To lose weight effectively, we need nutritious meals, designed to facilitate weight loss – that much is fact.

However, most of us are so preoccupied with our jobs that it is next to impossible to sit down and enjoy healthy homemade food that is filled with nutrients and is good for our health.

The question at this point is, how is one supposed to stay fit and healthy if they are supposed to eat on the run? Simple; go for healthy meal replacements.

Opting for a meal replacement can work very well, if you do it occasionally that is. The only thing that you need to take care of is to ensure that whatever you choose is nutrient dense, should curb hunger, and should not affect the weight loss efforts adversely.

One of the best ways to go about is to make sure that you have planned everything beforehand and pick a replacement that is full of minerals, vitamins, and other important nutrients.

Until very recently, meal replacement bars and drinks only catered to the need of athletes who looked for quick energy supplements right before the workout and marathons.

These days, meal replacement shakes are being used by everyone and works for anyone who is looking forward to adding some nutritional boost in their lives.

Meal replacement bars are especially getting popular as they are easy to store and can be taken out of the bag, purse, or pocket for a quick meal.

Due to the growing popularity of these products, it is easy to find them on shelves of grocery and health food stores with hundreds of variety to choose from.

Drinking Shakes to Replace Meals

Word of advice: make sure you choose a good brand if you are opting for a ready-made meal replacement shake. Some of the available options are nothing but high calorie and sugar rich drinks that will not aid weight loss in any way, instead being counterproductive.

So, don’t be fooled by the heavily hyped health claims and read the packaging carefully before purchasing any such products.

The only way you can make an informed decision is if you read the nutrition label and the list of ingredients mentioned on the back side of the product. In order to be absolutely sure that you are picking the best, you can compare different products together.

Don’t buy a meal replacement shakes or drinks if it has ingredients that you have never heard of. The nutrients present in these shakes and drinks should consist of a small amount of protein, a bit of fat, simple sugars, and complex carbohydrates.

Only buy a product if it meets the following criteria (per serving):

• 10 to 15 grams of protein
• 220-230 calories
• 3-5 grams of fiber
• 5 or less grams of fat
• Daily vitamins
• Minerals

Make sure that you do not over consume these products. A lot of these products are to be consumed maximum once a day and minimum thrice a week.

It is highly recommended that in addition to all this, you take added fiber in the form of vegetable juice, raw vegetables, and fruit.

If you want to use meal replacement shakes and drinks in the long run, it is advised that you pair it up with fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, bagels, cereal, crackers, dry cereal, graham crackers, granola bars, low-fat cheese, nuts, peanut butter, and low fat yogurt.

All the foods mentioned provide quick energy and can be safely paired with pre-packaged meal replacements.

As mentioned above, if you are trying to lose weight or become more agile, you can opt for drinking nutrient dense shakes and drinks, instead of eating a meal.

Not all of these shakes are created equally, so you should take your time in weighing the options and switching between different kinds of meal replacement shakes and drinks.

If you want to switch to this lifestyle, balance is key. You must make sure that your drink has enough calories that will last you for a few hours. It has been seen that most of these shakes have less calories than actual meals that makes a person lose weight in the long run.

According to several nutritionists, drinking shakes instead of eating meals is a great short term weight loss strategy. Remember that you should be absolutely full after having the shakes or you will be hungry throughout the day.

Chewing food is linked with satiety, meaning that switching to meal replacement shakes should only be a short-term approach.

Furthermore, it is important that you get in touch with your doctor and take their approval before moving forward with this lifestyle change so that they can assess your medical condition and suggest a meal plan that can maximize the benefits you’re aiming for.

Things To Do Before Switching To Meal Replacement Shakes

A meal replacement plan is a great way to lose weight, but it requires major lifestyle changes. Before you get started, it is important that you do the following things, in order to make sure that your transition is smooth.

Plan The Meals Beforehand

Meal replacement shakes are easy to consume – all you need to do is replace one meal every day with a weight loss shake. For the results to be significant enough to show, nutritionists suggest that you replace your biggest meal with the shake.

