Here's my Lean Cuisine review – a brand that sells frozen meals for your convenience:
- very popular
- lots of variety
- quite affordable
At first glance, it looks like a very viable option for food delivery.
However, let's not get ahead of ourselves when it comes to this brand.
I bet you're wondering – is it healthy/good for weight loss?
This article will give you all the information you need.
Note: This review is based on my own research + analysis of Lean Cuisine.
Full Name: Lean Cuisine by Nestle
Product Type: Weight Loss Food
Best Actual Price: Around $3
Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon
Designed For: Satisfying your hunger and keeping you healthy.
My Rating: 7 out of 10
Recommended?: Not that much – it's not impressive:
- potentially unsafe for quite a few allergies and diabetics
- not organized in actual meal plans
- many complaints regarding the lack of flavor
Therefore, I simply cannot recommend Lean Cuisine knowing that there are better options.
In fact, if you're looking for the best meal delivery service, I have the perfect solution.
What I Liked About It
- Good for losing weight
- Convenient and time-saving
- Doesn't lock you into a subscription
- You can order anything in any amount
- Nice variety
- Very affordable
What I Didn't Like About It
- Doesn't offer meal plans tailored toward specific needs
- Puts pressure on the customer to design a proper diet
- Consists of processed foods
- Frozen meals are not the best long-term
- Complaints regarding the meals' dull taste
- Unsafe for people with certain allergies or diabetes
- Only available through retailers
#1 – What is Lean Cuisine?
In short, Lean Cuisine is a company that puts out frozen meals available to everyone:
- supposedly healthy
- many options
- low in fat
In this sense, their foods are supposed to keep you satiated while helping you stay in shape.
Since I mentioned that all their meals are frozen, you don't have to worry about any meal prep.
Of course, this is a major time saver for some, especially if you're always busy.
However, unlike other similar programs, you may notice that Lean Cuisine is quite a bit different.
This is to say that they don't operate like the traditional meal (kit) delivery service.
In fact, they don't even ship out their meals directly to the customer.
Instead, you get their products from other retailers, both online and in stores.
This enlarges their availability range, as more customers can get their hands on what they sell.
Not to mention that you don't have to worry about being locked into a subscription.
On top of all that, it seems like Lean Cuisine accommodates quite a few lifestyles.
This is nice because it's important to be able to cater to as many customers as possible.
That being said, let's look at some of their options:
- Heart-Check Certified
- Low calories – <400 or <300 calories per serving
- High Protein
Although this is not the most extensive selection, it certainly is enough to pull people in.
Along with that, they also offer an array of different types of food:
Given the variety, I think most people are sure to find something that intrigues them.
Now – enough about the surface-level of Lean Cuisine.
Sure, it looks appealing enough, not to mention that it's very affordable as well.
But let's remember that we're talking about frozen food here.
So, is this a good idea for your weight loss journey?
Let's see how these foods are supposed to help you.
#2 – How It Works & History
Now's the time to see what Lean Cuisine is all about:
- how it plans to work
- whether or not you would like it
- its history
1. How It Works
The official website discloses that Lean Cuisine is “committed to crafting delicious and nutritious dishes to align with what eating well has come to mean”.
Thus, they aim to blend tasty food with being healthy.
Since there is a misconception that would leave some thinking that healthy food is by default tasteless…
This is a pretty good resolution.
Plus, their approach suggests that they are receptive to the changes that come with time.
That being said, given the fact that this brand contains “lean” in its name…
It has to conform to a few criteria, at least according to the FDA:
- less than 10g of fat per serving
- 4.5g or less of saturated fat
- less than 95g of cholesterol
Given these rules, it's safe to say that Lean Cuisine contains appropriate measures for a healthy lifestyle.
Plus, they are also low in calories: a meal can have at least 140 calories, but a maximum of 400.
In general, that's pretty good for staying in shape .
Looking for protein sources that are low in fat helps us maintain the optimal state of our body…
While remaining within the healthy borders of fat consumption .
Now, keep in mind that Lean Cuisine doesn't offer diet plans or make any dietary suggestions.
This means that you can eat from them how many times you wish.
However, it also means that you have to keep some sort of order in your daily life.
Obviously, weight loss rarely happens passively.
Also – don't forget that you can check the ingredients of every meal (online and on the packaging).
Not only that, but you can also see the nutritional facts, so you know what you're getting into.
That way, you can easily check for whatever you're after…
Or steer clear of what you want to avoid.
Still – be careful if you're consuming lots of frozen meals.
That's because they may lack the nutrients your body needs in order to work optimally.
