Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig both offer weight loss programs that feature pre-made meals to help clients lose weight. The main difference between the two companies, aside from menus, is the type of support and counseling each offers.
Starting the program
Placing your meal order online is all that is required to start with Nutrisystem. Starting the Jenny Craig program involves speaking with a program director, either by telephone or at a local office, to determine your eating habits, activity level and weight loss goals.
Nutrisystem offers more than 170 entrees, desserts and snacks on its menu with a focus on foods that have a low glycemic index. Jenny Craig offers more than 80 meals, snacks and desserts that focus on portion control while also meeting USDA dietary guidelines.
Nutrisystem offers basic, silver, diabetic and vegetarian plans, with the silver plan designed for older men and women. You can create your own menu or choose the pre-selected "Favorite Foods" menu. Jenny Craig also offers planned or personalized menus, along with vegetarian options and a special menu for teens.
All of Nutrisystem's counseling and support services are offered online. With Jenny Craig, the traditional program involves private weekly in-person meetings with a consultant. The Jenny Direct program conducts all of the meetings by telephone. Both programs include tracking weight and measurements.
Nutrisystem's Member Favorites menu with meals automatically delivered cost $299.95 a month with free shipping in 2009. Jenny Craig charges separately for meals and counseling services, but according to the company website, the average client spends only $1 more a day on food than the average person spends on groceries.