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Lean Cuisine Review - Does This Meal Replacement Work? Are stomach irritation and poor taste deal breakers?

  • 77 User Comments
  • Rating: 3.5. From 32 votes.
By Summer Banks Dec 08, 2016
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All it takes is two minutes of your time to learn whether or not Lean Cuisine is worth a try. We looked closely at the meal ingredients, possible side effects, customer service and clinical research. We also read more than a hundred reviews for real life experiences. Then, we summarized it all to give you the info you need.

Lean Cuisine Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Leptigen.

What is Lean Cuisine?

First off, Lean Cuisine is a low-calorie meal replacement option sold in the frozen food aisle. You can eat one to two daily in place of home-cooked options. This is supposed to help you take in fewer calories and, thus, promote weight-loss. Some varieties include pizza, turkey, chicken and beef.

Nestle is the company behind the Lean Cuisine name. The website for the brand was purchased in 1996. That’s more than two decades in the business. There are a ton of options to choose from, including Italian, French and Chinese. We like this variety and the price is right, but read on…

Stomach Irritation – “Don’t Feel So Good?”

Our first concern with Lean Cuisine ingredients is the stomach irritation some people experienced. “There is quite a bit of salt in these meals,” says our Research Editor. “This alone can cause issues like dehydration and increased bowel movements.”

“Today, I was feeling perfectly fine until I ate a broccoli chicken Alfredo meal. Within a minute, I had to run for the bathroom,” claimed a person who tried a meal.

One buyer said, “After eating lean cuisine Swedish meatballs I became sick to the stomach.”

Others live by the brand as a means of controlling calorie intake or to just feel better.

“If you are in your 40’s and would like to look and feel great, change your eating habits,” said a buyer who’s used Lean Cuisine for years.

Poor Taste – “Can’t Eat It?”

Another problem we found in customer reviews deals with Lean Cuisine taste. It didn’t exactly live up to expectations for some people.

“This product is the saltiest thing I have ever tasted in my life. I actually coughed,” said one buyer.

Another claimed, “Snack pizza is gag. Never again, spinach artichoke snack pizza. Never again.”

Taste was a selling point for some customers.

“I love your meals. So much better than NutriSystem, both taste, and budget wise,” was an experience.

A buyer also said, “I think Lean Cuisine dinner are delicious.”

Over the years, our research shows it takes what seems like a small thing, like poor taste, to slash any chance of lasting results. If Lean Cuisine doesn’t have the best flavor, the dieter won’t stick with the plan for long.

The Science – “Any Real Research?”

Yes, we are thrilled to say that research shows meal replacements can promote weight-loss. You have to eat right and exercise for optimal results. If you don’t change your diet, you probably won’t see a difference. The official website for Lean Cuisine doesn’t bother to share the studies, however. Here at DietSpotlight, we like to see companies that stand up for their products with science.

The Bottom Line – Does Lean Cuisine Work?

Do we suggest putting Lean Cuisine on your shopping list? Sure, there’s no trouble in giving Lean Cuisine a try, maybe in place of that meal replacement shake. However, we do have some reservations because there is a lot of salt in there and that could cause problems for people with some medical conditions. Plus, the taste and stomach irritation are two problems customers have reported.

For those wanting to lose weight once and for all, our suggestion is to pair meal replacements with a supplement that’s tested and shown to promote weight-loss. Plus, the price has to be right.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. You don’t have to worry about taste and results are amazing, based on user reviews. The price is right and all ingredients have been clinically tested and shown to help boost metabolism so you lose more weight.

Plus, it helps that the makers of Leptigen are confident enough in the product to offer a Special Trial Offer.

Previous Lean Cuisine Review (Updated September 20, 2013):

What You Should Know

Frozen meals have come a long way since the dreaded TV dinner from the seventies and eighties that our mothers used to serve us in a pinch. The choices were pretty limited then but today’s frozen meals offer a much greater variety and the taste has definitely improved. One of the most popular frozen meal lines is Lean Cuisine, made by Stouffers. Lean Cuisine offers several categories of meals including “One Dish Classics”, “Comfort Classics”, “Café Classics”, “Spa Cuisine Classics”, “Skillets”, “Dinnertime Selects” and “Casual Eating”. The problem with many so called “diet” foods is that they do not cater to everyone’s needs. Many people are on low sodium diets and while many of the Lean Cuisine entrees are low in fat and calories, they are generally high in sodium. The official Lean Cuisine website does offer a menu planner, a fitness planner, recipes and the option to ask a nutritionist questions as well as browse through some of the previously asked questions and answers. There are success stories where dieters can read about other peoples struggles with their weight and get inspiration from their achievements.

Ingredients

Lean Cuisine entrees feature both meat and vegetarian options.

