Frequently Asked Questions
How Jenny Craig Works
What is the Jenny Program?
Founded in 1983 in Melbourne, we are one of the largest assisted weight management companies in the world. We offer you unparalleled support – with your own personal weight loss consultant assigned to you, who will be there with you every week throughout your entire journey. We plan (and provide) your meals to suit your lifestyle, with snacks through the day so you don't go hungry. We help you develop healthy exercise routines and when you’re near your goal we get you cooking some of your own favourite recipes.
With over 104 centres across Australia and New Zealand, we are bound to have a Centre close to you. We also offer a convenient home delivery option from many of our centres, with weekly consultations over the phone if that works for you and your lifestyle.
How was the Jenny Program developed?
Our program was designed more than 30 years ago by Accredited Practising Dietitians in Australia and Registered Dietitians in the US, in consultation with our expert International Scientific Advisory Board comprised of leaders in their field of scientific expertise covering medicine, nutrition, exercise and psychology.
Today, these experts continue to provide guidance on educational and lifestyle strategies to enhance our clients’ success with developing healthy habits and managing lifestyle change. It’s through this that we ensure the Jenny Craig program is in line with current scientific evidence and reflects best practice in weight management.
What will Jenny teach me?
Jenny will teach you healthy habits around, the 3 key success factors, food, body and mind, to help you lose weight and keep it off!
A healthy relationship with food
We all love food so we're not going to stop you eating what you love. At Jenny we’ll teach you sensible eating habits around portion control and how to eat mindfully.
To get you started, we do the hard work and provide you with a kilojoulecontrolled menu and delicious prepared meals and snacks.
An active lifestyle
We encourage clients to gradually increase activity through a combination of natural, planned and "playful" physical activities. We offer exercise products such as fitness DVDs and other tools that encourage a variety of cardio, resistance and stretching activities.
A balanced approach to living
Jenny Craig emphasises cognitive strategies to help you develop a more balanced, positive mindset. The program uses a self-efficacy model as a foundation for behavioural change and is designed to develop clients’ skills in self-monitoring, goal setting and problem solving.
How long will I need to stay on Jenny?
How long you stay on the program depends on your own personal goals including how much weight you’d like to lose. We have program options to fit your needs and will support you until you reach your goal.
We have a maintenance program that is there to support you after you reach your goal weight to help you to maintain your new healthy habits and behaviours in the long term.
How much weight can I expect to lose?
Whether you’d like to lose a small amount of weight for a special occasion such as a wedding or reunion, or want to make more significant changes, Jenny Craig has options to meet your needs.
Our program has been designed to result in a healthy weekly weight loss of ½ - 1 kilogram (less for breastfeeding women and adolescents). These results may vary based on personal weight history, body composition, frequency of physical activity and personal motivation, among other factors.
Do the menus include only Jenny food?
To start with, you'll enjoy 3 Jenny Craig meals and 1 Jenny Craig snack every day, combined with your own fresh fruit, vegetables, reduced fat dairy products, wholegrains, lean meats or alternatives, and healthy fats.
As you reach your halfway point on your weight loss journey, you will start introducing your own foods and recipes – so that by the time you’re at goal weight you are eating your own food – prepared by you! That way there is no reliance on Jenny Craig to maintain your weight – you’ll be doing it on your own!
What kilojoule level will I be on?
Your personal weight loss consultant will help you determine your optimal kilojoule level based on your age, weight, gender and physical activity level.
Our kilojoule levels range from 5000kJ to 8400kJ or more, depending on your individual requirements.
At Jenny Craig we work in the metric system (kilojoules). There are roughly 4.2 kilojoules (kJs) in 1 calorie (Cal).
When should I weigh myself?
We recommend you only weigh yourself once a week at a consistent time (preferably in the morning) to avoid any discouragement due to normal daily weight fluctuations. It is also important to know that each set of scales is calibrated uniquely so you should always weigh yourself on the same set of scales to ensure consistency.
On the Jenny Craig Program you’ll weigh in with your weight loss consultant at each week’s consultation.
I've lost the weight, how do I keep it off?
We don't just want you to lose the weight, we want you to keep it off for good!
