TL;DR – Our pick: Nutrisystem

Both of these programs will give you the support you need to meet your weight loss goals. Of the two, Nutrisystem balances costs to weight loss best for a general audience. Jenny Craig, however, provides you with the best comprehensive support.

By Debra Moorhead

Finding The Best Diet Plan For Your Lifestyle 

You’re a busy person. You don’t have the time to thoroughly research each new diet plan to determine whether or not it’s better than its competition. Some diet plans also make it purposefully difficult to see whether or not they’re the best fit for you.  

Never fear. If you want help determining which program is the best one for you, we can reveal the details of each. We’ll point out what makes each of the diet programs on the market tick. With that information in hand, you can more readily choose a diet plan to take on. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at two of the most popular diet programs currently available: Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.  

These programs have been around for a long time, rising to popularity in the early 2000s and maintaining their edge through 2021. As new technologies have become available, each program has been able to evolve to better suit its consumer audience. 

So, how are these companies different, and what value can they offer to you? 

Pre-packaged food home delivery Yes Yes
Average Daily Cost$15$10
Mobile App for Tracking Yes Yes
In-Person Support Yes No
Average Weekly Weight Loss1–2 pounds1–2 pounds
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Jenny Craig Versus Nutrisystem: What To Look For 

Each of these programs will send you the meals you need to lose weight. The meals you receive will be pre-packaged and fit the portion size you need to maintain a healthy food-to-exercise balance. This way, you won’t have to worry about counting calories or worrying that you’ve exceeded a calorie budget. Instead, you can enjoy your meal without the guilt. 

That said, the way the two programs encourage you to lose weight differs significantly.  

Consistent Meal Plans 

Jenny Craig’s program will provide you with three meals and two snacks to eat on a daily basis. This includes dinner and dessert, meaning that you won’t have to give up any of the foods you enjoy.  

Comparatively, Nutrisystem’s basic plan will provide you with breakfast, lunch, and the snacks to carry you through the work week. You’ll need to make dinners in your own time. That said, Nutrisystem will provide you with healthy recipes to follow, so that you can maintain your calorie deficit.  

If you are interested in receiving dinner meals from Nutrisystem, you’re going to have to sign up for a program that exceeds their basic plan. This isn’t difficult, but it may make the process more expensive for you. 

Both programs provide you with non-perishable snacks and freezer-based entrées. The amount of food you’ll receive will, with Jenny Craig, depend on your personal dietary needs. Nutrisystem, comparatively, will send you a consistent amount of food. 

Each program offers unique meal plans for participants who have dietary restrictions. These variations include: 

  • Gluten Free. 
  • Vegetarian. 
  • Vegan. 
  • Dairy-Free. 
  • Diabetic-Friendly.  

Program Support 

Each of these programs will provide you with a degree of personal, dietary support, depending on the program you choose to sign up with.  

Jenny Craig, for example, is well-known for the relationships it cultivates between its participants and its on-staff coaches. You can reach out to a coach through a Jenny Craig Center or via the phone to discuss an exercise plan, dietary needs, or just for emotional support. These coaches will also help you transition off of Jenny Craig’s pre-prepared meals once you’re halfway toward your weight loss goal. 

Nutrisystem, comparatively, does not assign you a personal coach, regardless of the level of engagement you choose. You will, however, be able to contact the program’s on-staff professionals to discuss the specifics of your dietary plan. Unlike Jenny Craig, talking with these professionals is free once you sign up for a Nutrisystem meal plan.  


The costs of these two programs vary significantly. 

At its lowest, Jenny Craig’s program costs $22.94 per day. When you first enroll, you’ll be required to pay a $99 enrollment fee. However, there are ways for you to have this fee reduced or entirely waived. Your daily allotment of $22.94 or more will pay for the meals you receive that day. However, you may still need to go to the grocery store to find meal supplements or additives. 

You’ll likely find yourself doing the same when working with a Nutrisystem plan. However, Nutrisystem’s costs start out at $11.07 per day. The program does not list an enrollment fee. Unlike Jenny Craig, though, Nutrisystem will only be providing you with food for your work week, not including dinners. The reduced cost here, while convenient, does result in the arrival of less food overall. 

That said, a partnership with Nutrisystem provides you with a restaurant guide that Jenny Craig lacks. This restaurant guide will help you stay on track with your diet, even if you want to go out to eat with friends.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has each of the companies been in operation?

Nutrisystem is the longer-lived dietary program of the two assessed here. The program began in the 1970s, though it originally provided dieters with weight loss shakes instead of comprehensive weight loss plans. That said, the shakes are still available if you want to go old-school with your diet.

Jenny Craig, comparatively, found its start in Australia in the mid-1980s. The program migrated to the United States as interest in its comprehensive diet plans grew.

Will the programs’ meals be delivered fresh or frozen?

The state of your food, with both programs, will vary based on the kind of program you choose to sign on with. Neither programs’ snacks will be frozen. However, all of Jenny Craig’s meals are frozen. Nutrisystem’s introductory programs only deliver non-perishable meals to your door. The more comprehensive programs will see frozen meals arrive at your doorstep.

Do either programs offer free shipping for their meals?

Jenny Craig offers free shipping for all of its meals after you sign up for the program. Nutrisystem will provide you with free shipping when you meet a minimum order amount. You may also receive discounted or otherwise reduced shipping through Nutrisystem if you choose to cash your in-app perks towards that.

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