Beware of Inaccurate Calories in Prepackaged Meals!

If you're trying to watch calorie portions to lose weight, some packaged foods may be harming your chances. Recent studies found that many prepackaged frozen meals have 20-30% MORE calories than stated. Worse is that it's perfectly legal. The FDA allows for a 20% variance. 20 percent may not seem like a big deal but those calories can really add up. Let's take a look: Say you have a frozen Lean Cuisine every day for lunch. The package states that the calories are 350 but it's really 420 (20% more). That means in a week's time you're eating an additional 490 calories. Doesn't sound like much but in 7 weeks time that's an extra pound. In a year, it's almost 10 extra pounds in weight gain. You also need to be wary of restaurant menus that state their calories on certain items. Some have been found to be several hundred calories more.

This doesn't mean you can't ever have a frozen entree or go out to dinner. But you should not base the majority of your meals around them. Fresh, unprocessed ingredients are not only calorically accurate but they have way less sodium and no artificial ingredients or preservatives--all things that hinder weight loss. Prepackaged foods may be convenient, but they come at a price.