If you’re here, chances are that you already know just how daunting the weight loss journey can get. But it doesn’t have to be! Sure, it takes a lot of discipline and structure to pull it off, but there are several ways to make it even simpler. For instance, if you have a tight schedule and you just don’t have time to prepare food in your meal plan every day, frozen meals can do the trick. In this article, we tell you why frozen meals are great alternatives and additions to a weightloss meal plan and some of the best ones to try out.
Can I Lose Weight By Eating Frozen Meals?
It’s no secret that the modern world is increasingly getting characterized with crazy schedules that require lots of efficiency. There is always something that requires your attention which can sometimes make sticking to fitness programs a bit difficult.
You’d like to prepare that healthy dish in your weight loss meal plan, but you just don’t have the time. Better yet, you’re left wondering whether the quicker, easier option of frozen meals will serve just fine. Well, yes they can!
In fact, several studies indicate that meal replacements like frozen meals are an efficient strategy compared with any structured weight loss plan (8). Here’s how.
A frozen meal can end up saving you hundreds of calories if you choose to use it in replacing high-calorie restaurant meals. Being pre-portioned, they don’t allow for any serving errors or the occasional “just one more bite.”
Opting for frozen meals can also help in preventing skipped lunch or dinners, snacking on nutrient-deficient snacks, or getting excessively hungry which can lead to overeating.
Finally, the nutritional content of frozen meals is a significant asset in any weight loss meal plan. Compared to other preserving techniques like canning, freezing retains more mineral and vitamin content.
Finding The Best Frozen Meals For Weight Loss
Picking the best frozen meal is not just about finding an option with the best photo or finding out what’s on sale. You should first read the nutrition facts label and ensure your choice meets your weight loss goals.
Here are some of the key elements you should keep an eye out for:
Go for low calorie frozen meals if you plan to integrate them in your weight loss meal plan. Many weight loss plans allow for a range of between 400-600 calories per meal, so ensure yours doesn’t exceed whatever your individual goal is.
Avoid buying and interpreting frozen meals at face value. Sometimes what seems to be a single-serve meal can list more than one serving.
For instance, Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie seems to pack a reasonable 440 calories per serving, yet the label states there are two servings in the package.
Opt for products with less than 700 mg of sodium to stay within the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of 2300 mg per day.
Protein And Fiber Content
Fiber increases bulk in your food while protein helps in improving satiety ultimately keeping you fuller for longer. These two factors will help in preventing overeating, hence a better weight management regimen.
Aim for a dish that contains more than 5 grams of fiber and more than 15 grams of protein.
Healthy Choice Frozen Meals For Weight Loss
Not all foods are made equal. This applies for frozen meals too. While some may be good for your weight loss journey, others will just do more harm to it.
Here are some of the top 10 best frozen meals for weightloss you can try today:
Primal Kitchen Beef And Mushroom Bowl (10)
Maybe you feel like having some beef stew, but you don’t want your caloric count to be disrupted by things like improperly mixing ingredients. Perhaps you just feel too lazy to make that bowl of stew. Well, the primal kitchen beef and mushroom bowl has you covered.
This frozen dish comes with 20 grams of protein and only 220 calories, making it ideal for any weight loss program. Furthermore, it is paleo-friendly, has zero added sugars, and gluten free.
Serve with side salad to get a wholesome, well-rounded meal.
1 bowl contains: 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 750mg sodium, 20g protein, 6g fiber, 26g carbs, 10g sugar, and 220 calories.
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Evol Butternut Squash And Sage Ravioli (2)
If you’ve been wondering where you can get some clean and wholesome past in the freezer section, look no further!
The dish is packed with protein and vitamin A, stuffed with ricotta cheese and roasted butternut squash, all topped with kale, sage-garlic sauce, and roasted tomatoes. The end result is a rich creamy flavor that’ll leave you coming for more.
1 bowl contains: 7g fat, 3.5g saturated fat. 650mg sodium, 50g carbs, 2g fiber, 11g protein, 6g sugar, and 310 calories.
Kashi Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl (3)
This bowl boasts of a bed of quinoa, brown rice alongside roasted potatoes, black beans, and kale piled on top. All the quinoa fans out there know just why you need this dish in your weight loss meal, but if you’re new to all this, here’s what you need to know.
While quinoa may be technically a seed, it’s categorized as a whole grain that is an excellent source of fiber and plant protein.
Fiber adds bulk to your diet, therefore increasing satiety which can help you avoid overeating. Packed with 12g of fiber, Kashi sweet potato quinoa bowl is an excellent source of the nutrient.
Pair this frozen dish with any plant-based side dish for a complete plant-based meal.
1 bowl contains: 6g fat, 280mg sodium, 48g carbs, 9g protein, 11g total sugar, 12g fiber, and 270 calories.
Saffron Road Thai Red Curry Chicken (12)
This Thai curry dish from Saffron Road is both nutritious and filled with flavor.
The green beans and red pepper deliver vitamins and fiber while the chicken increases the meal’s protein content. Sure, the total fiber in this frozen dish may be relatively low, but worry not. There’s a quick and easy fix for that.
You can always add some raw veggies like broccoli or carrots or even a small salad on the side to increase its fiber content. For instance, pair this meal with fruit or walnut-topped salad to up both the fiber and protein content.
1 bowl contains: 13g fat, 580 mg sodium, 45g carbs, 14g protein, 5g total sugar, 1g fiber, and 350 calories.
Evol Foods Balance Bowl (4)
If ordering grain bowls is your thing, you should definitely consider an at-home version by Evol Foods.
