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What I Ate Today: The meals are exactly like the regular diet meals that not offer good taste. Both programs have special offers. Nutrisystem has no walk-in locations but provides optional online and phone support at no additional charge. Food Storage Almost all the meals offered by Nutrisystem are shelf stable.
Differences Between Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig
Here is a list of similarities and differences between the two programs. How good do foods from these two diets taste?
For diet food, they are both good. None of them tastes terrifically well. Consumer Reports asked experienced taste testers to sample 65 products from these two diets. While Jenny Craig slightly edged out Nutrisystem in terms of taste, the difference was not significant. For those who have busy lifestyles or who hate cooking, this option makes it easy to control portions and get daily nutrition requirements.
In both plans, you eat 6 times a day. Jenny Craig has over 80 entrees and snacks, while Nutrisystem has over menu options. Both plans include vegetarian meal plan options.
Nutrisystem also has Silver plans for older men and women. Since both plans control your nutrition for you, weight loss can be expected if you follow the plan.
Both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem claim to help you lose 1 or 2 pounds per week. Both programs have special offers. Currently, Jenny Craig gives you the first month of your annual membership for free. Occasionally, you can find a promo code for Nutrisystem. Both programs boast published studies in scientific journals that prove their effectiveness. Nutrisystem will refund your first order if you are not satisfied with the program, and you let them know within 14 days of your purchase.
Unlike Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem offers a gourmet fresh food option. This chef-inspired cuisine is known as Nutrisystem Select program. Jason Alexander joined the group, too, at the beginning of this year. And now we know.
We joined both programs, obtained menus, and ordered foods. Our tests of a week's worth of food from the companies found that when it came to taste, Jenny Craig edged out Nutrisystem.
But not by a large margin: Jenny Craig's food scored in the high end of the Good range compared with the low end of Good for its rival. To our taste testers, "good" means OK but not great. Our bottom line for taste is that the plans might be worth trying if you're willing to stick with their branded foods. But you can achieve the same portion control with diet meals and entrées from the supermarket freezer case that may be tastier.
We didn't test Weight Watchers foods because they're not a required part of the program and anyone can buy them in grocery stores. Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem give you meal plans that include their branded foods. The programs have websites where you can track your progress, get tips for diet and exercise, and interact with trained consultants and fellow dieters.
With Jenny Craig, you pay a program fee that entitles you to weekly one-on-one counseling by telephone or at a walk-in center. If you want to continue after your initial program runs out whether or not you've lost the weight , you pay an additional fee. You can pick up your food at the center or have it delivered to your home.
Nutrisystem has no walk-in locations but provides optional online and phone support at no additional charge. Food is delivered to your home. It's the company's most popular option; all of the plan's meals are shelf-stable, which means they don't require refrigeration. The meals were a mixture of frozen and shelf-stable items. We didn't evaluate the cost of the home-supplied items on the plans' menus. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to.
These programs might appeal to people who have trouble with meal planning, have limited time and skill for cooking at home, struggle with portion control, or feel they might benefit from community support and counseling. If you don't like the restricted choice of the programs, you can devise a homemade version using frozen diet meals from the supermarket.
Two experienced sensory testers tasted, in total, 32 Jenny Craig products and 27 Nutrisystem Basic products. Where possible, we chose similar items. We also conducted a side test of six frozen entrées from Nutrisystem's more expensive Select line. The products were tasted in random order within categories—breakfasts with breakfasts, snacks with snacks, and so on.