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TOPIC: smart ones/lean cuisine/healthy choice

 
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December 28, 2012 6:21 PM
I've had family members use Jenny Craig before and I have always loved the fact that their meals come pre packaged. So starting in the new year, I'll be using pre packaged meals (smart ones, lean cuisine and healthy choice) to help control my eating habits. I feel like if the portions are controlled, I may be able to control myself.
Has anyone tried this?
Has anyone succeeded?
Does anyone have really good recommendations on their favorite Smart Ones, Lean Cuisine's and Healthy Choice meals?

:) THANKS!
December 28, 2012 6:34 PM
What if you were to make meals and freeze them into single serving/1 portion sizes? That would probably be healthier in terms of sodium and you are in control of what you make. What happens when you reach your goal weight and want to have meals prepared by you and not from the smart ones/lean cuisine/healthy choice?
If you do decide to continue with this I would suggest reading the label and try to pick ones with lower sodium or increase your water intake or both
Everyone is different and if you feel this is how you need to do it by all means go ahead. Just trying to give you other ideas/options.

good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  3089233
December 28, 2012 6:39 PM
I tried to do the same thing in the past. I would buy the smart ones meals for my dinners because I was too busy to cook... I ended up gaining 30lbs back due to the carbs, sodium, and fat in those meals. I used to recommend them to people as they are easy and most of them are pretty delicious but your best option would be to cook ahead of time and freeze your portions. Become best friends with your measuring spoons and cups and invest in a good food scale!

However, If all else fails.. go for low sodium, low carb meals. If you go for smart ones get the ones with the lower point values as it says on the front of the box. The shrimp marinara was always my fav.
Edited by ImperfectedBeauty On December 28, 2012 6:40 PM
  29508052
December 28, 2012 6:47 PM
Yes, I've succeeded. I lost quite a bit of weight with them.

I also use Amy's organic foods. They are a little more expensive, but better.

My favorite smart ones choice is the lasagna florentine.
December 28, 2012 6:52 PM
QUOTE:

What if you were to make meals and freeze them into single serving/1 portion sizes? That would probably be healthier in terms of sodium and you are in control of what you make. What happens when you reach your goal weight and want to have meals prepared by you and not from the smart ones/lean cuisine/healthy choice?
If you do decide to continue with this I would suggest reading the label and try to pick ones with lower sodium or increase your water intake or both
Everyone is different and if you feel this is how you need to do it by all means go ahead. Just trying to give you other ideas/options.

good luck with whatever you decide to do.


I ditto this 100%

My friend did Jenny Craig and gained alot of weight back, why? becuase they didn't teach her how to eat properly and change her lifestyle. It taught her to use the microwave, and if she was still hungry she would eat two.

I like the idea above about making healthy food yourself and freezing a weeks worth into portions you can grab for work, etc.

I have tried every gimmick known to man, I really have, and the only thing that worked for me was a healthier lifestyle, moderation, and exercise. Lost the most weight ever and have kept it off.

ETA: I am not against quick easy to grab on the go items - just not for everything. I buy prepackaged hummus and crackers, I occasionally buy those small tunas and have with crackers. On occasion I have a Weight Watchers meal, but it isn't the basis of my diet.
Edited by kimad On December 28, 2012 6:53 PM
  6459278
December 28, 2012 6:54 PM
my dad lost about 30 pounds eating those prepackaged meals so I can't say it won't work because cutting calories everyone can lose weight. However I can say from experience that eating fresher foods not as processed I have had a lot better results. My dad hit a plateau and I believe if he were to make his own chicken instead of eating a Lean Cuisine he definitely could get past it. There's so much sodium and process crap in all those meals that they just really can't be that healthy other than the fact that is cutting calories. I'm not disregarding those who have had results on these meals but for those who want to get healthy I would recommend just trying to eat clean and track calories on my Fitness Pal. Good luck and feel free to add me or email me if you have any questions!
  21813950
December 28, 2012 6:54 PM
The pre-packaged meals really helped me out when I first started out. They helped me see a real portion size and get used to eating smaller portions. I still eat them occassionally now, but decided that if this is going to last long term I'm going to have to learn how to cook and eat healthy(ish). That being said, by current favorites are the Lean Cuisine Market Collections (I think they are all in steam bags, but if they aren't, the steamable ones seem the best) and Healthy Choice Top Chef Cafe Steamers (favorite is the Chicken Margherita with Balsamic).

