Weight Loss
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are eating lean cuisine's and healthy choice meals bad?

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i'm concerned about the sodium and potassium content. i have been losing weight eating them everyday (except weekends) either for lunch or dinner, but not both. i've read a book by Dr. Oz called "You on a Diet". he suggests you eat the same meals for breakfast and lunch, but change what you eat every evening. it's a very good book, i highly recommend it.

my biggest issue is salt and being on a plateau. anyone here know about the salt?

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don't you get sick of eating the same thing every day? I usually eat pretty much the same thing, but alternating, like one day i eat tuna, the other salmon. One day I eat caramel pudding, the other chocolate (those 60 cal snack to kill my chocolate craving).

I am not a big fan of lean cuisine or healthy choice, those ready meals are not half as good as me buying fresh vegetables and fresh meat and cooking myself. I only eat them when I really crave carbs and I just don't know how to cook pasta that tastes good and are low cal, low fat, so I buy them.

I don't think they're bad for you. If they have too much sodium, you can always compensate by eating other things that are low sodium.

i think they're okay in a pinch, but eating them every day is...unsustainable.  they're expensive, bland, high in sodium, and you will get bored.  cooking fresh foods is so much better for you, and you can make extra and freeze meals for convenience.

if you're eating them five times a week, how about cutting back to three and cooking the other two?  i don't think it will take long before you find that you'd rather cook.
I personally eat a lean cuisine everyday for lunch with a salad.  They are about 2.00 for me at Target and are great.  However, I won't eat them for dinner, just for lunch and switch them up ... but I think you should always add veggies or something else to them.

if you can't cook then i say go for it. i eat them sometimes and like them. i find them like 5 for $10 at the store all the time.

as far as the salt content i say think of it this way

250 to 350 calories and high sodium or

400-600 lunch out and not knowing the sodium or the calories until you get back and check and say "oh crap i can't have dinner now cuz i'm at my limit!"

if it is working is say ok. just drink a lot of water during the day


learning to cook is one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.

i think i'm going to cut back on them. i'm only eating them once a day, usually lunch. no, i think they taste good, are great in a pinch and i eat a wide variety of different meals between lean cuisine, healthy choice....rarely south beach diet. it's not that good. what i have been doing as well, is switching to eating a healthy home made lunch, and eating the lean cuisine or other in the evening. i just don't like the amount of salt, and i worry that could be impeading my weight loss.

in the evening it's usually a lot of fresh veggies, with a small amount of protein. usually chicken in some low fat form. i fry up cut up squash in pam olive oil (no calories), with a little pepper. scallions (i consider freebies), or other assorted vegies. what i think i'm going to do is get completely away from the dinners and begin to eat my own meals. what i really liked about the dinners, the small ones was i could always be certain how many calories i was eating. i felt i had more control. maybe too much, because within 2 weeks i was on a plateau. so some days i'm going to eat a little more than my 1250 cal. a day.....and some days more food with fewer calories...like a hugh salad.

no, i don't get tired of the same breakfast every morning. simple harvest whole grain cereal....it's hot of course made by quaker oats. 160 calories and it is delicious. lunch everyday is a different meal (for now) with the lean cuisine's or healthy choice. then dinner is mostly a vegetable meal with a small portion of protein....usually chicken. i want to start including fish.

i also excersize everyday unless something prevents me from it, like yesterday i didn't because of a headache. so today i walk 30 minutes. other days i'm on my cardio glide for 30 to 40 minutes.

thanks everyone for your imput. what do you guys do when your on a plateau? have any of you been able to do something inparticular to get you off of it and losing again?

I can't stand eating the same thing two days in a row.  What I do is base my meal plan on food groups and make sure I have all the food groups in a day.  I've used Healthy Choice dinners in a pinch and buy them when they're on sale.  But I find that they don't have enough vegetables in them.  I always fix another cup of steamed vegetables, or have a salad with it.
It is a lot of sodium! I like making a simple veggie stew or pasta for lunch. Toss some whole wheat penne in a little olive oil with cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and you got yourself a hearty, low calmea.
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Aside from the high salt content, I feel like Lean Cuisines are mostly carbs anyway, and so if I eat them at work for lunch, I'm always starving again within a very short time, looking for something else to eat.  So I stopped buying them altogether.  For lunch I bring the same thing almost every day, unless there are some good leftovers from dinner the night before.  I have 2 Wasa bread Fiber crackers topped with 1 slice of provolone cheese (sometimes low fat, sometimes not) broken in half, and 3 or 4 slices of the thin shaved turkey breast...this sounds like nothing, but I swear since it's a lot of protein it gets me right through until snacky time a few hours later...
I usually eat HC or LC for lunch every day at work. Have done for years. I think the sodium is fine, as long as you're eating low sodium the rest of the day, which I do. I'm one of those people that can eat the same thing every day, doesn't bother me.