Product Features

Over 85 of Lean Cuisines entrees have received an endorsement from fitness coach Bob Greene, author of “The Best Life Diets”. Many of the frozen meals now include whole grains, twice the vegetables and omega 3’s to give them greater nutritional value.

Advantages

  • Lean Cuisine offers a variety of meals for everyone’s taste.
  • Lean Cuisine meals are low in fat and calories.

Disadvantages

  • Lean Cuisine frozen entrees may be high in sodium and not healthy for those on a low sodium diet.
  • The entrees must be kept frozen and require a microwave to cook them and may not be convenient for those on the go.
  • Dieters must add other food items to the diet plan to have a complete meal.

Conclusion

Lean Cuisine may be good for dieters who want a quick alternative to cooking their own meals. All one has to do is pop the meal in the microwave and in minutes you have a hot meal on your table. However it may not be a good option for those on the go, since the entrees must be kept frozen and preparing them requires a microwave oven. Unfortunately if you are on a low sodium diet, you may want to stick with cooking for yourself. Lean Cuisine is not the best choice for those who prefer low sodium options. When dieters prepare their own meals at home, they are in better control of what goes into them especially the salt. Spices like garlic powder, pepper and others can add a lot of flavor without the sodium.
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About the Author:

Summer Banks, a content strategist at Leptigen, has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 3.5. From 32 votes.
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77 Comments on "Lean Cuisine Review"

 
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Lean Cuisine dinners work to loose weight. I am 49 years old and started my diet 3/15/16 weighing 244 Lbs. its now 10/5/16 and I am down to 186 Lbs. “That’s a total of 58 Lbs so far” My goal is to get down to 175 Lbs. I see a lot of people complaining about taste, portion size, to much salt, & sick to there stomach after 2-3 days on Lean Cuisine. The taste is not great, but not bad at all with a good variety to choose from. Portion size is right to lose weight. Salt flavoring is just right for my taste. And if you’re feeling sick after a couple days of dieting, maybe your diet is to strict of a diet to start with. Monday through Friday my average day starts with a couple breakfast bars, or a cup of cereal, cup of almond milk, and half cup of applesauce, and a quarter cup of unsalted sunflower seeds. Lunch is a peanut butter & Jelly sandwich, and a large orange, I always bring an extra orange just incase I get a craving between lunch and dinner. For dinner a Lean Cuisine dinner and Crystal Light green tea “caffeinated” tea packet in my water. I started exercising just 30 minutes fast power walk with a moderate incline on my treadmill. I always make sure a break a good sweat. and now I added lifting weights for an additional 30 minutes. On the weekends I take a break from exercise and dieting. I eat just about anything, even ice cream. Yes I put weight back on, but by the following Friday I can loose 2-2.5 more Lbs. I have averaged 8 Lbs. every month since I started. Drink lots of water. Good luck, and God Bless you on your journey !!!

Lean Cuisine dinners work, to loose weight

I eat a lot of your entrees. I especially like the roasted turkey breast with the dressing and cinnamon apples But after microwaving this dinner and going to eat it, I find EVERY TIME that the most of the dressing is all in one clump and is very hard. Can’t even eat it. it. This should be a good part of the meal and I never get to eat it. I follow usual micro instructions..

I bought your Lean Cuisine meatloaf meal. I found a hair in the meatloaf. Will not buy your product again.

I got your Lean Cuisine meatloaf and mash potatoes. There was a hair in the meatloaf. I propably won’t be buying your product again

You say that it’s gulten free will its not very sick from your product you should not say it is

I have been on the lean cuisine diet for 3 weeks now. I eat yogurt or oatmeal and coffee in the morning drink a meal replacement shake for a snack and eat 2 lean cuisine one for lunch and one for dinner. I have lost 18lb and 3 inches off my waist my hunger has been diverted and bathroom time is more regular now. I take a women supplement for any extra vitamins I might need and drink a half a gallon of water a day I think this diet is great I really enjoy the new recipes and only need 15 more pounds lost for the summer season. I kinda feel I’ve created my own nutrisystem for half the price.

I just started a diet consisting of smoothie all day just one and at 6p.m. a lean cuisine and in just 5 days I have lost 3lbs I am going to try adding on 20 min a day treadmill but have 18 more pounds to lose before October 13

I have eaten your meals for years for lunch. First while I was working for convenience and then when I retired for cost and flavor. I must admit I am confused about your current “new, improved” selections. I feel betrayed on several levels… 1. many of my favorites are either gone or have “much higher” calorie counts, 2. the cost has gone up, 3. Café Steamers are more difficult to prepare… have burned my hands several times during preparation… before it was just heat and eat. I feel “ABANDONED and UNAPPRECIATED by my old friend. Hope your new markets and profits validate your marketing decisions.

