Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem vs. Jenny Craig

What is the Jenny Craig Diet?

Weight Watchers FitPoints (Activity Points): Exactly How Do They Work?
Adam Richman — 70 Lbs. I decided I needed to try that. Have been on and off WW for almost 40 years. How to Stop Nutrisystem. About the only time I snack is if a meal is going to be significantly late. She started a 1, calorie a day diet and four days a week workout regime with her personal trainer. According to the "Handbook of Obesity Treatment," aiming to eat calories to 1, calories less than you burn each day is ideal for long-term weight loss, which would result in a weekly weight loss of 1 lb to 2 lb per week.

Video of the Day

Why I Switched from Weight Watchers to Medifast

I told you it looks like you're aging backwards in that photo-weight loss and daily vigorous exercise sure shine almost as much as your smile. I am not trying to lose weight, only to get on my Reformer in the basement at least 3 times a week, but when a bunch of friends were trying and told me about myfitnesspal I did that.

For me, though, cooking new recipes from scratch all the time, it was more of a pain in the bum to type in each recipe than the reward of seeing the calorie count would have been.

I have no suggestions for you in that area. So I will say that having some sort of goal a wedding, a half marathon is probably a good motivator. I don't know--still icy on the sidewalks so I'm not going to take the pup out for a 10 mile training walk this morning. Three miles will have to do. I'm so proud of you! Also, I can't go on something that eventually I have to "go off of". I am learning moderation, portion control, all the things I need to work out in "real life.

I love to cook, love to try WW recipies, and my family doesn't even know. I am staying right here, and have now kept my weight off for 6 months, even during the holidays. Alanna you look wonderful! My husband and I went on Medifast a few years ago through a nurse at a hospital who guided us. We had to check in with her every week.

We lost a lot of weight, felt and looked great. I agree with many of your observations Of course, once we got "off" it we managed to regain much of it.

That is not the fault of MF, but our bad habits returning. I am now WW'g with a friend Thanks for your honest sharing. You are indeed a blessing.

I actually started low-carb whole food a few weeks ago and have felt really great. I used to do Weight Watchers, and I did it faithfully, but it just didn't work for me. I mean, it's one of the most highly recommended and highly statistically successful programs. I know people who have lost pounds and inches and sizes. But for me, it wasn't right; my weight and size remained stagnant.

It took a bit to realize that I didn't have to fit in with all those statistics. Good on you for branching out and finding a different path to health. In the past I had lost quite a bit of weight by basically learning about food portions and making sure I didn't overdo any certain type of food. And I worked out. But once I went off program I gained all that weight back -- and another pounds on top of it. TSFL is a division of Medifast that comes with all sorts of free support and education that makes transitioning back to whole foods safe and easy.

It helps you retrain your brain so you don't go back to the unhealthy habits you had before. It's more about creating health for life hence its name than about losing weight as a short-term goal. I started Oct 2 and as of this posting I've lost 55 pounds. I think I safely fall into the category of "results not typical". It's amazing how great I feel -- how much energy I have, how my cravings have gone away, how I've broken my addictions from sugar and carbs, how I'm sleeping better Ive lost weight before, but nothing like this.

Nothing this fast or easy. That's worth a lot to me. A few thoughts on some of the objections: I wasn't excited about dehydrated food, either. But do you realize how much processed foods most of us use anyway?? Unless you're making your own breads, pastas, yogurts, growing your own veggies and fruits, etc etc, you are definitely eating a lot of processed foods, even if it's "healthy". At least this food is formulated by doctors to be nutritionally balanced and healthy for you.

I heard the price and laughed. But then I sat down and looked at how much I was spending on food: I ate a lot at my work's cafeteria or coffee bar. The portion of our grocery bill that was stuff I wouldn't use while on Medifast was huge.

Suddenly the cost looked so much more manageable. Support on this program is free, unlike other weight loss programs so I was saving those fees as well. Plus consider how much you spend on doctor co-pays, medicines, and how much you could spend ultimately in hospital and other medical bills if you don't lose the weight.

If you've spent money on failing on other plans in the past, why keep going back? The only way to know if you'll succeed on a different program is to try it. In the case of Medifast, if it's not the program for you, return your uneaten food and get most of your money back. This program does not abandon you once you've reached your goal. It will teach you how to transition back into "real" foods again and then finally teach you how to use those real foods to keep the weight off and be healthy for life.

And with TSFL -- the support is free to you for life, even if you're not using the Medifast products anymore. Not a bad deal. Some of it I won't touch again. But a lot of it is really fairly decent and some of it I downright love And then for those foods you're not so crazy about, there are all sorts of creative people out there on the internet who find ways to prepare foods in completely different ways that do make them enjoyable.

