“Making your mind up” to get slim for summer the Jenny Craig way

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Learn nutrition, self control and portion control and how to get more motivated in your weight loss goals!

Jenny Craig is a leading weight management company in the US and was launched in the UK last year.  The programme offers a unique approach to dieting which not only helps clients lose weight, but teaches you to keep it off for good!

The plan

You get 28 days food at a time, breakfasts, x1 snack per day plus a lunch and a dinner.

There’s also a chart which shows you which meals to eat when and what you are supposed to add to your meal – eg x 1 milk with breakfast, min 1 cup of veg with dinner.

The food

Breakfast cereal/muesli perfectly portioned to keep you within a strict calorie guideline (set at your initial consultation)

Packets of lunch food – this could be soups, pasta salads which you just need to reheat for about 2 mins.   Very easily portable to the office or to a friends house if you are eating somewhere else!  No reason to break the diet!  The soups some in a really good array of flavours and they taste super yummy!  Not like diet soup at all!

A snack – there’s crisps and chocolate wafter bars – both calorie and fat controlled so you don’t miss out on something crunchy or chocolately if that is your fix you need at 3pm when you are flagging!

Dinner options –  Again, a dizzying array of choices – the dinner choice depends on what you chose at lunchtime in order to keep the macro-nutrient ratio right.  You are encouraged to have at least one cup of veg with your dinner.  Veg is free so if you are urging the need to snack – have some carrot or cucumber sticks!

The Support

What also comes with your service is a weekly check-in over the phone with one of “Jenny’s Angels”!  Your consultant will talk through how to set up the plan initially, call you weekly to get updates, find where you are doing well and/or struggling with and give you advice on dealing with trigger situations.

The good points

*Very, very tasty food made from natural ingredients, no added rubbish.  It’s as if you made it yourself from scratch – they have just packaged it into handy pouches!  Soups are thick and rich, dinners are flavoursome with good sauce content.  Thai chilli bites are particularly crispy with a nice kick!

*Excellent portion control – allows your stomach to adjust to what is a correct portion, so that when you start to put together your own meals after being on the plan – you know you will need less right away!

*Support girls are very empathetic and knowledgable, as well as being flexible when it comes to timings of calls.

*You don’t have to worry in the early days about how many calories/fat gms/salt/sugar you are eating as it is worked out for you.  You will, however, learn how to start taking into account these aspects when moving forward.

The bad points

*It’s a little punchy, price wise, for my budget.  This isn’t necessarily a “bad point” per-sae, but it is something that has stopped me continuing after the trial.  I would need to be on it for several months I would suspect

*If you have specific dietary needs you may find your choices limited.  I couldn’t have any of the breakfast options, any of the pasta dishes and none of the chocolate bars 🙁  So fine for a month but if I needed to be on it longer it would become more frustrating.  However what I did have was very tasty and it would have been good to pick a “top ten” dinners for example and have more of those than the ones you didn’t have as much enjoyment of.


Cheryl Baker – of Eurovision sensation “Bucks Fizz” talks about her experience with the plan.

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of Bucks Fizz’s iconic Eurovision win with “Making your Mind Up” – and with a tour for the band kicking off in April 2011, everything should have been looking good for female vocalist Cheryl Baker. 

But in June 2010, Cheryl, 56, weighed almost 12 stone and was a size 16 – and rather than looking forward to the tour, she was dreading it.

 “Everyone remembers the famous rip-off skirt routine – but the thought of revealing that much of my body was literally keeping me awake at night,” admits Cheryl.  “Our fans are really lovely and will say kind things on our website, but I knew they must be thinking I looked like a sausage bursting out of its skin – and no-one wants to look like that!” 

With the tour and rehearsals looming, Cheryl took the decision to do something about her weight once and for all.   

 “My body has always fluctuated between a 10 and a 14 but in the last couple of years I’d crept up to a size 16 and weighed almost 12 stone, the heaviest I’d ever been apart from pregnancy.  I didn’t like it and was determined to sort it out for good,” she says. So Cheryl – and her husband Steve – signed up to global dieting sensation Jenny Craig. 

Eleven weeks later Cheryl had dropped to 10 stone 9lbs and a size 12, whilst Steve had lost a stone – a result which delighted them both. “Steve and I both agreed it was the easiest diet we’d ever been on,” says Cheryl, “and believe me, I’ve tried the lot! “Firstly, your food is delivered in hampers so it’s really convenient. 

Better still, the food itself is gorgeous – really tasty.  It’s also what I would call ‘real food’ rather than diet food – Thai green curry and chocolate bars – exactly the kind of foods you don’t think you’re allowed to eat when you’re trying to lose weight. “I remember Jay Aston and Mike Nolan from the band popping in one day and I didn’t have any food in the house so served Jenny Craig beef and bean chilli for lunch – they both loved it!” 


Also key to the success of Jenny Craig was the weekly telephone consultations with her personal weight management coach, Jen Crawley. “My consultant Jen was amazing and I couldn’t have done it without her – she really kept me on the straight and narrow. 

If I knew I was going out and food and drink was unavoidable – or even if I’d just had a bad day and fallen off the wagon a bit – she would advise me how to counteract the extra calories over the next week.”

As the weight continued to drop off, Jen gradually helped Cheryl reduce the amount of Jenny Craig foods and reintroduce more every day food providing crucial advice and support every step of the way.

By early December 2010, Cheryl has reached her target weight of 9 stone 6lbs, having lost 2 ½ stone over 6 months.  Now a super slim size 10, she’s looking and feeling fantastic. “I can’t wait to whip that skirt off and flash my legs now!“ she laughs.  “I’m really looking forward to the rehearsals and tour – and am feeling far more optimistic about life in general.  Losing all this weight has done wonders for my confidence!”  

·Jenny Craig is proven in a published trial to be three times more effective than dieting alone.  Study conducted in the US and published by: Rock CL, Flatt SW, Karanja N, et al.  obesity. 2009;17 (suppl 2): S.264. Abstract. 

·Jenny Craig was founded in 1983 in Australia and started operations in the United States in 1985.  With more than 5 million clients over the past 10 years, Jenny Craig is a successful business model in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico, helping more than 150,000 clients per week to manage their weight.  

·The Foresight Report, Tackling Obesities: Future Choices project, published October 2007, predicted that if no action was taken, 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children would be obese by 2050.


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