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Smart Ones Vs. Lean Cuisine

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
Smart Ones Vs. Lean Cuisine
A woman is reading a nutritional label on a box. Photo Credit Mark Bowden/iStock/Getty Images

Losing weight can be a challenge, because diets can be boring, they may require you to cook complicated meals or you may feel deprived of your favorite foods. Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine are frozen food products designed for individuals on reduced-calorie diets. The brands have some similarities, but each brand also has some unique characteristics, and a nutritionist can help you fit them into a healthy eating plan.


The Heinz Company is the manufacturer of Weight Watchers Smart Ones, and Nestle makes Lean Cuisine. Weight Watchers uses a points system for controlling your food intake instead of counting your total calories or carbohydrates, and the packages of Weight Watchers Smart Ones display the number of points in each serving. The formula for Weight Watchers points is proprietary, but point values increase with calories and fat, and decrease with dietary fiber content.

Lean Cuisine packages display estimates of the number of Weight Watchers points.

Lunch and Dinner

Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine have traditional lunch and dinner entrees, such as turkey breast, roast beef and chicken, served with a starch, such as rice or potatoes, and a vegetable or vegetable mixture. They have Asian-inspired stir-fry and teriyaki dishes and frozen sandwiches, such as grilled flatbread sandwiches from Smart Ones, and panini from Lean Cuisine. Both companies have pizzas, pasta dishes and vegetarian options, such as cheese lasagna or macaroni and cheese.

Snacks, Breakfast and Desserts

Examples of Lean Cuisine’s snack options include pita bread with vegetable or broccoli dip and fajita-style or garlic chicken spring rolls. Snacks from Smart Ones include miniature pizzas, cheeseburgers and quesadillas. Lean Cuisine does not sell separate desserts, but Smart Ones sells a variety of sundaes, cakes and pies. Lean Cuisine does not have breakfast options. Smart Ones has french toast with sausage, scrambled eggs with meat or potatoes and breakfast sandwiches on English muffins or tortillas.

Other Information

Most of the entrees from Lean Cuisine have about 200 to 400 calories and about 5 to 10 estimated points on the Weight Watchers system. Many Smart Ones lunch and dinner entrees have a similar number of calories, and about 3 to 7 Weight Watchers points. Desserts have 2 to 3 points and breakfasts have 4 to 5 points. Regardless of which specific diet program you are following, remember to check other information such as type of fat, vitamins and minerals, protein and dietary fiber in each product.

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