Ilove your meals. So much better than NutriSystem, both taste, and budget wise. My only complaint, is every time I eat one of the meals,(and I have 3 per day)I get terrible diarrhea, usually before bed time, and I’m up half the night, running to the bathroom. I bought over a month supply, to lose weight. I hope the diarrhea isn’t where the weight loss comes in. Do you have any knowledge of any of the ingrediants in the meals, that could be causing me such distress?

The Orange Chicken is the one Lean Cuisine dish I eat when I dont feel like cooking. I ate this dish 2 nights ago & woke up sweating, then vomiting & diarrhea! I Guess I wont be buying Lean Cuisines anymore, not worth the stomach upset!

Wondering about the diarrhea. Wondering if has MSG in it?

Yes, though sometimes not explicitly labeled as having MSG.

Correction: Lean Cuisine is made by Nestle, not Stouffer’s. Did you say Stouffer’s because it used to be owned by that company? Anyway, I like Lean Cuisine meals quite a lot. The new Salad Additions are great–four different toppings to put on your lettuce sala. I don’t use all the salad dressing that comes with each forzen package of veggies and chicken. They have tried the Bistro Chicken with roasted veggies, Southwest, Asian-themed, and Cranberry and Chicken. I guess there are more now, but that’s all that my local grocery store has ever carried.

when the 14 day diet plan first came out, I tried it and lost about 30 lbs on it. I thought the food was pretty good. true, its not for everyone and its not meant to be long term, just to maybe get you going in the right direction.

Can you post the link of that 14 day diet? smile

I love them!

I can’t find a way to find out if any of your ingredients come from China, particularly the fish and chicken. Other than that haunting question, I think Lean Cuisine dinner are delicious.

I enjoy most of the Lean Cuisine items and love the variety. The Cheese Ravioli is yummy!

Although I really like green beans, I’m always disappointed with those in the LC meals. About 1/3 will have ugly brown areas on the skins. I hope it’s not rot, but the beans look like they’re rejects from someplace else and I just can’t make myself eat them.

I just bought the baked chicken with stuffing and mashed potatoes. It was the worst tv dinner I have ever had. The chicken reminded me of McDonalds old chicken nuggets. The texture was like meat that had been ground up and mixed with other bi products. Needless to say, I will not try that one again. For the most part, I have liked the other dinners.

There has recently been a barrage of Lean Cuisine commercials selling the idea of custom meals. I thought “what a great idea, give options on sauce, no sauce etc.” but those initial commercials were the most insulting, demeaning commercials I have ever seen. When the guy starts mimicking the lady asking for the same thing as another woman, it made me change the channel in disgust. I could not believe a company trying to sell a product to woman would release that. It would be no surprise to me that the add person was a man and the person/s who were in authority at Lean Cuisine were men. Men completely out of touch with what and who a woman is. I wish I could say that the commercial used to replace that original disaster of a commercial was better but it is still my opinion that the commercial is horribly demeaning. The male voice sounds exacerbated with the woman and not only do I dislike the commercial, I certainly would never choose this product. There are so many ways to approach such a good idea. Too bad you chose to insult the very people you want to sell to.

Lynn,I agree with you 100%!When I first saw the ad I was appalled at how disrespectful his mimicking tone was. They must have had a lot of negative feedback because it’s been changed…still a terrible ad. Whoever approved that ad campaign should be fired!!

Hi. I have been trying Lean Cuisene for years now & while some are tasty a warning these diet meals are not for everyone. I’ve been having about 1 LC frozen meal a day alobg with yogurt fruit & other healthy foods. Three weeks of this & its caught up with me. Having gas & lower intestinal pain..feels like I may get diareeha. The meals are tempting but my opinion is to have these diet type meals onlyhon occasion. This goes for the diet frozen ice cream treats too. Its better to eat one tuna sandwich w/ a tiny bit of mayo than these meals. Not feeling well! Btw..my fav was the spring rolls & sweet & sour ckn. Take care.

cooking times for microwaving two spaghetti with meat sauce at one time

can you cook two spaghetti with meat sauce entrees at one time in the microwave. and if so what are the cooking times?

I’m starting to think that the lean cuisine meals aren’t supposed to be about the taste. I personally have had much better tasting food at some local restaurants. The sizes of the meals could be a lot bigger also. I’m a grown man that normally eats a couple of large plates of spaghetti to be satisfied or perhaps a 12-16 oz steak with potatoes.

Dude that’s the whole point!

Is it okay to cook at full power for less time when the directions are 9 minutes at 50% power? They do this at my office to save time and free up the microwave for others.

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