For example, unlike Alanna, I can't stand the chocolate shakes. But they make a pretty decent cupcake! I never thought that a program that provides most of your food for me would ever work. I LOVE fresh foods -- fruit in particular was hard for me to give up.

When you see results like this as quickly as this, suddenly it's not quite the sacrifice. And I know when I reach my goal I get to have those foods again.

I love this journey and I love helping others reach their health goals as well. There's no better feeling than this! Good for you for taking control of this, and I say whatever works! Great job so far!! However, once I had a little success with Medifast I was motivated to keep going. Since starting my Medifast journey I have started exercising regularly, my foot pain from plantar fasciitis is all but gone along with all my other aches and pains and I no longer get migraines regularly.

I have also started tracking all my food in MyFitnessPal and I will continue to do that after I get back to eating real food to help maintain my weight loss. Yes - Medifast is not a perfect plan and I would much rather be eating fresh food that I prepare myself, however I needed this to help jump start positive changes in my health. I wish you continued success on Medifast and your journey to better health.

I like it, thank you. And you're the second person today to mention a half marathon, good for you and Mark! It really is a life-saver for so many. Six months is excellent, stay with it! Good luck with doing WW with your friend, here's to both of you! I so get that. I'm so glad you've found something that is working for you now. We have different ideas on what's processed food and what's not processed food, but I hear you on each of your points. And I'm so glad you brought up the long-term support, that was new to me.

I remember when we first knew one another and talked about the differences between Weight Watchers my way and South Beach yours. The weight isn't "melting off" me like it does for some on Medifast but still, each day when I get on the scale, each day when I feel bones I haven't felt in some years, I feel grateful.

I would've expected better of you guys. Your reasons for switching from WW to MF could have been written by me last summer. I had lost on WW, but the gained back exactly half of it, all the while attending meetings faithfully and sort of following the program. When my daughter decided to try MF last January, I was supportive of her but skeptical of the meal replacements.

She did really well, so I decided I would give it a try. I decided to commit to 2 months and see where I was. Well, 6 months later, I am still here and down 50 lbs. It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple. I am a longtime and, fortunately, a successful -- so far -- WW member , and I read you for inspiration and recipes. I wish you nothing but the best with this and hope you will update us in your "journey. Meanwhile, keep on cookin' with Medifast. I'm glad you found a plan that works for you at this time.

Thank you for your honesty and courage to write about your switch. Keep up your success. Looks like you don't have too much farther to go!

My story is that 11 years ago I lost 40 pounds in about two months. It was too much too fast, but I was "ready", as you say, to just get rid of the weight. I dieted and exercised the heck out of every day--eating very little. After losing the weight I felt better and ate normal, healthy meals. Over the last five years I have gained about 15 pounds. Reaching 40 was like a stopwatch to my metabolism.

In November I picked up running to spend more time with fit family and friends. I am doing the "Run Double C25K"--an app to help you run a 5k in 9 weeks. Since I have never ran a step in my life, this is a challenge, but I want to be healthier, fit, and to spend time with other healthy people to stay on track.

I haven't lost one pound and use that as motivation to keep moving. Surely all those skinny runners looked just like me when they started! Alanna you look great and each of us will succeed using different methods, sometimes even the same methods at different times. Can't wait to hear more about your successes. Thanks for your honesty and for revealing that different things work for different people at different times of life.

A friend at work lost a lot of weight using Medifast and it's transformed her life--she even just went platinum blonde and is still slender after transitioning to mainly real food again--in her early 60s. I lost a little over 30 pounds counting calories in my early 40s when I developed hypertension and around 10 of them slipped back on with perimenopause I've figured out I need more protein now and less carbs. Hard realization for a carb lover, but my body is talking!

Thanks for the inspiration! And you size up the program exactly right, "It isn't easy, but it certainly is simple. I didn't realize you were a successful WW!! You've really got me thinking on that one This column inspired me to take a chance on a new program. I've been considering going back to WW "again", to loose the 20 pounds which crept back over the last 6 months.

But I'm a very picky eater, a great cook, and to top it off, help my neice operate her scratch bakery. Not a good weight loss combination. Since I am certain you are particular about food with a discerning palate would you be willing to share your favorite medifast "meals". It's a short list. At first, I could tolerate the chicken noodle soup but I've got three boxes on hand and am having to force myself to eat one a day just to get rid of it.

I like the spice pancakes and the chocolate pudding but don't order them because I really don't want to get used to sweet and carb-y things, which I didn't eat before and certainly don't want to get started on. I hated the eggs. I hated the sloppy joes. I hated the vegetable soup.

