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TOPIC: Pre-packaged meal plans....which ones?

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March 5, 2012 9:58 AM
Having a hard time making time for me to prepare meals, and I am getting very frustrated. I am thinking of trying a pre-packaged meal plan like Nutrisystem, or Jenny Craig. Anyone have any experience? Opinions?

Sheri
  10543562
March 5, 2012 10:01 AM
I have used nutrisystem. the food was good. The portions were so small it was sad. You can do much better if you eat the right things, you can get a lot more food. They are all loaded with sodium. I personally would only reccomend it for one month so you learn what your portions should look like. Also, you still have to buy all fresh veggies and fruit.
  17655678
March 5, 2012 10:03 AM
Have you tried to cook larger portions of food like chicken and divide it up so you have it for meals during the week? Also, wash and prep your veggies so they are good to go for a meal. It saves a lot of time to do prep for a week on a Sunday afternoon. I am not a big fan of packaged or processed meals.
  6191227
March 5, 2012 10:05 AM
Try just going by the label portions in the back of any food you want to eat. This has helped me alot in keeping track of how much to eat and calorie count. And I eat just about everything. Good Luck!!!
March 5, 2012 10:05 AM
can you take a day , once a week or once a month and do batch cooking and store the extras in the freezer for quick meals later ?
it would be alot healthier and cheaper ..

i too have tried nutrisystem, it was over $300 for 1 month (1 person) and i still had to buy fruits/veggies, bread and milk ..
not counting that i am married . so it wasn't worth it .. imho :)
Edited by LovingLisa2012 On March 5, 2012 10:06 AM
March 5, 2012 10:07 AM
I used Nutrisystem and lost 30lbs. Once you got going it wasn't too hard to stick to. The food wasn't too bad, some were better than others but it definetely works if you stick to it.
March 5, 2012 10:09 AM
A bit of background. I am married, mom to nine children ages 18-1, full time student, take care of my FIL. I am spending way too much time grabbing fast food on my way to school, and not enough time at home cooking. I know if I had more time, I could cook more at home, but I don't.

Sheri
  10543562
March 5, 2012 10:13 AM
I have personally never tried those but my sister has. She said it was super expensive on top of having to buy your own vegetables and stuff and then many of the foods she didn't like at all.

I have to agree with above posters about taking 1 day a week to do some batch meals. Get the kids that can be involved to help you out. Do one meal during nap time .. ask your husband or someone who usually helps you out to watch the kids for a couple of hours while you cook. Cheaper and you at least know you'll like your cooking!
March 5, 2012 10:13 AM
I did Seattle Sutton for awhile. It's a national meal delivery service, about $140 per week. No need to buy anything extra. I have no complaints about the food or service.
March 5, 2012 10:14 AM
Honestly I eat lean cuisines and healthy choice steamers but thats just me.
March 5, 2012 10:18 AM
Lean cuisines, and healthy choice meals. Fruit that you can just pick up and eat on the go like apples, bananas, kiwis, peaches, oranges, etc. Instant oatmeal is super easy to prepare in the microwave and is only 130 calories or so a packet. Frozen veggies. Eggs.

GEORGE FORMAN GRILL. <--- cooks a chicken breast in 7-8 minutes. It is ridiculously easy to use and convenient. It also yields delicious results.

The pre-packaged meal plans like Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig was super expensive.
March 5, 2012 10:23 AM
I tried Nutrisystem years ago and didn't have good results. I did not like the food at all and it was very expensive. Aren't we all trying to lose weight to be healthy? I can't consider a meal plan that consists of meat that don't need to be refridgerated as a "healthy" choice. I believe that you're much better of with fresh foods (of even some frozen meals) than these overly processed faux foods.

I am single and living alone, I typically make large batches of chili or other meals that can easily be individually portioned and frozen. Seems like a better way to go to me.
March 5, 2012 10:32 AM
I normally just buy low cal frozen dinners. They have come a long way since being a kid. Most are pretty cheap too, i normally spend about 15-20 bucks per week on frozen dinners for lunch/ occasional dinner. I mostly just use them for lunch while at work, plus whatever snacks I want for the week
  12837189
March 5, 2012 10:34 AM
Thanks for the ideas. I'll look into Lean Cuisine.

