with your dedicated coach over phone or messaging. Weight Watchers plans range between $3.07 and $8.46 weekly, and also have a sign-up fee, unless you opt for a three-month contract.

Which one is right for you?

Really listen to yourself to gauge your needs to be successful. If you’re truly committed to losing weight, the right resources can make all the difference. Look back to past periods where you’ve tried to lose weight and try to identify what made you lose momentum.

Then analyze the diet plan that best fills in those gaps. When you do, you’ll give yourself the support and infrastructure necessary to lose those extra pounds and keep them off. Both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are strong contenders so think about their differences and which one feels like the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which program is older?

Jenny Craig started in Australia in 1983, then came to the U.S. in the mid-80s. Weight Watchers started in the early 1960s in New York City. Both programs have gone through multiple makeovers throughout the years, adapting to trends in the dieting industry as well as research on best practices for weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle.

How fast can you start losing weight with both programs?

You can start losing weight during the first week with both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. When you stick to each plan, you’ll likely lose more during the first couple of weeks, and then average out to a pound or two each week. You can always utilize the coaching and consulting resources with each program to get ideas on what to change if you’ve plateaued in your weight loss.

What is the best weight loss program?

The best weight loss program is the one that works for you. Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error as you get to know yourself and what motivates you the most. That’s the best recipe for long-term success, rather than going too hard at the beginning, only to lose momentum after you get started.

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