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What Is the Jenny Craig Diet?

What Is the Jenny Craig Diet?

The Jenny Craig Diet is a weight-loss dieting program with three defining features: personal counseling, prepackaged food, and a diet plan centered around low-fat, fibrous, and protein-rich foods.

There are currently three plans under the Jenny Craig Diet: The Simple Plan, the Essential Plan, and the Max Up Weight Loss Plan.

Table of Contents

    What Is the Jenny Craig Diet?

    The Jenny Craig Diet is a popular weight loss program that claims to help you lose three times more weight than dieting alone.

    This diet aims to make your weight loss journey as simple as possible by providing you with prepackaged Jenny Craig meals and snacks, as well as personal coaching and motivational support. There are currently three main plans you can sign up for when joining Jenny Craig:

    Simple Plan

    This plan lives up to its name. With the Simple Plan, you get seven or 14 days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches (depending on which frequency you want). Dinner is up to you, but an optional Snacks & Dessert plan is available for purchase separately.

    Essential Plan

    A step up from the Simple Plan, the Essential Plan offers all of your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. Like with the Simple Plan, you can also add snacks and dessert for additional costs.

    Max Up Weight Loss Plan

    The Max Up Weight Loss Plan takes aspects of intermittent fasting but with a twist. The company claims that you can lose up to 17 pounds in the first month, but the average weight loss is about 15 pounds. With the plan, you’ll receive seven days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. It also comes with seven Recharge Bars, a specially designed product to reduce hunger, increase fat burn, and promote weight loss.

    While you can technically stay on the Jenny Craig diet forever, you don’t have to. It’s designed for you to eventually transition away from this so you can maintain your weight independently.

    How the Jenny Craig Diet Works


    The Jenny Craig program provides you with meals via a delivery service, but you’re responsible for purchasing some groceries such as fresh fruit. The guidelines are to eat six times a day to fuel your metabolism and promote weight loss.

    The provided meals have been designed with nutrition in mind. Each meal contains less than 300 calories. There is a focus on immune-boosting ingredients, while foods with artificial sweeteners and colors, high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are limited.

    Exercise is also an essential part of the Jenny Craig program. With the Max Up Weight Loss Plan, you can access an activity plan that can further promote weight loss. You can also schedule in-person or online meetings with a personal coach.

    The Diet Plan

    Your Jenny Craig diet plan is individualized to reflect your personal goals, food preferences, and activity level.

    Each diet plan is 1,200 calories to 2,300 calories a day, depending on your height and weight.

    Each diet plan features pre-made food items consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Simple Plan provides breakfast and lunch, while the Max Up Plan also provides daily Recharge Bars. You’ll have to buy snacks and dessert separately.

    Other recommended foods and ingredients are listed in a grocery guide, and these complement the pre-packaged meals you are provided with.

    • PlantPower: Vegetables that you can enjoy without limiting the amount you eat. Options include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and salad greens.
    • HealthyFuel: These protein-rich foods include lean meat, cheese, eggs, soy milk, and nuts. You should consume these foods as directed by the recommended amounts on your plan.
    • HealthyCarb: These foods may include apples, beans, berries, oatmeal, and brown rice. You should consume these as directed on the plan.
    • Flavor Enhancers: This category includes spices and beverages such as black coffee, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, and calorie-free sweeteners. You can consume these in abundance.
    • Flavor Boosters: Add some flavor to meals with butter, Jenny Craig brand dressing, oil, seeds, and salad dressings. You should limit yourself to three flavor boosters each day.


    The cost of the Jenny Craig program will depend on how many features you want in your weight loss plan.

    • The Max Up Weight Loss Plan (which contains all meals and snacks, personal coaching, activity plans, and free delivery) costs $23.80 per day.
    • The Essential Meal Plan (which contains all meals, snacks, and free delivery) costs $21.99 per day.
    • The Simple Meal Plan (which contains all breakfasts and lunches) costs $13.99 per day.
    • The optional Snacks & Dessert add-on varies per day depending on your plan.

