So, you’ve decided to make a much-needed lifestyle change and go gluten-free. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part – figuring out what to eat. Meal delivery services are a convenient option, and Jenny Craig offers weight loss-friendly and gluten-free meals. But is it the best option for you?
Jenny Craig is one of the most popular weight loss programs that offer premade meals and snacks. Their meals are gluten-free with no artificial flavors, processed ingredients, or sweeteners. The meals are nutritionally balanced and portion-controlled for quick and effective weight loss plan.
Before you sign up for a Jenny Craig gluten-free plan, weigh all your options. See how it compares to other meal delivery companies that offer gluten-free and weight loss-friendly plans and whether it fits your budget and tastes.
What Is the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Meal Delivery Program?
What exactly can you expect from a weight loss meal program like Jenny Craig if your goal is to receive premade meals and snacks right to your door?
According to customer feedback, Jenny Craig’s meals set a good example for how you can lose up to 2 lbs per week. However, a potential downside to their meals may be that they are pricey and the food is not the most varied in flavor:
- The meals are all gluten-free, made with healthy, high-quality ingredients, and portion controlled so you don’t have to count calories on your own.
- When you sign up, you are required to take a quick assessment to determine your daily caloric needs and meal preferences.
- Based on your selections, Jenny Craig will create a personalized menu plan for you consisting of daily meals, snacks, and desserts.
The best part of subscribing to Jenny Craig is that you do not have to shop for, cook, or clean up after the meals. They are simply heat-and-eat meals. Healthy eating helps you stay on top of your fitness goals, and Jenny Craig shows how you can lose 1–2 lbs weekly.
The program includes nutritious meals, snacks, personal coaching, and a step-by-step weight loss assessment that is personalized and unique for every individual.
How Much Do Jenny Craig Meals Cost?
- The Simple Meal Plan, which includes 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches, starts from $13.99 per day.
- The Essential Meal Plan, which includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners, starts from $21.99 per day.
- The Max Up Weight Loss Meal Plan, which includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, 7 snacks and desserts, 7 recharge bars, and personal coaching, starts from $28.54 per day.
They offer free shipping on the first order. After which, the shipping cost is calculated based on the size of your order and the delivery location.
Jenny Craig’s Pros and Cons
- The premade meals are fresh and high quality.
- Nutritionally and portion-controlled.
- Breakfast, snacks, and dessert are included.
- No need for grocery shopping or meal planning.
- Personal 1-on-1 coaching to lose weight.
- Meal plans are highly personalized and easy to track.
- No prior cooking experience is required.
- Meals consistently taste good.
- Easy to store meals with proper labels.
- Relatively pricier than other premade meals.
- Strictly portion controlled.
- Shipping charges are extra.
Can I Customize My Jenny Craig Meals?
You can select the plan you want out of three different options:
- Simple Meal Plan
- Essential Meal Plan
- Max-Up Weight Loss Meal Plan
Jenny Craig’s meals are customizable in a way that ensures that no two people alike will receive the same type of meals, making it ideal for all kinds of dieters.
The Jenny Craig diet offers more than 100 different meals to choose from each week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. Every food item is premade and packed fresh. Handpick meals that you like from the menu. You’re not locked into any set meal plan; you can always go back and choose your meal preferences all over again.
Each meal that you choose from Jenny Craig is portioned to promote weight loss, but you will have some flexibility in how much you want to eat. Weight watchers will be pleased to know that every meal on their menu comes with the ideal portion size. The goal is to avoid overeating while also keeping you full for longer. For midday cravings, you can replenish your system with healthy snacks, so their meal programs are sustainable and approachable.
Snacks are the second best thing about Jenny Craig – after their meals, of course. Jenny Craig provides you with 40 different snack options including healthy recharge bars, chips, pretzels, granola bars, popcorn, and cookies. These are best eaten in between meals, especially when you want to curb cravings and want something healthy. Even the snacks are portion-controlled.
Coaching and Tips
In addition to the premade meals, if you select their Max-Up Weight Loss Meal Plan, you get access to their premium features like personalized activity plans designed for promoting better weight loss. The coaching tips and assessments are designed by an in-house personal coach based on your needs.
Jenny Craig Alternative #1 – Nutrisystem
An in-depth review of Nutrisystem meals that are all precooked is a must when you have to compare it with Jenny Craig as they have a lot of features in common. Nutrisystem promotes health and wellness with flash-frozen and low-fat diet meals and snacks that you can heat and eat in only a few minutes.
