Reopened under new ownership, Jenny Craig is now entirely online. While the program may be convenient, it isn’t a good long-term weight loss solution.

Healthline Diet Score: 2.2 out of 5

Jenny Craig, known for offering structured weight loss via prepackaged meals and personalized coaching, closed down in 2023, but it has since been reopened under new ownership.

Some of the notable changes since this shift include fewer programs, home delivery, and 100% virtual services, with no more physical weight loss centers, though the food remains the same.

This article reviews these changes as well as the effectiveness of the Jenny Craig diet.

  • Overall score: 2.2
  • Weight loss: 4
  • Adherence: 2
  • Whole body health: 1
  • Nutrition quality: 1
  • Health promotion: 3

BOTTOM LINE: The Jenny Craig diet may be effective for weight loss initially. However, the diet is expensive, relies on heavily prepackaged food, and doesn’t focus on lifestyle changes. For these reasons, it’s not the best option for long-term weight loss success.

Jenny Craig, originally founded in 1983 by Sid and Jenny Craig, was designed to provide structure and support for people wanting to lose weight and keep it off through convenient prepared meals and snacks along with coaching.

In May 2023, the company filed for bankruptcy, but it relaunched that same fall under the ownership of Brandon Adcock, CEO of Wellful, whose portfolio of brands includes Nutrisystem, Nugenix, Lumiday, and Instaflex.

Despite this change, Jenny Craig continues to offer the same meals and snacks, along with coaching, but physical weight loss centers have closed and all coaching is done virtually.


  • The program includes one-on-one virtual coaching.
  • The program features convenient preportioned prepared meals and snacks.
  • Meals are free of high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, MSG, and artificial colors and sweeteners.
  • Some older research supports its effectiveness for weight loss.


  • The program is expensive.
  • Coaches are previous members rather than qualified nutrition professionals.
  • The meals are highly processed.
  • Additional grocery items are needed alongside the plan each week.
  • The program is not suitable for people with specific dietary needs or preferences.
  • The program makes lofty claims about expected weight loss.
  • The focus of the program is primarily on weight loss and doesn’t encourage a holistic approach to wellness.
  • Research on the long-term effectiveness of the program is limited.
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Unlike the original diet, the Jenny Craig program now takes place entirely online. Below is a brief overview of how the program works.

Step 1: Program selection

You’ll begin by choosing from one of three programs described in the table below:

PlansCostWhat’s included
14-Day Plan$175 per week• weekly meal guide
• 14 breakfasts
• 28 lunches and dinners
• 14 snacks or desserts
• 14 bars
Club Jenny$99.99 per year plus the cost of meals a-la-carte• personalized meal guides
• 1-on-1 coaching sessions
• choice of meals and snacks, starting at $3.25 per meal
South Beach Living$165 per week• weekly meal guides
• 10 breakfasts
• 20 lunches and dinners
• 14 Recharge Bars

Keep in mind that the prices above don’t include taxes or shipping. Shipping is $49.99 per order, though shipping is free for your first week.

You can also get free shipping if you live within the contiguous United States and subscribe to the 2-week auto-delivery plan.

To cancel your membership, you can either call or email customer service. Just be sure to do so before 6 p.m. EST the day before your order is scheduled to be processed, otherwise changes can’t be made and you will be charged for your order.

After signing up, you’ll be assigned a personal Jenny Craig coach who you’ll meet with regularly either online or over the phone.

Step 2: Eat Jenny Craig meals and snacks

To simplify the weight loss process, Jenny Craig provides preportioned meals and snacks delivered to your home every 2 weeks. Over 100 choices are available, all of which are under 300 calories and typically frozen or shelf-stable.

According to the website, meals are designed by nutritionists and food science experts.

Depending on the plan you choose, you may still need to provide your own meals and snacks, and all meal plans require additional grocery items like vegetables and fruits.

Customers on the 14-Day Plan are also encouraged to follow an intermittent fasting protocol, in which they fast for 14 hours each day and consume all of their meals and snacks within a 10-hour window.

Foods to eat and avoid on the Jenny Craig diet

Jenny Craig encourages members to avoid alcohol, soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas and coffees.

Foods are broken down into six categories:

  • vegetables
  • protein or dairy
  • fruit or starch
  • healthy fats
  • flavor unlimited
  • flavor limited

The number of servings of vegetables, protein or dairy, fruits or starch, and healthy fats varies based on individual needs and weight loss goals.

“Flavor unlimited” foods are less than 10 calories per serving and include things like plain, unsweetened beverages, chewing gum, pickles, soy sauce, lemon, lime, and spices. As their name implies, these foods are allowed in unlimited quantities.

