Doctor shares weight loss secret: Focus on frozen foods
Jessica Bartfield, MD, an internal medicine physician who specializes in nutrition and weight management at Loyola University Health System has a weight loss secret that’s also low-cost. Frozen foods that are low-calorie, nutritious and portion controlled have several advantages as a dieting strategy.
Bartfield said in a press release there are good reasons to consider replacing at least one meal a day with frozen entree.
For one, meal replacement is proven to work, shown in multiple studies. A recent study published in 2011 in the New England journal of medicine supported eating meal replacements as a dieting strategy.
A study published August, 2011 and published in the journal Appetite, showed just eating a lighter lunch can lead to 25 pounds of weight loss in a year, supporting the
notion that substituting your usual fare with just one frozen meal could help you meet your weight loss goals.
More patients who incorporated meal replacements into their weight-loss plan achieved a clinically significant 5 percent weight loss, according to several major studies,” said Bartfield.
Most frozen meals provide 200 to 350 calories. In order to safely lose weight she recommends consuming 1000 to 1800 calories a day, depending on your age, weight, height and gender.
If you need more calories Dr. Bartfield recommends adding a little extra protein or some fruit to your meal.
In addition to providing an inexpensive, portion controlled and nutritious dieting option Bartfield explains ‘Low-calorie frozen meals provide convenience, structure and calorie control, which leads to better adherence and weight loss.”
Five reasons frozen meals help weight loss
1. You won’t waste food. Bartfield says because frozen foods have a long shelf life, your meals aren’t likely to go bad, unlike fresh meats and produce. Meal replacements can be easily found on sale and there are little differences in brands. She recommends buying what’s on sale.
2. When you’re hungry frozen foods are readily available, easy to prepare quickly and a healthier choice that can replace high fat fast foods after a long workday.
3. Nutritional information is easy to read. Bartfield says it’s important to check the sodium content and buy frozen meals that have less than 600 mg of salt. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure sodium content should be under 400 mg. It’s also important to look in the calories and choose meals that are less than 350 calories or meals that fit into your total calorie goals for the day.
4. There’s no measuring, counting or weighing to calculate calories in a frozen meal replacement.
5. You can buy frozen foods for any meal. There are a variety of options that include Mexican, Chinese, Italian foods and vegetarian. You can also find a low calorie snacks and desserts.
Bartfield also says it’s important to add low calorie frozen vegetables or fruit balance your meals. Adding a side dish can add fiber which also makes you feel full.
“Eating is all about choices, and healthy frozen foods can be a win-win in the diet food debate,” she says.
Losing weight leads to better health. Maintaining a normal body mass index can thwart heart disease, diabetes, control and even prevent chronic and lower your risk for cancer.
If you’re looking for a nutritious, low cost, easy and convenient approach to dieting consider stocking up on portion controlled frozen foods that can be eaten at any meal.
Image credit: Wikimedia commons
This page is updated on May 17, 2013