July 17, 2012

Weight loss: Jenny Craig

Why Jenny Craig?
I chose Jenny Craig mostly because I am lazy. The program takes all the thinking out of the equation for me. The menu is set, some of the food is provided (which you pay for), all I have to do is follow the plan.

Once a week you visit your consultant to be weighed, talk about your week, and buy your food for the next week. Each week the menu changes and there is so much variety there is no chance to get bored.

The best offering is the Platinum membership. You can restart the program any time within 7 years - so if you have a baby you could go back to lose the baby weight - and you are monitored for the year after reaching your goal weight. This monitoring is a monthly visit which includes a weigh in to ensure that you are sticking to what you have learnt and have integrated the principles into your everyday life.

At my first meeting the consultant told me it would take me 33 weeks to lose the weight I want to. I cried. That's less than a year!

My First Week
Eating to the menu does take more forward thinking than I am used to. In addition to the Jenny Craig food I buy staples like bread, milk, yoghurt, fruit and vegetables from the supermarket. The additional food equals what I was paying for food previously but probably saves me money as I spent extra on junk food and takeaways. All of that food still manages to fit in the tiny freezer above my fridge.

Each night I organise my meals for the next day. This involves making a big salad and assembling the rest of the food to take to work. Most mornings I had toast before leaving the house then a more substantial breakfast at work. Each of the meals are so large I tended to have two lunches and two dinners as well.

At the end of the week I had my second weigh in. I thought I would lose several kgs, this is what normally happens to me when I start a weight loss program. I gained 100 grams.

Am I hormonal? No.
Have I eaten off program? No.
Have I had bowel movements? (Ew) Yes.
Am I on any medication that causes weight gain? It turns out, yes. But I have lost weight on this medication before with no problems (and I don't want to change my medication unless it stops working for me).

I was (understandably) upset. My consultant called in another consultant who had clients with the same problem. Sometimes it takes the body a while to adjust. I was eating more than I had been. It may be reflective of the week before I started the program.

This was not the start I had expected and certainly not what I wanted. Had I not been doing these posts I would have quit (in addition to being lazy, I am a quitter). But I will continue and hope that next week brings better things.

Keep reading and here's hoping that you'll be seeing less of me next time.

Price: Food - around $170/week. Membership - varies (talk to your nearest office) or the Dame Edna Special is $99 for 3 months membership.

Special thanks to: Ian Tilley Photography, Jenny Craig


  1. Did you regularly have two lunches and two dinners before? Even though you may be eating a better set (be it less, or healthier or both!) of calories than before, sometimes the whole "six meals a day kicks the metabolism into uber-burn mode" thing doesn't ring true to everyone. Apparently that is more of the misinterpreted scientific guff that the weight loss fraternity has adopted as gospel. I know more meals doesn't work for me, a few months back I changed my habits to be 6 meals a day after just 1 or 2, I even dropped the calorie level... and I gained 6kg very quickly. As an experiment, the other week I've changed back to 3 or 4 meals, and upped the calories again, and I'm losing at a satisfactory rate now.

    Besides, I believe any loss or gain in the first week of a new eating plan is to be ignored! Think of a speeding train hurtling down the track, it can't immediately magically switch to go in reverse at the same speed, it has to slow down then switch to reverse, then get back up to speed - if it can indeed go at the same speed backwards as it did forwards.

    **I am not a professional, just personal observations!

  2. How frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be really interested to see what happens this week.
    Do they encourage you to exercise? Give you any sort of exercise programme?
    Do you know what sort of qualifications there consultants have?

  3. I am eating a lot more than I was before. There is too much food for me to eat in one sitting for each meal. Perhaps you are right and my body does not like eating so often. My consultant said that 100gms doesn't count as a gain, but it counted to me.
    As it was my first week my consultant said to focus on the food. So, no, I didn't exercise much. They recommend half an hour three times a week.
    I have no idea what qualifications the consultants have, it never occurred to me to ask. I know that the few I have met are on the program. I found it comforting that they weren't terribly skinny. I will ask about qualifications and post a reply.

  4. I just found your blog, and I too started the Jenny Craig program last week - my first weigh in is tomorrow.
    If things don't go any better for you at your next weigh then I would try some gentle exercise and so if that makes a difference.
    Best of luck to you!

  5. I been with Jenny Craig for last 6 weeks and I already lost 7 kilos. I followed the diet plan and didn't do much exercise. It helps a lot.

  6. I see so much visual Jenny Craig food advertising on TV lately. Unfortunately I've had bariatric surgery whereby it's a high protein low carb diet for the rest of your life. So one of my medications has a side effect of craving carbohydrates in which that is why I have put on 30kg in which I take responsibility for. So to the point "Why does Jenny Craigs have way too many carbohydrates per meal?".