Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are weight loss programs designed around pre-packaged menus of food. While Jenny Craig requires a signing up fee and offers regularly scheduled counseling sessions, Nutrisystem only involves the cost of the food and has free counselors available on request.
Jenny Craig provides all new members with one of several planned menus, based on its range of prepackaged food. Once a participant has reduced their weight by half of their goal, they can eat non-program food 3-4 times a week. Once they reach their goal weight, they stop using the packaged meals entirely.
Nutrisystem has several meal plans available to members: Basic, D (diabetes), Silver (over 65s) and Vegetarian. Members eat home delivered pre-packaged meals and supplement them with fresh fruit and vegetables. They are also encouraged to increase their physical activity.
Jenny Craig has an enrollment fee of about $360 plus the ongoing cost of Jenny Craig food, which is about $100 a week.
Nutrisystem has no enrollment fee. The food costs about $230 per month plus purchase of any recommended vegetables.
This video compares the total cost of Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem diet plans to see which one is more expensive:
Counseling and Support
Jenny Craig offers weekly private, individual counseling sessions to members over the phone. These sessions focus on changing a client’s eating habits and lifestyle so that they will eventually no longer need to rely on the program’s rules.
Nutrisystem does not offer face-to-face interaction, but offers free access to trained counselors via telephone, online chat and email. It has online resources to promote motivation and success, as well as self-monitoring tools and an online community.
Both the Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem diets are much more effective with regular exercise, like jogging or hiking.
In the video below, Consumer Reports analyzes Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Slim-Fast, and other popular diets.
Nutrisystem is only available in the United States through major retailers as well as online distributors like QVC and Amazon.com.
One study found that that 73% of Jenny Craig participants were still in the program after 4 weeks. No information is available on Nutrisystem retention rates.