If you're curious to learn more about Lean Cuisine, their “About Us” page might do the trick.
Over there, you will learn about:
- their efforts to make delicious food that is also healthy
- but also about their concern for calorie control
- this confirms that they are indeed trying to stay within healthy bounds.
After all, this is how they “offer you the guilt-free comfort foods you crave to eat”.
Moreover, they also talk about how every meal is the result of Lean Cuisine cooperating with numerous dietitians.
So you know their food is supposedly thought-out.
To go back in time, Lean Cuisine was created back in 1981.
Initially, it was supposed to be a more affordable alternative to Stouffer's frozen meals.
However, from that, it evolved into its own identity and has over 100 options when it comes to frozen meals.
#3 – Weight Loss Plans (6 out of 10)
As you may remember, Lean Cuisine doesn't have meal plans in the traditional sense.
These are reference points you can use to categorize the selection of foods available.
However, they're all suitable for weight loss.
So let's see the benefits of each of them.
1. Heart-Check Certified
In order to maintain the well-being of your heart, these meals have the following:
- high protein
- less than 300 calories
- no artificial flavors or colors
- 1 cup of vegetables
- no preservatives
If you didn't know, fruits and vegetables are essential for heart health.
As such, the 4 meals in this plan are quite nice as they are low in calories…
While also providing the right nutrients in this respective case.
What's more – did you know that these 4 meals are certified by the American Heart Association?
That goes to show that these particular foods are well prepared for their intended purpose.
2. <400 Calories & <300 Calories
Low calories are a good choice if you want to improve many aspects of your health:
- boost immune system
- enhance metabolism
- lead to a quicker weight loss
In order to grant you all of these benefits, here's what these two categories consist of:
- high protein
- no artificial flavors or colors
- no preservatives
You might have guessed that this diet is quite effective for shedding a few pounds.
By feeding your body fewer calories than it normally receives, you're creating a calorie deficit.
This means that in order to compensate, your body will burn fat .
As you can see, this effectively creates a loop that enables you to lose weight.
3. Gluten Free
A necessity for people with this specific allergy, meals from this category are quite handy:
- 1/2 cup of vegetables
- high protein
- no artificial flavors or colors
It is worth considering going gluten-free because it can increase your overall energy.
Naturally, it can also help you lose weight, which is an important advantage.
Another interesting aspect is that it also lowers the risk of bloating.
So if you normally struggle with such issues, this category might interest you.
However, be aware that there are not that many meal options of this type, unfortunately.
Here are the main characteristics of a carb-conscious diet:
- limits the number of simple carbohydrates eaten
- teaches the body to burn the fat stores
- increases satiety
As you can see, this diet essentially enables you to stay full…
While your body burns the excess fat on its own.
This makes weight loss sound pretty attainable, right?
Just know that, much like in the case of Gluten Free, this category also suffers from a lack of variety.
5. High Protein
Consuming foods that are high in protein comes with some perks:
- promotes weight management
- helps you avoid overeating
- boosts metabolism
Surely you've heard that this diet is pretty common for people in fitness, right?
Well, that's because this regimen has earned its reputation.
Lots of protein reduces hunger levels, which means it's beneficial for your weight-loss journey.
Not to mention that this category contains quite a few meals to choose from!
Without much ado needed, this is all about excluding meat from your diet.
Here's why such a diet could benefit your weight-loss journey:
- less overall calories
- less fat
- rich in specific nutrients
While this may be a pretty mainstream weight-loss diet, you should know that not everyone tolerates it.
This means that a meatless diet runs the risk of excluding other essential nutrients.
I'm talking about iron, zinc, and such others, which could potentially lead to anemia.
That being said, please consider carefully whether or not such a diet really suits your lifestyle.
From the looks of it, Lean Cuisine has a pretty generalistic array of diets.
They cover the basic necessities in order to be accessible to the majority of people.
However, their meals might not be the best option if your dietary restrictions are particularly tough.
Still, most people can find something that would suit their taste.
Despite that, some of these categories don't offer that many meal options.
Plus, let's not forget that the company doesn't offer any indications as to what or how you should eat.
This means that the customer is essentially on their own when picking food for the day.
There are definitely advantages and advantages here.
#4 – Meals & Menu (7 out of 10)
Finally, we reach the most nutrient-packed part of this review.
Here's what you should know about Lean Cuisine's menu & meals.
1. The Menu
You might recall that I mentioned earlier in the review that there is no meal plan around.
Essentially, Lean Cuisine doesn't hold your hand at all when it comes to building a diet from the ground up.
They just offer you their entire array and let you pick and choose whatever you want.