In addition to helping you lose weight, they also have meal plans for men, women, diabetics, and women above 55. The nutrition profile of their meals consists of more lean proteins, smart carbs, healthy fats, and sufficient dietary fiber.
With the help of portion-controlled meals that are dietician-approved, Nutrisystem takes on a new approach toward healthy eating. It’ll have you eating up to 6 times per day, preventing hunger pangs and the need to constantly check the clock until it’s time to eat the next meal.
A quick word on the way all the meals are packed and delivered – Nutrisystem delivers meals in two separate shipments: one containing all the frozen meals that you have to freeze immediately after unpacking and the other contains nonfrozen packages that you can store in the pantry. Everything is labeled for your convenience.
Nutrisystem Meal Pricing
Nutrisystem’s meal plans are divided into different categories based on your budget and meal preferences. They offer meal plans for one and two people at a time. The meal programs also differ for men and women. And, as an added bonus, they offer specialized meal programs for diabetes and menopause.
The cost per day which consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks starts from $10.71. This is their most basic diet plan program, and it offers limited benefits such as the NuMiSmartAdapt mobile app and nutrition coaching.
The more expensive meal programs, ranging from $13 to $16 per day, also include additional benefits including personalized weight loss coaching, the NuMiSmartAdapt mobile app, and a more varied catalog of meals to pick from.
Shipping is free on all orders, taking into consideration that with Nutrisystem, you have to order meals for the entire month at a time.
Nutrisystem Pros and Cons
- Meal programs for weight loss, diabetes, and menopause.
- Daily meals include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
- Exclusive weight loss app for nutrition tips.
- Dietician-recommended coaching for weight loss.
- Nutritionally balanced meals with macros.
- Over 130 different meal recipes.
- Ideal for single and couple diet programs.
- You can select a fully vegetarian plan.
- The packaging is well-organized and durable.
- Free shipping with doorstep delivery.
- You have to pay more to place an order.
- It delivers meals for an entire month.
- Some meals taste bland.
- Some people may not like that their meals are flash-frozen.
Nutrisystem Menu – What and How Is the Meal Variety?
Nutrisystem provides many dietary solutions for people on a weight loss diet or who have diabetes or menopause. In general, all their meals are nutritionally balanced with fewer calories, more lean proteins, fiber, healthy carbs and fats, and low sodium.
There are over 100 different types of meals to pick from, each containing its own unique nutritional breakdown and ingredients list. In a single day, Nutrisystem has you eating up to 6 meals to avoid hunger pangs. The meals are well-portioned and help you maintain your ideal caloric intake for weight loss.
Even those who are in a calorie deficit won’t find Nutrisystem’s meals excessive. The free NuMi app lets you log in all your meals in an organized and timely manner. You can track your nutrition goals easily and record what you eat and drink throughout the day for better clarity into your daily eating habits.
The taste of the meals is just as varied as the menu selections. Some you may find that they taste bland, while others are appetizing and flavorful. Ordering meals for the entire month may feel overwhelming for some people, but they do offer a money-back guarantee if you find that their meals do not meet your expectations.
Jenny Craig Alternative #2 – CookUnity
If you want more than just nutritionally fortified meals, CookUnity’s menu offers varied flavors and recipes that are chef-curated. They have global cuisines, seasonal meals, local specialties, and healthy meals.
CookUnity is also a more affordable premade meal delivery service where you can order meals for a week or less. They are unique in the way they prepare and deliver fresh meals, ideal for quick lunch or dinner fixups.
Their weekly menu features more than 100 different recipes that are freshly cooked and packed. A meal shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to heat. And you can easily store the meals in the refrigerator or freezer depending on how long you want the meals to last.
What sets CookUnity apart from the rest of the meal delivery services is that their menu is location-specific. You have to enter the zip code to get access to a personalized menu.
The meal ordering process is simple and straightforward. You even have a few days of breathing space in case you want to customize the order by adding or removing meals.
The packaging barely takes up any space, focusing more on the use of recyclable materials and colorful labels for easy unpacking. The meals are stored with ice packs and proper insulation, which you can recycle after emptying the gel contents from the ice packs in the sink.
