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Frozen Meals (Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice) Do they work?

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Has anyone had any luck using frozen meals such as Lean Cuisine or Healthy choice? If so, could you please recommend some healthy ones that taste pretty good?  Also, below you will see what I have been eating for the past 2 weeks.  I noticed that I am WAY below the recommended calories intake.  I am confused because (1)I eat an apple and granola bar for breakfast. (2)An apple inbetween breakfast and lunch. (3) I have the Lemon Garlic shrimp for lunch.(4)and for dinner I have the  Chicken Tuscan.  My recommended calorie intake is 2100 calories. It is 1000-1500 calories for an aggressive diet. I also read that anything under 1000 is unhealthy and can lead to muscle degeneration.  However, after these meals I feel satisfied.  Do I eat more food just to meet the recommended calorie intake? Any suggestions?

What I ate today:

2 Apples-Granny Smith--80 calories

Low Fat Oatmeal Raisin Bars-Quaker Chewy--90 calories

Lemon Garlic Chicken-Lean Cuisine--280 calories

Chicken Tuscan-Lean Cuisine--350 calories


            Total Calories Consumed880B-     nsumed880Total Calories Consumed880
26 Replies (last)
They work on low calories and portion control. There's not much healthy about Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine. They are processed and full of sodium. They are low cal junk food.
They never fill me up and leave me bloated.  Two thumbs down.  All natural/unprocessed is so much better for you.  I can eat more/healtheir food for the same or fewer calories if I take the time to plan and prepare it myself.
I have one for lunch a few times a week.  They are ok.  They all taste the same and never fill me up so I usually have some fruit or yogurt with it.  Look out for the high sodium content.  Still better than fast food...
MY OPINION~~~ STAY AWAY.. If it comes in a box or a bag DONT EAT IT!! MAN MADE.. PROCESSED... STAY AWAY!!!!  Eat what God gave you..... Fruits, veggies, lean meats.... Sodium causes you to retain water & you dont need that! I warn against it!

I actually do enjoy a few of the lean cuisine meals.  I eat maybe one or two per week.  My FAVORITE one is the Santefe beans and rice.  I love it!  There is also a new one that has noodles and veggies and chicken.  Typically I look for the ones with high Fiber and protein to balance out the high sodium---just drink plenty of water. 

And to answer your question--yes you should eat more 880 is not enough calories.  You need to add something somewhere.  Perhaps to your second apple of the day also eat some cashews or almonds maybe a string cheese. You do need to eat more---ESPECIALLY if you are exercising. 


Thanks for the feedback. I work long hours at the office, so that is why I was hoping the frozen meals would work for me. Sounds like most people don't think that is a good way to go.  Can you recommend a good diet, or some good meals that are easy to prepare?  (Maybe a couple good breakfasts, a couple good lunches, a couple good dinners, and maybe a couple good snacks inbetween.) Thanks.

I eat them once in awhile due to working two jobs and starting back at school.  I just don't always have time to cook, go to work and go to the gym.  I find that I just need to make sure I watch my sodium the rest of the day and drink a lot of water to help flush the sodium out.  Maybe in a perfect world  we would all have time to prepare organic foods from scratch but in reality land those little frozen buggers are helpful sometimes.
Oh also I find that if I have a night off or maybe sunday night I will make double batches of chicken breast, salmon fillets and turkey burgers and steamed veggies and then slam them in some tupperware and eat them for lunches instead of the lean cuisine and stuff.  That helps cut back a bit on the sodium.
hi dietdude,

I actually just posted this in another thread, but it certainly applies here. Just some suggestions. I'm right with you on the "it has to be easy" thing :)

Slim Fast Optima Shakes are great! Sometimes I drink 3 a day. They have 180 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protien. AND they are delicious (and filling if you eat little snacks in between like fruit or yogurt)!
Whole Wheat Pasta - my fav of all my meals because it's the most satisfying. One serving is only 180 cals (3/4 cup dry), 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protien. I eat it with just a little bit of olive oil and salt or just red sauce. (oh and NO sodium in the pasta itself) AND if I double the serving, I still feel good about it because it means I'm getting 12 grams of fiber and protien. Not too shabby.
pears - the most delicious fruit ever in my opinion. A small pear has only 81 cals with 4.5 grams of fiber!!! (not much protien though)
poached or hard boiled egg whites -  in just 16 cals, there are 3 grams of protien. Some mornings I eat 5 poached egg whites!
Fiber One bars - these are the best because I can buy a huge box at Costco, so they are crazy cheap :) One bar is 140 cals and has 9 grams of fiber!!! and 2 grams of protien. They don't taste too healthly because there is a bit of chocolate in them :)

Anyway, this is my list of absolute essentials! I eat most of these every single day while at work. GOOD LUCK!!!
Definitely make your own:

Sauteed shrimp and broccoli...take frozen shrimp and sautee them with some olive oil or sesame seed oil and garlic, maybe a few mushrooms along with broccoli, if you buy the frozen kind it's already cut up for you.  Serve over rice or noodles if you need more calories.

