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Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, et el. taste?

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I'm not actually going to be eating any of these anytime soon. I was just curious if anyone out in the CH world has used one of these and if they are any good.

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  1. My mother ate Jenny Craig's frozen food in the mid nineties, (which may not be helpful because the quality could've changed since then.) She said "You wouldn't like it," knowing my palate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan

      I also knew someone who was doing the Jenny Craig program in the mid-90s. The food and portions looked pretty grim. I remember she brought a can of tuna that I swear was just relabeled cat food (or at least it smelled and looked that way).

    2. The Nutrisystem food is nearly inedible IMO. My friend joined, paid the $350 for the month, got the food, and couldn't eat it because it was so terrible. She sent a lot of it home with me, I was living in a studio at that point w/no kitchen to speak of and no food, even I couldn't stomach it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ArikaDawn

        The food has definitely changed over the years; when I was a kid my mom and nanny did it for a while. I remember liking the pate, chicken IIRC, and I'm sure my mom resented me wanting to eat the diet pricey food given my absolute lack of any weight issue. They also made a yogurt covered snack bar that I used to ask for as well. Go figure that a seven year old would latch on to diet food for no reason. As I said though, they've revamped so many times, I wouldn't expect anything to be the same.

        My other memory is of being at Disneyland at age 7 in the Blue Bayou, ordering a pasta while Mom and nanny ordered hot water to revitalize their freeze-dried hamburger patties... blech. Certainly a scarring memory of sorts.

        1. re: Emme

          My coworker is on nutrisystem and let me tell you- it looks simply awful and the smell is even worse. Most of the meals are in a brown gooey sauce. They are loaded with sodium (she insists she can't tolerate salt so I don't understand). My main concern is when you finally reach your goal and are allowed to go back eating real food- how fast does the weight return when no one is premeasuring and making your meals for you??? I will stick to my weight watchers- real food I prepare myself. I am being taugh how to change my behavior from the 1st meeting - I have learned how to struggle with food in real life- making dinner for me and my family but knowing what choices to make to help us all be healthier.

          1. re: MeffaBabe

            Wow, I am actually expert qualified to answer this question! I worked at both Nutrisystem ( 1 year) and Jenny Craig ( 9 years) and tried every single product from each line. Without a doubt, Jenny Craig beats out Nutrisystem (just awful) hands down (btw, no longer with either company).

            1. re: EAH

              I have a friend on Jenny CRaig and she says the food is pretty much the same as LeanCuisine.

              1. re: sandramrma

                NO WAY is it the same as lean cuisine. I've done both and believe me, the food is about the level of dog food. Seriously. Horrible brown sauces, strange thick consistencies, don't even get me started on the "meat". If you stick JUST to pasta dishes, and the mac and cheese, you can survive. And, yes, the weight comes roaring back on with a vengence once you taste one bite of real food.

            2. re: MeffaBabe

              I've got nutrisystem food from November, and it's terrible. If it's loaded with sodium, I can't taste it, because I always need to add salt.

              It's not cheap, and even in comparison to, say, Lean Cuisine, it's utterly inedible.

            3. re: Emme

              So untrue! I have over 200 pounds to lose and have tried Atkins, etc. Nutrisystem takes fantastic and I am picky! Loaded with sodium? Where do you get your information? It's the opposite. I lost 21 punds in my first 2 weeks just from the water loss due to reduced sodium content. Much safer than Atkins, much cheaper than Jenny Craig. I vote thumb's up.

          2. I did Nutrisystem. The food was actually pretty good with some tweaking. For example, I would add my veggies to the dinner entree. I would also add ff Greek Yogurt or spices or sauteed onions and 'shrooms. The program showed me how to eat. Five meals a day, 1200 calories a day, 50% Carbs (that are low on the glycemic index), 30% protein, 20% fat. My only complaint was that I bought the program through QVC and could not pick out my own food. I started doing the program with my own food after 2 months. So far I have lost 70 pounds.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amethiste

              Congratulations!

            2. If delivered to your 'hood try Zone Chef. The food is outstanding and I mean it. I actually replicate many of the dishes for the Jfoods. It's that good and they deliver fresh every day to your front door. Before going to sleep I brought in and into the fridge.