At Jenny, we give you the tools needed for long term success by focusing on a healthy relationship with food, an active lifestyle and a balanced approach to living.
Ask your consultant about our maintenance program which offers ongoing support to help you maintain your weight and healthy lifestyle and provides peace of mind if you ever have to get back on track again.
Clinical study shows just how well Jenny works!
Our Jenny program is not only a comprehensive and balanced approach to weight loss, it is also clinically proven to work! If you want to read more about how Jenny Craig clients can lose 3x more weight than dieting alone, we invite you to read the 2 year study undertaken in the United States and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) — see http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=186793.
What are the different Program options that Jenny offers?
You can visit your nearest centre, or if you're short on time, have one of our consultants call you on a weekly basis for your personal consultation. Whichever option you select, our trained consultants will tailor the program to meet your needs.
How can I find the nearest Centre?
With over 104 centres across Australia and New Zealand, we are bound to have a location convenient to your needs.
Find a list of our centre locations per state here or you can also call 13 19 92 and you’ll be transferred directly to your nearest centre.
Don’t forget we offer a convenient home delivery option in many areas – call your local centre to find out if we service your home or office.
What if I don't want to go to a Centre … or there's not one in my area?
We encourage you to attend your weekly face-to-face consultations for the best weight loss results. But we also offer Jenny Craig At Home, where you can meet your consultant over the phone anywhere and have your Jenny Craig meals delivered to you. Too easy! Ask your nearest centre for details.
How much does Jenny cost?
The cost of Jenny depends on several things - which plan you choose, which Jenny meals and snacks you select, which payment options you choose and so on.
You will start on our planned menus which have been designed by our team of Accredited Practising Dietitians, consisting of our tasty meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks which you combine with fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats or alternatives, whole grains and reduced fat dairy foods. As you progress through your weight loss journey, your consultant will provide you with knowledge and skills to transition away from our planned menus and continue with a healthy lifestyle.
Losing weight is often not just about the food we eat but is about a lifestyle change.
Included in these programs is access to your own personal weight loss consultant on a weekly basis to work with you throughout your weight loss journey and who assists you with strategies around healthy choices, portion sizes and exercise options.
And as one client told us: "You know what would really cost a lot? Having a nutritionist, a personal exercise trainer, a chef, and a lifestyle coach! For me, Jenny was the inexpensive way of getting the Program and coaching I needed."
Do you have a Maintenance Program?
Yes, at Jenny Craig our goal is to help you learn not only how to lose weight, but how to effectively maintain your weight loss as well. The maintenance component of our Signature Plus Membership helps transition you from Jenny's cuisine to planning and creating your own healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. Throughout the Maintenance Program you have the continued support of your personal consultant who will guide you through the maintenance support materials to help you "master" the skills essential for continued success.
Do you have an Adolescent Program?
We are proud to be one of the only structured weight loss programs to offer a comprehensive program tailored to adolescents 13-17 years old.
Adolescents need to obtain their guardian’s written permission, and as with all new Jenny Craig clients, some health questions must be answered before commencing the program. The program includes weekly one-on-one consultations, weekly menus that are specifically tailored to meet nutritional needs during adolescence and program materials.
Can I do the Program if I travel a lot?
The Jenny program is flexible and can be altered to fit into your lifestyle. Your consultant will be able to help you make a plan for when you travel to help you to continue to see results.
Additionally, our home delivery option may be available in your area so you can have your consultations over the phone and your food is delivered directly to you (plus the cost of delivery). Call your local centre to find out if this option is available in your area. .
Can I do the Program if I'm breastfeeding?
Absolutely! We offer tailored menu plans for breastfeeding mothers that accommodate for weight loss as well as increased nutritional needs. For breastfeeding mothers, Jenny Craig encourages a healthy rate of weight loss of no more than ½ kilogram per week.
Six weeks after the birth of your baby, we welcome you to make an appointment to see one of our friendly consultants
Food & Menus
What can you tell me about your food and menus?
Jenny Craig menus model the three key factors for healthy eating: balance, variety and moderation. The delicious Jenny Craig meals and snacks are specially formulated and incorporated into nutritionally balanced menus planned by our team of Accredited Practising Dietitians.