Foods that are considered “flavor limited” are optional add-ons like condiments and flavorings such as avocado, butter, sugar-free chocolate syrup, coffee creamer, and cream cheese.

The allowed portions of these ingredients are approximately 10–35 calories, and the diet encourages customers to have no more than three servings per day.

The Jenny Craig diet is designed to help people lose weight by reducing their calorie intake through portion-controlled meals and snacks.

Most of the entrées contain 200–300 calories, while snacks and desserts have 150–200 calories, though customers are instructed to add vegetables, fruits, lean proteins to some meals based on their needs.

A typical Jenny Craig plan provides 1,200–1,700 calories per day, depending on your sex, age, activity level, and weight loss goals.

Exercise isn’t required, but 30 minutes of physical activity (or 8,000 steps) 5 days per week plus 30 minutes of strength training 3 times per week is recommended.

According to the Jenny Craig website, the average member loses 22 pounds (lb) [10 kilograms (kg)] in the first 8 weeks on the program, which equates to 2.75 lb (1.25 kg) per week.

While research supporting those exact numbers is lacking, there are some research studies that support the effectiveness of Jenny Craig for weight loss.

For example, in a study from 2017, a group of sedentary women with overweight followed the Jenny Craig diet for 12 weeks and lost an average of 11.7 lb (5.34 kg) each.

A second study, from 2016, found that Jenny Craig helped people lose roughly 5% more weight after 1 year compared with those who only received education and counseling. People following the Jenny Craig diet also lost, on average, more weight than those following Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, or SlimFast.

It’s worth noting that the relevant research was conducted prior to the company closing and reopening under new ownership, though the food is the same.

Finally, while losing 2.75 lb (1.25 kg) per week may sound appealing, it exceeds the recommended rate of 1–2 lb per week. Healthcare professionals typically advise a more gradual rate of weight loss because it’s more sustainable over the long term and may help encourage more fat loss rather than muscle loss.

Will the Jenny Craig diet help you lose weight?

Overall, while the diet may be effective for short-term weight loss due to a reduced calorie intake, more research is needed to prove its effectiveness long term.

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Intermittent fasting

The 14-Day Plan encourages customers to follow an intermittent fasting protocol.

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating in which you restrict your food intake to a specific time frame.

There are several intermittent fasting protocols, some of which call for a 16-hour fast, while others recommend a full 24 hours of fasting once or twice per week.

Jenny Craig recommends a 14-hour fast followed by a 10-hour eating window. Toward the end of the eating window and before officially breaking the fast with breakfast, you can consume a Jenny Craig Recharge Bar.

Fasting has been associated with various health benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure.

While it has gained popularity as a weight loss method, its effectiveness may at least be partially because individuals often eat fewer calories during the day when their eating window is smaller.

That said, preliminary research suggests that intermittent fasting may be an effective approach to weight loss, though more long-term research is needed.

There are many reasons why Jenny Craig is a popular diet, including:

  • It’s easy to follow: Jenny Craig provides premade entrées and snacks in the beginning stages, making the diet relatively easy to follow. All you need to do is reheat an entrée and add your favorite fruits, vegetables, or reduced fat dairy products to complete the meal.
  • It may encourage healthier eating habits: Because the meals are portion-controlled, they may help people better understand portion sizes. Additionally, adding fruits and vegetables to the meals encourages people to eat more produce and learn how to build a balanced plate.
  • It provides one-on-one support: One of the most helpful components of the diet is the individualized support from Jenny Craig coaches. Research has found that having social support from family, friends, or health coaches improves people’s chances of losing weight and keeping it off.

Despite its popularity, there are several downsides of the Jenny Craig diet to keep in mind.

It’s expensive

Participating in Jenny Craig every week isn’t cheap. In addition to costs of over $100 each week, shipping is an added $49.99 per delivery if you don’t opt into the 2-week auto-delivery plan.

Plus, the program recommends that you also purchase extra fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to add to your meals and snacks.

Jenny Craig foods can be convenient, but the cost may make it unrealistic for some.

In fact, one study determined that Jenny Craig is priced too high to be considered cost-effective when comparing the average amount of weight lost in relation to the price of the program.

It doesn’t work for all special diets

Since the entrées and snacks on the Jenny Craig diet are prepackaged, options are limited if you follow a certain diet or have other dietary concerns, like food allergies.

For example, none of the Jenny Craig food items are labeled kosher or halal, and there are no vegan lunch or dinner options. While gluten-free items are available, they’re not clearly marked.

Nevertheless, you can view the nutritional information, ingredients, and included allergens for each item on the company’s website, allowing you to choose products that fit your dietary needs and preferences.

Jenny Craig foods are highly processed

Most of the Jenny Craig prepackaged foods are heavily processed.

They contain high amounts of additives and refined carbs and oils that may be bad for your gut health and metabolic health.

