Meal replacement shakes are meant to help you in replacing high-calorie, unhealthy meals with some lighter and more balanced alternative. In a nutshell, they make simple the nutrition component of losing weight.
Because meal replacement shakes should replace a meal, they contain essential nutrients, protein, fats, and carbs in equal proportion to a balanced meal. Those meant for weight loss also should contain hunger blockers that help in keeping appetite and cravings in check.
A meal replacement shake:
- Turns some unhealthy meal to a healthy meal (Replaces dinner, lunch, or breakfast)
- Includes some healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- Comes fortified with minerals and vitamins
- Includes fiber plus other ingredients to help reduce cravings and block hunger
Now we are aware that meal replacement shakes are effectual for loss of weight. However, what are the best meal replacement shakes? Which one would you choose? Will any old meal replacement shake does?
When it comes to selecting the best meal replacement shakes, there are some important things that you are going to take into account. You should ask yourself these questions:
- Does it provide sufficient amount of protein, carbs, minerals and vitamins?
- Does it have amazing taste
- Does it possess some sort of hunger blocker that is going to keep you from getting hungry?
- Is there any kind of assurance with the shake?
When the shake you select may answer all the above questions, then chances are that it is good.
Benefits of meal replacement shakes
There are many reasons as to why you may consider skipping a regular meal and instead go for a meal replacement shake. The shakes are quick, convenient, portable, and they are normally low in calories. This implies they may effectively help you work toward your weight loss or weight maintenance. However, they also have their limitations-therefore it is significant that you receive as much information as possible about them prior to adding them to your diet.
A study that was published in the year 2014 in the journal called “Obesity” compared the results of loss weight from some 12-week plan, with follow-ups carried out between one and two years among those participants who had used the meal replacement shakes and others who had reduced their calories and changed their lifestyles. Well, both groups lost weight. However, during the check-ins after one and two years, those on the meal replacement group had regained significant amount of weight but the reduced-calorie, changed-lifestyle group hadn’t. Researchers postulated that the meal replacement shakes became some sort of “crutch” and just worked for short-term loss of weight but were not a trusted long-term tool for maintenance of weight.
Meal replacement shakes also may be less effective concerning total nutrition. According to Katherine Zeratsky, Mayo Clinic registered dietitian, shakes simply cannot offer all the nutritional parts of whole foods that include antioxidants plus other protective substances as well as minerals and vitamins. For every meal that you replace with some shake, you should supplement it with some nutrient-packed and low-calorie snack like a serving of brown rice or a small fruit salad.
Meal replacement shakes have definite advantage over whole meals when you put convenience into consideration. They are quite easy to take with you, and quick to drink. They are also simple to make. Often, there’s no preparation involved at all. Since they do provide a number of nutrients and are going to help you keep satisfied, they are preferable to entirely skipping meals when you are in a rush or traveling.
Trying to change your physique or lose weight with only meal replacement shakes is not a sustainable method. Dr. Monica Zangwill, a public health expert, writes that the most effective programs for long-term weight maintenance involve comprehensive weight-loss programs, regular physical activity, quality medical support and care. Substituting some few meals for shakes may help you reduce weight in the short term. However, you may regain the weight immediately you drop the shakes strategy to return to your normal diet.
Before you start replacing regularly your meals with shakes, it is recommended that you get approval from your physician or certified dietician. When you are using shakes as a strategy for losing weight, you should do so but only for the short term but also in combination with the other healthy strategies. You should also go for those shakes featuring whole food ingredients, having a variety of minerals and vitamins, and only containing some small amounts of added sugar.