Jenny Craig edged the competition in recent rankings of the six largest diet companies by Consumer Reports Health. The competition was judged on overall weight loss effectiveness, compliance and how closely each diet follows 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines.
Also finishing in the pack were diet giants like Weight Watchers and Slim Fast. Jenny’s win can no doubt be credited to its combination of shelf stable prepackaged foods, support and education. The study showed that 92% of people stuck with the program for 2 years and they weighed about 8% less.
Excuse me while I cut to the chase.
I’m not about to accuse Jenny Craig of beefing their statistics, but I can tell you that in our experience, long term, successful Jenny Craig members are few and far between.
With loyalty discounts, Jenny Craig costs about $4,000 per year, plus another $400 for membership fees, plus any additional supplementation you may want to take. At the end of the day we are talking somewhere in the range of $5,000 – $7,000 per year. So the 92% who have stuck with Jenny for 2 years, have paid $10,000 or more to be a whole 8% lighter? Go tell a 160 pound woman that she can weigh 147 pounds in 2 years and all she has to do is pay $10,000.
Lets talk about U.S. dietary guidelines for a minute. Without getting too far into it U.S. dietary guidelines are heavily disputed in the natural health community. I mean, if a wide variety of “shelf stable” foods adhere to guidelines then quite frankly, our existence is doomed. These guidelines also call for too few good fats as well as too many grains and unhealthy substitutes like, soy and low calorie sweeteners. They even advocate replacing dairy intake with soy, which is known to have toxic properties and also mimic estrogen in the body.
In addition, their stance on many processed foods is weak and they make little to no mention of getting important enzymes through raw, organic food or supplementation. Shelf stable foods typically lack enzymes crucial to digestion which may contribute to the growing number of digestive imbalances plaguing our country.
In fact, diets like this often fail to address and may contribute to a number of imbalances linked to weight gain like Hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, Candida, poor digestion and more. Imbalances may prevent even the strictest dieter from achieving their goals and many would agree that they are much more common than you think.
We cannot argue with the importance of support and education, so Jenny Craig gets kudos for being on the right track. That said, we can only assume that these informational networks are being used to spew the same misguided message found in the U.S. dietary guidelines and mainstream nutrition.
At the end of the day, Jenny Craig is able to provide marginal benefit and can allegedly keep most people around for two years. The 92% retention rate is as much a win for the marketing department as it is for anyone else. Jenny Craig does not prepare anyone for a new lifestyle, because the existence of their company depends on them being the lifestyle for you. Do yourself a favor. Find a weight loss program that will work with your specific imbalances and whose goal is to prepare you for a healthy, independent life!
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