Are Jenney Craig Claims Real or Just Hot Air?

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Sid Craig, thoroughbred horse owner who died last July at 76 in San Diego, along with his wife Jenny, founded Jenny Craig Inc. in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. The company eventually grew to include 655 weight loss centers in four countries. In 2006, Nestlé SA bought the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company for $600 million.

According to WebMD website the Jenny Craig method is a three-level food-mind-body plan to help people lose weight and keep it off. At the first level, the program teaches clients how to eat the foods they want -- in small, frequent portions. At the second level, the program teaches clients how to increase their energy levels via simple activity. At the third level, the program teaches clients how to build more balance into their lives in order to maintain weight loss and healthy diet.

It may be of interest to visit the MSNBC website and read a report by Linda Carroll on “Consumer Reports weighs in on popular diets. Smart diet strategies based on science and lifestyle shift, not strict rules.”  The new report rated eight diet plans based on the results of clinical trials and critiqued seven popular diet books based on the quality of the meal plans, ease of use, whether they incorporated exercise and the validity of the nutritional science. A relative newcomer, Volumetrics, scored the highest among the diet plans for helping dieters lose

the most weight. Among other things the report:

Praised “Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less” — for its Mediterranean recipes but faulted for spending too little time on exercise.

Lauded “You: On a Diet” —for its simplicity but lacking in details and flexibility.

Liked “The Abs Diet” —for the emphasis on exercise but dinged the book for pushing whey (watering part of milk) supplements.

Scored Weight Watchers second among the eating plans, slightly ahead of Jenny Craig and Slim-Fast, since it has the highest long-term adherence — better even than Volumetrics.

Among diet plans listed at the bottom four were: eDiets, the Zone Diet, the Ornish Diet and the Atkins diet.

Among the lowest-ranked three books were:  The South Beach Diet, The Sonoma Diet, and Ultra-Metabolism. 

Ms. Carroll’s article further reports that even though plans like Volumetrics and Weight Watchers have their success stories, that doesn’t mean that they will work for everyone, says Dr. Naomi Neufeld, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. It’s very individual, she adds. Consumer Reports gave lower marks to diet plans and books that were needlessly restrictive or too elaborate.

Eight strategies to shave off pounds

1. Eat breakfast.

2. Eat less fat and make sure the fats you do eat

    are healthy. This means eschewing trans fats

    while focusing on mono-saturated fats and

    omega-3 oils.

3. Follow a healthy menu by boosting the amount

    of fruits and vegetables in your diet and

    consuming small amounts of lean meat, fish,

    healthy fats and whole grains. Stay away from

    refined grains, potatoes, full-fat dairy products

    and foods with added sweeteners.

4. Exercise, exercise, exercise. The only way

    working out will add up to significant weight

    loss is if you spend 60 to 90 minutes per day.

    And the exercise has to be at least of

    moderate intensity.

5. Cut back on carbonates.

6. Fill up on low energy density foods,  that is,

    those that contain fewer calories per mouthful.

7. Do a regular weigh-in. Successful dieters

    weigh themselves at least once a week.

8. Limit your selections. Variety tends to

    stimulate appetite.

Source: Consumer Reports


Upside of the Jenny Craig Diet

v      Frozen meals are convenient.

v      Balanced and nutritious meals.

v      Weekly consultations provide ongoing support.

v      Enough options for flexible and individualized plans.

Downside of the Jenny Craig Diet

v       Commitment to the packaged foods is expensive.

v       Menu planning system can be confusing for some.

v       Counselors are not highly trained health professionals.

v       Prepackaged foods can be boring when that is all you eat.  Resuming regular foods at smaller portions is a problem for some people.

One must remember that Jenny Craig, like all the rest, pays big bucks to celebrities to allure you to their diet plans.  The diet promoters provide their spokespersons highly qualified physical trainers and make them go through a very rigorous regimen.   Moreover, they never show them once they regain part or most the weight they had shed.

Also Jenny Craig, and others as well, use pseudonym websites

to list their name on top of the list of the “Ten Best Diet Plans” quoting a “survey or research” conducted by an “expert” dieticians or a physician.  So you should be careful and not put too much stock in what any diet plan claims in print or TV ads.

Finally, it will cost you $199 or $299 (depending upon the plan) to sign up for Jenny Craig.  And then it will cost you an arm and leg to purchase Jenny Craig’s prepackaged meals.  Moreover, if you stop the plan, your weight will come back.  So the best plan is to eat less, eat healthy food, and keep a regular exercise regimen.  Good luck.

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