Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem vs. Jenny Craig

What is the Jenny Craig Diet?

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For most people, that means consuming calories less per day, exercising more and eating more nutritious foods. Thank you for posting your experience and being so honest and forthcoming. But then my friend Kathy hit me over the head. Following WW and eating less than extra points on that I was still gaining. For more information, see our full Advertising Disclosure.

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She and her husband are great real-food cooks, they love to cook for themselves and their families and friends. Last year, Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer a real shock for all of us, she was the first in our circle and went through two surgeries and radiation therapy. Kathy too, I learned later, had become unhappy with Weight Watchers, in fact, unbeknownst to me, had become a Medifast health coach.

If losing weight takes processed food, it takes processed food. Those words stuck with me, even as I made another fresh start with Weight Watchers, especially as I looked at the round face in the mirror and felt horrified at photographs — who was that fat person???

When you are overweight, you damage your body with toxins and inflammation. The important thing is to get the weight off to rid your body of these toxins and the inflammation — and then worry about real food, organic food, etc.

Plus many overweight people are already living on a steady diet of low-nutrient processed food. Medifast replacement meals may be processed food but they are nutritionally sound. To lose 30 — 35 pounds, maybe 40, without screwing up my metabolism. I feel strong and energetic and most of all, empowered. I am highly motivated. I was just ready. Like all the major weight-loss programs, Medifast works when you follow the program.

Medifast features which I expect to long continue. Small, Frequent Meals Medifast calls for eating every 2 to 3 hours. If my day starts early and ends late, I stretch the time between meals to 3 hours. For me, treating food as fuel removed the distraction and fascination of food preparation.

Medifast says that the Medifast meals contain at least 24 vitamins and minerals and are "nutrient-dense, low-fat, low-calorie, low-glycemic meal replacements that help you lose weight by promoting a mild fat-burning state and limiting your calories" those are their words, not mine. If you've ever felt hungry for protein on Weight Watchers, this meal will really appeal.

This really works for me! Optional Daily Snack Medifast also allows an optional snack, three kosher dill pickles swoon Just order a piece of fish or a steak plain chicken would work too but is harder to find, out with a small salad and a vegetable. Medifast Off-Limit Foods During the weight loss phase, basically everything else is off limits. Liquid, Lots of Liquid Like many weight-loss programs, Medifast calls of a large liquid intake. Meal Replacements I Actually Like Eating-wise, the first weeks on Medifast were the hardest, because I was still experimenting with the various meal replacements eaten five times a day.

But I actually LIKE the shakes — especially the chocolate shakes — in the mornings made with coffee otherwise with water. At first, I made shakes in the blender with ice cubes, like a chocolate milkshake. For those who eat out a lot, you might actually save money. All website access is included, as are one-on-one consultations with weight-loss counselors.

I haven't used these. The meal replacements lean sweet- and carb-ward, heavy on pancakes and puddings and pasta to say nothing of brownies, cheese puffs, breakfast cereals, shakes and candy bars. It happened when I accidentally left the house without a meal replacement and crossed not only the three-hour mark but the five-hour mark.

For the rest of that day and the entire next day, I felt hungry, really hungry. Temptation Surprisingly, I felt little to no temptation over the holidays. We even hosted a small dessert party. Out and in, I drank lots of club soda instead of wine.

When friends invited us for dinner, I ate protein and salad and a vegetable. When it would have been awkward, I ate a couple of bites of dessert and then left the rest. Twice, though, sandwiches almost undid me, making turkey sandwiches for others after Thanksgiving, hungering for a ham sandwich with leftover Christmas ham. The Low Point A low moment occurred this past weekend. I felt "safe" with all the holiday madness gone and then hit the twenty-pound mark — I was elated!

Then something happened and I fell into a mad-sad-disappointed emotional state and found myself suddenly out of control — a leftover Christmas cookie and a homemade marshmallow were consumed in short order with zero pleasure. Small slips, maybe, but still, I was not in control.

How did I stop it? I gave myself the night off and sat down to dinner with friends, enjoying a glass of very good wine and a small, low-calorie dessert with dinner. But the next morning I got up and threw a Medifast shake into the blender: I want to get OFF Medifast and back to real food. I can't, of course, know where this story will end. A new box of Medifast arrived on Saturday. And that fat face in the mirror? When Weight Watchers works for us, when our other healthy lifestyle choices work for us, wonderful!