Of course, this is the point where their dietary categories really help.
Of course, this is both good and bad:
- the ability to choose anything you wish
- risk of not knowing how to make up a consistent diet
Naturally, for a diet to yield good results when it comes to weight loss…
It needs to be well-researched and thought out.
This is because you need to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need…
With the lowest amount of calories and fats possible.
Obviously, that takes some planning.
Regardless, let's not forget that Lean Cuisine also does not operate on the basis of a subscription.
This is a pretty important detail, as it enhances the convenience aspect of this service.
You can buy anything, in any amount, anytime.
However, for some substantial results to take place, you also need to be quite attentive.
2. The Meals
For this section, we will look at what each category offers in terms of actual dishes.
That being said, here's what you can expect from the Heart-Check Certified line:
- Apple Cranberry Chicken
- Butternut Squash Ravioli
- Garlic Sesame Noodles with Beef
- Herb Roasted Chicken
Next, here's what you get from <400 & <300 calories meals:
- Baked Chicken
- Buffalo Style Chicken
- Cheese Ravioli
- Chicken Enchilada Suiza
Let's move on to some Gluten-Free dishes:
- Sticky Ginger Chicken
- Sweet & Spicy Korean-Style Beef
- Unwrapped Chicken Burrito
- Roasted Turkey & Vegetables
If you're up for some Carb-Conscious meals, you can look forward to:
- Creamy Mac and Cheese
- Fettuccini with Meat Sauce
- Garlic Parmesan Alfredo with Broccoli
- Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
If you're hunting for protein, there are some meals that can help with that:
- Four Cheese Pizza
- French Bread Pepperoni Pizza
- Glazed Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Caesar
Last but not least, if you want some meatless dishes, here are some options:
- Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Ravioli
- Santa Fe-Style Rice and Beans
- Spinach Artichoke
- Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
In all fairness, these all sound quite nice.
It's also quite handy that you don't need to get your hands on them to see the nutritional facts.
Actually, you can check pretty much all the details online.
You just need to go to the respective page of the dish.
Plus, you get ready-made meals, which is very convenient.
But don't forget this means all of them are frozen.
So you need to heat them up in order to enjoy them.
However, it is debatable how healthy frozen meals are, especially if eaten on a frequent basis.
#5 – Results (6 out of 10)
Lean Cuisine is far from new on the market.
This means that there's been enough time for people to gather their thoughts regarding this service.
So let's see what customers are saying about this company!
Note: I only considered authentic reviews, not promotional/fake ones.
1. Positive Reviews
It's time to see what people like about Lean Cuisine.
Of course, we are going to steer clear of the official website.
It's best to avoid biased reviews, so we are looking at what people are saying on Amazon.
Let's get to it:
- Quite a few customers are praising the taste of Lean Cuisine.
- Many people were happy with how time-saving their meals are.
- Some people praised these meals for their weight loss potential.
- Lots of people also said they feel very full after eating Lean Cuisine.
- Customers also found the portion size to be quite suitable.
Someone said Lean Cuisine is a good choice for people who are watching their weight:
These reviews show that Lean Cuisine is working as intended…
For quite a few people, if not for everybody.
It's good to know that some people are pleased with these meals…
Especially when considering the prospect of weight loss.
2. Negative Reviews
Now that we examined the promising aspects of Lean Cuisine…
It's time to turn the tide and look at what is not that good.
In other words, let's see what people are taking issues with when it comes to these meals.
Here's the list:
- Most people are complaining about how dull the dishes taste.
- Others are also saying the meal looks nothing like the promotional picture.
- Some are also concerned about the high amount of sodium in the meals.
- Quite a few people saying that the portion size is on the smaller side.
- A few customers also described the taste of Lean Cuisine as downright awful.
Someone also pointed out that in the past, Lean Cuisine meals used to be much better:
That being said, it's unclear if the company changed the recipes…
Or if some customers only received a one-off.
Regardless, some of these complaints go directly against the praises we recently talked about.
This might make some people feel conflicted when it comes to buying Lean Cuisine.
In all fairness, the customer feedback is rather ambivalent.
There is no clear indication as to whether Lean Cuisine does more bad than good.
Honestly, it seems like a lottery kind of deal.
This means you have to try in order to know whether it's good or not…
But is that really worth it?
In my opinion, it would be much safer to go for a service that looks much more promising.
That way, the risk is nowhere near as high for you.
#6 – Side Effects (7 out of 10)
You may have noticed that the topic of side reactions was not really touched upon…
In the customer reviews, at least.
Because of this, we can't fully predict how safe the meals from this company really are.