All of our menus are:
- Developed based on the National Dietary Guidelines for Australia and New Zealand
- Nutritionally balanced in terms of carbohydrates, protein and good fats
- Low in saturated fat and high in fibre
- Chosen to meet your weight loss goals, with kilojoule levels ranging from 5000 to 8400 kilojoules or higher per day
Your Jenny menu supports you to develop new, sensible eating habits and teaches you that you can still enjoy your favourite foods while losing weight.
We have a range of foods to appeal to your taste buds and have planned menus for those who like structure, or flexible personalised menus for those who like more choice. We have over 60 Jenny Craig meals and snacks for you to choose from! You'll be enjoying 3 Jenny Craig meals and 1 Jenny Craig snack every day, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and other additional grocery foods. The Jenny menu will teach you about portion control and balance, and will also help you to establish good eating habits that you can sustain in the long term.
Once you've reached your goal weight, you will have learnt the skills and knowledge to support you to plan and prepare your own meals and lead a healthy lifestyle for life!
Do you have a gluten free menu?
At Jenny Craig we continually review the needs of our clients and are aware of the growing demand for gluten free, and have considered such a menu range. Unfortunately at this stage, it is not feasible for us to provide a menu with the range and high standard we require for our clients.
If you require a gluten free menu, we recommend you seek tailored weight management advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian who specialises in food allergy and intolerance. Dietitians work in private practice, local community health centres, and local hospitals. Details can be found on the Dietitians Association of Australia website - www.daa.asn.au - go to 'Find an APD'. In New Zealand log onto www.dietitians.org.nz - go to 'Find a Dietitian'.
Do you have vegetarian menus?
Yes! We provide a good variety of vegetarian meals on our vegetarian menus. However, our products are not vegan and they may contain dairy, egg or animal-derived enzymes such as gelatin.
What if I am lactose intolerant?
The Jenny Craig menus include 3 meals and 1 snack each day along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, reduced fat dairy foods and lean meats or alternatives.
There are varying degrees of lactose intolerance, so it does depend on how much lactose you can tolerate as to whether our menus can accommodate your needs. Many of the Jenny Craig meals and snacks contain milk and other milk products such as milk powder.
If you feel the program would be suitable for you, simply call your nearest Jenny Craig centre to make an appointment with one of our consultants. Find a list of our centre locations per state on our website or you can also call 13 19 92 and you’ll be transferred directly to your nearest centre.
What if I have other allergies/intolerances?
The menus are developed by Accredited Practising Dietitians and include 3 meals and 1 snack daily, incorporating Jenny Craig food, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, reduced fat dairy foods and lean meats or alternatives.
The suitability of the program will be dependent on your specific dietary requirements associated with your allergy or intolerance. To find out more information simply call your nearest Jenny Craig centre to make an appointment with one of our Consultants who will be able to walk you through our menus and advise on the suitability of the program for you. Find a list of our centre locations per state on our website or you can also call 13 19 92 and you’ll be transferred directly to your nearest centre.
What kinds of Jenny Cuisine food items do you offer?
We offer a wide variety of delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items. Because they're so easy to prepare in either a microwave or traditional oven, Jenny Craig can fit into even the busiest lifestyles. All of our foods are pre-packaged and pre-portioned. Our foods are frozen or shelf-stable (dry). Selections range from Wholemeal Pancakes and Hearty Beef Pie, to Chicken Parmigiana and Choc Chip Bites. Click on the link below to check out all the delicious menu items.
Do I have to buy your food?
Yes - initially. On Jenny Craig the food acts as a learning tool to help you practice good habits such as portion control and moderation, which are essential for healthy weight loss and successful long term weight management. As you reach halfway to your goal weight, you'll begin planning your own menus.
The ultimate goal of the program is to transition you from our menus to creating healthy, nutritionally balanced meals with the guidance of your personal consultant. By transitioning off the Jenny Craig foods and applying the healthy habits you’ve learnt from the program, you will be well equipped to manage your weight in the long term!
Can I choose my own foods?
