Last Updated on July 31, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
Stores are full of all kinds of foods that are used to help you lose weight. Today, I’m taking a look at Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals. You throw these instant dishes into the microwave for a few minutes and your ready to go. But are they conducive for weight loss, or are they just another cash grab from Nestle?
What Are Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals
Lean Cuisine is nothing new. I’ve seen Nestle push this product for several years. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to give them a try. And let me say that they are much better than I initially thought.
These microwave meals come in single serving packages. Essentially, it’s food for one. If you’re good at keeping an eye on your intake, just one of the Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals should be all you need. I know I feel satisfied after eating one.
Health Breakdown of Lean Cuisine Meals
One of the biggest things that drew me to Lean Cuisine was the health factor when compared with other products. For instance, the Tortellini with Red Pepper Sauce is loaded with vitamin C and A while adding to calcium and iron in decent supply.
What makes this product more interesting to me is the low-sodium rate compared to other processed foods. For example, one whole can of Progresso soup, which I usually eat and counts as two servings, usually contains twice the amount of sodium in Lean Cuisine Meals…for roughly the same amount of calories!
Another aspect I like is the high protein count, especially in the tortellini dish. This particular meal had 12g in a single sitting. This is most likely due to the cheese pasta and other vegetable components.
The only downside in my experience was the carbohydrate content. However, this is probably in part due to the pasta itself as most of these are high in carbs anyway.
Thanks to the Tortellini with Red Pepper Sauce, I was able to consume 350mg of potassium. This is really good considering than most people don’t get enough potassium in their diet. This regulates blood pressure and contributes to many things in the human body.
Variety in Dishes
One of the biggest reasons why I enjoy Progresso Soup so much is because of the variety available. Although my local store doesn’t have all the flavors of Lean Cuisine, there are still quite a few to choose from. In fact, Nestle produced a lot of my favorite meals in this product.
Another way to look at it is that I’ve seen menus at restaurants with less of a selection than what you can find in a Walmart freezer.
Higher in Price
Perhaps the biggest downside to Lean Cuisine Meals, and perhaps why I haven’t purchased them in the past, is they are slightly more expensive than my normal lunches. In the past, it was my mentality to say, “Why would I buy one of these when I can buy two of those for the same price?”
Now that I am getting a bit more financially stable, meaning I make more than $6k per year, I can afford to try more expensive dishes than $1 instant meals.
Lean Cuisine Meals are about $0.80 more than Progresso Soup, my favorite lunch. I know that may not sound like a lot to most people, but it’s an awful lot of money when you can barely afford to feed yourself.
The packaging of this product is also far better than what you’ll find in a cheaper alternative. Instead of the food being contained in a cardboard box, Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals come in their own sealed plastic dish, which I found to be reusable for a variety of purposes.
It’s like the Marketplace version of Lean Cuisines are of higher quality. Don’t get me wrong, the original Lean Cuisines are quite good. But it just seems like the Marketplace additions have that extra effort in processing.
Are Lean Cuisine Meals Worth the Price?
After eating the cheese tortellini, I can safely say that it’s much better than the $1 microwave dishes I have eaten. Not only did it taste better, but it seemed to be more filling as well. At the moment, I don’t know if I will be able to fill my freezer with these dishes, but they are definitely on my shopping list each week.
Apparently, and according to the packing, Nestle uses organic components in many of the Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals. I don’t know if this contributes to the price and the flavor, but I know that I quite enjoy these dishes.
I’m just on the fence about the price as I can buy more of the cheap stuff for the same money. But like the adage goes, “You get what you pay for.”
Are Lean Cuisine Meals Viable for Weight Loss?
In a nut shell, it’s all about keeping your intake down when you want to lose weight. Eating a single Marketplace Lean Cuisine for lunch or dinner is a good start. It’s filling, tastes good for a microwaved dish and has a lot more vitamins and minerals than I would have thought.
In reality, anything can help you lose weight. It’s all in a matter of monitoring your intake. Personally, I use MyFitnessPal to track things like Lean Cuisines and other foods I eat throughout the day. As long as you’re logical about how much you eat, it’s easy to drop the pounds relatively quick.
If you want to create a nutritionally balanced meal using Marketplace Lean Cuisines, add in a side of fruit or vegetable. While this will increase the calorie intake of the meal, it will also increase the nutritional value quite a bit. Plus, it greatly reduces feeling hungry later on.
Enjoy Your Lunch
The Marketplace Lean Cuisine Meals are like the Rolls Royce of microwave dishes. They are tasty, healthy and take very little effort to prepare. Unfortunately, they are also a bit more expensive than other brands. Still, I’ll be adding these microwaveables to my regular shopping routine. It’s better than spending $2.50 at McDonald’s for lunch.