Good Luck!!
  1415250
December 28, 2012 7:23 PM
The key to these meals is picking the lower calorie and lower fat ones. I'm lazy haha so I love these things.
Personal favorites-
Lean cuisine butternut squash ravioli (this is ammmmmazing)
Lean cuisine broccoli and potatoes with cheddar cheese (surprisingly filling and delicious for 210 calories)
Lean cuisine 4 cheese cannelloni
Smart ones angel hair marinara
December 28, 2012 7:27 PM
I'm so glad I got off the Lean Cuisine train years ago. Sodium like whoa, and eating actual filling REAL food just tastes so much better and is way more satisfying. If you are really new to proper portion sizes they are OK to start, but I second the idea of making your own pre-portioned frozen meals instead in the long run.
  15135880
December 28, 2012 7:29 PM
I'll eat one of these now and again (especially if I know I'll be busy) but the sodium is really high in them.
December 28, 2012 7:30 PM
I don't recommend frozen meals unless you just don't have the time to cook. (because of all the reasons stated above)
I will sometimes pick up a Lean Cuisine if I am in a pinch but I always make sure to eat a salad or a large portion of steamed veggies with it. Eating JUST the meal always leaves me unsatisfied. It's not really healthy if that's all you're eating. These are just things to consider.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do. : )
  142597
December 28, 2012 7:31 PM
i eat at least one a week whenever i would normally be too busy to cook, it has replaced fast food such as mcdonalds in my life! im boring tho i found one flavor i like and buy it repeatedly. i mean i love this flavor and could eat it everyday. one does fill me up however due to having a "pouch i get full faster than most"
my fav flaver is ziti marinara i sprinkle pepper on it....
  33422211
December 28, 2012 7:32 PM
I like the smart ones desserts and those little cheeseburgers they have. Thats about it. I do get hubby Lean Cuisine for lunch and thats because otherwise hed eat at work and its not healthy and expensive! I know LC has a ton of sodium and stuff but not as much as what the Bistro has to hubbys work (think catered fast food).
  32059001
December 28, 2012 7:42 PM
Check around the freezer aisle and peak at the nutrition facts on non-"diet" frozen entrees of a similar portion. A lot of the time, they are actually lower in calories and the same in sodium for something that tastes quite a bit better.

I think going that route is very helpful for teaching yourself what a serving is. Just make sure you are also getting plenty of fruit and veg, as well, and have a plan for when you transition to preparing your own food.
December 28, 2012 7:44 PM
How about you prepare your own portion controlled meals? I would not choose any of them. They are high in sodium and have a tons of ingredients that have no business been part of things that are for human consumption. Just my 2 cents
Edited by MariaMariaM On December 28, 2012 7:44 PM
December 28, 2012 10:00 PM
I have lost a good amount of weight routinely eating frozen meals. I have consistently lost and kept my weight off as well.
  14793128
December 28, 2012 10:04 PM
You know...the whole sodium thing, I have to laugh. I just pulled a Lean Cuisine out of my freezer and checked, 490 mg of sodium and a measly half cup of my cottage cheese has 360 mg of sodium.

My sodium intake is almost always well below 2000.
  14793128
December 29, 2012 7:56 AM
QUOTE:

You know...the whole sodium thing, I have to laugh. I just pulled a Lean Cuisine out of my freezer and checked, 490 mg of sodium and a measly half cup of my cottage cheese has 360 mg of sodium.

My sodium intake is almost always well below 2000.


I know. People would say the same thing about diet sodas as well - too much sodium. According the back of the diet dr pepper can I'm drinking right now, it has 55 mg of sodium. that's 2% of my daily value.

Cooking a bunch of food and storing them in pre-portioned servings is ok. I've done it. But then I end up eating the same meal for lunch every day for a week, and when a coworker says "Hey, you wanna grab a bite for lunch?" it is so much more difficult to say "No, I brought my lunch" when I'm eating the same meal for lunch I've been eating for 3 days straight already.

And again, if you are concerned about the nutritional value - cedarlane and amy's organic have some great options for frozen entrees. The calories are all under 400, and you can look at the ingredient list and pronounce every item.
December 29, 2012 2:27 PM
I ate one every day for lunch & lost 40 pounds. I just made sure to watch my sodium for the rest of the day & be sure to drink lots of water.
December 30, 2012 7:43 AM
Can you take a day a week and prepare a ton of food, portion and freeze? While the frozen meals aren't bad occasionally it's not something that would be best to eat daily, especially multiple times a day. They are loaded with chemicals, some with sodium, etc and they are very processed. The meats in those things tastes gross. I also find they don't contain enough food to really satisfy most appetites.

You can make something so much healthier, yummier, and cheaper by making the foods at home when you have a free day. Portion them up and freeze. Same type of thing but much much better for you. It will also help you learn how to prepare healthy foods and learn portion control. The frozen meals contain barely any veggies, not even a serving of meat and they won't help in the long run as you aren't really learning anything.

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