Do meal replacement shakes work? The answer to that question is yes. Using products of this nature can be a very good way to lose weight.
However, you have to use meal replacement shakes in a sensible way. If you don’t, you could actually find your chosen shake is causing you to gain weight instead of helping you to lose it.
Think of this article as a meal replacement shake 101 and read it carefully. It will tell you everything you need to know about this type of weight management aid and help you decide if meal replacement shakes are the best option for you.
- How meal replacement shakes work
- What to look for in a good meal replacement shake
- How to get the best from the meal replacement shake you chose
- Meal replacement shake success stories
- Is this the right option for you?
If you’ve landed on this page, there’s a good chance you want to become better educated on the subject and know what to expect. If that’s the case, you struck lucky. I wrote this article specially for people like you. I hope you find it useful. If you do, please stick around and check out some of the other articles. They may be helpful to you too.
How Do Meal Replacement Shakes Work?
As with any other weight management product, you need to use meal replacement shakes alongside a healthy and nutritious energy-restricted diet. (What Are Calories And How Do You Count Them?)
The name pretty much says it all, you use the shakes to replace one or two of your daily meals. For example, you could have a shake for breakfast, a meal at lunchtime, and a shake instead of your evening meal.
You need to be sure you are replacing meals, not using the shakes in addition to your meals. Whether you have one meal and two shakes or two meals and one shake, you need to aim for no more than three feeds per day.
If you are serious about losing weight you should also resist the temptation to eat snacks. However, if you must snack always go for healthy options that are low in calories and don’t overindulge. Try things such as a couple of celery sticks, an apple, or possibly a Greek yogurt.
A good meal replacement shake provides a similar level of nutrition as you would get from a meal, but is generally lower in calories.
Most good meal shakes provide 200-400 calories. They also contain protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals. They can be more nutritious than some people’s normal meals.
As a weight-loss method, there’s a lot to be said for going this route. The shake ensures you are getting all the nutrients you need, but still keeping your calorie intake low enough to be burning extra calories and fat every day.
Many shakes are designed to help you escape hunger between meals but, if you feel it’s necessary, there is nothing to stop you using an appetite suppressing diet pill as well.
What to Look for In a Good Meal Replacement Shake
Unfortunately not all meal replacement shakes are good. Some contain unhealthy ingredients such as preservatives and chemicals that provide flavor.
Poor shakes may also contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugars, and/or syrups. With this in mind, you need to scrutinize the ingredients before buying or only choose respected brands.
Good meal replacement shakes should contain:
- At least 3 grams of fiber (per serving)
- At least 15 grams of protein (per serving)
- Less than 10 grams of sugar (per serving)
- At least 33% of the RDA for vitamins and minerals
They should not contain any unnecessary sugars or unhealthy fats.
The best shakes always contain a decent amount of protein. There are several forms of protein that are commonly used in meal replacement shakes but whey protein is one of the best.
The body absorbs whey protein easily. Whey protein is also a complete protein that provides all nine essential amino acids. However, if you are lactose intolerant, a meal replacement shake that contains whey may not be the best option for you. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-101)
Protein is important. Your body uses it to build muscle. When you are burning fat you may find you are burning a little muscle too.
That’s undesirable because losing muscle mass can decrease metabolism. If you want to get thin and maintain your slim body you don’t want a slow metabolism holding you back. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263371#muscle_building_and_weight_loss)
How to Get the Best from Your Meal Replacement Shake
If you want to get the best from your meal replacement shake it’s important to remain consistent and stick to your plan. Don’t try and have cheat days or cheat meals. You’d be surprised how much this kind of thing can hold you back. In the worst-case scenario, “cheating” could prevent you from making any kind of progress at all.
It’s also inadvisable to try and live on meal-replacement shakes. The human body is not designed to run on a liquid diet. When you are using this type of weight management product you need to have one to two real meals per day.
Swapping meals for shakes is quite a big change in lifestyle so you may find it easier to begin by substituting just one meal each day. Then, later, as you become accustomed to having a shake instead of a meal, try substituting two meals instead of one. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you need to ease yourself into things slowly.
Nor are there any hard and fast rules that state you have to substitute two meals per day. You may find you lose weight faster by having two liquid meals but it’s not a race. Whether you swap one meal per day or two, if you are using the shakes in conjunction with a sufficiently low-energy diet, you will still lose weight.
It may also be a good idea to buy shakes in a variety of flavors. Having the same flavor day after day may get old real quick. Alternatively, you could try a change of flavor every time you buy a new supply of shake mix.
Of course, if you really love a certain flavor, you may find sticking to that flavor makes each liquid meal a treat to look forward too. In the end, only you can decide which flavor or flavors will work best for you.
Meal Replacement Shake Success Stories
Using meal replacement shakes is a good way to lose weight. Men and women all over the world use them with great success. So have a lot of celebs.
British celebrity, Kelly Brook, dropped a couple of dress sizes using Slimfast. So did the singer Kimberley Walsh. The American actress Whoopie Goldberg has used it too, along with many other celebrities.
Slimfast is a respected brand. It’s been around a long time, but there are other good brands as well. You don’t have to buy Slimfast shakes to lose weight.
Any shake that has the correct balance of nutrients and protein and is not compromised by unnecessary sugars, chemicals, or unhealthy fats should be able to help you lose weight faster if you use it with correct diet.
Is Using a Meal Replacement Shake the Right Option for You?
Using shakes is a popular way to lose weight, but it’s not the best option for everyone. If you have diabetes or any other ongoing health issues, you shouldn’t use products of this nature without checking with a doctor first.
If you have a hectic lifestyle that causes you to grab whatever food is handy it may interfere with your efforts to lose weight. Swapping junk food and other unhealthy options for a nutritious shake that is quick and easy to prepare can be a very good option.
Like a bag of fries or a candy bar, a serving of shake is a portable option that’s easy to fit in your bag.
All good meal replacement shakes, regardless of brand, contain generous amounts of protein and fiber. Both are good for filling the stomach and controlling appetite.
Many shake users find a shake instead of a meal is all they need and manage to lose weight without hunger.
However, if you have been overeating in a big way for a long time, you may find a shake is not filling enough during the early stages of your diet. If this is the case, you may need to consider using a good appetite suppressing supplement as well. Again though, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor first. Apart from confirming if this is a safe route for you to go, your doctor may be able to offer other tailor-made advice and/or help to lose weight in other ways.