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Biggest Loser’s Simply Sensible Meals Make Dinner for Two a No-Brainer

So you want to eat like a Loser? Then Simply Sensible meals seem like an easy solution. You’ve probably seen them in your grocery store, in the refrigerated prepared meals section. They’re relatively affordable, about five dollars for a meal that will feed two people.

But are they really that good for you? We spoke with Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutritionist for Biggest Loser, and she told us that she was involved with the creation of the Simply Sensible meals, albeit “not in the kitchen.” We also spoke with Mary Hartley, RD, the nutrition director at Calorie Count, for a more third-party voice.

“Anything with the Biggest Loser brand is something I look at,” Forberg told us about her involvement with the show’s branded foods items. “This is especially true of the [Biggest Loser] eating plan because I co-wrote it.”

Forgerg explained that the meals were developed based on the Biggest Loser eating plan, a balance of lean protein, carbs, and good fats.

We’ve tried the Mediterranean-Style Chicken and the Zing Chicken (there are there other meal choices). The first thing we noticed was the wonderful aroma, not something you’re usually met with when opening a frozen or refrigerated meal. We were also impressed by the hearty chunks of chicken, something you usually have to try to find in most prepared meals. In the Mediterranean meal the bow tie pasta was perfectly al dente, but we were disappointed by the use of a white pasta. The white wine rosemary sauce was incredibly delicious. The Zing was a healthier replacement for our usual Asian takeout favorites and we were satisfied with the flavor, and very pleased to see brown rice as opposed to white.

In both meals we would have liked to see more vegetables – more peas in the Mediterranean and bigger chunks of peppers in the Zing. Hartley would have also liked to see more vegetables, pointing out that the meals don’t reflect the MyPlate message. “Produce seems to make up much less than 1/4th of the plate. In the beef meal, the meat makes up 3/4 of the plate and starch contributes 1/4th.”

The meals should not be eaten exclusively as an entree, as they aren’t nearly satisfying enough for that. Be sure to bulk it up with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables, as is the Biggest Loser way. This was another point on which Hartley agreed with us, saying “The servings per container are two, but I believe most people would eat the whole thing; however, a one serving, the portion is much too small to count as a major meal.” No matter how healthy it appears, eating the entire container defeats the purpose. Share it or save it for later.

We were pleased with the nutritional values, overall, for the Mediterranean Chicken meal. A 1.5-cup serving yields 250 calories, six grams of fat, yet it barely met our <500mg of sodium rule/meal with 400mg.  While there were two grams of fiber, we would have liked to see more Рsomething a whole grain pasta and more veggies would have accomplished.

In the Zing Chicken the serving is just one cup for 230 calories and far less fat with 1.5 grams. However, like most Asian dishes, this one has a lot of sodium with 530mg. Packaged foods rely on salt as a preservative. However, if Harris Food Group, the producer of the Simply Sensible meals, was using more salt for flavor, they could have accomplished that with larger pieces of peppers and more of the “hand-picked herbs” they advertise on the package. There is slightly more fiber than the other meal we tried, 3g per serving, thanks to the use of brown rice.

The end point, fresh prepared food is always best, as you can control the ingredients, a lesson regularly taught on Biggest Loser. However, in a pinch to feed two people a healthy meal, Simple Sensible is a fair option, especially if you bulk it up with your own fresh fruits and vegetables.

October 4th, 2011

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(Page 1 of 1, 8 total comments)

Tammy

I purchased the Beef Tips & Gravy with brown rice because it looked good on the package. Maybe there was 2 pea-sized pieces of beef- The rest was just gravy & rice. The taste also left alot to be desired.

posted Feb 9th, 2013 7:45 pm


Jack

Tried the Shrimp Marinara. If there was shrimp in the dish it had to be the invisible Krill that whales eat. Rice and sauce, what a rip off, they should be charged with fraud
Shame on you

posted Jul 5th, 2012 10:50 pm


Mary

This is the most misleading product we have tried. We tried the Beef Pot Roast and Gravy with Redskin Potatoes and Vegetables. There was exactly two pieces of meat and very little carrots and peas--no potatoes. Had to eat it with a spoon--mostly gravy. Progreeso Soup is a better buy. It was a waste of $4. No wonder the company is filing for bankruptcy!

posted Jun 8th, 2012 2:48 pm


Susan

The Zing Chicken was awful. The smell was off-putting, especially the brown rice. It ended up in the garbage. I wouldn't even give it to my dog. I thought NutriSystem was the worst diet food in the world, but this stuff is vastly worse. Just nasty.

posted May 14th, 2012 4:07 am


Terry

We tried the Shrimp Creole and Beef Tips. The contents look absolutely nothing like the picture. I took a couple of bites of each and threw them in the trash.. Publix had them 2 for 1, and I can see why. The only thing accurate about the packaging is the name BIGGEST LOSER, which is what you become when you purchase these products.

posted May 8th, 2012 10:35 pm


Phillip

I also bought the "beef tips and gravy with rice". I finally found 3 small pieces of beef in the rice and gravy - nothing like the picture on the package. I've seen hog slop that looked as "tasty". The ingredients should be listed as "rice and gravy with maybe some beef tips". Lousy and Misrepresented!

posted May 2nd, 2012 10:34 pm


Kevin

I bought the beef tips and gravy and there were not any beef tips just garvy and rice. Terrible.

posted Apr 9th, 2012 8:09 pm


Robin

Wow, you must have gotten something different than me. I got the Beef Pot Roast and Gravy. The picture shows five pieces of meat per serving (even says serving suggestion under picture) and there are 2 1/2 servings in the package. Well it was basically soup with three pieces of meet, about 6 pieces of potato (the size of a marble), a bunch of peas, and 6 pieces of carrot (the size of a pea). Totally not what the picture shows and wasn‚??t enough for one person never the less two people.

posted Mar 9th, 2012 9:58 pm



   
 

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