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Weight Loss
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Is anyone successfully losing while eating lean cuisine/smartones for lunch?

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Like many people here I work a busy full time job and b/c I usually have 20 minutes to eat lunch I tend to go for a lean cuisine or a smartones. I always keep my calories between 1300-1400 a day during the week (I alway myself about 1700 on weekends). I know that these pre-packaged meals are high in sodium.. but I never add additional salt and I usually succeed in keeping my daily sodium intake under 2500mg.  I also drink about 3 liters of water a day. I am having a hard time losing even though I am eating low calories and working out 5 days a week for an hour and a half each day (cardio and weights). I am trying to figure out why I am not losing and I thought I should explore the possibility that eating these meals daily may not be condusive to losing weight??? Anyone having a similar problem? 
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Here's a great substitution:

2 veggie burger patties, 2 cups of your favorite vegetable (green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

The sodium count is about 1/2 and the veggie burgers really do taste good.  The calorie count will vary, it's roughly 300, depending on the variety of burger you get and which veggie you use.
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Hi- how long have you been at this?  i know it took we a while before the weight starting coming off.  stick with it!  drink plenty of water to make up for the increase in sodium that your body isn't used to getting.
I agree with alot of the above.  I have been eating much more of the lean cuisines and the new paninis since I started trying to lose weight.  I have no problem with sodium, cholesterol, or diabetes so I also do the opposite of most people nowadays and have been having my share of carbs.  I feel great, have energy, sleep well, and hardly ever feel real hunger. 

I guess I believe it truly comes down to calories in, calories out.  I have seen that sometimes, eating a little more, a little less, exercising more or less can start a change.  Different things work for different people and you should experiment some. 

I've been in menopause for a few years and I've lost 36 pounds in 4 months.  I'm happy!  The one thing I've done different this time is I don't consider this a temporary diet.  Last week, I ordered dessert and ate all of it.   I think different this time, moderation and persistence.  Good luck finding the answer for you :) 
I was told by my gym and a dietician ithat if you are wanting to loose weight you should not do weights because you're building muscle and it will look on the scale like you're not loosing.  Also, my doctor said to quit looking at the scale and judge by your clothes when you are dieting and exercising at the same time. 
burlword wrote:

"if you're trying to lose weight you're probably eating too many calories (especially the 1700 on the weekends), i would think with your exercise routine and your eating habits now that you're probably just maintaining your weight.  I lost my final 15 lbs by cutting down to about 1200-1400 every DAY"

I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS!  My solution to you, amylsmith, is to eat more!!!  Your body right now is in or is going in starvation mode and your metabolism is slowing down.  This is dangerous, not only healthwise, but for those trying to lose weight.  If you are working out 5 days a week for 90 minutes you are at least burning 300-500 calories in just exercise, not to mention the average of 1500-2000 calories burned just from normal body function (depends on gender,height,weight, etc.)  Your body is lacking the calories it needs for this type of lifestyle.  It is better to have a deficit of 500 cal/day so if you figure out what your body burns in a day, then take into account your exercise, then you should have an idea of how many calories you should be eating.  I'll bet you are eating at least 500 calories LESS than what you're supposed to!

For example: I burn 1800cal/day doing absolutely nothing because of my height,weight,daily activity,etc.  I also exercise Mon-Fri for about an hour (cardio and weights) and usually burn around 400-500 calories which then equals 2200-2400 of burned calories/day.  So, I take 2400 calories minus 500 and I get 1900 calories.  This is how many calories I should be eating each day that I exercise.  Now, for the days I don't exercise, I should eat a little less, like maybe 1500 calories.  Woman should generally never go lower than 1200 calories. 

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I really think you are not eating enough calories and it is preventing you from losing.....I know that sounds counter-intuitive but your body goes into starvation mode and hangs on to the calories.....try eating a little more (healthy) and changing up the workout - a friend just lost over 30 lbs by eating more - she was in your exact dilemma.

Good luck!
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I was having a hard time losing until I went to a diet clinic.  I was eating about the same amount of calories as you are and exercising, but nothing worked.  The physician I met with explained to me that I needed to calculate my BMR (the amount of calories I need just to exist -- for my heart to beat etc.) and then deduct 500 calories -- this gave me my daily calorie intake.  I tried it, and I have been slowly losing.  It seems that most people calculate their daily calorie needs by estimating how active they are (well, some of us seem to over-estimate) and then multiplying their desired or current weight by that number; in many cases this approach hampers results.  Type "BMR" in your internet browser and there should be a few sites that can explain how to measure and calculate your "BMR" (Basal Metabolic Rate).

