June 20, 2012
A couple of months ago I was asked to try out the Jenny Craig program. Aside from a few posts on Where Are My Knees?, I didn't know much about them but I liked the idea of a pre-planned diet with an on hand consultant. Over the years I've tried everything from fad diets to meal plans and have been a member of Weight Watchers & Slimming World too many times to count so I looked forward to trying something different. Prior to starting the plan my weightloss had stalled but I had successfully maintained a 50lbs loss so I was hoping it would give me the boost to get my weightloss back on track.
Along with the box of food, I received a folder & a specially tailored pescatarian two week meal plan. I was a bit overwhelmed with how much extra food was needed; along with each Jenny Craig item other foods such as proteins and fats from a list of foods given were supposed to accompany every meal. My plan was set at 1750 calories which was higher than the calorie intake I was on and while I didn't think there was enough food for the latter part of the day, the breakfasts were insane and I usually only managed to eat the cereal & a piece of fruit.
For the sake of honesty, I didn't complete the full two weeks; I managed a week & a half so I genuinely can't comment on the effectiveness of the plan but I wasn't impressed with the options and I found the people I spoke to ill-informed & patronising. Considering the rigidity of the plan I found the lack of choice to be a problem, I can't abide mushrooms yet I received four mushroom stroganoffs. I also found it hard to fit around my lifestyle, I'm a student & as most of the meals required a microwave or boiling water, I was having to eat at weird times as going to university left me stuck. I also found that the extra foods meant I was buying more food not less.
In one of my initial phone calls I was asked for my stats and measurements and was told that to find my waist measurement I had to 'bend over to the side, it's where it goes in'... there are no words. After receiving my meal plan, I queried the high calorie intake as I was already eating below 1750 & was worried I would gain not lose. I spoke to several people & after being told numerous times that 'the calorie intake has to be lower than normal in order to lose weight' followed by a recital of the basis of the plan, I finally managed to explain that the calories were higher not lower & was greeted with a baffled explanation that the calories were worked out scientifically by a nutritionist etc. On another occasion I had a query regarding exercise only to find out that the person I had initially spoken to had disregarded the activity level I'd stated & put a lower one. At the time I was walking the 4 mile round trip to the gym as well as spending 2 hours there working out everyday & doing a weekly boxercise class, so to find out that I'd basically been called a liar was beyond offensive. My phone broke and I got a new contract & number during my second week but no one replied to my email.
I realise this review is wholly negative and I apologise but I'm not going to write a favourable review about something I was unhappy with. I still think the Jenny Craig plan combining a meal plan with a consultant is a good idea, especially for those who struggle or lack support but I think the plan would be more suited to someone who struggles with meal structure and portion size.