Jenny Craig, Inc., previously owned by MidOcean Partners headed by Ted Virtue, often known simply as Jenny, is a weight loss, weight management, and nutrition company founded in 1983 by Jenny Craig and her husband, Sidney Craig. The program was started in Melbourne, Victoria and later began operations in the United States in 1985. Today, the company is headquartered in Carlsbad, California, and has been a part of Nestlé Nutrition since 2006.
The company has more than 700 weight management centres in Australia, the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. The program combines individual weight management counseling with a menu of frozen meals and other foods, which are distributed through its centers or shipped directly to clients.
What You Can EatEdit
The keystone to the Jenny Craig diet is its prepackaged meals. For the most part, these are frozen breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even desserts. Nutritionally they contain 50% to 60% carbohydrates, 20% to 25% protein, and 20% to 25% fat.
Clients supplement these meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and reduced-fat dairy products. In general, non-starchy vegetables are unlimited.
While these meals are what come to mind when most people think of Jenny Craig, they are not the be-all and end-all of the program. In fact, says Lisa Waltman, call center manager for Jenny Direct, the goal is eventually to wean clients from the prepared meals.
"For a certain period of time we support people with this prepackaged menu that serves as a model of healthy eating," Waltman tells WebMD. "As clients become more familiar with recognizing correct portion sizes, the counselors teach them how to cook at home and to eat out."
No food is taboo. The focus is on moderation, a balanced diet, and getting enough exercise. But built into the program are occasional splurges that allow dieters to indulge themselves a little.
"There is nothing you cannot have," Waltman says. "We educate what foods are high in fat and calories and should be used in moderation vs. foods that can be eaten more freely like non-starchy vegetables such as salad. And we teach about other foods, that of course you need to take in moderation when trying to lose weight and beyond. If you want cake, we want you to understand what you are doing if you have a piece -- not to deny you what you want."
That being said, the Jenny Craig method is calorie based. The menus a client develops with his or her counselor are based on an individual's weight, height, and goals.