Monday, June 02, 2008

Jenny, Jenny, Who Can I Turn To?

Have you called Jenny, yet?

Y'all know I'm anti-diet, so why am I asking? Last night, I considered calling Jenny myself. I wanted to know about this diet (which bills itself not as a diet, but as a "weight-loss program"), just as I have about others, in order to write with journalistic integrity, unbiased by my predetermined ideas (remember my Medifast blast?) But, I can't do it--as you might recall, my Zone Chefs experience was atrocious, and I'm not willing to give a diet (even by another name, even for the sake of research, even for only a week) another shot. But, more and more, I'm hearing people turn to Jenny--whether it's a good program or the company has great marketing, I'm unclear--now, even the big and beautiful Queen Latifah's on board!

So, my questions for those of you who have tried Jenny Craig are:

1) Did you like it?
2) How was the food?
3) Did you feel hungry on the program?
4) Did you lose weight?
5) If you stopped, why did you stop?
6) If you stopped, what happened to your weight?


cggirl said...

Kate harding gives an extensive account of her experiences with it.
Including how she was asked TWICE to be in the before and after ads, both times she did it. Ya. nobody wondered if it works so well why did she have to do it AGAIN?

Check it out on her blog

Can't find the exact post right now but u can search her blog for jenny craig...

azusmom said...

I tried it a couple of years ago. The food is OK, but not great. There are an awful lot of low-calorie but not-so-healthy things. The fact is, I was eating better (and much more healthfully) before I started. There's a lot of sugar, hfcs, refined grains, etc.

I got tired of packaged food, and would look on longingly as my family ate the good, hearty, healthy stuff I'd prepared for them from scratch.
The main thing, though, was that I decided to do it by phone. They took my stats, asked how much I wanted to lose, and gave me the plan. No one asked if NEEDED to lose the weight (which, it turns out, I didn't), or if I had any medical conditions (beyond pregnancy or breastfeeding), or a history of eating disorders (which I do).
I lost a few pounds the first couple of weeks, then maintained for a week. The consultant then proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions, so "we can figure out what went wrong." Well, what was "wrong" was the fact that I didn't need to lose any weight! In fact, I had a few weeks left on the program, did not lose any more weight, and decided to lie. Yup. I LIED to my consultant and told her about the pounds that were just dropping off, because I didn't want another lecture.
Sorry about the length of this. I just have some pretty strong feelings about these commercial weight loss programs (obviously,lol!).

KathyR said...

1) Which time? LOL.
2) Better than Nutrisystem. Which isn't saying much.
3) God, yes.
4) Yes.
5) Bored with the same tiny selections. Hungry. Rebellious.
6) Fat as I wanna be.

ps22 said...

Here goes nothing! Though i am not sure i am the best person to answer because I don't consider myself to be "on the program."

I currently work A LOT, and for the time being, that is not going to change. Given my schedule, I was finding that it was difficult to maintain a proper eating regimen. My energy and weight were fluctuating, and I was worried about my health. I didn't have time to grocery shop regularly, so I was often eating out which was expensive and it just got boring for me. A few women that i work with joined JC for purposes of weight loss, and i couldn't help but notice their food. It looked balanced (fishes, meats, pastas, chicken, snacks, breakfasts) and appetizing. So i decided to join to get access to the food. I was upfront with them when I joined that my intent was for balance, and that i would continue to eat out with a certain amount of frequency (living in NYC, I am NOT giving up my restaurant experiences which provide me with artistic enjoyment and social interaction).

Pros: I do enjoy the food. I primarily eat their meals for breakfast and lunch and a few dinners from M-Fri. Before I would be noshing on a health bar for breakfast and over-priced salad or sandwich for lunch. Now I have balanced, regular meals with variety and snacks, and add veggies/fruit like they suggest so I'm eating throughout the day. Yes, the portions are a bit smaller but I've been fine, but I also maximize the veggies/salad that one should have in addition. And the times I'm still hungry, I just eat something else that I enjoy. I see Jenny as a pseudo-personal chef because i can't afford one. And I still go out, though now I am back to enjoying the times that i do because its out of enjoyment rather than necessity.

Weight loss: Yes, i have lost a little weight. I only know this because they do require that you be in the program and do the check-ins which is sorta lame. I've lost I think about 5-6 pounds over the month or so, not the drastic experience that I know some people get. But again, I am doing it for health maintenance and wellness, so I am cool with that. And l don't follow their program strictly. I eat out, and only eat their food when i want to.

