Monday, December 11, 2017

What Are We Eating? BMI = 29.9

Today as I write, I am no longer obese – if weighed before breakfast. I don’t eat ‘diet meals’ but decided to pick one up and see what was inside. There were a few meals with some whole grains, but most did not promise whole grains. I looked for a brand name that implied the meal would be healthy and help me lose weight.

That isn’t much to eat. The nutritional info on the box says that is 260 calories. I normally shoot for 500 calories at lunch. I separated everything out and weighed the various components.

That is a rather meager serving of rice. If you think you need to cut back on carbs then avoid added sugars. There are 17 grams of added sugar in this meal – that’s 68 calories, or about 26% of the calories in this meal. Without whole grains, and with so many of the calories coming from sugar, this meal isn’t going to satisfy you for long.

I found 38 grams of chicken in this meal, which is a meager but acceptable portion. The biggest let down was the amount of vegetables in the dish. The photo on the box made it seem like there would be a full serving of veggies. The veg, however, weighed in at 45 grams, which is about half a serving, so it would be hard to get 7 or 8 servings of vegetables in you if you tried to survive on these meals.

The worst part of the meal was the 470 mg of sodium. I’m fine with having that much sodium at lunch but only if it comes with two full servings of whole grains and 2 full servings of fruit/veggie. A label on the box suggested balancing my plate – by adding an apple to this meal. I guess that is one way of wiggling out of any claims that this meal suggested that on its own it could provide good nutrition. If I need to buy an apple, though, then why not pick-up a tomato and some whole wheat bread while I’m at it and leave this meal behind?

I can have two servings of whole grain, two servings of fruit/veggie, and a full serving of roast beef for less than the cost of the meal that seemed to imply it would make me skinny. There may be 450 calories lined up there, but that bread has no added sugars, and the meal is balanced. That is how I’ve been losing weight; by eating a balanced diet, not trying to starve myself with gimmicked meals.

Look at the photo below and decide which meal looks healthier to you.

If you think the meal on the left is the healthier one because it is smaller then you haven’t been reading very closely here. The one on the left may be only 260 calories but it lacks whole grains and only provides a half serving of veggie. The one on the right has about 450 calories but provides two servings of whole grain (wild rice), two or three servings of vegetables, and one serving of meat. The one on the right also has no added sugars and very little added salt – although I did add some soya sauce to it before eating.

You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight. In point of fact, starving yourself of micronutrients will only make it harder to lose weight.

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