After you have decided which meal you want to replace, you should have a food plan for what you would eat for the rest of the day. Make sure that you have a menu in your head and have purchased the required ingredients so that you have everything ready to go.

Choose The Type Of Meal Replacement Shake

There is a wide variety of meal replacement shakes available in the market. You can either go for a ready-made option, or you can make your own smoothies at home.

Make sure that you switch between different flavors so you don’t get bored and can continue your diet for the intended period of time.

Meal-replacement-shake

Have An Exercise Routine

You should have an exercise routine in mind before you get started. The exercise doesn’t need to be hardcore, but just something that will help you get started. You can switch between different forms of exercises like swimming, biking, and weight lifting.

You can lose weight without exercising but the whole process will be longer.

Take Your Measurements

You need to determine the degree to which your body changes after the meal replacement shake diet, which is why you should measure your body and weigh yourself before getting started. In order to track changes, you can re-measure yourself every week.

You can also take a before picture before the whole diet, and can compare your new body to your old one in order to see the results.

Do It with Someone

When it comes to meeting health goals, we need all the motivation we can get, which is why it is a good idea to embark on the weight loss journey with a friend.

How To Use Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss

Here is what you need to do in order to lose weight with the help of meal replacement shakes:

Get Started By Replacing Only One Meal a Day

The bodies of each human being are different and respond to changes differently. You shouldn’t make any major dietary changes based on someone else’s experiences.

You don’t want to do anything drastic, which is why it is a good idea to only replace one meal with the shake in the beginning.

You may experience side effects like nausea, headache, dizziness, bowel issues, and fatigue, but if these problems persist for a long time, visit a doctor.

Burn More Calories

In order to see faster results, you need to burn more calories. That can be achieved with the help of exercise.

Eat Nutritious Meals

You need to eat foods that are packed with nutrition in order to make up for the meal that you are replacing with the shake.

Have Snacks Between The Meals

It is important that you eat snacks between the meals so that you can stay active throughout the day. Make sure that whatever you are eating is healthy and does not exceed 100 calories.

With Time, Replace Two Meals

Think your body has adjusted to the change? You can now amp it up and replace two meals rather than one and then analyze the subsequent increase in results.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking a lot of water is critical for weight loss. Water helps to flush out toxins and keeps the bloating away. Ideally, you should be drinking eight to ten glasses of water in order to stay healthy and lose weight.

How Do These Meal Replacement Shakes Work?

By now, you’ve learnt a good deal on how to go about incorporating meal replacement shakes in your diet for effective results, but how exactly do these shakes help you meet your health goals?

guide-to-meal-replacementThey Suppress Hunger

These meals will keep you feeling fuller for a longer time, as long as you follow the instructions carefully.

Suppressing your hunger is a very important part of weight loss as it restricts the calorie intake.

It is Convenient

These shakes are very convenient as you don’t have to spend hours upon hours for preparation.

All you have to do is simply add the powder to the liquid, shake it, and then drink it.

The Shakes Meet Nutrition Needs

These nutrition shakes and drinks have a balanced amount of fat, minerals, protein, sugar, and vitamins. The protein will help you to build muscle and increase your metabolism.

Tips For Using Meal Replacement Shakes

• You should have a shaker bottle and a blender before getting started on this diet. This will make the whole process of having a shake easier. All you will have to do is add all the ingredients in the shake bottle and it will be ready to go with you anywhere.

A blender, on the other hand, will help you to get the desired texture.

• It is easier to control the size of the shake in order to meet your nutritional needs.

• It is highly recommended that you don’t replace all your meals with a shake. You should replace two meals with the shake in order to get your desired results.

Make sure that you bring about a change of lifestyle and learn how to make healthy meals in order to improve your health.

• Avoid junk food and replace it with healthy snacks.

Advantages Of Meal Replacement Shakes

You may think that that meal replacement shakes are only made for weight loss, but there are so many advantages that you don’t know about.

