Side effects of the Jenny Craig diet refer to the adverse reactions that may occur as a result of following the Jenny Craig weight-loss program. While a 2021 study by Marci Laudenslager from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine identified mild gastrointestinal discomfort like bloating or gas as a main side effect of the Jenny Craig Diet, these symptoms can often be managed through dietary modifications and increased water intake.
However, some users have reported more severe gastrointestinal issues, such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea, particularly after consuming recharge bars and meals. Some even experienced these severe symptoms within two weeks of starting the diet. Additionally, the diet plan can be expensive, with users indicating costs of around $180 per week and some claiming to have lost only 1.3 pounds after two weeks.
During the first week of the Jenny Craig diet, some users have reported mild side effects like tummy troubles, slight cramping, and bloating, which may be attributed to adjusting to the highly processed foods in the diet. In more severe cases, users have reported experiencing extreme abdominal cramps and explosive diarrhea after eating Jenny Craig food, leading to significant discomfort and necessitating the discontinuation of the diet program. Some individuals have described the pain as the worst they’ve experienced in their lifetime, along with symptoms like vomiting and weakness.
This article explores the following list of 7 side effects of the Jenny Craig diet and also compares them to other weight loss diets such as GOLO and Optavia 5&1.
- Mild gastrointestinal discomfort
- Bloating or gas
- Severe gastrointestinal issues
- Abdominal cramps
1. Mild gastrointestinal discomfort
Mild gastrointestinal discomfort when following the Jenny Craig diet refers to experiencing minor digestive issues like constipation, indigestion, or bloating after consuming the program’s meals. These symptoms could be attributed to the dietary changes, including the consumption of highly processed foods provided by the program.
The main reason for experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort on the Jenny Craig diet is likely the transition to highly processed foods that may contain additives, preservatives, or high levels of sodium and sugar. These ingredients can disrupt gut flora and lead to digestive issues. For most people, symptoms like bloating and constipation usually subside within a week or two as the body adjusts to the new diet. However, if symptoms are severe or persistent, it’s recommended to discontinue the program and consult a healthcare provider.
To manage mild gastrointestinal discomfort, it’s advisable to drink plenty of water, incorporate easy-to-digest foods like bananas and rice, and consult with a healthcare provider for a tailored treatment plan. If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s recommended to discontinue the Jenny Craig program and seek medical advice.
2. Bloating or gas
Bloating or gas while on the Jenny Craig diet refers to the uncomfortable feeling of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdominal area, often accompanied by excessive flatulence. This digestive issue can occur due to the consumption of pre-packaged meals, high-fiber ingredients, or specific meal items in the Jenny Craig diet.
The primary reason for experiencing bloating or gas on the Jenny Craig diet is not completely understood, but it is believed to involve factors such as gut microflora, abnormal gas production, impaired intestinal transit, and sensory dysfunction.
Symptoms like bloating or gas can appear gradually over the course of a week and can become acute by the second week of following the Jenny Craig diet, based on user experiences. Once you stop consuming the problematic foods, symptoms usually subside within 2-3 days.
To manage bloating or gas while on the Jenny Craig diet, it’s advisable to stop consuming the foods that are causing the symptoms and consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Drinking plenty of water, engaging in regular physical activity, and considering probiotics may also help alleviate these digestive issues.
3. Severe gastrointestinal issues
Severe gastrointestinal issues while following the Jenny Craig diet can manifest as intense abdominal pain, nausea, and extreme episodes of diarrhea. These symptoms are particularly concerning if they are acute and disrupt daily life, as described in some of the customer experiences.
The main reason for severe gastrointestinal issues in is likely the consumption of ultra-processed foods. A 2021 study by Giuditta Pagliai from the University of Florence has shown that a high intake of ultra-processed foods is associated with a worse cardiometabolic risk profile and increased risk of obesity, which can lead to abdominal pain. Ultra-processed foods are formulations of ingredients derived from industrial processes and contribute to a significant portion of the energy content in Jenny Craig’s diet.
