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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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I have lost 171 pounds and lost about half of it using products like these.  Then the day came where I just got stuck and stayed at the same weight for almost two years and was eating around 1500 calories a day.

I then became more educated on whole foods and how they affect my body.  I embarked on that plan in January and have lost 55 pounds since then.  Not stuck any more and 19 pounds to goal!

Try the exercise mix up but also consider leaving the frozen foods behind.  I guarantee that you will start to lose again if you eat whole foods.  It is also not hard to consume them for lunch.  I pack my lunch in the morning within 5 minutes and even less time to prepare my lunch at Noon.

Good luck!
I agree with another poster that eating pre-packaged foods isn't doing a thing to help you with learning food portions and how to prepare foods for yourself. I have an extremely active lifestyle being a single mom with a full-time job, full-time school and active social life. It's HARD to find time to prepare food. But you CAN do it.

When you have an hour or two (watching t.v or doing house chores), cook your meals for the next few days. Make room in your freezer. Cook a turkey breast, some beef trimmed of fat, or some salmon, etc. Get some variety. 

Seperate into measured portions with frozen broccoli, frozen spinach, frozen fruit, etc. Leave out the salt and use some great seasonings such as rosemary or lemon. Make your OWN dinners. Reheat them at work and be AMAZED at how much better they taste (expecially since you've seasoned them to YOUR liking).

They WILL taste better and they WILL save you money.

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Hi Amy,

I have to say that I really think that you're eating too many calories for weight loss.  Depending on your general activity levels, height, current weight and gender (I'm assuming female and average on all the rest), you're currently at maintenence levels--especially with your weekend eating. 

I personally can't lose weight unless I keep to 1200 calories/day including weekends.  This is the standard healthy weight loss amount of calories recommended by most programs and professionals. 

One problem with some programs is that they add your exercise calories onto your daily total.  This doesn't work!!!!  Exercising more doesn't mean you can eat more because then it balances out and you won't lose weight.  If you're absolutely starving, try altering what you eat and focus on whole grains, lean proteins and whole fruits and veggies--these foods will help you feel full to enable you to stick with 1200 calories per day.

Good luck!  :-)
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The lean cuisine meals are actually pretty well balanced. You are worried about the sodium- Look out for the ones that have a balanced amount of sodium and Potassium. I eat the Three Cheese rigatoni & Veggies (lunch) and I eat a good handful of baby carrots with it and that seems to fill me up pretty well (and I'm hypoglycemic, so that's saying something). The one I eat even has a good amount of fiber.

Just remember that if you end up eating the same thing every day, your body is going to get used to it, so it is a good idea to rotate the types of meals that you eat.

And of course, it's not just what you eat, but how you exercies too.
You might want to try Amy's Kitchen meals instead of Lean Cuisine.

They are low in sodium, organic, vegetarian and they taste GREAT!  I especially like the cheese enchillada and their vegetable lasagna.  Give it a try for an alternative to Lean Cuisine that is much better for you!
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Hi, amylsmith, I eat Lean cuisine and I have been losing weight -  I wasn't too sure I would because of my age.  What you may consider, is drinking HOT lemon water after each meal - it will help flush out the sodium.    Sometimes we plateau during our diet and need to change our diet regiment for awhile.  A salad with cook chicken is an easy dish.  Good luck - hope you can turn it around.  I know how frustrating it can be.
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I eat at least one frozen dinner a day & did great losing weight since jan 25. But ya, like you said, you gotta watch the sodium. I try to just have one a day & then eat less sodium the rest of my meals & always come under 2500 mg.

I think maybe if you just stuck with the 13/1400 on the weekends too, your loss may speed up.

Good luck!!
I usually eat Lean Cuisines for lunch b/c I work full time as well.  I would try to switch up your eating habits a little bit, lay off the Lean Cuisines for a while and then try them again.  I tend to use them more during the winter then I do during the summer.   But I found out that a big thing is to change your exercise routine.  I read an article that said your body gets used to the same exercise routine and you need to change it about every 6 weeks.  I just read an article last week that said to re-jumpstar your system swith to an interval training workout.  It's been working for me I was at a plateau for 2 months and I'm finally starting to see the scale move down again. 
Thank you for all of the comments and suggestions..

hollyaworzella- I tend to agree with you as I have been told this by a few other people. I am having a hard time figuring out how much I should be eating on days I  exercise and on the days that I do not.. I am 26 years old, female, 5'2, 145 lbs. I take a boxing class 4-5 days a week for an hour. They (LA Boxing) says that it burns 800-1000 cal/hour, however I have found that it is more likely 600 cal/hour. Somedays I bike 12 miles a day when I cannot get to a class or when I just feel like it! I also do light weight training for about 25 minutes 4 days a week.   

