Can I Eat Frozen Foods?
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I don't always have time to cook a meal from scratch, so I usually end up ordering takeout. But I don't want to sabotage my efforts to lose weight! Are frozen meals from the grocery store a better way for me to stick with my diet?
Absolutely! For years, the frozen-food industry added obscene amounts of fat and calories to frozen entrées to ensure tasty and exciting meals for those of us who just didn't have the time to prepare them from scratch. Now, with all the low-calorie options from brands such as Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, and Amy’s Kitchen, you can enjoy the convenience of frozen meals as you lose weight or maintain your weight.
The best part is that preparation requires only a few minutes in the microwave, and the portion size is controlled. This means you can scarf down the entire meal without any guilt. In addition, frozen meals can teach you appropriate serving sizes for those days when you do cook or eat out.
With the hundreds of choices available, there should certainly be enough healthy meals in the frozen-food case that strike your fancy. My recommendation is to make a one-time investment of about to taste-test 20 meals. Pick a variety of entrées that appeal to you — and that look as if they’d provide a satisfying portion. If a frozen meal tastes great but you need three of them to fill you up, it's not the one for you. A good tip is to find meals that have about 20 grams of protein per package. And because frozen meals tend to skimp on the vegetables, it's important to add a piece of fruit and a salad or some mixed veggies (frozen packages will do, of course).
Also, be sure to check the label, even if it proclaims “healthy,” “lean,” or “smart.” Your choice should contain no more than 15 grams of total fat, and no more than 30 percent of the total calories should come from fat.
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