A Complete Comparison For 2023
Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and Weight Watchers are some of the first weight loss programs people research in their healthy eating journey, and for a good reason.
When comparing Jenny Craig vs. Nutrisystem vs. Weight Watchers, these programs have helped many people lose weight through the years.
So, which one is best for your needs and goals? Below we explore the similarities and differences of each to help you make a more informed decision.
An Overview of Nutrisystem, WW & Jenny Craig Weight Loss Programs
- Includes prepared meals and snacks
- Has over 130 menu items available for selection
- Three plans to help you lose weight
- Convenient to follow
- Uses processed foods for its prepared meals
- Has an impressive selection of recipes
- Allows more freedom for eaters since it’s based on a points system
- Weight loss through grocery buying, meal prepping, and food tracking
- Three plans which change depending on how much guidance and support you need
- Most budget-friendly choice
- Includes five prepared meals for each day
- Offers access to a personal consultant
- Customized meal plans and exercise plans
- Calories vary depending on multiple factors
- Most expensive option of the three
Available Meal Plans To Lose Weight – How It Works?
When comparing Nutrisystem vs. Weight Watchers vs. Jenny Craig, it’s important to note that one is a meal delivery service, one helps you create your meals with balanced nutrition, and the third combines the two.
With Nutrisystem, you can select one of a few meal plans:
- Basic Plan: features meals and snacks for five days during the week.
- Uniquely Yours Plan: includes customizable meals and snacks for five days during the week, plus the option of selecting Standard Variety Restaurant Faves
- Uniquely Yours Max+ Plan: allows you to select meals and snacks for 5-7 days each week. You can also pick meals from the Premium Variety Restaurant Faves and Hearty Inspirations categories.
- Quick 9 – Get convenient shipments every two weeks for fast weight loss results – lose up to 9 pounds in your first two weeks!
As explained below, Weight Watchers does not have a particular meal plan. Instead, you create your meals based on predetermined points. Weight Watchers aims to teach you how to eat for a healthy lifestyle by establishing new habits around food selection and portions.
With Jenny Craig, you have three meal plans, so you can personalize the plan to your needs – from simple to max-up weight loss.
As you move through the program, the meals will change so that you can be more comfortable eating home-cooked meals instead of only relying on the pre-portioned options the service sends you.
Menu Options For Healthy Eating
The three weight loss programs differ in menu options since Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig provide prepared meals, but Weight Watchers do not.
Below, we explore the menu similarities and differences further.
Nutrisystem Menu Options
There are quite a few options on the menu for prepared meals from Nutrisystem. You’ll find frozen and refrigerated ready-to-eat meals that fit various diets like vegetarian, low-sodium, high-fiber, low-carb diet, etc.
You have a selection of 130+ meals and snacks, primarily American-style favorites, that you can choose for each delivery. You can find healthy meals like soups, burritos, oatmeal breakfasts, and even pizza for dinner!
Each item comes with its nutrition facts and a list of ingredients, so you know exactly what’s your food intake.
Weight Watchers Menu Options
With Weight Watchers, you can eat what you please – in moderation. There are assigned points for every food item, and you have an allotted number of points you can use daily. These points are created based on the food’s protein, calories, sugar, and fat numbers.
During signup, you’ll take a quiz to determine your daily “points balance”. Once determined, you’ll be responsible for selecting and tracking what you eat to ensure you’re within your points.
As a note, some items are considered ZeroPoint foods that are unnecessary to track. These items feature high levels of protein or fiber and low levels of sugar, so they’ll help you stay full longer (like starchy veggies and fruit).
Jenny Craig Menu Options
You can select fully prepared meals from each category (breakfast, lunch & dinner, snacks & desserts, or bars, shakes & more) for your weight loss program.
The menu is geared toward American-style meals, like oatmeal, pancakes, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. There is a focus on nutrient-dense, heart-healthy, fiber-rich ingredients in each meal and snack.
As mentioned, this plan is customized to your needs, so there is no set-in-stone meal plan.
Effectiveness For Weight Loss – How Much Weight Can You Lose?
Weight loss is typically quicker at the beginning since it’s a smaller percentage of your weight than when you weigh less.
Nutrisystem boasts a weight loss of up to 13 lbs for women and up to 18 lbs for men in the first month. After that, those following the plan can expect to lose 1-2 lbs weekly.
When following Weight Watchers, they simply note a 1-2 lb weight loss approximately per week. Jenny Craig boasts a maximum weight loss of 18 lbs in the first month. After that, most people following the plan can expect to lose 1-2 lbs weekly.
The total amount you can lose with each company varies with how long you follow the diet, as the longer you adhere to their guidelines, the more weight you’ll lose.