I liked so few things, I sent everything except shakes and bars back Medifast has a good return policy and stopped trying any others. I'm not bored with the shakes, they're filling, they help me drink more liquid, I like them hot and cold. I know that the Medifast forum is full of people who take the food and turn them into something else eg some today who doesn't like the chocolate shakes says that they make good brownies but I do not want to pretend this is "cooking" or "real food".

So I ignore those possibilities. For the record, I am NOT a picky eater with real food. While there are a few things I don't care for sweetbreads and Wonder bread or prefer cooked one way more than another boiled kale vs sauteed kale , it is rare for me to not like something.

The one thing I'd say is, do everything you can t take charge now at 20 pounds. Don't let it turn into 30 or 40 or worse. I wish I'd followed my own advice. Thank you for the article. I at a point where I really need to loose the weight-again-and keep it off this time. My health is affected by the extra weight. I know of other people who have chosen meal replacement programs with great success.

My question to you which I can't find in the article is why this program and not Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem? I was younger than 40 at the time and thought "not me!! To be honest, I was in my late 40s when I began to notice this. It wasn't just weight creeping up, it was that I didn't feel well eating like I did when I was younger. At about the same time I read about a group of people who maintained their health and had minimal weight gain throughout their lifetimes.

It didn't prompt me to eat the way they did, but it did inspire me to find out how people in other countries and cultures ate. There were a lot of similarities and some differences -- mostly in exactly what they ate. I also started thinking back to when I was growing up in the s and s -- when it was rare to see someone who was truly overweight.

I was also in contact with older adults, many of whom weren't significantly overweight and had few health problems. I either observed or asked them about their eating habits. I started noticing some similarities. The slim, healthy people in other countries and the slim, relatively healthy older adults I saw had some things in common. Most never ate processed foods.

If they did, they were consumed rarely. And contrary to the advice now to snack throughout the day, most never snacked. If they did snack it was only once a day. Among the older adults, those who were slim ate less than they had when they were younger. Not little enough to be malnourished, but definitely less than when they were in their prime. I eat three meals daily and rarely snack. About the only time I snack is if a meal is going to be significantly late. I do eat less at meals.

Two of my meals, usually breakfast and lunch, tend to be smaller and one is larger. I don't feel deprived because I'm satisfied with how much and what I eat.

There's nothing I don't eat, but many things that I don't eat often. If I really want something, I have it. I also have a general plan of what to eat at meals. I'm also a fan of Michael Pollan's mantra: I've found that I don't need to eat as much real food to be satisfied. Another thing I learned is that it's perfectly normal, in fact, somewhat necessary, for a woman to gain pounds from the time she's about 20 until her mids.

It has to do with reproduction. This has been observed throughout the world and throughout history. It's even observed in art where maidens are slim and matrons are, well, more matronly. Part of the reason it may be hard for those of us "of a certain age" to lose weight is that we're not supposed to weigh the same as when we were younger. Alanna, I wish you the best of luck on Medi-Fast! A couple of years ago my friend lost 40 pounds on the program, at the same time I was losing 20 lbs on Jenny Craig.

Two years later, she's gained 35 lbs back, and I've gained Since I've gone vegan 9 months ago none of those "packaged" plans will work for me, they all rely on animal protein of some sort.

However, if you "use" Medifast as a jumping point and maintain from there, awesome! I just couldn't do it, call me a packaged diet failure. Alanna, you look wonderful! I really enjoyed your story. I'ts similar to mine. I lost 80lbs and my husband lost lbs on WW about 12 years ago. I am a lifetime member and even worked for WW as a meeting leader for a year quit because a new job forced me to travel a lot.

However, like many of us, I've gained the weight back. I wanted to do Medifast for a while, but I was worried that it really didn't teach about how to cook or eat. It, like many other weight loss programs, just gives you the food to eat to lose weight.

I liked learning what a portion is i. However, my sister-in-law pointed out something to me. She said, "You worked for WW, you know how much to eat, how to cook, and what you should do. You're just having a hard time doing it. If you're goal is to lose weight and feel better, Medifast can help you do that. Then implement what you know you should do to keep it off. I just was having a hard time doing the WW plan; too "open" for me right now. So, on to Medifast. I've lost 38lbs in 3 months and I haven't had one issue following the plan.

Thanks so much for your post and inspraition. So glad you posted this! As it turned out, I just got back from a trip and started on Medifast yesterday for the first time the package arrived while I was away. Love the tip about making the shake with coffee.

I'll definitely try that. I don't have a lot of weight to lose only about 15 pounds , but have just not been able to motivate myself to reduce my food intake enough to get rid of it. I think that putting myself on a diet like this where I have specific food to eat each day is the kind of structure I need to jump-start my weight loss. I usually eat well fresh foods from scratch, with lots of lean protein and veggies, not many sweets , so the idea of the pre-packaged food wasn't all that exciting to me.