But when something in our lives isn't working, maybe it's time to consider a new approach. Expecting different results from the same behavior is absurd. So a fresh start is hopeful. It's not giving up, it's taking charge, even when unexpected and unhappy compromises are required.

And that, Kitchen Parade readers, is why I write this story, one I could easily have let happen in the background, no word to the wise. This go-round, I've been so lucky to get great support day in and day out. But we're not all so lucky. Are you looking for Choice?

Do you need to tell your story? I'd love to hear it Are you taking account, taking stock? Do you take hope? Thank you for taking a moment to write!

I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. Pinterest and Facebook users, "pin" and "share" with abandon, just don't copy the recipes themselves.

Fellow bloggers are welcome to repost my recipes, just write the recipe in your own words, use your own photograph, then link back to Kitchen Parade. Kitchen Parade Fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In these words, I hope, is a story of Choice and Hope and Compromise.

The Dr Phil Effect. To read comments from other readers, please scroll down. To leave your own comment, please scroll down to "Post a Comment". I went back to Medifast just this week. I have had 2 successful stints, both stopped by pregnancy.

So I said heck with the money, back to Medifast. Right now I'm done with pregnancy so I hope to take it all off and transition right this time! It is the only weight loss program I've ever been successful with, period. No doubt about it.

I think the new trends for WW are great - focus on whole eating, etc. But it just doesn't work for people like me! And it doesn't work fast like Medifast! I am a subscriber of Veggie Venture.

I was very excited to see this come through my news feed! So glad this is working for you. What I have to do is get the blood sugar back in order; loosing the weight would be nice, too. I got home tonight after a dinner with some girlfriends, and just as I as going to tell my husband I needed to change my ways, he told ME the same thing about himself.

So I took the chocolate cake I'd made Sunday across the street to the neighbors. I just started Lose It, the app that helps you track calories and exercise, which was a big stumbling block for me on WW.

So far, so good! The bar code scanner has been a revelation. I am so proud of you for a mulitide of reasons. I am grateful you shared your story. I have lost 20 pounds just counting calories but am frustrated with the other 30 remaining and am ready for it to be gone. I am considering Medi Fast. Some of us are allergic to soy and Medifast doesn't work very well in that case.

Also, I never lost much on Medifast like I did with weight watchers. Also the food is expensive and too many chemicals. I prefer real, fresh food. Congratulations on your weight loss and even more congratulations on your feeling great!

I went to Weight Watchers in , when I finally got that "Aha! I don't mind spending money, but refuse to spend it on my monthly weigh-ins. Hope things continue to go well with Medifast. I will be interested to find out how you make the transition from packaged food back to "real" food. How about doing the same thing without "meal replacements"?

I found your site when I was looking for more veggie ideas for the diet part of the fitness program that I just completed.

I don't work for them or anything - just thought it was a really great program! The whole summer thing took me by surprise. It's so important, however you can do it. But then I said that already, didn't I? I met a woman at a cookie swap i December, she'd lost something like 40 pounds with My Fitness Pal, just tracking calories. For her, the tracking made all the difference.

I haven't forgotten telling you, back in July, that I was thinking about it I told you before I'd really even told myself, haha. I prefer fresh, real food too. I think of it as my 'reward' - not in the way you get a cookie as a reward but that as long as I can get to a healthy weight and stay there, then my love affair with real food can continue I made the mistake of not continuing to weigh in with WW once I lost the weight more than 10 years ago now.

It won't happen again. I'm just trying to not veer off on my own path quite yet. Because I've definitely learned some good things from Medifast, things I'll want to continue.

Thanks for the referral too, I'll check into it! I make everything from scratch, so get to make the things I love to eat, but I find as I age I need to eat less to stay in a healthy weight range; consciously moving more helps too.

I hope you will find the balance that works for you once you have transitioned back to food. Once you are happy you are in a weight range that suits you, please be kind to yourself and do something immediately to remedy the situation should the scales start upwards or your clothes get tighter, so that you don't have to resort to expensive, processed diet food ever again. Alanna, Good on your for taking charge of your health!

