Which diet plans really pay off?

User Feedback

Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem in 2018
Paste as plain text instead. Are extreme low-cal plans a good bet? This affordable dietitian-designed program will save you time and money. You'll eat specially-chosen frozen meals from many popular brands that you'll buy in your supermarket. This includes non-starchy, high-fiber fruits and vegetables that can help you stay fuller longer. Remember, "shelf-stable" means no refrigeration necessary, so you can store these meals in the cupboard.

Jenny Craig edges out rival Nutrisystem

Nutrisystem Vs Jenny Craig Reviews – Cost, Taste and Other Factors Compared

These programs might appeal to people who have trouble with meal planning, have limited time and skill for cooking at home, struggle with portion control, or feel they might benefit from community support and counseling. If you don't like the restricted choice of the programs, you can devise a homemade version using frozen diet meals from the supermarket. Two experienced sensory testers tasted, in total, 32 Jenny Craig products and 27 Nutrisystem Basic products.

Where possible, we chose similar items. We also conducted a side test of six frozen entrées from Nutrisystem's more expensive Select line. The products were tasted in random order within categories—breakfasts with breakfasts, snacks with snacks, and so on. Our tasters not only didn't know whose product they were tasting but also didn't know they were diet meals. Of the 59 items we tasted in our main round of tests, only five scored Very Good—all from Jenny Craig. Of the 10 items we deemed Fair, eight were from Nutrisystem.

Overall, the foods from Jenny Craig did slightly better than Nutrisystem's. Jenny Craig's edge came mainly from its lunch and dinner entrées, most of which were frozen rather than shelf-stable. The frozen Nutrisystem Select dinner entrées we tested fared much better than the company's shelf-stable items.

After we completed our testing, a company spokeswoman told us that Nutrisystem's standard day program would change at the end of The standard day program now consists of 10 days of frozen foods and 18 days of pantry-ready foods. The breakfast items from both companies rated only Good. And our tasters were unimpressed with the snack and dessert items, rating both brands a low Good.

Get Ratings on the go and compare while you shop. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. Subscribers only Sign in or Subscribe now! Check this box if you wish to have a copy mailed to you.

How the plans work Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem give you meal plans that include their branded foods. Are they worth trying? Taste-test results of Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem Illustration: A day of diet meals. We'll cover the cheaper Nutrisystem Basic plan for you tough guys and gals in a moment, but let's start by comparing the better tasting, more realistically liveable options: Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours and Jenny Craig.

Keep in mind that none of the above prices include veggies, fruit, and dairy that both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem require you to buy in your supermarket. You'll eat specially-chosen frozen meals from many popular brands that you'll buy in your supermarket. BUT they don't offer phone support.

It's self-service using their online Daily Food Journal where you click on foods from their dietitians' approved lists The big difference between Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours and Jenny Craig, is that on Jenny you'll be eating mostly frozen meals which most people find better tasting than the "shelf-stable" no refrigeration necessary meals offered on all Nutrisystem plans, including on Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours.

But the Uniquely Yours plan is unique among Nutrisystem plans, in that it also offers frozen meals on its menu, though you're limited to one per day 24 frozen meals in each 4 week period, since one day per week you are instructed to eat your own foods.

For the other meals on Uniquely Yours , it's back to "Rambo time" meatloaf that needs no refrigeration , the same meals eaten by the Nutrisystem Basic Plan members. Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours is a possible compromise solution for some. It is cheaper than Jenny Craig, though more costly than other Nutrisystem plans. When you're on Auto-Delivery, it's really easy to get stuck with an extra month's charge, even if you decide to cancel.

Be very careful to read the fine print if you select Auto-Delivery for any of the Nutrisystem plans. Many Jenny dieters compare their food's taste to the taste of Lean Cuisine, which might not be a coincidence, as until Jenny and Lean Cuisine were owned by the same company. Jenny Craig offers a bigger selection of frozen meals than Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours , though when you add in the shelf-stable meals as well, Nutrisystem has a wider total variety of food choices.

Remember, "shelf-stable" means no refrigeration necessary, so you can store these meals in the cupboard. You can't be a "snowflake" and eat this food. You buy the food separately.

But, let's not forget to factor in the daily Jenny snacks and necessary grocery items veggies, fruit which will increase the costs significantly. There are sometimes discounts and promotions available that could save you money on these fees. Sometimes the initial enrollment fee is cut in half during a promotion. But again, this doesn't include the cost the Jenny Craig food.

On any Jenny plan, you'll quickly figure out that the major cost of Jenny Craig are not their plan prices but their food prices! Perhaps the exclamation point is unfair, as Jenny's food prices are significantly less than some of their high-end competitors such as Bistro MD. Like Nutrisystem's premium "Uniquely Yours" plans, Jenny offers both shelf-stable non-refrigerated and frozen foods.

Jenny Craig allows members to pick up their food at their local center or opt to have it shipped to their home for an additional charge. The biggest difference between the Jenny "12 Week Trial" and the Jenny Month Premium" plans besides the price tag is the access to private diet consultations.

The "Trial" plan offers only 1 phone or online meeting with a Jenny consultant, whereas the "Premium" program gives you unlimited, in-person consultations if you live close enough to a Jenny office to take advantage of this. Keep in mind that the Jenny "consultant" is not a nutritionist, but mostly a food salesperson for the Jenny products. This plan is a shipment of 28 days worth of shelf-stable food no refrigeration necessary which is chosen for you, which means that you let Nutrisystem pick your meals instead of giving that job to your taste buds believe me, your taste buds would have picked the frozen meals.

Shelf-stable food is very convenient, as it doesn't require space in your freezer. And that's an understatement. You may find that when it comes to shelf-stable food, you'd get more enjoyment from eating the shelf itself.

The second option from Nutrisystem is called "Core" which is the same as the "Basic" plan, except it lets you choose your favorite shelf-stable menu items instead of just having Nutrisystem send you whatever it feels like. This is the only plan that includes your choice of shelf-stable food AND Nutrisystem's better tasting frozen meals 6 per week. Be warned, if you cancel your auto-delivery on any of these plans after 2 weeks, you'll be charged hefty fees. While on Nutrisystem, dieters are required to cook lunch and dinner for themselves once per week.

So grocery shopping is required not only for fruits, veggies, and dairy, but also for low-calorie recipe ingredients.

Send this info to a friend