Based on customer experiences, it generally takes around 2-3 days for the symptoms to subside after discontinuing the consumption of Jenny Craig’s food products. During this period, the digestive system calms down and returns to a more stable state. The most effective way to manage these symptoms is to immediately stop consuming Jenny Craig’s food products and consult a healthcare provider. Rehydrating with electrolyte solutions and transitioning to a diet of unprocessed, easily digestible foods can also help manage the symptoms.
4. Abdominal cramps
Experiencing abdominal cramps on the Jenny Craig diet means you might feel sudden, sharp pains in your stomach, possibly along with bloating and digestive problems. These cramps could be a negative side effect of the highly processed foods included in the diet’s meal plans.
The main reason for experiencing abdominal cramps on the Jenny Craig diet is likely due to the high content of processed foods, which may contain artificial additives, high amounts of sodium, and possibly non-nutritive sweeteners that can disrupt gut health.
Symptoms such as abdominal cramps generally subside 2-3 days after discontinuing the consumption of the problematic meals. While the exact prevalence of abdominal cramps on the Jenny Craig diet is not publicly documented, customer testimonials indicate that digestive issues, including cramps, are a common complaint among users
When discussing the Jenny Craig diet, diarrhea refers to frequent and loose stools, often accompanied by stomach cramps. This issue can arise as your digestive system adjusts to the processed foods and new eating habits encouraged by the program.
The main reason for experiencing diarrhea on the Jenny Craig diet is likely the sudden change in diet to frozen and packaged meals, which may contain artificial additives, preservatives, and high levels of artificial flavors. The 2018 study by Laure Schnabel from Université Paris 13 indicates that packaged meals and processed foods are associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea.
Typically, symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal cramps may last for 2-3 days after discontinuing the problematic foods, allowing time for your digestive system to reset. To manage diarrhea and related symptoms on the Jenny Craig diet, it is advisable to discontinue the diet and revert to less processed foods that are easier on the digestive system. Drinking plenty of fluids can help with hydration, and consulting a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment is highly recommended. However, if symptoms persist, consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Experiencing vomiting while on the Jenny Craig diet means forcefully ejecting stomach contents through the mouth, usually due to discomfort or irritation in the digestive system. This could be a serious side effect of the pre-packaged, processed foods included in the diet plan.
The main reason for experiencing vomiting on the Jenny Craig diet is likely an adverse reaction to the highly processed foods, which may contain ingredients that irritate the gastrointestinal system. Given that you haven’t had food allergies and were fine with Jenny Craig’s food years ago, the change in food quality could be the primary culprit.
Typically, symptoms like vomiting will subside within 2-3 days after discontinuing consumption of the irritant, as evidenced by your own experience. If symptoms persist beyond this time frame, medical consultation is strongly advised.
To manage vomiting, it is crucial to discontinue the Jenny Craig diet and switch to bland, easily digestible foods while keeping hydrated. Consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis and appropriate treatment, which may include antiemetic medications to control vomiting.
When discussing the Jenny Craig diet, the term ‘weakness’ often relates to physical symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, and muscle weakness. These issues could arise from consuming a low-calorie diet, typically between 1,200 to 1,500 calories, or from eating processed foods.
The main reason for weakness and fatigue symptoms on the Jenny Craig diet is likely due to a decrease in lean body mass (LBM) during low-energy diets. Low-energy diets can lead to reductions in muscle mass, which can contribute to weakness and fatigue. The loss of muscle mass is a concern, especially in vulnerable groups prone to sarcopenia, as skeletal muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining strength and energy levels.
Therefore, strategies to mitigate lean body mass loss, such as exercise training and protein supplementation, may be important in preventing weakness and fatigue symptoms during dieting.
How do the side effects of Jenny Craig compare to those of other weight loss diets?
The side effects of the Jenny Craig diet, which can include digestive issues like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea, appear to be more gastrointestinal-focused compared to other weight loss programs. For example, GOLO’s Release capsules have been associated with nausea, headaches, and potential medication interactions, but not necessarily gastrointestinal distress.
In contrast, general low-calorie diets have been linked to a broader range of symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and lethargy but are generally viewed positively in terms of impact on quality of life, according to research. Optavia side effects often include similar symptoms like nausea and gastrointestinal issues, but also extend to hair loss and gallstones in some cases.