Health should never really be a laughing matter. But when you look at some weight loss food, their gimmicks and claims can be somewhat of a joke. Yes, a Lean Cuisine may be convenient. But is the body really getting its optimal nutritional needs or is weight loss food just a waste of time?
Why Most Weight Loss Food Is a Joke
Kudos to those individuals trying to make better decisions regarding their health. Unfortunately, the resources and tools often chosen do not often align with the most healthful diet and choices. When choosing to lose weight, people often try to make healthier food choices. Unfortunately, many resort to prepackaged "health foods" due to their lack of nutritional knowledge and guidance. Although frozen grocery meals can contribute to weight loss, their utilization has several drawbacks.
The convenience factor with instant portion control is certainly appealing, especially since portions have grown in size over the years. However, consistent use of prepackaged meals can decrease the ability to practice self-portion control outside of a Lean Cuisine. Frozen meals also contain a ton of sodium. Dietary Guidelines recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium, also equivalent to one teaspoon. The general population consumes about 3,400 mg each day with a majority of the sodium coming from prepackaged foods. One frozen meal can contain over 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. High intakes of sodium have been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke along with damage to the heart and kidneys.
All Jokes Aside...
When trying to lose weight, embrace a total lifestyle change. Prepackaged meals like a Lean Cuisine act as an aid to weight loss, but consistent use of frozen meals inhibits the ability to make lifelong healthy choices. Health, in addition to weight loss, encompasses more than a prepackaged meal. The totality of the diet, other than fixating on calories and fat content, attributes to successful weight loss. Instead of relying strictly on calorie counts, embrace a healthful diet filled with whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables.
A healthy eating pattern not only consists of the content of meals, but the timing as well. Get the day started with a healthy breakfast filled with lean protein and nutrient-dense foods. A whole grain tortilla filled with egg, colorful peppers, onions, and salsa will transform the typical high-fat breakfast burrito into a healthful, convenient choice. If a snack is needed to hold you over before lunch, go for it! Snack on healthy fats such as a nuts and seeds or vegetables paired with hummus. A light snack helps prevent overeating during meals.
In addition to food choices, exercising contributes to successful weight loss. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Along with aerobic exercise such as cycling and jogging, add in resistance training. Lifting weights and other resistance movements helps the body build muscle. An increase in muscle mass can actually help the body burn more calories even at rest! Additionally, exercise has shown benefits regarding heart health.