Ready-made weight loss meals offer a convenient way to control energy intake while ensuring your basic nutritional needs are taken care of.
But with so many products on the market, making sense of what’s on offer can be overwhelming.
To help you decide which meals are best suited to your lifestyle, we compared four popular brands of ready-meals for weight loss to find out how they stack up nutritionally.
To do this, we compared similar types of meals (chicken, fish and beef) on the following scores
Youfoodz delivers ready-meals within Australia, as well as grocery essentials and fruit/veg boxes.
Their focus is on quality and healthy eating rather than weight loss.
Weight Watchers is a long-standing international weight loss company.
They offer tools like workshops and an app, as well as ready meals that are sold in supermarkets.
Lite ‘n’ Easy is a weight loss meal delivery service in Australia.
Their program options focused on either weight loss or convenient weight management.
Be Fit Food (that’s us!) delivers fresh, healthy meals within Australia.
We have a variety of science-backed programs tailored to different weight loss and healthy eating journeys.
Kilojoules and calories are two different units for measuring energy - they represent the same thing, so you can compare products with either (as long as you’re consistent).
In terms of meals, they represent the amount of energy that goes into your body as a result of eating that meal.
Your body burns energy from food as fuel, and can store the excess in the form of body fat.
That’s why ‘counting calories’ is so often involved in weight loss. It’s important to keep in mind that your body needs energy input even if you’re aiming to lose body fat.
Nutritional information labels should show the total contained in a serving of the product, as well as per 100g.
Not all products have the same serving size, so the 100g measure is included for comparison by a standardised quantity.
When comparing ready-meals, you want to look at the kilojoules per serve, as this is what you’re going to be consuming.
Weight Watchers and Lite ‘n’ Easy have the highest kilojoule count, although it’s worth noting that their serves are the biggest.
Be Fit Food has the lowest kilojoules across the board.
|Be Fit Food||Italian Beef Meatballs||777|
|Be Fit Food||Chilli & Ginger Baked Fish||928|
|Be Fit Food||Smokey Chicken & Chorizo Paella||1050|
|Youfoodz||Clean Fish with Creamy Garlic Sauce||1140|
|Youfoodz||Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef & Mash||1260|
|Youfoodz||Creamy Garlic Chicken Kiev and Chips||1440|
|Weight Watchers||Peri Peri Chicken||11580|
|Lite N' Easy||Flame Grilled Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy||1657.9|
|Lite N' Easy||Honey Soy Chicken||1768|
|Lite N' Easy||Tasmanian Salmon Pasta||1913.3|
|Weight Watchers||Massaman Beef Curry||2220|
|Weight Watchers||Salmon & Chickpea Pasta||2240|
Fats in food aren’t the enemy - in fact, certain kinds of fats are an essential part of your diet, even if you’re aiming to lose weight.
The key thing to know is that not all fats are equal, and there are some that should be minimised in your diet - namely, saturated fats.
When consumed in excess, these have effects such as raising cholesterol, clogging arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease.
You should steer clear of meals high in saturated fat.
Nutritional labels show the total fat content of the product, with the saturated fat written underneath this as a subcategory.
In some cases, you may find that a product has a higher total fat content than a competitor, yet is lower in saturated fat (or vice versa).
That’s why it’s important that both measures be included on the label.
All four brands have roughly similar saturated fat content, with Be Fit Food being the lowest overall. All Be Fit Food meals are low in saturated fat, with less than 1.5g of saturated fat per 100g.
Be Fit Food also had the most consistent level of saturated fat across all three meals.
|Be Fit Food||Chilli & Ginger Baked Fish||1.4|
|Be Fit Food||Italian Beef Meatballs||1.4|
|Weight Watchers||Peri Peri Chicken||1.6|
|Be Fit Food||Smokey Chicken & Chorizo Paella||2.4|
|Lite N' Easy||Honey Soy Chicken||2.6|
|Lite N' Easy||Tasmanian Salmon Pasta||2.7|
|Youfoodz||Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef & Mash||2.9|
|Youfoodz||Creamy Garlic Chicken Kiev and Chips||3.3|
|Lite N' Easy||Flame Grilled Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy||4.4|
|Youfoodz||Clean Fish with Creamy Garlic Sauce||5|
|Weight Watchers||Salmon & Chickpea Pasta||5.7|
|Weight Watchers||Massaman Beef Curry||9.4|
Carbohydrates, or carbs are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, carbs take the form of starches, fibres and sugars.
As they’re found in so many foods, carbs are an essential part of our diet, but most of us consume far more of them than we need.
In many science-backed weight loss diets, such as mild nutritional ketogenic diets, a low-carb approach is favoured and is optimal to enter a state of mild nutritional ketosis.
It’s fairly simple to read the carbohydrate content on a product label.
You’ll notice that it’s grouped with sugars, as these are a class of carbs.