              Highly recommend.

              1. I started JC a few weeks ago. Some of the food is fine; others are not so tasty. The chicken fettucine, the lasagna, the pizza are good. Remember, the portions are small compared to what one was eating previous to joining. For me, it is working as it is all planned out. Hope this helps and good luck!

                1 Reply
                1. re: taxi

                  I just did Pure Foods Fresh Start and it was excellent! Food delivered fresh, very tasty, good portion size, and good variety. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something different. Very highly recommend!

                2. My wife and I did NutriSystem for several months, until I had to give it up because of the high salt levels. (Example: Most of their lunch tublets, about a cup of food, have over 700 mg of sodium!) I also gave it up because I was so despressed about their limited breakfasts and too many awful-tasting lunches. Bleah. I got tired of dehydrated eggoids, newspapery muffins. (However, the cereals were good.) Some lunches were okay--the Chicken a la King and the Mac and Beef come to mind as edible. Dinners weren't too bad, they offered the greatest variety and highest levels of taste. Anything Italian was passable--but NEVER eat any NS foods (I use the term loosely) labeled as "Asian" or that comes in a brown sauce-like substance.

                  Per a previous poster, I much prefer cooking my own food a la Weight Watchers.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: KenWritez

                    Hey, KenWritez, I still have an old "teriyaki beef" hiding in the pantry if you want to relive the magic.

                    1. re: elayne5

                      elayne5, what did I ever do to you that you hate me so?

                      For those of you who aren't in the know, NS' "teriyaki beef" (and I use the term more loosely than Ex-Lax) is bad. Not "bad" in the sense of merely tasting unpleasant, oh no. Would that it were.

                      I mean "bad" in the sense of pounding a roofing nail into your skull because you're bored is bad. I mean "bad" in the sense of scrawling your phone number and address on the toilet stall wall of the downtown bus station is bad. "Bad" in the way pestilence, death, chaos, earthquake, war and Yoko Ono are bad.

                      You can't get something like this naturally. Even Mother Nature won't go this far. I believe NS "teriyaki beef" is actually an alien parasite used by the US government as a mind- and body-control mechanism to get us to accept Yoko Ono instead of a less painful and destructive nuclear war.

                      1. re: KenWritez

                        LOL. So, you're saying you won't take this pestilence off my hands? Oh well, whenever I feel bad about the expanding waisteline, I just look at the box and am suddenly OK with my weight.

                        I do, however, disagree with the comparison of NS teriyaaaaaki beef and Yoko Ono. You can always turn Yoko off. If I remember the TB assault, it was like the energizer bunny and just kept going and going.

                        1. re: elayne5

                          >> If I remember the TB assault <<

                          Hmmm... <looks suspiciously at eleayne5>...Had you eaten it, there would be no "if".

                          <shivering> Brrrrrrr....... the aptly-named TB was nasty beyond belief.

                  2. I did Nutrisystem for about two months, but it got too expensive, and I got tired of the "mushy" foods. I wound up selling my leftover food at a garage sale, $15.00 for a huge box!

                    I was on Jenny Craig about ten years ago, and I really liked it, but again, the cost became prohibitive.

                    1. I'm doing Jenny Craig now because I was starting to get too lazy with Weight Watchers after I gained 15 lbs back (btw I had lost 115 on WW). The JC food is better than it was back in the 90's. I like it better than Nutrisystem. It's expensive, but I'm sticking to it since I'm paying for it and lost 10 lbs in a month. . It's not bad, but it's not great. I really do like the JC beef with lentils. The frozen food remind me of Healthy Choice and some of the cereals remind me of Kashi. I wouldn't be surprised if they are the same brands but marketed as JC in an individualized portion. If I had the $$ I would do Chef's diet, but when the $$ runs out, I'll just stick with Lean Cuisine. I find Lean Cuisine to be best supermarket frozen food.

