Nutrisystem vs Jenny Craig – Comparison of Taste, Menu, Cost and Other Factors

Not being able to find the perfect diet plan for you? You are not the only one; while the market may be flooded with promising diet programs, finding one that will work is similar to looking for a needle in a haystack. Every new diet that is launched makes tall promises but the majority of these do not live up to their claims. Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig are two popular diet planners that seemed to have struck a chord with dieters.

Both Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig have been around for a while now which goes to prove that they are credible and worth considering. These aim to provide diet meals to your home so that you can lose weight without harming your body. In doing so, they have come out with an impressive variety of meal and snack options. They believe that consuming low-calorie and portion-controlled meals can help you lose the extra pounds faster. Both Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig may offer diet meals but they also encourage their members to supplement these packaged meals with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Differences between Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig:

FactorsNutrisystemJenny Craig
Meal PlansDieters can choose from 8 packages, including Basic, Core, Uniquely Yours, Uniquely Yours Ultimate, and plans for diabetics, vegetarians, and seniors. Dieters can choose from 3 packages; Simple, Complete, and Essential.
Affordable planBasic plans are least expensive and offer shelf-stable foods. But with the others, you can choose from either shelf-stable or frozen gourmet meals.Simple plan is the least expensive and offers limited menu options. Complete and Essential Plans are progressively costlier with more menus, better support, and additional snacks.
Number of Meals Nutrisystem encourages you to eat 6 small meals a day, including 3 snacks.Jenny Craig offers 3 meals and 2 snacks every day and you add grocery items that you shop on your own.
VarietyNutrisystem offers more than 170 menu options when you sign up for their Uniquely Yours plans. It therefore offers a much greater flexibility for dieters.Jenny Craig offers about 100 menu options for you to choose from; so, their variety is slightly restricted.
Costs Nutrisystem is found to be slightly more cost-friendly, starting from $257 every month to about $418 when you use an auto-delivery option. Daily costs are approximately $10.Jenny Craig plans cost around $390-$675 every month. Daily costs are about $15.
CoachingIf you need advice or support for plans and diet plans, you can reach out to their customer care services through chats, emails, or phone calls.You will be assigned a dedicated counselor offering one-on-one coaching when you need it.
Flexibility All snacks and meals are prepared by chefs. Nutrisystem offers many Flex meal options where you can shop for groceries and prepare your own choice of meals about 4 times every month. Since there are more than 160 options to consider, you will not get bored of eating the same diet meal again and again.Jenny Craig meals are designed to cater to your individual needs. Choices are fewer than Nutrisystem but meals are prepared by chefs that use premium ingredients.
Support You can get support from its active online community which allows you to interact with fellow dieters and certified diet experts.You can find individual coaching services which help you stay on track. But this is accessible only when you opt for the most expensive meal plan. 
You can order for meals on their official website. Their customer support lets you get in touch with diet experts like certified diabetics counselors to help you with your weight loss goals. You can speak to these professionals any time you want to.You can order for meals on their website but there are about 600 physical outlets worldwide. You can visit these for coaching but these consultants may not have formal training/credentials.
Enrollment feesNutrisystem will not charge you anything for signing up on their official website.Jenny Craig charges its members a $99 enrollment fee.
Specialized PlansNutrisystem offers specialized plans for people having dietary issues. So, you will find separate plans for vegetarians, diabetics, and seniors.Jenny Craig has 3 main types of plans but not as wide a selection of specialty plans as Nutrisystem.
Promotions Nutrisystem offers exciting promotions and discounts when you choose their auto-delivery option. You can enjoy free FedEx shipping and BOGO sales.Jenny Craig offers Max Up program that fetches big savings.
Sustainability Nutrisystem meal plans teach you how to choose the right kind of foods and develop healthy eating habits. This makes it sustainable in the long run.Jenny Craig meals may be tasty and nutritious but the program is expensive and not sustainable in the long run.
Ease-of-useNutrisystem meals are easy to store; most of them are shelf-stable foods. So, their meal plans work rather well for people who may need to travel a lot or don’t have access to microwaves and freezers.Jenny Craig meals are typically frozen and must be stored chilled. They have to be reheated before eating. This makes their meals not very helpful for people on-the-go.
Processed foodsNutrisystem does not use processed foods unlike what people think. There are as many as 120 menu options containing zero artificial preservatives. Their diet meals do not have artificial flavoring and are devoid of artificial sweeteners. Nutrisystem foods lack MSG or monosodium glutamate, saccharin, or aspartame. The additives used are potassium sorbate, BHT, sodium benzoate, etc which conform to FDA criteria.Most Jenny Craig frozen meals use processed foods that are likely to be high in salt content. Some meals even have unhealthy ingredients like white bread, bacon, or sugar. There are no allergy-safe choices for dieters and eating out is not an option.

If you look at these points of difference between Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig meal plans you will see why Nutrisystem is a safer and more affordable option. Its choices of meals are better than any of its competitors and the program focuses on helping you make the right dietary choices. Its sustainability, customizability, and affordability are what make Nutrisystem a preferred choice for most dieters.

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Amna Sheikh is a medical doctor with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelors in Economics and Statistics.  She is also a medical writer working as a freelancer for 10+ years and she is specialized in medical, health, and pharmaceutical writing, regulatory writing & clinical research. All her work is supported by a strong academic and professional experience.

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