Sheri
  10543562
June 13, 2012 6:09 AM
I pretty much like all of the pre-packaged meals ( as long as it's something I eat (I don't eat beef or pork). The only concern I have is the sodium content for most foods that are pre-packaged. The shelf life is great, if you need to stock up in your office or for a quick meal at home, but make sure most of your calories are coming from whole foods/fresh fruits and veggies.
Edited by complicatedmoves On June 13, 2012 6:10 AM
June 13, 2012 6:11 AM
Do you have Fresh-n-Fit where you live? Their food is really good.
June 13, 2012 6:14 AM
If you are in a city that has My Fit Foods I would definitely recommend it. Fresh complete meals, no preservatives, pre-portioned. It's a little pricey, but I stop in and grab what's marked down 50% a day before the expiration date.
  11182837
June 13, 2012 6:17 AM
I have been eating toast with peanut butter for breakfast. I'll buy those little Dippin Stix Apple Slices or Carrots and bring those to work to snack on. I make my lunch the night before if I don't have it finished already. I'll make tuna with celery and a tad bit of Fat Free Mayo. Then I have that, a baked potatoe (microwaved at work), sugar free jell-o for lunch. Dinner I have been eating Lean Cuisines. They are tasty and quick. I do that because by the time I get off of work and workout, I will either go home and binge on bread like crazy as well as sweets, or I just won't want to cook. So right now that is what's working for me. It's a lot cheaper than going through a food delivery service like NutriSystem or Jenny Craig.
June 13, 2012 6:17 AM
QUOTE:

A bit of background. I am married, mom to nine children ages 18-1, full time student, take care of my FIL. I am spending way too much time grabbing fast food on my way to school, and not enough time at home cooking. I know if I had more time, I could cook more at home, but I don't.

Sheri


What are your kids eating then? If you are cooking for them, you can cook for yourself. Why not have the whole family transition to healthier eating so you have more time.
And, if you have an 18 year old....he/she can help you prep and cook (younger kids too). No reason that Mom should have to do all the work.
  16691827
June 13, 2012 6:19 AM
None.

My friends that tried it said it's not a long term solution, all it did was teach them to eat the pre-packed foods.

After my friend quit Jenny Craig she found a gym and trainer she loved and changed her life for good. The pre-packed solutions are like a band-aid.

Plus, it's the start of the summer season and fresh local food. Starting a pre-packed plan would be sad in June!!
  3995337
June 13, 2012 6:19 AM
I used nutri system years ago, it help
But I prefer Lean Cuisine, more choices
June 13, 2012 6:19 AM
Have to tell you I have tried nutrisystem -- it didn't work. Food was good, taught me portion sizes but it didn't teach me how to cook for health. So gained it all back. It is better to learn what you can eat that will feed your body so you can make choices. Of course, I say that because I have been trying to learn vegan dishes that will give me protein however the carbs are not helping me lose weight.....but I'm not really working hard to lose weight just how to cook healthy. One step at a time for me.

I do love Trader Joes for convenience food that I can keep in the freezer for a quick meal versus driving through a place or picking up bad sturff to fix to eat. I've been making a list for the weekly meals on Sunday so that I don't have to make a decision when I get home from work -- just go on automatic pilot. So haven't gained....but haven't lost. I have to get into a walking program I think.
June 13, 2012 6:20 AM
I had great success on Jenny Craig - lost 30 pounds. I would def. go back on JC, but it costs too much for me right now.
June 13, 2012 6:21 AM
oh, and to clarify I'm all about frozen foods at lunch for work.

I prefer Amy's Organics and Evol burritos. Also, Kashi. I did the research and selected things that are organic, humanely raised meats (like those I eat in my every day life). Those meals are rated B+/A- depending on the choice.

Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice are not at the top of the rating list. I get them once in a while, but I'm loyal to the "good stuff"
  3995337
June 13, 2012 6:21 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

A bit of background. I am married, mom to nine children ages 18-1, full time student, take care of my FIL. I am spending way too much time grabbing fast food on my way to school, and not enough time at home cooking. I know if I had more time, I could cook more at home, but I don't.

Sheri


What are your kids eating then? If you are cooking for them, you can cook for yourself. Why not have the whole family transition to healthier eating so you have more time.
And, if you have an 18 year old....he/she can help you prep and cook (younger kids too). No reason that Mom should have to do all the work.


^^^^^^This. I don't understand the dynamic.

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