Most of us know that sugars taste sweet, but did you know that they’re also a class of carbohydrates?
Types of sugars include fructose, lactose, glucose and sucrose. These occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk products, and the body can use them as fast-release fuel - up to a point.
Consumed in excess, sugars can have numerous adverse effects on the body, including sending your metabolism and concentration haywire.
You’ll find a product’s sugar content listed underneath carbohydrates on the nutritional table.
Even though sugars are a form of carbs, it’s possible for a product to be lower in carbs compared to a competitor, yet higher in sugars (or the other way around).
Lite ‘n’ Easy is the highest on sugar, with Weight Watchers coming in second.
Youfoodz is significantly lower in sugar, but Be Fit Food achieved the lowest level of sugar content in comparison to the other three brands due to our strict no added sugar policy in 100% of our products.
This policy includes hidden sugars like syrups, honey, fructose or other sources. In addition, all our products follow a strict ‘no artificial sugar’ policy, to minimise any potential risk of health implications.
|Be Fit Food||Chilli & Ginger Baked Fish||10.3||2.7|
|Be Fit Food||Smokey Chicken & Chorizo Paella||13.6||3.8|
|Be Fit Food||Italian Beef Meatballs||15.3||5|
|Weight Watchers||Peri Peri Chicken||16||16|
|Youfoodz||Clean Fish with Creamy Garlic Sauce||21.7||3.4|
|Weight Watchers||Salmon & Chickpea Pasta||27.3||7|
|Lite N' Easy||Flame Grilled Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy||28.6||10.6|
|Youfoodz||Creamy Garlic Chicken Kiev and Chips||32.4||11.5|
|Youfoodz||Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef & Mash||35.7||17.3|
|Weight Watchers||Massaman Beef Curry||50.3||14.8|
|Lite N' Easy||Honey Soy Chicken||54.5||23.8|
|Lite N' Easy||Tasmanian Salmon Pasta||61||9.1|
Most people know sodium through salt.
Actually, it’s a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods (as well as in salt), and small amounts of it are essential for our bodies to function.
However, the salt added to many food products as seasoning makes excess consumption all too easy, and this can have numerous adverse effects on the body.
This includes water retention, high blood pressure and even increased wet weight (weight from excess fluid in your body).
Reading sodium content on a label is pretty straightforward.
Unlike carbs, sugars, fats and protein, it’s measured in milligrams rather than.
That’s because it occurs in much smaller quantities than the other components. But a little sodium goes a long way, so it’s still important to look at. All Be Fit Food meals are classified as low in sodium, with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g.
Lite n’ Easy meals have the most sodium by a long shot - more than triple that of the meals from Be Fit Food, which won out in the low-sodium stakes.
Youfoodz was the second highest in sodium, with Weight Watchers coming in higher than Be Fit Food.
|Be Fit Food||Italian Beef Meatballs||143|
|Be Fit Food||Smokey Chicken & Chorizo Paella||173|
|Be Fit Food||Chill & Ginger Baked Fish||209|
|Weight Watchers||Salmon & Chickpea Pasta||282|
|Weight Watchers||Peri Peri Chicken||452|
|Youfoodz||Clean Fish with Creamy Garlic Sauce||531|
|Youfoodz||Creamy Garlic Chicken Kiev and Chips||643|
|Weight Watchers||Massaman Beef Curry||757|
|Lite N' Easy||Tasmanian Salmon Pasta||809.2|
|Youfoodz||Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef & Mash||893|
|Lite N' Easy||Flame Grilled Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy||907.4|
|Lite N' Easy||Honey Soy Chicken||989.5|
When it comes to healthy eating for weight loss, it’s all in the balance - not only of the nutritional components of a meal, but also of how these align with your individual goals and requirements.
Especially if you’re just starting to explore your options for weight loss or weight management, it’s worth speaking with a dietitian to ensure you choose the right approach for you.
To systematically review and rank the meals, we gave points to each meal.
For the meal that came in the best, i.e. least amount of sodium, it was awarded 12 points. Then 11 for the second best, so on and so forth ...
|Be Fit Food||131|
|Lite N' Easy||40|
With that said, this comparison makes it clear that Be Fit Food has one of the cleanest offerings on the market, coming in as the lowest on kilojoules, saturated fat, carbs, sugars and sodium.
Our meals are all natural, full of veggies and with zero artificial thickeners.
It's also no surprise that Be Fit Food customers lose 5kg on average in two weeks*.
Disclaimer: Nutritional comparison data was collated on 3 June 2020 from relevant websites. This information is only accurate on 3 June 2020 and will require review.
*Average 5.1kg lost by 212 Be Fit Food customers over 2 weeks on Be Rapid/Metabolism Reset. Individual results may vary and may be impacted by numerous factors including food plan type and individual circumstances and existing health/medical conditions or medications. We advise you to talk to your health professional prior to commencing and during your weight loss journey.