You can. We currently offer structured Planned Menus for clients who enjoy having pre-planned weekly menus. However, if you’d like to tailor your menu, you can try our Personalised Menu option, which allows you to handpick the meals and snacks you want to eat so that you can literally design your own weekly menus based on your favourite foods. You can also switch menus from one week to the next, depending on what works best for you.
Should I avoid carbohydrates?
No, carbohydrates are the body’s preferred and major energy source and eliminating this entire food group form your diet is often not sustainable and can mean you’re missing out on other important nutrients such as fibre, B group vitamins and folate. While advertising and many commentators in the media have focused a lot of attention on low carbohydrate diets and products, when it comes to successful, long term weight loss, kilojoules are the key, not carbohydrates. Weight loss is about moderation and balance, and you don't need to avoid entire food groups, buy special low carbohydrate products or give up the foods you love to lose weight.
But won't I lose more weight faster with a low-carbohydrate diet?
Initially when you follow a low carbohydrate diet you may lose weight quickly because your body is losing mostly water. This is because the body is breaking down glycogen stores (carbohydrate stores) and water is stored with glycogen, so when this breaks down you lose a lot of water from your body.
In the long term these types of diets can be difficult to follow and it can sometimes mean that you’re cutting out whole food groups from your diet. Research also shows that in the long term these restrictive diets do not lead to more sustained weight loss.
What if I don't like one of the fruits or vegetables listed on the menu?
Talk to your consultant - most of the suggested fruit and vegetables on our menu are recommendations and can easily be swapped for something else.
Just use the grocery list in our Success Made Simple Guide or the Journal you'll receive on week one!
Do you have Kosher menus?
Currently, none of our Jenny Craig meals or snacks are Kosher certified.
Do you have Halal menus?
There are a number of Jenny Craig meals that contain pork and pork products, and these can be excluded from your menu selection. Unfortunately, at this stage, our dishes that contain other meats such as chicken or beef are not halal. We offer a vegetarian menu, however the vegetarian dishes may contain animal derived ingredients such as amylase, rennet, gelatin, dairy, eggs and other enzymes that may come from an animal source. If you feel we can accommodate your dietary needs, we welcome you to make an appointment to see one of our Consultants at your nearest Jenny Craig centre.
If you feel the Jenny Craig Menus will not be suitable for your dietary needs, we recommend you seek tailored weight management advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Dietitians work in private practice, local community health centres, and local hospitals. In Australia log onto www.daa.asn.au - go to ‘Find an APD'. In New Zealand log onto www.dietitians.org.nz - go to 'Find a Dietitian'.
Can I have caffeinated beverages on the Program?
Yes, we recommend that you can enjoy up to 2-3 caffeinated beverages a day If you are a heavy coffee, cola or tea drinker, you may want to consider cutting back - especially if it interferes with your water intake. If you choose to decrease your caffeine intake, do so gradually - cutting your intake in half each week, to avoid caffeine withdrawal related symptoms.
Can I cook for others on Jenny Craig?
If you regularly cook for yourself or others, you'll find our Cookbooks Healthy Living for Life and Healthy Living for Families, great resources for preparing quick and healthy meals. It's all about increasing your healthy recipe repertoire and giving you plenty of delicious recipes and ideas to help you and your family embrace good food that tastes great.
These cookbooks are available from participating centres for $29.95.
Click here for a selection of our favourites.
Can I eat out at restaurants while I'm on Jenny Craig?
Yes, our planned and personalised menus give you the flexibility of being able to eat at a restaurant or café and have the confidence to make a healthy choice.
Best of all, your consultant is there to help you create a strategy for choosing the best options on the menu. They’ll help you plan for any occasion, and ensure your week is stress free and keep you on track to your weight loss goal.
Will I have to give up alcohol?
Many things in life can be enjoyed in moderation. Alcohol is high in kilojoules, so during weight loss it is recommended that alcohol intake is limited to support optimal weight loss results. Your consultant will be able to work with you and provide strategies to manage your intake.
Are any vitamins or supplements required?
Yes. It's very difficult to get all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need on a reduced kilojoule menu, simply because you’re eating less. To help ensure that you receive the balanced nutrition you need during weight loss, we supply a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement (tablet), which we encourage you to take with water before breakfast, so it’s easy to remember each day.
