Jenny Craig vs the Competition

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Medifast vs Jenny Craig/Nutrisystem?
It's the company's most popular option; all of the plan's meals are shelf-stable, which means they don't require refrigeration. Nutrisystem Nutrisystem also appears to be one of the more effective commercial weight loss programs reviewed in the study. The personal counseling sessions are also made available for the benefit of dieters who are out of track and feel less motivated to follow the diet. However, those that need to be on a diet may have a hard time controlling how much they spend on food as it is, so for some this can cost less than what they are used to. Along with Jenny Craig Meals you incorporate store-bought groceries to balance your daily menu.

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Nutrisystem vs Medifast

You get about calories per day, and Medifast claims you can lose 2 to 5 pounds per week on the program. Once a week, Nutrisystem delivers your meals and snacks to your home, and you supplement them with your own fresh food purchases. The diet can help you lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. You can choose five Medifast meals every day, and possibilities include pretzels, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, brownies and soups.

If you prefer, you can accept the default menu that Nutrisystem suggests when you sign up for the program. Medifast and Nutrisystem require you to purchase other foods in addition to the diet products. The Medifast Lean and Green Meal includes 6 to 8 ounces of lean protein, vegetables and up to two servings of healthy fats. You can also have two small servings of low-calorie condiments each day. On Nutrisystem, you eat healthy foods from the grocery store to supplement your Nutrisystem meals and snacks.

You can have fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, reduced fat dairy and lean protein. Both Medifast and Nutrisystem offer options for men, women, people with diabetes, older adults and vegetarians.

If you do not have as much weight to lose, Nutrisystem might be a better choice because it offers a slower rate of weight loss that agrees with recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines from the U.

Department of Health and Human Services. Out of 4, studies, they found only a few dozen met the scientific "gold standard" of reliability. Just a small number of diet plans were supported by data establishing that participants, on average, lost more weight after one year than people who were either dieting on their own, got printed health information, or received other nutrition education and counseling sessions.

One key thing the most successful plans had in common: They really integrate a group approach," medical contributor Dr. Click through to see how the different diet plans stack up. The oldest and best-known commercial diet plan -- and the biggest, with 45 percent market share -- Weight Watchers also has a proven track record in clinical trials.

The Johns Hopkins researchers found that "Weight Watchers participants consistently have greater weight loss" than people in who try dieting on their own, "and sustain it beyond 12 months. Weight Watchers is what the researchers considered a "high intensity" program, meaning it requires attending at least 12 sessions a year.

But it's also one of the lowest-cost options in the study. An editorial accompanying the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine says, "Programs that help patients restrict calories with a structured approach to making healthier, real-world dietary choices, such as Weight Watchers, may fare better over the long term than programs that rely solely on prepackaged meals or supplements, but this would need to be confirmed in future studies.

Jenny Craig also fared well in the study overall. Participants lost a few more pounds than those on Weight Watchers, but spent more money to do so.

A review of clinical trials found that after one year, people who followed the Jenny Craig program lost at least 4. Unlike Weight Watchers, the Jenny Craig plan requires participants to buy specially-packaged meals and snacks, making this plan more expensive. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were the two diet plans the researchers suggested doctors recommend to patients who need to lose weight.

Nutrisystem also appears to be one of the more effective commercial weight loss programs reviewed in the study. However, the clinical trials on Nutrisystem lasted only 3 to 6 months, so its longer-term effectiveness is not as clear. People on the Nutrisystem plan achieved at least 3.

The researchers say "Nutrisystem shows promise, but the lack of long-term [randomized clinical trials] precludes definitive conclusions. Are extreme low-cal plans a good bet? They rely on low-cal meal-replacement products like bars or shakes to promote faster short-term weight loss. Participants consume just to 1, calories a day on these plans, resulting in at least 4 percent more weight loss than people who got counseling alone.

However, the benefits diminished by the 6-month mark, and researchers say more long-term studies are needed. Programs based on the low-carb Atkins diet also helped people lose more weight than counseling alone -- but not as much as with some competing diet programs.

Still, the approach "appears promising," the authors write. Some that didn't make the cut.

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