While I was out last week recovering from surgery, I ate a lot of quick frozen meals for lunch, which I'd stocked my freezer with the week before, knowing I'd be too tired to cook. As it turns out, these convenience meals could be the key to losing weight. Read on for the details...
Laurie Beebe, a registered dietitian and weight loss coach who practices near St. Louis, Missouri, says if you have pounds to lose, head to the freezer section at your local grocery store.
"It's a proven weight loss technique," she says. (Heck, it's the business plan of lots of weight loss programs even--Nutrisystem, for instance.) "With frozen dinners you don't have to eat the same exact food every day (like chicken and rice, for instance), but you can eat a 350 calorie meal every day and vary the contents. This works because it takes away choices, which takes away decision making--this is the part of dieting many people find to be difficult ... thinking too much about what they will have, so they just throw up their hands and eat whatever they want. Bringing your frozen diet meal to work every day takes that responsibility away from you and frees up your mind for other tasks." Plus, she adds, "they're good because they are already measured and portioned, so less work for you. Just heat and eat!"
Here's how to pick the best frozen meals:
1. Find a frozen meal that will fill you up. "Your lunch should contribute nearly one third of your daily calories, so if you are following a 1,500 calorie diet, a 280 calorie meal doesn't add up," she says.
2. Look for frozen meals with a high veggie content. "Some of the frozen meals offer only a protein and a starch--chicken and rice, shrimp and pasta, turkey and stuffing, etc.--and have very little veggie content," she says. (My favorite: Kashi frozen meals, which are loaded with veggies. Hey, did you see that they're giving away free frozen meals online? Check their Web site for the offer.) Hate veggies? Eat these fruit equivalents.
3. Be sure to check the sodium content. "If you are watching your sodium intake for health reasons, such as high blood pressure, be sure to check the sodium content of the meals," she adds.
Are you a fan of frozen meals for lunch, dinner? What are your favorite varieties?
Related: How to Dress 10 Pounds Thinner!
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