    Dos and Don’ts

    To be successful on Jenny Craig, they recommend that you:

    • Purchase your fresh fruit, vegetables, and other necessities listed on the plan, which Jenny Craig doesn’t provide.
    • Weigh yourself every day and track it on your meal plan sheet.
    • Track your hydration and any medications or supplements you take.
    • Note the time when you start eating for the day and when you stop eating at night. The Jenny Craig Diet encourages intermittent fasting as it can support your health, metabolism, and weight loss.

    Sample Diet Plan

    Here are some examples of daily meals on a four-week Jenny Craig diet from their new Max Up Weight Loss plan:

    Week One

    • Recharge Bar
    • Breakfast: Classic Waffles, breakfast syrup, and a Jenny Craig shake
    • Lunch: Orange Chicken and one PlantPower
    • Snack: One HealthyCarb
    • Dinner: Three-Cheese Macaroni with Broccoli & Carrots, one PlantPower, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Week Two

    • Recharge Bar
    • Breakfast: New York Sesame Bagel and a Jenny Craig Shake
    • Lunch: Beef Merlot and one Plant Power
    • Snack: One HealthyCarb
    • Dinner: Chicken Sandwich, one Plant Power, and Lemon Cake

    Week Three

    • Recharge Bar
    • Breakfast: Egg, Cheese & Turkey Sausage Burrito, and a Jenny Craig Shake
    • Lunch: Classic Chicken Carbonara and one PlantPower
    • Snack: One HealthyCarb
    • Dinner: Margherita Pizza, one Plant Power, and White Cheddar Popcorn

    Week Four

    • Recharge Bar
    • Breakfast: Cranberry Almond Barscotti and a Jenny Craig Shake
    • Lunch: Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce and one PlantPower
    • Snack: One HealthyCarb
    • Dinner: Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bowl, one Plant Power, and Carrot Cake

    Health Benefits and Drawbacks of the Jenny Craig Diet


    Proven Weight Loss

    The Jenny Craig Diet has been successful in several studies in terms of weight loss. For example, participants in this program experienced at least a 4.9 percent greater weight loss after 12 months compared to education and counseling.

    The Jenny Craig diet may have glycemic lowering benefits in people with Type 2 Diabetes. A study in obese participants enrolled in the Jenny Craig Rapid Results Program in conjunction with an intermittent-fasting schedule showed significant and clinically meaningful weight losses and improvements in their fasting blood glucose.

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    You won’t have to meal plan or worry about calorie counts with Jenny Craig plans because your meals (and even snacks and desserts) are covered. As long as you follow your plan, you should lose weight.

    One-on-One Support

    You have both in-person and virtual options for one-on-one support with the Jenny Craig diet. The Jenny Craig app offers multiple features to keep you on track, including one-to-one coaching. Prefer seeing people face to face? Some cities have Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centers staffed with coaches to help you work through challenges and questions.



    The Jenny Craig Diet is more expensive than some other weight loss programs. However, you should consider that you’ll also be saving on your grocery bill since Jenny Craig provides your meals and most snacks.


    The pre-packaged meals may not be suitable for people with allergies or food sensitives because many meals contain nuts, dairy, and gluten. Vegetarian meals are available, although these won’t be appropriate for vegans.

    The Coaches Aren’t Registered Dietitians or Nutritionists

    While you’ll receive plenty of one-on-one support from Jenny Craig consultants, they don’t necessarily have the educational background in health in nutrition that nutritionists and registered dietitians do.

    Jenny Craig consultants receive training in the basics of nutrition, behavior modification, and exercise developed by registered dietitians and a scientific advisory board.

    Cooking and Eating Out Is Almost Off-Limits

    While you can add in snacks you buy from the grocery store, most of the Jenny Craig diet plans cover all three meals of the day. The Simple Plan is the only option if you want to cook at least one of your meals or eat out.

    Daily Weighing

    Some people could develop a disordered relationship with food or their body by emphasizing the scale and their weight.

    The Bottom Line: Is Jenny Craig a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?

    The Jenny Craig program is an effective and healthy way to meet your weight loss goals, especially if you can afford the top membership with personal coaching, as it’s crucial to have support.

    Their pre-packed meals take the difficulty of meal prep away from you to assist with weight loss while simultaneously ensuring that you’re getting the best nutrition available. If you have a history of a disordered relationship with food, you should take caution, as weighing yourself every day may be detrimental.

    Disclaimer: The information on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.
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