These advantages don’t apply to every meal replacement shake and that you should consult your doctor before taking any sort of supplement. Coming back to the topic, let’s have a look at some of the advantages:

Meal Replacement is Good For People Who Skip Meals

How many times did you miss your meal because you simply did not have the time to cook something or to stop by at a restaurant and enjoy a wholesome meal? Too many times, right?

Or are you on a weight loss journey and think that skipping meals will help you to lose weight? A lot of people think that skipping meals would help shed weight, when in fact, this is one of the worst things that you can do to your body.

In order to fuel it in a proper manner, you should drink meal replacement shakes so that your body gets all the required nutrients.

It Is A Good On-The-Go Fix For A Healthy Meal

Some of us are so busy with our work that we don’t get time to prepare food. Ditch junk foods and switch to meal replacement shakes because they are so much better than fast food.

It Helps In Building Muscle

A lot of people don’t know this, but meal replacement shakes are not only great for losing weight but they also help in building muscles. In order to build muscles, your body needs protein.

Sometimes in order to get the required amount of protein, we consume a lot of food that eventually leads us towards weight gain. Shakes give your body the right amount of protein and that too in fewer calories.

This is one of the main reasons why people prefer meal replacement shakes in order to lose weight and gain muscles.

exercise-stretch-healthy-diet

It’s A Great Diet Before Any Surgical Procedure

A lot of times, overweight people are asked to lose weight before they undergo a major surgery. They are asked to intake a soft liquid diet for a variety of different reasons.

One can go for soups and juices but what better way is there to get all the nutrients than by taking a nutritious meal replacement shake.

It Is Great For People Who Don’t Eat Well

A lot of people don’t eat well and have a lot of gaps in their diet. In order to fill those gaps and to get the nutrition that the body deserves, it is important that one starts to take meal replacement shakes.

In addition to this, the shake is also suitable for people who are recovering from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions that people have regarding meal replacement shakes:

What Is A Meal Replacement?

Meal replacements are ‘meals’ that one takes in order to lose weight. There is a wide variety available in the market that ranges from soups, powders, and shakes. It is highly recommended that you get in touch with your GP before getting started.

What Is The Nutritional Breakdown?

In order to make sure that you are full for several hours, these meal replacements shakes are made from protein, fiber, and fat that generally have a energy content of 800–900kJ per serving.

Are These Meals Nutritionally Holistic?

Not all of these replacements are nutritionally complete and you might have to take added supplements in order to avoid deficiencies in your body.

The nutritional content of these products is not the same as having a full meal, which is why it is recommended that you drink plenty of water and eat small snacks in between the meals.

Are These Safe?

You can’t continue with meal replacements shakes forever, but there are several studies that have shown that it is safe to use these shakes.

Where Can I Buy These and How Long Will They Stay Good?

You can buy meal replacements shakes at any supermarket and their shelf life is 6 months on average.

What Are The Elements Of A Typical Meal Replacement Shake?

Here are the few things that your meal replacement shake should consist of:

• A hunger suppressant
• Good flavor
• Low calories
• Low sugar
• Plenty of fiber
• Protein

What Are The Advantages Of These Shakes?

Some of the advantages are:

• Their usage makes it easy for you to limit your calories.
• They are filling if taken properly.
• It is convenient to have them.
• You don’t have to plan and prepare for the meal replacement shakes in advance.

What Are The Disadvantages Of These Shakes?

Some of the disadvantages are:

• They are not as nutritious as whole foods.
• They may be expensive.
• They might have certain side effects.

Who Are These Meal Replacements Shakes Suitable For?

These meals are suitable for the following people:

• Those who want to lose weight.
• People who don’t have time to cook.
• People who want to reduce their portion size.

Who Are These Meal Replacements Shakes Not Suitable For?

These meals are not suitable for the following people:

• Breastfeeding women.
• People with a BMI of less than 25.
• People with eating disorders.
• People with health problems.
• People with lactose intolerance.
• Pregnant women.

What Are Total Meal Replacements?

Total meal replacements means that you replace all your meals with a meal replacement shake. This is known as Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCDs) and is suitable for extremely obese patients.

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