Nutrisystem Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Medifast: Best Weight Loss Diet

Losing weight can be a frustrating process. With so many different diet plans and weight loss programs out there, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.

Three popular commercial diet plans—Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast—all promise to help you slim down. But with different approaches, which one reigns supreme?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast on cost, food quality, weight loss results, and sustainability. Read on to find out which diet plan may be your best fit for lasting weight loss success.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturesNutrisystemJenny CraigMedifast
Food Delivery MethodPre-made frozen meals shipped to your doorFresh-made meals picked up weekly at a Jenny Craig centerPre-made shakes, bars, soups & snacks shipped to your door
Meals Per Day5 Nutrisystem entrees + grocery foods3 Jenny Craig entrees + 2-3 snacks6 Medifast replacements + 1 lean & green meal
SupportOnline community, appsIn-person weekly counselingPhone coaching available
Average Cost Per Day$8-$12$15-$23$9-$13 plus lean & green ingredients
Typical Weight Loss1-2 lbs per week1-2 lbs per week1-2 lbs per week
SustainabilityEmphasizes portion control for post-diet maintenanceVery prescriptive plan can lead to regain after discontinuingUltra-low calorie is hard to maintain long-term

How Do Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, And Medifast Work?

First, let’s review how each diet plan works before diving into the details.


Nutrisystem delivers prepackaged low calorie meals to your door. You’ll eat 5 Nutrisystem breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts per day, plus add in some grocery foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Nutrisystem aims for steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week.

Jenny Craig provides weekly in-person counseling and premade meals picked up at a Jenny Craig center. You’ll eat 3 Jenny Craig meals and 2-3 snacks per day, along with fresh produce. Jenny Craig’s approach aims for 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week.

Medifast is a low-calorie meal replacement program. You’ll eat 6 Medifast meal replacement shakes, bars, soups, oatmeal, or eggs per day, along with 1 self-prepared “lean and green” meal. Medifast promotes rapid weight loss of 2-5 lbs per week.

Now let’s explore how Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast stack up across several key factors.

Nutrisystem Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Medifast: Cost Comparison

One major consideration for any diet plan is cost. Here’s how the prices stack up:

Nutrisystem costs around $8-$12 per day, depending on your personalized plan. There are also options like auto-delivery discounts and free shakes that can reduce the daily costs.

Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig averages $15-$23 per day. This includes the weekly counseling and premade meals. You’ll have to pay enrollment fees too.

Medifast costs $9-$13 per day for meal replacements. You’ll also need to buy ingredients for your 1 daily lean and green meal, so total costs are closer to $11-$15.

Of the three plans, Nutrisystem offers the lowest daily price point. Jenny Craig is quite expensive in comparison. Medifast falls somewhere in the middle.

When comparing affordability, think about how long you need to stay on the program. A short 1-month diet plan will cost significantly less than staying on it for 3-6 months.

Assessing The Quality Of Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, And Medifast Food


Besides cost, a major consideration is taste and food quality. Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast all provide prepackaged entrees, snacks, and desserts. But are they appetizing?

Here’s an overview of what dieters say about the taste of each program’s meals:

  • Nutrisystem – Mostly positive reviews, with people saying the foods taste great. Meals include burgers, pasta, pizza, wraps, and more.
  • Jenny Craig – Mixed opinions on taste. Some say the foods are great, others feel they taste processed and bland. Meals include classics like lasagna, sandwiches, and bars.
  • Medifast – Also earns mixed taste reviews. Shakes and bars tend to get more positive feedback than premade soups and eggs.

Comparing the quality of the foods themselves, Nutrisystem seems to rate highest for taste and appeal. Jenny Craig and Medifast get more mixed reviews in terms of food quality.

This makes sense given Nutrisystem’s focus on providing meals you can look forward to like pizza, burgers, pasta, and chocolate shakes. Jenny Craig and Medifast focus more on nutritionally balanced, lower calorie options.

When it comes to taste and quality, Nutrisystem may have an edge for food you really want to eat. But sticking power and health impact also matter.

Analyzing Pound Shedding Success

When comparing major diet plans, weight loss results are key. How much weight can you expect to lose on Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or Medifast?

  • Nutrisystem touts losing up to 1-2 lbs per week. User reviews confirm averaging about 1 lb of weight loss per week.
  • Jenny Craig claims clients can expect to lose 1-2 lbs per week. User reviews reflect similar average results of 1-2 lbs weekly.
  • Medifast says you can shed 2-5 lbs per week. However, user reviews indicate more modest weight loss averaging about 1-2 lbs per week.

The takeaway? All three commercial programs show comparable weight loss results in real world settings. The average person loses about 1-2 lbs per week with regular use of Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or Medifast.

Rapid weight loss promises of losing 4-5 lbs per week may grab attention initially. But slower, steady paces like 1-2 lbs per week tend to be more sustainable over months and years for true weight management.

Nutrisystem Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Medifast: Lasting Weight Loss?

Shedding pounds fast is great, but how likely is the weight to stay off with each diet? Let’s dive into how sustainable Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast are for long-term weight loss:

Nutrisystem is one of the more flexible plans, with over 150 menu items to choose from. This freedom and variety lends itself well to long-term maintenance. Members report keeping about 50% of weight lost off after completing the program.