Each meal sleeve contains important information regarding the meal recipe, including the ingredients list, heating instructions, macros, use-by date, and the chef’s profile. Each meal has a unique QR code that you can scan using your phone along with a separate QR code for recycling information.
CookUnity Meals Pricing
With CookUnity, you can choose anywhere between 4 and 16 meals per week. The plan pricings are quite approachable, starting with $13.59 per serving for fewer meals and coming down to $10 per serving for more.
First-timers are eligible for a discount depending on the number of meals added to the cart. Keep in mind that all are single-serve meals and packed in single-serve containers with ice packs. Shipping is free on all orders, even on the smallest order of 4 meals per week.
CookUnity Pros and Cons
- Wide variety of meals.
- The menu changes according to the delivery location.
- Filter meals by diet, restrictions, and ingredients.
- Supports vegan and vegetarian diets.
- Over 150 different meal varieties to pick from.
- Single-serve meals that are quick to heat.
- No meal customization
- Expensive when you order less than six meals
- Not available in some locations in the USA
- No entrees, side dishes, desserts, etc.
CookUnity Menu – What and How Is the Meal Variety?
CookUnity offers meals that fit into many diet categories, such as vegetarian, vegan, low dairy, gluten-free, low carb, and low calorie. The menu consists of over 100 different specialties, offering global, local, and seasonal dishes.
You can even filter the meals by diet category to narrow down your choices if you have specific dietary preferences. Before you get a chance to select the recipes you want, first you have to add in your zip code, meal plan size, and contact information.
There are plenty of low-calorie and low-carb-friendly meals prioritizing whole foods. Even if your diet consists of specialized meals without gluten or dairy, CookUnity features a blend of dishes made with fresh and high-quality ingredients.
Since the menu is location-based, the meals are delivered to your doorstep from your local area. You can even select your meals according to ingredients, such as meat, poultry, and plant-based.
Some locations offer additional items like breakfast, soup, sides, drinks, and desserts. But this depends primarily on the location of delivery. CookUnity is a good alternative for meals prepared by chefs closer to your area. They specialize in balanced and nutritious meals for weight management.
Jenny Craig Alternative #3 – Factor
Meal delivery services like Factor have really evolved along with the industry. It’s a highly competitive company known for its modern packaging and user-friendly, sleek website. Another thing you might find interesting about this best-prepared meal delivery service is that it has become quite popular among millennials.
Your lunches/dinners, snacks, and desserts for the entire week are sorted. What’s even more amazing is that you can select meals that cater to different dietary preferences, contain various sources of protein, and are packed with diverse flavors. You get nourishing meals (a.k.a. comfort food) despite these being premade meals.
Whole foods are prioritized here so you can do healthy, clean eating (as opposed to consuming unhealthy junk or fast food). Mostly organic ingredients (vegetables and fruits) are used. As for animal proteins, these are free of hormones and antibiotics.
During sign up, you choose how many meals you want to add to the weekly order. Your options are 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18. Pick your meal plan, then meals, and even add-ons. There are menu filters you can use if you have any dietary requirements or restrictions. And if you click on the dish, you get to know its nutritional value, ingredients list (allergens included), and heating instructions.
Factor Meals Pricing
Here is the simple pricing breakdown of Factor meal plans:
|Meals per week||Cost per serving|
The shipping charges for all meal plans is a flat $10.99 per order, no matter your location.
For the add-ons available on the Factor menu, you have to pay separately. For example, for breakfast, you will spend around $10 for pancakes or $11 for scrambled eggs. For desserts, about $20 for cheesecake or $15 for cookies. The smoothies, wellness shots, and juices cost $24 or higher. They also have protein add-ons, which are priced anywhere between $9.99 and $24.99.
Factor Pros and Cons
- Health-conscious, diet-friendly meal plans.
- Restaurant-quality prepared meals.
- Organic produce is used for the most part.
- Meat is free of hormones and antibiotics.
- High-protein, low-carb meals ideal for weight loss.
- Smoothies, snacks, extra proteins, sides, and breakfast items.
- Shipping is not free; you have to pay $10.99.
- The price per serving of meals is a tad expensive.
- Not enough options for vegans and vegetarians.
Factor Menu – What and How Is the Meal Variety?
On the Factor menu every week, there are more than 35 meals – all restaurant quality!