How do I take the vitamins?
To help ensure that each day's menu is nutritionally balanced, we encourage you to take the Jenny Craig multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. We encourage you to take this with water before breakfast, so it's easy to remember each day.
Can I locate an Accredited Practising Dietitian?
In Australia and New Zealand, the Dietetic Associations offer this information on their websites. In Australia log onto www.daa.asn.au - go to ‘Find an APD'. In New Zealand log onto www.dietitians.org.nz - go to ‘Find a Dietitian'.
Do you cater for Coeliac Disease?
At this stage, Jenny Craig does not offer a gluten free menu. Unfortunately, we will therefore need to advise that our menus are not suitable to accommodate your needs for Coeliac Disease.
We recommend you seek tailored weight management advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Dietitians work in private practice, local community health centres, and local hospitals.
I have Diabetes, is the Program suitable for me?
The Jenny Craig program is suitable for people with well-controlled diabetes. The portion and kilojoule controlled meals and snacks are all suitable, when eaten as part of the Jenny Craig program. We do consider your health to be our number one priority so you will be asked to complete a Health Acknowledgement prior to enrolling on the program. Individual blood glucose responses to food may vary, so we encourage our clients to try all the foods they are comfortable with.
The program will help you to develop a healthy relationship with food by providing a kilojoule controlled healthy eating plan including ready to eat meals, with your own fresh fruit, vegetables, low fat dairy foods, lean meats or alternatives and whole grains. We’ll encourage you to include some physical activity, within your own limitations, and motivate you to look at your own behaviours surrounding food and physical activity and guide you to make positive lifestyle changes. You’ll do all of this with the support of private weekly consultations with a trained consultant until you reach your desired weight.
I have Crohn’s Disease, is the Program suitable for me?
Jenny Craig considers your health to be our number one priority. Certain conditions may have specific nutrition or dietary requirements not met by the Jenny Craig menus and it may be advisable for you to seek tailored weight management advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Simply call 13 19 92 and you be put through to your nearest centre to make an appointment with one of our consultants. You’ll be asked to complete a Health Acknowledgement detailing your medical conditions and medications. We’ll follow guidelines set by doctors on our Scientific Advisory Board to ensure your health and suitability for our program is thoroughly assessed.
I am currently pregnant, can I go on Jenny Craig when I have had my baby and while I am breastfeeding?
During pregnancy, the Jenny Craig menus unfortunately will not meet the nutritional requirements for yourself and your growing baby. For weight management advice during this time, we recommend you seek tailored advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Dietitians work in private practice, local community health centres, and local hospitals. To find your nearest dietitians, in Australia log onto www.daa.asn.au - go to ‘Find an APD'. In New Zealand log onto www.dietitians.org.nz - go to ‘Find a Dietitian'.
From 6 weeks after the birth of your baby, we welcome you to make an appointment to see one of our consultants. We offer tailored menu plans with sufficient kilojoules to accommodate your weight loss and nutrition needs while breastfeeding.
Consultations & Support
How do my weekly consultations work?
Each week, you'll speak with your personal Consultant for a 20-minute, private consultation whether in centre or over the phone, whichever suits you.
Your consultant will help you where you need it most, be it monitoring your weight loss progress, encouraging you to set personal goals, celebrating success or providing strategies to handle challenging situations such as dining out, traveling and unplanned changes. They will also help you select satisfying and convenient weekly menus that fit into your lifestyle.
What happens when I first go into a Centre?
The best way to find out if our Program is right for you is to visit a Centre for a free informational consultation. During your visit, our staff will:
- Ask questions to learn what you're looking for in a weight management program
- Help you to identify a healthy weight loss goal
- Provide you with all the Program information you need to make a decision
This consultation is obligation-free. No matter what you decide, you'll leave the Centre feeling even more motivated to take action towards a healthier lifestyle!
Phone us today on 13 19 92 and you’ll be put through to your closest centre to make the appointment today. There’s no time like the present!
Do I have to have a weekly consultation?
Our weekly consultations play a major role in our clients' successes. Not only do we want to support you along your weight loss journey, we want to ensure that you're experiencing a healthy rate of weight loss.
