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Weight Loss Shakes: Do Meal Replacements REALLY Help You Lose Weight?

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As the name suggests, meal replacement shakes are consumed so as to substitute the regular meals with powdered shakes which serve to lessen your total calorie intake and thus help you lose weight. Having stomach shakes and bars for breakfast (maybe in lunch and dinner too), can be a viable weight-loss strategy in the short term. However, it’s debatable whether or not they actually help reduce weight.
Even when they do, meal replacement shakes are not a permanent fix for weight loss or weight gain. There are only as many times you can have them as a part of your diet regime.
Some people mistake meal replacement shakes with protein shakes. But there lies a difference. Unlike protein shakes, meal replacement shakes are intended to provide the nutrition of a full-fledged meal. Some are found in a can or bottle while some come in a powdered form which can be used by mixing with fluids like milk or water. These shakes are useful because they contain 200-400 calories along with hefty amounts of protein, fiber and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals. This is why they are considered as a healthy substitute for regular meals.




How Meal Replacement Shakes Work?

 

meal replacement

They Provide Nutrients That Our Conventional Diets May Not

Shakes are often loaded with nutrients, which might compensate for the ones that you are lacking by cutting down on calories. The best meal replacement shakes constitute of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, a myriad of commercial shakes is a good source of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin D, which people normally lack in their diets.

They Help You Lose Weight Faster

Since they take up fewer calories, meal replacement shakes help feel you full and satiated for a long time. Replacing one or two meals per day with a healthy meal replacement shake is a good way to start with the weight loss process. Meal replacement shakes also boost weight loss in those suffering from diabetes. Meal replacement shakes may also help with keeping your weight off after the weight loss has been accomplished.

They Help You Avoid, Unavoidable Meals

Not only are they convenient but meal replacement shakes also make sure that you do not overly indulge in eating unhealthy food. The typical processed foods that are there can seriously let your weight loss efforts go in vain. Also, processed foods that are rich in sugar, salt and fat trigger the pleasure centers of the brain, which can further lead to overeating. Thus, meal replacement shakes are easy to drink even while busy and a considerably healthier alternative to fast foods.


Some of Them Have Protein Which Helps in Weight Loss

Ones that are high in protein facilitate weight loss. Higher protein diets lead to greater satiety, which helps you consume fewer calories in the entirety of the day. Meal replacement shakes also have additional benefits that are found in protein-rich diets.


Fact or Myth?

meal replacement

Meal Replacement Shakes do help in weight loss. So, it is not a myth. However, it works only in short term. So, if you are solely relying on such shakes to reduce your weight, your efforts are bound to be futile more often than not. Research evidence suggests that, when used under the vigilance of a health professional, meal replacements along with a low-energy diet, can be an effective way to lose weight in the short term.

Not a Long-term Solution

Being able to provide the required nutrients is one thing, and doing that at the cost of entire meals is another. They cannot completely substitute whole foods. Whole foods also have antioxidants, plant compounds and other essential enzymes that cannot be put into a bottle. Some shakes do contain fiber, although significantly less than the amounts found in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.


They Don’t Mend Unhealthy Eating Habits

It’s true that meal replacement shakes can help you lose weight to some extent but then, they do not compel you to alter your eating habits. No significant change in weight loss can happen if your eating habits are intact. If you simply go back to your old eating habits when you stop replacing your meals with shakes, you are most likely to regain the weight.

While meal replacements may be effective for some people in the short term, the key to maintaining a healthy weight in the long term is to find an eating regimen you can adhere to.
Resorting to a healthier eating pattern rather than taking meal supplements which is basically a very low energy diet will bring you better long-term results. Meal replacements, like any diet, are no magic that can lead up to improved health. To achieve long-term weight loss, it’s essential to address social factors and habits that directly influence your diet and exercise regime. Merely counting on replacement shakes will not do much.
Nevertheless, the claims of meal replacement shake being bogus are untrue. The fact is they can work if taken under the supervision of a doctor. It is advisable to choose a shake with the following criteria in mind:

  • At least 15 grams of protein per serving.
  • At least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
  • No hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • At least 33% of the Daily Value for vitamins and minerals.

When You Should Drink a Meal Replacement Shake?

meal replacements

Meal replacement shakes can be used in place of any meal of the day or used as a healthy snack to satiate your hunger up to the time you have your next meal.
Most people like to drink it as a replacement for breakfast because they quickly fill you up. Some also prefer to have them for lunch or dinner. It is really up to you what time of the day you would want to drink it.
Doctors suggest that the best time to drink shakes would be replacing the meal that you struggle with the most. That is to say, the meal wherein you end up making the poorest choice in terms of your health should be replaced with the shake. For instance, if you tend to eat all junk food during lunch like burgers or pizzas, drink meal replacement shake instead and legit save a lot of calories.
Another opportune time to use meal replacement shakes is in the evening as a way to combat cravings.
Therefore, meal replacement shakes are extremely helpful because:

  • 1. They make you feel fuller for at least 2-3 hours, thus the calorie intake reduces.
  • 2. They curb the sweet craving, therefore no need for cheat days.
  • 3. They make you feel light and active.
  • 4. Handy and very effective even when you are on the go, therefore, very convenient to use.

Bottomline

Meal replacement shakes are helpful when it comes to wanting changes in the short term. They are portable and easy to use even while traveling. Because of the nutrients that these shakes are able to provide without taking a toll on our calorie intake, they are a feasible option to go for in the weight loss process. However, it becomes all the more important to consult a doctor and drink these shakes under his supervision since you might miss out on some essential nutrients. Ensure that you choose a shake that is rich in protein and low in sugar and other artificial ingredients, otherwise the results can be counterproductive.



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