Believe me, I tried everything!  I am only losing a pound a week but it's better than nothing -- It took a while, but I'm not feeling as frustrated and I didn't have to result to diet drugs (which I never intended to do when I went to the clinic -- I just wanted to know why I couldn't lose weight, when I was eating right and exercising).  Yes, I have to count my calories daily, but adding a little exercise allows me to eat a little more on the weekends.

Oh, I do eat Lean Cuisines and other pre-packaged meals.  At least they have the nutrients broken down and I know exactly how much I'm eating.

Don't give up before the miracle happens -- Good Luck!
Just curious if you have had your thyroid checked or if you are on anti-depressants. I was working out almost 2 hrs a day and eating 1500 calories a day only, still was not losing the weight. I found out that I had a severe hypo thyroid issue. It causes depression and prevents you from losing weight. I was on anti depression for the depression and going up on them all the time, which pack on weight, which made me more depressed. Talk to your doctor, it is a simple blood test to check TSH levels.

There is an amazing Ebook by Tom Venuto called Burn the fat, feed the muscle. He tells you foods to eat that have higher thermic effects, amongst a bunch of great info. It's worth looking at.

Some medications people take simply don't help the fight against fat.

You should switch up your routine too. The exercise and diet. Our bodies were designed to hang on to nutrients to get us through times when it believes we won't have an opportunity to get more. Eat well and often. A big salad has less calories than even a small slice of pizza.

I was craving philly cheese steak. I pan fried mushrooms peppers and onions, loaded a wrap with them and added 2oz of ground turkey. That is less than 300 calories. Make it a whole wheat wrap and it's got fiber. 

Another place to get good ideas is Rob the former fat guy. He has weekly emails, it is free and inspiring. Good luck and let us know how it is going.
hi folks...been gone for awile, but just really wanted to add something here  :). Thanks to CC (You GUYS ROCK!!!) I have lost 23 lbs this year, and 40 overall.

I started with the lean cuisines. They give a real perspective to portion control. AND they are great for tracking.

I prefer foods closer to their origin (not so processed)... 

I try to buy a 6-pack of chicken breasts. I grill them on Sunday and throw them each in a baggie. Usually I will eat a half for lunch with an already cooked piece of corn. maybe a whole breast for dinners.

Dinner:Throw on a veggie. Butter (Brummel & Brown - yogurt) and sea salt.   Or I make a pasta salad and eat A PORTION of it alongside.

I LOVE toasted pita (Fat Free) with hummus sandwhiches add tomato and onion, fresh cracked pepper and you are there baby. HUMMUS!!

Whatta boutta friggin turkey sandwhich? Sarah Lee (3-4 slices) brand is not too bad. Light wheat (Fiber for Life wheat), slice of cheese...(1) 

I drink two CLASSIC cokes a day.

All this with a 500 deficit a day.

I have high blood pressure. I feel so much better. 

COOK. it's better. You get more fiber. good luck. I really hope this might help you. I am at a plateau, but I know I am on the right track for me.

you nailed it jyda730. It's all about the deficit...but it's good to eat good.

I love Lean Cuisie and Healthy Choice meals...they both taste good, fill me up, and I know EXACTLY how many calories and fat grams I am eating :)
if it's just for lunch i guess it's ok and it depends on which ones

because some are extremely high in cholestrol, saturated fat..and just regular fat...also some are really high in sodium too...but they also have good nutrition like calcium, potassium, vitamins, etc.

also if you have time buy a salad or something from a nearby supermarket before going to work and refrigerate it...look at the nutrition facts before deciding which to get though
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Hi, I would say that you might be eating under the amount of calories that you should.  About 4 years ago, I lost about 20 pounds or so in 6 weeks doing the Body for Life diet.  It was impossible for me to maintain, and I gained it all back.  About a year ago, I tried losing the weight by eating SmartOnes all the time.  I just couldn't lose the weight even though I was working out 4 times a week and watching my calorie intake.  Since, it wasn't working, I stopped counting calories, and stopped and just ate sensibly.  Lean meats, veggies, etc. (Still ate about one smartone a day,) and the pounds just started coming off.  I feel that counting calories is absolutely necessary when you know that you have a tendency to overeat, but I have found that when I do it too religiously, I always end up undereating.  I follow the formula.  Make sure that on the days I work out that I get at least 1600 calories or so, and days that I don't, I eat 1200-1300.  It just wasn't working for me.  I have tried this method twice, and for me, it hasnt' worked.  I think I just get too obsessed with not exceeding my daily calories, and I end up not listening to my body when it's telling me I need food.  So, in conclusion, I think that you should try upping your calories a little bit and see what happens.  Having gone through the same scenerio that you are right now, I know upping my calories did WONDERS for my weight loss.  
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Eating Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones is absolutely fine.  Studies have shown that eating a well rounded diet that is taken from prepackaged food is okay.  I eat them every day for lunch and sometimes for dinner depending on my schedule.  Pre packaged food has the right amount of sodium, calories, fat, etc to sustain us even when we throw in the snacks.  As far as your exercise, maybe you should change your exercise routine.  My experience has been to switch to something different when I hit a plateau.