I told you it looks like you're aging backwards in that photo-weight loss and daily vigorous exercise sure shine almost as much as your smile.

I am not trying to lose weight, only to get on my Reformer in the basement at least 3 times a week, but when a bunch of friends were trying and told me about myfitnesspal I did that. For me, though, cooking new recipes from scratch all the time, it was more of a pain in the bum to type in each recipe than the reward of seeing the calorie count would have been. I have no suggestions for you in that area.

So I will say that having some sort of goal a wedding, a half marathon is probably a good motivator. I don't know--still icy on the sidewalks so I'm not going to take the pup out for a 10 mile training walk this morning.

Three miles will have to do. I'm so proud of you! Also, I can't go on something that eventually I have to "go off of". I am learning moderation, portion control, all the things I need to work out in "real life.

I love to cook, love to try WW recipies, and my family doesn't even know. I am staying right here, and have now kept my weight off for 6 months, even during the holidays. Alanna you look wonderful! My husband and I went on Medifast a few years ago through a nurse at a hospital who guided us.

We had to check in with her every week. We lost a lot of weight, felt and looked great. I agree with many of your observations Of course, once we got "off" it we managed to regain much of it. That is not the fault of MF, but our bad habits returning. I am now WW'g with a friend Thanks for your honest sharing. You are indeed a blessing. I actually started low-carb whole food a few weeks ago and have felt really great. I used to do Weight Watchers, and I did it faithfully, but it just didn't work for me.

I mean, it's one of the most highly recommended and highly statistically successful programs. I know people who have lost pounds and inches and sizes. But for me, it wasn't right; my weight and size remained stagnant.

It took a bit to realize that I didn't have to fit in with all those statistics. Good on you for branching out and finding a different path to health.

In the past I had lost quite a bit of weight by basically learning about food portions and making sure I didn't overdo any certain type of food. And I worked out. But once I went off program I gained all that weight back -- and another pounds on top of it.

TSFL is a division of Medifast that comes with all sorts of free support and education that makes transitioning back to whole foods safe and easy. It helps you retrain your brain so you don't go back to the unhealthy habits you had before. It's more about creating health for life hence its name than about losing weight as a short-term goal. I started Oct 2 and as of this posting I've lost 55 pounds.

I think I safely fall into the category of "results not typical". It's amazing how great I feel -- how much energy I have, how my cravings have gone away, how I've broken my addictions from sugar and carbs, how I'm sleeping better Ive lost weight before, but nothing like this. Nothing this fast or easy. That's worth a lot to me. A few thoughts on some of the objections: I wasn't excited about dehydrated food, either.

But do you realize how much processed foods most of us use anyway?? Unless you're making your own breads, pastas, yogurts, growing your own veggies and fruits, etc etc, you are definitely eating a lot of processed foods, even if it's "healthy". At least this food is formulated by doctors to be nutritionally balanced and healthy for you. I heard the price and laughed. But then I sat down and looked at how much I was spending on food: I ate a lot at my work's cafeteria or coffee bar.

The portion of our grocery bill that was stuff I wouldn't use while on Medifast was huge. Suddenly the cost looked so much more manageable. Support on this program is free, unlike other weight loss programs so I was saving those fees as well. Plus consider how much you spend on doctor co-pays, medicines, and how much you could spend ultimately in hospital and other medical bills if you don't lose the weight.

If you've spent money on failing on other plans in the past, why keep going back? The only way to know if you'll succeed on a different program is to try it. In the case of Medifast, if it's not the program for you, return your uneaten food and get most of your money back. This program does not abandon you once you've reached your goal.

It will teach you how to transition back into "real" foods again and then finally teach you how to use those real foods to keep the weight off and be healthy for life. And with TSFL -- the support is free to you for life, even if you're not using the Medifast products anymore. Not a bad deal. Some of it I won't touch again. But a lot of it is really fairly decent and some of it I downright love And then for those foods you're not so crazy about, there are all sorts of creative people out there on the internet who find ways to prepare foods in completely different ways that do make them enjoyable.

For example, unlike Alanna, I can't stand the chocolate shakes. But they make a pretty decent cupcake! I never thought that a program that provides most of your food for me would ever work. I LOVE fresh foods -- fruit in particular was hard for me to give up.

