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How bad are frozen meals?


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maybe this is a silly question, but humor me:

i seem to have a problem with portion control, and a friend recommended that I try Lean Cuisine and other types of frozen entrees for a few weeks to get used to smaller portions...

my question is: are these "bad" for you? i had always thought that they were so high in preservatives and you didn't get a good amount of nutritional value from them...

any opinions??? thanks so much!
Edited Sep 18 2006 19:57 by Erik
Reason: Clarified post description
13 Replies (last)
#1  
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I have a weight watchers frozen most days, but I always make sure I have plenty of fruit and vegetables.  My nutritional grade is usually A or B.  I love their frozen meals, there's loads of different ones and I can just bung them in the microwave and hey presto.
#2  
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What a great idea. You would never have to "guesstimate" the calories in a meal and they are affordable too.
They're not too bad... just watch out for sodium content.
im a big fan of lean cuizine.  i supplement my diet with a multivitamin every morning, about a gallon of water a day, and i also eat alot of sandwiches and wraps loaded with fresh veggies (those usually run about 350-400 cals) and i go low-to-no fat where i can in my dairy.  i drink real juice when i want something fruity, none of that "high fructose blah-blah-blah".  my apartment is old (but so cheap!), and unfortunately so are my landlords, so i have to deal with a very hot kitchen about 3/4 of the year and a fridge that fails at keeping fruits and milk (thank god the freezer works!)  long story short, lean cuizine has been a savior when it comes to good food that keeps me in the kitchen for as little time as possible.  since changing my diet, ive never felt healthier!
Healthy Choice has a little less sodium.  There are also brands sold in health food stores, like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, the are more nutritionally ballanced and without the junk ingredients.  I'd add vegetables and a salad though, because the servings of vegetables in these are so tiny.
I think the worst thing about frozen dinners is the sodium content - but that can be said about all processed foods.  Portion control can be very difficult.  Personally I think I would first try just weighing and measuring your food put it on your plate and when that food is gone don't get seconds except maybe of vegetables.  I try to eat a huge salad about 1/2 hour before dinner this helps fill you up beforehand so your not as hungry come dinner time and can go without 2nds.  I weigh and measure all my food so I know exactly how much I am consuming.
I looooove Amy's frozen dinners--I could eat them everday (if they weren't so expensive!)

That is definitely a good idea for getting better accustomed to portion control, and a lot of choices out there are healthy... but as has been said, the main problem with frozen dinners is the sodium, so either try to balance that out throughout the day and/or drink tons of water
What if you just ate a few and then washed and kept the trays? Then you could just use them for all your own cooked food?....at least until you got the hang of portion control.I think I read that in Health magazine or something.... Also, gladware has their own portioned trays with lids so you could have them on the go.
I love Southbeach frozen meals...good protein source and filling but high sodium
Frozen dinners can help you with portion control, but I think they are not a good way of life. Better to make the effort to learn proper portion control - weigh and measure your food for a start, use the trays as plankcm suggested, read up on correct portions - so that you can graduate to eating really good food.

Frozen dinner are convenient, but they are just not really good. They are full of sodium and fillers and the cheapest ingredients the manufacturer can get away with. When I didn't know how to cook, I thought they were wonderful. Now that I am competant in the kitchen, I wouldn't consider them. I buy them from time to time when I'm going to be out of town and worry that my husband will order in pizza every night while I'm gone. Which he usually does anyway...
another really great way to help with portion to control is to use smaller plates. seriously!
My own version of a frozen meal - I have weighed portions of meat and fish in the freezer. I cook big batches of brown rice and different kinds of beans and measure them out into portions and freeze. I also have a nice variety of frozen vegetables.

So, when it's supper time, I pull out a portion of each food I want, put it on a covered microwave plate and heat it up.  Presto - frozen dinner but I have control of what's in it.
Hey, Alia--you've got my name!  So weird. It's the first time i have seen someone else with the same spelling other than that chick on Arrested Development!
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