But before I get into anything else, here are the various meal plans offered by Factor:
- Protein Plus
- Vegan & Veggie
- Calorie Smart
- Chef’s Choice
The best part about Factor is that they offer high-protein and low-carb meals (Factor meals for weight loss indeed). The menu can be filtered to show just the meals that very conveniently fit into several diet categories – paleo, keto, low calorie, high protein, dairy-free, plant-based, vegetarian/vegan, and spicy, although there are very few choices in the vegetarian/vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free sections.
These are all high-quality ready-to-eat meals (with mostly organic ingredients, also GMO-free). This includes mouthwatering add-ons such as mango smoothie, classic strawberry keto cheesecake, brownie energy bites, and tangy BBQ chicken wings.
The smoothies would be perfect for times when you want to have a quick, tasty snack. The breakfast options are great for starting your day with a nutritious, well-balanced meal. On top of that, Factor also features gourmet dishes, for which you have to pay extra since they’re not a part of the standard meal plans.
Jenny Craig Alternative #4 – Blue Apron
It’s all very simple with Blue Apron, thanks to its easy sign-up and meal selection process. How many meal kits per week, how many servings per meal kit, and what kind of proteins – you can take your pick based on your needs, requirements, and preferences. The minimum you can order is two 2-serving meal kits and the maximum is four 4-serving meal kits.
As for all the options available on Blue Apron, these include 2-serving and 4-serving meal kits as well as Butcher Bundles (12 servings of different kinds of proteins) and Meal Prep Bundles (8 servings of lunches). In addition to that, there are add-ons such as appetizers, desserts, and wine selections.
Blue Apron is one of the most popular subscription-based meal delivery services with diet-friendly meal plans, like vegan, keto, gluten-free, etc. Not many meal kit companies provide their customers with options such as plant-forward, low-calorie, diabetes-friendly, low-carb, weight loss-friendly, and vegetarian meal options.
It’s also one of the very few food delivery services that ensure the meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Sustainably sourced seafood and non-GMO, organic ingredients are also to be found in Blue Apron meals.
Blue Apron Meal Pricing
Blue Apron meal kits’ cost varies from $7.49 to $9.99 per serving.
|Meal kits per week||“Signature” meal plan||“Vegetarian” meal plan||“Wellness” meal plan||“Signature for Four” meal plan|
|2 meal kits||$9.99 per serving||$9.99 per serving||$9.99 per serving||$8.99 per serving|
|3 meal kits||$8.99 per serving||$8.99 per serving||$8.99 per serving||$7.99 per serving|
|4 meal kits||$8.99 per serving||–||–||$7.49 per serving|
Shipping is not free and the additional cost of that is $9.99, irrespective of your order size.
Compared to other meal delivery services, Blue Apron has a very affordable pricing range. Despite the budget-friendly cost, the menu is quite diverse, and the ingredients are of high quality. In short, Blue Apron meals have a lot in common with those offered by even some of the more expensive meal kit delivery services.
But do take into account that meal customizations are not free, meaning protein or other ingredient swaps can cost between $0.95 and $5.95 per serving. Also, the premium recipes have a higher price tag, which can be between $13.99 and $19.99 per serving.
As for Blue Apron wine options, the price here starts at $11 for a bottle. For 6 bottles (per case), you spend about $75.99 (this includes the shipping fee).
Blue Apron Pros and Cons
- Affordable meal plans, even for 4 servings per meal.
- Meal kits that are very healthy and delicious.
- Quick heat-and-eat meals also on the menu.
- Hormone-free meat and GMO-free ingredients.
- Wine delivery service is also available.
- Does not accommodate diets like paleo and keto.
- Potential allergens cannot be removed.
- Shipping costs an extra $10.
Blue Apron Menu – What and How Is the Meal Variety?
On the Menu are Blue Apron’s meals this week. But what you see on the Blue Apron menu is different from what you see on their Meal Plans page. The latter consists of the following options for their busy, health-conscious customers:
- Chef Favorites
- Family Friendly
- Fast & Easy
They have top picks for Chef Favorites, nutritionist- and dietician-approved menu items for Wellness meals suitable for fussy eaters for Family Friendly, prepared meals for Fast & Easy, and meat-free recipes for Veggies.
Each week, there are over 16 meal kits you get to choose from. On top of that, there are extras in various forms, for example, chocolate whoopie pies, French bread pizzas, boneless chicken breast pieces, nectarine scones, fresh corn & scallion muffins, brown butter-almond pound cake, and a lot more.