When you see results like this as quickly as this, suddenly it's not quite the sacrifice. And I know when I reach my goal I get to have those foods again. I love this journey and I love helping others reach their health goals as well. There's no better feeling than this! Good for you for taking control of this, and I say whatever works! Great job so far!! However, once I had a little success with Medifast I was motivated to keep going.

Since starting my Medifast journey I have started exercising regularly, my foot pain from plantar fasciitis is all but gone along with all my other aches and pains and I no longer get migraines regularly. I have also started tracking all my food in MyFitnessPal and I will continue to do that after I get back to eating real food to help maintain my weight loss.

Yes - Medifast is not a perfect plan and I would much rather be eating fresh food that I prepare myself, however I needed this to help jump start positive changes in my health. I wish you continued success on Medifast and your journey to better health. I like it, thank you. And you're the second person today to mention a half marathon, good for you and Mark! It really is a life-saver for so many. Six months is excellent, stay with it! Good luck with doing WW with your friend, here's to both of you!

I so get that. I'm so glad you've found something that is working for you now. We have different ideas on what's processed food and what's not processed food, but I hear you on each of your points. And I'm so glad you brought up the long-term support, that was new to me. I remember when we first knew one another and talked about the differences between Weight Watchers my way and South Beach yours. The weight isn't "melting off" me like it does for some on Medifast but still, each day when I get on the scale, each day when I feel bones I haven't felt in some years, I feel grateful.

I would've expected better of you guys. Your reasons for switching from WW to MF could have been written by me last summer. I had lost on WW, but the gained back exactly half of it, all the while attending meetings faithfully and sort of following the program. When my daughter decided to try MF last January, I was supportive of her but skeptical of the meal replacements. She did really well, so I decided I would give it a try.

I decided to commit to 2 months and see where I was. Well, 6 months later, I am still here and down 50 lbs. It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple. I am a longtime and, fortunately, a successful -- so far -- WW member , and I read you for inspiration and recipes.

I wish you nothing but the best with this and hope you will update us in your "journey. Meanwhile, keep on cookin' with Medifast. I'm glad you found a plan that works for you at this time.

Thank you for your honesty and courage to write about your switch. Keep up your success. Looks like you don't have too much farther to go! My story is that 11 years ago I lost 40 pounds in about two months.

It was too much too fast, but I was "ready", as you say, to just get rid of the weight. I dieted and exercised the heck out of every day--eating very little. After losing the weight I felt better and ate normal, healthy meals. Over the last five years I have gained about 15 pounds. This article will explain: If I want to swap points, how exactly do I do this in my Weight Watchers account? How many FitPoints do different activities earn? FitPoints is Weight Watchers' rating system for physical activity.

The more you move, the more FitPoints you earn, which allows you to eat a little more. Think of FitPoints as activity points , which is what WW used to call them. You earn FitPoints with exercise. It's called "eating your FitPoints" because swapping your FitPoints for SmartPoints increases the amount of food you can eat each day on Weight Watchers.

The choice comes down to this: If you swap your FitPoints for extra SmartPoints, you'll make the WW program easier to live with, as your increased SmartPoints allotment will allow you to eat more. You will have to decide which tactic feels right for you. You'll have to adjust your Weight Watchers account default settings in order to make this happen. Don't worry -- we'll show you exactly how to do this in a moment.

Shake things up with this dietitian-designed plan which requires almost no cooking to jump-start your weight loss. When you've reached your goal weight, then return to Weight Watchers for maintenance. Works best for singles and empty-nesters who don't have to do a lot of family cooking. You can exchange your daily FitPoints for SmartPoints on a one-for-one basis, which means you can eat a bit more each day if you're active. To swap your FitPoints for increased SmartPoints, you must change the default settings in your Weight Watchers account.

See image below for details. Each member is assigned a numerical FitPoints Goal for the week. Since you earn FitPoints with physical activity of any kind, the concept is that Weight Watchers is trying to encourage you to be more active. Weight Watchers hopes that you will strive to meet this goal. After you meet it consistently, they will raise the goal, a little at a time.