I just bought the 2-week variety pack to try it out. If it works out OK, I'll order more. Since I don't need to lose a lot, I don't expect to be on it for more than a few months.

If I find it hard to stick with it for a long stretch of time, perhaps I'll try alternating the Medifast food with home-cooked food on alternate weeks or even alternate days. As long as I'm lowering my overall food intake, I should still lose weight, though more slowly, of course. Congratulations on your weight loss, and sticking with it! It's a great inspiration to me. Hi Alanna--I left a message on your blog but I guess it was after you closed it to comments. I am just wondering why you chose medifast over other meal replacement systems like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig.

Congrats on your weight loss--I hope to be down 20 to 30 lbs by this summer. In part, that's because I didn't "choose" Medifast, it chose me by virtue of my friends Kathy and Georgia starting it. I did no other research. I honestly didn't even think of it but also know that I am often confounded by too many choices, leading to long periods of indecision. Sorry, not much help as you make your own deliberations! The "snack" ideas do resonate, since one of the things I most appreciate about Medifast is the frequency of the food intake.

A meal implies something else, and for me, at least for now and I hope for later, more small and healthy meals during the course of a day feels right, keeping my sugar levels even over many hours. My idea for these "non meal" meals are a small bowl of vegetable soup or a small salad or a small piece of protein or a small piece of fruit. There IS a difference between a girl's physique and a "matron's". My very thin friends somehow appear gaunt and wiry and tired, those with some healthy weight seem to glow.

Thank you, thank you, for adding so much to this conversation. Is "vegan" working as a weight loss vehicle for you? Mark Bittman of course lost many, many pounds with his "vegan until dinner" approach. I know that the first time I gained weight, back in my 30s, was when I stopped eating meat. After reaching your goal weight, you can go back to WW for maintenance.

This article will explain: If I want to swap points, how exactly do I do this in my Weight Watchers account? How many FitPoints do different activities earn? FitPoints is Weight Watchers' rating system for physical activity. The more you move, the more FitPoints you earn, which allows you to eat a little more. Think of FitPoints as activity points , which is what WW used to call them. You earn FitPoints with exercise.

It's called "eating your FitPoints" because swapping your FitPoints for SmartPoints increases the amount of food you can eat each day on Weight Watchers.

The choice comes down to this: If you swap your FitPoints for extra SmartPoints, you'll make the WW program easier to live with, as your increased SmartPoints allotment will allow you to eat more. You will have to decide which tactic feels right for you.

You'll have to adjust your Weight Watchers account default settings in order to make this happen. Don't worry -- we'll show you exactly how to do this in a moment. Shake things up with this dietitian-designed plan which requires almost no cooking to jump-start your weight loss.

When you've reached your goal weight, then return to Weight Watchers for maintenance. Works best for singles and empty-nesters who don't have to do a lot of family cooking. You can exchange your daily FitPoints for SmartPoints on a one-for-one basis, which means you can eat a bit more each day if you're active. To swap your FitPoints for increased SmartPoints, you must change the default settings in your Weight Watchers account.

See image below for details. Each member is assigned a numerical FitPoints Goal for the week. Since you earn FitPoints with physical activity of any kind, the concept is that Weight Watchers is trying to encourage you to be more active. Weight Watchers hopes that you will strive to meet this goal. After you meet it consistently, they will raise the goal, a little at a time. When you first sign up, you'll be asked a number of questions. The good folks at Weight Watchers decide your initial weekly FitPoints Goal number, based on your age, gender, weight, and activity level.

You could be doing aerobics, or you could just be walking to work, waging war against bathroom soap scum, or dancing your heart out at a party.

You just have to keep track of the amount of time you engaged in the activity, and the intensity level low, moderate, or high of the activity. You're not sweating from the activity, or breathing more rapidly than normal. You're breathing more rapidly than normal, but not out of breath not winded.

You are able to converse but not able to sing while performing the activity. You can't converse normally while performing this activity, but can only utter short phrases. The Colorado State University Extension reports that both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers provide regular individual and group counseling, unlike Nutrisystem, which offers only online social support from other dieters.

Similarly, the first two offer local, real-life interactions in the form of Weight Watcher meetings or Jenny Craig centers. This might be important if you prefer face-to-face interactions instead of online-only discussions.

Review how each diet plan treats your post-diet lifestyle. Both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers focus on behavior re-education, practical meal planning and proper eating skills, according to the Colorado State University Extension. Video of the Day. Price of Nutrisystem Food Vs.

Weight Control Programs And Diet Plans That Will Help You Stay Fit