Does anyone know how many calories are in the little dessert sections of the HC meals? I haven't been eating them lately (trying to avoid sugar), and I don't know how many cals to reduce by on my log.
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I use those as occasional treats that I don't have to cook. Like when my boyfriend (the cook) works too late late to make dinner, I get a Lean Cuisine sometimes.  I don't eat them regularly or keep them in the freezer though.  I doubt these prepackaged freezable meals are that good for you, even the relatively healthy ones.  I have a friend that practically lives off of them and she's one of the least healthy people I know (for several reasons).
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Anything pre-packaged, canned, or frozen is virtually unhealthy. In order to 'preserve' these items, they have to add a whole bunch of unnatural additives and chemicals to have a shelf life.  Sodium is probably the least of your concerns. Beware of anythig that says "spices" or "natural flavors"... it's all scam codes to disguise the ugly that they really put in this stuff. Diet 'meals' and products are ALL money making scams. Eat as organically and naturally as possible, and  you will receive the best health benefit.
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Anything pre-packaged, canned, or frozen is virtually unhealthy. In order to 'preserve' these items, they have to add a whole bunch of unnatural additives and chemicals to have a shelf life.  Sodium is probably the least of your concerns. Beware of anythig that says "spices" or "natural flavors"... it's all scam codes to disguise the ugly that they really put in this stuff. Diet 'meals' and products are ALL money making scams. Eat as organically and naturally as possible, and  you will receive the best health benefit.
I'm on the "Kick the Sodium" phase of changing my life. I've found that packing my lunch the night before ( salads, low fat yogurt, watery fruit) really helps. I've also learned that I can steam veggies in the micro way in just a few minutes! The broccoli florettes one buys in the produce aisle come in a bag one just pops into the microwave. Green beans and sugar snap peas can be found in such bags as well. Failing the ready to nuke bags, cut up zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and red bell pepper and place them in a covered bowl. Microwave them for 4 minutes and you'll be in heaven. If you find plain veggies bland, add a little basil or rosemary before you cook them. If one adds a little non-fat ricotta to the veggies, one creates a delightful low-cal vegan dinner! It's such a treat on a cold, rainy evening.
I love  lean cuisine meals!! they are soooo good.  and its portion control in  a box.  IF you dont have time to cook, or just havea  day where u dont feel like it. I think its a great thing to turn to.  It took me from fast food to lean cuisine.
I usually only do these for lunch.  Its quick, cause I'm hungry and keeps me out of the fridge OOOHHing and AAHHHHing.  When I want to be bad but not bust I do the swansons TV dinners.  They have a chicken patty one, with great mashed taters and corn, and 230 cals.  Always hits the spot and they go on sale for 10 for $10!  Other than that I eat healthy breakfast and dinners.

everyday Italian cookbook... there are some really great recipies in there and they tend ot be on the healthy side.... full of flavor and not fat....

the lean cuisines are so small in portion and frankly very salty.... 

i don't think these are these are the worst things for you, but they are not very good for you either.  maybe you should try just cutting back on them?? i try not to eat a frozen meal more than once a week... i love the lean cuisine santa fe rice and beans, so i just pretty much made it myself!  even if i make a big portion and it lasts me for a few days, it's much better knowing exactly what your eating and what's in it... and it can be easy... look up quick easy recipes that you can handle making yourself and just split them up in tupperwares and take it to lunch!  (for the santa fe meal- i made whole grain brown rice, and then in a pot i made chopped fresh celery and carrots, onions, can of corn, 2 types of beans, and lots of diced tomatoes, with a little chili powder.... threw some light cheddar cheese over the top and it was delicious, healthy and i knew what's in it...)

 i like the amy's brand of frozen foods too if i am going to have one... they seem to be pretty healthy too.


jmc1221 has the right idea. make your own, they will be tastier, healthier, more filling and personalized!


portion control in a box? nice idea, if they were healthy. i find the calories kind of high and the carbs far too high, the protein too low and the taste usually bland.


the portion is kind of small too :/

- buy a jar of low cal low fat alfredo, a jar of low cal low fat marinara and a jar of low cal low fat asian style (spicy if you dig that)  or make your own sauces

- cook up some pasta, rice or boiled potatoes

- cook up come chicken, fish or large beans

- boil some veggies for 2 minutes or use frozen veggies. 

- mix and match! then seal and freeze!

i toss mine into ziplock bags and store them flat. i have a bowl and cutlery at work so it is like i am eating real food and not eating out of a cardboard or plastic~ enjoy! 

i look at it this way: if they were quality ingredients, they wouldn't get mushed up in a factory, squirted into a cardboard box, and frozen - they'd be on the shelf.  imagine yourself in the food distribution business: you're going to take the best, freshest, most appealing veggies, grains, and meats and send them whole to the store.  then you're going to take the ugly, bruised, broken, dried up bits and send them to the people who make the frozen dinners.  then those people add all kinds of sodium and other chemical ingredients in an effort to make waste food look and taste appetizing.

the biggest irony is that all that sodium does nothing to make those meals tasty.  when i used to eat them (and i did - a lot), i always ended up adding salt, pepper, real cheese, ketchup - anything to try to give them some flavour.
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