When you first sign up, you'll be asked a number of questions. The good folks at Weight Watchers decide your initial weekly FitPoints Goal number, based on your age, gender, weight, and activity level. You could be doing aerobics, or you could just be walking to work, waging war against bathroom soap scum, or dancing your heart out at a party.

You just have to keep track of the amount of time you engaged in the activity, and the intensity level low, moderate, or high of the activity. You're not sweating from the activity, or breathing more rapidly than normal. You're breathing more rapidly than normal, but not out of breath not winded. You are able to converse but not able to sing while performing the activity. You can't converse normally while performing this activity, but can only utter short phrases. Weight Watchers Research Dept.

You can contact Jenny Craig by going to their website at http: You can also call for immediate assistance. Jenny Craig guarantees that their clients will lose an average of pounds while in on their weight loss program. The most common complaint of clients who have reviewed Jenny Craig is regaining weight when the client ends their participation in the program.

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.

Do Not Send Email Notifications. If you order online, the cost is ridiculous even though I can afford it. You must have a huge freezer capacity if you have others in your household. I am very disappointed. Although their food is good, they are often out of the items you prefer. I woild like to know what the cost is per week for Jenny Craig and the cost of the food. There are planned and personalized week, so it varied. The foods are delicious: Then at halfway we start doing 2 days on our own.

I would like to know the cost of the program and the price of the food for a week on this program. I am a member of Jenny Craig. I joined about a month ago. I will probably stop buying the food completely within the next weeks.

What are some bad warnings about the diet? These consultants are just sales people who want your money. I was a consultant not a salesperson, I did care and that is why I quit. Much better options for sustained weight loss.

Just joined Jenny Craig this week the snack are nice but things I have always avoided eg twisties, lunches feel very unhealthy like a pie and a sausage roll — things I would never buy for lunch.

Thank goodness I have only signed for a 2 week trial. I tried Jenny Craig in the past and had wonderful success. The thing I like about this is it is never designed to keep you on their food, as you los3 weight your coach you get a coach who helps you and motivates you; once per week helps you learn to make better food choices.

Some of the programs can be expensive, but there are options for those on extreme budgets, such as myself. I also like that they promote not only food, but exercise; lets face it if you want to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner you need to exercise. Another benefit they have overall all the other programs…they are the only one who is recommended by the American Heart Association. Keep in mind; if budget is an issue, the foods you chose plays a role in the price.

Also, they can work with you for example: If you are willing to do the work, but just need help getting started this is the program for you. I am at my 9th week at jenny craig and i have lost 12 pounds. It gets boring after awhile of eating the same frozen foods. I started the program four weeks ago and was talked into taking the extended plan instead of the 20 for Should have tkaed the 20 for The food has an adverse affect on my system so I have been living on gas-x and tagamet for a week.

Not A Good Deal. They should offer an intro plan to see if you can tolerate the food. Of course no mention of this was ever mentioned at the one on ones as a complaint from any clients But i have heard the same complants on my own.

Though I initially lost the weight with the program, I found that the transition part of the program failed badly. I used the same guidelines, and everything, but the pounds slowly came back on. I never reached my goal weight either.

I will say that their food is very good. My cooking is reasonably healthy on its own. I am disabled and cant get in. Also i was a member a couple of years ago, and i cant get my food discounted now.

I would be re joining now if i can afford food. For more information, see our full Advertising Disclosure. Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Burn TS. Need Help Finding a Diet? How many pounds do you want to lose? Please Select Less than 10 10 to 15 More than Please Select less than 4 times a month 1 - 2 times a week 3 or more times a week.

Please Select 18 - 24 years old 25 - 34 years old 35 - 44 years old 45 - 54 years old 55 - 64 years old 65 - 74 years old 75 years or older. How much support do you have at home? Please Select A lot A little Almost none. What makes it hard to lose weight? Please Select Eating too much at meals Comforting myself with food Unhealthy food at home Food just tastes so good Snacking Eating out. Click here to get your sample of our powerful fat burner today. You can purchase the Jenni Craig program from their website at http: You should follow the food or meal plan that is created for you on the program.

Have you tried this product? It may not be right for y Sarah Verified User. Price of the product. Price of the program. Why doesn't Jenny Craig help?

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