Ibethenc & burlword- I was eating around 1200 cal/day and working out more than I am now and I was actually gaining weight! I know everyone is different so maybe this works for you both.. but is did not work for me.
My advice on the pre-packaged meals would be this: don't just assume they are "all that", READ quickly the nutrient label, I have found on MANY of these dinners/meals, that the regular ones have less calories/carbs or whatever. It is a well known fact that often in order to give these so called "healthy" meals any kind of flavor, they must increase the sodium or sugar or fat to compensate for what they have taken out! Just be a watch dog!
Sodum is known to trap water in your body, sometimes causing a "blaoted" feeling. The reason you aren't losing weight is most likely due to the water weight your body is holding. Maybe pack a healthy sandwitch and an apple for lunch or don't drink as much water. Black coffee and grapefruit also help flush excess water from your system. If you still have trouble losing weight- don't sweat it. It might just be stress that's hampering your weight loss. But in the mean time- stay off the sodium and see if it makes a difference.
your probably gaining muscle is why you probably havent lost weight...I love lean cuisines and I also started to eat the Michelinas Lean Gourmet its super tasty...I just love the fact that you pop'em in the microwave and when done you eat! wow I sounded lazy hahahaa.
If you want prepackaged meals, you're probably better off buying a set of reusable plastic storage containers, then making your own meals and freezing extra portions. It's a bit more work than buying them ready-made, but you have total control over how much salt/fat/carbs/etc. go in it, you can customize the flavor, and in the long run, you'll probably save money.

My mother uses Lean Cuisines sometimes, for maintaining, not trying to lose. She usually has one for lunch. So far so good - she's still skinny in middle age.

I hear alot of people say that the Frozen dinners are high in sodium.

I look at it differently.      Compared to food fast food, they are a sodium bargain.     

1 oz of Cheerios has  186 milligrams.   Quite a few people eat more than an ounce.   If you are eating 2 oz of cereal, you are already at 382 mgs.

A serving of Egg Beaters has less sodium than the Cheerios.  Who knew?

A sandwich made with healthy Life Bread will have 170 mg for the bread alone.  Add a slice of Kraft Light Singles for 330 mg a slice and you are up to 500 mg.

And, we haven't gotten to the dressing on your salad or your accompanying soup yet.

Your question got me thinking about how much Sodium I was REALLY getting.  More than I thought-as it turns out.

My opinion?  

Those Lean Cuisines make me more aware of the sodium I'm eating.  I stir in as much FRESH cooked veggies into my LCs as I can.  

From now on, I'm sticking with a teaspoon of olive oil and some lemon juice on my salad.    Even the fat free dressing is high in sodium.

Just try it.    Track ONLY the sodium you are eating for one day.  You may be surprized.  I certainly was.   

I was staying away from the LC to lower sodium and found I was taking more in.   So, LCs are back on the menu.  

i had lost 36 pounds eating egg whites for breakfast measuring my cheese and using bacon bits i would eat a smart one for lunch with a medium size veggie salad then for dinner i would eat a smart one or lean quizine and veggies or a salad 36 pounds in like 2 months didnt gain it back just stayed at what i lost and am still there im guessing i should give that a try again. then yoplat light or dannon light n fit is a good option for something sweet 

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hey amy. your problem is your eating more calories than your burning. the key to weight loss is to burn more than you take taking in 1500 calories your probably not burning as much. to eat that much you would need to burn about 2,000 cals. which is equal to about 3 hours of circuit training. one hour of your training only burns 851 cal. so your probably only burning close to 1000 w/ 1 1/2 hrs. but eating over 1400....not good. lower your intake to about 1000 or even 900 or 800 and see dont you get waayy better results..OR just exercise more. try running at 6.2 on the treadmill for an hour and a half that should burn the 1400 away. but the workouts your doing is not sufficient enough. & i know because in 3 months, i've lose 32 pounds...i have 32 more to go, and i also eat lean cuisines. for lunch and dinner and for breakfast i have a dannon lite and fit which is only 80 cal. a cup. i dont eat after 7 and i exercise 5x a week 2 hrs a day. and i take in around 500-550 calories and burn that, PLUS 200 more exercising. you may not be able to eat that little calories, as i do, but you can get use to it. if im still hungry after words, i just snack on fruit. i lose about 3 pounds or 2 pounds a week. so try eating less or burning more. because if you continue the path your'll continue to not see results. good luck!



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and PS: because of the sodium, it could just be water weight your holding on to, try drinking between 8-10 glasses of water to flush away the sodium or try to only eat the cuisines for dinner, and wear more clothes while exercising, to sweat more, when you sweat your releasing the salt from your body, so drink plenty of water and sweat as much as possible if you want to eat the cuisines. if that doesn't work, try water pills, that will help. not fat but it will get rid of your water weight! hope i was of some assistance. 



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Muscle does not weight more than fat it just takes up more mass.  A pound of pennies weighs the same as a pound of feathers!

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Muscle does not weigh more than fat--fat  just takes up more mass.  A pound of pennies weighs the same as a pound of feathers!

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