Good luck with your goals!
I am using the lean cuisines for my dinner meal, along with a salad and vegetable.  I've only been doing it for a week, but I've lost as much weight the first week as when I did the nutrisystem diet during the first week!  I think lean cuisines are great and taste good (unlike nutrisystem).  My husband has been eating them too and he has lost weight as well.  I try and stay right around 1000 to 1200 calories.  I only do the lean cuisines once a day and try to have lower sodium choices for breakfast and lunch.  So far so good. 
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I'm working on weight loss (5 weeks with a 14-lb. loss so far), but I absolutely refuse to eat anything that isn't "real food." That means no processed frozen meals, no smoothie or shake mixes, no "diet programs" that provide food for you in little tuna-sized cans, no snack bars, no 100 calorie snack packs. I GET the idea that portions are controlled in this way, but I am NOT going to rely on packaged foods to teach me what I should be eating for a healthier body. I need to learn how to feed myself well, and that means I cook. Besides, nothing in a 100-calorie snack pack is a food that I want to continue eating into the future--all of those foods are history for me, and I'm fine with that. Fresh raspberries trump those any day. Or a banana.

In addition, my husband is restricted to 400-600 mg. sodium daily for treatment of his vertigo. In order to cook for us both, it's REAL food, and that even EXcludes the membership stores with the pre-packaged frozen skinless chicken breasts: read the label and see that they contain chicken and SALT. It's the produce section, the Farmers' Market, fresh meats and poultry and fish, and nothing with a sauce or marinade. I use balsamic and other vinegars, mustards, great olive oil, lots of herbs, and spices galore, and keep the sodium extra low, while eating great fresh foods.

Last point: the recommendation for daily sodium intake was recently halved, to 1200 mg. It's going to be tough to make that with processed meals for lunch, no matter what you eat for the other meals. In a pinch, maybe Lean Cuisine or another processed meal may work for you, but treat yourself to real food and use those only when you REALLY have no other choice. (And when would THAT be?)
I've been eating about 75% frozen meals since I started my diet in April and I'm down almost 40 lb from then.  I even occassionally eat fast food.  The trick is just to keep the calories where they should be in total.

Of course...that's not the most nutritious diet plan, and it's REALLY high in sodium. 

But for me, I figure being a good weight and eating reasonably well prepared lean cuisines is better than being obese and eating junk all day long.
I think if you are working out 1 1/2 hours a day... you are probably just gaining muscle which weighs more than fat.  I don't think that you eating the Lean Cuisine is causing you not to loose weight.  Also the sodium can make the scale fluctuate some but you are still loosing weight.

Keep up the good work!!!!
I have lost over 100 pounds and I eat lean cuisines and michelena Lean Gourmets weekly.  I dont eat 3 of them a day but I almost always have one for lunch. 

As other mentioned, some are higher than others in sodium.  On days I eat them, I watch my sodium on other foods.  The Butternut Squash Ravioli is my favorite too.  It has 2 servings of vegetables.  I think I'll have it for lunch today.
I eat Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones 2-3 times per week. I generally supplement them with either a very large salad of greens, tomatoes, and fat free dressing, or a plate of steamed veggies. I've had no problem losing almost all of my weight (40 of the 45-50 pounds I wanted to lose).

It's certainly a lot better than some of the other things I could have been eating.
I'm EXTREMELY sensitive to any sodium and have high blood pressure. I keep some Healthy Choice and Smart Ones, in the freezer just for a change of pace.  If I do have anything with salt I notice a gain the next day.

All you can do if you want to see different results is to try a different strategy.

I cook a lot on Sundays, then eat that for 3 days.  I poach chicken breast, then all I have to do is fix some broccoli and grab some fruit.  Sometimes I make a lentil or vegtable soup.
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