If you’ve looked into losing weight, there’s a chance you’ve encountered meal replacement shakes. These are products designed to provide a full meal’s nutritional value in drink form. However, you may ask yourself, “How much weight can I lose with meal replacement shakes?”
Fortunately, there have been many studies conducted to show how helpful these shakes are. The consensus is they help you lose weight, but there are some downsides. Read on for all the details.
- What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
- Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes
- Disadvantages of Meal Replacement Shakes
- Extra Weight Loss
What Are Meal Replacement Shakes?
The shakes are usually sold in two primary forms. They can either be pre-mixed in a can or container, making them ready to drink. Others are found as powders you can mix on your own. The latter is more flexible since combining it with water or milk is an option.
What’s more, adding fruits or vegetables as you like to boost the flavors is possible. The ready-made shakes may not pair well with added ingredients, but it depends on your tastes and the brand.
Besides the ordinary vanilla and chocolate options, meal replacement shakes come in a variety of flavors. Some are even left bland on purpose to let you customize the taste.
A standard shake contains all the essential nutrients you need:
- Necessary calories
Shakes can be generalized or tailored to specific individuals. An example is when companies make shakes suitable for people with diabetes. The fiber content varies widely, so you may have to look at the nutritional content before making your purchase.
Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes
While many believe these shakes help people lose weight, some aren’t exactly privy to how they do that. Here are the advantages of drinking these products.
Full Nutritional Value
Every person’s nutritional requirements are different, but many meal replacement shakes manage to satisfy an extensive range of clients. Even if they’re not sufficient, you likely only have to add a small piece of fruit or some other portion of food to meet your particular needs. Any shake worth its reputation will contain nutrients people need to survive and thrive.
Save Time Healthily
The rush of work sometimes pressures people into buying fast food, which isn’t healthy for the body. Plus, burgers and fries are highly processed meals that interfere with any weight loss plan. Instead of getting these convenient meals, consider a shake.
The harmful substances fast foods contain include:
- Refined carbohydrates
- Artificial sweeteners
- Excess sodium
These are harmful and will accumulate in the body, causing health problems.
A shake takes only a few minutes to prepare, especially if you buy a powdered mix. Some brands are already packaged in bottles or cans and are ready to drink. They save even more time than the drive-through, giving you more time to yourself on your break.
You Get Healthy Proteins
Protein is required every day because the body may burn muscle to sustain itself. In addition, consuming adequate amounts of protein will help you feel full. That’s why meat is excellent for full meals.
However, not all methods of preparing meat are healthy. For example, deep-frying introduces too much fat into the diet.
Thus, a meal replacement shake can help you get the necessary protein intake each time you drink one. People on a diet will need more of this nutrient to prevent muscle loss and other problems associated with protein deficiency.
The extra protein will even increase the rate your body sheds fat. You want to lose weight but keep the muscle mass.
Increase Weight Loss Rate
Unlike fat loss, weight loss may include losing some muscle mass. Of course, you don’t want that to happen. That’s why meal replacement shakes comes in handy. They help you shave off pounds over time.
It’s best you only replace a meal or two each day with these helpful shakes. Solid food and a cooked meal are necessary for a healthy diet. That’s because people tend to feel famished if they don’t chew on something as they eat.
Help Diabetics Lose Weight Faster
While this isn’t concrete, studies have shown that drinking meal replacement shakes can help those with Type 2 diabetes lose more weight. It’s not a significant boost, but any increase is beneficial.
Even if the shakes don’t increase the weight loss rate, they at least match following a low-calorie and low-fat diet.
Reach Daily Fiber Requirements
You’ve bought a good drink if your favorite product promises increased fiber. Fiber helps with digestion and feeling satiated. You’ll notice increased weight loss when you reach 30 grams or so of fiber consumption daily.
Fiber is also beneficial for diabetes patients as it makes the body more responsive to insulin.
Disadvantages of Meal Replacement Shakes
Very few things, if they exist at all, are miracle cures. Meal replacement shakes are great, but you must remember these cons.
You’ll Miss Cooked Food
Nothing beats a tasty warm meal when you’re hungry. Depending on your diet, you may only get one or two meals because you’re drinking a meal replacement shake instead. It can leave you feeling unsatisfied even if watching the pounds roll off the scale is fulfilling.
Make sure you have the willpower and discipline to fight the cravings. A healthy snack can also stave off the hunger pangs until dinnertime.
Meal replacement shakes are processed food, so it’s not unusual to find artificial substances like sweeteners or refined sugars in them. If this bothers you, you should look for all-natural shakes instead.
All-natural shakes cost more, but they’re worth the price if you want to stay healthy.
Lower Calorie Count
The brand and product will sometimes differ in calorie count. For some, a high-calorie shake is good, but others need less. It’s best to get something with 100-200 calories and make up the rest with snacks or during another meal.
Relying on meal replacement shakes for the long term isn’t wise. They don’t offer the same complete nutritional profile as naturally cooked meals. You’re missing out on many other nutrients:
- Plant compounds
These substances aren’t easy to include in shakes, so the best source is to eat fruits and vegetables.
Something not often considered is the social aspect of meals. These shakes are quickly finished, and you might not sit down with others while drinking them. A cooked dish takes time to savor, and you can enjoy the company of others at the same time.
They Don’t Change Your Unhealthy Habits
Diets are only a part of losing weight. Long-term weight loss is the result of lifestyle changes besides eating habits. Thus, the pounds will return if you lose weight by drinking meal replacement shakes but don’t stop eating unhealthy food.
It’s crucial to remember that these drinks alone can’t help you achieve the body of your dreams. Exercise and a good sleep schedule are essential for losing weight, too.
Extra Weight Loss
How much weight can I lose with meal replacement shakes? The answer is different for everyone, but you can expect better results if you commit to a healthy weight-loss plan. Various lifestyle factors will determine exactly how much weight you’ll lose, but it’s widely agreed upon that you’ll experience some weight loss with meal replacement shakes.
Read also: Is Ensure a Meal Replacement?