MAYWOOD, Ill. - Improving health can be as easy as opening the freezer door. “Save time, save money, boost nutrition and control portions by eating low-calorie, frozen foods,” advises Jessica Bartfield, MD, internal medicine.
“The taste, nutrition, overall quality and variety of frozen food has improved tremendously. I often recommend to my patients looking to lose weight that they fulfill at least one of the three basic meals with a frozen entrée as a proven dieting strategy,” said Bartfield, who specializes in nutrition and weight management at Loyola University Health System.
Many studies, including a recent one published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, support the use of meal replacements, which provide convenient calorie control. “More patients who incorporated meal replacements into their weight-loss plan achieved a clinically significant 5 percent weight loss, according to several major studies,” Bartfield said.
To safely lose weight, Bartfield recommends that most people will need to consume a low–calorie diet, anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 calories per day, depending on certain factors such as weight, age, height and gender. Most frozen meals provide 200 to 350 calories per meal, which fits within that range along with one to two healthy snacks per day. People with higher calorie needs can add fruits or vegetables to the meal or even a small serving of protein to hit the calorie target,” she said. “Low-calorie frozen meals provide convenience, structure and calorie control, which leads to better adherence and weight loss."
Bartfield offers five reasons why going frozen can help you lose weight and improve nutritional content of what you eat.
Dr. Bartfield regularly counsels patients at the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, which offers surgical and non-surgical programs. “Eating is all about choices, and healthy frozen foods can be a win-win in the diet-food debate,” she said.