There are Heat & Eat (premade) meals too with delicious salads, brunches, and desserts, along with a la carte proteins (chicken breast, bacon, salmon fillet, shrimp, etc.).
As for the main menu, it contains a good number of global-inspired meals – comfort and classic American recipes as well as French, Italian, Indian, Korean, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines. New cooking methods and great dinner inspiration are the two most noteworthy benefits of a diverse menu like this.
4–5 vegetarian meals per week is the norm, which veggie lovers might grow fond of because these dishes are loaded with appetizing flavors and yummy seasonal ingredients.
Talking about the menu, the four primary menu categories are the following:
- Signature (2 servings) – Signature consists of full-range meals with meat, seafood, and vegetables.
- Vegetarian (2 servings) – Vegetarian consists of plant-based dishes that include seasonal produce.
- Wellness (2 servings) – Wellness consists of meals that are approved by nutritionists and dieticians (low-carb meals).
- Signature for Four (4 servings) – Signature for Four consists of family-friendly meals crafted for picky eaters (i.e., kids).
You can do meal or ingredient swapping as well if you like, for instance, bulking up more protein or turning a meat-based dish into a plant-based dish. Overall, the Blue Apron experience is really very satisfactory even though their menu isn’t the most allergy-friendly.
Why Pick These Alternatives Over Jenny Craig?
For monthly deliveries: The Nutrisystem meal program caters to a wide variety of eaters who are health-conscious. It offers a full package to anyone looking for weight-loss meals in bulk over the course of a month. Their meal programs include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and keep you full and satisfied for the entire day.
For flavorful, chef-cooked meals: CookUnity offers a fantastic blend of healthy and delicious meals cooked with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The meals are restaurant-inspired and suit a variety of dietary preferences and tastes. In many ways, it appeals to picky eaters because the menu features over 100 recipes.
For high-protein, low-carb meals: Factor meals for weight loss are available in abundance because almost all of their meals are protein-packed and carb-limited. They have a whole, separate Protein Plus meal plan that consists of dishes with generous portions of proteins like chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and seafood.
For meal kits instead of premade meals: Blue Apron offers 16+ options for meal kits, which include 4-serving portion sizes as well (perfect for families). It’s one of the best meal kit delivery services for both meat and plant eaters looking for a way to maintain a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
What to Look for When Comparing Healthy Meal Delivery Services
The thrill of never having to shop for groceries again is reason enough to subscribe to premade meal delivery services. Prepared meals are served in single-serve containers. Once the package arrives, stack them in a fridge or freezer, and take them out only when you want to heat and eat them.
Where a meal took hours to plan, prep, and cook, meal delivery services like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, CookUnity, etc. offer meals that take minutes to serve.
It’s difficult to cook meals at home that cater to different dietary needs like paleo, keto, low calorie, high protein, etc. You end up cooking the same type of meals if you’re on a restrictive diet.
That’s not the case with meal delivery services as they include varied options like vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto, paleo, etc.
Majority of people on a weight loss diet struggle with maintaining portion control. They either end up eating less or more than they need to. Prepackaged meal delivery services provide preportioned meals, helping you control your daily caloric intake and avoid overeating.
This is particularly helpful for people on a weight loss diet or who are trying to cut back on their calories and increase their intake of proteins, healthy carbs, fats, and other essential nutrients.
Processed foods that contain high sodium, calories, and fats are off-limits when speaking of nutrition. Meal delivery services are thorough in that they provide a proper nutrition breakdown by taking into account the macronutrients of each and every meal. Instead of keeping track of macros on your own, you can filter and select meals that satisfy your diet preferences, making it easier to eat well-balanced meals and develop healthy habits.
More and more Americans are not only getting busier but also more health-conscious. So, for that type of crowd, convenience and nutrition in the form of the best meal delivery services have become a must, especially because these companies cater to several kinds of dietary preferences (restrictions included). Portion control, new flavors and exotic cuisines, and food wastage prevention are not neglected.
Jenny Craig is certainly one of the most reputable meal delivery services thanks to its personalized approach when it comes to nutrition and weight loss. But their menu options can seem a bit limited if you have any specific diet demands. So, why not choose any one of the four Jenny Craig alternatives discussed in this post?