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Jenny Craig Vs. Weight Watchers

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Jenny Craig Vs. Weight Watchers
Fruits in a heart-shape bowl. Photo Credit franny-anne/iStock/Getty Images

With the sheer number of diet plans available to those looking to shed a few pounds, it's no wonder that one might get confused as to which plan offers what, the costs and the different diet options. Comparing diet plans like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers can give you a better idea of which plan you feel you'd be most successful with. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers have similar philosophies, but very different methods, so choose wisely.

Target Dieter

Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig diet plans have a specific dieter in mind that will be the most successful on the plans. With Weight Watchers, the target dieter is someone who needs a more moderately priced way to lose weight, paired with the comfort and support of a large group to stay motivated. With Jenny Craig, dieters who will do best are those who want to lose weight without making special foods or counting calories. A one-on-one counselor provides support for someone who needs a more personalized plan.


Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig seek to assist dieters with healthy weight loss through cutting calories. Jenny Craig offers prepackaged foods for dieters to eat, so that they don't need to concern themselves with counting the calories. Weight Watchers offers a points system, giving each member an allotted amount of points per day based on the dieter's weight, and assigning each food a points value according to the fat, calories and fiber content of each food.

Food Choices

Each plan offers a variety of food choices to keep dieters on track and satisfied. Jenny Craig has prepackaged meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some snacks. Dieters can expect to enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and pasta. Weight Watchers, while offering prepackaged foods, uses the points values to allow dieters to eat anything they want while still staying within their daily allowance, so it might be a better fit for those who have favorite foods that they don't want to give up.


Dieters have to expend effort on either plan. In a Weight Watchers plan, a good deal of effort goes toward calculating points and making sure that you constantly are under your daily allowance. A food journal may be helpful for this purpose. There are also weekly meetings and weigh-ins to attend. Jenny Craig users mostly just eat the food that is delivered to them, but they will still need to meet with their counselors, and once they leave the plan, learn more about counting calories to maintain their weight loss.


Both the Jenny Craig program and Weight Watchers are considered costly, according to U.S. News and Health Report. Jenny Craig requires an initial registration fee, followed by weekly payments for prepackaged food. Weight Watchers gives you the option of paying for unlimited monthly meetings or paying per meeting for only the meetings you attend. You also have the option you purchase access to the online program exclusively.

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