Chicken breasts paprika.  There's a recipe for a one pot meal on the back of a cream of mushroom can...pretty good, change the rice to brown for a healthier meal, you can make a week's worth of lunches in one sitting...toss your favorite veggies alongside.

Foil wrapped chicken...make a foil packet with chicken and your favorite veggies, toss some minute rice in if you want...bake around 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Also works with fish, you can get the frozen fillets to save some time, many of them are premarinated.

Yum! Those sound like great meals!  Thanks for sharing...I cook for myself and normally make some chicken breasts and maybe pork loin on the weekends to eat during the week... but sometimes you just don't want that after you have see it all weekend!  Quick and variety!  I like it!


I don't think frozen meals are necessarily bad for you, but most do have a lot of sodium.  Just make sure to watch the sodium intake (I think one Lean Cuisine meal has around 20-30% of your daily sodium needs, so it doesn't look like you're exceeding it)

I think they can work really well for people who need convenience.  Kashi and Amy's Organic make decent frozen meals. 


I posted this at work today for the first time and I am blown away at how many people actually responded! Thanks alot everyone! This really helps.

They're OK. I eat them for lunch and/or dinner a few times a week. I have a pretty busy work schedule and live by myself, and frankly, sometimes it's the best I can do. They're certainly better than most fast foods out there.

But really, learn how to cook a few things and use the tools on the site to educate yourself about different foods. Use the frozen stuff to supplement not to be the mainstay of your diet.

I wouldn't eat them regularly but I guess they do in a pinch.  To me, they taste icky compared to regular food, which is weird since they are supposedly made from real food ingredients.  The few South Beach products I have tried were especially awful. 

i pretty much eat the pizza ones...cuz they must be somewhat better than real pizza right? ..and if i have a real pizza box in front of me, ill eat like 3 slices =/ so it kinda helps me heh

i also like the lean pockets..
I like some of the Healthy Choice frozen dinners as a twice-a-week starting point. I HAVE to eat more food than that ... so try to add some sort of salad (with low fat dressing) and a nice pile of steamed veggies (usually broccoli or green beans.)  I do agree that most of the entress seem to taste pretty much the same.

=^..^=  MollyMouser
i also like everything that "amy's brand" makes.

they make this buritto thing that really good.

you could always do sandwiches. those are really an easy thing to make.

get that and a ready made salad. chomp chomp!

trader joe's has good ready made sushi platter (Not raw but tasty)

and they have ready made grilled chicken strips and flavored nuts...

you should check one of those stores out or a whole food near you. a lot of thier stuff is more healthy for you as it just real food.

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First off you should be eating:

Like a King for Breakfast! Like a Knight for Lunch! And Like a Peasant for Dinner! It makes sense; in the morning you burn the most energy and at night before bed you burn the least amout of energy. Many people tend to do it the other way around and eat little in the morning and A LOT especially at night. Secondly, Lean Cuisine, like mentioned before, is just low calorie junkfood in a nice looking container. Same with Chewy raisin bars, they're junkfood. They may be low in fat but high in sugar and unhealthy additives. If you want a granola bar find a healthier one! Never buy things like Splenda or foods/drinks with fake calories! Fake calories just make you hungrier! If your going to eat something then eat the real thing.

Recomended Breakfast: 1-2 fruit, Irish oatmeal, 1 glass milk/soymilk/100%juice. OR instead of oatmeal: any Kashi/Nature's Path cereal OR whole grain bagel OR soy yogurt. Calories 410-470

Lunch: 3-4 servings vegetables with hummus, 1 fruit, handfull of nuts, water/seltzer. OR instead of nuts: soy yogurt. Calories 400-460

Dinner: small pasta with loaded veggies and sauce, any drink OR veggie burger on whole wheat bread, legume side any drink OR whatever you can think of! Calories 300-400

Snacks: FRUIT/VEGETABLES/cracker

Total Calories: A healthy 1100-1600 intake! AND YOU HAVE PLENTY of things to eat that don't have many calories!

my quick advice which saves your portion control and the environment: GO VEGAN!
dont know if youre looking for suggestions, but i eat them about 4-6 times a week for lunch or dinner... im a college student and the lc's have a lot less calories then convenient options on campus (and i have a portion control problem so they work for me)... and it also feels like im still eating normal food while dieting, like they have alfredo pasta, chicken fried rice, etc. if you like the pizza ones i recommend the spinach and mushroom one (in my opinion its better than some regular pizzas). the chicken, red pepper, mushroom panini is surprisingly good as well. i also like the chicken and vegetables and the chicken with basil cream sauce ones...
26 Replies (last)