Bad Pix of Good Food

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Meh…Not So Much: Why Frozen “Diet” Meals Don’t Work (for Me)

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Alternate title: This is Why I Don’t Go to the Grocery Store While Hungry.

Note: I’m sharing my thoughts on frozen “diet” meals in this post, and although it features a meal by Healthy Choice, I’m not picking on HC in particular.  They actually make some of the better-tasting ones, of those that I have tried. It’s more my general un-fondness for this kind of item.

I picked up a frozen “diet” entree for dinner at the grocery store yesterday.  Since I just said that they don’t work for me, you’re probably thinking, “durrrr…why?”  Because I did something I try NOT to do, EVER …going to the grocery store while hungry! I will end up coming home with some crazy kind of  **** when I do that. Sometimes stuff I don’t even really like (see?), or barely even know what it is!  So, seriouslyI almost never do this. But I got a hot tip on Facebook from a reader* about a  BOGO on ground turkey – so I had to high-tail it on over there to score some, even though I hadn’t made dinner yet.  Good thing I did, as I got the last 4 packages.  Sweet! But, I also ended up  picking up a frozen meal while I was there (hungry!).  Not a huge deal, I’ve done waaay worse [cough]cookie aisle[cough] other times.

I’ll just bottom-line my biggest objection, then continue on afterward: Tasty or not, there is JUST NOT ENOUGH FOOD in one of these things to fill mah belly!

I have to add something to it. And unless that something is salad or extra veggies, it adds more calories.  But no matter what I add, the hunger pangs will still be sure to follow not long after.  And when my hunger pangs build it, food will come – which usually means that I will end up eating more than my allotted calories for the day. I gairrr-ron-teee! /justinwilson

Not to mention, they often just don’t taste all that great, and they can contain a pretty hefty amount of added sodium, even the “healthier” ones. I don’t HAVE to limit my sodium intake, but I usually choose to for my own reasons. All in all, I think my own food is much better tasting and more filling. So, I don’t get crazy hungry later, and I am much less likely to overeat to compensate. That’s really all there is to it.

Here’s a bad pic of the not-so-good frozen meal I had last night. I took it out of the packaging and put it on the plate I normally use, so you could get a more accurate visual of what it is compared to my food that I post about. And the picture on its own box, even! You can click the image to make it larger and see the notes I put on it:

healthchoicemeal_08252013As you will see on the picture’s notes, this one tasted pretty much OK. Well, except the potatoes. I can’t really call these potatoes. Even just looking at the pic now, I can feel the potato-loving Irish blood of my grandfather rising to a boil within me. But, yes…I still ate them anyway. I was HUNGRY! And look at the amount, it was like basically one forkful – they were gone before I even realized I had eaten them!

This HC meal was 280 calories, plus the 150 for the bread and butter I added, totals 430 calories.

That’s in the calorie neighborhood of what I usually have for dinner, yet I was still hungrier than usual later.  And sure enough, I ended up eating this bowl of cereal with a banana and skim milk (total of 371 calories):

quakeroatsqandmilk_0852013Luckily (calorie wise), I had skipped lunch.  I had a very late breakfast of my new weekend fave Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes, so I forgot to eat a lunch, then was pretty starving by dinner time and my  impromptu run to the grocery store. End result, I still stayed under my calorie limit for the day. BUT I can assure you that even if I had eaten lunch, I STILL would have been hungry after this dinner, and I would have also eaten the cereal anyway. Trust me. I have been down this road before! :D And that would have put me over my days’ calories by quite a bit.

Let me know in the comments if frozen meals work for you or not! I think it’s fine if they do, it just doesn’t work for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts either way.

-Pam

*I have a reader! That gave me a hot tip! I’m somebody now!!!! :D Thanks, Melissa. There will be a post about ground turkey in the not-too-distant future!

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