Medifast vs Jenny Craig Diet

January 27, 2012


Medifast and the Jenny Craig Diet are among the most popular diet plans in the market today. Since their inception in the early 1980’s they have carved an enviable reputation in the diet market. Popular with celebrities and normal people alike, they are both credited with being effective weight loss programs.
There are, however, significant differences between the 2 programs and their methods.

The Approach

The Jenny Craig Diet System places maximum emphasis on personal interaction. You are required to sign up to their program for a fee (usually about $20), and are assigned a personal instructor. One-on-one meetings are regularly held, and your instructor contacts you often through phone calls to check your progress.

There are no personal interaction plans with the Medifast program. Signing up to their website is free, and you are allowed online access to qualified health and nutrition experts, who can answer any queries you might have.
In theory, the Jenny Craig system is better for people who have the time to visit a personal counselor and require that extra motivation. However, these counselors are not trained professionals. Most of them earn a substantial portion of their incomes by selling you branded their diet products.

The Diet

The Jenny Craig Diet provides you with a range of 75 frozen foods that can be used as meal substitutes. Dieters are allowed 3 meals and 1 snack per day, and each meal must be supplemented with other recommended foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Medifast follows a 5 & 1 Diet Plan, which allows you 5 pre-packaged meals in a day, along with 1 ‘Lean & Green Meal’ that you must prepare yourself. There are about 70 low- calorie, low-fat meal replacement options offered by Medifast that have an optimal blend of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fiber, essential minerals, and special nutritional supplements. Diet plans are available for vegetarians, people of all ages, and dieters with medical conditions and allergies.

When comparing the 2 plans, it is evident that the Jenny Craig Diet is less flexible. Options are only available for teens, seniors, and people with Type 2 Diabetes. There are no vegan-friendly options, and this might not be a suitable plan for people with allergies or other medical conditions. Many products are heavily processed and are laden with salt and preservatives. (The average meal contains 2000 – 4000 mg salt). Jenny Craig meals may be low-calorie, but they can also be low on nutritional content.


The Medifast System will cost you approximately $11 per day. There are no other costs associated with this program. There is also a money back guarantee for unopened food packets, and you are allowed to exchange items on the menu.
The Jenny Craig Diet is much more expensive and may cost up to $600 per month. There are no exchanges or refunds available. You will also have to spend more money for other products such as fitness or dieting videos.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking to lose a substantial amount of weight quickly, the Medifast plan may be more suited to your needs. It offers significant advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness and the nutritional content of the meals provided.

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