If you don’t enjoy eating a lot of prepackaged or frozen foods, the Jenny Craig diet may not be a good fit for you.

It may be difficult to transition away from Jenny Craig foods

While eating prepackaged foods makes it easy to follow a diet in the short term, it doesn’t teach the skills needed to lose weight on your own.

Jenny Craig members must learn how to prepare healthy meals to continue and maintain weight loss.

The past version of the program included some guidance with the transition from eating the prepared foods to cooking at home, but the new Jenny Craig doesn’t appear to include this outright.

That being said, some of the resources available include tips for healthy cooking and members may work with their coaches on the transition.

Jenny Craig coaches are not healthcare professionals

While the Jenny Craig coaches are an essential part of the diet program, they’re not registered dietitians or medical professionals and cannot give diet advice related to medical conditions.

Many are former Jenny Craig members who decided to become coaches themselves.

People with complex health conditions should seek guidance from a registered dietitian or other health professional before starting a new diet.

It lacks a holistic approach to wellness

One of the biggest downsides of the Jenny Craig program is that it primarily focuses on the number of pounds you can lose rather than making steps towards an overall healthier lifestyle.

While maintaining a healthy weight is important for health, it’s far from the only factor.

Other lifestyle factors, including physical activity, diet quality, stress, and sleep all greatly affect your overall well-being and risk of many chronic diseases.


Trying to “do it right” when it comes to nutrition may feel tempting, but it can backfire. If you’re preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.

Disordered eating and eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status, or other identities.

They can be caused by any combination of biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors — not just by exposure to diet culture.

Feel empowered to talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re having a hard time.

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Prior to filing bankruptcy in May 2023, Jenny Craig had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Since reopening under new ownership, the company isn’t rated on the BBB.

Jenny Craig was involved in a few lawsuits in the past, including a 2013 lawsuit that claimed the Jenny Craig diet caused gallstones in some individuals. However, these claims have not been proven.

Reviews of Jenny Craig are mostly positive, with satisfied customers commenting on the ease and convenience of following the plan. Others find the support of a personal coach to be a valuable aspect of the program.

In contrast, several previous members complain that the program is too expensive and difficult to cancel, while others dislike the emphasis on highly processed packaged foods.

Because you’ll likely be eating fewer calories than you would have normally, there’s a good chance that Jenny Craig could help you lose weight.

However, the program is expensive and relies on highly processed, prepackaged meals and snacks, making it difficult to follow over time. The program also isn’t designed to encourage lasting behavior changes. As a result, you may find yourself gaining back any weight you lost if you decide to cancel your membership.

Commercial diets worth considering

If you’re interested in losing weight with the support of a structured program, here are three options to consider:

  • WeightWatchers: This well-known diet program features a flexible, points-based system where no foods are ever off-limits. Members also get access to health coaching, community support, and an app with resources including recipes, meal plans, and exercise routines.
  • Calibrate: Calibrate is an online weight loss program that combines one-on-one health coaching, diet and lifestyle changes, and access to weight loss medications. While it isn’t cheap, the company offers a refund if you don’t lose at least 10% of your body weight by the end of the program.
  • Noom: Focusing on behavior change, Noom is a popular weight loss app that uses a combination of food tracking and education to encourage healthier habits.

If your biggest hurdle to losing weight is portion control, you might also want to consider subscribing to a prepared meal delivery service. While many aren’t cheap, they can provide the same convenience that Jenny Craig offers but with fresher ingredients.

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The cost varies depending on the plan you choose. For example, Club Jenny access, which allows you to pick and choose how many and which meals you’d like each week, has an annual fee of $99.99 in addition to the cost of the meal you chose, which starts at $3.25 per meal.

While both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem offer structured meal plans and prepackaged meals for weight loss, Jenny Craig emphasizes personal coaching. In contrast, Nutrisystem provides a wider variety of meal options and tends to be a bit more budget-friendly.

Compared with Jenny Craig, which received a 2.2 out of 5, WeightWatchers received a 4.10 out of 5 during Healthline’s scoring.

WeightWatchers scored better thanks largely to its flexible and more sustainable approach to weight loss. In contrast, Jenny Craig’s meal plan is rather restrictive and encourages more food rules.

While both are backed by research for weight loss, WeightWatchers offers a more affordable option that includes an app with helpful resources and features like meal planning tools, recipes, workouts, and meditations.

Jenny Craig is a popular diet option that offers prepackaged, portion-controlled meals and one-on-one support.

While it may help you lose weight initially, the high monthly costs and reliance on highly processed, prepackaged meals make it difficult to adhere to in the long run.

If you’re looking for help losing weight, we recommend looking into a more sustainable option instead.