Lean Cuisine Diet Plan

By Sam Amico

Lean Cuisine is a line of frozen TV dinners that consists of low-calorie, low-fat meals and snacks. While a lifelong diet consisting of only Lean Cuisine food isn’t recommended, a short-term plan would be beneficial to dieters looking to lose weight while on the go.

Staying Lean

Lean Cuisine offers six different types of meals: One-Dish Favorites; Café Classics; Comfort Classics; Spa Cuisine Classics; Casual Eating; and Dinnertime Selects. Each category offers quick, easy entrées or servings that typically consist of no more than 10 grams of fat and 300 calories per serving, and sometimes as low as six grams of fat and just more than 150 calories. The bottom line is Lean Cuisine has plenty to choose from when it comes to lunch and dinner.

Breakfast Deficiency

One drawback to the Lean Cuisine line is the fact there is the company does not offer a breakfast entrée (unless you’re OK with Chicken Florentine Lasagna as the day’s first meal). So anyone who wishes to follow a Lean Cuisine Diet plan will have to come up with their own food to start the day. Healthy breakfast choices include low-fat yogurt coupled with an apple or orange, a cup of oatmeal with low-fat sweetener, or high-fiber, low-sugar cereal (such as Total) with skim milk and strawberries.

Lots of Lunch

Lean Cuisine has plenty to offer when it comes to relatively healthy, low-fat lunches -- from Chicken with Almonds (250 calories, 4 grams of fat) to Beef Portabello (220 calories, 6 grams of fat) to Deluxe French Bread Pizza (340 calories, 10 grams of fat).

Dinner Delights

The Dinner Selects category of the Lean Cuisine line is made for your last “big” meal of the day, with items like Orange Peel Chicken (280 calories, 9 grams of fat) or Steak Tips Dijon (280 calories, 7 grams of fat) among them. Most of the choices on the Dinner Selects, Café Classics and Spa Cuisine Classics come with a main course and a side of vegetables and rice or potatoes (meaning Lean Cuisine is not ideal for some on a low-carb diet).

Drawbacks & Supplements

While there are benefits to following a plan consisting mostly of Lean Cuisine items, there are a few negative aspects. For one, Lean Cuisine meals, like most frozen foods, tend to be high in sodium. So it would probably be good to supplement a Lean Cuisine-based diet with fresh fruits and vegetables between meals -- as well as six to eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day. Also, most nutritionists recommend eating five or six smaller meals each day, so a diet consisting solely of Lean Cuisine would not necessarily be healthy and would likely defeat the purpose of losing weight. The wiser thing to do would be to make sensible choices throughout the day and have a Lean Cuisine entrée for dinner or lunch.

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