Each company has a different plan to assist with weight loss, which can be adjusted based on your budget. Nutrisystem has three tiers: the Basic Plan, Uniquely Yours Plan, and Uniquely Yours Max+ Plan. The Basic Plan is the most affordable, and the Uniquely Yours Max+ has the highest price (especially if you select the seven-day option). It’s also important to note that there is a cost difference between women and men for Nutrisystem’s meals. Shipping is included for each Nutrisystem delivery.
Weight Watchers has two available memberships – the Core and the Premium plans. If you select the Core option, you’ll have access to the website, app, a 24/7 coach, and a members-only network. The Premium plan also includes workshops and face-to-face meetups with other WW members.
Jenny Craig is the priciest option, though it includes five pre-packed meals each day and a personal consultant. Everything is personalized on this plan to help you better achieve your goals.
How Many Calories A Day Can You Have On Each Weight Loss Program?
According to the Nutrisystem plans, you should eat 1,200-1,500 calories daily when following this weight loss program. However, the total calories noted change based on the plan you select.
Following the Weight Watchers plan, you can expect to eat around 1500 calories daily. However, the calories each day will vary, as there are point allowances with the option to roll over points to another day.
The Jenny Craig diet has the biggest range of daily calories; 1,200 – 2,300. This number is affected by multiple factors, including your goals, sex, and activity level.
Do You Get Personal Support?
Yes, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig offer support while using their weight loss services.
If you need to speak to one of the weight loss counselors at Nutrisystem, you can simply call their 1-800-585-5483 number.
With Weight Watchers, you have access to a coach 24/7 through the app and the option to join groups, workshops, and more (depending on the membership you select).
If you follow the Jenny Craig plan, you’ll have one-on-one meetings each week with certified consultants.
Are There Any Health Risks?
Many of Nutrisystem’s weight loss program plans are based on consuming fewer calories, which may not meet the daily calorie needs of certain individuals. This can cause you to not receive the proper nutrients in your diet. Additionally, low-calorie diets can mean that weight loss is too rapid. It’s never a good idea to lose weight too quickly, as it can have short-term and long-term adverse effects.
The only potential health risks associated with the Jenny Craig diet or Nutrisystem come from food allergens since the meals come ready to eat. It’s best to consult with the company before ordering if you have any specific allergies to ensure they can accommodate your needs.
By talking to a dietician or nutritionist first, you can ensure you’re selecting a diet program that works with your body and dietary needs.
The Delivery & Shipping
Since you do not receive meals with Weight Watchers, there is no delivery or shipping to consider. You’re in charge of heading to the grocery store, calculating your points, and creating your meals.
Nutrisystem does ship boxes out every month, which does create waste. However, the company is consistently working toward more eco-friendly and sustainable options. In 2020, the company began rolling out more environmentally conscious packaging to help reduce the waste it produces. Nutrisystem ships to most states and cities in the US, as well as areas of Canada.
When ordering food from Jenny Craig, you can schedule your weekly items to arrive between Tuesday and Sunday. Depending on your zipcode, your area may not be eligible for weekend deliveries. Jenny Craig ships to most areas in the US and Canada.
To Sum It Up – Benefits & Downsides
Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers can help you lose weight and better stick to a meal plan. Weight Watchers is a great option if you prefer to cook your own meals and need freedom from a rigid diet plan. For those who are low on time and want a straightforward approach, Nutrisystem is a top choice. Those who want additional guidance will find Jenny Craig a great option.
As for the negatives of each, they can both be costly over time, especially Jenny Craig. With Nutrisystem, you’re consuming already prepared meals that can include processed ingredients. While you have more control over the food with Weight Watchers, you’re also stuck with logging every item, which can be time-consuming.
So Which is Better – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Or Nutrisystem?
Weight Watchers Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem all offer weight loss services and can be beneficial in shedding a few pounds. Each company works slightly differently. While Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem offer prepared meals, Weight Watchers help you learn how to eat independently.
The best company for weight loss depends on your needs. Jenny Craig is best for those who want an all-in-one package with one-on-one consultations, exercise plans, and customized meal plans. Nutrisystem is the most convenient option, as most of the meals are cooked for you. Weight Watchers is the most affordable option of the three.
Our Winner Is Nutrisystem!
When comparing Jenny Craig vs. Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem, the latter won in our books.
While the lower calories may not be ideal for everyone looking to lose weight, their premade meals and snacks are convenient for those with busy schedules and weight loss goals. Since you don’t have to create your own meals, you’ll have fewer temptations and more time to focus on creating an active lifestyle.
However, Weight Watchers is also a great option when looking to lose weight, especially if you want to keep the weight off long-term or have dietary restrictions that Nutrisystem doesn’t address.