Originally Posted by PatLib
I personally feel starved after a Lean Cuisine. I tried using them as an occasional easy dinner and sometimes would eat two of them just to feel full. But I wish they worked for me, sometimes cooking a meal after a long day sucks!
I always did too, but then a few years ago I read an article in Prevention or Reader's Digest (or some other "small" magazine) in the doctor's office about a way to supposedly "shrink" your stomach without wls. It suggested eating every 2-3 hours, but never eating more than one cup of food at a time.
I decided to give it a shot. At first I really missed feeling full, really full. It felt like I was always a little hungry, and never as full as I wanted to be, but over time, it started feeling normal. I didn't realize how much it helped until I went to a buffet with hubby and ate until I was very full and had only eaten two plates of food (with none of the food touching any other food). In the "old days" I would eat three mounded plates of food.
Btw, that's another tip I found for eating less, not mounding food on the plate and not letting foods touch one another on the plate. My youngest, very thin sister was so picky about this as a child, my parents let her eat from a divided plate. I pretend to be her.
I don't always follow the 1 cup limit anymore, but I do try to keep snacks under 1 cup and meals to the one plate, not touching rule.
The Simple Diet author Dr. James W. Anderson, argues that even two frozen entrees (140 to 300 calories each) are generally a lower calorie option than the average home-cooked dinner. Also fruits and vegetables, even watermelon, potatoes, beans, and avocados are allowed and unlimited (though you're taught to cut back on the higher calorie options if you find weight loss stalling as a result).
The Volumetrics book also helped me use a variety of techniques to bulk up meals including frozen dinners.
1. I'll toss a plateful of torn or shredded lettuce or finely shredded cabbage or bagged coleslaw mix, or broccoli slaw with sliced green onion and maybe water chestnuts or jicama with my favorite homemade asian dressing (rice wine vinegar mixed with fish sauce or soy sauce, garlic, and splenda) and add steamed snow or snap peas and top with a microwaved Asian-style dinner.
2. I'll lay down a plate of lettuce and sliced green onion, with diced bell pepper and maybe a bit of corn or black beans and top with a Mexican-style microwaved dinner and top with salsa and light sour cream.
3. I'll bake a small sweet potato, and make a small salad with light dressing and will pour the "ranchero beef with mashed sweet potato" lean cuisine over the split sweet potato. Spooning the mashed sweet potato on first, mashing it with a fork into the sweet potato and then pouring the salsa simmered beef over the top. Even with the salad and sweet potato, the calorie count is under 400 calories. If I'm really hungry I'll use a larger sweet potato.
4. I'll roast eggplant, bell peppers, onion and/or mushroom until the eggplant is very soft. Then I'll serve it with or mixed into Thai, Italian, Indian or Mediteranian frozen meals.
5. I'll make mashed cauliflower simmered in broth with a tiny amount of mashed potato flakes. For an entire 2lb head of cauliflower, I'll ad 22g of potato flakes (80 calories) during the mashing. This makes about 10 (35 calorie) 1/2 cup servings.
I'll heat a cup of the mashed cauliflower potato mixture and then serve it with a compatible frozen dinner. Meatloaf or portabello beef tips are especially good.
Sliced, sauteed cabbage and onions also makes a great side as does just about any roasted veggie.
Dr. Anderson even suggests mixing frozen entrees into soups to make a thicker, more interesting soup.
It sounded crazy, but then I tried it with a bean thread ramen-type soup. On its own the soup didn't have enough protein to meat the plan guidelines but combined with a stirfry frozen dinner and an egg it still came within the guidelines for two entrees (I combined lunch and dinner that day, because I gad gotten up late).
Now I often make soup this way, combining two entrees and five servings of vegetables into a huge soup too big for one meal, but perfect for two to four meals or minimeals. Then I'll eat my three shakes and the soup throughout the day to meet my minimum requirements, but I only have to (sort of) cook once.
There are a lot of ways to bulk up frozen dinners into a decent sized meal. Veggie side dishes and dry salads can be made ahead in multi-serving portions and used over the course of several days.