The cons:
Though i generally eat their food only M-Fri, i do have concerns for the amount of processed food i am eating. However, as i see it, right now i just don't have time to cook and buy more fresh stuff. So anything I eating from Jenny is better than what i would be eating otherwise. For me, my baseline is to be a balanced eater, and if I had time, I would cook similar food and eat about the same portions if I were not on Jenny. But i imagine that for someone who finds Jenny to be a drastic shift from their regular eating habits, it would be very difficult to transition off of their food.

Side note: The thing i have noticed, more than anything, is how other people have reacted to me being "on Jenny". I don't go advertise it, but I don't hide it. Despite my repeated explanation to people what i am doing it for, everyone has something to say. Either they comment about dieting (though clearly my setup isn't really dieting), that I don't "look like someone who needs to be on Jenny", or continually check in to see how my "jenny is going." And even sadder, some people see me on it at my size and wonder aloud if they should be on it too even though they don't need to be and despite my explanation about what I use it for. People seem to have a much stronger reaction to me being on Jenny that I do.

Sorry for the long post!

MB said...

1) Did you like it?

I liked losing the weight but hated having to get measured and weighed every week.

2) How was the food?

Some of it was good and some was awful. I hear the food is beter now - I did it about 15 years ago.

3) Did you feel hungry on the program?

Not for lack of food but I was hungry for foods not on the plan.

4) Did you lose weight?

Yeah, I lost over 60 pounds.

5) If you stopped, why did you stop?

I got sick of eating all that pre-packaged stuff and not being able to go out to a restaurant.

6) If you stopped, what happened to your weight?

Typically, I regained it all plus 30 more.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother pushed me into doing Jenny Craig about 13-14 years ago.

I went along with it, because I was convinced that, at about a size 18, I was beyond huge, and unless I lost weight, all the positive male attention I was getting was going to dry up. (I was 21, cute, and easy. Of course it wasn't going to dry up! Silly me.)

The food? Eh. It was bland and mostly had flavors I didn't care for. (I remember with particular distaste the pasta sauce.) I'd choose the Mac & Cheese menu day as often as they'd let me, because it was the one day that didn't have anything I didn't like.

I missed being able to eat with my friends, because I would have some dull, minuscule freezer food, while they were eating fresh, tasty food.

I remember hating it that if I wanted to drink at the weekly BBS get-together, I couldn't have whatever sweet thing was in my daily menu for a few days.

As for the weekly sessions - I *did* start using the phrase "Forgive me, Jenny, for I have sinned."

I lost a fair amount of weight. Enough that someone who hadn't seen me in a few months asked if I'd been sick, because I was so much thinner.

I think I went from about 190-200ish to 175. Five years later, I was about 280. So yeah, it all came back, several times over.

Anonymous said...

I feel that Queen Latifah is a sell-out.

Deborah said...

Just join Weight Watchers, or do something similar. Weight-loss mode is dress rehearsal for maintenance, and if you don't learn to eat right while losing, how are you going to eat right once you get to goal?

Anonymous said...

1) Did you like it?

I was a kid at the time. It was my mom's suggestion.

2) How was the food?

Horrible. Packaged food does not make for a good meal. There was nothing appealing for a kid.

3) Did you feel hungry on the program?

Yes, the whole time.

4) Did you lose weight?

Nope. My mom took me off the program, because I went to bed hungry every night.

5) If you stopped, why did you stop?

See four.

6) If you stopped, what happened to your weight?

I've just stayed fat and accepted it.

Milla said...

I was on Jenny too...
This is Milla from Fashion Sanity (
Found you at Shapely Prose...
I did lose weight...BUT
I had a bulimia/anorexia relapse because of the weekly weight ins so I added to Jenny's Food:
1) Ex-Lax
2) 7-8 hours of dancing +swimming a day. At the time I was uhhh dancing for a living.
3) Effedra... Lots of it.
I lost 60 or so pounds in less than 3 months.
The counselors were ecstatic about the effectiveness of the program.HA.

I thought it was OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive and the food tasted like behind.
Specially the "yogurt" and the salad dressing and I was constantly hungry and deprived. The only way to take the edge off was the ephedra.
I quit because a) I reached my "goal weight" in 3 months with my "Jenny Plus" method and b) I could no longer afford it.

Within 3 months I had regained 20 pounds.
Within 2 years I had regained 80 more and hit my heaviest weight.

It took me quitting dieting completely, embracing HAES and 11 years to get to my natural weight and size and for my body to have normal metabolism.
I have not weighted myself in 5 years. I have been a stable size 18W for about 6.

Milla said...

I forgot to say Dana ( Latifah) jumped on board in exchange for Jenny sponsoring her tour.
She (Uncle Tom-ed) sold us out..

hope505 said...

...Weight-loss mode is dress rehearsal for maintenance...

oh good, because I'm so looking forward to "dieting" for the rest of my life...