Jenny Craig is a very popular weight loss program which was founded in February 1985 in Australia. Since the very first days of the system being available to the general public, the company has rapidly expanded internationally – with offices and centers in most westernized countries across the globe.
The Jenny Craig weight loss program utilizes 3 main factors in an effort to redirect participants on the road to fat reduction. These are as follows:
Nutrition + Activity + Counseling.
By combining each of these elements into a weekly plan, participants are able to control their diet and exercise levels personally, whilst receiving ongoing support from a company representative. In the initial consultation – a target weight is set, which is constantly referred to during the course of the program. Regular “weighin’s” are conducted to assess whether an individual is on track to achieve their desired weight – and when they should expect this to happen.
This method seems to be appropriate and productive, however the Jenny Craig weight loss system certainly has its drawbacks. The first, and potentially the most dire of these is that the “counselors” employed by the company are actually not trained weight loss practitioners. In recent times, controversy has been rife as people have discovered that almost all of the “professionals” conducting counseling sessions are actually just ordinary individuals with a moderate level of training from the Jenny Craig center itself.
Therefore, the company is able to heavily skew its advice to further promote the Jenny Craig brand, and the accompanying products.
Active & Branded Food Replacement
The Jenny Craig weight loss system is fundamentally based upon a “meal replacement” ideology. By substituting “normal” foods for healthier alternatives, participants are said to be able to restrict their calorie intake whilst maximizing their calorie expenditure.
Unfortunately, this is done with a branded (and once again, a skewed) objective. People on the Jenny Craig program are required to purchase pre-made and pre-manufactured foods solely from the company – creating somewhat of a conflict of interest when it comes to revenue and profits.
Additionally, these foods attract a heavy premium to supermarket foods which are almost identical in terms of nutritional makeup.
Unlimited Program Participation / Length
Whilst the advertising at Jenny Craig promotes 12 and 24 week participation lengths, in reality the effect of the combined counseling techniques often succeed in extending the program well past these headline time scales. Whether or not this is a function of the individuals’ continued desire to see weight loss results, or the result of the in house counselor training is yet to be determined.
What is clear however, is that a heavy dependence is placed on the Jenny Craig program, and hence numerous reports and testimonials show that participants often feel obligated to continue their efforts with Jenny Craig to ensure that results are maintained.