                      1. I am on ediets meal delivery program at about $100 wk. for their weekday plan. All but a few of their dishes are average tasting to slightly above average tasting. The breakfasts are the worst because there is no variety, only about 5 choices and most are prepackaged stuff I can get at the store. Lunches and dinners have more variety but after one month it is getting boring . I would put it at slightly better than Lean Cuisine because the food is not frozen. They have a signature meal plan that is more money that is supposed to be 'gourmet'; I haven't tried it yet but might try it for a week. If it isn't an improvement I'll probably end my mebership and go back to Southbeach or WW and cook my own food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                          i've done both programs and still do JC now and then. JC is more expensive than nutrisystem but the food is way better. I can actually stay on JC for months whereas with nutrisystem, i am nauseated after about a week. nothing on nutrisystem is frozen- which means you are reconstituting things like meat & eggs with water. it's not appetizing. the JC has some frozen, some not- i agree w/the poster who said it was like lean cuisine.

                        2. I did Jenny Craig years ago and the food was awful. For the last five weeks, I have been doing Freshology - http://www.freshology.com . They deliver in Southern California via drivers and ship nationwide via FedEx. It's very pricey, but the food is amazing - better than most restaurants in L.A. where I live. I have no time to cook and was eating out a lot, which even eating at cheapish restaurants with tax and tip was costing not much less than I am spending with Freshology (and I was getting fat to boot). Highly recommend Freshology if you can afford it. I lived on Lean Cuisine for years and just couldn't take any more frozen food.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: omotosando

                            Looking at Freshology, it may be great food, but the prices are indeed quite high...$52 to $67 PER DAY. Even with the "build you own" meal plan, the first meal starts at $25. When I say "cheapish" I thought more in the $7-10 range. Especially when you consider ethnic foods, your food bill for one could easily be within $5-$6 and the food still super delicious! I guess it just amazes me that people will pay that much per day for the sake of convenience.

                            1. re: asiansensation007

                              I'm paying under $50 a day for Freshology, plus my food is customized for allergies. I don't think you can compare it to cooking at home, which is clearly cheaper, but rather to eating out all the time (which I used to do). For instance, I habitutally work late and don't have the time to precook my dinners and haul them to the office. So I would end up ordering delivery. The minimum order for delivery would be $20 and that was before they tacked on tax and delivery fees, plus I would have to tip. So I was spending at least $35 to have a fairly mediocre dinner delivered. Eat out a cheapish lunch and I was at $45-$47 a day in food for fairly mediocre fare. Lean Cuisine is much cheaper, but it never filled me up and I got the point where I just could not stomach it anymore.

                              A lot of the money in Freshology is in delivery and customization. I really wish I could walk into the deli section of Whole Foods and buy this stuff, but alas it is not possible. (P.S. I tried the prepared foods at Whole Foods and found them inedible).

                          2. I know this is an old topic, but I wish I would have seen it, so I am bumping.
                            I JUST finished 2 weeks w/ Freshology after looking at a zillion at home meal delivery plans. I live in Kansas City, so I chose the frozen nationwide program (no other option!).
                            I paid about $420 for 2 weeks of Food (B, L, Din, Dessert) for one person. This was without Shipping & Handling (which adds on another $100 or so)..they were running a special.
                            As much as I've enjoyed about 80% of the meals, I won't renew it due to cost and the amount of packaging is obscene - I know it needs to stay frozen, but I felt very guilty. Plus, having it jetted across the country made me kind of crazy, too.
                            Many tasty entrees - some days were carb-heavy for me. I would wait to try it when they are running a special

                            1. One more thing re: Nutrisystem. I've never tired, but I saw tons of the meals at Big Lots (a store we have here in the Midwest that sells overstock things) - so, try away before you sign up.\

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: stellamystar

                                If you stick to the pastas with red sauce, the NutriSystem stuff ain't bad, and it doesn't have to be kept frozen. The rest of the stuff is pretty awful.

                              2. I am now doing Fresh Diet, which delivers daily in South East & West Florida, Chicago, Milwaukee Indianapolis, The NY Tri-State area, Southern & Northern California, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Virginia, Philadelphia and Houston and Toronto.

                                http://www.thefreshdiet.com/index.php

                                Some of the dishes are better than others. I like the fact that you can go online and choose what you want each day from a menu of choices. The program is based on 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% fat, and I'm finding it is keeping my blood sugar quite stable and I am always satiated.

                                I think the price is reasonable for what you get. I'm actually saving money compared to my usual routine of eating out all the time.