This dish is made with red rice, grilled chicken, and 1/2 cup of vegetables that include asparagus all in a basil pesto sauce. Furthermore, it falls within the nutritionist-approved sodium range for frozen meals of less than 700 mg.
However, if you have a more severe sodium restriction, it’s advisable to find frozen meals with 500 mg of sodium per serving and limit yourself to one frozen meal daily. Decreasing your sodium intake can help control your blood pressure if you have hypertension (11).
To increase this meal’s protein content, top it with a hard-boiled egg and some broccoli for the extra fiber.
1 bowl contains: 27g fat, 390 mg sodium, 43g carbs, 13g protein, 4g total sugar, 3g fiber, and 460 calories.
Realgood Foods Creamy Carbonara (9)
Served on a bed of spiralized veggies, this frozen dish significantly slashes the carb content on your meal, making it a useful addition to any weight loss meal plan.
With just about 300 calories and 19 grams of protein per serving, this dish is bound to leave you satiated and juiced up for your workouts. That being said, you should keep in mind that the dish has some considerable amount of saturated fats because of the cream sauce.
1 bowl contains: 18g fat, 10g saturated fat, 780 mg sodium, 15g carbs, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 19g protein and 300 calories.
Kashi Black Bean Mango Bowl (6)
This entree is built on a bed of sesame pilaf and Kashi’s Seven Whole Grains which is made up of a nutritious mix of:
- Hard red wheat
- Brown rice
- Sesame seeds
The roasted onions, black beans, peppers, and carrots ram up the protein and fiber content of the meal. The sodium content is also kept at an impressive low of 250 mg thanks to the use of mango, ginger and several other seasonings.
1 bowl contains: 8g fat, 1g unsaturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 55g carbs, 12g fiber, 11g sugar, 9g protein, and 310 calories.
Healthy Choice Barbecue Seasoned Steak With Red Potatoes (1)
This healthy choice meal provides an impressive 16g of protein with a cumulative of 300 calories with the bonus of the all too familiar barbecue taste.
To ramp up the fiber content of this dish above the 5g mark, consider adding a plant-based side like green beans. It’s also important to note that the meal’s use of whiskey BBQ sauce while adding the flavor, also increases the sugar total.
1 bowl contains: 4g fat, 450 mg sodium, 49g carbs, 16g protein, 16g total sugar, 4g fiber, and 300 calories.
Lean Cuisine Marketplace Chicken With Almonds (7)
This is probably one of the best lean cuisine meals you can add in your weightloss meal plan. The entree provides 8% of your daily fiber requirement and 16 g of your daily protein requirement.
The Lean Cuisine Marketplace Chicken with Almonds, however, has a relatively low vitamin content. To add some extra kick to the overall nutrition count of the dish, pair the meal with a cup of fresh fruit or a spinach based side.
1 bowl contains: 5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 490 mg sodium, 44g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g sugar, 16g protein, and 290 calories.
Evol Fire Grilled Steak (5)
The Evol Fire Grilled Steak bowl is made with fibrous black beans, antibiotic-free beef, veggies, rice, cheese, and a cilantro-lime pesto to deliver on both flavor and nutrition.
This dish is not only an excellent source of fiber and protein, it also provides 15% of the recommended daily allowance of iron.
1 bowl contains: 22g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 570 mg sodium, 44g carbs, 7g fiber, 2g sugar, 18g protein, and 450 calories.
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Rounding Out Your Meal…
It’s usually fairly easy to find low calorie microwavable meals but sometimes they lack fiber, protein, and fruit or vegetable portions that are key for your meal plan.
Here’s how you can top off your meal’s nutritional content to meet all your goals:
Some of the add-ins you can use to increase the protein content of your frozen meal include:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Soybeans (edamame).
- Part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Low-sugar Greek yogurt
Fruit, Veggie, And Fiber Boosters
To increase the fiber, fruit or veggie content of your frozen meal, use:
- Baby carrots
- Bell pepper
- Small glass of tomato juice
- Frozen cauliflower, broccoli, or green beans
- Baby spinach
- Green chile, salsa, or pico de gallo
- A small orange or apple
- No-sugar-added fruit cup
Some extra seasoning will go a long way in adding the sometimes much needed flavor to your meal. Use:
- Fresh herbs like basil, chives, or cilantro, chopped
- A dash of fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, red chili flakes, or hot sauce
- A squeeze of lime or lemon juice, especially for fish or chicken based meals.
The Bottom Line
Frozen meals are not only tasty, they can also be a wise and nutritional addition or alternative to your weight loss plan. Stocking your freezer with frozen meals made from the best foods for weight loss can come in handy during busy days or when you just don’t feel like cooking.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- BARBECUE SEASONED STEAK WITH RED POTATOES (n.d., healthychoice.com)
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SAGE RAVIOLI (n.d., evolfoods.com)
- Entrees (n.d., kashi.com)
- Evol Balance Be Centered Chicken with Rice and Vegetables Bowl (n.d., kroger.com)
- FIRE GRILLED STEAK (n.d., evolfoods.com)
- Kashi® Simple, Wholesome Ingredients (n.d., kashi.com)
- Lean Cuisine Frozen Meals (n.d., goodnes.com)
- Meal replacements are as effective as structured weight-loss diets for treating obesity in adults with features of metabolic syndrome (2004, pubmed.gov)
- NEW Entree Bowls: Creamy Carbonara (2020, realgoodfoods.com)
- Primal Kitchen Beef & Mushroom Bowl (n.d., instacart.com)
- Salt reduction (2020, who.int)
- Thai Red Curry Chicken Frozen Dinner (n.d., saffronroad.com)