Jenny Craig 

Every Day Is a Chance for Change

By Janette Calabro  


If you want to strengthen your mindful eating habits and your determination to lose weight, consider Jenny Craig. This tried-and-true weight loss company has been around for more than 30 years. Local Jenny Craig franchise owner Chris Coash shares her Jenny Craig journey and invites us to start our own. 

Decades ago, Jenny Craig set out to create a new kind of weight loss program. The problem that Jenny saw with other programs, says Chris, was that “there was no focus on nutrition or on changing behaviors to help make sure people had the skills to keep the weight off after they finished a program.” Jenny Craig’s program was successful because it taught its participants real skills for both nutrition and weight loss maintenance. “That keeps Jenny successful today,” Chris shares.

Chris would know. She owns six Jenny Craig franchises—two in Omaha, two in Lincoln, and two in Des Moines. She started as a consultant in 1992. She soon moved up to a sales position and then to manager, regional director, and trainer. Finally, she gained the opportunity to buy her own stores. “It has been a life calling to help people lose weight and make positive change in their lives,” Chris says. 

A Jenny Craig program helps you change not just your habits but your whole lifestyle. The difference between habit change and lifestyle change is an important concept, Chris explains. “Habits are what we do; lifestyle is the way we think. It’s important to change the way you think about food, exercise, and social activities to keep the excess weight off.” 

 “Jenny Craig is a food-based, behavior-change program. When you join, you’re taking a season of your life in which you’re going to focus on fitness and weight loss. During that time, you’ll have a calorie deficit of about 700 fewer calories per day to lose one to two pounds per week (with activity and exercise).” The significant food reduction, combined with physical activity, leads to the kind of quick success that really increases your enthusiasm for what you’re doing…but that’s just the first step. 

“You’ll be working one-on-one with a consultant to focus on how to manage and work the menu plan into your life,” Chris continues. “More importantly, you work on behaviors to keep the weight off. If you do anything for a short time to lose weight without building the skills to keep the weight off, you’re going to repeat that cycle over and over. With Jenny’s plan, you work with your consultant to develop the skills to maintain your weight.” The consultant is the secret sauce of Jenny Craig. Your consultant helps you identify a purpose that keeps you focused, teaches you the skills you need to move forward, and supports you while you do so. 

 If you’re worried that you won’t get to eat anything delicious, you can relax. With over 100 different food choices and 49 different menu plans, it’s easy to find something you’ll love. You can pick your food up curbside or in the store once a week. The seven-day routine is really important, Chris points out, because the focus is on behavior change. “Motivation comes and goes. When your consultant is set up to take a deep dive into purpose and goals every seven days, that reinvigorates your focus on your goals.”

Chris notes that right now is a great time to turn to the support of Jenny Craig. Many people have gained some weight during the past few months of social isolation, and Chris is no exception. “It’s like having Christmas all over again!” she points out. “Many people are working from home, where the refrigerator is only a few steps away.” What’s important is to decide that you’re making a change, and Chris practices what she preaches. “I’m currently on about 1,200 calories a day, with four solid workouts a week,” she says.  “Regardless of where you are right now, the program is your own personal journey.” 

Chris reminds us that Jenny Craig is a local business, committed to the community, partnering with other businesses to spread the word about losing weight and getting healthy. There are a number of programs to meet different budgets. 

As so many of us know, lifestyle change is hard, and so is losing weight. How do you know if you’re ready to make the leap into weight loss and better health? Chris has been through that, too. “When the pain of where you are is greater than the pain it will take to make a change in your life, that’s when you’re ready,” she concludes. If you’re ready to make a positive change, get in touch with Chris Coash at

Locations in Omaha are at Shops of Legacy—2835 South 170th Plaza, Suite 210, 402-334-1030 and Tower Plaza—325 North 78th Street, 402-392-7300. 

Christine Coash, 

local Jenny Craig 

franchise owner

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