TL;DR – Our pick: Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers offer you two different ways to achieve your weight loss goals, but Jenny Craig’s comprehensive plan helps you stay the course for longer. 

By Debra Moorhead

Choosing A Weight Loss Plan For You 

Taking on the challenge of a diet is a difficult – but healthy – decision. You’re taking control of your health, assuming more awareness of the foods you’re eating, and trying to look better as you do.  

With that said, it’s difficult to decide which, if any, of the existing dietary plans may be the best one for reaching your weight loss goals. If you’re a busy person, the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is come home and research ways to eat less. 

Luckily, you don’t have to. Here, we’ll dive into the differences between two weight loss services: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. By exploring these two programs, we can help you determine the right choice for your needs. 

Weight Watchers Versus Jenny Craig 

Even on a superficial level, there are stark differences between Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. The two programs take distinct approaches to your weight loss journey, showing you how unique weight loss can be.  

But how do the two differ? 

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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The Plans In Action

The most notable contrast between these two programs is in how they address your diet. Jenny Craig will deliver frozen meals and non-perishable snacks to your door. You can eat these pre-portioned meals without trying to count calories, meaning that you can go about your diet with a little less stress in your life. You can also choose from over 100 meals when you first sign up for the program. 

Comparatively, Weight Watchers does not send food to your door. Instead, the program provides you with a point cap and a dietary guide, allowing you to eat whatever you want, so long as you don’t exceed your personal cap. You can expand your cap by exercising or by eating “zero point” foods, like skinless chicken breast or a multitude of vegetables.  

The Support

The support you receive through these two programs will vary based on the membership you choose to take on – or, at least, it will in Weight Watchers’ case. Weight Watchers’ various memberships come with different levels of support. It’s only in their most comprehensive membership that you’ll be able to speak to an individual dietary coach. 

Comparatively, signing on with Jenny Craig immediately puts you in touch with a coach who’ll stick with you throughout your weight loss journey. While you don’t have the communal support that Weight Watchers provides, you will receive an entirely unique exercise and diet plan courtesy of your coach. That kind of personalization is difficult to come by and can help you stay on target for longer. Jenny Craig’s weight loss coaches also help prepare you for life outside of the program by teaching you different ways to cook healthy meals.  

The Costs

Of these two programs, Jenny Craig is the more expensive option. On average, you’ll spend $22 a day on all of your meals. Additionally, you’ll be expected to pay a $99 sign-up fee when you first begin working with the program. The value you get for those costs, however, does make them worth it. It’s also worth noting that shipping through Jenny Craig is free, meaning that you won’t have to deal with any expenses tucked into the program’s terms and conditions. 

Comparatively, Weight Watchers is significantly less expensive – for less product value. The program’s costs vary based on the type of membership you choose. These memberships include: 

  • Digital – On your own time, use the Weight Watchers’ app or desktop platform to track your point intake. The app will enable you to connect with other participants who have weight loss goals similar or comparable to yours.  
  • Digital + Workshop – Meet with other participants in-person once a week to discuss your weight loss journeys, support one another, and weigh yourself in. Through this plan, you’ll also have access to all of Weight Watchers’ digital tools. 
  • Digital + Coaching – Get the personal attention of a weight loss coach, as well as the digital tools you need to meet your weight loss goals. 

Like Jenny Craig, you will be expected to pay a sign-on fee when you begin working with Weight Watchers. However, the $20 fee will be waived if you sign up for more than 3 or more months of service and an auto-pay payment plan. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long have the two plans been around?

Of these two programs, Weight Watchers is the eldest. Weight Watchers was founded in the early 1960s and based out of New York City under a different name. Jenny Craig wouldn’t arrive in America for at least another two decades, as the company was founded in 1983 in Australia.

How much weight should you expect to lose with the two programs?

With both of these programs, you’ll be losing between one and two pounds on a weekly basis. Towards the beginning of each program, you may see more significant weight loss. Your weight is likely to quickly drop at the start of a diet, due to the immediate calorie deficit you build up. Once your body becomes accustomed to that deficit, however, it will be more difficult for you to lose significant amounts of weight.

If you find yourself hitting a weight loss plateau, be sure to reach out to the support staff available to you through your chosen program. They’ll be able to work you through the stop in loss and help you move forward.

Which weight loss program is the best for me?

This depends on your dietary needs. Do you feel as though you need concentrated structure to help you maintain a diet? If you do, then you may want to partner with Jenny Craig, despite the extra expenses. Comparatively, do you feel confident cooking healthy foods and maintaining a calorie count? If so, then working with Weight Watchers, which has less immediate support but a thriving community, may suit you best.

Do a little digging into the types of involvement each program offers, and you’ll be able to determine which, if either, will help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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