However if you find yourself too busy to visit our centres in person, we recommend you ask your consultant to conduct these consultation over the phone and have your food delivered to your door.
It really is the consultation which makes the difference!
What happens each week when I meet with my Consultant?
Consider your Consultant your "partner in weight loss." During your weekly consultations, your Consultant will review your progress, address any challenges you may have, help with menu and activity planning and offer weight loss tips and techniques.
What type of payment methods are available?
You can pay for your food at your weekly consultations, in person or over the phone. We accept cash, cheques, eftpos and credit card (excluding American Express or Diners).
What if I want to make an appointment on my Consultant's day off?
If you need to schedule an appointment when your regular Consultant is not available, any of the available trained Consultants can work with you to set up a plan for your success.
Detailed notes are recorded from each week, so that you don’t have to re-tell your story again if you see another consultant.
What type of training do Consultants receive?
We pride ourselves in hiring health-oriented and customer-focused individuals who genuinely enjoy working with people. Consultants also receive ongoing continuing support and information in areas relating to nutrition, motivation and stress management. When clients have special needs or requests, Consultants call on our Accredited Practising Dietitians for help.
Want to be part of our team? Click here to find out about a career with Jenny.
What types of employees work at your Centres?
Centre employees include consultants, who work with our clients weekly as "partners in lifestyle change" to motivate them, assist them with their weekly menu and activity planning, and provide them with personalised strategies to help them on their weight loss journeys. Our consultants give clients free informational consultations and tours of the centre, and the Centre Leader is responsible for all daily centre operations.
Want to be part of our team? Click here to find out about a career with Jenny.
Activity & Fitness
What types of exercise will I do on Jenny?
On Jenny, you should gradually increase your activity through a combination of natural, planned and playful physical activities, learning how to incorporate more activity into your everyday routine.
- Natural activities include everyday tasks such as washing dishes or light cleaning - even shopping! You'll learn to identify opportunities for activity that you might not be aware of, like walking around during your child's sports game or vacuuming during the TV commercials.
- Planned activities - make sure your exercise regimen is well-rounded, incorporating cardio, resistance, and stretching. Examples include walking, yoga, pilates or dance.
- Playful activities - give permission for you to take the time to be active without taking quality time away from family and friends. Instead of going to a movie with friends, try dancing, cycling or joining your kids in the park for a ball game.
The bottom line: it's not a strenuous exercise regimen, but an active lifestyle that makes the difference between weight maintenance and weight re-gainers.
Adapted from: Blair, Dunn, Marcus, Carpenter and Jaret. Active Living Every Day: 20 Steps to Lifelong Vitality, Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2001.
Do I have to exercise on Jenny?
Research has shown that an active lifestyle is a critical factor to successful weight loss. While it's true that physical activity supports consistent weight loss, its role is even more critical in long term weight maintenance.
During your consultations, your Jenny Consultant will work with you to identify any barriers to physical activity - and help you develop plans to overcome those barriers and stay motivated. They will also work with you to develop a personalised, staged approach that starts where you are right now and builds from there.
The good news is, the "exercise" is a combination of walking, resistance, and "natural" activity. The bottom line: it's not a strenuous exercise regimen, but an active lifestyle that makes the difference to help you lose weight and keep it off in the long run. At Jenny Craig, you'll learn strategies for building an active lifestyle to enhance your own success.
What if I am already very active?
Fabulous! If you're already doing a great job being regularly active, your Jenny Craig Consultant will work with you to develop a personalised, staged approach that might include adding some new activities. The best activity plan for weight loss includes cardio, resistance and stretching.
If you've focused primarily on moderate-intensity activities like walking or cycling, why not boost your metabolism with some resistance training? If you're already doing both, you might focus on the mind and body benefits of stretching activities like yoga. Your consultant will assess what stage you are in when you begin the program. As you progress, we will re-check your stage and continue to tailor your activities.
Can I work for Jenny even if I'm not a Jenny client?
While losing weight on the Program is certainly not a prerequisite for becoming an employee, many staff members have experienced success as clients on the Program. Their personal experiences give them an even greater insight into offering clients timely suggestions and encouragement.
Want to be part of our team? Click here to find out about a career with Jenny.