Still, let's look at some side effects that you should expect when dramatically shifting your diet:
- little to no energy
If you encounter any of these, they are pretty normal when your diet undergoes drastic changes.
Just make sure things don't get out of control.
In more extreme cases, you may be confronted with issues such as diarrhea and/or abdominal cramping.
Besides that, keep in mind that there is always a risk of food poisoning if you consume spoiled food.
This is all very important to keep in mind, as Lean Cuisine delivers meals that are 100% ready-made.
It's a good idea to keep an eye out for the sake of your health.
#7 – Price (9 out of 10)
In general, meal delivery services tend to be up there in terms of price.
Is this also the case for Lean Cuisine?
Let's look at the details.
1. The Exact Price
To its advantage, Lean Cuisine is very affordable.
While people were complaining about some aspects of the meals…
Price was definitely not one of them.
Here's what we're looking at:
- between $3 and $6 per serving (usually)
- no additional discount for buying multiple units
- no subscription service
Honestly, that's not half bad.
Considering that most of its competitors tend to be quite expensive…
Lean Cuisine is doing a good job at staying accessible, at least in terms of pricing.
From this perspective, it's quite a nice surprise.
However, whether or not this makes up for its shortcomings is debatable.
2. Competitor's Price
If you're set on giving your money to a meal delivery service, I suggest you check for more options.
For example, you could look into my top recommendation for a weight-loss meal plan – Nutrisystem:
- If you want to lose weight, Nutrisystem is much better for long-lasting results.
- That's because Nutrisystem offers actual meal plans dedicated to weight loss.
- On top of that, my recommendation also grants you high levels of customization.
- If you're on the hunt for a diverse menu, trust that my recommendation wins out.
- If you love snacking, go for Nutrisystem because they make snacks part of their program.
All that being said, I definitely believe that going for Nutrisystem is the superior choice.
It's simply a much more organized service.
This means you don't have to figure out on your own how to make your diet work.
It's quite handy that they take that stress off of you.
Although it's true that Lean Cuisine is very affordable for a meal delivery service…
That doesn't mean it's an ideal choice, all things considered.
You still have to decide what you order every day.
Most competitors have a meal plan ready for you to take care of this hassle for you.
Therefore, I suggest looking for other options as well…
Especially if the idea of a meal delivery service sounds very enticing to you.
#8 – Final Conclusions
Now that we have reached the end of this review, let's see the main aspects of Lean Cuisine.
1. Not Organized In Meal Plans
The first thing to take note of when it comes to Lean Cuisine is that everything is up for grabs.
Unlike others, it doesn't organize its meals according to certain purposes or dietary restrictions.
This can be both good and bad, as it essentially lets the customer choose whatever they want.
But it also means that if one expects reliable results for weight loss…
They have to carefully plan what they are eating.
Other competitors simply take this stress off of their customer's shoulders.
2. Only Bought Through Retailers
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that Lean Cuisine does not ship directly to customers.
Instead, you pick up their meals from various retailers, either online or in-store.
This also means that should any issue arise, you will likely get passed around between the retailer and Lean Cuisine.
So just keep that in mind.
Other services let you buy directly from them, thus eliminating the risk of confusion.
3. Accessible Price
If there's one thing Lean Cuisine should be praised for, it's the price tag.
It's quite nice to see a meal delivery service that doesn't cost a fortune.
Now, whether or not the price makes up for other potential issues is an ongoing debate.
Still, it's definitely a nice feature to have, if anything.
My Verdict – Worth It Or Not?
Short answer: It's not the best.
Lean Cuisine is not a bad service, yet it fails to distinguish itself in any way:
- Offers ready-made meals.
- All meals arrive frozen.
- Lack of meal plans.
- Only available through retailers.
- The portion size may not be enough.
- The meals run the risk of having a dull taste.
- Not very inclusive when it comes to many dietary restrictions.
As such, Lean Cuisine is an alright choice, but it's very easy to find something better.
The fact that you are not offered meal plans is a letdown.
Plus, you also have to think about the fact that these are processed foods.
Naturally, this may mean that they are not healthy in the long run.
That being said, you might want to consider something a little more put together.
On that note, may I suggest Nutrisystem?
It's by far my top recommendation for a weight-loss meal plan:
- very efficient when it comes to weight loss
- offers lots of customization options
- actually very affordable considering its high quality
- lets you choose between various meal plans
Taking all these into account, have faith that Nutrisystem is highly superior to its competitors.
In fact, I don't think there's any better option for you, especially if you're interested in losing weight.
So I would definitely say that you won't be disappointed.