Jenny Craig holds your hand during the weight loss phase. But some people struggle to maintain results after discontinuing the premade meals and counseling. On average, clients keep around 30% of lost weight off long-term.

Medifast is structured as an intense, short-term kickstart. There’s little education on transitioning to everyday healthy eating. People generally regain 30-40% of lost weight within 1 year after stopping the program.

For lasting weight loss, Nutrisystem appears most viable for maintaining results compared to Jenny Craig and Medifast. Nutrisystem teaches portion control and balanced meal planning that dieters can realistically sustain.

Jenny Craig and Medifast are very prescriptive during active weight loss. This leads to challenges when transitioning back to independent eating habits.

Nutrisystem Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Medifast: Which Is Better?

So taking all the factors into account—cost, food quality, weight loss, and sustainability—which program comes out on top in the Nutrisystem Vs. Jenny Craig Vs. Medifast battle?

Here’s a quick recap of how the diet plans stack up:

  • Cost: Nutrisystem is the most affordable plan. Jenny Craig is priciest.
  • Food Taste/Quality: Nutrisystem earns rave reviews. Jenny Craig and Medifast are less popular.
  • Weight Loss Results: All 3 show similar pound shedding of 1-2 lbs per week typically.
  • Sustainability: Nutrisystem’s flexibility positions it well for maintaining long-term results.

While results can vary, Nutrisystem emerges as the overall winner when comparing cost, food quality, weight loss effectiveness, and sustainability.

Nutrisystem finds the sweet spot of providing affordable, appealing meals that make steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week attainable. And the plan lays the foundations for maintaining the slim down results long after you finish the program.

Jenny Craig also shows solid clinical results for 1-2 lbs of fat loss weekly. But high costs and struggles with sustaining success after completing the program knock it down a few notches.

Medifast promotes the fastest pound dropping promises. But mediocre tasting food and difficulty transitioning off the ultra-low calorie meal replacements cause the initial losses to plateau.

For well-rounded weight loss that you can stick with for the long haul, Nutrisystem comes out on top as the #1 commercial diet plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the #1 weight loss program by revenue?

Based on total US revenue, Nutrisystem is the biggest commercial diet program as of 2022. Nutrisystem earns over $600 million annually off its weight loss plans.
Jenny Craig comes in second for revenue with around $400 million annually. Medifast is smaller earning about $385 million per year.
So by overall size and revenue, Nutrisystem is the current leader in the paid weight loss plans space.

Does Nutrisystem work better than Jenny Craig?

Clinical studies show that Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig produce about the same amount of weight loss over 6 months, averaging 8-10% of starting body weight.
However, Nutrisystem comes out ahead in terms of customer reviews, taste, affordability, and long term sustainability.
Over a one year period, dieters tend to have better compliance and more weight maintenance success with Nutrisystem’s flexible approach compared to Jenny Craig’s more rigid counseling plan.

What weight loss program has the highest success rate?

No major commercial program has a decidedly superior success rate. Average users can expect to lose around 1-2 lbs per week with Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, or Medifast.
Long term weight maintenance is where there is more differentiation. Nutrisystem fosters habits like portion control and meal planning that make keeping weight off easier. Jenny Craig and Medifast have steeper drop off.
Across all programs, building healthy lifestyle habits leads to the highest sustained success. Following any commercial diet’s ordered meals in the short term without learning skills for the long term generally backslides.

What is the difference between Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig?

The main differences between Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig are:
Food: Nutrisystem ships pre-made frozen meals. Jenny Craig’s meals are fresh-made for pick up weekly.
Support: Jenny Craig has weekly in-person counseling. Nutrisystem relies on online communities and apps for support.
Cost: Nutrisystem is more budget-friendly at around $8-$12 per day. Jenny Craig costs $15-$23 daily.
Transition: Nutrisystem teaches portion control skills for post-diet. Jenny Craig focuses heavily on staying on their meals long-term.
Both help with 1-2 lb weekly weight loss. Nutrisystem has broader mass appeal for its lower cost, while some prefer Jenny Craig’s human coaching model.

Also Read: Choose Between Diet Direct And Optavia.


When picking between popular diet plans like Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Medifast, keep your personal preferences and goals in mind.

If you want meal delivery, digital support tools, and lasting habits, Nutrisystem is a cost-effective choice. Prefer fresh made meals with counselor guidance? Go with Jenny Craig. Seeking rapid results from meal replacements? Consider Medifast.

Whichever commercial program you select, focus on making positive lifestyle changes that allow you to continue losing weight and keeping it off. Dieting alone won’t lead to permanent success. Developing nutrition, exercise and stress relief practices promote weight loss you can sustain.

Losing weight takes commitment and patience no matter what program you choose. Being an informed consumer gives you the best shot at choosing a diet plan tailored for your needs that fits well into your lifestyle.

With the in-depth information above comparing Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and Medifast across all major factors, you have what you need to confidently pick the winning weight loss strategy for your unique goals and circumstances. Trust your gut and go after the body and health you deserve!

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