Updated: January 7, 2019
Meal replacement shakes are prepared to provide the nutrition of a full meal, just like protein shakes. Some of them come prepared in a can or bottle, while others come in a powdered form that can be mixed with milk or water.
Most meal shakes contain 200 to 400 calories and a good amount of protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. For this reason, meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to get a healthy as well as a low-calorie meal. However, their ingredients and nutrient compositions can vary substantially, with various proportions of protein, carbs and fat.
Below we have the benefits of taking a meal replacement shakes.
It is much easier to grab a processed food or fast food when you are stressed or do not have much time. But, typical processed foods can seriously derail your weight loss efforts. Most of these foods are full of sugar, refined carbs and artificial ingredients. So, these are lack of most of beneficial nutrients. Processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat activate the pleasure centers of the brain, which can also lead to overeating
On the other hand meals made from healthy, whole foods are best for losing weight. But these are not possible and convenient with a busy schedule as it takes much time to prepare. Meal replacement shakes are are convenient, easy to drink on-the-go and a significantly healthier alternative to fast foods. They may help you resist the temptation to indulge in unhealthy processed foods.
Meal replacement shakes are prepared to provide all of the nutrients that you should consume in a complete meal. It is probably not possible to get all of the nutrients you need from your diet when you cut back on calories. These meal replacement shakes contains all nutrients, which are required while you are cutting back on calories. The best meal replacement shakes contain protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
Many commercial meal replacement shakes are a good source of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin D which is our daily requirement to function our body properly and most of the time many people are lacking these in their diets.
So, adding these shakes in your diet can help you meet your nutrient needs while cutting calories.
The key to losing weight is to reduce your calorie intake. However, if you end up feeling hungry it is difficult sticking to a low-calorie diet. In that case these meal replacement shakes can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories. Replacing one or two meals per day with a healthy meal replacement shake may speed up weight loss than a food-based, reduced-calorie diet.
These meal replacement shakes boost weight loss in diabetics. This is because more often diabetic people are lack of essential nutrients which can be filled by these shakes. These meal replacement shakes consumed by those with type 2 diabetes contributed to slightly greater weight loss than conventional dieting. They also help lowering fasting blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels.
Meal replacement shakes may also help with weight maintenance after weight loss has been achieved. The one with high in protein is the most important nutrients for weight loss. As higher protein diets lead to greater satiety, that can help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Some of the other benefits of high-protein diets include increased lean body mass, reduced body fat, less belly fat and improved weight maintenance. Body fat reduction and lowering the level of bad or LDL cholesterol are the advantage of high protein diet. So, choose a shake that is high in protein and low in sugar to get the maximum benefit out of it.
Although meal replacement shakes are convenient for busy lifestyles, and they are helpful for people who struggle to limit their food intake, there are some potential problems with meal replacement shakes. These include:
Some of meal replacement shakes contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugars, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial flavors and chemical preservatives. As some shakes that are marketed for weight loss contain more grams of sugar than grams of protein, you should always read the label before purchasing a meal replacement shake. Look for a high-protein shake that also contains fiber and a list of ingredients that are known to you. A healthy meal replacement shake should contain no more than a few grams of sugar. It can also be with no added sugar.
Along with vitamins and minerals, whole foods contain antioxidants, plant compounds and enzymes that are difficult to put into a meal replacement shake.
Therefore, many brands of meal shakes cannot completely replace a healthy diet full of whole foods. For this reason, a meal replacement shake may not be a long-term solution for weight management although they contain important nutrients. Additionally, drinking shakes for meals is not a sustainable lifestyle for many people. It can be a socially isolating practice, since many social events include food.
Long-term weight loss requires long-term lifestyle changes along with a healthy diet. If you go back to your old eating habits when you stop replacing your meals with shakes, you will likely regain the weight. Meal replacement shakes don't force you to change your eating habits. So, they may not be a long-term solution for healthy weight maintenance.
Ignore the claims on the front of the package and always read the ingredient list on the back to choose the best meal replacement shake for weight loss.
Choose a product with the following labels:
There are several different types of protein used in meal replacement shakes.
However, whey protein has been found to improve satiety and is a good ingredient to look for in a meal replacement shake.
Choose a shake that is high in protein and low in sugar and artificial ingredients.
You can also make your own meal replacement shakes at home.